Real Wedding – Lauren & Rhys, Red Hill VIC
Real Wedding – Lauren & Rhys, Red Hill VIC
Real Wedding – Lauren & Rhys, Red Hill VIC
Real Wedding – Lauren & Rhys, Red Hill VIC

Real Wedding – Lauren & Rhys, Red Hill VIC



Ever-shifting COVID restrictions could not diminish the on-the-day delight for Lauren & Rhys’ simply stunning celebration. Choosing a timeless theme of black and white with liberal lashings of class created the perfect foundation for their romantic, moody styling.

We love the authentic excitement that shines through in every photo, from the boys kicking off their morning with a celebratory champagne to the girls relishing their glam. Lauren’s inspired choice to cut her long hair into a super stylish lob the morning of the wedding was merely the final touch on her glowing get-up.

Tribe superstar Katie Harmsworth was a natural choice to capture the sophistication and fun to perfection. From the candid, joy-filled ceremony to dramatically dynamic late-night portrait shots, this is one day filled with beauty and emotion.

There to kick the celebrations from delightful to decadent were legends of the dance floor, The White Tree.

The meeting.

Six years ago, I walked into our mutual friend’s house and saw a hottie standing in the kitchen. He greeted me with a very friendly hello and a sparkle in his eye.

I found out that he was actually one of my best friend’s partner’s brother, and I could not believe I had never met him. I asked where they had been hiding him all this time!

We spent the night talking about just stuff, and I knew then he was special. It took another two and a half years for us to end up together.


The ‘one’.

I had never been in a serious relationship before, so I knew from the moment I met him (so long ago) that there was something different about him. It was very early on in our relationship that I knew I loved him, but I waited longer to say it. I suppose I really knew when I had succumbed to the spooning and needing his nook to fall asleep in, whereas previously I hated having to share my bed and wouldn’t sleep very well.


The proposal.

We were away in New Zealand for our brother in law and sister in law’s wedding, in beautiful Wanaka. I had been on Rhys’ case for quite some time to propose to me but had also told him not to propose to me in New Zealand, so I was confident that he wouldn’t. But it was two days after the wedding, and Rhys had organised a helicopter trip to the Isabel Glacier via a stop at Coromandel Peak first, where he got down on one knee and proposed! It was pretty epic and something I’ll remember forever.


Style inspiration. 

We love wine and wineries, and they are a big part of our lives; with Rhys’ parents owning and running a small boutique vineyard. We also originally had wanted a destination wedding in Italy but chose to have it in Victoria to make it more accessible to family, including Rhys’ Grandpa who is 100 years old. We love spending time in Red Hill, and it ticked all our boxes, so although still in Victoria it was our “destination wedding” where we could spend an extended time down there in a big house with the bridal party and their partners. The theme we were going with was a classy, romantic & moody vibe but also an inclusive, relaxed vibe.


The outfit. 

I had booked an appointment into a Galia Lahav Trunk Show (I highly recommend the trunk show experience!), but I had no plans on purchasing a dress that day. It was actually the first time I was trying on dresses; we didn’t even have a date for the wedding or venue booked at that stage. It was a two-hour appointment, and I think I tried on seven dresses, and the last one I just fell in love with so I bought it! That really kicked our planning into gear.


Favourite moments.

Given the circumstances, with the Covid restrictions only being put in place that week and the uncertainty of whether the wedding would go ahead (even up until the day), we seriously both enjoyed all of it; it’s really hard to pick a particular moment. We absorbed every second of it. I’m a bit of a control freak, and beforehand I was planning everything to be perfect. When the restrictions started I had to let go of control of pretty much everything and just go with it, so we were so grateful for every moment.


Meaning of marriage.

Marriage, to me, is committing to each other your love and support forever and becoming one on your life journey.


Wedding soundtrack.

We had the amazing Tobi Tobi for the ceremony! They played the following tunes:

Aisle: Simply the Best by Tina Turner

Signing: Always Remember Us This Way by Lady Gaga

Recessional: You Got It by Roy Orbison


Reception entry (bridal party): Sail (instrumental version) by Awolnation

Reception entry (the newlyweds): Feel The Love by Rudimental

First dance: Fall At Your Feet by Boy and Bear


Funny stories or near disasters.

Oh goodness, it was such a stressful week leading up to the day. The day we were heading down to Red Hill (the Wednesday), announcements on the restrictions started. The first phase limited people at weddings to 100. We had 112 guests invited, and the 100 person limit included suppliers and wait staff etc. So, we had to cut the list down to 80 guests (2 days before the wedding!).

I had two make-up artists booked to do eight people in total. On Wednesday morning the make-up artists who was to do my make-up cancelled. The second make-up artist, Anna, was still happy to come, so I shifted her to do my make-up, which turned out great actually! I was very happy with Anna’s work. I still needed another make-up artist to cover four people. My very good friend was kind enough to come and save the day and also did such an awesome job.

On the day, it rained, and there was no wet weather plan for the ceremony! Wet weather was not in the plan. Apparently, a pandemic wasn’t enough, and the 5% chance of rain just had to eventuate into real rain! Again, our photographer was pretty prepared with a rain app, and she could see when it was going to clear. She said we would have 30 minutes – sure enough, she was right! The sun even came out as I was coming down the aisle and during the ceremony. We made it through the ceremony and family portraits when it started to rain again, but the buses were scheduled to leave anyway to take the guests to our reception venue.

During the ceremony, the resident cat decided to join the bridal party and quite liked the look of my dress and decided to attempt to sit on my train (eek!); not once but twice! But all good, it disappeared pretty quickly, and my dress remained in one piece!

We were very lucky to have been turned off to the outside world on the day of the wedding, as either during the ceremony or reception there had been another announcement that the restrictions for weddings were to be moved to 50 people! We felt extremely lucky that we just made it.


Planning surprises.

Yes, deposits! Of course, I was expecting to spend money on the wedding, but I was blissfully unaware prior to starting that yes, suppliers want deposits! A lot of them (the majority of them) require a decent chunk, so you’re spending most of the money in the early planning stage. Some suppliers provide payment plans which was quite helpful.


Words of wisdom.

I read this a lot while I was planning and didn’t listen, which is funny that I’m now going to repeat it, but really – don’t sweat the small stuff, and try not to want to control everything. No one will remember the fine details (except yourself), they’ll remember the vibe and the good time. And on the day, you also won’t care about the finer details; you’ll be buzzing on the love feeling. My sister in law (who is also one of my best friends) said to me many times leading up that the amount of love you feel on the day is quite overwhelming, and she was not wrong. Soak it up, because that feeling is quite amazing!

Weddings are expensive, so work out your budget early and prioritise your list on what is most important, so you can work your budget towards that. For us, the most important thing was capturing the day, so we started with our photographer and her availability and went from there.

A recovery session is a must! It’s an opportunity to keep the celebrations going but a little more low-key where you can really relax and have plenty of drinks and enjoy everyone’s company.



Inspired by Lauren and Rhys’ intricate planning? We’ve got all the tools to make the lead-in to your incredible day more relaxed reverie than stressed sleeplessness! Check out our digital planning tools, here.



Ceremony venue: Panton Vineyard, Shoreham. Karen, the owner, was a delight to deal with. Nothing was too much trouble, she went out of her way to accommodate us and offered unbiased opinions, and really is just a genuinely lovely person!

Reception venue: Port Phillip Estate, Red Hill South. Rachel was our event planner, and her professionalism was next to none! Again, with the very strange and ever-evolving COVID situation, Rachel worked with us to change the plans with guest numbers, table seating, removal of tables, and so much more, all while remaining so calm and with a no-fuss attitude. All the staff from Port Phillip Estate were amazing and made all our guests feel safe with all the precautions they put in place; making hand sanitiser very accessible, staff manning the toilets cleaning after each use. It was so professional that you didn’t even notice that it was something out of the norm.

The food, the wine and the venue were ten out of ten!

Celebrant: Kate Morgan. Kate had all the guests engaged throughout the whole ceremony and gave it a very personal but relaxed touch, which is what we were after.

Photography: Katie Harmsworth. Katie was our favourite supplier; extremely professional and organised. Her experience and creativity really shone through and captured the whole vibe of us. The photo process with the bridal party, which is usually a tiring and drawn out event, was really fun and efficient. The collateral we received post-wedding exceeded our expectations, and we really loved the 15-minute cinematic slideshow Katie created for us as the pre-cursor to the full set of photos, it blew us away!

Videography: Tango Films. We were so happy that we chose Tango Films. They captured the mood, all the funnies, the music, the environment and the perspective of the venues, and put it together in a very impressive package. They were very unobtrusive on the day, allowing them to capture some magical moments and a very natural vibe. We have been watching the films over and over again since we received them.

Florist: Studio by Fleur. Fleur’s flowers were of an impeccable standard. The brief was classy, white and green, and she delivered crisp, clean, seriously impressive arrangements while also taking into consideration their placing and functionality.

Hair: Marie Uva. I’ve been going to Uva Salon for many years, and I had also had Marie do my hair for my 30th, so I was pretty set on using Marie for the wedding. At my trial, I had mentioned that I had been thinking about cutting my hair short on the day of the wedding, and Marie was a little nervous to start but fully jumped on board quite quickly and really nailed it on the day. Marie works really quickly but of a high standard and makes you feel quite relaxed. I was extremely happy with my hair as well as the bridesmaid’s hair

Make-up: Anna Ceddia from The Hair & Makeup Group and Natalie Burgess MUA. I was so so happy with how all the make-up turned out on day considering the last-minute changes to plans. Anna did an amazing job on my make-up. It stayed on all day, and I didn’t need any touch-ups throughout the day.

My beautiful friend Nat came to the rescue to help with the make-up. Nat came in relaxed and ready to go and talked through colours with Anna before starting, and the result was amazing! All the girls matched, even though there were two MUAs.

The dress: Galia Lahav via Eternal Bridal.

Shoes: Harlo Wedding Shoes Australia

Rings: Paul Bram. The lovely Saranda from Paul Bram helped us with my wedding band from choosing through to picking it up. She was very attentive and really great to deal with.

For Rhys’ ring, we had our very good friend Emily Drummond, a Gold/Silversmith, make his ring. Emily also designed and made my earrings for the day, which I was absolutely in love with and had a lot of comments on. I really enjoyed the working with Em throughout the design process; it was quite fun.

Bridesmaid’s dresses: White Runway.  The bridesmaids wore the Luna Gown by Nookie

Groom’s suit: Briggins. We used Briggins for Rhys’ custom-made suit, which included an Italian velvet tux jacket. The experience for each appointment was great with offers of coffees and beers. The suit was a hit and attracted lots of comments.

Groomsmen’s suit: Formal Red. We hired the groomsmen’s suits for a great price for the service provided. It included alterations to match their measurements. The staff were professional and easy to deal with, which made it a no-stress experience.

Cake: We opted for a less traditional option with no cake and were planning to have a massive Cheese Table (11kgs worth!), from Harper & Blohm. Olivia, the owner, was also great given the circumstances and having to change the plans from a big cheese table set up and working with Port Phillip to provide an alternative arrangement that was safe. The cheese was amazing, and we were very happy to have leftovers for the Recovery Session the next day, and it was an absolute hit.

Stationery / Signage: Creatif Agency. One of my good friends designed invitations, seating chart, ceremony welcome sign, reception welcome sign, table numbers, menus & place cards. Cristy nailed the brief I gave her with very minimal changes required from the first draft she presented.

Entertainment: Tobi Tobi music. Renee and Jamie played for our ceremony and canapes. We’ve been following Tobi Tobi on Instagram for quite some time and knew before we were even engaged that we needed them to play at our wedding, so we secured them very early on in the planning phase. They were the sweetest people, and we felt so blessed to have them play at our wedding, adding to the vibe we were after.

The White Tree. The White Tree played from when guests were being seated and accommodated the space we were in (as in Port Phillip the dining space is removed from the cellar door where the party happens post-dinner) and worked perfectly. Their sets really matched the stage of reception, and once it got to the dance floor, everyone was up and about.

We received such positive feedback on the music throughout the whole wedding from so many guests, so we highly recommend both Tobi Tobi and The White Tree band.

Transport: Triple R Luxury Cars. We used Triple R Cars for the bridal transport to the ceremony and then to Port Phillip Estate, and the whole service was professional. Our driver was a delight to deal with; he was very considerate and calming.

Ventura Bus Lines. We used Ventura Bus lines to transport guests from their accommodation to the venues and back home. They were easy to deal with and organising the route, and happily adapted to the last minute changes that needed to be made.

Honeymoon: We had booked Yasawa Island Resort in Fiji and were due to depart the following Monday. However, due to international travel being shut down, we were unable to go, so we spent our honeymoon at home and called it our CoronaMoon.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to make there one day soon, as we were very much looking forward to it.

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