Real Wedding – Erica & Alex, Conara TAS
Let us take you across the way to the stunning historical grounds of Vaucluse Estate in Tasmania. Throw in a divine 1830’s built homestead, a clear marquee to overlook the manicured lawns and pool and it’s easy to see why this was the location Erica and Alex had chosen to tie the knot.
Despite both living in Melbourne at the time, having it at home in Tasmania was something that resonated strongly for the both of them. And although a few speed bumps popped up along their planning journey, everything came together perfectly.
Their vibe was light-filled, nothing too overly traditional, soft neutral tones and textures with a modern touch. But the pièce de resistance we have to say, were Erica’s choice of gowns. Three stellar pieces we couldn’t tear our eyes away from, but her tulle layered Khya gown, made especially for her after seeing a passing sketch on the designers desk at Khya HQ, was c’est magnifique!
Everything about their day, simply felt like ‘them’. They trusted their vendors whole heartedly, hand balled the on-the-day coordination to their wedding planner and stylist, Artaud and Co – which meant they were stress-free in the lead up and on the day itself. Bianca Virtue captured this sensational celebration of love to perfection.
Nothing too groundbreaking here, we met through a friend. However, we had that immediate spark people dream of finding.
I don’t know if there was one specific moment, it was the strength and confidence I felt when with him. I used to think it was the good, fun times that made you love someone but after the past few years I realised it’s the tough times that shows your true strength as a couple. Even at my weakest moments Alex would look at me as if I was capable of anything.
It was the end of lockdown (3 or 4 maybe, who knows) we went to meet two of our best friends in Carlton gardens. We road our bikes and as we got close, I saw the most incredible set up, the shock took hold and I forgot to take off the bike helmet! Alex got down on one knee and our friends jumped out of the bushes, we drank champagne and celebrated for hours at the picnic set up.
Choosing the key parts luckily was easy for us, we knew we wanted to have it at home in Tasmania. The pandemic made the rest not so easy. However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise! At the beginning, I was very focussed on getting everything ‘perfect’. The planning stopped and started while we navigated if we could actually go ahead or not. My focus shifted to us as a couple and being in one place with our family and friends. During the planning we delegated different tasks to each other to make sure it didn’t feel like a chore. I left a lot of little details to our vendors, after all they are the professionals, they know better than we! This really helped to allow us to enjoy planning.
At the beginning I found it tricky to work out what style I wanted. Working in the industry I was overloaded with ideas! In the end I realised the colours and materials I was drawn to were linked to my personal style. I love neutral tones and textures. I didn’t want the styling to feel ‘matchy matchy’ or too arranged. I wanted the overall look to feel organic, light and modern. We think our stylist nailed it!
I was drawn to real weddings for inspo, seeing how people interpreted their wedding day and tailored to them. I loved seeing couples who threw away the traditions that didn’t suit them.
Our day ran slightly differently than others, we decided we wanted to share as much of our day together as we could. We all stayed at the incredible estate on the property, so the whole bridal party got ready together and it was a BLAST!
Alex left for a few moments while I got into my gown. We then all had champagne, cheersed and got ready to go!
Our ceremony was also not overly traditional, we had my wonderful high school friend marry us and our friend who introduced us spoke about our ‘history’. They encouraged everyone to cheer, laugh and cry. The feeling during the ceremony is something I’ll never forget.
This was a process with a few different phases but it ended with three of the most epic outfits I have ever worn!
When I started my gown journey I worked at Camilla & Marc, I went to a range of places with my Mum trying to find a piece that felt like me. I knew I wanted something slightly different but didn’t have the budget for custom.
My last appointment was at KYHA Studios, I felt they just got me! They were all about doing something a bit different, pushing the boundaries of bridal. The team there brought out a gown I hadn’t chosen to try and it was perfect! Minimal but powerful, nontraditional. With more of a red carpet feel. My Palomer gown had long sleeves, with a plunging back held together with Italian gold pressed buttons.
Ironically, about a month after, I began working at KYHA as their Global Head of Retail. While in our production office, I saw a sketch on our designers’ desk, the most epic gown I had ever seen. I was obsessed!
I was lucky enough to have the team create it from scratch just for me. This incredible layered tulle masterpiece became my ceremony gown. My Palomer still felt just as special so needed to stay in the gown line up, it became my reception dress.
My final outfit was for our recovery at MONA Museum in Hobart, I went with a KYHA power suit, with matching gold pressed buttons that matched my reception gown.
I have three separate moments; getting ready with my soon to be hubby and our whole bridal party. The mood was epic and so much fun. Listening to Alex whisper to me during the ceremony when I was feeling nervous and entering the reception with everyone up cheering and screaming.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage means to us, commitment to working on the relationship long into the future, supporting and pushing each other, bringing out the best in each other. Marriage it just the start!
Aisle: Falling like the stars by James Arthur
First dance: Angels by Robbie Williams.
Funny stories or near disasters.
Yes, I am embarrassed about this one as it was my fault, I miscounted the seats for the bus. My two brothers arrived and didn’t fit! The venue was almost an hour away. As always, everything works out in the end and they made it just in time!
Words of wisdom.
Before you make any decisions, think about the two of you and what you want the day to be. You will get SO many opinions but keep coming back to the two of you. On the day everyone is just so happy for you both that the little things don’t matter, it’s one day celebrating the both of you so make sure you plan it that way!
Like most brides, I wasn’t sure what to expect in this process. I was a little overwhelmed at the start but so excited! You have to remember, you aren’t meant to know! Use the professionals to help guide you. I had no idea how much the vendors we chose would influence our day.
Whatever your budget, if you can, first look into a wedding planner for setting up, or coordination or the whole thing! Lisa from Artaud and Co was single handedly the best investment we could have made. I did not feel stressed or overwhelmed once. I enjoyed every aspect of my day because someone else was in charge of the stress!
We love seeing the beautiful spots around Australia where couples are tying the knot. Get a glimpse of some Real Weddings from all over right here.
ERICA & ALEX’S VENDORS
Ceremony & Reception venue: Vaucluse Estate, Tasmania
Photography: Bianca Virtue – I followed Bianca on Instagram before I was even engaged, she HAD to be my photographer and now is a beautiful friend.
Videography: Folktale Films – Richie has such a fun vibe and really listened to our vibe for the day.
Styling & planner: Artaud and Co
Celebrant: Alice Croft
Florist: Murphy Bloom – A person as beautiful as her floral creations.
Hair: Julia Ralph – A true perfectionist!
Make Up: Tanisha Koops – Tanisha does my make up any time I am home, she is the master of effortless natural looking make up.
The Dress(es): KYHA Studios
Veil: KYHA Studios – Sheath Veil
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Rings: Unique Diamonds
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Dissh Boutique
Suits: Oscar Hunt tailors
Catering: Hubert & Dan (if you are having a wedding in Tas they are a must)
Stationery / Signage: Blossie
Honeymoon: Halcyon House (canceled due to floods but we will go later this year)