Real Wedding – Monica & Warren, Yarra Valley VIC
Real Wedding – Monica & Warren, Yarra Valley VIC

Real Wedding – Monica & Warren, Yarra Valley VIC


Beautiful bride Monica used her event planning experience to design a dream Stones of The Yarra Valley day.

Looking to simply complement their beautiful surrounds, elegant and rustic styling combined to create Monica and Warren’s sweet celebration and put on a night to remember for their loved ones.

Talented shutterbugs Duuet Photography captured the rustic romance perfectly.




The meeting.

We meet while working together at a Taekwondo centre about eight years ago. Warren was a head instructor and Taekwondo Olympian working full time. I was a part time employee working on reception and studying Business and events at VU. By working together we got to know a different side to one another which turned out to be a nice surprise! 

The ‘one’.

It took us longer than normal couples to work out our relationship due to us having a large age gap. I can’t remember the exact moment I knew I had found ‘the one’ but over time I knew I didn’t want to be with anyone else. 

The proposal.

As most people who know me will know, I am a HUGE control freak!!! So the fact that Warren managed to propose and I had no idea was a miracle. Like most couples we went ring shopping together and got some ideas, but when it was time to pick a diamond, unbeknownst to me, Warren and the jeweller had planned to advise me that the diamond I wanted wasn’t available and I needed to wait about two more months for another one. During this time Warren was planning the proposal. With no ring I thought there is no way he would propose.

We were supposed to be going down to the Bellarine Peninsula to have a look at ‘Baie Wines’ as a future wedding venue. When we arrived at Baie there was a little cabin on site that Warren’s friends had advised was available for a nights accommodation, so Warren convinced me we had to have a look. I was relunctant to go inside as I wasn’t sure we where allowed, as I approached the cabin and opened the door I realised there was a fire on, candles everywhere, flowers and champagne. Still I was looking around confused, as I turned around Warren was there holding my beautiful ring! I was in such shock I forgot to say yes for at least 10mins. He had organised for us to stay two nights and got my parents to pack me a bag with clothes, make up etc. His best man and wife where the ones who drove down and set up the beautiful cabin for us… what an amazing surprise! 

The planning.

The planning process was actually stressful but fun. As I had done a degree in events and worked for a few years organising weddings at a catering company in South Yarra, I thought, ‘surely this can’t be too hard’! What I didn’t realise was because I had seen so many different ideas from working in the industry I couldn’t make a decision and I wanted to change my mind constantly. Once the major things like venue, dress and theme where sorted I felt slightly more at ease. The staff at Stones where amazing as they do so many weddings it was easy to chat with them about our plans. 

I wouldn’t say we had a specific style, we just wanted to blend with the venue. It is such an amazing place we didn’t want to change it, more just complement it. I wanted something rustic but elegant and relaxed! I think we managed to get at least one of these… 

The dress.

As mentioned, my lack of decision-making was surely going to see me become a bridezilla, trying to find a dress I loved! To my surprise, I was very calm throughout most of the process.

I was so lucky that my mum had worked for over 5 years at Clegs making wedding dresses when we where younger, so of course she was going to make my dress. 

We went for one dress trial at a designer I liked, I picked a style and that was it, mum copied it as best as she could. We went fabric shopping at one shop, found the exact same lace and under garment and mum started to make it. It took her over six months to make the dress, as she to hand cut and appliqué all the lace onto the dress. After that, mum and her best friend (who is also a dressmaker and fashion teacher) hand sewed all the beads onto the front of my dress. It was such a special memory to see my dress come to life, stage by stage. So glad mum made it! 

Favourite moments. 

The whole day was pretty amazing and of course a bit of a blur as we where both on a high! One of my favourite parts was walking down the aisle, even though I was nervous, it was amazing to see everyone who we loved gathering together for us! 

Warren enjoyed the reception where we were able to just chill out and have a meal with friends and family. We both also enjoyed the photography part in-between the chapel and reception. As we only had one hour to get all the shots done it didn’t drag and was the perfect amount of time.


My family is Catholic, so mum and dad wanted us to get married in a church. Warren family is non-donomination, so they wanted us to have a celebrant. It took us a while but we came up with a compromise. We had a priest but got married in a chapel. The ceremony was short, but Catholic. I think it was the perfect combination for us and everyone was happy! 

Meaning of marriage. 

To us marriage is a life commitment, not just a one day celebration. 

Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiw’Ole

Reception entry: Dancing on the ceiling by Lionel Richie 

First dance: Stand by me by Ben E King

Funny stories (or near disasters).

The night before the wedding we went past the venue as we where having dinner next door and I saw another wedding set up. As I arrived I realised that I really wanted fairly lights to hang from the large wooden posts in the reception, but had forgot to arrange it. So the morning of the wedding I called the Stones, thinking they owned the fairly lights and if they could keep them up for me. To my surprise they said they didn’t and I needed to arrange it elsewhere. At 9am morning of the wedding I was manically calling suppliers to assist me with trying to get these fairy lights. After an hour of so I finally managed to find someone to set up the fairly lights, made payment and informed my other half that the credit card was being pushed just 1 final time! 

Planning surprises. 

There were no areas that took me by surprise as I kind of knew what process I needed to go though to get it all sorted, but I just don’t think I allowed myself enough time. I left a few things to the last minute and others I organised too early. It was more of a juggle then I thought, especially while trying to run a business and plan a wedding. Not sure what I was thinking…

Words of wisdom.

Get a wedding planner! If you can afford it then its worth it. But not for everything. 
Even though wedding planners are great still try to do somethings on your own so you can say ‘I did that’ when looking back over the day. It does feel good to know that you had a major organisational role in one of the biggest days of your life. 



The superb Stones of The Yarra Valley also played host to Robbie and Annabel’s big day – see it here



Location: Stones of the Yarra Valley

Celebrant/Officiant: Father Mark Reynolds

Photography and videography: Duuet

Styling: Bride and Sassafras Flower Design 

Florist: Sassafras Flower Design 

Hair: Diane Robertson 

Makeup: By Natasha 

The Dress: Mum – Italia Ascenzo

Veil / head wear: Mum – Italia Ascenzo

Accessories: Maria Elena Headpieces 

Shoes: Stuart Weitzman 

Rings: Simon West 

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Mum – Italia Ascenzo

Men’s suits: V & J Menswear 

Groom’s shoes: David Jones 

Cake / Cake topper: Stones of the Yarra Valley – Cheese Wheel Cake 

Stationery / Signage: The Printable Shop – Etsy 

Entertainment: The Baker Boys Band 

Transport: Uncle’s Valiant & Best Man’s Lamborghini 

Honeymoon: Bali and Europe

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