Real Wedding – Haylee & Daniel, Yarra Valley VIC
Haylee and Daniel let the spectacular views of the Yarra Valley do the talking, when they wed in a sweet chapel at Zonzo Estate.
While Haylee admits she didn’t exactly love the wedding planning process, they certainly enjoyed the fun and festivities shared with their loved ones, despite a few disasters that could have sent them into a spin.
Surrounded by green and white foliage, candles and much love, this perfect pair let Tribe talents Stefani Driscoll Photography and Burgess Video capture all the magic and the results are simply breathtaking.
In Haylee’s Words…
In the way all good marriages start, an unexpected boozy night out. We met through a mutual friend in a bar in Melbourne. Our relationship started in the same way it continued, I talked too much and Dan listened.
It’s not at all romantic, but I knew I had found the one when Dan was the only person I wanted to call when anything happened! He just has a way of calming me down and giving me some perspective. One day I just realised I couldn’t imagine not sharing all the fun and boring bits of life with him.
We were on holiday in Hawaii and Dan had been acting bizarrely for the whole first week of the trip. I’m talking, drinking a few too many beers and then moving on to herbal sleeping tablets at night to sleep! We got to a beautiful resort in Kauai which was the leg of the trip Dan had planned alone. On the first afternoon, he said that he had a late Valentine’s day gift for me and to go out onto the balcony. I turned around and he was on one knee. I couldn’t believe it was happening and it took me a few minutes to get a ‘yes!’ out but it was one of the best moments of my life. He slept like a baby for the rest of the trip – no tablets required.
It was honestly the most stressful thing I have ever done! I was expecting it to be a really fun and exciting experience that I kept reading about from other girls but I just didn’t have that bride gene. We had been engaged for a year before I started looking into anything. We had both agreed that the main thing we wanted was good food and drink for our guests and in the Yarra Valley a place which we both love. After lots of looking and searching I ended up asking my suppliers for recommendations each time I booked something. This ended up working perfectly as the people they recommended were a similar style and vibe and I knew they came recommended. The last few months were so stressful because you start to wonder if all the things you have booked will come together. The best thing I did in the last few months was finding a stylist to help on the day and take the pressure off. This made me feel so much more comfortable about the day and I was able to focus on the day rather than the detail. The week before a strange calm came over me (minus 1 x panic attack about candles) and I think I just decided to go with it and trust I had considered everything before booking and just to let professionals do their job.
We are pretty low key people and I knew right from the start I wanted to keep it clean and classic and let the views of the Yarra Valley do most of the talking. I knew everything I didn’t want but only had three must-haves; green and white foliage, candles and nude stationery. Even during the sensory overload during Instagram stalking, I never changed my mind about these three things. Once I had seen the new chapel at Zonzo, I had to have our ceremony there, it was our style and gave me that real ‘wedding feel’ I was looking for without having a religious ceremony or a church.
My wedding gown was the easiest decision at the start but became the biggest drama! I went to The Bridal Atelier in Melbourne to view a dress I had seen on Instagram. I was convinced it was the one, a simple French crepe with short sleeves and a light flowy train. When I tried it on it was a shocker and I think the girls went into emergency search mode to avoid a breakdown with my requirements of no lace, no strapless and no veil. I tried the Rue De Seine ‘Ash’ dress and it was the first dress I didn’t feel uncomfortable in. It wasn’t too ‘bridey’ and I felt if I had to wear it tomorrow without any alterations I could so I decided then to stop looking and go for it. Of course, this dress was made completely of lace, was strapless and I purchased a cathedral length veil too haha! By the time my dress had come in I was having second thoughts about the style. I took the dress to Parisima, an alterations queen, who helped me turn the original arm bands into the piece that went off the shoulders and around the back, making it a little less bohemian and a little more me. I am so happy I took the plunge and changed it to feel comfortable and feel like myself. After the dress dramas, I found a perfect pair of Tony Bianco heels with a nude toned perspex heel to add a modern touch and a simple earring, nothing too fussy.
Funnily enough my favourite moment on the day was leaving at the end of the night! It was really the first time out of the whole day it was just the two of us and we finally had a moment to realise we were married. The day was great and it’s so special but it is a bizarre thing to have everyone you know and love in the same room – it’s quite overwhelming. Sitting in the hotel room eating wedding cake in a suit and wedding dress, talking about the day was the best part of getting married and I will miss the feeling of those few hours forever.
Meaning of marriage.
It means choosing that person every day. Making the choice to stay with together and love each other especially on days when marriage isn’t sexy and takes work.
Acoustic version of Only to be with you by Roachford
Lay your love on me by Roachford
This will be (everlasting love) by Natalie Cole
Latch by Disclosure
Funny stories (or near disasters).
YES! There were so many I wondered if Ashton Kutcher was going to jump out with a film crew. It started with the wedding cars not turning up because the company had booked them for the following day. The bridal party had to be taken in the videographer’s car and eventually they sent one car for myself and my dad, it was a pretty silent ride! During the ceremony, a bee joined us and everyone was standing up behind me swatting it away. Whilst the bee debacle was happening my veil flew into the candles and my bridesmaids swiftly rescued it before I went up in flames. However, the pinnacle of the wedding disasters was just before the speeches, everyone was seated and the camera was set up right in front of the bridal table. My sister was trying to help me sit down with my dress and pulled out my chair, I didn’t know and I sat down too soon and ended up on the floor mortified. I just started laughing or I knew I would cry, I crawled back on my chair and the show went on. I’m hoping each wedding drama equals an extra few years of a great marriage.
Absolutely, two things; how quickly you can spend money and how easy it is to get carried away with little things. You are suddenly in wedding world where $5,000 becomes a reasonable price for something and calling your bank to increase the daily transfer limit becomes a weekly activity. I also remember one week where I became fixated on having ghost chairs in the chapel, I was convinced this was a make or break detail of my wedding. I spent the week harassing every single hire company in Melbourne for these chairs before I realised I had lost the plot. It is so easy to get caught up in things and think that you want to start all over again but I just kept reminding myself of what my style is and what Dan and I decided was our wedding style at the beginning.
Words of wisdom.
Don’t let people talk you into wedding traditions if you don’t feel comfortable, you will still be legally married without a first dance. Don’t let people who haven’t been through the experience give you advice and dig your heels in when it comes to your guest list; it’s your day (even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes). It’s ok if you don’t love the planning experience! The truth is it can become a second job and there are lots of emotions and personalities to manage all for one day!
The Yarra Valley is a treasure trove of wedding inspiration! See our top picks for venues in the region here.
HAYLEE & DANIEL’S TRIBE
Ceremony venue / location: Zonzo Estate Yarra Valley – Lauren and Brianna followed me around with a fresh drink all night and even took me to the toilet just before the ceremony and somehow made it totally comfortable. They were amazing. The guests all left full and there was endless comments about how delicious the food is. They saved us food and cake to take home so we wouldn’t miss out, it was all the little things they did that made our day.
Celebrant/Officiant: Megan Thompson – Down to earth, sweet and professional and everyone raved about her work.
Photography: Stefani Driscoll – Stef was one of the first suppliers I booked and from her first email I knew we were going to get along. Stef was so relaxed and warm on our wedding day and as she promised, made us feel totally comfortable. When we got the photos back I was completely obsessed and I think I have looked at them every day since.
Videography: Burgess Video – Annette and Dani filmed our wedding day and from the second they arrived made us feel so comfortable and relaxed. Apart from being hilarious, their work is insane. When I watched the video I felt like I was seeing my wedding properly for the first time. Videography is something I would recommend any couple to do.There is something about seeing your guests moving and talking that just brings the day to life again. The combo of Stef & Annette can only be described as a dream team.
Styling: All of the styling ideas we had thought about ourselves however the execution of the ‘on the day’ items were done by Reannah from The Valley Collective. This was one of the best investments as she was able to take my scattered thoughts and make it real life on the day.
Florist: Sugarbee Flowers – Yuki is lovely and helped me get understanding of what we needed as she knew the venue so well. She also provided the most incredible flower bombs and dealt with some last minute changes on the day, making sure everything was perfect.
Hair: Harlen Hair Melbourne – Sharah is so talented and she knew better than I did about my hair on the day. She encouraged me to wear my hair the way I wanted and to cut it short for the day. I loved it.
Make-up: Makeup by Amelia Webb – Amelia is the makeup queen and did my makeup exactly how I wanted it on the day, she just knew what I was going for without any proper direction from me. I looked the same at the end of the night as I did when she left at 2pm that day!
Gown: The dress was the ‘Ash’ gown from Rue De Siene and I purchased it from The Bridal Atelier in Melbourne.
Veil / headwear: The Bridal Atelier
Shoes: Tony Bianco
Rings: Parker Diamonds
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Bec and Bridge
Groomsmen’s suits: MJ Bale
Bow ties / ties: Declic
Cake / Cake topper: Mad About Cakes
Stationery: White Ink Design Co
Entertainment: Acoustasy for our ceremony & cocktail hour, Zabrina has the most insane voice and is so accommodating with particular song requests. For our reception we had DJ Stephen Kimber who is super professional and so friendly. He is also not one bit ‘cheesy wedding DJ’ so you won’t have a wedding singer moment.
Hire: The Hire Co – Laura made my candle dreams come true with the different sized votives and the white pillar candles of various sizes. She even cut them down to fit and place the candles inside the votives to make it easier.
Honeymoon: Grand Hyatt Kauai – Hawaii