Rupert On Rupert, Collingwood
Rupert On Rupert in Collingwood is one of my favourite wedding venues around Melbourne and today I have the pleasure of giving you, a little insight behind the doors of such a beautiful venue. I had a chance to shoot a few “Behind the scenes” photos and chat
to the owners, Ric & Mali.
Ric and Mali, you both have such a beautiful venue. How did it all start?
RIC: Nearly a decade of developing and running a commercial construction company not only gave me a select set of skills but also left me desperate for a change. Over a two year period I dreamt up and put into place all the million small things that ultimately lead to the outcome that is Rupert today. Rupert also plays to both Mali and my strengths, we both love people and the wonderful harmony of authentic hospitality.
MALI: Ric’s always been a man of grand vision. After nearly 25 years together, I became very accustomed to hearing many inspired, but perhaps overly ambitious ideas delivered with his trademark passion but not really expecting them to come to fruition. I think I was in denial until the day we opened that he actually had the nouse and tenacity to bring this particular dream to reality. I’ll never doubt him again! It’s an exciting chapter in our lives together, both creatively and professionally.
I love the decor of Rupert On Rupert, what was the inspiration?
RIC: My love of plants and trees has always been a never ending passion, so much of the design and feel of Rupert had to focus on an extensive conservatory space to feed that part of me. Rupert also needed to be private enough to truly allow for the development and nurturing of intimate experiences. The dream was essentially to create a space that could exist in any city in the world, once inside, with an aesthetic that would stimulate both community gatherings and intimate affairs alike, where guests have a desire to dig in for the night and a longing to return again and again, just like we do with our favourite places.
MALI: We seem to have a lovely alchemy, when it comes to design principles – like a lot of men, Ric envisions the larger principle, whilst I play in the delight of the detail. I believe that central to Rupert’s appeal, and beauty, is this interplay between the masculine structures of steel and copper and sheer vastness, and the softness of the feminine spaces, the oasis of the Greenery, the sweeter, more subtle moments that reveal unexpectedly.
What do you love most about your job?
RIC: It’s all about the simplicities of people and our most basic of needs, shelter, food, sustenance, friendship and community. We experience on a daily basis an immensely rewarding constant feedback loop of giving and sharing with both our friends, staff, guests and couples that choose Rupert as the place they will stand and commit themselves to each other.
MALI: I love collaborating with creative and passionate individuals, and sharing this inspiration with the couples that come our way. It is simply the most extraordinary privilege to be entrusted with the honour of hosting a wedding, and for Ric and I, it never ceases to feel like a blessing to be part of such an intimate, profound and wonderful celebration.
What are some of the key questions a bride/groom should ask when considering their venue?
MALI: There are the obvious questions of course, like inclusions vs exclusions, flexibility regarding styling, and time frames. Whilst questions relating to budget are no doubt important, I think questions that are more value based are crucial – Are we likeminded? Do we fit together? Will our precious vision be both heard and realised at this venue? And for me, the most important question to ask, is directed inwards: How do we feel here, in this space? Hopefully the answer to this question is respected, safe and excited!
Do you have any advice for couples looking to book a venue?
RIC: Available dates: Wanting a specific venue and having a fixed date can be a huge disappointment when no matter how much time you have given yourself, the date has already been taken. First find the venue, then set the date.
MALI: Go with your gut. How does it feel when you imagine yourself standing in this space sharing one of the most important moments of your life? Is it worthy of that moment?
The food at Rupert On Rupert is incredible, why is food so important to your venue?
RIC: We have been eating food with each other since the beginning of time, it generates such a pleasurable sense of comfort and belonging and safety with each other. Food at Rupert is designed to be shared, it’s delicious but not overly complicated. Think Mediterranean, smart but simple.
MALI: For me, food is one of life’s central pleasures, and considering that we are in the business of sharing pleasurable experience, creating delectable food is non negotiable.
Do you have a team of local vendors you like to work with in the wedding industry?
RIC: Absolutely. It makes sense to recommend vendors that we trust will deliver both in quality and in attitude, as their work will inevitably be a reflection on Rupert.
I also want to make life as easy as possible for our couples, by taking as much hard work out of the process as possible. Whilst it can be valuable to shop around, it can also be stressful and tedious and confusing. A wedding should be none of these things.
MALI: Yes, we have a select number of key players, from Photographers, Florists, Celebrants, Wedding Cake Suppliers & DJ’s.
If you could give the photographer one piece of advice to make your life easier on a wedding day, what would it be?
MALI: Please give me a copy of all your beautiful photos yesterday!
What would typically be on your music playlist during the week when you have some down time?
RIC: My very savy, musically educated 18 year old, tends to run the show during the week regarding music, so whatever she is currently inspired by generally prevails at home.
MALI: I love Leonard Cohen (RIP), Nick Cave, Joni Mitchell, James Vincent McMorrow, Darkside, Nina Simone.
Thanks Ric & Mali for taking the time to chat to us. Leelou and I are very excited to be having our own wedding at your beautiful venue!