Zoee & Daniel
Zoee & Daniel’s rustic vintage wedding is just the kind of celebration we’re excited to share during The Vintage Issue. There’s a vintage-inspired gown, vintage-inspired details (like the vintage tablecloth the couple used on their signing table) and it’s all coupled together with a stunning outdoor winery setting. This is what vintage dreams in 2020 and beyond are made of and it’s all captured in visual glory by Freedom Garvey-Warr.
A coal mine in Central Queensland led these two to meet, “Which is where all true love stories begin right?” laughs Zoe. The groom proposing on a trip back to Margaret River. In Zoee’s words “It was a cold day in Margret River, the sun was peaking through the clouds, and we were doing our best to rug a little to keep the wind from chilling our bones. A wine tour had been organised to see some of the local vineyards in this quaint little region with two of Dan’s closest friends. As I was pottering around completely unaware, organising myself for the day ahead, Dan and his friends were already in preparation mode, as he had filled them in on his intentions for the day. I wondered if he had drunk too much wine the night before because he was exhibiting unusual behaviour such as choosing to go for a run before the wine tour. There was something brewing however I chose to believe that it was just the size of the hangover which was affecting the poor Daniel. While I was in the shower, the other three had a happy dance moment in the kitchen, they knew the significance of the day and were excited!
At 11 o’clock the friendly driver arrived into the hideaway in which they were all staying, and off they set, excited for the day ahead. After the first winery, the motley crew stopped for some coffee, and then the boys instructed the driver to take them to a brewery. ‘How can this be?’ I was thinking the whole time. ‘We hired a driver so that we could tour the wineries and we are sitting in a pub?!?’. I mentioned nothing to the group as I figured they had the whole day planned and was hoping to get to a winery soon enough. After two beers the boys decided it was time to go to Hay Shed Hill for Lunch.
We set off, and I was happy to finally be on the way to tasting some of the wines the region had to offer. Once getting there, the friends sat down and ordered lunch and some of the delightful wines which I loved so much. There hadn’t been much chatting so far, and everyone was on edge, except me. I got up at one point to go and look through the vines, and Daniel saw that this was his chance. He quickly joined me and asked me to walk among the vines with him. After a few steps, he couldn’t contain himself any longer and stopped and dropped to one knee.
At this very same moment, I turned to see what he was doing and noticed that John and Kiarra (the other members of the motley crew) were sprinting towards us from the restaurant, camera in hand. ‘Is this happening right now?’ I had been waiting for this, and definitely not thought that today was the day. Daniel quickly forgot the speech he had prepared and only spoke a few sentences, asking me to share my life with him. I was so overwhelmed and underprepared for this very event that it took me a minute or two to realise that I needed to answer… ‘Yes, yes of course’ were the words that I eventually managed to pull together.
When we returned to the restaurant, staff were looking back and forth thinking that the group had dashed… a group of school mums had found out what happened, and were yelling ‘what did you say?’ by the time I returned to the table. Yes, of course, I said yes!
And then everyone laughed and laughed, and had sore cheeks from smiling so much, and went on to enjoy the rest of the day. By this point, the sun had shown itself, and the day had turned into a truly delightful one for us to enjoy.”
The groom had his suit custom made, Zoee explaining “Dan had decided that he was going to get a suit made in Abu Dhabi. He went shopping with some guy friends and then eventually came to me and said that his friends didn’t have any style and he needed help.
We finally found a tailor which looked pretty good, and then we had to choose the material. This was a big deal because he chose an Italian material and they weren’t sure they could get the stock. This happened twice, but on the second tailor, they managed to get everything. So we went for fittings and had to choose the waistcoat material, and the tie and pocket square was the hardest. He decided he wanted a golden mustard colour, and I was getting my petticoat made in the US in this colour, and it was sooooo hard to find.
We ended up finding something when we were on holiday in Malta and went to look in one last store to see if maybe that had something. He ended up with so many ties because had tried ordering it online, but the colour wasn’t quite right!”
The bride found her gown at Betty Gets Hitched, pairing it with a gold petticoat from Porshes Place and a birdcage veil from Meg & Wren. She tells “We were living in Abu Dhabi, UAE, when we got engaged, and all the dresses there were extremely glitzy and didn’t really fit the vintage feel that I wanted. I took the opportunity to go dress shopping when I was in London for work and ended up finding this dress of a small seconds retailer. I had found a really beautiful vintage dress the day before but it was way out of my price range.
I had almost given up hope in finding a dress on this trip when I went to the apartment where ‘Betty gets hitched’ is run out of. It took half an hour on a London bus to get there. Once I put it on, I was already styling it in my mind…a coloured petticoat underneath, take it up a bit so that it doesn’t touch the ground. On its own, it was that impressive but with some vintage styling, I could see that it would be exactly what I wanted. And this is what I did! I got a golden petticoat for underneath, to match the groom’s tie, and then cut off the bottom, and added a wedding belt and birdcage veil. I bought the necklace years ago in the vintage markets in Buenos Aires!”
“It was laid back,” explains Zoee of the style of the wedding. “We wanted to focus on sharing this time with friends, seeing we were living overseas at the time, and lots of people travelled to Australia, and we hadn’t seen most of them in years! I also adore the vintage style, so I wanted to give the day a bit of vintage flair. For the actual wedding, we focused on the food and wine, rather than decorations or flowers.”
It was a sentimental decision for these two to tie the knot at Hay Shed Hill, says Zoee. “We got engaged at this winery. When it came time to pick a venue, we travelled over and spent four days visiting venues and checking wineries in the area and so on… only to arrive back at this winery which we both love so much. Margaret River is a region that both of us love so much, so it was an easy pick to get married there. It also meant everyone had to travel, and we all stayed at the same place, so we got to spend time with our loved ones for at least three days.”
Daniel shares of his favourite wedding day memory. “My most vivid memory was my stunning wife (fiance at the time) walking down the aisle (vineyard) – I was so nervous and so excited and then I saw her get out of the car…..I have never seen someone look so beautiful before. Neither of us has ever been very bridey or groomy so to speak – we never got too gushy about what we’d wear on the day or the typical ‘wedding’ stuff but to see her looking so amazing and so her was awesome! She was incredible!”
Zoe walked down the aisle with her mum and dad to Bernard Fanning’s “Watch Over Me”.
“We wanted the ceremony to be cosy, ” remarks Zoee of the decision to hire Emma Dickson to officiate proceedings. “We wanted to feel like we were around old friends, even with 80 odd people. The guests got dropped at the main building and then walked through the vineyard to arrive at the ceremony location which was under the trees. We had rugs down at the front for all the children to sit on and then a couple of rows of chairs. We had an acoustic singer to entertain the guests while they waited and chatted with the groom and a drinks station.
The car I arrived in brought me pretty close to the area and then my crew and I walked around the corner of the vines to walk down the aisle. We had one reading and it was “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton which is kind of describes my husband and I quite well. It really felt like a big family bbq, not very formal, and lots of children running around and that was great. We are in our 30’s so everyone we know has kids, so there was no option to have a kid-free event.”
Zoee notes “We kind of threw tradition out the window (and some of our guests weren’t that impressed with it) we had been together for a while and living overseas together for years, so we really didn’t see the need for some of the traditions. We didn’t even do the bouquet throw because there weren’t that many single guests.”
Those flowers? They’re by floral designer Miriam Avery! Zoe telling “Once I picked the florist, I gave her the colour scheme and told her I wanted seasonal local flowers. I sent her a couple of pictures I had found of Pinterest that I liked, and she did the rest. She was amazing, and with almost no direction she produced absolutely perfect flowers!”
“Our photographer, Freedom, was amazing” raves Zoee. “We underestimated how much her calming approach would help us on the day. She corralled my dad who kept getting distracted, she organised the bridesmaids and groomsmen, which is hard to do, and made us feel special every step of the way. She was so easy to work with and thought about what would look good without making us do poses. The photos that we got back absolutely blew us away. I have no word to describe how grateful I am to have these priceless memories of our special day!”
“The groomsmen are three of Dan’s best friends,” shares Zoee. “Including one who came from Abu Dhabi to take part. These guys are like brothers to him. He has known them since he was in high school. Basically, Dan specified the suit colour and shoes and belt, and they were tasked with organising their suits, although one of them only got his suit two weeks before the wedding. That was almost as stressful as the bridesmaids!
Zoee chose her favourite women to join her on the day. “The bridesmaids were three of my best friends, I have known two of them for almost ten years, the third I met in 2005, so they are like family to me. I wanted them all to wear cocktail dresses that they owned and things that made them feel fabulous. It was quite the mission trying to coordinate across the three of them. In the end, they all looked like they jumped out of the late ’50s and ’60s and it came together amazingly, but it was really tough getting there… we almost had a complete change in wardrobe at least three times.”
We’re loving Zoee’s advice to bring your own vintage-inspired vision to life. “If you’re looking for vintage pieces, Etsy is your friend, and think about how you can amend things to meet your vision (my dress was floor length, so I chopped the bottom off and the train to give it a more vintage feel.)”
Including special vintage pieces throughout the day was really important to Zoee and Daniel, the bride noting “My bracelet and coat were my grandmothers. I never met her but it held a lot of meaning for my mum to see these vintage pieces being included. My husband kept one seat empty and included a large magnifying glass on the place setting. This was for his grandmother who had passed away. She didn’t use glasses, she just read everything using this kind of magnifying glass. His family didn’t know he was doing it so they were touched by the action.”
Zoee and Dan manage to plan their big day entirely from Abu Dhabi, and they had their priorities set straight with their first purchase- cake toppers from HelloMiniMe! “We had to organise everything from overseas so it was all a bit difficult. The first thing we did and the most fun thing was buying the bobbleheads which went on the top of the cake. They were fantastic! what a cake topper. Picking the food was also fun too.”
The newlyweds chose “At Last” by Ella Fitzgerald for their dance floor debut, having lessons with Arthur Murray Dance Studio Abu Dhabi in the weeks leading up to their big day. “The first dance was the one thing that I was really stubborn about. We started doing dance lessons about 8 weeks before the wedding, and the place we went came up with an amazing but simple dance routine, which was way more amazing than I thought it would be.”
A big congratulations to you Zoee and Dan! It was so wonderful to be able to share your story today, Thank you both and thank you to Freedom Garvey-Warr for sharing today’s beautiful celebration.
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