Real Wedding – Darcee & Ben, Warrandyte South, VIC
Drawing on the stunning scenery surrounding their gorgeous venue, Darcee and Ben dreamed up a day of autumnal luxe with a splash of bushland inspired beauty.
As high school sweethearts, this day was already long in the making. Throw into the planning the uncertainty of COVID, plus finding out they were having a baby days before the wedding, and this was destined to be a truly epic celebration!
Darcee’s captivating Corston Couture gown was the first the talented team at Bluebell Bridal selected for her, and what a choice. Exquisitely unique 3D lace, a wrapped bodice effect and the sweetest sleeves look delicately divine, only topped by Darcee’s stunning smile. Her bridesmaids in indigo perfectly foreground the florals in hues of deep moss, burnt sienna and crisp vanilla.
For Darcee and Ben, having their friends and family alongside them on their wedding day was a total treat after the ups and downs of pandemic planning. So, choosing music masters Melbourne Entertainment Co to amp up the party was an inspired choice. There to capture every incredible moment was photographer extraordinaire, Aleksander Jason. Scroll on for all the fabulous fun.
We met the old-fashioned way, as high school sweethearts, at our friend’s 18th birthday party. I worked up the courage to chat to Ben that night; however, he asked me out on the first date. Our first date was a catch up at an equally sweeping, romantic establishment known as the Hawthorn. On a side note, unfortunately – due to corona – the Hawthorn closed its doors in late September of 2020. RIP Hawthorn Hotel. We’ll never forget you.
There was no exact moment for me. Ben and I grew up together and changed as people and as a couple along the way. It was probably in my early 20’s when my priorities in life changed. Whilst close friends were partying well past my bedtime, I knew I just wanted to be at home, in bed, with Ben. He made me feel safe, and I felt happiest when with him.
It occurred with a ruse, a decoy – a road trip just prior to our ten year anniversary. We love the Mornington Peninsula and often ventured down that way before deciding to live there. We grabbed coffee at Merrick’s General Store, one of our faves, before commencing a stroll along Point Leo beach. With the sun on point, the water kissing at our feet, and Biggie (our dog) acting as witness, Ben asked me to marry him. It was simple, very us. We followed up our walk with a picnic at Tucks Ridge Winery then a romantic stay at Jackalope Hotel.
I found real wedding inspiration to be helpful (scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest). I also asked for advice from my sisters on where to start. My sister has some serious excel skills, so I borrowed her master list for planning purposes. For the most part, planning was enjoyable, but throughout 2020, it was hard to get excited when you weren’t even sure the day could go ahead due to Covid.
We locked in our venue first, which we stumbled upon in between appointments on a day exploring the Yarra Valley. Our venue, The Farm Yarra Valley, is rustic yet modern. We loved the open feel and wanted our guests all in one place.
I knew I wanted Aleksander Jason to be our photographer. He is incredibly talented and easy to work with. Ben knew him from player soccer together when they were younger. I also went with a celebrant we knew who married my sister and brother-in-law. He was the perfect choice. He made our ceremony light-hearted and told the story of us so perfectly; people asked if he was a friend of ours.
Modern, autumn luxe! We went with timeless colours for the bridal party and styled the overall look with a pop of autumn. The venue is nestled in pristine farmland, so we brought in the colours from the scenery to our styling (sage green, forest green, with a hint of rust and white). We wanted a relaxed feel, for people to have fun and let their hair down.
The Barn façade at the Farm is like a fairy-tale, so we were really hoping for the rain to hold off – luckily, it did. Our ceremony was so heartfelt; there was not a dry eye in the room. We wanted people to really connect with our vows.
Funnily enough, I found my dress on my lunch break at Bluebell Bridal in the Melbourne CBD. I spent the day at different wedding designer stores at Armadale with my bridesmaids (which is what most Victorian brides do, right?) to find the perfect dress. Whilst a couple caught my eye, none suited my body more than the Corston Couture designer dress I tried on at Bluebell. It was romantic yet sexy and had loads of detail I had never seen before. It was different. I loved the bodice, the 3D lace, everything. I just wanted a dress that I felt I didn’t have to hide in, feel comfortable in, and of course, could dance in!
Too many. After the Covid-19 ride, we were just happy to have our day. If I had to pick one moment, though, it was the speeches. I couldn’t have my sister at my wedding day due to travel restrictions. I saw my Aunty called her on facetime to watch the whole thing, and it made me break down in happy tears.
Meaning of marriage.
A commitment to love your partner unconditionally, accepting their strengths and weaknesses. To grow old with one another and experience life together, through good and bad.
Aisle: Simply the best by Noah Reid
Reception entry: Crazy little thing called love by Queen
First dance: Perfect by Ed Sheeran
Funny stories or near disasters.
My nephew having a crying tantrum just before walking down the aisle. Lucky the guests laughed it off.
A newfound respect for people in the wedding industry. It was hard work postponing, emotionally and mentally. I can’t imagine having to plan around covid with numerous weddings – exhausting stuff!
Also, finding out I was pregnant two weeks before the wedding! Whilst I told the people close to me, it was quite hard to hide on the day.
Words of wisdom.
Don’t overcomplicate the day. It’s about you and your partner getting married, and that should be the focus. We were so close to not having a proper wedding; we just got lucky in the end.
Make it all about you and your husband/wife to be and no one else.
Daunting, overwhelming, panic-inducing; beginning to plan your wedding can bring up all of these feelings in even the most organised of us. Let us help! Our downloadable planning guides can turn your freak-out to fab-out, and have you lounging back with a glass of bubbles, feeling oh-so-in-control and ready to rock your day. Check them out, here.
DARCEE & BEN’S VENDORS
Ceremony & reception venue: The Farm Yarra Valley
Celebrant: Paul Bonadio
Photography: Aleksander Jason
Videography: Atti and O Weddings
Florist: Wild Flos – Nat did such an amazing job!
Hair: Hair by Neevan
Make-up: Ashleigh Evans
Veil: Bluebell Bridal
Shoes: Bared Footwear
Rings: Ruby Tuesday, Warrandyte
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Sheike
Bow ties / ties: Calibre
Cake: The Farm Yarra Valley
Entertainment: Melbourne Entertainment Co. Can highly recommend solo artist James and a hybrid/DJ
Honeymoon: Lorne, Port Fairy, Grampians and Daylesford!