Real Wedding – Emily & Mark, Warrandyte South VIC
In planning their wedding day, Emily and Mark dialled down the stress and turned up the style for a day that was overflowing with moments of joy and effortless beauty.
Their approach was to engage a talented team, then trust them to work their magic. And the result was a stunning success. A vision of artfully assembled florals in burnt blush tones articulated the warmth of the venue perfectly. Add to that the gorgeous bride tribe in gowns of dusky pink and Mark’s on-point choice of taupe jacket, and the overall effect is a treat for the eyes.
And of course, the final dose of perfection is Emily in her knock-out gown complete with fabulous lace cape, showed off in true rock star perfection as she hit the dance floor to tunes by Tribe faves, Paper Hearts.
Capturing all the artistry and adorable affection of the day were brilliant Tribesters Georgia Verrells Photography and Annette and Dani Films.
We met properly and began dating in 2015, but we had actually worked at the same place for a few years but had just never connected until then.
One night I was sitting with my best friend Sarah, drinking wine and talking about life when I said I wanted to open myself up to meeting new people and see what the universe brings. The very next day, Mark and I nearly collided in the hallway at work trying to walk through the same door. Mark grinned and opened the door for me to walk through, and as they say, the rest is history.
After a few weeks of talking, Mark asked me out on a date, and we’ve been together ever since.
Neither of us have a specific moment; we often say it was the culmination of thousands of little day-to-day moments. Mark will say that when we brought home our beloved cavoodle, Arlo, it was the moment we really committed to a shared life.
Mark initiated a walk with Arlo and me through Darebin parklands, near our home in Thornbury. We followed the Spiritual Healing Trail, reflecting on our lives at each step, and as we reached the last one at the peak of the hill, Mark got down on one knee and proposed. Mark had suggested the walk a week in advance, which is when I knew something was up because Mark is not a planner at all.
We both walked pretty nervously around the parklands until the moment, but it was a beautiful moment – local, out in nature and with Arlo along too – it was very ‘us’.
Mark popped the question in February 2019, and we knew we wanted to be married the next year in March. So, we knew we needed to get moving pretty quickly. Within the first couple of weeks, we had booked our venue and photographer.
The Farm Yarra Valley was just the perfect fit for us in so many ways and is halfway between our two family homes, which was a nice touch.
We looked at a few photographers, but when we met up for coffee with Georgia Verrells, who lived just around the corner from us, we knew we’d found the one.
Each time we booked a vendor, we’d ask them for recommendations for the next vendor we needed to book. We ended up with such an incredible team in the end, most of whom had worked together before and really complemented each other. This approach was one of the things that worked best for us in creating our dream day.
In terms of planning, we both like a spreadsheet, so that’s how we managed our vendors and budget. We worked out what was most important to us, what we valued and where we were happy to put a bit more money into and went from there. Any traditions that we didn’t care about we just dropped – our day really was a reflection of us and the things we cared about.
We wanted something that would just be an extension of the already beautiful scenery and venue.
Along with our incredible bouquets and wedding party pieces, Emily at North St Botanical created the floral arbour of our dreams. We just brought in lots of pillar candles to add to the warm, romantic space.
We sourced personalised gold mirrored name places from Stone and Co Designs that doubled as favours for our guests, that finished off the table setting really nicely.
We had a good idea of what we wanted our look to be, and for Mark it was just a matter of choosing where to get his suit – for this we used real wedding blogs like Ivory Tribe to browse vendors and photos.
For my dress, I knew I wanted something a little different, and when I found my White April gown I didn’t have to look any further. I had seen and liked it online and didn’t think I could pull it off, but when I tried it on in-store and spun around with the cape floating behind me I felt like Stevie Nicks, and I knew it was the one.
It’s so hard to pick just one!
Of course, walking down the aisle was a moment we’ll never forget, but there was one point in the night where we took ourselves outside and sat on our own for a couple of minutes with a cocktail. We got to look at each other, toast ourselves and really just soak in all the love and joy around us and say to each other; we did it, we’re really married!
Meaning of marriage.
For us, it’s about showing up and looking after each other and making a commitment to prioritise each other and our family. It’s choosing to create a shared life together and to enjoy and to face all of life’s twists and turns together as a partnership.
Aisle: Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
Signing: Simply the Best by Tina Turner
Recessional: Signed Sealed Delivered by Stevie Wonder
Reception entry: Countdown by Beyoncé
First dance: Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson
Father/Daughter dance: Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac
Funny stories or near disasters.
On the day we had to make the call to move the ceremony inside due to bad weather despite a string of perfect autumn days in the lead-up. Even though initially we were disappointed, of course with the venue we had chosen it ended up being just as beautiful.
Given what we know now that just pales in comparison as having our wedding when we did was the ‘near disaster’ missed – one week later and the social distancing restrictions would have been in place and turned everything upside down. We are grateful every single day that we were able to have our amazing day when we did.
We had only a couple of days on our honeymoon before we had to turn back around and race home as everything was closing down around us, so we hope to have ‘take two’ of our dream honeymoon in Sri Lanka one day!
We felt fairly prepared and just took each week as it came, one job at a time, though I don’t think we expected just how many little decisions there were to make.
One of the nice things we realised is how great our vendors were in the lead-up. They were so lovely and supportive, answered all our questions and shared their experiences and advice, not just about their role but about all things weddings that really helped us plan the day.
Words of wisdom.
Pick talented vendors you love and just let them do what they are best at and let them look after you. Our whole team were such pros, we really just got to be ourselves on the day and have fun, and everyone just moved around us or put us where we needed to be.
We gave Emily at North St Botanical literally just a basic idea of what we were after and just said ‘can we leave it with you?’ and the florals she created were more perfect than we could have imagined.
There are always going to be little things that don’t go to plan. People can’t make it at the last minute, it buckets down with rain, something doesn’t get delivered in time etc. the important part is you and your partner are there together getting married – focus on how exciting that is and don’t sweat the things you can’t control.
And while it’s exciting, all the planning and decision making can also get really tiring, so plan some extra date nights or weekends off to give yourselves a break and just enjoy being engaged.
Love Emily & Mark’s stunning florals? Floral installations are most definitely having a moment, for all the right reasons. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together some inside info to help guide you.
EMILY & MARK’S VENDORS
Ceremony and reception venue: The Farm Yarra Valley. The venue took our breath away; it really did have everything we wanted. It was warm and intimate, with beautiful views, incredible food and Rob Dolan wine. The reception staff were next-level, and all of our guests were so well taken care of.
Celebrant: Megan Watson, Marry Me Megan. Megan was just wonderful. She created a warm and relaxed ceremony that fit us perfectly.
Photography: Georgia Verrells Photography. Georgia was one of the first vendors we booked; we loved her style and felt really comfortable with her, so we knew she’d get the best out of us on the day.
Videography: Annette and Dani Films. Annette and Dani were recommended by Georgia as we can see why – their work is incredible, and they worked seamlessly with Georgia. We barely noticed they were there!
Florist: North St Botanical. This is one talented lady who took our colour ideas and turned it into the most magical florals.
Hair: Lishous Hair Design
Make-up: Katie Woodward MUA:
The dress: White April, Fairytales Bridal Boutique
Rings: MDT Design. Our engagement and wedding rings were created at MDT, and we were so happy with them. They worked with Mark to surprise me with an engagement design I loved and made choosing our wedding bands together a welcoming, exciting experience.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Sheike
Groomsmen’s suits and bow ties: MJ Bale. The groomsman’s suits were perfect, and the team gave the ‘Groom crew’ lots of help and made the experience comfortable and fun.
Catering and bar: The Farm Yarra Valley:
Favours: Stone and Co Designs
Cake / Cake topper: Cakes by Carlos. Along with being a cake baker extraordinaire, Carl was also our best man! It was so lovely to have such a personal touch having Mark’s best friend create our beautiful cake.
Stationery: State of Elliot
Signage: Danger + Moon
Entertainment: Paper Hearts. These guys are so talented they just nailed our songs, and our guests raved about how great the music was.
Transport: Emperor Chauffeur Services
Honeymoon: Sri Lanka. To be continued when we can travel again!