May & George
If Summer outdoor weddings are your thing, then May & Goerge’s modern outdoor Hunter Valley wedding may just make you squeal with joy. This gorgeous couple danced the night away right beside the vines – lights twinkled overhead as they dined, and the breeze blew as the speeches unfolded. It was at its very essence a magical day. May and George chose Towards the Moon Photography to capture it all.
George tells the story of how they came to be. “I met May 14 years ago at church. I don’t think she remembered much of me initially, but once we started talking we got along pretty well and became close friends. At a point in time, we even had a childhood crush on each other! It wasn’t until a few years later after we went our separate ways that our lives somehow intertwined again and our feelings for each other quickly bloomed. It was meant to be!”
May worked with Kimberley Woodward Designs to create her stunning gown. She tells,”I looked around and couldn’t find a dress I loved. I was lucky enough to have Kimberley Woodward Designs recommended to me in May ahead of my October wedding. I had a few ideas in mind of what I wanted and together with Kimberley, we narrowed down the design to create a gown I absolutely loved. The gown featured a perfectly tailored bodice with intricately beaded French lace and volumes of delicate silk chiffon. We also created a cathedral length veil using matching French lace to perfectly match my dress. I wanted a different look for the ceremony and reception so we chose softly feminine removable sleeves that drape off the shoulders to be worn for the ceremony before being removed for the reception. I also chose to complement my rose gold engagement ring with some exquisite rose gold embroidery hidden amongst the French lace. To do this Kimberley sourced a beautiful length of copper coated thread which was used extensively in gold work embroidery during the 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries.
The entire experience was absolutely unique and Kimberley was with me every step of the way. She took in my ideas and worked with me to bring to life what every girl would call a ‘dream come true’. She was always very patient with me and really great at explaining and communicating her ideas and recommendations. For the reception, I not only removed the sleeves; I also replaced my veil with fresh flowers in my hair to match my silhouette that we printed onto our stationery.”
May and George chose Hanging Tree Wines for their wedding. “We discovered the place by accident the day we got engaged in the Hunter Valley. It was a boutique winery and it was the last location on our list to visit that day. We both thought about heading back home at the time but we’re so glad we followed through! When we were on our first trip in the Hunter Valley which was 5 years before the proposal, May mentioned it’d be beautiful to be proposed to on a hot air balloon (it was an innocent comment back then) but George remembered it and made it happen!”
For her walk down the aisle, May chose “When I Say I Do” by Matthew West – the lyrics are about everything leading up to that moment when you say I do.”
“We chose to have our ceremony right in front of a vineyard. It also faced a very beautiful view of the lower Hunter Valley region. We loved this location as it meant May walked through a rose garden right before she walked down the aisle! The reception was held on the other side of Hanging Tree Wines in front of the guest homestead. One of the big reasons we chose this venue was also that we had private and exclusive use of the entire estate.”
“We wanted it to be a small and intimate wedding where the people closest to us could gather and witness the love we had for one another. We didn’t want it too long or too short but just right. We included scriptures from the Bible as that is what the foundation of our marriage is based on.”
Guests enjoyed a feast created by Simon Ekas Catering. “Best caterer ever, went beyond our expectations and to date this is still one thing that many of our guests remember of our wedding. Their antipasto grazing table was phenomenal. When we had the tasting we did it in their kitchen as well which was a great experience.”
“We wanted something that was different to the traditional weddings which we were accustomed to – in a church, and at a function centre etc. We had in our hearts that an open air wedding was the way to go! We wanted to create a wedding that reflected our personality while also entertaining our guests. We were going for something with a feeling of ‘home’; we didn’t want the formal wedding banquet you usually get – that’s why we went for the sharing platters, grazing table and even the seating arrangements (three long tables) were purposely arranged so it felt like we were all family coming together to celebrate. We definitely spent a lot of time designing how it was going to come alive.”
Of their photographer, the newlyweds remark, “We were loved having Toward The Moon (Averie) as our photographer as we liked her shooting style and how comfortable and joyful the people look in her photos. Averie was able to bring out the joy in us throughout the day and she really did a fantastic job capturing all the little details of the wedding.”
The first dance was a very special surprise for the bride, says George. “The song we had planned for the first dance was “When God Made You” – a duet by Newsong and Natalie Grant. Little did May know that I had a surprise planned for her – we didn’t end up dancing to this song but to the song I sang for her at the end of of our speeches. “Greatest Story Ever Told” by Oliver James was the same song I sang at May’s 21st but it was a pre-recorded version – I finally sang it live this time. After I sang the song I handed it back over to the band and I took May to the dance floor for our first dance. We didn’t have any moves for it but rather we swayed with the music and exchanged looks and kisses – we were living the moment surrounded by our family and friends. It was a really nice moment.”
“We were so blessed with the weather. Although it was hot 35c we were mostly worried about the weather as thunderstorms were forecast. We started setting up on Thursday and it was always going to be a risk that we wouldn’t have enough time to set up plan B. On the day of the wedding, the storm clouds lingered in the sky but not one drop of rain came down until about 11pm .. When the wedding was over!”
Congratulations on your marriage May and George! Thank you for sharing your stories with us! Thank you also to Towards the Moon Photography for sharing today’s celebration!