Real Wedding – Rachel & Todd, Red Hill VIC
There was something ethereal in the beauty of Rachel and Todd’s Red Hill wedding day.
From Rachel’s elegant ensemble – a stunning simple silhouette Jane Hill gown, accompanied by a striking Viktoria Novak crown, to the architecturally impressive Port Phillip Estate – perfection reigned supreme over this classic and chic celebration.
A touch of gold, moody-hued blooms and traditional Jewish celebrations, everything pointed to this day being a winner.
Dan Brannan took charge in the photography stakes, and has captured it beautifully.
In Rachel’s words…
It was 2013 through a mutual friend at Boutique nightclub in Prahran. I was living on the other side of the city at the time, so I had never been to Boutique, however Todd was frequently there most Saturday nights. I definitely think it was fate crossing paths that night. We hit it off instantly and the rest is history.
We were two years into our relationship and decided to have a break from the relationship. After two months apart we both realised we couldn’t live without each other and decided to rekindle the relationship. From then on we knew we were meant to be together.
It was during a three-week trip to California, Belize and Mexico in July 2018. Todd had asked my parents before we left for their permission to propose and my dad suggested he propose at our last stop which was Tulum, Mexico as it’s so beautiful. Todd however was very nervous about the proposal, so ended up doing it on our first stop which was Zion National Park. We started hiking at 6am to try and miss the crowds, however unfortunately the hiking trail was so busy and there was no place along the way that we could get a quiet few moments. Finally at the end of the trail we sat down to have something to eat and while I was unpacking the backpack he got down on one knee and proposed. After we got back from the hike, he had organised massages at our tent which was very romantic.
We both knew that we wanted to get married at either a winery or in Byron Bay. We knew Byron Bay would be a logistical nightmare with our elderly grandparents, so we decided a winery in Victoria would be the best option. We visited a few wineries, however we had been to Port Phillip Estate many times for special occasions so knew it was very beautiful and definitely what we both envisaged. They didn’t have any available dates for us in March, however ended up having a cancellation and were able to give us the date we wanted.
Simple and elegant. We didn’t want anything too over the top, as Port Philllip Estate’s architectural beauty speaks for itself. We also included touches of gold and a moody colour palette for our flowers, which ended up suiting the weather perfectly.
Jane Hill was the first designer I went to. Their dresses were stunning, however there was nothing that was perfect for me so I kept looking around. I ended up going back a few weeks later after trying a few other dresses on and described to Jen at Jane Hill exactly what I was wanting. She told me that they had a new collection coming out for brides in May 2019 and the samples had just come back from the shoot in Byron Bay. She didn’t want to show me at first, given she wasn’t sure whether I could actually get the dress, however she said she would see what she could do for me. When I tried it on it was absolutely perfect! It was everything I had imagined an luckily she made it work. I was so lucky to be the first bride to wear the ‘Blake’ dress and was very appreciative that Jane Hill made it work for me. I also knew I always wanted to wear a Viktoria Novak crown on my wedding day, so I flew up to Sydney to try on her whole collection. After narrowing it down to a few, I picked the Ana Rosa crown which complimented my dress perfectly.
Getting ready and the Bedeken. As we only had a Maid of Honour and Best Man, I asked my mother in law and two sister in-laws to get ready at Port Phillip Estate with my mum, sister and I. We had such a nice day, having lunch, getting ready and just hanging out all together before the ceremony and reception. It was so nice to spend time with my family and my new family.
We also included a traditional Jewish Bedeken prior to the ceremony, as Todd comes from a Jewish background. A Bedeken is a ceremony completed before the larger ceremony, where usually only immediate family is in attendance. During this ceremony, Todd is to confirm that he is marrying the woman of his heart’s desire. It is also a time to reflect on our past and future before the wedding ceremony. This was the first time Todd and I had seen each other in a week, as we had spent a week apart which is also a Jewish tradition. It was a very special way to see each other for the first time in a week.
Meaning of marriage.
Unconditional love and spending the rest of your life with your best friend.
Ceremony (family, bridal party and groom and parents) – Canon in D (strings)
Ceremony (bride and parents) – Bittersweet Symphony (strings)
First dance: I love you always forever by Donna Lewis
Final song: You can call me Al by Paul Simon
Funny stories (or near disasters).
Todd’s family stayed in Mount Martha the night before the wedding. Todd’s dad was meant to come down after work and bring all the suits and dresses for the wedding. Unfortunately the wrong car was driven down which didn’t have all the suits and dresses, so a quick dash back to Melbourne was required. Luckily it was the night before the wedding, not the day of.
We also ended up having the coldest day in March in 41 years. Definitely not what we were expecting for a March wedding, so had to move our ceremony inside which was bit of a shame however we still had the most incredible day and our guests were grateful they didn’t have to sit through an outdoors ceremony in the freezing cold.
I didn’t realise how far in advance everything needed to be booked. We got engaged in July 2018 and our wedding was in March 2019, so we found it hard finding suppliers as some are booked out years in advance. Luckily most of suppliers we wanted were available. The cost of the wedding was also a surprise. Everything is so expensive! I ended up sourcing quite a few items through Etsy which kept costs lower.
Words of wisdom.
Keep calm and don’t let things get to you. You need to remember that the day is about the two of you and no one else, so don’t stress the small things. We had the worst day in terms of weather, however we still had such an incredible day. People always remember the yummy food, drinks, music and fun they had, not the bad weather.
Wedding weather woes – don’t let them cloud your day. Here are some top tips for navigating Mother Nature and her many moods.
RACHEL & TODD’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: Port Phillip Estate, Red Hill
Celebrant/Officiant: Keren Loyer – she is such a warm and friendly person who specialises in weddings of Jewish and non-Jewish partners.
Photography: Dan Brannan – such a chiller who captured the most incredible photos.
Videography: The White Tree
Florist: Lulu Bird
Hair: Carmen Vitale
Make-up: Lisa Cathcart
The Dress: Jane Hill
Veil / headwear: Viktoria Novak crown and Jane Hill veil
Rings: Charles Rose – absolutely stunning jewellery and very knowledgeable staff
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Scanlan Theodore
Groom’s suit: Wolf Kanat
Favours: Bottles of Port Phillip Estate Salasso Rose
Cake / Cake topper: Red Hill Cheese
Stationery / Signage: Him & I Designs and Etsy
Entertainment: The Club (Strings and Band) – so much fun and had everyone on the dancefloor.
Hire: Weddings of Distinction
Honeymoon: Pumphouse Point – Tasmania
Gelato Cart: Bianco Latte