Real Wedding – Amy & Stuart, Coldstream VIC
High school sweethearts Amy and Stuart kept their engagement to themselves for nine months before spreading the news among their loved ones.
They spent this time soaking up the magic of their impending marriage and dreaming up their epic Yarra Valley celebration.
Married in front of the iconic Coombe Estate hedge, Amy and Stuart focused on the beauty of their surroundings and some stunning florals that made a long-lasting impact.
This love story is as sweet as it is beautiful, see it here captured by the talented Katie Harmsworth.
In Amy’s words…
Wow, it all started back in 2001, we had just started year 12! We initially first met through two of our mutual friends on MSN, when we were both included in a four-way chat. Not even an hour in, I had a friend request pop up from Stu so we could start our own private chat that continued hours after both our friends left. After about a month of talking to one another practically everyday, we finally met in person. We then spent another couple of weeks spending several hours on the phone nearly every night after school. Then late February, Stu had a party at his house, this is when he asked me to be his girlfriend. Since then It’s been the best 17+ years of my life.
We fell in love really quickly at such a young age. But I feel like we have had the opportunity to grow and build our relationship over the years to something that I’d never want to be without…. I honestly couldn’t say that there was a definitive moment in time that I knew that he was ‘the one’ – I’ve known as long as I can remember that there wasn’t anyone else that I’d rather be with. He’s the love of my life and my true soul mate. We really do make the best team together.
Stu and I were nearing the end of a 5 week trip around Europe with friends in 2016. We decided to getaway to Scotland just the two of us for four nights. On our second last day we found ourselves on the shoreline of Loch Ness. Standing there just the two of us, with his arms around me looking out across the water, he turned around and eventually got down on one knee. I never expected it. We actually kept our engagement to our selves for 9 months for various reasons including friends and my sister getting married. Sharing it between ourselves was such a beautiful time. Then when we started telling our family and friends in person it was just so exciting each and every time, almost as if we were living that moment all over again. Looking back, I wouldn’t have done things any differently.
I loved every second of the planning. We actually did a lot of it together. Stu was such a great help, I am very lucky that he wanted to help with research, appointments and of course the cake tasting! He was fantastic.
We were really relaxed in the lead up to the wedding. It was so exciting as we both had our best friends flying in from overseas to be with us for a few weeks prior.
We also planned a few things with our guests the day before and after the wedding. It was so much fun to keep the celebrations going with our loved ones.
We didn’t have a style as such. Coombe is absolutely stunning on its own, so we didn’t want anything to take away from that. We chose the hedge for our ceremony which was such a beautiful backdrop. Then we had the most amazing native florals for the reception which still to this day we still have people talking about how stunning the flowers were.
I made a booking at Fairytales Bridal Boutique in Moonee Ponds to see what the process was like about six months out from the wedding as I felt I was running out of time. Little did I know that I would fall in love and choose the second dress I tried on. It was so perfect.
My dress was divine. I always knew that I when I got married I would wear lace. It had a very low backline (which I never thought I would go for), fitted bodice with a spectacular train. I especially loved the detail in the neckline – it was exactly what I pictured.
I actually didn’t want to get out of my dress at the end of the night! It truely was the most comfortable dress I’ve ever worn.
I loved walking down the aisle. That moment when I first saw Stu just took all the nerves away. Our whole ceremony was beyond perfection. Shannon created a ceremony that painted the perfect picture of the life that we have shared and built together. A massive moment for me was when we exchanged our rings. When Stu proposed he actually gave me my Eternity ring first, which meant he then spent the best part of a year designing the most spectacular ring I have ever seen. This was the moment a lot of my friends and family were waiting for aswell.
We both really enjoyed our entrance as newlyweds. Hearing our guests cheering as we walked hand in hand was so exciting.
Meaning of marriage.
Given that we’re high school sweethearts and have been together half our lives, we will continue to live the life that we have built together, we really are a great team!
Marriage to us is a partnership, a life long commitment to support and be there for each other no matter what.
I look forward to buiding a family and a home with my husband. I’m simply just excited to spend the rest of my life with my best friend by my side.
Aisle: Songbird by Eva Cassidy
First dance: Let”s stay Together by Al Green
We had half of our band play the music for the ceremony. Walking down the aisle to live music was so beautiful and something that I’ll never forget.
Funny stories (or near disasters.
None, really – the only near disaster would be the cufflinks that I had custom made for Stu as one of his wedding day gifts arrived the day before we were leaving. They were coming from Belgium, so I was very worried they wouldn’t arrive, even though I ordered them over two months before the wedding!
None at all. The whole process ran smoothly, and I truely feel that by Stu playing such a big part in the planning process actually brought us closer together.
Words of wisdom.
Enjoy this special time together. Make sure you create your wedding to be a day that reflects your relationship and love for one another.
I highly recommended extending your wedding to include activities on the days around the big day! It can often be a challenge to get around and talk to all of your guests on one single day. We found that we were super relaxed and just enjoyed all three days of our wedding, also having plenty of opportunities to chat with all of our guests.
The Yarra Valley is a treasure chest of wedding opportunity. See our pick of the region’s best venues here.
AMY & STUART’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: Coombe, Yarra Valley
Celebrant/Officiant: Shannon Jeans
Photography: Katie Harmsworth
Videography: Michael Lean Photography
Florist: Jenny Burke Florist, Ballarat
Hair: Sharah from Harlen Hair
Make-up: MJ’s Beauty
The dress: Fairytales Bridal Boutique, Moonee Ponds
Veil: Fairytales Bridal Boutique
Bride’s shoes: Pied A Terre
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Evolution Clothing, New Zealand
Groom’s suit: Oscar Hunt
Groom’s shoes: Giancarlo Moretti
Groom’s ties: Zenetti
Favours: Wooden name pieces – sourced on Etsy.
Cake: Miss Ladybird Cakes
Cake Topper: Jenny Burke Florist, Ballarat
Stationery / Signage: Made by bride
Entertainment: 6 piece band – Ruby Tuesday