Real Wedding – Monique & Andrew, Yarra Valley VIC
Real Wedding – Monique & Andrew, Yarra Valley VIC

Real Wedding – Monique & Andrew, Yarra Valley VIC

On one of Summer’s stormiest days, a beautiful barn ceremony and amazing sunset set the scene for Monique and Andrew’s Yarra Valley celebration.

The heavens may have opened, but the rain failed to dampen the newlywed’s spirits as they celebrated with their nearest and dearest.

The weather Gods may have had some tricks up their sleeve, but for photographer Laura, of Perla Photography, it simply meant some picture-perfect magic could be captured.


In their words…

The meeting.

We first met whilst working at Coles supermarkets in 2006, both working on the same nights.

The ‘one’.

It was probably a few months in to our relationship that we realised we were for each other. We became inseparable and did everything together. We spent so much time together that we didn’t like spending any time apart, so much so that individual holidays were cut short to be back with each other.

The proposal.

Christmas Day, 2011. Andrew had planned to propose on an upcoming holiday to the Sunshine Coast in January 2012 but after holding on to the ring for six weeks, Andrew decided that an engagement ring would be the best present you could get and proposed at the family home.

The planning.

We had just under a year from the time we booked a venue to the date of our wedding and in that time we had also just purchased a house and were planning renovations. Our main goal was to try and get all the major items of the wedding (photographer, band, video etc) sorted first and then start to focus on the smaller but still as important things like styling, invites and dresses/suits. Whilst it proved to be stressful we did end up having a couple of weeks before the wedding where everything was ready to go and we could relax somewhat and enjoy the build up to the day with our friends and family.

Style inspiration.

When we were looking for wedding venues we got to Zonzo and knew it was the place. The feeling we got whilst we were there gave us the confidence that we could have the relaxed wedding we were after. We didn’t have a particular ‘style’ but looked for individual things that we liked and tried to ensure they would work well together.

The dress.

Finding the right dress started with Monique looking at countless amounts of dresses online to determine the style she liked. Once she knew the style she was after, it only took visiting a handful of designer dresses until she fell in love with Jane Hill Bridal’s designs. “Luca” was the dress that evoked the most excitement and felt amazing on. It was a floor length, sheath style dress with V-neckline and back. It had an oyster lining that emphasised the detailed, intricate and beautiful white french lace. The sleeves were a sheer with some of the lace running up them. It was very comfortable to wear despite it being a hot and humid day- Monique could comfortably walk, sit, dance, squat down, jump onto a fence and go to the toilet! The dress attracted so many compliments it was overwhelming!!

Favourite moments.

There was no one favourite moment of the day as the day as a whole was unbelievable. We did experience torrential rain in the two days leading up to and during our ceremony, however once it stopped raining the sky opened up and we were provided with the most magical light (rich tones of pink, yellow, orange). Our guests were able to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful views and sunset, and we were blessed with the most amazing wedding photos we could have ever imagined. That moment when the weather turned around was definitely a highlight of the day.


We are not really traditionalists but we did have a tree planting ritual during the ceremony. We combined the soil from each of our childhood homes into the pot of a Woolami Pine Tree to symbolise that our love will continue to grow like the tree will if you nurture and look after it. We have since planted the pine in the backyard of our first home together.

Meaning of marriage.

After being in a committed defacto relationship for 10+ years, and engaged for five of those years, marriage itself wasn’t going to change much for us. The wedding/ getting married was more about having a great celebration with our family and friends celebrating our love and making a commitment to each other.

Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle – I won’t let you go by James Morrison

Signing – Say you won’t go by James Arthur

Reception Entry – I got this feeling by Justin Timberlake

First Dance – Latch by Disclosure ft Sam Smith

Funny stories (or near disasters).

The weather, OMG. We got married on December 29th, 2016 which was they day it poured down. We were lucky enough to get some photos at home before the rain started and in the cars on the way to the ceremony we could barely see out the windows. Roads were flooding and the whole time we were thinking, why us? Why now? It’s the middle of summer and it starts to pour. Everyone made it to the ceremony safely and relatively dry. The rain started to ease but just as the ceremony was about to start it started again and the tin roof of the barn made it sound even louder. We managed to get through the ceremony even though there were times when we couldn’t hear Cherie (celebrant) talking. The funny thing about the weather is that there was the same downpour on the day we got engaged in 2011 (again it was the middle of Summer). But that’s us, we go with the flow and battle the challenges that are presented to us. Everything turned out ok and we were able to get some amazing photos.

Planning surprises?

We were surprised by how much planning there actually is to get everything sorted. Before you start you think it will be kind of easy choosing a band etc but you don’t think about the setbacks, bands can be booked, people can fall ill and being the holiday season some people choose not to work but the biggest surprise was on the actual day its self and how quick it went. There is so much happening, so many people to say hi to and you kind of forget where you are, you don’t really take in that it’s your wedding and before you know it you’re saying goodbye to everyone.

Words of wisdom.

When planning your wedding get both the bride and groom equally involved. We have heard stories of mainly the bride taking on all the responsibility and its puts too much pressure on one person. We equally planned the wedding and were able to reduce the amount of stress one person carried, we bounced ideas off each other and were able to help each other out when it seemed like it was getting too hard. Another thing is, don’t renovate at the same time. Whilst we were able to get it done we believe that the wedding planning would have been much more enjoyable had that been our soul focus.

Last words…

We just want to again give some praise to all of our suppliers, they were all fantastic and made the planning so easy for us. They all provided a very professional service and it was evident that they knew what they were doing. A special mention to Laura at Perla Photography who was not only our photographer but also provided us with some advice on creating a schedule for how the day should run going beyond the duties of a photographer and also to Lauren from Zonzo who also provided us with advice on running the day, examples of what had previously worked well at Zonzo and what hadn’t and constantly being on the go so we could be as relaxed as possible. If you like a vineyard wedding then Perla and Zonzo are a great combo!




Forecast not in your favour? Don’t let wet weather on your big day get you down. See how Meg and Pip’s winter wonderland came together here.





Ceremony and reception location: Zonzo Estate – the perfect venue for us

Celebrant: Cherie Curlis – warm, friendly and put together a fantastic ceremony

Photography: Perla Photography – nothing short of AMAZING!

Videography: Stu Art Video Productions – made us feel very comfortable with being filmed and we are very happy with the quality and editing of our highlights and full video produced

Styling: Zonzo

Florist: Flowers of Yarra Glen – created a beautiful display of florals to our budget and tastes

Hair and makeup: Krystal (K Image Hair) and Cynthia (CH Makeup Artist)  – These two ladies are legends! They stepped up last minute (day of the wedding) to help do the brides and some of the bridesmaids hair and makeup due to the original hair and MUA being unwell.

The Dress: Jane Hill Bridal – Luca gown

Veil / head wear: Anna Campbell 

Jewellery/Accessories: Samantha Wills

Shoes: Nine West

Rings: Katie-Rose Jewellery 

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Wayne Cooper Events

Meanswear: Menzclub

Catering: Zonzo Estate

Cake: Her Royal Icing

Stationery: Ebony Parker

Entertainment: Lark Music – fantastic band, sounded great on the night, learnt our songs and the guests couldn’t stop raving on how good they were.

Transport: Guest were transported via Jay Tee Coaches

Honeymoon: Bali

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