Brad and Erin
The lead up to our wedding day had been an incredible thirteen year journey together. As proposal plans were set in motion, and with aviation close to our hearts, what better way to propose than on a hot air balloon trip over the city we love – and in front of our closest friends. Erin’s engagement ring was made by Pure Envy, a boutique jeweller in Adelaide that we had been to visit and fell in love with when they first opened nearly eleven years ago. I had made secret trips back to Adelaide over the previous eighteen months to watch the ring design come to life.
The morning of the proposal, Melbourne’s weather was on my side, and after the shock of the 2am wake up, it was one surprise after another for Erin. With a secret thumbs up to everyone, the engagement ring safely in my pocket and a gentle (and very nervous!) tap on Erin’s shoulder high above Melbourne, Erin turned around to find all our friends in the balloon watching us. Our balloon pilot had manoeuvred the basket around to have the city as a back drop for our photographer who, disguised in the balloon company’s uniform, was in the perfect position to capture the moment. With tears flowing, Erin said “yes” and made me the happiest person in the air that morning! The cork on the Dom Perignon was popped to toast our engagement with our friends while we floated gently over Melbourne to a smooth touch down.
After eleven months of planning our wedding day was here. We broke with tradition and spent the morning together on our wedding day. We were able to share a quiet coffee together, as well as our excitement in anticipation of the day ahead before the craziness took hold. Once the bridal party arrived, it was time to go our separate ways to get ready until we met again at the aisle.
I wore a bespoke textured brown suit and check shirt from Tailors of Distinction. Being 6′ 6″ tall it was important that the suit fitted perfectly and I couldn’t have been happier.
I also kept a photo of my Dad with me in my jacket pocket so that he was right there celebrating with us.
For myself and the groomsmen, I sourced handmade ties from Speak Louder in different, but complementary textures and colours to wear on the day. I was lucky to have Ben (a previous Polka Dot Groom contributor via Ben and Tahna’s Contemporary Richmond Wedding) to teach the guys the latest in pocket square folds.
Our buttonholes (as well as the girls’ bouquets and all of the venue decorations) were from Hello Blossoms who were great to work with and made sure all of our buttonholes were perfectly in place.
I also had each of the guy’s favourite beers on ice as a pre-drink as we got ready. Our photographer Jerome Cole and Videographers Michael and Angela from Allure Productions arrived (more about all of their amazing work later…) and after lots of laughs we were off to the ceremony.
Before I knew it (and my favourite memory of the day) I could see Erin’s smiling face as she walked down the aisle. Erin wore a Gwendolynne gown and hair piece by Richard Nylon which absolutely took my breath away. Her beautiful hair and makeup was by Vivian Ashworth.
Erin walked down the aisle to “Watch Over Me” by Bernard Fanning, which we thought was a fitting tribute to how we have supported each other through the years.
Another favourite memory was reading our own secret vows to each other during our ceremony with celebrant Rita Cohann. This moment marked our celebration, love and commitment to each other, all of the things we have achieved together and all of the challenges we have overcome. We always knew this day would come when the time was right for us and to see it all come together was incredible.
Our ceremony and reception were held at Ten Minutes by Tractor, a boutique vineyard with a true passion for exceptional food and wine. By the time our wedding day arrived we honestly felt like part of their family. We wanted to spend as much time as possible celebrating with our guests so it was important to us to find a venue where we could hold the ceremony, reception and photos all in one place.
We also kept our guest list small, 50 guests allowed us to spend time (and have fun!) with everyone. We felt so grateful to have all of the people who meant the most to us there to celebrate our wedding day. We had friends that had travelled from as far as Qatar just to spend the weekend with us, so we wanted to show how much we appreciated everyone.
Our day had a relaxed party feel with hints of aviation throughout the day. We sourced a 1942 vintage pilot logbook for our guest book, had our first dance to Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” and I spent hours folding more than one hundred and fifty coloured paper planes!
We secretly collected old photographs of us with our guests, printed them as Polaroids and used these as our place cards. They were such a great talking point providing the perfect opportunity to relive memories and share funny stories with other guests.
The evening was full of incredible food and wine with impeccable service and lots of laughter. My brother in law Mark kindly offered to be our Master of Ceremonies and between him and the imaginative speeches from the bridal party, we were all in hysterics! Heartfelt speeches from my Best Man Matt, Erin’s sister (and Matron of Honour) Felicity and family friend Richard (on behalf of my Dad) had us all in tears.
During the evening we snuck out twice for sunset and night photos. It was so much fun to have some time out together. Our photographer was incredible and his energy was contagious throughout the day. We had so much fun with him that we also organised a second photo shoot after we returned from our honeymoon.
We were all having way too much fun and the venue kindly let us linger on the dance floor until late in the evening. Our photographer and videographer also kindly stayed late to capture our guests in all of their glory. We were so happy that we chose to have a videographer and even happier that we were able to have Allure Productions; there is a reason their dates book out so quickly! We concluded the night with a sparkler exit as we headed off on our honeymoon. Our day was everything we had hoped for – and more!
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Brad and Erin; the special touches of “aviation” that you included, including the hot air balloon proposal and all those paper planes, were very sentimental and sincere!
About Brad: I am an airline pilot from Melbourne. Being 6′ 6″ tall, I’ve always had my head in the clouds. I am passionate about aviation and travel. It was ten years of very hard work to become an airline pilot, but with sheer determination and the unwavering support of Erin (my now wife!) by my side, I achieved my goal. My next goal is to travel the world, there is a whole world out there to explore and it is Erin’s and my dream to see as much as we can in a lifetime!
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