Real Wedding – Erin & David, Yarra Valley VIC
Coombe in the Yarra Valley played the perfect host to Erin and David’s dream day.
Erin and David set about planning their celebration with enthusiasm and a little Insta-stalking to ensure they had a superstar team of suppliers and the styling they desired.
David made a rock-star entrance in a helicopter and from there the day kept escalating in fabulous style. Managing to whisk his bride away at sunset, David surprised Erin and serenaded her on a rooftop with their wedding song on guitar and Erin’s heart literally burst with love and happiness.
The celebration was one to truly remember and Sabine Legrand captured all the love beautifully.
In Erin’s words…
Dave and I met in Sydney (where we both resided at the time) the modern online way (Tinder) in 2016. Our first date was at Bondi Hardware and ended with him walked me to my car for a good night kiss – our first, which was magical.
It was a warm October spring night and we we’re on our fourth date at the Sydney night noodle markets. I was sitting in Hyde Park on a wooden log, boa bun and a glass of Shiraz in a plastic cup in hand, and I remember looking over at Dave and thinking what an incredible time I was having, and how much I never wanted this moment to end. We ended up staying out until the early hours of the morning where we talked (and drank!) for hours, and it was after this date I knew I never wanted to be apart from him again.
Oh, there’s a bit of a story to this, which I absolutely LOVE!
Our engagement was in Tasmania, at Frogmore Creek Winery, on the 23rd Dec 2017. The plan was for my parents to join us in Hobart to meet Dave’s parents and all spend Christmas together, so Dave had cheekily decided it was the perfect time to pop the question!
I meanwhile, had been on the edge of my seat for months, hoping that there might have been a proposal on the Europe trip we had just been on, but Dave had other plans. Lots of them in fact!
The scene was set with my parents fibbing to me that their flight into Tasmania would be delayed, so Dave asked me to get ready for a “spontaneous” lunch, which was all part of an elaborate plan, with my parents in fact already in town.
After a beautiful lunch where I was none-the-wiser, we walked through the vines where Dave got down on one knee and asked the big question I had been dying to hear. Of course, the answer was always going to be yes! I turned around to find a little table set up with chocolate covered strawberries and champagne waiting for us down in the vines – it was so romantic!
Once I’d composed myself (there were lots of happy tears) I was whisked away to MACq01in the city and after walking in, to my surprise, there we’re both of our parents! Dave had organised for them to be there to celebrate all together where we had an afternoon of champagne and cocktails by the water.
Then to top off the day we headed to an incredible dinner at Glasshouse and stayed overnight at an apartment on the marina overlooking the water. It was just perfect.
I started planning straight away, firstly calling the one and only venue I had my heart set on for over a year – Coombe Estate in the Yarra Valley, which I had stumbled across during a wine tasting trip Dave and I had taken months prior. They only had three dates left for 2018(!) so we had to make quick decision, and decided to lock down our October date.
From there, Instagram was my best friend in sourcing and contacting vendors. I did a lot of ‘insta-stalking’ on countless pages and other featured weddings to secure our photographer, videographer and numerous other vendors. I loved it! The amount of inspiration there easily allowed me hone in on the vendors I liked the most, go through them with Dave and contact them from there. We ticked off the big ticket items first – venue, photographer, videographer, celebrant, florist, hair and makeup, music and stationary. Once all of that was locked down, we then had time to focus on things that were less pressing like, accommodation, transport, bridal party outfits etc.
Excel was my other go-to with planning and tracking everything from suppliers, costs, guest lists and outstanding balances etc, which I then transferred key dates into calendar reminders to make sure nothing was missed.
I also sourced the help of my talented bridesmaid, Letitia, to help set up our wedding website to not only save on stationery costs (plus being environmentally friendly), but this provided guests with all of the wedding information at a glance. Additionally, to try and save on costs, Dave hand made all of our wedding signage stands, which was a really beautiful touch.
We also wanted to make sure guests had ample notice as far as invitations went, so opted to send these out six months in advance as we had a lot of people travelling from interstate and potentially from overseas, and wanted to give them plenty of time to organise their travel plans.
We initially found vows a touch daunting as there are so many options. But with the guidance of our incredible celebrant Megan Watson, she gave us some ideas to start with and they evolved from there. We also decided to share our vows with one another before the day as it was equally important for us to ensure on one of the biggest days of our lives, that we made all the most meaningful and important promises to each other.
To ensure everyone was well fed at both our getting ready venues, I organised for platters at both residences so the boys filled up on sandwiches and us girls had an amazing grazing platter from Luxe Grazers.
I also opted to start getting my skin in ideal condition six months prior to the wedding, and had facials every four weeks and then every week a month out.
As a surprise gift I had also planned for Dave and his groomsmen to arrive via helicopter on the day, (Coombe is one of the few wineries in the Yarra Valley that have a helipad) Dave later saying he felt like a rock star which is exactly what I wanted him to feel on our day, just as I did!
Inspiration-wise, there were different elements that both Dave and I wanted for our day, I craved a garden setting with lots of flowers and foliage and Dave wanted a winery vibe; somewhere that was elegant and had a slightly modern twist, but nothing too ‘barn’ or ‘vineyard’ – and luckily Coombe ticked all our boxes.
The perfectly manicured gardens, striking oak tree (which we were married under), plus the history and age of the estate also offered inspiration for our day with lots of fresh blooms creating a romantic, old worldly vibe, which was a beautiful contrast to the modern aesthetics in the reception space, featuring polished granite flooring, hanging pendant lighting, black framed windows and a stunning curved wooden ceiling.
The large black windows served as inspiration for our stationary from State of Reverie which were black ink printed on a slightly textured white stock card, featuring two different fonts, which again captured our romantic & modern vibe.
Coombe also offers some of our favourite wine (their Rosé & Shiraz are amazing!) so it was a huge bonus to include this as a part of our day. Their cellar door hosted our guests’ pre and post ceremony which gave everyone the opportunity to sample some of their wine with canapés, before continuing to enjoy throughout the duration of our reception.
Along with the older worldly feel, we decided against a cake and had a seven tier champagne tower instead, which was so much fun! Glasses were then distributed out to each guest so to ensure they had a glass of bubbles to cheers at the end of Dave’s speech.
My beautiful florist Anastasia from Stasia Fox also supported as my style sounding board, given her styling background she was always there if needed to help give clarity around all those finer details that I wanted to ensure were perfect. She was amazing!
Oh my goodness, this also has a bit of a story. Finding the perfect one was a really challenging task for me, which I never thought would happen.
I initially bought a fully beaded Theia Couture dress that I tried on during an impromptu visit to the Bridal Atelier. I had gone in thinking I’d just try on some dresses to get an idea of styles, but ended up walking out with a dress! Definitely not what I had planned when I walked in.
I sat on my dress for months before deciding to make some changes to it by removing the capped sleeves and making it slightly more lower cut. However as time went on and the day got closer, after each alteration, there was something just not feeling ‘right’.
I was then talked into having one made and turn my original dress into a cocktail dress (the latter was perfect and I wore this for our rehearsal dinner on the Thursday night before our wedding). However the dress I was having made ended up being a complete disaster! So in my panic three weeks out before our wedding, I bought a third off the rack as a last resort option while still trying to find ‘The One’. I’m sure all of this sounds very first world problems but I can assure you with two and half weeks to go, it was one of the most stressful times.
With this situation keeping me up at all hours of the night and still very much in panic mode I hastily bought a fourth dress which I again had to have altered but unfortunately given the size of the dress it was very difficult to have it altered to fit me properly. Yet again, I was left with another disaster.
So at two weeks out I entrusted Dave to help me and we visited almost every single bridal boutique in Melbourne (with me most of the time sobbing into gowns and the arms of many a retail assistant) but then thankfully the amazing girls at One Day Bridal, specifically Bianca, literally performed a miracle providing me with a stunning beaded lace gown, with fitted hand beaded bodice and appliqued lace skirt with the most incredible train! It was everything I had been looking for and didn’t even know it! I’m so incredibly grateful to everything the team at ODB did for me to bring it all to life. They literally saved the day.
Although it may seem very untraditional for the groom to see the dress before the big day, it was one of the best decisions we made. Having Dave a part of the process helped rationalise my decision making and gave me the confidence to know that come time to walk down the aisle, he was going to love my dress.
Then the day before our wedding my gorgeous sister in law to be, Jules, generously waited patiently in Melbourne for the call to go and collect it and ensure it was safely delivered to me in the Yarra Valley with only 24hours to go! Talk about cutting it fine! But it all worked out in the end and I felt so beautiful on the day, it was just perfect.
When Dave whisked me away and surprised me on a private rooftop to sing and play me our wedding song on guitar, while the sun set behind us. It was simply magical. I’ll never forget how much my heart literally burst full of love for him and how grateful I felt to know that I had this man forever. He makes me feel so special every single day.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage is marrying my best friend, the one person I know I can 100% rely on and know will have my back no matter what, and that’s something I know I have in Dave, and he has in me. It is a lifetime commitment of growing and evolving together, full of love and respect, even through the tough times.
Aisle: Beloved One by Ben Harper (Live from Mars version)
Signing: Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars
Recessional: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen
Reception entry: Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake
Champagne pour: I Can’t Help Myself by Four Tops
Father Daughter Dance: I loved Her First by Heartland – my Dad chose this.
First Dance: A compilation of Making Memories and Somebody like You by Keith Urban
Exit song: Run to Paradise by The Choir Boys
Funny stories (or near disasters)
Other than my dress ordeal, our day ran absolutely perfect……well….except for when at the end of the night I left my phone and bag in the trunk of our chauffeur car and had to have it travel back via Uber from central Melbourne the next morning! Not ideal.
Everyone told us that the day would fly, but it literally felt like we blinked at it was over. Although we discussed it prior, in hindsight if we could do things over we would probably have photos taken before the ceremony so to allow us more time with guests before the reception.
Words of wisdom.
Try on as many dresses as possible! I know that may sound obvious, but I wish I had of done this from the very beginning. And make sure you go with your gut, even if you don’t have a specific design in mind, only you know what looks and feels best for you.
Interact and talk to as many guests as you can but remember it’s your day so spending quality time with your partner is key. Take a moment (or several as we did) to sit back and look out on all of your guests, as having all of your favourite people under one roof together, may not ever happen again.
My beautiful bridesmaid Letitia, unbeknownst to me, grabbed my phone early on the night and took loads of photos on it for me. We then had an abundance of photos to look back on and relive the next day. It was super thoughtful.
Feast your eyes on a day filled with old-world glamour when Shauna and Daniel wed in front of their nearest and dearest at Werribee Mansion.
ERIN & DAVID’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: Coombe Yarra Valley (under the oak tree)
Celebrant: Marry Me Megan (Megan Watson) – Megan was hands down one of the best decisions we made for our day. She is simply divine and made our day so special, right from the start she felt like a friend we had known for years. If you haven’t already, book her immediately!
Photography: Sabine Legrand – I initially discovered Sabine via Instagram and literally fell in love with her work then and there, and knew I just had to have her as our photographer. Her background of having previously worked in editorial also drew me as I just knew she would capture our day perfectly, and she sure didn’t disappoint! Plus she’s just an amazing gal! We are over the moon with our photos!
Videography: Rachael Mary Films – Rachael was also one of the best decisions we made, her relaxed nature made us feel so comfortable and at ease, especially for Dave who isn’t one for the lime light. Our video is beyond amazing, I think I’ve watched it almost every day since getting married and I cry every time, it was so much more than we had ever hoped for and captured everything beautifully.
Styling: Me, along with the assistance of my florist (Stasia Fox)
Florist: Stasia Fox (Anastasia Volpe) – I was lucky enough to literally bump into Anastasia at a different venue we we’re considering and loved her work so pretty much booked her straight away. However, Anastasia proved to be more than just my florist, she was my stylist, aesthetic sounding board and at one point even a wedding dress disaster expert! She was absolutely amazing. She has also just opened a retail space in Hawthorn which is a must visit.
Hair: Kirby (House of Hoxton) – After moving from Sydney it took almost six months to find the amazing ladies at House of Hoxton. Kirby (along with Vic my regular colourist) worked together for almost 12 months to get my hair into tip top shape for my wedding, and Kirby then did my hair on my wedding day. Not only is she just an awesome girl, she has a lot of wedding experience and has done work for the Brownlow and other similar events.
Make-up: Cassandra Lusi – I also discovered Cass via Instagram and seeing the incredible work she does on many a fashion shoot, I had to have her! And as luck would have it, it turned out she knew Kirby very well and they regularly work together, so I knew that with this awesome duo I was in the best hands for my big day.
The Dress: One Day Bridal
Shoes: I wanted a shoe that I knew I would wear again so chose a rich plum coloured velvet stiletto by Saint Laurent.
Rings: GP Israel Diamonds and King Street Design – I had forever dreamt of designing my own rings, especially from GP Israel. I have literally been sending every person I know there for almost ten years and Dave knowing all of this finally made this a dream come true for me. Together we chose a diamond from GP’s (this is such a fun day and highly recommend it!) and then worked with Alan Mouradjjallian from KSD who was able to easily sketch out the designs I had in my head to bring it all to life. Alan also created our wedding bands. His attention to detail is out of this world.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Rebecca Vallance
Bridesmaid’s shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Groom’s suit: TM Lewin & Menz Club
Groom’s shoes: Aquila
Bow ties: Menz Club
Catering: To ensure the bridal party didn’t go hungry before the ceremony we had Luxe Grazers supply us with delicious grazing platters.
Favours: We made our favours ourselves which again was a really fun process to do together. To pay homage to our individual heritage’s we had a Sydney gin (Archie Rose) for the ladies, and a Tasmanian scotch (Hellyers Road) for the men, which we filled into gold topped mini glass bottles, and created our own personalized labels which featured on the outside of the bottles.
Champagne tower: Champagne Queen
Stationery / Signage: State of Reverie
Entertainment: Rutherford Entertainment
Transport: My bridesmaids, father and I were transported via two black Audi A8’s to the venue by Chauffeur Link Melbourne who were amazing, and then transported Dave and I back to our accommodation post wedding.
Guests were transported via coach by McKenzies.
Linen: Simmons Linen Hire
Honeymoon: USA and Mexico.
Other: My grandmother gifted me a stunning vintage aquamarine ring after her passing some years ago which served as my old, borrowed, blue for the day. We had a really close bond so it felt extra special to have her close to me all day.