Real Wedding – Brittany & Bowen, Yarra Valley VIC
It was a Facebook encounter that has lead to Britt and Bowen’s happily-ever after. Modern romance at its best.
Britt and Bowen wed in lush green surrounds under a glorious oak tree, setting the tone of their classic and fun-filled wedding celebration that followed.
Keeping it simple – they let their venue and its gorgeous grounds do the talking and their effortlessly classic day struck a perfect balance between modern elegance and the party of a lifetime. A dance floor vibe that their guests wouldn’t forget was a top priority and not only did they extend festivities – such was the atmosphere to electric – they treated their guests to late-night espresso martinis – these two sure know how to throw a party.
See their sweet day as documented by Alex Motta.
In Britt’s words…
Bowen and I actually grew up within the same area and have quite a number of mutual friends, so we always vaguely knew of each other. One fateful day back in 2011, I was browsing (aka stalking) Bowen’s Facebook page and ‘accidentally’ liked one of his very old profile photos. Bowen took this opportunity to contact me through Messenger, where we began talking and soon realised that we were coincidently both about to leave for a trip to Bali with our friends. We therefore organised to catch up over there, where we hit it off instantly and the rest they say is history!
After four years, moving in together really cemented our relationship and this is when we grew very close and realised that we were meant to be together. Especially after enduring two years living on top of each other with our cat Oliver in a tiny studio apartment, we knew that if we came out of that stronger than ever, then we could survive anything! We are literally best friends, who both share the same core moral values and understand each other so well, so it was never a question of if we would get married, but more so when.
It was the first night in our new house that we had recently purchased and after spending a really fun day together completely setting up and creating a home, Bowen decided he would cook dinner for us both at night. As we were cooking together Bowen began acting very strange, when all of a sudden he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him in typical awkward Bowen style. The best part was he presented me with a beautiful diamond ring, which he had completely designed himself and had made by his childhood best friend. The following day Bowen then organised to have all of our closest friends and family over to not only show off our new home, but to also celebrate our engagement.
The very first day that we commenced wedding planning, we found Coombe Yarra Valley online and instantly fell in love. We then proceeded to have lunch there with my family, which only reinforced how absolutely perfect this venue was for us. We really liked the idea of having the entire day at one location to make it easier and more convenient for guests, allowing them to relax and have fun! The oak tree was our absolute dream ceremony location and having a stunning reception venue with huge black-framed windows and exposed brick on the same property just completely won us over.
We ended up booking Coombe 18 months in advance, which then gave us the opportunity to take our time with the planning, do our research and meet with each supplier in person to ensure it was the right fit. As a very organised person, wedding planning came quite naturally to me, however as a perfectionist, over-thinker and a very indecisive person, it could at times get overwhelming. Bowen was incredibly helpful and supportive, always reminding me to put things into perspective, which helped me to stay calm and together we really enjoyed the process. We actually miss it already!
Classic and simple with a little bit of fun. As previously mentioned our ceremony was set under a magical green and very lush oak tree, which really helped inspire the tone and mood of our day. We wanted our wedding to be quite modern and timeless, so we went with a mostly black and white colour palate with a touch of green, blush pink and gold.
From the very start, I had always envisioned wearing a fitted wedding dress with a high neckline and low back, which turns out was not so easy to find. Every shop I went to had very limited options in this design and I began to focus too heavily on finding a ‘wow’ dress, rather then a dress that actually suited me and my usually simple style. When I eventually tried on the brand new Maci gown at Mariana Hardwick I instantly really liked it, but then when the assistant added the pearl headpiece and wings that was when I fell in love with it and knew that it was the one. I ended up customising the dress, by adding a side split, so that I could show off my Sophia Webster heels and I think this was the perfect addition, as I was incredibly comfortable and happy with how it all turned out on the day.
For us both it was by far, the ceremony… there will never be a way to describe how we both felt as I walked down the aisle, it was like pure elation. We had also both prepared our own personalised vows, which prior to the day had Bowen in absolute state of panic, due to a phobia of public speaking. On the day hearing him absolutely nail them and having all our friends and family smiling and laughing was a major highlight for me and also a lot of our guests, as we were all just so proud of him.
Meaning of marriage.
A life-long commitment of love, respect and trust to your best friend who understands you better than anyone and enables you to be the best version of yourself.
Aisle: Can’t help falling in love by Kina Grannis
Exit song: Here comes the sun by The Beatles
Both aisle and exit song performed live by India and Nath from Tillee Music
Reception entry: This will be by Natalie Cole
First dance: Higher Love by James Vincent McMorrow
Funny stories (or near disasters).
During the ceremony as I walked down the aisle and stood in front of Bowen, I soon realised that he was trying to whisper something to me. I leant over thinking he was probably going to utter sweet nothings in my ear considering it was our wedding day, but instead he says ‘Britt, you have lipstick all over your teeth.’ I was mortified and had to quickly try and subtly clean it off, as all of our friends and family watched on. In the scheme of things, this is very insignificant and we are extremely lucky and grateful with how smooth sailing our entire day and wedding planning process ran – the extreme organisation and multiple excel spreadsheets actually paid off!
The cost – it just adds up so quickly, you will be doubling those initially set budgets in no time!! Worth absolutely every penny though, so start saving now.
Words of wisdom.
Try and make a fun dance floor a priority! This involves researching good quality entertainment and ensuring you work with them to create a playlist to remember. We actually extended our wedding by one hour (best money we spent) and had a round of espresso martinis served at 11pm, just as an added touch to help perk up those guests who might be starting to get tired. We also gave our guests the opportunity to request songs that would get them dancing on their RSVP’s prior to the wedding, which really encouraged everyone to get up. In the days following we had a lot of wonderful feedback from guests that it was the ‘best wedding they have ever been to’ and we honestly think the dance floor really contributed to this.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our amazing vendors and suppliers, you all went above and beyond to ensure that our special day ran perfectly and for that we will be forever grateful.
Brittany’s words of wisdom for those in planning, is around ensuring a fabulous, rocking dance floor. We couldn’t agree more. There are some other top tips to ensure your wedding has the atmosphere it deserve – click here for the lowdown.
BRITTANY & BOWEN’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: Coombe Yarra Valley – Throughout the wedding planning process, Shae – our event organiser at Coombe – was an absolute dream to work with, as she was just so organised, responsive and relaxed the whole way through. No question or request was ever an issue or too difficult, which just made the entire lead up that much easier and more enjoyable for us both. On the day of the wedding, the Coombe staff were outstanding and went above and beyond to ensure not only Bowen and I, but also every single other guest had the most perfect day. We had multiple comments from friends and family at how spectacular the venue was and how extremely accommodating the staff were, including from our 86-year-old grandpa Bob – he was very impressed!
Celebrant: Anthony Cribbes – Anthony was recommended to us by our photographer (thanks Alex) and from the very beginning he made us as a shy and at times awkward couple feel very comfortable. We wanted our ceremony to be a personalised celebration rather then a formality and Anthony did an incredible job of capturing our audience and bringing this wish to fruition.
Photography: Motta Weddings – Where do I even begin? Alex was the first supplier we booked following our venue and it was one decision we made that we never doubted. From the very beginning Alex was super lovely and genuine, attentive to our needs and a complete professional in every facet. On the day Alex absolutely exceeded our expectations as a photographer ensuring that we were not only relaxed and had fun, but that he was able to capture all the best moments. We are so beyond happy with the final product, our photos are so colourful and meaningful and something that we will treasure forever.
Videography: Lightbox Media – We were always on the fence about whether we should book a videographer due to budget purposes, but thankfully I won that argument (sorry Bowen) and after some considerable research we booked Pat from Lightbox Media. From the very start Pat and his team were unbelievably organised and on the day did an incredible job of filming each moment as it unfolded in a fun and unobtrusive way. Since our wedding Bowen has stated on multiple occasions how desperate he is to see our video – I think we know who was right on this one!
Florist: Botanics of Melbourne – The work Shane did for us speaks for itself, our florals were unbelievable!
Hair: Shauna Elizabeth Hair -The absolute best in the business! Shauna is not only extremely talented (our hair literally did not move), but she is also so lovely and professional to work with.
Make-up: Suzy Sela Makeup – I had a lot of dramas with my makeup, with two different makeup artists cancelling on me, with the second one doing so, only three months prior to the wedding! Thankfully, Suzy was still available and she could not have been anymore accommodating and reassuring. In retrospect, the stress I went through was an absolute blessing in disguise as Suzy was extremely reliable and we could have not been happier with our makeup on the day.
Dress and veil: Mariana Hardwick -You cannot beat made to measure dresses and Lara at Mariana Hardwick did a magnificent job at ensuring my dress fit me perfectly on the day!
Headwear: Stephanie Browne
Shoes: Sophia Webster
Bridesmaid dresses: Shona Joy
Bridesmaid earrings: Isabella May
Bridesmaid shoes: Jo Mercer
Bridal party PJ’s: Le Rose
Menswear: Carl Nave – Carl is a tailor located in Melbourne that we found through my brother, who ended up being a huge part of our day, as he not only custom made an entire outfit for Bowen and his three groomsmen, but also for both our dads. Carl is a perfectionist who also has a great sense of style and works tirelessly to ensure that his designs look impeccable on the day.
Personalised cufflinks: Ties’n’Cuffs
Rings: Stefan’s Jewellery
Stationery / Signage: Confetti Edition by Danger and Moon – Annette was a pleasure to deal with, as she understood my vision and absolute love for stationery from the get go!
Entertainment (Ceremony/Canapés): Tillee Music
Acoustic singers India and Nath
Entertainment (Reception): Woodley DJ services
Transport (to the wedding): Old family-owned vintage cars
A Plymouth and FJ Holden, owned and driven by my uncle on the day – a special family tradition
Transport (home): Mees Buses
Décor: Sketch and Etch (Personalised wishing well and guestbook)
Hire: Small Things Co. (Welcome sign, seating chart, table numbers, neon heart sign and candles)
Styled Event Hire (White circular arbor)