Real Wedding – Kim & Ben, Taradale VIC
Real Wedding – Kim & Ben, Taradale VIC

Real Wedding – Kim & Ben, Taradale VIC


Kim knew she was home when she tied the knot with her beloved, Ben, after meeting on a double date 9 years prior. The couples wedding day, held at Churchill in Taradale, was the epitome of old world country elegance.

Housing both the ceremony and reception, Kim was keen to let Churchill’s exquisite 1850’s rustic country church be the styling statement, which was complemented perfectly with some beautiful, bold floral arrangements.

Photographer, Marnie Hawson, was there to capture this stunning affair, and the photos speak for themselves.

In Kim’s words…

The meeting.

Ben and I met on a double date 9 years ago. Our friends liked each other so we went both went along.

The ‘one’.

When home was wherever he was.

The proposal.

In Perth, overlooking the Swan River on the balcony of a very fancy hotel.

The planning.

When I know what I want it is good, but when I don’t know what I want it is very excruciating and drawn out. My Maid of Honour weathered the indecision storms so well.

Style inspiration.

Once I found our venue, Churchill,  lots of things were styled around this.

The dress.

The dress was almost the most important aspect of my day (apart from marrying the love of my life). My brief on finding a dress was that I needed it to be like no other dress I had ever or would ever wear again. However, I also still needed to feel like myself.

I tried on all sorts of dresses from different suppliers in both Melbourne and Perth.  When trying dresses on I went with a group of people, I went with just my maid of honour and I even tried on some by myself. Some were princess dresses and others were sleek evening gowns. I liked many of the dresses I tried on but none really fit the feel of our wedding, our personalities, our venue or the ambience.

When I tried on my dress at Cathleen Jia’s there wasn’t a light bulb moment of ‘this is THE one’. Rather, as time went by and as I processed, it became clear that it was the ‘right’ dress. Cathleen’s ensemble reflected my personality and character perfectly.

Cathleen is also just a really happy person and this dictated the whole experience. She is a gentle, patient voice in among so many opinions of mothers and bridesmaids.

Favourite moment/s.

Just after we had signed the registry and our witnesses sat at the table.  Ben and I were able to duck behind the massive bunch of flowers on stage where no one could see us and we had a moment just to ourselves, before we stepped out into the spotlight again. There is a great shot of this that our photographer Marnie captured perfectly. It’s probably my favorite photo.

The meaning of marriage.

Marriage is home. An Emelie Sande’s song lyric says “this is us, this is love and this is where I’m home” and for me that says it all.

Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: How Long Will I love You by Ellie Goulding

Recessional: Where I Sleep by Emelie Sande

First Dance: Next To Me by Emelie Sande

Planning suprises.

How generous everyone is. People who we didn’t really know volunteered to babysit some of the kids, for nothing! People go the extra mile and there is so much love. I was overwhelmed really.

Words of wisdom.

Don’t overthink other people’s advice. If it’s in-congruent with who you are, don’t bother.

Also, prepay for as much as you can as early as you can. In the few weeks leading up to the wedding I felt depressed every time I swiped my credit card but when we got to the honeymoon and everything was pre-booked and pre-paid, guilt played no part in our decision making.

You will spend money on things that are outrageous, accept this and just soak it up.



Want a venue with sweeping views of the beautiful Macedon Ranges? Then Emu Bottom Homestead is the perfect location, check them out.



Ceremony/ Reception: Churchill, Taradale. When we saw Churchill I was fairly sure I had won the lottery. Everything about it was perfect for us. Vanessa and Caris were so helpful, so real and most importantly they are brilliant at what they do. So much of the logistics and little things were taken care of, from the tableware to the very popular bar staff.

Celebrant/Officiant: Pr Luke Connaugton. We found Luke through a friend, such a great bloke.

Photography: Marnie Hawson Photography. Too be honest I don’t remember seeing Marnie much, to the point where I wondered if we were getting enough photos, but I should never have questioned her! She was professional, super discreet and the results speak for themselves. She is also really lovely. I can recommend her 100 times over.

Florist: Prunella. Flowers are not my strong point. I just told them what I liked from their Instagram and they created something that matched my budget. I didn’t even have to wonder if the flowers would be amazing, they just were.

Hair: My friend. I think it is a great decision to include your friends when it won’t stress them out or you out.

Make Up: Cassandra De Bruin. Look at makeup artists Instagram/Facebook, of their real bride’s mug shots (close ups!) and ask yourself, is that what I want my face to look like? This is what I did with Cass and my face was exactly what I wanted plus it didn’t melt off at all, winner! Also, Cass is so professional and I totally trusted her.

The Dress: Cathleen Jia. I think to appreciate Cathleen’s dresses you must try them on. She has a unique range and trying different things in her shop is such a great experience. If I had of seen my dress on a website I probably wouldn’t have imagined it would suit me, but I loved it and I still love it.

Veil / headwear: Cathleen Jia 

Bride’s Shoes: Jo Mercer. I bought my shoes a year before for a totally different event and then they happened to work perfectly with my dress.

Rings: Ralf Fisch . Ralf is the real deal. He won’t try and sell you just anything . He is honest, very knowledgeable and brilliant at what he does. I really struggled with commercial jewellers and gushy shop assistants that would say ‘oh darling’ at any ring you put on your finger.

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Zimmerman and Shona Joy

Groom’s suit: MJ Bale

Bow ties / ties: MJ Bale

Catering: Spoonful. Ben and I happened to mention we loved the UK chef Ottolenghi. Turns out Melly knew him and so our theme was Jerusalem! We had so many great comments about the food and there was plenty of it!

Wines: Bulong Estate. All our wines came from Bulong in Yarra Junction, Victoria. Ben grew up there as a child before it was a winery. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a meaningful and quality wine list.

Stationery / Signage: Freya Magee

Entertainment: A Jazz band that was brought together by a friend of a friend

Transport: Just used our rich friends and families rides. LOL.

Honeymoon: The Daintree Eco Lodge. After the wedding, this was the most beautiful little haven. We felt like we were hiding in the jungle. One of the best decisions we made was coming here.

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