Wynwood Estate Hunter Valley
We met in school in year 11 through some mutual friends. We were friends in school but never dated because we had other partners at the time. Luke went away to Uni in Arimdale and I stayed and went to Newcastle Uni. Luke transferred from Armidale to Newcastle Uni. He got in contact with me over MySpace and we started talking and hanging out. He come around to show off his new car, but me I couldn’t have cared less, I wasn’t a car person. It didn’t take long for a romance to spark.
Luke had planned a surprise weekend away for me, however I refused to go because I was meant to be working. He called my work and arranged for the weekend off. I was so suspicious and was snooping to find out what was going on. Under the lounge I found some information on diving with sharks at the aquarium in Sydney, something I had always wanted to do. I had solved the case, I knew why we were going away! We went down to Sydney and stayed at the Shangri La in the Rocks. It was a horrible day, but we went out to explore anyway. On our way out I noticed a sign for the Altitude Restaurant and I made the passing comment that that was where a friend of mine proposed to his girlfriend… little did I realise I had just ruined his plan. After exploring we returned to the room where there was a bottle of sparkling waiting for us. He ran me a bubble bath and insisted I get in and have a glass of bubbles. There was a bit of commotion going on while I was in the bath. Luke then came into the bathroom carrying a large book, he handed it to me. He had made a photo scrap book of all of the things we had done over the past year. I was sitting in the bath and all I could think of was ‘what the hell am I doing sitting in a bath ready this’, ‘what is going on’ and ‘why has he done all this’… absolutely clueless. The very last page of the book said ‘Will you Marry me’. I burst into tears and didn’t answer him. Luke, worried and kneeling next to the bath had to actually ask ‘is that a yes or no’. I replied ‘yes’!
I’ve always known what style of dress I wanted. I took my family and a friend shopping with me to find dresses in Newcastle. I liked a few but nothing I had fallen in love with. I did not find one dress in the style I wanted. I put a deposit on a dress anyway. Luke and I went traveling around UK and Europe before we got married. While we were over there I went curiously look at dresses. I found so many beautiful dresses and one absolutely amazing dress that I fell in love with. However conversion rate, fittings and logistics were a problem. So I made it my mission to return to Australia and find that dress. I searched high and low for what I wanted. I finally found a similar dress that had just been released by Maggie Sottero. The only shop that had the dress in was Abbey Bridal in Sydney. Because it was getting so close to the date, I rushed down to Sydney to try it on and purchased it the same day. The dress itself is ivory beaded Chantilly lace. The dress had straps and a low back. The straps and trim of the chest and back were Swarovski crystals.
The ceremony was held outside at Wynwood Estate. They have a area of just off the main building that is sectioned off with hedges, has a grassed area for guests to sit and stand and a rotunda where we stood. We had decorated the rotunda ourselves. I had purchased small milk jars and rusted tin hearts from various shops. We strung them together with twine, Bloomin Sweet filled the jars with flowers and baby’s breath and then we hung them from the roof. It had been overcast in the morning, but by the time of the wedding the sun was really hot and beating right down on our guests. Our niece, Isabelle, had a small basket of petals and a love heart balloon around her wrist. She had been practicing for weeks. She got a little nervous on the day and bolted down the grass got to the end and threw the flowers all at once, too cute. My dad and I walked down a hedged walkway into the area where the guests were and down to the rotunda. Jodie Gibson sung and Joel Henderson played the song ‘Different Worlds’ by Jes Hudak as we walked down. Dayle McBride was our civil celebrant. We said our own vows that we had written and made promises to each other. Luke’s father and my step father presented the rings for us. Our mothers were the witnesses on our marriage certificate. The signing table also had a framed picture of my Nan, a huge influence on our lives, who passed away last year. When all the formalities were over we exited to the song ‘Loves looking Good on You’ by Lady Antebellum. After the ceremony we left to have photos. We had arranged for our guests to have canapés and drinks and provided them with lawn games and a photo booth to keep them entertained.
The reception was held in Twine Restaurant at Wynwood Estate. We wanted our guests to have as much fun and be as relaxed as possible so we steered away from the traditional structured wedding. We had designed the table decorations with items hired from The Wedding Designer. The tables had hessian runners topped with various sized jars, one filled with a bunch of flowers and another with gold spray painted baby’s breath. We had a silver candelabra and odd old books as well. We had collected wine corks from our 5 month trip around Europe, put a slit in them and used them as place card holders. We had set up a lolly buffet at the back of the room. I borrowed jars from friends and filled them with lollies such as gum balls, heart marshmallows, musk sticks and heart rock candy. Carnival bags were left on the table so guests could help themselves and take a bag with them. It was such a hit, guests started hitting the table even before mains were served. All our guests were seated and we entered the room and went straight into our first dance which was a mash up of ‘At Last’ by Eta James and ‘Bonfire Heart’ by James Blunt. We secretly had dance lessons with Zora’s Latin Dance. We started with a slow dance and moved into upbeat twists and turns, finishing with a lift. We did not have entrée’s as we had extended canapés instead. After mains were served and cleared we had speeches. My dad was the first to speak, followed by my step dad and Luke’s dad. All speeches were lovely and sentimental. Luke then spoke on behalf of both of us. We cut our delicious cake by Frosted Fantasies. Mini desserts were served on the lolly buffet, along with our cake and cupcakes made by my best friend turned wedding planner, Talia Harker. Casino Evil kept everyone entertained with their great music. The staff at Twine cleared many of the tables inside, as most people had migrated to the great outside area, and the entire room became our dance floor. We and all of our guests danced the night away until it was time to leave.
The most memorable moment would have to be when we first saw each other in our wedding get up from opposite ends of the aisle. We both had tingles and could not wipe the smiles from our faces. At that point nothing else mattered. It was like no one else was there, it was just us. The whole day was wonderful, everything was perfect. Our dance was super fun! We couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Smoke salmon lemon mascarpone and Spanish onion croutes
Thai chicken tartlet
Twice cooked duck in rice paper with hoisin
Moroccan lamb balls
Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto
Freshly shucked oysters
Chicken breast filled with ricotta, sage and pinenuts on roasted kumara
Rosemary lamb backstrap on minted pea and parmesan risotto w, semi-sundried tomatoes
Mini Lemon Curd Tarts
Mini Cappuccino Crème Brule
Walking down the aisle – Different Worlds’ by Jes Hudak sung by Jodie Gibson and guitar played by Joel Henderson
After the ceremony – ‘Loves lookin Good on You’ by Lady Antebellum sung by Jodie Gibson and guitar played by Joel Henderson
Entering the reception – ‘On Top of the World’ by Imagine Dragons
First dance – mash up of ‘At Last’ by Eta James and ‘Bonfire Heart’ by James Blunt
We didn’t exactly have a colour scheme but we mainly stuck with neutral colours and soft pastels.
We had been engaged for going on 5 years at the time when my best friend, Talia Harker said alright it’s about time you pulled your finger out and got married, you’re not getting any younger. My response was, if you want us to get married so bad then you plan the wedding. I had previously made attempts to plan the wedding however would easily get distracted with other things I could be doing like traveling. So off she went. She researched venues, cakes, flowers, everything. She also had the help of Luke’s mum who also helped organise. We basically had to decide on the final things which Luke knows is a difficult task in itself as I am a Libran hate making decisions.
We did not have an exact budge but did not want a wedding that was going to cost everyone an arm and a leg. We kept things simple, just like us, and did a lot ourselves to save as much as possible.
The total wedding costs about $23,000.
Bucks – Another friend of ours was getting married two weeks before us. He and Luke both did not want to have a large bucks party. So they got a group of friends together and headed to Sydney for the weekend. They pub crawled the rocks, hit up the casino and ended up in Kings Cross. All in all a typical boys night out.
Hens – I had two hen’s parties. The first was a surprise weekend away with a few close friends who were home for the holidays. We spent the night in Nelson Bay and dined at an amazing restaurant known as ‘Ritual’. It is a must. It was a food and wine experience, my favourite. The second was high tea held at Chateau Elan with family and friends. It was a wonderful setting with delicious nibblies. We then ventured on to the Goldfish at Tempus Two for some amazing cocktails. We attempted to try most things on the menu.
We took our honeymoon before the wedding. We spent 4.5 months traveling the UK and Europe. We booked most of our travel through STA Travel and Newcastle Uni. We traveled by bus through all countries in North, South and Western Europe. We then returned to the UK to stay with a friend and traveled parts of the UK and Scotland. We met so many amazing people and had so many great experiences. We spent 4.5 months in each other’s back pockets. If you can’t survive that then you shouldn’t get married… We survived! We went straight back to work the following Tuesday 🙁
Thierry Boudan was our photographer. So many people we know have used him for their wedding and we had seen some amazing photos. From first contact with Jasmina, we knew we wanted to hire them to photograph our wedding. On the day both photographers were wonderful. The entire crew were wonderful to deal with and were so helpful and professional the entire time. They knew exactly what they were doing and helped us immensely throughout the day. We would recommend them to anyone.
I had collected a number of magazines and articles over the 5 years of our engagement which gave me some great ideas for certain things. We discussed these with Talia and left her to it!
Most of our guests were local. We provided a shuttle bus from Newcastle to the venue for convenience as there was also a concert on that day (a lot of traffic). We had guests come from across state, interstate and one all the way from England, just for us! Most out of town guests stayed with relatives. We had a few guests who stayed at Sebel Kirkton Park and we stayed at Chateau Elan.
Because Luke was not allowed to see my wedding dress, he thought it was fitting that I did not see his suit. I had said that I didn’t care what he wears but I really like his beige suit (hint hint). He and his Dad had been shopping the weeks before the wedding and purchased suits. He told me he had purchased just a plain suit and that was fine. On the day of the wedding, Luke decided that he no longer wanted to wear this suit and he in fact was going to wear his beige suit that I had previously hinted at. So the morning of the wedding, Luke went shopping to find matching shoes, a belt and suspenders for his new outfit. Talk about leaving it to the last minute.
Wynwood Estate Hunter Valley
Twine Restaurant at Wynwood Estate
Thierry Boudan Photography
Themeing and Event Hire
The Wedding Designer
Hunter Valley Cadillacs
Stationary and bonbonniere
Brandy by Maggie Sottero
Wedding & Engagement Rings
Morpeth Jewellery Gallery
Hair and Make up
Hair – Head Start Hair Studio, Make up – The Salon at Chateau Elan
Entertainment and Music Ceremony
Jodie Gibson and Joel Henderson
Entertainment and Music Reception
Wedding Night Accomodation
Wedding Event Planner
Talia Harker – my best friend
Any Other Suppliers Used
Dress Alterations – Trudi from Belles and Beaux
Zora’s Latin Dance