Real Wedding – Natalie & Luke, Warrandyte VIC
Natalie and Luke took a casual approach to wedding planning, feeling there was no need to rush decisions and instead did careful, thought-out research.
Finding their perfect venue, they kept to a natural and rustic look using lots of green foliage, embracing the old timber barn and exposed red brick walls as well as having lawn games for their guests.
Their ceremony was a hit with Erin of Sweet Wonderful You at the helm, and as they walked down the aisle to their happily ever after they were excited to be greeted by their much loved guests.
Sneaking away at sunset for ‘golden hour’ with Tribe talent Kyra Boyer proved to their favourite moment, and through their imagery we are sure you can see why!
In Nat’s words…
I met Luke during my first job at McDonald’s when I was 15, Luke was 17. Luke was always really REALLY nice to me and was just always there (but not in a creepy way!). He would always bring me fries when I was stuck at the order-takers window in drive-thru where I couldn’t leave my perch! Luke will tell you now that he always knew “food was the way to my heart.”
I started to find that our shifts commonly aligned, a coincidence, I’m still not sure, but I soon found myself unintentionally checking his roster to see if that ‘nice boy’ was also working my shift.
I don’t remember there being a specific moment where I knew he was ‘the one.’ I was young and hadn’t felt what it was like to be in love before. For me it just felt right and super easy to be around Luke. If I didn’t see him for a few days, I missed him. It was probably the moment realising that I could be my most absolute comfortable and quirky self with Luke, that I knew he was definitely ‘the one.’
Luke and I are pretty active and love getting out in nature and exploring new places. Luke was really keen to go hiking in the Cathedral Ranges National Park in Victoria and decided July would be the perfect time. I couldn’t understand why he wanted to go in the midst of winter so I kept suggesting we should save this hike for the spring. Luke was persistent and convinced me we should go so we packed our bags and set off for the day. The leg of the hike he chose turned out to be really steep and rocky and all I did was complain the whole time. When we finally reached our viewpoint, the very romantically named ‘Jawbone peak,’ Luke got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was perfect and very ‘us.’ There was certainly no more complaining from me after that!
We took a casual approach early on in our wedding planning as we both felt we didn’t want to rush, but we also didn’t realise the wait that a lot of venues had. We picked out a couple venues that we both liked the look of and booked in some venue inspections. We only visited one, before finding The Farm Yarra Valley which we fell in love with straight away. Being the last of three girls in my family to get married I had learnt a lot about wedding planning, having been to quite a few wedding expos and also experiencing first hand the talented teams that had put together my sister’s own ‘Yarra Valley’ wedding. With our wedding in the same area, we started with these contacts and found all our amazing vendors from there. With everything locked in we then had about an eight month period of not needing to do anything, which felt strange, then there was a lot of planning that needed to be finalised in the last month. This was a little stressful but with the support of my bridesmaids and amazing vendors it all came together perfectly. I also made sure we had a running sheet on the big day to make sure everything was on track, right down to the early morning coffee run – probably the MOST important job on the list!
We didn’t really have a theme or style in mind. After picking our venue we just wanted to keep with the natural and ‘rustic’ look that this venue already offers. Think red brick walls, antique fixtures, lots of green foliage, an old timber barn and lawn games! We just wanted our wedding to be relaxed and fun, whatever that style might be!
I started following some wedding dress designers on Instagram and found that I really liked the dresses by Karen Willis Holmes. I went to Karen Willis Holmes in Armadale early on in my dress searching and instantly loved her dresses. I still felt I needed to do some more searching just to see what else was out there, but of course ended straight back where I started! The ladies at Karen Willis Holmes were so lovely and didn’t rush me to choose a dress like some of the other dress shops I had visited did. At another store, the shop assistant had told me if I liked this particular dress I had to order it from her today! I fell in love with two Karen Willis Holmes gowns and almost literally had to flip a coin to decide, but in the end I fell more in love with ‘Bobby.’
Luke found his perfect suit and our groomsmen’s suits at MenzClub in South Yarra. We can’t recommend these guys more highly. We actually found suit shopping the most overwhelming part of our wedding planning. There were so many opinions on whether the groomsmen should match the groom, what colour should the ties be? To have pocket squares? Button holes?… BUT, the suits must compliment the bridesmaid dresses? Bouquet colours?…But they must not clash!! Christian and Matt at MenzClub were relaxed and inventive and basically told us to go with our gut – I’m so glad we did!
If I had to pick it would probably be ‘golden hour’. The beautiful moment where Luke and I got to escape at sunset (with our photographer and videographer in tow, of course!), and just enjoy our first moments alone as husband and wife. We then got to look back at our venue up on a hill, across the vineyard, and see all our family and friends hanging out together and just having fun. Such a surreal moment!
Meaning of marriage.
For us marriage means having a best friend and a teammate for life. It means always being on each other’s side, loving and supporting each other no matter what life throws our way. It’s doing big adventurous things together, but also doing life’s littlest things together.
All songs performed by Waves duo (Sarah and Joey)
Aisle: I get to love you by Ruelle
Ceremony/signing: Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran and Fire and the Flood by Vance Joy
Recessional: Crazy little thing called love by Queen
Reception entry: Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson
First Dance: Stand by me by Ben E King
Reception/farewell: Home by Edward Sharpe and the magnetic zeros
Funny stories (or near disasters).
During our ceremony the world’s biggest bull ant decided to crawl up the back of my dress. My family in the front row spotted it and watched in horror as it worked it’s way up my dress getting pretty close to my bare back. My dad swung into action, flicking it quickly off me but straight in the direction of my bridesmaids!! There were a few screams at the time but looking back through our photos at this moment, the looks on our guests faces are hilarious!
Luke and I had planned not to do a first dance but changed our minds about one week out, so we weren’t very prepared! We had managed to practice a few moves and spins and thought to ourselves ‘we’d be right!’. On the night, right before the dance my bridesmaids frantically tried to tie my dress train up but couldn’t find the loop to tie it. I had to whisper to Luke “ABORT ALL SPINS” which made for more of an awkward sway than a dance. It was still a beautiful moment so we had no regrets!
How time consuming the whole process is! If you are an indecisive person (like me) and like to thoroughly research all your options, be prepared and start your planning early.
Words of wisdom.
Enjoy the ride – you only get to do it once!
Don’t worry so much about the little things – they might seem like the most important decisions at the time, but on the day people won’t notice.
Do what you want to do, and try not to be influenced by others opinions.
Make sure you take a moment to stop, just the two of you, and take it all in- the day does go fast!
If your budget allows, we highly recommend getting a videographer, as well as your photographer. You’ll have the most beautiful memories, including the memories you missed on the day because you can’t be everywhere at once!
Nicole and Ben’s sweet celebration is another Yarra Valley beauty, so get scrolling for some inspiration.
NATALIE & LUKE’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: The Farm Yarra Valley – This venue is flawless and has the most amazing wedding coordinator ‘Anthea’ who can read the rain radar like an absolute pro!! Anthea and the amazing team at the farm made planning our wedding easy and we could completely relax on the big day knowing everything was planned to perfection.
Celebrant/Officiant: Erin McMahon of Sweet Wonderful You – We knew right from the start after meeting Erin that our ceremony would be perfect! Erin made us feel so calm and relaxed, delivering a ceremony that was fun, full of love and just completely ‘us.’ Erin is a gem and absolutely ‘WONDERFUL’ at what she does!
Photography: Kyra Boyer – We are so in love with our wedding photos captured so perfectly by the lovely Kyra and would recommend her to anyone still looking for their wedding day photographer. Her photography style is natural, candid and every photo she took of our day was perfect.
Videography: Moon and Back – We are incredibly grateful to have had Leo and Steph from Moon and Back capture our day. Watching our video we have laughed, we have cried and feel so thankful to have these memories to remember forever. If you are looking for a videographer, we highly recommend the guys at moon and back.
Styling: We did most of the styling ourselves, which Anthea at the farm helped us pull together on the day. Let’s be honest, this venue really didn’t need much styling to be more beautiful than it already is!
Florist: Sugar Bee Flowers – Our floral arrangement and bouquets by Youki and her team were absolutely stunning and so much prettier than we had imagined! She even sent me a sneak peak the day before to make sure I was happy with the colours. Thank you, Youki.
Hair and make-up: Nine Grange Hair & Beauty
The Dress(es): Karen Willis Holmes
Shoes: Nine West
Rings: All Diamonds
Bride’s Jewellery: Nicole Fendel
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy
Menswear: Menz Club
Catering: The Farm Yarra Valley
Favours: Beers Brewed by the Bride and Groom at The Public Brewery (Croyden) – This was so fun!!!
Cake: The Farm Yarra Valley
Stationery / Signage: Mickey Loves Jacqui Letterpress
Mickey and Jacqui were both so lovely to work with and created the perfect ‘save the dates’ and invitations for our day. They were excited about our colour schemes and we were so happy with the final product!
Entertainment: Waves Duo – Sarah and Joey are an incredibly talented duo. We had so many compliments on the day about how good our music was! They switched seamlessly between romantic ceremony songs, to chilled canape/reception vibes then had everyone up on our dance floor at the end of the night.
Transport: Urban Chauffeur Cars Melbourne