Real Wedding – Anita & Ross, Connewarre VIC
Traditions were aplenty for the love filled celebration Anita and Ross threw at the luxurious Campbell Point House – and how could it not be when combining families from Polish and Scottish backgrounds. But it was these sweet touches, along with some incredible surprises, that added to this special day and made it uniquely them.
Anita and Ross knew the value of having their day captured by an incredible photographer and Katie of Love Katie + Sarah was there every step of the way, and boy are we glad she was!
In Anita’s words…
We were both working at KPMG, Anita in Sydney, Ross in Glasgow. Ross came out on a 2 year secondment in late 2007 and we were working on the same client. I pretty much snapped him up as soon as he got into the country and broke my rule of not dating in the work place!
I knew from the beginning that Ross was a great guy. I could tell that straight away. It took us a while to say I love you to one another, but when we did say it, it was for real and it was a really beautiful moment.
Ross surprised me at Christmas in 2013 with a print out of boarding passes to Byron Bay for my birthday in March. I quickly started making dinner reservations at all the hot spots. Little did I know that this was all fake, and instead he surprised me with an incredible weekend on Hamilton Island, staying at Qualia for 2 nights. We arrived to glasses of champagne and a beautiful boat trip was organised to our own private beach (West Henning Island). It was set up with a beach umbrella, cushions, picnic basket and more champagne! Ross then had one more surprise for me, and asked me to marry him, with a beautiful ring. It was a surreal moment and one of the happiest times in our lives. We didn’t stop smiling all weekend.
The planning process.
Before we became engaged, Ross and I had been planning to take 7 months off work and go traveling around the world. Both our workplaces were incredible and held our jobs open for us. Ross proposed in March and we left in May on the trip of a lifetime. While in Europe, we contemplated a wedding in Italy and Poland (my family is Polish) but the timing and logistics just didn’t work. We didn’t really do much planning while we were away, but towards the end of the trip I found Campbell Point House (via Bec Judd’s baby shower on Insta!) and instantly fell in love with the property. I emailed Meg about coming down to see the property (we live in Sydney) and just after our return, we hopped on a flight and found our dream wedding venue. We were going to have a destination wedding in Victoria! Given we had family coming from Poland and Scotland, and friends from all over, we thought it would be great for them to see both Sydney and Melbourne, and of course the Bellarine Peninsula. We decided on a mid-week wedding in December followed by a ‘Hampton’s chic’ brunch the following day at the property. We had just less than a year to plan the wedding, and because it was a destination wedding, there was lots of logistics to organise. In the lead up, family and friends started to arrive into Sydney so celebrations kicked off about 2 weeks before the wedding, and continued for 2 weeks after, with Christmas and New Year. It was the perfect time for a wedding!
Like many other brides, I used Instagram to find amazing suppliers to help with the day. There does become a point where you have information overload and feel like you are drowning in ideas, so it was important to step back and not second guess myself. As we live in Sydney, we made a couple of trips to Melbourne and Geelong to meet with our suppliers face to face prior to the big day and talk about what we were looking for in styling etc.
The venue is quite opulent and grand, and has these incredible formal gardens. Ross, being Scottish, was always planning on wearing a kilt, which adds an extra element of formality. We loved the black and white tiles throughout the house and had our stationery girls tie this into our invitations. The dress code was formal and the brunch the following day was a more casual affair, with the ‘Hamptons chic’ theme.
We largely left the palette black and white with pops of colour and greenery in either the flowers or the stationery.
I tried on everythiiinnnng! Why not, it’s all part of the process. I took my mum and bestie along and it took a couple of weeks, but we eventually found the gown at Karen Willis Holmes in Paddington. I really fell in love with the softness and volume of the skirt. It was perfect for the venue and suited my body shape.
I have two.
The whole morning and lead up to the wedding day, my parents kept pressing me about what time the ceremony would finish. I didn’t understand why they were so obsessed with this detail, but we later found out it was because they had organised a plane to fly over with a banner saying “Mr and Mrs Gilmour – Congratulations”. The priest turned out to be running late on the day, and my dad was able to text the pilot to delay the fly over by 5 minutes (as they didn’t want it to arrive before we were even married). In the end, it worked out perfectly as we literally just finished saying our vows when the plane came over and did a couple of loops around the property. It was such a lovely surprise and Ross and I couldn’t stop smiling.
After dinner, Ross and I did sneak off and were able to practice our first dance together with the music and just the DJ watching, and it was such a nice time to have that 5 minutes together.
We had LOTS! We had a bagpiper play when all our guests arrived; when I walked down the aisle; and when we were officially married. He was wonderful and still gives me goosebumps. All the groomsmen and Ross, and many of our guests also chose to wear the kilt which was fantastic. Being Polish, my parents also performed a polish tradition when we walked into the dining room, whereby we both had to have some salt, bread and choose a glass to drink (one had vodka, the other water). I got the vodka!
For all our guests, we had beautiful crystal shot glasses brought in from Poland which were engraved with “Na Zdrowie, Slainte” which basically means “Cheers/for your health” in polish/Scottish gaelic. And of course, we had vodka shots as a toast and whiskeys for later in the evening.
Meaning of marriage.
Committing to one another through the good and the bad, being each others rock, and just wanting to share in each others lives forever! LOVE!
Aisle – the bagpipes
Reception entry – September by Earth, Wind and Fire
First dance song – a combination of Thinking out Loud by Ed Sheeran to start and then ended with My Everything by Barry White. We had a dance choreographed (very basic) but decided we wanted to do something a bit romantic mixed with something fun.
Funny stories or near disasters.
Let’s just say that getting a spray tan (for the first time ever!) was the worst idea I have ever had. The tan started to peel all over my chest (and I was wearing a strapless dress) and it just looked awful. I spent a couple of days scrubbing my skin to get rid of it. NEVER AGAIN! Funny stories of course came through the speeches from our dads and best man and my brother doing his reading at the ceremony was hilarious.
I was surprised by just how much I love wedding planning and I now want to be a planner!
Words of wisdom.
The best advice I received from my bestie was give family members tasks to take ownership of. They are there to help, and at times the whole process can get overwhelming, so have your mum looking after cakes, favours, serviettes, alcohol, etc. It takes the pressure off you and they feel like they are contributing. Also, sneak away for a moment with your partner and soak it all in. And definitely invest in a good photographer. Katie from Love Katie and Sarah was the bomb!
Ceremony and reception venue: Campbell Point House, Bellarine Peninsula
Reception venue / location: Campbell Point House, Bellarine Peninsula
Celebrant/Officiant: Father James Puppady
Photography: The lovely Katie from Love Katie and Sarah
Videography: Andrew from Bottlebrush Films
Styling: Laura from Wanderlust Creative – saved our life!!
Florist: Caris and Vanessa from Prunella
The Dress: Karen Willis Holmes
Veil / head wear: Veil from Karen Willis Holmes; blush flower crown for the brunch from Velvet Teacup (Etsy)
Jewellery/Accessories: Earrings from Jenny Packham; vintage bracelet was my “borrowed” from my maid of honour. She wore this at her wedding – it was perfect!
Shoes: The first thing I bought. Whilst in Dubai with my bestie, we visited Jimmy Choo. I ended up purchasing a beautiful pair of dove grey/pale blue crystal embellished pumps. They were divine and I have vowed to wear them every anniversary.
Rings: Zagar Jewellers. Aaron is fantastic.
Bridesmaids dresses: Bridesmaids Only in Double Bay. I was ridiculous and had six bridesmaids, each with a completely different body shape. As Ross is Scottish and was planning on his groomsmen and him wearing kilts, it was important to me that the bridal party was cohesive. I wanted black, long dresses, and was open to different styles, however the girls all opted on the same style, strapless. We added black floral crowns to the mix.
Grooms suit: Tailor made in Scotland, MacGregor and MacDuff
Groomsmen suits: Hired from Sydney Kilt Hire. They were great and shipped them to Victoria for us.
Catering: Through Campbell Point House for both the wedding and the brunch
Favors: Crystal shot glasses brought in from Poland which were engraved with “Na Zdrowie, Slainte” which basically means Cheers/for your health in polish/Scottish gaelic
Stationery / Signage: Santiago Sunbird
Entertainment: Geelong Entertainment organised a duo to play (Tom and Tayla) whilst canapés were being served, and then we had a DJ and saxophonist play which was amazing
Transport: CDC Buses for our guests
Honeymoon: In April we are off to Paris, Sicily and then the Amilla Fushi in the Maldives!