Fiona & Nick
Balloons, vintage furniture and floral arches all set the scene for Fiona and Nick’s whimsical Stillwater at Crittenden wedding which took place on a beautiful January day. Captured by Eric Ronald, Fiona and Nick’s day was the most gorgeous of Summer celebrations.
Nick starts off the story of their day with the tale of how they met. “We met at a party and I liked her immediately. One of my best friends was really surprised that I liked her – they had known each other for some time. He was like, “Ugh, really?” Fi and this guy get along really well, but I’d never told her about this. I called him out during the middle of my speech, and he was so embarrassed. The crowd loved it.”
Fiona chose an Ivy & Aster from The Bridal Atelier, telling “My dress had pockets. Do I need to say more? I originally set out to find a dress with straps, which was Nick’s one request. Mine didn’t have any. Oops. I went shopping three times – once with my mum, once with my bridesbabes, and once with my mother-in-law. Sweet Pea was the first dress I tried on with my bridesbabes and I couldn’t stop thinking about it the whole day. I went back a week later by myself to try it on again and I knew I was making the right choice. It’s a fairly simple dress, but has the most divine fabric – a swiss dot. Combined with the sweetheart neckline, pockets and manageable train, it was the dress that matched my location and theme, and made me feel beautiful.”
The couple chose Stillwater at Crittenden for their wedding, the groom noting, “We liked the idea of a more secluded winery as a venue. Fi’s mum lives on the Mornington Peninsula and we always spend time in that area, so that was the natural place for us to start looking.
We loved Crittenden for many reasons, particularly the fact that the ceremony location is only 50 metres from the reception. The food was really important to us. Stillwater is owned by two chefs, Zac and Jacqui Poulier, and thus a lot of emphases is placed on making sure the eating is good. We’d had lunch there previously and were very impressed. Also, Crittenden’s wines are top quality, and we could supply our own beer (we went with Mountain Goat, where we had had our engagement party 18 months earlier). The food and wine were amazing – Stillwater has a great reputation and they really came through. They were excellent with people’s dietary needs and they even secretly made our pregnant friend drinks that looked like champagne as she had not yet announced the pregnancy.”
The couple chose Good Day Rentals to provide vintage furniture and decor for the day, noting “We got married between the lake, weeping willows and the grapevines on a perfect, sunny January day. Our guests were seated on vintage chairs and we married under a rustic, flower covered arbour. Flower filled suitcases marked the entrance to the ceremony. We placed homemade ribbon bunting on the backs of some of the chairs. Our signing area was a French love seat and a family heirloom table.
They made everything so easy and did the most amazing job sourcing unique pieces, from a row of old cinema chairs, to perfect condition settees. They really added to the atmosphere. Kate has such amazing taste (I’ve been lucky enough to see her house and her décor is seriously enviable) and was able to turn my somewhat vague requests into a vintage wonderland. ”
Fiona walked down the aisle to “Zebra” by Beach House “Walking down the aisle towards Nick; I couldn’t look at anything else. My heart nearly burst.”
Mavis Uldrich officiated the ceremony, the bride remembering “Both being writers, you’d have thought that writing our vows together would be easy! Not so. Instead, we wrote and edited separately (after TRYING to write them together!) until we came up with something that reflected the promise we wanted to make to each other. We had a number of older guests comment to us later that our vows demonstrated an innate understanding of each other, “I promise to value and respect your opinion. Even when I disagree,” and “I promise to challenge you,” aren’t your usual vows, but they mean something to us.”
Nick adds “We’re not religious in any way, but one-half of the family is very much so. It was important for us to be respectful towards them, so we made sure to find a celebrant that would understand our needs. The ceremony was largely civil, but we included a Christian blessing at the conclusion.”
Of their wedding style, Nick remarks “I wanted it to be a really good party. Good food, good wine, lots of dancing. I didn’t want it to be an extravagant, look-at-me sort of event, just something a bit more grounded. Part of that was making it intimate, with only our closest friends.”
Handmade arrows were the major DIY project of the wedding, Fiona explaining “The biggest DIY project were the place-setting arrows. We made 120 x 20cm arrows by hand. We had to purchase dowel and arrow tips, cut out foam sheet feathers, and hot glue gun everything together. Then they had to be primed and painted. Finally, I hand-painted the watercolour name tags and wrote out every name. My bridesmaids made the fabric bunting with help from some ring-ins. We hung it from the backs of random ceremony chairs. We made a giant length of bunting to hang behind the dessert buffet, too. Over a period of 18 months, my sister-in-law and I collected glass bottles (which she used at her wedding first!) which we tied brass keys to with gold ribbon. We also received a fairly ugly guest book as a gift, which I then doused in gold glitter and covered in PVA glue.”
Of their photographer, Fiona notes “We met Eric and knew he was our people. Eric has a great story about how he became a full-time photographer, and his background in film and TV is evident in the way he photographs. He tells the story of your wedding day in a quiet and really natural way. He has a beautiful eye, he captures moments. His photos of our wedding guests are among my favourite as they are so unaware of his presence. They look relaxed and so joyfully happy. Eric has a great spirit to him. You can see he loves what he does. He’s sensitive, discreet and has a great sense of humour. I’m so glad we were able to spend time with him on our wedding day.”
Nick remembers “In my speech when I told the story of how Fi and I met, and how our mutual friend who was at the wedding said he wasn’t a fan of Fi. Fi didn’t know the story til that moment, so her reaction was priceless and the crowd loved it.”
The newlyweds had a sentimental choice for their first dance. “We chose Radiohead’s “Bulletproof I wish I was” because it was a song we used to listen to a lot when we first started going out. It was a huge part of our early special moments. It’s a slow song, in true Radiohead style it’s quite mellow and the lyrics aren’t exactly romantic, but it means something to us.”