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Nathalie & Ben

A beautiful setting combined with a wonderful couple makes for one amazing wedding! Nathalie and Ben chose the backdrop of Margan Wines – and even in the height of winter, the sun shone and the beauty of the day was palpable. The couple chose Keegan Cronin to capture the moments of bliss – even deciding to have a shoot pre-wedding. The gorgeous Bride shares the details of their incredible day!

Ben and I met through Tinder just under five years ago. In some ways we are a case of opposites attract. I’m really outgoing and social and Ben is quieter and shy, meaning we balance each other out nicely. We’re both very adventurous souls though who love early mornings, the great outdoors and travel.

We started planning our wedding just weeks after getting engaged in winter of 2018 during a holiday to Tasmania. We were both set on tying the knot in The Hunter Valley and we quickly locked in one of our favourite vineyards; the gorgeous Margan Wines in Broke. This was an easy choice for us. We just love everything about Margan from the rugged natural setting with the Brokenback Mountain Range and vines to the scrumptious food and wines served in their hatted restaurant.

We chose our wedding date, August 24 2019, based around the availability of our incredible photographer, Keegan Cronin. We were really blown away by his gorgeous natural, documentary style photography. When we met him in person we were thrilled to discover he had the personality to match, which was great because you certainly spend a lot of your with your photographer.

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect fit for our day and we were so pleased with the quality of the images and the precious moments and memories he captured for us.

After choosing these two big ticket items, I knew it was time to start looking for my dress. I didn’t have much luck around my home town of Newcastle, but about an hour’s south on The Central Coast I found my dream bridal boutique, Final Touch Bridal.

It’s one of those very personal boutiques where every single dress is hand picked and stunning. The owner Nicole was so supportive and kind as I tried on a whole variety of gowns. I decided on low back, lace fit and flare dress by Demetrios and matched with a soft, romantic cathedral veil.

My dress needed a fair bit of altering and I was lucky enough to find Kate Wooden’s Alterations on The Central Coast. Kate was a real character and very talented at what she does. A fun fact is she listens to romance novels while she sews/alters wedding dresses! Talk about setting the scene!

Ben wore a suit from Oxford. He asked me to join him whilst suit shopping because he was really unsure about where to start. We actually found his navy Oxford suit the very first day we set out shopping for it. He went and purchased a cute bow tie later on to complete his look. Ben’s groomsmen had the same navy blazers, but wore chinos for a more casual look.

Ben and I got ready for the wedding at separate estates in Broke. My bridesmaids and I had a really relaxed morning getting pampered at Talits Estate by our incredible makeup artist Emma Wakely and hairdresser Michelle Jackson.

Talits Estate was also where Ben and I did our ‘First Look’ photo session with Keegan before the ceremony. We chose to do this for a few reasons. Not only did it make us more relaxed for the ceremony, but it allowed us to have a photo session before we were with our guests. Being winter, we were also worried about the light fading fast after our afternoon ceremony.

Our celebrant was Julie Muir. She’s a beautiful charismatic Irish woman who told our love story so with much sincerity, charm and humour. We also wrote our own vows. It was so moving to hear each other’s heartfelt vows for the first time on the day. It was really emotional for both of us and for our guests. It’s a moment in time I will cherish forever and a clear highlight of the day for us.

We had the poem ‘The Art of Marriage’ by Wilferd Peterson…the words really spoke to us about what marriage means and how to have a beautiful one.

When it came to music for our ceremony, I was so very lucky to have my extremely talented cousin Elyssa Faith play guitar and sing for us. We chose “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer played on guitar and sung by Elyssa Faith. It set such a soft and romantic mood for the ceremony.

My four bridesmaids wore seaweed green Shona Joy dresses, two in a high neck style and two in a lower cut cocktail style.

Ben’s Mum’s friend Liz O’Toole is really talented florist, so she did all the flowers for our big day. I gave her the brief of native flowers with pops of pink and white and she totally nailed it. My favourite element was the stunning native flower arrangement on our arbour. This was made even sweeter by the fact that Ben’s dad made the gorgeous wooden arbour himself by hand.

Our ceremony was followed by canapés and drinks under the fairy lights in the courtyard before entering the reception in Margan’s stunning barrel room. I adore this room which has so much character on its own. We added some subtle touches including fairy lights by Events to Impress and native green leaves with twinkling lights down the centre of the tables.

When it came to the design and finer touches for our wedding, everything to do with stationary and signage was created by extremely talented friend of mine (who was also one of my bridesmaids). She’s a graphic designer and the owner of Wish Boutique Stationary. She kept the theme of my favourite colour (deep green) going throughout. She designed our invitations, welcome and seating signage, guest book and our gorgeous laser cut wooden table place names.

The reception truly flew by. The food and wine by Margan was exceptional. Many smiles and tears were brought about by the speeches and the dancing was set to the tunes of our Silent Shout DJ. Instead of a traditional cake we chose to have a cheese wheel cake by The Essential Ingredient which was served with house made lavosh, dried fruits and Margan wines – heaven!

My gym has a dance studio attached so we decided to get one of the dance teachers to teach us a simple wedding dance. We had so much fun learning it – mainly because we laughed our way through it every time we stuffed it up (which was a lot).

We did a simple and romantic dance to Ed Sheeran’s Tenerife Sea…and we managed to pull it off, just! We ended the night with a spectacular sparkler send off. Everyone said that our big day would pass by too fast, and they were right. I did try to soak up every precious moment, but I really wasn’t ready for it to end.

When planning a wedding, I truly believe you should keep in mind that there are no rules. There are only a few words needed to make your marriage official, the rest is up to you and your spouse, so make it totally YOU!

I didn’t wear a garter, toss a bouquet or have a traditional wedding cake, simply because none of those things clicked for me. All we wanted was a meaningful and heartfelt ceremony that celebrated our love and commitment to each other while being surrounded by our closest family and friends followed by a feast of delicious food and wine, so that’s exactly what we did!

Ms Zebra Says: Congratulations to this gorgeous couple – you made the day look effortless and beautiful! Find their inspired honeymoon to the Maldives here

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Bride's Shoes
  • Collection
  • Signage
  • Wish Boutique Stationary

Emma & Daniel

If a relaxed and country wedding vibe speaks to you, you’ll fall in love with Emma and Daniel’s day! The sun shone as these lovebirds said ‘I do’, surrounded by friends and family. The day went by without a hitch as the couple chose simplicity and a little country aesthetic to be captured by Perspectives Photography. Bride Emma shares the details of their wedding in September!

Our wedding was at Tinaroo Lake Resort on 6th September 2019. It was simple, rustic and country. Sometimes less is best!

Trying on wedding dresses was actually a little nerve racking; I ended up choosing the very first dress I put on (Essense of Australia). It’s true when people say you know “the one” as soon as you put it on!

Daniel is very simple and refused to wear a suit! We settled on cinch jeans, white button up shirt, top boots and jazzed it up a little with a navy blue vest.

I walked down the aisle to ‘Diamonds or Twine’ by Ryan Hurd.

We wanted to keep our ceremony short, honest and fun.

Lake Tinaroo Resort has it all, lake front ceremony, beautiful reception area (exposed timber beams, Stone fireplace) accommodation and staff that treat you like family. Everything is in one spot which is excellent for the oldies and the party goers!

Our florist was a close family friend, I told her the theme and the colours we were wearing and let her have free rein!

Our bridal party consisted of: Maid of Honour – My sister Rachel Bridesmaid; Sam & Mickayla and Best Man – Hayden; Chris (Uncle) Luke (Friend).

All of our vendors were amazing! We weren’t pushy or demanding and let the vendors do their job and it will all fall into place!

Our photography was PERFECT! This would almost be an understatement. They captured our day so beautifully and made everyone feel very comfortable in front of the camera. Natural photos filled with raw emotions and laughter mean so much more than a fake pose and smile. At the end of it all, the dress will be put away, the cake eaten and all you have are the photos and memories!

We were so lucky, every detail of our day was perfect! We cannot pick just one.

Our first dance was definitely not your typical “Display First Dance”! We chose Lovin on You by Luke Combs, so a rather upbeat song. We had a few practice runs in the kitchen and winged it! (with a few beverages under our belt).

Hands down, the best photo would have to be our night time photo over the lake!

Our advice for future couples is: it’s your day so don’t let anyone tell you how to do it. Don’t sweat the small stuff, it’s not what you’re there for. Have fun and everyone else will have fun with you. Most of all enjoy and cherish every moment, it will go by so fast!

Ms Zebra Says: Congratulations to this wonderful couple on their special day! We wish you all the best for your lives together as husband and wife. 

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Makeup Artist
  • Rachel Whiting

Hannah & Joey

Imagine a couple so relaxed on their wedding day! Hannah and Joey blew it out of the ball park as they got ready together with their kids, embraced silly photos and celebrated with their nearest and dearest as they said ‘I do’! Simply the best! Choosing Melbourne cafe Friends of Mine to host their wedding soiree, Pierre Curry was there to capture all of the special moments. Not to mention, the fabulous dance floor that kicked off post dinner! The Bride shares their incredible day and fills us in on all the moments that make your heart melt. 

We met as housemates 9 years ago. We’ve lived together for as long as we’ve known each other. We started out at friends but quickly turned into something more. After a few years we were joined by our first son, Jed, and then by our youngest, Archer. The story of us has been a beautiful whirlwind as we’ve grown together, made a family and now finally chosen to get married.

Our wedding was relaxed, light-hearted, fun, non-traditional!

We got ready together at Crown towers. The bride’s family were also there while we got ready which included 4 kids under 6 so we needed a bit of space! Friends of Mine was chosen because of the size and feel of the space. We wanted the space to fit the style of us. We’ve spent many hours in cafe’s during our relationship, so having it in a cafe suited us.

We loved how the space at Friends of Mine transformed into an elegant and intimate wedding venue. It was important to us to have the ceremony at the same location as the reception so that our guests didn’t have to move around in between and so the night flowed from one thing to the next. Friends of mine was able to host the ceremony and seamlessly transition to drinks/canapés, to sit down dinner and then to dance floor!

An heirloom on the day was my grandmothers wedding band. Cousins who have been married before me have also worn the ring. It was very special (a beautiful picture was taken of me holding the ring while we were getting ready).

I wore pants and a top from Zimmermann. I didn’t want to wear a ‘wedding dress’ but was open to trying different things. I chose the outfit on the one and only day I went shopping with my sister, my mum and my cousin. The girls at Zimmermann in Armadale were so lovely and helpful, it was a really nice experience.

Joey wore suit and shoes by Wolf Kanat. He wanted something different from your traditional wedding suit. He wore a navy suit, white shirt and apricot tie. I think he had more trips and time spent shopping for his outfit than I did for mine!

We walked in together to ‘I got you’ by Amy Shark.

We wanted our ceremony to be as relaxed and informal as possible. We wanted it to be a reflection of us. Our celebrant, Megan Watson, absolutely nailed the ceremony. There was the perfect balance between light and fun and serious when it needed to be. Our guests stood around us so we were conscious that we didn’t want to make it too long. No formal readings, just our surprise vows to each other.

We have a tradition on my side of the family that at any big occasion (Christmas, easter, family events) that we toast to absent friends. There are some very special people in our lives that would’ve really loved to have been a part of our special day but have sadly passed away.

It was really important to us that our ‘absent friends’ toast was included. My cousin Ben did this toast after the speeches and before the dance floor kicked off!

Our vows were probably our most favourite part of the day!

We didn’t have a bridal party. Our boys handed us the rings during the ceremony but that was it!

Our photographer was Pierre Curry. I can’t even convey how happy we were to find him. From the moment we met him, he put us at ease, had fun with the kids and just did such an amazing job of capturing day so fantastically.

Even receiving the photo’s after the big day was a really fun experience. There was so much thought and creativity put into how the photos were delivered. We couldn’t recommend Pierre highly enough. Many of our guests commented on how great he was as well.

We only had 3 main vendors, Megan our celebrant, Pierre our photographer and Alex the event planner at Friends of Mine. They were all a dream to work with. I felt very safe in their hands and had no stress of wondering how the day would go as they were all such professionals and experienced in their fields. I really loved seeing the ceremony come together by Megan. It was a really lovely time spent reflecting on our relationship and the love we have for one another.

The flower arrangements at the venue were created by my cousin Bron who used to be a wedding florist. The table arrangements were provided by Friends of Mine, we just told them the colour and theme that we were after which was white and leafy green.

I think my favourite photo of the day would have to be one of the very last ones of me dancing with my family. It shows how much fun everyone was having. I also really love the picture of our boys clapping after the ceremony. They both look so happy. So difficult to pick a favourite, we really loved all of our photos.

Our advice to future couples? Don’t sweat the small stuff. It will all come together on the day. Guests just want to see you happy and having a great time, not the tiny details.

Ms Zebra Says: Congratulations to this gorgeous couple! What a fun night – spent laughing and with great friends! We wish you all the best for your happy future together.

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Engagement Ring
  • Cartwrights Jewellery
  • Wedding Ring
  • Cartwrights Jewellery