Real wedding – Fiona & Jeremy, Daylesford VIC
Fiona and Jeremy’s wedding day exuded relaxed elegance.
A special pre-ceremony ‘first look’ calmed their newlywed nerves, where Jeremy was stunned by his bride in her gorgeous Suzanne Harward gown. It was truly special for them both to share some private moments away from their guests, before they embarked on one of the most incredible moments of their lives.
They wed at stunning Daylesford venue, Sault, under clear blue skies and amid the rolling lavender fields – with their special day ending just the way they had imagined – on the dance floor surrounded by those they love most.
Ben Swinnerton has beautifully captured the happiness that radiates from this special wedding celebration.
IN FIONA’S WORDS…
We met five years ago at a mutual friend’s 30th birthday party in Soho, London. We were both living and working in England at the time.
We spent a weekend in Berlin three months into our relationship, and had an incredible weekend getting to know each other better, exploring and just having an awesome time. I remember trying to picture my life without him in it, and just couldn’t. I knew I wanted to travel the world with him until we were old and grey! Five years on, we still drink our coffee every morning from the souvenir mugs we bought from that holiday – and it still brings back those great memories.
We went for a walk around the Melbourne Botanical Gardens, and ended up venturing off the track and discovering ‘Fern Gully’, a little secluded gully with a waterfall and ferns that I’d never seen before. It was such a beautiful sunny day. Jeremy begun acting all strange and then held my hands, and told he had a question to ask me. He asked me to marry me, and produced a gorgeous ring from his pocket. I was completely surprised and started shaking. He did it three days before my 30th birthday. Later I found out, his Dad recommended he do it before my birthday, so I could claim I got engaged in my twenties!
The planning process.
We swung between bouts of careful and precise planning with detailed excel spreadsheets and Pinterest boards, interspersed with chaos and impulse decisions. I’m very grateful for my wonderful hubby who got really involved when it became a little too overwhelming, and to my sister and mum who were lifesavers. I also had phenomenal vendors who were so talented and creative, and efficient, that I could trust much of the detail to them!
Relaxed elegance. We wanted it to be classy and timeless. We didn’t want anything that we’d look back on in ten years and cringe! But we also didn’t want it feeling uptight. We wanted guests to feel comfortable, have a laugh, and take of their ties and shoes before letting loose on the dance floor – which they did!
I tried a heap of different styles on and while most were gorgeous, none made me feel like a ‘bride’. I went to the Suzanne Harward sample sale on a whim with my sister, and found an amazing design that unfortunately wasn’t available on the day, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was the most incredible design I’d seen. I was so lucky to have Marnee and the team make my dream gown to measure, and I still am in complete awe of their talents. It was a true Cinderella moment! It was stunning and unlike anything I could have imagined.
Seeing Jeremy for the first time at our ‘first look’ in the Daylesford Botanical Gardens. It was so great to finally reveal my gown and have some private time before seeing everyone, and calm both our nerves. It was also ideal to have photos in such a leafy, shady spot, as it was a 33 degree day. The only downside was collecting about a thousand pine needles in my tulle and spending a harried five minutes before going to the ceremony with five people plucking them out.
For Jeremy, it was walking along the lake, having some photos taken after the ceremony. It was really just the two of us, letting it all sink in that we were husband and wife, and the party was about to start.
We lit a candle in memory of Jeremy’s mother and our grandparents that have passed away.
Meaning of marriage.
Being on the same team, and having each others back.
Bridal entrance: The Wedding Song by Angus and Julia Stone
Reception entry: Everybody Needs Somebody To Love by Blues Brothers
First Dance: You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates, we did a ‘rough’ jive!
Funny stories/near disaster.
My sister’s car was broken into two days before the wedding and they only took her bridesmaid shoes!
Also, my grandfather became very ill during our ceremony and was rushed to hospital with pneumonia immediately after I left the church. Thankfully he was ok!
How much fun we had practicing the wedding dance. We wish we started earlier.
How long it takes to work out seating charts. It’s a jigsaw puzzle!
Words of wisdom.
If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t have tried to do everything myself. I didn’t want to burden anyone else, but people actually want to help. Delegate early and once you’ve made a decision, stop looking at wedding blogs and magazines so you don’t start second guessing yourself – or finding new ideas.
And everyone says it, but it’s so important – stop and try to take it all in. My favourite moment of the night was grabbing Jeremy and looking around at a full dance floor of our family and friends cutting some serious dance floor moves and singing at the top of their lungs. Enjoy all the things that you’ve worked so hard to organise – eat the amazing food, eat the cake, dance to your band. The last thing I wanted was for my friends to be describing how good the food was, and me never having tried it. Jodi at Sault was the best – she made sure I ate!
FIONA AND JEREMY’S TRIBE…
Ceremony and reception venue: Sault, Daylesford, Victoria. We are still getting comments from our guests saying how incredible the service was on the day. Jodi and her team were incredible, not just on the night but all through the planning stages.
Officiant: Fr Justin Driscoll
Photography: Ben Swinnerton
Videography: C2 Video
Styling: We did this ourselves with help from Sault, Botanics of Melbourne, and Mum and Dad!
Florist: Botanics of Melbourne
The Dress: Suzanne Harward
Veil / head wear: Suzanne Harward
Shoes: Nine West
Bridesmaids dresses: Made by a family friend
Grooms suit: Studio Italia
Grooms Shoes: Aquila
Groomsmen suits: TM Lewin
Bow ties / ties: Saba
Favors: We had a dessert buffet featuring nostalgic slices, cakes, biscuits and sweets from both NZ and Australia, with doggie bags for guests to take on the bus home for ‘midnight snacks’.
Stationery: Cake Ink
Signage: My talented father made all the awesome timber signs with a very pathetic brief from me.
Entertainment: The Baker Boys
Transport: The London Cab company
Dance Lessons: Jo from First Dance Melbourne
Honeymoon: The W Resort, Seminyak Bali