Leigh and Almora
Leigh and I met at work and had the luxury of getting to know each other while having regular lunches as colleagues for six months. It was only after our other lunch companion went on holiday and it was just us having lunch together that we realised we had feelings for each other.
I was completely surprised when Leigh proposed on our fourth anniversary as he had done so much to throw me off the scent. He woke me up at 4am, blindfolded me and drove for over an hour to get to our surprise destination – a hot air balloon ride for just the two of us. I will admit at this point to subtly patting him down to see if there was a ring box and was somewhat disappointed when I couldn’t find one. I had the second surprise for the morning when, as the sun was rising, Leigh got down on bended knee and asked me to marry him.
Leigh proposed with a beautiful pink diamond so that we could design the ring together (for those of you wondering, he knows me so well he hid the diamond box in a long sock he specially wore!). We used Anthony Colin Jewellers ((08) 9218 8537) for my engagement ring and our wedding bands, and highly recommend him. We decided to get married on our fifth anniversary in 2013.
I stayed at the cute and cosy Hovea Ridge Cottage the night before the wedding. Waking up and hanging out with my two sisters (two of my three bridesmaids) on the wedding morning was one of my highlights and a memory I will always treasure.
My bridesmaids were amazingly supportive and I loved having them with me along the way, even if it was just for a supportive phone call of text when things got stressful. They helped me chose my dress and were there for the moment I was persuaded to try on a veil even though I hadn’t planned on wearing one…and cried as I felt like a ‘bride’ in it. I got my dress from Anastasia Collection and absolutely loved it and wish I could wear it all the time.
Our chosen venue, the charmingly rustic Darlington Estate Winery (with amazingly accommodating owners in Andy and Michelle), set the theme for a rustic winter wedding yet classic and custom tailored to be our wedding. I gathered lots of inspiration from Pinterest and shared my ideas with Leigh so we could talk about which option to go with for decorations, stationery and guest entertainment.
Leigh and I made the save the dates, invites, place settings, seating chart and thank you cards. Leigh is extremely handy and also made the table numbers, hanging photo frame, apple candles and, along with his dad, the wedding signs. We had lots of help from Leigh’s mum and nanna with making the decorations and I spent lots of fun weekends with them making the table runners, treat bags and decorating the glass jars we collected. I loved being able to enjoy the planning process with them and that our wedding wasn’t just one day of enjoyment.
My older sister walked me down the aisle to Canon in D played by Zaffiro Quartet. It was quite an emotional and poignant moment as Shanti has been like a mother to me, but she is also my best friend so it was great to have her by my side so we could have a joke and support each other while everyone looked at us.
The view from the Gazebo was breathtaking and we were very fortunate for the sun to be out (seeing as there had been very heavy rain the night before!) shinning on all of the greenery. Leigh and I wrote our own vows but didn’t share them with each other until we said them at our wedding, which made the ceremony extra special for both of us. Our celebrant Lesley Gasmier put into words what we have always felt, that out of the routine of ordinary life, the extraordinary happened.
Russell Winter was our photographer for the day. Not only does he take amazing photos that capture the moment with so much atmosphere, he is also a friend of ours and added to the relaxed feel for the day.
Appeasing the control freak in me, we were lucky to be able to decorate the venue the day before the wedding, ensuring everything was exactly how we had envisaged. Even though it was a bit stressful and I’m so thankful for everyone that helped, it was really nice seeing everything come together and made me really excited to celebrate with everyone the next day. As it had started to rain by dinnertime, it was such a warm and cosy atmosphere inside the restaurant with the quartet playing and fairy lights on the roof and through the tree (yes, they have a tree inside the restaurant – amazing!)
With the most spectacular side-jump and catch ever seen, my younger sister caught my bouquet, sending petals flying everywhere and being one of the biggest talking points of the whole wedding.
We ended the night by walking through an archway of sparklers held up by our guests. It was so fun walking through them and ending the night on such a high.
Images by Russell Winter
Ms Gingham says: A beautiful day to reminisce about on Almora and Leigh’s first wedding anniversary! Congratulations to you both and to many more years together!
Almora says: “I’m a 27 year old recent bride from Perth, WA. I got married on 24 July 2013, one year exactly since we got engaged and five years since our first date. I wasn’t a little girl that dreamt of her wedding, but I loved the process of planning our wedding and can honestly say it was the best day of my life (cliché I know!).”