Real Wedding – Emily & James, Red Hill VIC
Real Wedding – Emily & James, Red Hill VIC
Real Wedding – Emily & James, Red Hill VIC
Real Wedding – Emily & James, Red Hill VIC

Real Wedding – Emily & James, Red Hill VIC


For two people who met and work in theatrics and live events, Emily and James’s wedding celebrations were destined to be an incredible interplay of style, ambience and sweet sensations.

Choosing to weave in their favourite elements, amazing food, wine and a carefully considered soundscape, meant that their nearest and dearest were treated to a magically immersive experience from start to finish, elevated by the blissful emotions underpinning the day.

The celebrations began with an impactful, intimate and light-hearted ceremony by celebrant superstar Natalie Drum, set in the gorgeous garden surrounds of Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill. Classic florals in contemporary hues of soft blush and creamy vanilla transitioned the style from ceremony to reception, where guests entered to a dreamy vision of candlelit perfection, luxe layers of linen and a soft, intimate feel, styled and coordinated by Poni Studio.

There to capture every perfectly poignant moment of this blissfully beautiful day was visual poet and legend lady Amanda Alessi. Scroll on to experience each epic moment!


The meeting.

We met at WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts). We were both studying Arts Management and quickly became friends. However, it wasn’t until after our studies that we got together.


The ‘one’.

Emily – I think James was always going to be the one. We were following the same path in our lives, and for years I thought he was just an incredible person. However, there was one night when we caught up for a drink at Cookie in Melbourne, and I vividly remember a moment in our conversation where I thought we might be together forever.

James – I don’t know if there was an exact moment, but the cumulative impact of shared passions for arts and entertainment, food, wine, travel and shared drive and ambition in life has brought us here.


The proposal.

James – On our anniversary one night, at the kitchen table, very casually, over a margherita pizza and a bottle of wine. When you both work in highly theatrical industries, the low-key moments are to be treasured.


Planning process.

We got engaged in May 2020, towards the start of COVID. We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to hopefully be clear of pandemic restrictions and lots of time to enjoy the planning process, so we set our date for December 2021.

We then quickly agreed on what was important to both of us. The day had to feel really authentic to us with all the things we love, beautiful food and wine (and plenty of it!), and we wanted to have the ceremony, reception and accommodation all at the same venue. With a lot of our family interstate, we both wanted the venue to be a memorable destination for our guests. We also wanted the venue to have a grand entrance – something beautiful that set the tone for the day as soon as guests arrived. Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill ticked all of our boxes; we also had a wonderful connection with the staff and loved their Chardonnay!

We both plan events as part of our day jobs, and we knew we definitely didn’t want to be managing logistics on the day, so we quickly locked in our dream team of vendors. We started with Luci and Shae at Poni Studio, who brought on Alison at the Petal Project and Jo at Rebel Reflect. Natalie Drum was our celebrant, Belle Bangard for music, Amanda Alessi was our photographer, James Terry on video and Emily’s long-time friend and hairstylist Ben from Salon XVI. Our team was phenomenal, and each of our vendors were excited to work with each other. It was really special.


Style inspiration. 

We wanted a classic garden ceremony and an intimate candlelit dinner. Dinner was always the most important part of our day for us. We had a vision of long tables filled with lots of taper candles that melted down throughout the night and an abundance of different linens. Luci at Poni Studio worked with Jo at Rebel Reflect to create individual linen menus as well as draped linen signage for us – it was stunning!

For Emily, the flowers were particularly important; she wanted specific flowers at the ceremony, reception and in her bouquet to represent grandparents who had passed away. Alison at the Petal Project brought this to life in the most special way.

We took a bit of inspiration from Instagram; however, it really was our stylist Luci who took our brief and sourced ideas through Instagram and Pinterest and really elevated our brief to a whole new level.

Planning a wedding during COVID brought a layer of uncertainty that was stressful. Reading real wedding blogs and listening to some of the episodes from the You & Me Podcast about other brides planning weddings during COVID was really comforting and helpful.


The ceremony.

Our celebrant Natalie Drum created the most perfect ceremony for us. We wanted it to be personal, light and intimate. Natalie captured our story beautifully and made it really personal. Our ceremony was actually the first time many of our friends and family saw each other in a long time due to COVID restrictions, so it had a really special energy – everyone had made an effort to be there and were ready for a party.

Belle Bangard from Rutherford Entertainment was accompanied by a guitarist and sang live during our ceremony. It really made it a moment. We also chose our mums to be our witnesses, which they loved!


The look. 

Emily – I was never someone who had dreamt about their wedding dress, so I didn’t quite know what I wanted. Dress shopping was something my Mum really wanted to be a part of, but with the travel restrictions in place, she wasn’t able to be there. I set myself a deadline to find my dress and went to a dozen fittings over a weekend – some with friends, some just by myself (which, surprisingly, I much preferred and definitely recommend!). My last fitting was at Mariana Hardwick, and the team was incredible. My favourite moment was when I knew I had chosen my dress and the team Facetimed my Mum. They flipped the camera around for the reveal, and Mum burst into tears – I knew I’d found the perfect one!

James – I knew that I wanted a custom suit made and that I wanted an awesome pair of shoes. They were my only two prerequisites. I had a suit custom tailored in the past by a company called George and King, and it was maybe the best suit I’ve ever had. They were bought out by Insitchu, and I really enjoyed the process, knowing that the suit would not only fit perfectly but that I had chosen exactly how it would look down to the very last detail. For my shoes, I went to a great little shoe shop in Melbourne, specialising in high-end men’s shoes. They are so different from what I would normally choose, but I’m so glad I chose them.


Favourite moments.

Emily – the entire day was perfect, but my favourite moment has got to be when James and I were waiting to enter the reception venue. We saw our friend and MC Rohan disappear from the room, and I thought something had gone terribly wrong! He then entered the room in full Greatest Showman attire to The Greatest Show blasting and went completely off script. Very on theme for us showbiz kids! After that, the running order was pretty much out the window, and everyone was ready to party.

James – My favourite moment was exactly the same as Emily’s! Although my least favourite moment was when someone described our wedding after the fact as being “The Greatest Showman themed”!!


Meaning of marriage.

It’s a commitment of forever. We had been together for almost ten years before we got married, so we were already committed to building a life together. But to us, being married is a deeper commitment.


Wedding soundtrack.

The music choices were really important to us. Music can make or break an event, and we chose tracks that would help build the atmosphere we wanted from day to night. We also wanted to make the most of Belle’s incredible voice.

Processional: Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles (Emily’s Mum used to sing this to her when she was little. Emily kept it a secret from everyone, so there were all the emotions on the day!).

Signing: Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder

Recessional: Higher Love by Whitney Houston

Reception entry: Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake

Cutting of the cake: Superstition by Stevie Wonder

First dance: Feeling Good by Nina Simone

Final song: I Was Made For Loving You by KISS


Funny stories or near disasters.

Emily – We were so lucky to have no disasters on the day. However, during the ceremony where my veil flew off in the breeze, as I went to catch it, I popped the sleeve off my dress and had a wardrobe crisis right in front of everyone. We actually stopped the ceremony for a minute so I could fix my dress, and everyone had a good laugh.

I loved having my brothers as my Best Men – but they weren’t great at veil watch, that’s for sure!


Planning surprises.

Emily – how much I loved it. We had the best team, who were creative, gave us great advice and were a genuine joy to work with. It’s not often you get to plan a party for all your favourite people. Also – we worked with the Next Step Co on a choreographed dance – it was so nice to do these classes together in the lead-up.

James – Nothing really, as we both work in the entertainment industry and are constantly in a state of planning events. I was probably surprised at how detailed the process is with the celebrant. Natalie was amazing and guided us through it perfectly.


Words of wisdom.

Emily – Don’t be afraid to do things differently. There were plenty of wedding traditions and ways of doing things that I wasn’t into. If you think about your vendors as your team and find people who fit with your vibe, it’ll make it much easier to realise your vision. I honestly miss my chats with the incredible people we worked with!

James – Don’t invite too many people! Keep it tight, so you can enjoy everyone’s company, speak to everyone on the day and spend the money you save on more cocktails for the smaller group.



If you’re on the hunt to a celebrant to give you the ceremony of your dreams, take a look at some of our favourites who know how to make your ceremony personal, authentic and with the right amount of laughter and love. 



Ceremony & reception venue: Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill

Celebrant: Natalie Drum

Photography: Amanda Alessi

Videography: James Terry

Styling and On the Day Coordination: Luci and Shae at Poni Studio

Florist: The Petal Project

Hair: Ben Martin at Salon XVI – Ben has been doing my hair for years!

Make-up: Holly from Tonic Agency

The dress & veil: Mariana Hardwick

Shoes: Bared

Rings: Cushla Whiting

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Fame & Partners

Groom’s suit & bow tie: InSitchu

Suits & bow ties: Ferrari Formal Wear (they were great at doing fittings in both WA and VIC for us)

Catering & bar: Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill

Favours: Small bottled gin from Bass & Flinders Distillery (our favourite)

Cake / Cake topper: Miss Trixie Drinks Tea

Stationery / Signage: Rebel Reflect

Entertainment: Belle Bangard, Cisco and Band from Rutherford Entertainment

Transport: Watson The Grapevine

Décor: Candles –Southern Lights Candle Co, draping – Active Draping, linens – Table Threads, signage stands – Small Things Co.

Honeymoon: Port Douglas

Choreographed dance: The Next Step Co

Crop The Image

Actual Size

Recommended Size

Cropped Size