Luke & Annalisa
A mix of the old and the new, plus a few shades of blue made up Luke and Annalisa’s gorgeous Hunter Valley wedding.
Built in 1909, The Convent provided a unique and elegant backdrop for Luke and Annalisa as they prepared for the ceremony with their bridal party.
Easy-listening music filled the air as Annalisa and her friends Jamie, Maid of Honour, and bridesmaid Maddy were getting ready. They casually chatted about yoga and teaching as Michelle Jackson worked on their hair and Loren Murnane applied their makeup going with a beautiful, natural look.
So how did this photogenic couple meet? Well, it was by swiping right, of course! After chatting on Tinder for a few weeks, they met up at Small Bar in Kirribilli. After chatting for hours and hours, it was pretty clear that love was on the horizon. And the rest is history!
In a room below, Luke and his two younger brothers Tim and Ben were also getting ready. Or rather, enjoying a whisky or two.
“Shooting the groomsmen is usually filled with many goofy moments, but this was by far the funniest shoot I’ve ever done,” said Sydney photographer Stephanie Simone. Luke and his brothers really went to town with posing.
“I typically suss out the personality of my clients and make suggestions based on what I think they may be comfortable doing,” said Stephanie, “lucky for me it only took the suggestion of a group jumping shot and from there their ideas just kept flowing. It was hilarious!”
After Luke and Annalisa’s mums had their hair and make-up done, it was time for the girls to step into their dresses. “I chose my dress after trying on only a few others from Moira Hughes in Paddington. My experience there was so amazing and relaxed and the dress was perfect for our venue. I wanted something more bohemian but also with a bit of lace and a low back. ‘The Mia’ dress had it all. It was so comfortable and light on the day and the beautiful silk chiffon overlay was so luxurious,” Annalisa explains.
Her shoes were from Charlotte Mills which featured an original silver sixpence which is meant to bring luck on the wedding day. She completed the look with jewellery from Samantha Wills.
The bridesmaids wore stunning lilac-blue strapless dresses from Elle Zeitoune Designs with beige heels and baby’s breath flowers in their hair. Their bouquets along with Annalisa’s were a beautiful mix of pastel summer flowers.
Then it was time to head over to the Circa 1876, the venue for the ceremony and reception. “Circa 1876 was one of the first restaurants Luke and I went to when we first started dating. We went away to the Hunter Valley just after Christmas as our first little getaway together and we fell in love with the beautiful ambience of the place. It was like we had been transported to another time period,” said Annalisa.
The sun was blazing when Annalisa walked down the aisle with her mum and dad. She looked absolutely radiant and Luke was beaming as they said their vows and exchanged their rings.
Then it was time for a quick photoshoot with the bridal party around the grounds before heading into the reception.
Guests were seated across four long tables with baby’s breath and gum leaves gracing the tables for a beautiful rustic look that suited the venue perfectly.
They dove right into speeches with Luke’s brother’s ‘Race Call’ speech being an absolute highlight. “It was totally unexpected and hilarious and has already had so many views on YouTube,” said Luke.
“The food was absolutely delicious and most of it grown on the premises with all other produce locally sourced, which we loved,” said Annalisa.
After cutting the cake it was time to dance! Entertainment was by Sydney duo Modern History (and a few guest appearances on the mike. Their energy and unique mash-ups meant a packed dance floor all night.
The couple’s first dance was too At Last’ by Etta James. “We thought the lyrics of the song summed up our relationship perfectly,” said Annalisa.
Seeing their family and friends having such a wonderful time and getting up on the dancefloor with them was a highlight for the couple. They had the most perfect day sharing such a happy occasion with those they love the most.
Ms Zigzag says: Such fun photos! Thank you to these gorgeous newlyweds and Photographer Stephanie Simone for sharing this wonderful celebration of love with us.
About the Author Stephanie Simone Photography: My creative career has spanned many roles; having previously worked as a graphic designer, dressing top models at the New York Fashion Week and a Deputy Picture Editor for the Australian Associated Press (AAP). I hold a Bachelor of Design and a Masters of Media Practice. By day, I work as a content producer and photographer for a major Australian wine brand. On weekends (and the occasional weekday), I shoot weddings which I absolutely love!