Real Wedding – Cassandra & Daniel, Yarra Valley VIC
High school sweethearts Cass and and Daniel celebrated their love in an intimate and simple soiree that suited them to perfection.
Under the beautiful Oak tree of Coombe Estate, it was in front of their nearest and dearest the long-time lovers said “I Do”, and with little fanfare but an abundance of love, their day couldn’t have been more beautiful.
Captured by the talented Tash Craven, Cass and Daniel’s sweet story is a great encouragement to celebrate your day, your way.
In Cassandra’s words…
We both started at a new school (Box Hill Senior) in year 10 and we met on the second day (27th Jan, 2005) in our home group class during a “ice breaker” game.
Initially, it was his dedication to making me laugh after only knowing me a mere 5 hours that impressed me – he stood up in front of a class of new faces and said something incredibly weird and stupid just to make me laugh. We were pretty much inseparable from then on. It was my 15th birthday when I knew he was a keeper. He came to my house (with my parent’s permission, of course) while I was out with my friends and put rose petals and candles everywhere. It was so cheesy but so sweet he went to that length to surprise me. He will probably kill me for telling that story.
We were in Vietnam for our 10 year anniversary and the proposal was so simple and perfect. He suggested we go for a walk along the beach before we headed off to dinner, which I did think was strange for him to suggest but I tried not to think too much into it. He really did catch me by surprise in the moment. It was really quiet and calm as there was no one around… just us, the sunset, and one really cute stray kitten. There was no grand gesture, no getting down one knee (I probably would have said no otherwise)…he asked me and I said yes. To celebrate we went and gorged on dumplings and cocktails in Hoi An.
Event planning is a part of my job, so I was pretty organised the whole way through. We are very much a team so Daniel was a part of most of the decision making, though I would sometimes strategically time when asking his opinion on certain things to get the outcome I wanted.
Above all else, the most important thing for us was that we were planning the wedding that WE wanted, and not doing anything because “it’s just what you do”. Style wise, it was really important to me that everything be timeless, simple and intimate. A lot of time, energy and money was going into the wedding so I didn’t want to look back one day and cringe. My inspiration started with our venue choice – Coombe Yarra Valley. The first time we visited Coombe, we didn’t know it was a wedding venue and within two minutes Daniel said “we’re getting married here aren’t we?”, and I agreed instantly. From the hedges, the history, the stunning restaurant, art gallery and cellar door, to the beautiful gardens; it is absolutely stunning.
We had our ceremony in the Coombe gardens under the huge old oak tree with about 60 guests. No official bridal party in matching outfits standing next to us. Shannon told the story of our relationship, there were a couple of readings – one serious, one funny (a poem from our beloved dogs Greg and Susan: “Roses are grey, violets are grey, we are colourblind, enjoy your wedding day’) and we wrote our own vows. Our reception was a lunch in Coombe’s stunning private dining room with just 30 of our immediate families and closest friends. Great food and wine, and lots of laughs. Followed by a really fun night in the city with our friends, having ten too many espresso martinis, and staying at Crown Towers.
This was the hardest part of the whole wedding planning for me. I’m not traditional and I’m very practical. I really struggled with ‘what I wanted to wear’ verses ‘what I felt I had to wear’. I didn’t want a long dress, nor did I care to pay thousands of dollars on a dress I’d wear for half a day. After a million screenshots, hours of Instagram/Pinterest stalking, many lunchtimes spent shopping in the CBD, one wrong dress purchase, and an almost trip to Sydney, I found something I liked. It was a really simple high neck ivory white satiny top from Forever New and a textured skirt from ASOS Bridal (which I had taken up to be slightly shorter in front, longer in back). It was exactly what I imagined and so glad I followed my instincts.
When I got to the start of the aisle and saw Daniel. I instantly felt calm (after feeling tense for 24 hours prior). The feeling of love and warmth under that massive oak tree was honestly overwhelming. Having all our friends and family in one place was truly special. Just before we got to the start of the aisle, my dad pulled me up because I was walking too fast, which was a really funny and special moment for me which I don’t think anyone else would have noticed. Hearing each others vows for the first time, was of course was awesome too.
Not really. We got everyone to write a little note and put in a wine box which we will open on our first anniversary (and drink the wine!)…should be interesting. Daniel’s Poppy was actually my driver on the day, which was so special to me. He was so excited and took his job so seriously, he had the car detailed, Daniel’s Nanna made the ribbons, and he even bought himself an Italian leather hat. It was so perfect.
Meaning of marriage.
Choosing to go through life together as a team. Always laughing with and at each other. Being brutally honest. Pushing each other to be our best, but never expecting one another to be something we’re not. Always sharing the load equally, and stepping up when the other person needs us to.
Aisle: Got You Under My Skin by Ella Fitzgerald
Ceremony exit: Ain’t That Love by Ray Charles
Funny stories (or near disasters).
The weather forecast for our garden ceremony was “rain and a high chance of thunderstorms”. And let me tell you, my heart was set on that oak tree, no matter how nice the indoor back up option was. The day before, our event coordinator said that legally they couldn’t have people under the oak tree if there are thunderstorms due to OHS reasons, which is totally understandable, but not what I needed to hear as I felt a lump develop in my throat in stress. Thankfully the rain and thunderstorms held off, the clouds made for a perfect temperature of 20 degrees at 11am in the morning and it only rained once we were in our reception. Close call though.
Weddings bring out some very interesting opinions and behaviours in people that you don’t necessarily expect.
Words of wisdom.
Have the wedding YOU want. We made quite a few choices that some people didn’t understand or agree with, but looking back we’re so glad we did, because we truly had such a great day because of it. People will have their opinions no matter what you do. Make a list of the most important things about your wedding and look at that list every time you’re struggling with a decision.
Love the Yarra Valley? See more from the region and discover some gorgeous venue options here.
Cassandra and Daniel’s Tribe…
Ceremony and reception: Coombe Yarra Valley. Visually stunning venue. Amazing quality food and wine. Very friendly and professional staff who are good at what they do. Georgia our event coordinator was awesome and very organized. And one of the staff looking after our reception in particular, Lou, went above and beyond for us, by the end of the lunch she knew our guests by name, even when they weren’t sitting in front of their name tags!
Celebrant: Shannon Jeans of Cloud9 Celebrations
Photography: Tash Craven
Styling: Coombe and Sugar Bee Flowers
Florist: Sugar Bee Flowers
Hair: Natural Chique
Makeup: Makeup With Me
Shoes: Mischka Badgley
Rings: Dion Raiola at Diamond Line
Groom’s suit: Joe Black
Groom’s shoes: Custom-made in Hoi An
Signage: Sketch and Etch Creative
Honeymoon: Sri Lanka