Real Wedding, Maddie & Joel – Yarra Valley, VIC
Set within the lush gardens of historic property Coombe in the Yarra Valley, Maddie and Joel created an elegant affair to remember.
As Maddie made her way down the lavender lined aisle she couldn’t wait for her wedding vision to come to life, as she stood side by side with her soulmate Joel. Accenting her day with beautiful and personal touches, she enlisted the help of Tribe stylists, Storytime Weddings, to ensure her day was seamlessly stunning.
Nothing could wipe the smile from Joel and Maddie’s faces as they celebrated the night away with Guy Evans there to capture it all.
In Maddie’s words…
Joel and I met when we were 16, through a mutual friend and started dating one year later. It will be ten years this July that we have been together and I couldn’t of picked a more perfect person to spend my life with.
There wasn’t a specific moment, just growing up together and living together. Instead of being better apart, we are better together and I truly can’t imagine life without Joel, we are very different in lots of ways but complement each other perfectly.
On the 21st of September 2014, after eight years together, we took a long weekend; a surprise getaway in the Yarra Valley organised by Joel. The weekend started with a degustation dinner in The Stables at The Stones, the next day a private driver took us around the many wineries in the Yarra Valley. First stop was the amazing Chateau Yering, after strolling around the gorgeous tree-lined gardens, Joel got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes and the rest, as they say, is history!
The Yarra Valley holds such a special place in our hearts; so naturally it was where we looked for our wedding venue. The minute we walked inside Coombe, The Melba Estate, we knew this was the one. The property is surrounded by a large hedge and inside is a majestic garden once home to the famous Opera Singer, Dame Nellie Melba. There are lush English-inspired gardens, the oldest pool in Victoria, (Charlie Chapman once swam in it), and a 100-year-old oak tree. What we loved even more was the modern space the 125-person reception would be held in – it was once the Dame’s garage for her luxury Rolls Royces and still features the polished concrete, wood panelling, marble and windows that look out to the gardens. There is so much history around the property and we loved that our wedding got to be a part of such a special place.
We were very particular with the sort of wedding we wanted, our mutual vision was this idea of ‘Garden Glamour’ as we wanted a formal wedding but with the outdoors as our backdrop and somewhere away from Melbourne that people could enjoy a weekend away with us.
Coombe is famous for their wine and food and we chose a menu that was inspired by local ingredients and Yarra Valley produce. Joel and I spend many weekends curled up with a good glass of wine and cheese, so when it came to choosing a wedding cake we couldn’t go past a collection of cheddar; blue and brie cheese stacked up and decorated with grapes, figs and olive leaves, it was stunning and oh-so-delicious! For dessert, we chose to do a grazing table instead of sit-down so our guests didn’t have to leave the dance floor. My mum spent hours creating an array of different treats and desserts (we never hear the end of her caramel slices from our guests!), and the Storytime girls styled the old farm table to perfection, it was a highlight of the wedding and the guest wouldn’t stop talking about it.
As I am a graphic designer, all the invites, menus, signage, rose cones, website and print items were DIY, it was such a fun task to come up with a theme for our wedding. I used a collection of dusty pinks, peach and green to create a soft and natural pallet that suited our garden wedding. The use of watercolour florals in our colour theme was used throughout the wedding, right down to the Plumb Pretty Sugar Pj’s my bridesmaids received as a gift and my gorgeous bridal bouquet silk ribbon and velvet ring box.
Our ceremony was held in the Italian Garden of the property, with an aisle bordered with fresh lavender bushes. As the venue was so naturally beautiful we chose flowers and greenery that complemented the gardens. My bouquet was made up of dahlias, peonies, hydrangeas and garden roses with olive leaves and gum leaves creating a gorgeous contrast with the grey tones, suited perfectly to the natural linen table cloths dressing the harvest tables in the reception space. We punctuated the setting with black elements to create a modern, bold accent including candle sticks, chairs, the bridesmaid dresses and the classic tux’s the groomsman wore.
When it came to my dress I knew in my head what I wanted but couldn’t find anything in-store that I loved. That is when I met with Linda Britten. Linda is a Melbourne designer who has been designing wedding and opera dresses for decades, we had one meeting and I knew she could create my dream dress. It was a combination of lace, organza and tulle with the hem of the dress curving in shape to create a modern silhouette. It was the perfect combination between classic and trendy.
I had so many, but one that really sticks in my mind is the sunset shoot that Joel and I did, I would recommend this to any bride and groom. The wedding day is so crazy and it is hard to take everything in and spend time together, we popped out at about 8.30pm with our photographer and videographer and did a shoot with just us two. It was a balmy night, the light was going down and we were so content. We just had a great chat and caught up on the whole day. The pictures from this shoot are also some of my favourites from the day! Another favourite moment was my father daughter dance, I surprised my dad with Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t she Lovely’, it is a special song to us as he played it in the car driving home form the hospital when I was born.
My ‘something old’ was a cross from Bethlehem that has been passed down through my family. My Mum, Auntie, Cousin and Nanna all wore it on their wedding day, it was attached to my bouquet and was such a special element. My ‘something borrowed’ was my stunning Art Deco inspired diamond drop earring from Melbourne’s own Keshett, who also created my amazing engagement ring and wedding band. My something blue was a garter my Mum handmade with silk ribbon and lace.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage is our commitment to spend our life together. I consider Joel my best friend, soul mate and other half, so getting married was really about sharing our love with our family and friends and taking the next step in our life together.
We had an acoustic duo play for the ceremony and a fabulous four-piece band who played all night long – our guests didn’t leave the dance floor. I walked down the aisle to A Thousand Years (acoustic version), signing the certificate was to Falling Slowly – Once Soundtrack, and our announcement as husband and wife was Everything by Michael Buble. We got introduced in the reception to Happy by Pharell and our first dance was You and Me by Lifehouse.
Funny stories (or near disasters).
I am such a control freak and want everything to be perfect, so in the lead up I was anxious about things going wrong. On the day however, I woke up calm, happy and just took everything in my stride. Little things going wrong are so unimportant in the scheme of the day and all I cared about was marrying my best friend. We did have a couple of funny stories/ disasters. Our wedding car almost broke down, we had someone faint from the heat, someone almost choke on their steak during the reception, but all those moments make up the memories of our wedding and I wouldn’t change a thing!
Words of wisdom.
Just enjoy every minute of planning and of the day itself, as it is over so quickly. Weddings tend to bring out drama in families, and you can never please everyone, but you just have to remember the main reason for this special day is to marry your love and create everlasting memories, don’t sweat the small stuff!
MADDIE AND JOEL’S TRIBE
Location: Coombe – The Melba Estate – We could not have picked a better venue, the service was outstanding, as was our event coordinator, Georgia, who helped us bring our vision to life. The food and wine were delicious and the venue itself is so stunning, one of the most beautiful wedding destinations I have seen (and I did my research).
Celebrant/Officiant: Marion Church – Marion was recommended to us by a family friend because of her bubbly personality and friendly manner. The minute we met with her, we knew she was going to be a great addition to our wedding day. She is so warm and inviting and really believes in love and marriage. She told our story so beautifully with a couple of funny jokes along the way. A celebrant can really make or break your ceremony and Marion really made our day run seamlessly.
Photography: Guy Evans Photography – Guy has such a lovely natural style which both Joel and I loved. We wanted a photographer that got all the great shots but also wasn’t in your face the whole day. Sometimes we didn’t even know Guy was there and the shots really show his outstanding talent and tell a story of our day. Could not recommend him more.
Videography: Stevan from Life in Light – Our video really speaks for itself. Stevan has such a talent of piecing together your day and creating a video that you can watch over and over again. What really stood out for me when booking Stevan was the way he uses audio from the day aswell as music, this means your special words/vows and speeches are included in the highlight video, some videographers only do music which I feel sometimes loses the emotion of the day.
Styling: Bec and Tegan from Storytime Weddings – As I am quite creative, I needed someone to bring my vision to life as I didn’t want to spend my wedding day putting together place-settings and dessert tables. From day one Tegan and Bec understood my style and aesthetic and then ran with it, they are both so talented and work so hard to create the perfect styled event. We used their gorgeous arch for the ceremony and the dessert table was styled to perfection, we still have people talking about it. Could not thank these two girls enough!
Florist: Youki from Sugarbee Flowers – Youki is such a gorgeous person and really tries to get in your head when creating the flowers for the day. I came to her with a very specific vision and colour pallete and what she put together was beyond amazing. We had a flower arch created and also flower garlands along the table. My bouquet was a combination of the prettiest peaches and pinks and really makes our photos ‘pop’.
Hair: Andrea at Loxx
Make-up: Clem Bachett at Mecca South Yarra
Both Andrea and Clem arrived super early on the morning of the wedding and made as feel at ease. I had a few trials before the day as I feel it is so important to be 100% happy with your ‘look’. I wanted my hair and makeup to be very natural and this was created with soft waves for my hair and dewy bronzed skin with brown eye shadow tones for my makeup.
The Dress: Linda Britten – Linda is a Melbourne designer who has been designing wedding and opera dresses for decades, we had one meeting and I knew she could create my dream dress. It was a combination of lace, organza and tulle with the hem of the dress curving in shape to create a modern silhouette. It was the perfect combination between classic and trendy. She also created my veil, which I wore over my face for the start of the ceremony, and also a gorgeous lace comb I popped in my hair when the reception started.
Jewellery/Rings: Keshett Jewellery – Keshett created my round double halo engagement ring and wedding band and also lent me some Art Deco inspired diamond drop earrings for the day. Their pieces are absolutely stunning and I felt like a princess wearing them.
Shoes: Jimmy Choo Sandals from Farfetch – I wanted a pair of shoes I could wear again after the wedding so felt nude would be the perfect shade. I found the Jimmy Choo Sandals online and loved that they had a snakeskin texture and were also a great height for dancing all night. I actually ordered them early and wore them to my bridal shower and so glad I did as they were extra comfy on the night.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: ASOS – I originally wanted my bridesmaids in the peachy pink the same as our invites and other items, but could not find a style of dress I really loved on all the girls. The black lace dress was found on ASOS was so classic and flattering, and I liked how it was made up of two pieces which gave it a bit of an edge and they complimented the Groom’s and Groomsmen’s tuxedos perfectly.
Menswear: Trevor West – We went for a classic black tux for all the boys. They looked so handsome.
Groom’s shoes: ASOS – We found the perfect patent leather almond toe shoe on ASOS so bought all the boys a pair to wear on the day.
Favours: We had a dessert table and little bags with custom stickers so people could take the sweet treats and cheese home!
Cake: A cheese wheel cake from Bill’s Farm at the Vic Markets – It was so fun going to the Vic Market and picking out the cheeses that were going to be our cake. Bill’s Farm was so easy to work with and they even delivered to the Yarra Valley. Everyone loved the cheese on the night and it was the perfect addition to our dessert table. We paired our cake with figs, grapes, chutneys and jam.
Stationery / signage: I am a graphic designer so created everything myself – I used a combination of peach, pink and green in a floral watercolour pattern to create a soft and natural design, which was used throughout our whole stationary suite. I could not be happier with how everything turned out.
Entertainment: The Baker Boys – The Baker Boys were one of the best decisions we made for our wedding. Everyone raved about them the whole night. We chose a four-piece band and they played such a great range of songs that had everyone up and dancing, so talented. We highly recommend them!
Honeymoon: We are off to France and Italy for a month! Can’t wait!!
Velvet ring box: The Mrs Box
Silk ribbon: Frou Frou Chic
Bridemaid’s pajamas: Plum Pretty Sugar
Linen: Di Simmons
Candle votives: Peppa and Peach