Real Wedding – Simon & Pip, Coldstream VIC
Simon and Pip drew inspiration from their time living in remote Central Australia to style and perfect their stunning Stones of The Yarra Valley wedding.
Simple and romantic, with the energy of love and excitement from their friends and family, was all the pair needed as they were made husband and wife by Tribe favourite Shannon Jeans.
While Pip may have almost fainted throughout the ceremony, and averted a near-disaster in the day leading up – their dream day was perfection and shutterbug John Warren has documented it just beautifully.
In Pip’s words…
We met in 2007 through our mutual love of rowing. We were rowing at opposing clubs at the time but crossed paths often when down at the boat sheds. One thing led to another, and with a little help from some friends and good old Facebook, soon enough, sparks were flying.
I always knew Simon was different from other guys, and fell in love pretty early on. But I guess I knew he was ‘the one’, when he put his life on hold to support my ambitions, joining me in remote Central Australia. After an amazing three years of remote living, he was still there supporting me every step. That takes commitment and love, and only when moving back to a mainstream setting in 2014, did I realise how lucky I was. That’s when I knew!
Simon popped the question when we were on holiday in Far North Queensland in December of 2014. We went for a drive up to Port Douglas for the day, doing a few touristy things along the way. As we drove back along the coast, Simon asked if there was a beach I’d like to go for a walk along. I was clueless about what was happening and said ‘it didn’t really matter’ because they were all beautiful. We pulled in at Ellis Beach, and walked down towards the deserted end. That’s when he reached into his bag, pulled out a box and knelt down on one knee. I immediately (in typical fashion) started bawling and couldn’t believe what was happening. While Simon thought I took forever to respond, I thought the whole thing went too quickly, and so…I asked him do it all over again, ring back in the box and all!
We like things to be nice but not overdone, special but not glitzy. For the ceremony, we wanted something simple and romantic, and so played on the setting of the Stones Chapel, coupled with soft white and green florals. For the reception we wanted to liven things up a little more. As we have a deep seeded love for Australian landscapes (and particularly the colours we would see in the Central Australian desert), we took to the Stones Barn with some burnt orange, yellow and red natives, teemed with elegant iron candlesticks and a hanging centerpiece. The rest of our styling was minimal, suiting us perfectly.
On another one of our whirlwind Melbourne trips, I locked in a day with my bestie and my mum, to try on dresses down in High Street, Armadale. Living interstate, I knew it would make things more simple to access dresses all in the one area, and having spent months trawling through magazines, I was ready to take the plunge. I had a bit of an idea of what I wanted, definitely something with lace, perhaps with a small strap, nothing boofy and something that I could still move in. After a day of dress appointments, champagne and trying on over 20 dresses, I walked away in love with the very first dress I tried on! It was one suggested to me by Maria in Raffaele Ciuca. A slender, silk with lace overlay, Maggie Sottero dress, strapless with a small train that hooked up beautifully for later in the evening. I loved it!
My absolute favourite part of the day was the part of the ceremony when we said our vows and could finally kiss as husband and wife! It was the best feeling in the world and for the rest of the day, we couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces. Hearing the whistles and hoots from our closest friends all in the same room at the same time, was just the best.
There was nothing particularly traditional about our wedding, except perhaps that we had a first dance. But then again, we did this after cutting the cake on entry to the reception, all before entrées!
Meaning of marriage.
Our marriage is a commitment to one another that we are and always will be there for one another, and that we will fight to keep the love we have felt for one another for the past 9 ½ years.
Our ceremony songs were all played on the piano and sung by Garth Ploog from The White Tree. The four-piece band played for the remainder of the evening.
Aisle: Mango Tree, Angus and Julia Stone
Signing: Better Together, Jack Johnsone
Aisle exit: I’m Yours, Jason Mraz
Reception entry: Could You Be Loved, Bob Marley
First Dance: Come Away With Me, Norah Jones
Funny stories (or near disasters).
The day before our wedding, I broke out in a rash all over my face and neck. It was prickly and red and everyone kept telling me it didn’t look too bad, but I was freaking out. I spent the night before our wedding with icepacks plastered on my neck and pawpaw all over my face, barely sleeping a wink. It turns out my skin hated moving from muggy Far North Queensland to cold, dry Melbourne! It was still prickly and itchy the morning of the wedding, but with some antihistamine and amazing work of my makeup artist, Trish Sousa, it was all but forgotten!
Not many people know this, but I nearly fainted during the ceremony. I’m not good at standing in one spot at the best of times and have been known to take a tumble. Luckily enough, Shan (our amazing celebrant) had worked her way through our ceremony, timing this moment perfectly for when I had to move to pass my bouquet to my Maid of Honour and turn to face Simon to say our vows. One more minute and it could have been a completely different story! Thankfully, it was enough to get the blood flowing again. Second disaster averted!
It was perhaps easier than we had anticipated seeing as we were planning from interstate. Having a suppliers list from Stones, along with word of mouth from Shan and our photographer Johnny Warren was the most helpful. We were surprised at how difficult it is to do the seating plan – allow days for this!
Words of wisdom.
Do it over time. We had two years between engagement and wedding. Completely took the pressure off and allowed us to do things when we could. Also, stay true to what you really want and don’t get carried away by all the things that happen to be trends. It needs to reflect you. We had so many comments about how perfect the day was for the two of us. Just what we wanted.
Honestly cannot speak highly enough of all our suppliers. They are the A Team!
It doesn’t get much better than a wedding in the Yarra Valley, be sure to check out all our favourite Yarra Valley venues.
PIP AND SIMON’S TRIBE
Ceremony venue and reception: The Chapel and Barn – Stones of the Yarra Valley, Coldstream The creative director, Vonnie Frazer, was particularly helpful, as we didn’t want to employ a stylist. She understood our style perfectly and worked with our florist to make each room perfect with all the little details. On the day, Taylah, Stones Wedding Coordinator, was brilliant! All staff ensured the day went smoothly, from fixing the train of my dress before entering the chapel, to bringing us sneaky canapes and cocktails while we were off taking photos. Any guest dietary requirements were taken care of without a fuss. A well-polished crew!
Celebrant: Shannon Jeans of Cloud 9 Celebrations – We could not speak more highly of Shan. She absolutely made our day by personalising the entire ceremony and ensuring there was the perfect balance between fun, romance, tears and laughter. In the meetings prior to our wedding, Shan ensured we felt comfortable, helped us with our vows, clarified the legalities and most importantly, became someone who truly understood us as a couple. Her support was amazing and we could not think of a better celebrant to recommend to anyone. She’s a true gem!
Photography: John Warren of Warren Photgraphy – Johnny is epic. His photos speak for themselves. We didn’t want a day with posed family photos, but instead, a day filled with fun memories with the people we love. That’s exactly what we had and is what’s reflected in our photos. We highly recommend John and have already had guests asking for his number for future events!
Florist: Youki Nakahara of Sugar Bee Flowers – Youki is a bubble of energy with a creative flare to match. Her eye to detail is impeccable and she absolutely nailed our brief. As we didn’t have a stylist, we wanted the flowers and the venue to do the talking. Youki made that happen! My bouquet was perfect, soft and romantic, the ceremony followed suit, whilst the reception livened up the party with bright pops of Australian natives. Our guests were equally enthralled and many took home flowers as mementos.
Hair and Makeup: Mehrium Ajaib & Trish Sousa for LoveCo Beauty – These ladies make the perfect team. Preparation was made so much easier having these two getting us ready. Our makeup was natural as requested, but enough to stand out in the photos, while our hair was delicate and pretty. I felt as though Mim and Trish were part of the bridal party as our morning was filled with stories and laughter, champagne and fruit, makeup and hairspray! A lovely way to spend our time before the ceremony and couldn’t have been happier with the result.
The Dress: Maggie Sottero design – Raffaele Ciuca
Veil: Raffaele Ciuca
Jewellery/Accessories: Clutch: Jimmy Choo; earrings and bracelet: Samantha Wills; bridesmaid earrings Samantha Wills; family heirloom (ring on Bride’s right hand)
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Rings: I handmade Simon’s ring over the course of three months in a backyard studio under the guidance of gold/silversmith Katie Shanahan. It was tough but completely worth the experience. I was so happy with the end result and Simon seems pretty thrilled!
Bride’s engagement and wedding band – Michael Hill
Bridesmaids dresses: Zimmerman
Grooms and groomsmen attire: Raffaele Ciuca Menswear
Catering: Stones of the Yarra Valley
Favors: Custom Favours
Cake / Cake topper: Splendid Servings and flowers by Sugar Bee Flowers
Stationery / Signage: Elm Stationary
Entertainment: The White Tree – these guys were epic! Garth played piano and sung perfectly in the Chapel and then ramped things up later in the day to kick start the party. Highly recommended!
Transport: JC Jags and Must Have Mustangs – Con from JC Jags was great! He was the friendly face and warm presence I needed before walking down the isle. At the end of the night, he even turned around and drove back to the venue when I realised I had left my clutch there! A true gentleman and the car was stunning!
Honeymoon: Italy and the Greek Islands