Real Wedding – Michelle & Dan, Yarra Valley VIC
Michelle and Dan may have spotted one another the morning of their wedding while grabbing a coffee, but it did not dampen the love and emotion during their heartfelt ceremony. Finding it difficult to contain their tears, these lovebirds kept it personal, sincere and very much about the abundance of interstate guests that flew in to witness this once in a lifetime moment.
IN MICHELLE’S WORDS…
We’ve known each since we were 16/18 years old through friends of friends. We attended some parties at the same time but we were not really on each others radars. We met again at a friends 21st, there were a few sparks but I was about to head to South America. Almost a year later we happened to be going with mutual friends to a Spring Racing party, the timing finally seemed to be right, we ended up kicking on afterwards having had an awesome day.
For Dan he says he knew it was solid when I left my job and followed him to Canada for a 4 month trip on a whim. For me it was when he left his job and agreed to move to Melbourne with less than a week to make a call. Being outside our comfort zones definitely brought us closer together and strengthened our relationship. It has been amazing to have someone always there to be so supportive and committed. We couldn’t imagine being with anyone else.
Very much like a fairy tale. Dan proposed during our trip to Europe, while rowing on the beautiful Lake Bled in Slovenia. He had planned to do it on the little island in the middle of the lake but there was a wedding on so more crowded than expected –on the water was actually even more special – just the two of us. I was so excited it wasn’t till we got back to shore that I said yes.
The planning process.
Our family is based in Sydney, as was our bridal party, so we did most of the wedding on our own. We were pretty on top of things, we had amazing vendors that also really helped the whole process along. A few days before the wedding we had some of the bridal party (and partners) help out with the favours – a production line of s’mores!
I didn’t have much of an idea before the big day – my favourite colours have always been navy and emerald so I knew they would feature in some way. I love deep, rich, moody reds and pinks in flowers and gold accents in decor (I had my heart set on gold cutlery), and a touch of old world glam that led to the port and cigar bar. We both love the evergreen forests of North America, which was hard to find in Australia but the scenery at Zonzo is just as beautiful. The venue really speaks for itself. Ultimately we wanted the day to be fun and relaxed and loved the shared style eating Zonzo offered. Good food and wine was also key!
My bridesmaid Rachael chose it! We were in Marry Me Bridal in Sydney – I wanted to try on a whole heap to see what worked, but when Rachael handed it to me, I didn’t like it. Once on however it was quickly a favourite, (mum cried). It just fitted so well and suited the style of the wedding, I knew Dan would love it too.
For both of us it was the moment we saw each other from opposite end of the aisle. Dan cried and I’ve never seen him cry before and I literally wept the whole way to the front, it was so incredibly emotional – beyond both our expectations. It was like no-one else was in the room. We also loved seeing how happy our parents were – it meant so much to know they had a great day too.
We wanted the focus to be on fun, love, and family and friends coming together. So we didn’t follow too many traditions. We chose to have a giant gold heart piñata instead of the garter toss, it was almost impossible to break.
Meaning of marriage.
Commitment to each other and to a life created together. Dan and I had already been together 9 years before we were married. The wedding was such a special way to celebrate our love with our nearest and dearest. We’ve felt the whole process has actually brought us even closer, it really is something we will always treasure.
Angus & Julia Stone – Get Home
Bill Medley and Jennifer Warne’s – (I’ve had) the time of my life
Michael Buble – Everything
Funny stories (or near disasters).
We stayed in different accommodation the night before – we were not supposed to see each other until the ceremony. We should have known we’d both want morning coffee and ended up literally bumping into each other outside our favourite café in Healesville– it actually made our morning and calmed the nerves.
The invites took forever, I was so fussy! It got to a point people started to worry they were not invited! I’ve worked on events before so I knew a plan was important. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when there is so much content and ideas out there. Like everyone, I really wanted to have a personal touch, I am so grateful to my dad for making the amazing M&D letters in the reception – he matched our wedding invite font!
Words of wisdom.
We had two lots of great advice given to us. The first being to take wedding planning as it comes – you can spend a whole year in prep and its important to take a break from time to time – you want the experience to be fun as much as possible, don’t feel guilty for taking time off. The second told to us was to spend time on choosing a meaningful song for the aisle walk as it’s even more significant than the first dance. It’s so true, every time we hear that song we get goosebumps – it’s an instant flash back to that moment we became husband and wife.
MICHELLE AND DAN’S TRIBE…
Ceremony and reception venue: Zonzo, Yarra Valley VIC
Celebrant/Officiant: Jo Betz
Photography: Stefani Driscoll
Styling: Bride’s own
Florist: Youki – Sugar Bee Flowers
Hair and Make Up: Studio2 Hair & Makeup
The Dress: Watters, Vivian
Veil: Wedding Veil Australia, Armadale
Jewellery/Accessories: Kate Spade
Shoes: Steve Madden
Rings: Bride’s gran’s & Fedele, Hawksburn
Bridesmaids dresses: Pilgrim
Bridesmaids shoes – Ted Baker
Grooms suit: Uberstone
Grooms Shoes: Julius Marlow
Groomsmen suits: Zara
Ties: David Jones
Favors: Smore’s – self-sourced
Cake / Cake topper: Sweet Bakes
Entertainment: The Bombastics
Honeymoon: Tokoriki Resort, Fiji
Other: M&D Letters– Handmade, Father of Bride