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Today’s Australian wedding is simple, understated and totally beautiful. Ashlee and Kate are two beautiful brides, who are just oozing tenderness and a totally heartfelt love for each other, which can be seen throughout their stunning wedding day. A gorgeous outdoor ceremony, simple, rustic and filled with emotion, followed by one big knees up. What more perfect way for two people to share their love for each other. Big thanks to Veri Photography for these wonderful images.
Ashlee and Kate were married on the 7th January 2017 at The Riverstone Estate, Victoria Australia. ‘As we drove up the driveway to Riverstone Estate for the first time, we were taken aback by the amazing views and were excited to have discovered the venue. After our first initial meetings with Fiona and Karen, it was clear we were in the hands of true professionals who were genuinely kind and warm to be around, making us feel at ease. Throughout the wedding planning process, they both truly went above and beyond our expectations- from having long conversations with us about our vision for the day to making insightful recommendations about areas we hadn’t considered. When I arrived on the wedding day I was so pleased and calm because they had setup the venue perfectly and had drinks and food waiting for us in the bridal suite. Matt was the other star of the Riverstone Estate team who blew us away – a true champion! He also made an exceptional MC- so charismatic and fun.. the guests adored him!! There are too many extra things to list that Riverstone Estate did to make it the best day of our lives and it’s a day we will forever remember.’
How they met
We met online 4 years ago and after exchanging a number of emails, we realised we had a lot in common. Up until this point, Ashlee had said that she didn’t have enough ‘winks’ remaining as she wanted to date other people. However after answering a series of her dating questions, I managed to convince her to go on a dinner date. There was a definite spark on the night we finally met and we talked all night until the restaurant closed. We have spoken everyday since that night and find it difficult to spend time apart from each other.
How did you chose your Photographer?
Our photographer, Veri Photography, was professional and very talented. We wanted natural photos without too much posing so that we could look back on the day and capture the essence of the ceremony and reception. Our photographer, Cheng, did an amazing job of diligently and quietly snapping away and taking stunning shots – all the time we just enjoyed the day and night. He acted like our shadow from the start and managed to capture the surrounds and vibe of the day perfectly. He also took the time to meet with us as a couple and understand us as well as doing an engagement shoot at the venue so he could become familiar with the location. He is extremely dedicated and responsive, I would highly recommend Veri Photography to others.
Both brides chose their own dresses and managed to keep them both secret from each other until the day. We wanted it to be a surprise what each other’s dress would be like, and prayed that they wouldn’t clash! Ashlee spent many hours looking online for the perfect dress and right up until the day, was still unsure which style she would go for (the more revealing look or traditional). For my dress (Kate), the relaxed staff at Eternal Bridal made the process so easy (accepting her as a walk-in) that when I found the right dress, I knew I had found the one. We managed to keep both a secret, storing the dresses at our parents place until the big day.
We actually hired our Arbour from gumtree (made by mel) and had a florist (In Bloom) decorate the arbour. We wanted the arbour to be simple and unstructured and were on a tight budget. The florist from In Bloom was very efficient and professional – right to even waiting until the last moment to decorate the arbour so it wouldn’t be ruined by the heat. We made our our own bouquets. Each bridesmaid made their own bouquet so they were able to add their own style. It was hard and testing at times but they turned out great! We also chose flowers which were in season and mostly natives which would withstand the heat longer.
We wanted our guests to be full and enjoy food that was honest and had fresh ingredients from the Yarra Valley. We selected the grazing menu which included a feasting table which was constantly replenished throughout the night. It ensured our guests were never hungry and there was so much food to go around, we couldn’t eat it all!
We wanted our ceremony to have elements of tradition but for it to be personal and engaging. Our celebrant incorporated our ‘story’ about how we met and feel in love into the ceremony and we wrote our own vows. We wanted to create a feeling of love and inclusion in the ceremony and worked closely with our celebrant leading up to the wedding to make sure it reflected us as a couple.
It was rewarding to make parts of our wedding ourselves, like our bouquets, flowergirl baskets and rose petal holders -they also suited our relaxed and eclectic vibe.
Ashlee had a red handkerchief in her dress pocket which was her now passed Grandmother’s. It was a family heirloom which had been at each sibling’s wedding and it came in handy as we cried at many points in the ceremony! Ashlee’s garter was also her Grandmother’s.
We made sure to include both parents in the ceremony. As our father’s walked us down the isle, our mothers signed our commitment ceremony certificate. We also had photos of our grandparents and loved ones that had since passed on a table, to remind us of their spirits.
The Venue thought of everything and went out of their way to make sure we didn’t need to worry or lift a finger. They are also such genuine and kind hearted people that were a joy to plan the day with.
We wrote our own vows and also each made a speech at the reception. This was very special and meaningful to us – to share our love for each other in front of our closest family and friends and the journey until this point.
Advice for Other Couples
Keep it in perspective. With seven bridesmaids and one groomsman in our wedding party, it was more to organise than a typical wedding! With double the bridal and bridemaids dresses, artists and stylists- there was lots of organising to do! Its important to remind yourself what the day is really about…celebrating your love for each other and ensure your day reflects you both as a couple.
Invest in a great venue and entertainment. The most important aspect for us was that the guests had a great time and we really wanted everyone to be on the dancefloor all night. The feasting table was a great decisio. Adding a surprise live element of a saxophone to our DJ set made the night really special, our guests raved for days about the music and didn’t want the night to end.