How we Met: We met online in 2009. Stuart was in the defence force at the time, wearing his uniform in his profile picture. What can I say, I like a man in uniform! We chatted online for months before I eventually flew down to Melbourne from the Gold Coast to visit him one weekend and we immediately bonded. I’d never met a man like him before, he was so kind, polite and might I say handsome! I think I knew after that weekend…
Proposal: It wasn’t the traditionally romantic setup you typically expect. Stuart had eye surgery the day before and was exhausted so I put some ear plugs in and let him snore the night away undisturbed. Suddenly his alarm goes off at 4:30am! He jumped out of bed and said it was a reminder for him to put in some special antiseptic eye drops from the hospital but little did I know it was all a rouse… 5 minutes later Stuart was calling out to me from the study, feigning some kind of a problem with his eye. I walked in and he was on bended knee playing my favourite song of all time “At Last’’ by Etta James. Because of the ear plugs he actually had to repeat the question a few times until I removed them from my ears and said “yes!”. We slow danced to the music and had a little cry together. I must have looked quite a sight with my bed hair, facial mask and ear plugs. It was a far cry from the Eiffel Tower proposal I was imagining in a few weeks on our upcoming trip to Europe but he made it unique and something special just for us, I loved that. And the reason we were up so early? Stuart had booked flights to Melbourne so we could design my engagement ring and surprise his family with the wonderful news!
Ceremony: Tuscan Terrace, Sirromet Winery. We opted for a traditional ceremony with personal vows. I very rarely see Stuart cry but he was so beautiful during the ceremony as he, composing himself to read his personal vows “I never thought I would meet someone as wonderful as you. Kind, thoughtful, smart, and very strong. We are so good to each other. Always loving, caring, supporting. It’s always felt so natural. Like the time on our first date when I accidentally called you “babe”. You’ve taken me on some great adventures, and I’m sure we’ll have many more together. Our bond keeps getting stronger the longer we’re together. We grow and learn from each other, and I’m a better person for being around you. You’re my best friend and it’s my privilege to have you in my life.” I’m so lucky…
Music: I walked down the aisle to “Adore” by Mylie Cyrus, entered the reception to “Happy” by Farrell Williams, and our first dance was “At Last” by Etta James.
Reception: Also on the Tuscan Terrace at Sirromet Winery. Stuart and I both have a love for vineyards so it was a dream come true to celebrate such a special day, surrounded by our closest friends and family at this stunning venue. We opted for a cocktail style reception as we wanted a more relaxed atmosphere where we could all mingle and dance the night away.
Theme: White tiffany chairs, white candles as far as the eye could see and our very own LOVE lights which bought the dance floor to life.
Cake: Three tier cake with white chocolate, milk chocolate and lemon blueberry, each layer a delicious experience! The cake was complete with edible lace, ruffles and adorned with an edible peony.
Dress and Suits: I wore a structured fit-and-flare gown created by Vera Wang. It had a beautifully sculpted bodice, covered buttons reminiscent of Hollywood glamour and the skirt made of hand-cut organza which created unique swirling cascades. Stuart and his groomsmen wore fitted navy suits from Zara with plaid bow ties and suspenders.
Photography: We decided on Leigh Warner Photography after a long search, the images on his website took our breath away and seemed to speak to our personalities. Leigh met with us on several occasions to get a clearer vision of our day and took the time to visit Sirromet to hand pick the best backdrops while considering light available. He was the perfect mixture of calming professionalism, organized and focused yet refreshingly playful which helped on the day to settle our nerves and get the perfect shot!
Honeymoon: As I’m sure all newlyweds would appreciate, the honeymoon couldn’t come quick enough after all the excitement of the wedding and naturally a little stress! We wanted to go to Mexico for our honeymoon, stopping over at Vegas on our way. Vegas was a blast as you’d expect, staying at the Aria Resort. We then flew to Mexico stopping in Cabo San Lucas first and then Playa Del Carmen. Eat, Sleep, Repeat, just what the doctor ordered.
Advice: Being that we run one of the biggest wedding directories in Australia – My Wedding Concierge, we’ve helped thousands of couples plan their wedding so it was funny being on the other side for once! I’d suggest booking the venue first and also make sure you choose the best photographer, those memories captured will last a life time after all. Accept from the outset that even with the strictest of planning, the day will have its hiccups. Focus on the love you share and those little things that go wrong won’t matter.