Our whirlwind romance began after first meeting at a local cafe. We would spend hours talking about our dreams, passions, experiences and sharing our stories. We were immediately enchanted with one another. From the moment we met, we kept trying to find ways to spend more time together and we fell madly in love.

I soon decided it was the right time to introduce Harrison to my children. When he met Ayla and Nate he fell in love all over again and it wasn’t long before we all lived together in our new family home. The four of us would spend our days at the park, snuggling up on the couch watching movies or seeking adventures on the weekend. The kids were absolutely smitten with the newest member of their family and forged a strong and everlasting bond with Harrison. Our beautiful blended family was born.

In 2017, on a cool winter’s day, I came home and unlocked the front door to hear our favourite song echoing through the home. I found a trail of roses, Haigh’s chocolate hearts and twelve love letters. I followed the trail, savouring every note and soaking up every minute of what would be one of the best days of my life. When I reached note twelve, Harrison appeared behind me, he got on one knee and opened a Cerrone purple box. It was boasting a stunning one-of-a-kind white gold engagement ring. He asked me to marry him. With tears streaming down my face, I proudly said “yes”.

The morning of the wedding I was surrounded by my closest friends and family. Waking up on the warm and sunny Mornington Peninsula was glorious. The girls organised an upbeat playlist to listen to while getting ready, snacking on their favourite platters and sharing their thoughts and feelings about the day ahead. My bridal party consisted of my best friend Georgina, my girlfriend Anabelle, my sister-in-law Emory and my darling daughter Ayla.
  Before the wedding day, we wrote each other a letter, to open on the morning of the wedding. My heart warmed with every word I read. I reminisced about when we first started dating when Harrison would often write me poems and love letters. He was incredibly eloquent and emotive with his writing. Today was no exception. A short five minutes later I received a text from my husband-to-be, “your letter made me cry already. I love you.”

I was so excited to marry the love of my life. As the girls started to get ready, I became overwhelmed in my beautiful gown. It has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to wear a Raffaele Ciuca gown. I have watched so many of my family members, friends and other brides find their dream gown at their emporium. I dreamt one day I would too! Shopping for the gown with my bridal party, my mum and mother-in-law was an absolute dream. I love every detail of the lace work on the bodice, and how the train and three different colours subtly flowed down.

Harrison didn’t have to think twice when selecting the men who were to stand beside him on his big day. His best man Sam had been his best friend from kindergarten. The two have been inseparable for over twenty years and that isn’t changing any time soon. His groomsmen are his closest friends Cam, Ryan and Campbell, and of course our beautiful son Nathaniel. The boys had a relaxing morning getting ready, sharing stories and having a laugh over a few beers.

When looking together for the perfect ceremony location we came across Tanglewood Estate. The song Harrison proposed to me with is called ‘Tangled up in You’. It seemed a perfect fit for us as a couple. The beautiful 100+ year-old chapel overlooks the vineyard and was the right balance of beautiful simplicity for our special day.

The chapel became home to 30 guests. An intimate and small wedding of our closest friends and family. When Harrison and the groomsmen arrived, the celebrant Robyn Paterson and the Auslan-English Interpreter Georgia were ready to go. Robby sat with Harrison to ensure he was feeling cool, calm and ready for one of the biggest moments of his life. The guests started arriving and were all encouraged to sit in the front three pews because of course, it was such a small wedding everyone should be at the front. We chose an unplugged ceremony.

The ceremony commenced with, ‘Make it to me’ by Sam Smith. First walked Emory and the flower girl, followed by Anabelle, and then Georgina. It was finally my turn. I held my dad’s arm so tight. He has always been my rock, my constant, my support and my best friend. Having his support and encouragement for today meant the world to me. I walked into the chapel and soaked up every moment. All of the smiling faces of the most important people in my life. I scanned the room at all of the people I love so dearly, then I made eye contact with him. My world. My partner. My soon-to-be husband, Harrison. He was overwhelmed with emotion, his cheeks were pink, his smile was wide and his heart was open and ready for me. Once he shook hands with my dad, we just stood there, looking at each other, holding hands, refusing to let go. We didn’t break our gaze. He was all I saw in that moment. Those eyes I love so dearly.

The ceremony was officiated by Robyn Paterson and interpreted beautifully by Georgia Knight. My stunning bridesmaid Anabelle is deaf, as is my sister who was also a guest at the wedding. The interpreter allowed full access to the day’s events, speeches, teary declarations, stories, vows and special moments. Several of the guests are also bilingual which allowed for great conversations in both English and Auslan. A beautiful day shared by all.

We organised the incredible Laura and Cassie from Perla Photography to capture our day and Matt from The Wedding Fair for our wedding video.
For our reception, we carefully chose the Epicurean Red Hill. It wasn’t an easy process finding a location and venue for a sit down 30 person wedding. The Epicurean were delighted to host such an intimate event and ensured the us that everyone would be seated together like one big family. It was perfect for us.
The reception was in an intimate space with one long table hosting all of the guests and bridal party. A generous amount of alcohol and a five-course meal was shared by all. The mood was set by a string duo (Girls On String), playing the cello and violin, organised by my dad. He knows how much we love stringed music. They were absolutely incredible, doing beautiful covers of modern and classic songs. It was one of the highlights of our night and really set the mood.
The reception was full of laughter, large smiles, glasses toasting, passionately signing hands and warm expressions. The kids loved every minute of the reception. Highlights for the kids? Our daughter Ayla loved ‘riding’ on my train and being escorted around like a princess. For our son Nate, it was being the unofficial photographer and holding many Polaroid cameras at once to capture every moment. A perfect day for a beautiful new family.

Photographer: Perla Photography / Cinematographer: The Wedding Fair / Bride's Dress: Raffaele Ciuca / Bride's Corset: Dickory Dock / Bride's Jewellery: Raffaele Ciuca / Bride's Veil/Hair Accessories: Raffaele Ciuca / Bridesmaid Dresses: Asos / Getting Ready Robes: Homebodii / Flowergirl's Attire: Tutu Du Monde / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Connor / Page Boy's Attire: Bardot Junior / Flowers: Hello Blossoms / Invitations & Stationery: Nicola Laura Design / Hair & Makeup Artist: Beauty Within Makeovers / Ceremony Venue: Tanglewood Estate / Ceremony Officiant: Robyn Paterson / Ceremony Musicians: Girls on String / Vow Boards: Sketch & Etch / Reception Venue: Epicurean Red Hill / Signage: Whimsical Logo Shop / Wedding Cake: Sweets for Tilly / Favors: Pink Frosting / Wedding Ring: Cerrone

It’s impossible to ignore the love and happiness of Nikki & Sam’s wedding at Butterland. Beautifully captured by The Tsudons – it’s a wedding where all of the photo’s make you smile! Bride Nikki shares her advice:

“Enjoy the planning, because that lasts far longer than the day itself. We loved all of that.”  

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My husband Tyler and I got married on the 17th of March, 2018. I was one of those little girls who dreamed about her wedding day… For as long as I can remember, I have been saving photos and gathering inspiration for my very own “big day.” So as soon as my husband proposed, I went into full swing planning! Tyler jokes that it was as easy as me making one phone call and saying “all plans to go ahead!” Thankfully Tyler is incredibly laid back and easy going, so he let me do all the planning.

Living in Newcastle, we are lucky to be relatively close to the world famous Hunter Valley Vineyards. This place is very special to Tyler and I, as it is where we would spend our anniversaries, birthdays and other occasions. After Tyler proposed, we spent some much needed 1:1 time up at the vineyards, and it was then that we decided that was going to be the location of our wedding.

I opted for my bridesmaids to also wear ivory. I felt like this would tie in nicely with our colour palette. We chose stunning dresses from the Shona Joy collection in alternate styles. To create a little more of a boho vibe (to complement my dress), I found some gorgeous white tassel earrings for my girls to wear. I gifted these to my lovely maids on the morning of our wedding.The Bridal Box Co. created me some incredible personalised boxes for me to place all my bridesmaid’s gifts in. It was so special.

Ahhh… the dress! I had envisioned a figure-hugging, lace wedding dress, with a beautifully detailed back. I wanted a classic, romantic dress, mixed with modern boho. I bought the dress from a small boutique in Newcastle. It was designed by Maggie Sottero, from the Sottero and Midgley collection. It was perfect – everything I had wished for and more. The stunning crochet lace created an elegant detail that I could only have imagined. The back of the dress was so flattering and was unlike anything else I had come across.

We decided to have our ceremony and reception at Tamburlaine Organic Wines. The theme we wanted was “Whimsical, Natural Beauty” with a clean and crisp colour palette. We wanted nature to play a large part in our ceremony and reception, so we opted for large floral pieces and installations. Our colour scheme was white and greenery with hints of gold. I need to give a massive shout out to the incredible team at The Wedding Designer who helped turn this dream into a reality. Their team of stylists, florists and graphic designers worked wonders and created the most perfect atmosphere for the day.

Tyler and I got married on the lawn at Tamburlaine, in front of a foliage arbour, which is the stuff of my dreams (seriously, The Wedding Designers are AMAZING!) Our colour palette of greens and whites accentuated the magnificent grounds of the venue.

Another special memory from our day was that I had my great grandmother’s wedding rings tied to my bouquet. I showed this to my grandparents after the ceremony, and they became overwhelmed with emotion! It was a lovely surprise for them.

Now. Let’s talk FLORALS! This was one of my favourite parts of wedding planning! I am obsessed with all things flowers! I worked with the floral team at The Wedding Designer to create bouquets that fit in with our theme. I wanted large bouquets with loads of greenery! My favourite flower is the white King Protea, so we worked around that. We used smaller white flowers to fill the bouquets, including proteas, tulips and roses.

We wanted our reception to be one big party! With 150 guests, an incredible 4 piece live band and a whole lot of love and joy, we partied well into the night! Again, nature played a large part in our reception, with our centrepieces being large floral installations with an abundance of greenery and white native florals. It created the gorgeous whimsical, natural theme we were aiming for. Our bonbonnieres were personalized jars of honey, and we had the most decadent chocolate bar created by Hello Naomi !

One of the very special moments from our reception was when Tyler and I cut our cake. The venue had a deck that looked out over a dam, so we invited our guests out on the deck to watch us cut the cake. As we put the knife into the cake, a fireworks display began behind us! Our guests were gobsmacked! It made for some stunning photos too.

We knew our wedding day was going to fly by, so we invited our guests to stay at The Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley for the weekend. I highly recommend this! We all enjoyed drinking cocktails by the pool in the days leading up (we had gorgeous, warm weather!) and we also had a celebratory brunch the day after the wedding for everyone to debrief and share their stories.

For our photography, we chose Samuel Jacob Photography, and my oh my, we are so glad we did! Sam has this unique ability to capture raw, authentic moments. He is genuine, caring and took the time to get to know us and what type of photos we were looking for. He was always prompt with getting back to us and was always happy to have a chat and answer any questions we had. We are overjoyed with our photographs and have Sam to thank for that.

Our wedding could not have been possible without these incredible suppliers/vendors.

Photographer: Samuel Jacob Photography / Cinematographer: Amico Films / Styling: The Wedding Designer / Bride's Dress: Sottero and Midgley / Bride's Veil/Hair Accessories: Belles and Beaux / Bride's Shoes: Siren / Bride's Jewellery: Samantha Wills / Bridesmaid Dresses: Shona Joy / Bridesmaid Shoes: Midas / Bridesmaid Gifts: The Bridal Box Co. / Pyjamas: Jasmine & Will / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Tarocash / Flowergirl's Attire: Tea Princess / Hairstylist: Blanc Hair / Makeup Artist: Sophie Cate Makeup / Invitations & Stationery: Honest Paper / Graphics: The Wedding Designer / Flowers: The Wedding Designer / Venue: Tamburlaine Organic Wines / Ceremony Officiant: Jennifer Wendtman / Wedding Cake: Hello Naomi / Dessert Table: Hello Naomi / Favors: Custom Favours / Musicians: Elise Clare Music / Musicians: Kylie Jane Music / Transport: Morpeth Limousines / Transport: Hunter Hoppers / Engagement Ring: Leonards Jewellers / Wedding Ring: Matthews Jewellers / Wedding Ring: Simon Curwood / Accommodation: Crowne Plaza, Hunter Valley / Fireworks: Tamburlaine Organic Wines