Real Wedding – Max & Kara, Coldstream VIC
For Kara and Max, it was the small moments that made the most impact on their beautiful wedding day. From the moment Kara caught sight of Max as she made her way down the aisle, to sharing the day with their families, and seeing her Dad so proud.
Similarly, the aesthetic impact of their day was all created through the carefully curated details. Florals in toffee hues, with natural grasses, provided textural tonality against classic roses in vanilla, blush, and musky peach, offset perfectly against the rich, velvety greens of the Italian Garden at Coombe Yarra Valley. Cocktails, a Champagne tower and a cleanly styled cake by Miss Ladybird Cakes added a touch of the contemporary, whilst stationery by divine designers State of Elliott reinforced the class.
Kara took classic bridal style to the next level in her Paolo Sebastian gown, with lace detailing, full tulle skirts and a thigh-high split. As the sun set on their stunning soiree and the newlyweds took a moment to reflect, she added a touch of cool with a monogrammed jacket. There to capture every sweet detail in visual harmony was our friend Jess from Fern and Stone photography.
Dive in to see how it all unfolded.
Max and I met in the summer of 2011, in Mornington, with my best friend and maid of honour and Max’s best man present. We were young and carefree, and that eventually turned into a date. Some ten years later, the rest was history.
I feel like we both knew we had something good and authentic. For me, I think I knew I found the one when I realised that our relationship was not a typical fight and make-up relationship. We are constantly on the same page. Hence, it was easy for me to feel years ago that he was the one for me.
Max proposed at the Mornington Peninsula lookout. Nine years earlier, we had just met at this spot. So, it was something special, and a moment I’ll never forget!
Max was constantly asked by everyone, “when are you going to propose?!” It was something we had talked about. Max really wanted us to build a life together before he proposed. And he really worked hard and saved up for such a beautiful ring. So, I am glad we did not rush into the whole getting engaged thing. It happened when life was going well for us both and, in hindsight, was totally worth the wait, especially to see him kneel down at that same place we had met.
Max proposed in March 2020, and we decided we did not want to wait a year or two to get married. We had been living together for four years, so we felt we were ready to dive in.
The process was a little overwhelming to start with, but once I had my Bride Tribe organiser book, I was able to tick things off easily in a short amount of time. I’m very meticulous in my work ethic, so I knew what I wanted and who I wanted to get the job done! It was simply a matter of asking. All our amazing suppliers were so easy to deal with, especially during a covid-19 period and swapping dates. They made it as effortless as possible.
I wanted something modern with a twist of classic and rustic. My colour palette was made up of ivory, blush and toffee. I’m a sucker for dried pampas, so I drew on those colours as my main inspiration for flowers, decor, bridesmaids dress colour and my gown. But I also took into account the rustic and amazing venue that is Coombe Yarra Valley. Both Max and I just fell in love with the timber ceiling, black large glass windows and concrete flooring. How could you not fall in love with a beautiful and historic venue with an Italian garden ceremony?
Like any girl, I had many designers in mind. But what drew me to Paulo Sebastian was his effortless design and the fact that all material and beading was made in Adelaide, from scratch, by his lovely team. For me, it wasn’t about price. It was about finding the right fit. As they say, you only get married once!
It was a very hands-on process from start to finish; from the tulle to the beading and stitching, it was all hand-sewn and stitched together on me.
I knew what I wanted – long sleeve, not too much bust but enough to show something. I wanted something with lace, but not all made from lace, so tulle worked best and was super light. I wanted something sheer and long-sleeved but able to see my skin, fishtail but not too much, and enough train to make a statement. From the initial discussion with Paul, he knew what was best for me and what he could achieve for my shape. I had full confidence in his talent. After all, he has been in numerous Milan and Paris fashion weeks and is globally recognised for his talent and styles.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and not being able to travel to Adelaide during mid-2020, I was not able to have my initial measurements taken in person. So, I enlisted one of my bridesmaids, and she absolutely nailed the measurements. With that, they then sent a marked-up calico which fit like a glove; then, they worked section by section starting from the base to the top.
I flew up to Adelaide on one occasion to try it on, and it was close to perfect. We decided to make some changes. We added a higher thigh-high split which really accentuated my curves, and also an additional silk belt that could come on and off. My overskirt consisted only of tulle. I didn’t want something heavy, and Paul was super confident that with my shape, it needed to be light as I was heavy busted, so we did not want to take away focus from the top.
Paul was absolutely amazing! He is amazingly talented and knows what works best, and he wouldn’t tell you something that wouldn’t look right just because he gets paid. He wanted me to be 100% comfortable and loving it.
He finished the dress with pearl back buttons and engraved K & M into my overskirt- which was a lovely personal touch!
My favourite moment was walking down the aisle and seeing Max for the first time that day, then realising that the sun had come out for us, as it was forecast to rain! Not a single drop came down.
The day was just magical, seeing everyone clapping and my dad being so proud to watch his little girl get married.
The fact that we planned a wedding during a pandemic and having our wedding postponed two times just made the day even more special for us, especially to be able to get married in front of our parents, families and friends. But most importantly, our eight grandparents. It was a moment I will never forget.
Meaning of marriage.
To us, marriage is a strong and healthy relationship built on the three C’s: communication, compromise and commitment to each other.
Aisle: A Thousand Years, sung live by Entertainment Collective with vocals by Madeline and Blasko
Reception entry: Seek Bromance. Max and I love this song. We met when this song was playing, so this was extra special to us.
First dance: Your Song, cover played by Boyce Avenue.
Exit song: Higher Love by Whitney Houston and Kygo
Funny stories or near disasters.
The most nerve-wracking thing was the Melbourne weather. We had an outdoor ceremony with no undercover shade as it was in an Italian garden. Therefore, if it rained, it just wouldn’t have been the same to have it inside the Art Gallery. That was the only thing I was anxious about.
COVID-19 was obviously on my mind, given we were supposed to get married during the five-day snap ‘stay at home order,’ which had caused us to postpone our wedding for the second time. So, I was just really hopeful that this was going to go ahead (third time’s a charm, right?!), and once that seemed certain, all felt much calmer.
It was really hard to keep things under wraps. Our families wanted to know about flowers, colours and styles. My Mum especially, as she only wanted the best for me and wanted to be a part of every decision. Being such an organised person in my professional and personal life, I knew what I wanted; thus, I didn’t feel like input was required from everyone at every opportunity.
At the end of the day, it is your wedding, and it’s about what you collectively want. We are so glad we made it that way, as it does really stress you out. Everybody wants to know your business. But that gives them a reason to talk, and there is no element of surprise if they know every detail of your wedding. So, best to keep things under wraps to allow for better excitement on the day!
Words of wisdom.
Create lists for every supplier, refer to your organiser book, and make a list for your family to help out. Delegate what each person will take home after the wedding, so nothing important is left behind. For instance: leftover cake, wishing well, gifts, flowers etc.
Attention to detail is everything!
Most importantly, have fun and be present on the day, so you enjoy it! The more planning you do, the more seamlessly the day will go, and you will feel so accomplished and fulfilled when everyone says this is amazing or magical. You will absolutely enjoy every second of your day even more, as it does go so fast!
Feeling a little overwhelmed in the lead up to your wedding? Or, perhaps you’ve just began planning, but want to avoid those last-minute stress sessions? We have the perfect little guide to set you up for more calm, less calamity, in the days before you say I Do.
MAX & KARA’S VENDORS
Ceremony location: Italian garden at Coombe Yarra Valley
Reception venue: Coombe Yarra Valley
Celebrant & MC: Dean Sindoni. An absolute pocket rocket, Dean did my brother’s wedding ceremony some seven years ago now.
Photography: Jess from Fern and Stone Photography
Videography: Richard from ProEye Video (referred to by family)
Florist: Youki from Sugarbee Flowers, Coldstream
Hair: Rachel from RL Hairstylist
Make-up: Katia Amerena
The dress & veil: Paulo Sebastian in Adelaide
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Rings: The Diamond Guys
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Hexie
Cake: Miss Ladybird Cakes. Ah-mazing!!
Stationery / Signage: State of Elliot
Entertainment: Mercury DJ. Thanks, Daneil and Kenny.
Transport: Enrik Limousines. Thanks, Peter and Michael (if you need an additional bridesmaid, Michael is your MAN!)
Honeymoon: Piermont, East Coast Tasmania