Melbournians who love an iconic, intimate, inner city setting can’t go past a place like Rupert on Rupert. Nestled amongst historic, industrial warehouses in the back streets of Collingwood, this chic family run business is a true labour of love.

Owned and operated by Mali and Ric, a hubby and wife combo who know what it takes to combine a bangin' business with a magical marriage. 25 years together and a few children later (their daughter, Rhiannon is often seen tending the bar) these guys are testament to the the ins and outs of a long lasting partnership.  

In their former lives, Mali worked as psychotherapist and Ric was the co-director of a building company that specialised in steel work (subsequently fitting out funky food hubs throughout Melbourne).  Mali and Ric never imagined their life would transition to centre around weddings, but it did!

Ric’s vision (or self confessed mid-life crises) came to him mostly at 4am where he transformed and designed a bold new space in his head, combining his love of horticulture and plants with his skills in steel work. When the building in Rupert St came up for lease, he jumped at the opportunity to bring his dream to life.

Despite Mali having no desire whatsoever to move into hospitality, her natural sense of styling and design meant she was soon painting walls, restoring a copper oven, and before you know it, she had traded in psychotherapy entirely to manage over 100 weddings a year. Ric is fulfilling his horticultural dream by watching his Fiddle Leafs grow to the ceiling.

Rupert on Rupert is a stellar wedding space like no one other, set apart by a killer conservatory that attracts the coolest cats of Melbourne.

When Rupert on Rupert isn’t hosting a wedding, they are open by day and night as a restaurant.

With ample access to public transport, wedding guests of Rupert on Rupert are spoiled for choice when it comes to planning their stay if they’ve travelled from afar. Collingwood is only a few minutes by car to the CBD centre and a 10-15 minute walk for those who prefer to travel on foot.

Honestly, this is one of our favourite spots, so much so that it was the first restaurant that we booked for lunch, after coming out of lockdown.  

Rupert on Rupert, we salute you!!!!!

We sat down with Mali to get the Rupert gossip.

Tell us your most memorable wedding?  

This is like asking me to choose my favourite child! I get deeply attached to my couples, and often their families and friends by extension, and have had the privilege of being invited into some extraordinarily intimate moments over the years.  I’ve also witnessed many painful family dynamics at times, offered support to Brides having pre-ceremony panic attacks, deaths in the family (literally on the day), punch ups between estranged family members…luckily my prior career was as a psychotherapist, as I find I draw heavily on this tool bag in ways that I never expected!  I guess my favourite moments are when we execute a surprise that has been planned by one member of the couple for the other – these have been both grand at times, and privately deep and meaningful, and seriously FUN!  The best moments are when our couple allows their individuality to shine through the creative vision and planning process, and on the day itself.  

Where does your venue inspiration come from?  

My love of creating and holding space for the beautiful, the sacred, for shared community celebration.  I’ve always loved creating and styling beautiful spaces and beautiful events (and I have an addiction to gathering vintage bits and bobs, for foraging in markets for old wares, for finding new ways to create a sense of magic and wonder).  I was also a florist in my early 20s, so any opportunity to play with flowers and allow my creative part a place to express itself is a bonus.

Ric was a horticulturalist in his past career, his love of plants and trees has always been a never ending passion of his. His 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.

Have you ever had anything crazy happen at a wedding, tell us all about it?

We’ve had so many crazy things happen at our weddings over the years, some hilarious, some profound, some quite emotionally difficult, but I feel it’s important to maintain the privacy of our couples, and let their experience be their experience, so we’ll keep these stories shrouded in a lovely sense of mystery.  

How do you make couples feel comfortable?  

I make it a priority to do my best to remove as much stress and overwhelm from the process as I possibly can.  At the end of the day I want our couples to feel as if they have hired their own very glamourous lounge room for the day, where they can turn their attention towards celebrating each other, and all their beloved friends and family, eat delectable food, drink good booze, and have a love party for the ages!  And I spend a lot of time listening….and laughing…often sharing a glass of wine with my couples in consultation…and not taking things too seriously (except for the bits where it counts).  

We know you are awesome, but what are your unique selling points?  

I’m warm and playful and authentic, and I care deeply, and our venue is full of a tribe of staff that are also this way inclined.  We genuinely love what we do and are deeply grateful for being entrusted with the honour of hosting such a significant occasion.  We also go above and beyond in ways that other venues simply don’t.  If I can say yes I will.

What is your favourite past time—where can we find you on a day off?  

Beachcombing, tending to the plants, exploring nature, swimming in the river, striding up hill and dale, favourite podcast in my ear, massacring blackberries, reading, sharing lush food with my family and friends. Laughing with my husband (usually about our kids).

Go on, tell us your favourite naughty word or guilty pleasure.

Watching Danish crime noir in the bath with a Negroni in hand. Riding on the back of my husband’s motorbike across the country.  

Awesome, now fill us in on all the serious venue information:

How booked does your calendar get?  

I have 100 weddings booked this year (2021) and have recently opened up weekdays to allow for more bookings.  The first half of next year is starting to fill.  

How many guests can you accommodate?

80 for a seated event and 180 for a cocktail wedding.  

What does your wedding package included?

See the pdf for details.

Can other events are happen at the venue on the same day?

No, I insist on exclusivity for weddings.  I want my couples to feel as if the world revolves around them for the day.  

How long are your packages available for?

The minimum requirement for a beverage package is 3 hours, and I cap the beverage package at 7 hours.  The majority of Rupert couples opt for a 6 hour beverage package, with the ceremony beforehand.

What rooms are included in your package?

All of the above except for a bridal suite.  We have a large and stylish disabled bathroom that is equipped with a mirror and bureau to store makeup etc, where Bride’s often touch up make up or change into a sequined playsuit for the dancing ;) We also have a Conservatory that doubles as an aisle and ceremony space.

Is there a designated smoking area?

Yes, we have an undercover area with bench seating and ash trays where guests can take their drinks and smoke.

Is an outdoor area included for a cocktail reception?

Yes - an undercover smoking area

Is the room accessible for disabled guests?  


Is there a secure area to store the wedding gifts/cards?

Yes, but we do ask that couples take their personal items home at the conclusion of the event for safe keeping.

Tell us about your venue Set-Up?

What does a typical layout of the room on the wedding day look like?  

See attached floor plans – one for seated and one for cocktail.  There is flexibility in the layout, and some tall bar tables that we can bring in for a stand up event.  

Do you allow photographers to come have a look at the venue prior?


Can couples come and see it set up for another wedding?


Who is the main venue contact for day of wedding?

Me – Mali (Wedding’s Manager and Owner).

Is there anything you couples need to bring into the venue that you do not have?  

They need to print their own menu and table plan, but everything else is provided.  We have all manner of beautiful styling accessories at their disposal if they choose to use them.  We provide a wishing well and an entrance sign.

We absolutely love the décor of Rupert. The lush flowers, the art work, the beautiful blue wall. Tell us all about the decoration set-up?

When can couples/florists start decorating?  

From 11am on the day or ono.

Are there decorating restrictions?

We don’t allow balloons or confetti.

Can the centrepieces contain candles?  


What do you use for table settings?

Our restaurant cutlery and crockery, your choice of linen napkins and tea light candles.

What decorations do you provide?

An extensive array of stem vases, vintage candle holders, silver trays, art deco drink’s trolleys, sexy vintage coupettes, anything and everything we have in the restaurant.

Do couples have to provide your own place cards?  


How many people can sit at one table?  

It depends on the guest number. We have beautiful wooden and steel tables of 8 – 10, but we can create long tables by placing several together.

Are there booster seats or high chairs available for children?

Yes, we have a couple of high chairs.

We are in love with the food you serve at Rupert, tell us more. What are the different ways you serve food? Buffet, family style, individual plates?

To us food 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. Our seated menu is offered as a shared feasting banquet, with lots of platters of deliciousness to enjoy.  Everyone gets everything, and it’s a very collective, festive way of dining.

Can you arrange for a tasting?  

We don’t actually provide "menu tasting" sessions for couples, as our a la carte menu differs from our wedding menus, and it’s too difficult logistically to cover both needs in our busy Rupert world. As a gesture of good will and quality reassurance we do offer a complimentary dinner for the couple to enjoy, with all food costs covered.  

What do you provide as a standard for drinks with the meal?

See pdf packages.

Can you accommodate special diets?

Yes, we pride ourselves on taking special care of guests with dietary requirements, both in terms of specific allergies, but also for cultural/religious reasons.

How many choices can you offer your guests for meals?

100 plus canape options, choice of two shared feasting style Entrees, Mains and Desserts (from an extensive list).  We also customise for fully gluten free, vegetarian or vegan weddings, and can arrange Kosher alternatives.

Let us know your policy on all things sweet, or cheesy…..

Do you provide a place for the cake?

Yes, there are several options, but the art deco drink’s trolley is a favourite.

Do you provide a cutting knife?

Yes, a beautiful vintage silver knife is supplied.

Is there a cake-cutting fee?

No, we don’t charge cake-age and will cut and distribute the cake (and serve in replacement of dessert if preferred).

Let’s chat about the drinks…..

Do you have a liquor license to serve alcohol?  


Do you provide the alcohol and bar service?  


What drinks are included in the pricing?

See pdf for details.

Do you provide a cash bar or an open bar?

Cash bar or transition to a tab is allowed for the final hour only.

Do you charge for unopened bottles after the reception?  


Is there a corkage fee?

No BYO allowed, so no corkage.

Are there any restrictions on the type or quantity of alcohol to be served?

No BYO allowed, no shots, but otherwise we have three extensive and generous tiered beverage packages with the permission to add cocktails, spirits, specialty products, non-alcoholic wines and bubble options, mocktails.  

Can couples add on top shelf liquor at their own expense?  


Let the DJ play, tell us about the dance floor and all things music related.  

Can couples bring in a band or DJ?

The DJ will need to plug in through our system - we have top of the range Sonos speakers all the way through the venue, so the sound is premium. We have no equipment other than a table for their gear, so the DJ will need to organise everything they need (except speakers). I always ask my couples if they can provide the contact details of any musicians or DJs that they have planned, as we will need to have a quick chat about licensing, bumping in and bumping out.  Apart from drums and bass guitar, we are pretty flexible, so long as the vendor is aware that they need to listen to the venue manager in regard to volume requirements.  We can cover all these details directly with the DJ.

What do you have for a sound system? Speakers, microphones, etc.?

Top of the range Sonos speakers throughout the venue, corded microphone and speaker for speeches.

When can the band or DJ set up?

Any time after 11am on the day – just prior to guest arrival is ideal, with sufficient time for a sound check.

How many people does the dance floor accommodate?

For a cocktail wedding – 150 or so, for a seated wedding 80 or so (the dance floor is in a different area of the venue depending on the couple’s choice of layout).

What time do you allow the music to play until?

1am on a Friday and Saturday, 11pm on a Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Let's chat about the wedding ceremony. Can you  accommodate the ceremony?  

Definitely! We have the best aisle in the biz!  We do suggest that if your guest number exceeds 130 guests, that it may be more comfortable to get married at a nearby site and then come to Rupert for the reception.  The Edinburgh or Fitzroy Gardens are close by.  We are also happy to offer a wet weather back up for those couples that are getting married off site in the elements.

Are the ceremony and reception held in the same room or separate rooms?

Separate but visually connected spaces.

If same room, what can be expected for set up and take down to switch over from the ceremony to the reception?

It’s not in the same room, so no need.

Does you provide the seating for the ceremony?

Yes, we allow for 24 seats for the ceremony, with the rest of the guests required to stand.

Are you able to have a rehearsal at the venue and a rehearsal dinner?

Yes, we can arrange a rehearsal for the ceremony.  

Can rose petals be thrown?

Yes absolutely, but they must be swept up as they create a slipping hazard.

As you can see Rupert on Rupert is a must see venue. It is visually amazing, your taste buds will be tantalised and on a personal level you will feel like a queen with Mali and her team taking care of you.  

Rupert on Rupert can be found on The Best Wedding App under Venues.