Real Wedding – Tahnee & Chris, Curlewis VIC
On the most incredible sun soaked day, Tahnee and Chris were married on the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula.
Under an arbour built by the bride’s father, they said their ‘I do’s’ before they celebrated all night long in the beautiful shed at Baie Wines. Realising that the property is a stunner in itself, they knew they didn’t have to do too much to make the venue their own, and instead relied on beautiful flowers to bring some added wow-factor to the day.
Filled with much love and laughter, their photographer Lakshal Perera was there to capture every special moment.
In their words…
We met in August 2012 at a bar in the city. Chris was the bartender and my (Tahnee) sister had her 21st party in the bar. We flirted over the bar, Chris made me lots of drinks and we kissed before the night ended. We had our first official date the following weekend the rest is history! We were, and have been inseparable since that first night we met.
Tahnee – No particular time comes to mind, but definitely very early on in the relationship. It was almost scary how well we got along and how (here comes the cliché) it seemed like we had known each other before. Chris was everything I had ever wanted in a partner, plus more.
Chris – I’m similar to Tahnee, in that there is no one exact “light bulb” moment where I knew that she was the “one”. It was more a natural progression to when I realised one day, also early on, that I could no longer remember my life before her, nor could I imagine my life without her.
We went on a six-week European holiday in September 2015. Chris had just bought a brand new camera and for the whole trip would set it up on the tripod to take lots of 2-5 second interval photos of us in front of monuments etc so our photos wouldn’t all be selfies. The day he proposed we were in Switzerland and Chris stopped the car in this cute little town called Montreux as he said he wanted to find a good spot along Lake Geneva to take photos of a Chateau. He set the camera up in front of us as usual except this time the camera was taking a photo every second. I asked him why the camera was taking so many photos and he then got down on one knee and proposed! The result was about 70 photos that we now cherish showing the moments of the proposal. The proposal also ended up being quite the funny story to tell, as Chris had a bit of spinach in his teeth the entire time he was proposing which meant I heard none of the wonderful things he said to me as I was too busy looking at the spinach in his teeth!! (I was also in complete shock!)
From the time we came home from our trip we had 15 months to prepare. In hindsight, this was too long as we had most of our suppliers organised early and the lull in between the initial planning and the lead up to the day was too quiet! It made me anxious not having anything to do for the wedding and I just wanted to be married already! We booked our venue, photographer and celebrant pretty much straight away and then the rest followed. The months leading up to the wedding weren’t too stressful but we definitely felt the pressure the week before. My advice would be to be as completely organised as possible and get as many of the little things done when you can. As we had the week off work prior to the wedding we left a lot of our little DIY projects and similar things to this week and we figured we had time… we did not!
One thing that I am definitely not is creative, and really struggled internally in the lead up with how to style our wedding. I used Pinterest and Ivory Tribe real weddings as inspiration but in the end I realised that the Baie Wines shed was amazing as it was, and only needed a few bits and bobs to make it “ours”. I knew I wanted our beautiful flowers to really shine on the night and our wonderful florist really came through with the goods! We added a few homemade candles, table numbers and signs to the night and were so happy with how everything looked. My dad built and stained our wonderful arbour which meant a lot to us and to have us be married underneath something he created was so special. We also made an awesome outdoor area with the help of Memphis hire; providing bar tables, chairs and festoon lighting.
I had been to three dress shops before going into Bluebell Bridal in the CBD. I specifically chose Bluebell as they are the only bridal store in Melbourne that stock the label Made with Love. I had seen Made with Love’s dresses online and when I was shopping for my dress in January 2016 they had just brought out a brand new style called “Frankie”. When I arrived to my appointment at Bluebell they had only received Frankie that morning and had to actually take the dress out of the box for me to try on! So I was the first person in Melbourne to try it on and loved it right away. It was everything that I had envisioned for my wedding dress – lace, stretchy, super comfy with a little bit of sex appeal. I wasn’t sure at first about the plunging neckline but my sister (who is a tad more conservative than I) completely loved it, which sealed the deal for me!. I know Frankie has become a very popular dress for brides since that day in early 2016 but it just confirms what I already know – it is truly a beautiful dress.
Tahnee – I have two; walking down the aisle to Chris, watching him smile and become emotional as mum and dad walked me towards him was something I’ll never forget. Also reading our vows to one another. I treasure those moments and have never been more proud of us as a couple than when I think back to us reading our vows to one another.
Chris – I have two as well; first is seeing Tahnee for the first time that day. It was the moment that the previous 15 months had lead to and it lived up to every bit of expectation or hype I had in my mind – and then some. The second was taking five minutes with Tahnee to walk away from the wedding, out in the darkness and just looking back at our celebration. Taking in the scene, the feeling of the whole night and watching our family and friends celebrating for us. It was awesome and something we recommend every couple try to remember to do.
We actually broke from quite a few traditions on the day. I had both my mum and dad walk me down the aisle as they have both played a part in who I am today. We had an uneven bridal party, we opted not to have a wedding cake to save money and felt that as long as we had dessert no one would notice! We also chose to donate money to charity in lieu of favours. One tradition we did adhere to was not seeing each other prior to the wedding. I had said to Chris a few months before the wedding that I thought we should have breakfast together on the day just us two but he refused! It was the one thing that he remained steadfastly traditional with.
Meaning of marriage.
Chris – It means we are two equals parts that make up a whole. We share food, money, experiences, highs, lows and everything in between. It means that she is mine and I am hers.
Aisle – Say you wont let go by James Arthur
Signing – Love is a verb by John Mayer and Make you mine by Robert Shirey Kelly
Recessional – Fire and the Flood by Vance Joy
Reception entry – Forever by Chris Brown
First dance – Unforgettable by Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole
Funny stories (or near disasters).
A few weeks prior to the wedding Chris’ brother realised that there was going to be a big bicycle ride with Cadel Evans through Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula on the day of our wedding. This did make us worry about delays for guests getting through but in the end it didn’t affect anyone at all.
Other than that, there wasn’t really anything that went wrong. We cannot believe and are so grateful for the luck we had with everything and the weather was absolutely perfect.
Chris, as I’m sure many grooms do, underestimated the costs of a wedding! As stated below, we really recommend couples sit down together, discuss what type of wedding they want and consider if their budget allows for it. Communicate openly and be prepared to compromise.
Words of wisdom.
To do your wedding your way and to not worry about what you are “supposed to do”. The wedding day goes by so quick and the little things you may have stressed about beforehand do not even cross your mind on the day.
Also to really sit down at the beginning and plan your budget. The period of time just after getting engaged and starting to plan the wedding was so exciting and a whirlwind; we didn’t sit down and create a proper budget which we regret.
We would really urge other couples to rethink the need for favours and to consider donating to charity instead.
I had to convince Chris initially to agree to a videographer but now he tells me he is so grateful that I did; if you can afford one we definitely recommend a videographer. Photos are amazing but having video footage of the best day of your lives is just that bit extra and we treasure all our footage.
The beautiful Bellarine Peninsula is the perfect place to say I do. See more of what this region has to offer by exploring our favourite local wedding venues here.
TAHNEE & CHRIS’ TRIBECeremony and reception: Baie Wines – our dream wedding venue – absolutely stunning views, wonderful grounds and wine shed with great owners.
Celebrant: Jo Betz – Jo felt more like an old friend than a “vendor”. That’s the beauty of Jo. She is wonderfully personable, funny, so amazingly chill whilst also super professional. She had the most wonderful way of turning our emailed ramblings into the best ceremony. There is no one else in the world that we wanted to marry us and we count our lucky stars we ever found her.
Photography: Lakshal Perera – Again, Lucky felt like a friend who just followed us around with a camera all day. Our photos are beyond what we expected and we are so happy Lucky was able to be there to capture our day.
Videography: Pat from Lightbox Media – Pat was the last vendor for us to book and we couldn’t have been happier with not only his work but his presence on the day. I’m sounding like a broken record but he felt like another mate who followed us around and joked around with all day. He really listened to what we wanted and completely nailed our wedding highlights video.
Styling: Tahnee (bride)
Florist: Charlie and Co flowers
Hair: Momu – Milly did more than just amazing hair on the day; she was such a calming presence. When a minor issue came up that affected the bridesmaid’s hair, she came up with a quick solution and everything was back on track within 5 minutes; I didn’t even have time to panic.
Makeup: Hilary from Hilary Holmes Makeup
The dress: “Frankie” dress from Made with Love Bridal
Veil: $19 Bargain from China via Ebay! Floral comb – Charlie and Co Flowers.
Accessories: I planned to wear earrings I had purchased just from Colette but the night before the wedding Chris gifted me with the most beautiful pair of pearl earrings as a wedding gift. He picked winners; they went wonderfully with my dress and I absolutely love them.
Bride’s shoes: ASOS
Bride’s ring: Cliveden in Melbourne Central.
Groom’s ring: Richard from Diamond Prominence. Richard made Tahnee’s engagement ring also.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Rodeo Show
Menswear: Formal Red
Groom’s shoes: The Iconic
Catering – Blakes Feast – Andrew and his team from Blakes Feast did an outstanding job. They were the absolute hit of our wedding and we have received so many compliments about their food. Andrew is just wonderful and nothing was too complicated for him. He is amazing at what he does and we could not recommend them enough.
Drinks: Tom Collins Caravan Bar – Another stand out on the night! Everyone was so impressed with our caravan bar and we absolutely loved it! The staff were amazing and so funny as well; even sneakily popping into our photo booth at one stage!
Sparkler send-off: The Wedding Sparkler Company
Hire: (Ceremony chairs, bar tables/stools, festoon lighting and dance floor) Memphis Hire
Favours: In lieu of favours we opted to donate to two charities close to our hearts – Diabetes Australia and Pets Haven Pro Life Animal Shelter.
Entertainment: Baker Boys Band
Transport: ABDA services and hire