Real Wedding – Sib & Jonny, Yarra Glen VIC
The rolling fields of the Yarra Valley lured Sib and Jonny away from a city wedding, and it’s a decision they will never regret.
Despite the rain making a splash during their ceremony, they soaked up the love-filled atmosphere that was created around them by their family and friends.
Their day was classic and timeless, with a little touch of fancy. Accented with cream, coffee, green and gold hues, but they also let their stunning surrounds do the talking.
The day was brilliant with an incredible after-party to follow and Eric Ronald was there to capture it all with his talented and creative eye.
In their words…
We met at a party at Jonny’s house, I ended up there as I was living with his cousin in a share house in Melbourne. Both of us had moved to Melbourne- me from Perth and J from New Zealand. He made an impression on me, but I was seeing someone else at the time. A couple of weeks after we met, he started messaging me on Facebook! One of our first dates was shooting hoops at a local basketball court, we connected over a shared love of Seinfeld and travel!
I was moving home to Perth for work, J was going to stay in Melbourne. We were talking on the phone my first week in Perth, and realized that we didn’t really want to be apart. He decided that he would make the move over and literally packed everything into his car and drove across the Nullabor that weekend. I think that’s when we both knew that we had something special.
In the middle of an epic US holiday, I unknowingly ruined J’s first attempt at a picture-perfect proposal in Central Park! We had been for a big bike ride and my sunscreen had dripped into my eyes- so as he was rummaging around in his backpack for what I later found out was an engagement ring, I was complaining about my burning eyes and refusing to stay put. He pulled it off the next day, while we were on a walk under Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn, looking across at the whole city. It was an amazing surprise, I was shocked that he had brought my ring all the way from Melbourne with him and carried it around for half of our holiday without me having a clue! We celebrated that night with Shake Shack and by watching Jerry Seinfeld perform at the Beacon Theatre. It was a perfectly us proposal.
The most important thing for us was that our family and friends had a great time. It was the first time they were coming together from Perth and New Zealand, and we wanted them to have fun. We decided that the three most important things for us were the food, wine and music! We initially wanted to get married in the city as figured it would be the easiest thing for our guests. After months of looking with nothing really grabbing us, J suggested a drive out to the Yarra Valley. We went to a different winery first, but it felt kind of cold and not really right. We got excited when we got to Zonzo, we loved the rolling fields and as soon as we sat in the restaurant and ate lunch we knew it was the place for us! We had a wedding planner at the winery who was a great help in letting us know what we had to organise, and by when. We just plodded through the list as we had about 10 months between booking the wedding and the actual day. J and his groomsmen took care of their suits and accessories, and even though my bridesmaids were scattered between Melbourne, Perth, Broome and London! They were still able to help with lots of emails back and forth between us all.
The lead up to our big day was great. We had time off work in the days leading up to the wedding, and we had family and friends arriving during that time. Lots of the week was spent finishing up last minute things, J had his bucks do a few weeks earlier, but we had my ‘non-hens’ the Wednesday before the wedding. My bridesmaids surprised me with a dinner at Supernormal, we celebrated the impending wedding with my work colleagues, friends and family that had just arrived in town! A highlight was the dining room turning into a karaoke bar and an epic duet from mine and J’s mums! J and I both stayed in the Yarra Valley the night before his wedding, he with his boys at the pub and I with my girls and mum, at a cottage in Yarra Glen. We didn’t get married until 4pm, the boys had a relaxing morning getting ready meanwhile it was a hectic morning with 5 bridesmaids, one bride, one mother of the bride and one grandmother of the bride getting ready!
We wanted a wedding that was classic and timeless, with a touch of fancy. Getting married in Victoria in very early spring meant we knew there was a big possibility of rain- so we liked the idea of lots of candlelight and making the day feel warm and cosy inside whilst a possible storm happened outside! We chose a classic colour scheme of cream, coffee and green which was accented with gold where we could. The dress code was black tie, and our guests really embraced it with the boys wearing tuxes and the glamorous ladies in evening wear!
I first went dress shopping with one of my gorgeous bridesmaids whilst she was visiting from WA. We went to a few dress shops in Melbourne, but nothing really excited me. I wanted a dress that was different, but I wasn’t entirely sure how. I definitely knew that I wanted a dress that was white, with no lace or beads or anything intricate. I ended up choosing a dress that was ivory, and entirely covered in lace and beading!
My mum was visiting and we went to The Bridal Atelier, and the dress I bought was not one that I had planned on trying. I was in the change room Mum had asked one of the girls to take it off a mannequin for me, I put it on and we both started crying- it was the one! We styled it with a cathedral length, sherbet colored veil, gold shoes, and a gold bracelet that I had bought for my Mum for Mother’s Day when I was a child.
J- 1. My favourite part was having all of our family and friends in one room to see us get married, with both of us living away from family and childhood friends its very rare for this to happen. It meant a lot for so many people to make the effort. 2. Having our photos taken beforehand in the paddocks with the cows, away from all the madness was a good way to calm the nerves for both of us. It was a nice moment. 3. Our wedding dance- although not the best dance moves, it put a smile on everyone’s face and started the party after all the speeches and formalities.
S- Walking down the aisle and seeing all our beautiful family and friends, and my handsome soon to be husband waiting for me.
Meaning of marriage.
J- Marriage is when you find someone you want to spend your life with, someone who makes your life better. Someone who makes you laugh and is just as crazy as you, someone you support and help and they do the same. You can bounce ideas off, travel with, make a family with, be willing to change for.
S- A forever of love and adventures together.
Isla and Finn from Brentwood performed an acoustic version of Rudimentals ‘Lay it All on Me’ for the bridesmaids walk down the aisle. I walked down with my Mum and Dad to Macklemore’s ‘Glorious’. We entered our reception to ‘Happy’ by Pharrel. Finn and Isla did an acoustic version of Dire Straits ‘Romeo and Juliet’ for our first dance, Clint had his DJ equipment setup and seamlessly transitioned from Dire Straits into ‘Jubel’ by Klingade. By this point, our guests had joined us on the dance floor and the trumpets in that song got the dance floor going!
Funny stories (or near disasters).
A massive storm was rolling in as we arrived to the ceremony. It started pouring down with rain as we said our vows, so much so that the doors we were standing in front of had to be closed, and rain started blowing in under them! We were in an old barn and the rain was coming down so hard on the tin roof that I’m pretty sure no one actually heard us say our vows! The rain was gone before our ceremony was over, and as Isla and Finn were playing ‘Here Comes the Sun’ a rainbow literally appeared. We didn’t mind that it rained one bit.
My inability to make a decision! I spent way too much time worrying about little things that really were not important in the grand scheme of things. A good life lesson learnt there.
Words of wisdom.
Trust the professionals when it comes to booking and planning! I probably had too much of an idea of what I thought I wanted and had organized some things myself that would have been better leaving to them. Also, don’t worry about what other people think of your choices- it’s your wedding day so have what you want! Don’t be afraid to say what you want, we changed the order of things on our wedding day so that our speeches were pretty much the first thing we did, and then we didn’t cut the cake or have the first dance until dinner was well and truly over. Our planner wasn’t too keen on the idea, but we knew it was what we wanted and were glad we did it that way.
Haylee and Daniel loved the stunning backdrop of the Yarra Valley, check out their sweet celebration stat.
SIB AND JONNY’S TRIBE
Ceremony venue / location: Zonzo Estate Barn.
Reception venue / location: Zonzo Estate Winery. The staff at Zonzo were amazing. The ultimate professionals, everything ran like clockwork, all of our guests were well looked after and it made for a fun and easy wedding day and night! From Rod the owner, to the amazing wait staff on the night, everyone couldn’t do enough to make sure it was perfect.
Celebrant/Officiant: Kim McClelland – we had two meetings with Kim, both over a wine and both thoroughly stress free and enjoyable! Having Kim as our celebrant was fabulous, she made us both feel relaxed and excited about our ceremony.
Photography: Eric Ronald – we both felt so comfortable around Eric, and really appreciated his enthusiasm for our plan to jump a fence and get photos in a farmer’s paddocks with the gorgeous cows. An absolute one of a kind wedding photographer!
Styling: Me! With help from the awesome Kate from Good Day Rentals. Kate created our lounge area and stunning cake table on the day. Kate was wonderful to me throughout our wedding planning process. My only complaint was that I didn’t find her earlier! From meetings over baklava, site visits sharing a wine and my day before wedding freakout in her office where she made me drink tea and talk about non wedding things, Kate was amazing. Not to mention her incredible styling skills and the beautiful pieces she has carefully collected in her massive warehouse, everyone getting married needs a Kate.
Florist: Youki from SugarBee Flowers – Youki created the most beautiful florals for our wedding day, from the bridesmaids bouquets to the arrangments in the lounge area in our reception. We loved them so much we took half of the ceremony flowers home and filled our house with them for the days after the wedding (J wasn’t so impressed on bin day).
Hair: Amanda Higgins- Hoxton Hair – my beautiful friend Amanda travelled out to the Yarra Valley early on our wedding day to get through 5 bridesmaid and one indecisive brides hair! After spending months getting the colour right, Amanda styled my hair in the simple waves I was after, that managed to survive wind and rain somewhat unscathed.
Make Up: Carla Dyson Makeup – Carla was fabulous, friendly and so talented at her craft.
The Dress: Rue de Seine from The Bridal Atelier – Candy from the Bridal Atelier was my wedding dress fairy godmother! Choosing and buying my dress from TBA was a dream.
Veil / headwear: Cathedral length veil in Sherbert from The Bridal Atelier
Bride’s Shoes: I looked for the perfect pair of gold shoes everywhere- ended up finding them at Wittner.
Rings: Ewan Tremellen Jeweller – The wonderful Rana Hayles helped J create my beautiful engagement ring, our wedding bands also came from their Collins St studio.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Paulina Katerina – the bridesmaids and I had spent months looking for dresses with no luck. Paula (bridesmaid), my Mum and I were shopping in Bali and came across this little boutique. I fell in love with a couple of the dresses, but the one we chose for the girls was a high necked, racer back floor length gown, it was perfect for the black tie theme. It turned out that the owners was a friend of a friend in Melbourne, and she went out of her way to make sure we got all the dresses in the sizes we needed before we had to leave the island!
Bridesmaid’s shoes: Myer Miss Shop
Groom’s suit: Jonny’s tuxedo was custom made by Peter Jackson, with his groomsmen also looking handsome in their own Peter Jackson tuxes. The boys looked incredible in their suits, J’s was embroidered with his initials inside the jacket- something he will keep forever.
Groom’s Shoes: Aquila
Bow ties / ties: The boys tied their own black silk bow ties.
Catering: The shared, feasting menu created by Zonzo was a hit with our family and friends. They even sent us home at the end of the night with takeway containers of extra food, which was appreciated at the pub around 3am the next morning!
Bar: Our guests enjoyed all of Zonzo’s wines and beers.
Favors: I thought it would be special to write a little note to each of our guests, popped in a calico bag with some of our favorite Lindt chocolates. It was no small undertaking but worth it to see our guests read their note at the table.
Cake / Cake topper: The amazing ladies at Two Rams made our stunning THREE wedding cakes, which they decorated with their signature florals, fruit and gold. We ended up with three as we couldn’t decide between the flavours. Some of the ones we chose were Persian Love (spiced and salted caramel mud), Lemon and Earl Grey Chiffon, White Chocolate, Raspberry and Rosewater and Queen of Sheba (chocolate, almond, coffee, brandy and date torte). We also had a bowl of gold macarons in salted caramel flavor, made by the Macaron Sisters.
Stationery / Signage: Lisa from Fox and Hart made our wedding day signage, we made our invitations and place settings online at Paperlust using the Pantone template. Lisa was fantastic as we contacted her at pretty short notice, and she created exactly what we wanted.
Entertainment: Brentwood played for our ceremony and the dinner part of our reception. We kicked off our dance floor with Clint Hargreave from On Point Entertainment, who kept our dance floor going all night! It literally did not stop.
Transport: I drove in the car with my stepdad, Mum and brother. My wonderful bridesmaid’s partners drove them in two cars, Jonny and the groomsmen drove themselves.
Décor: We wanted to create a warm and intimate space in the barn for our ceremony. Brown bentwood chairs ended with pillar candles in glass vases, and were surrounded by scattered leaves. We were married in front of the barn doors, which Youki adorned with flowers and greenery fitting our cream, coffee and green color scheme.
Our lounge area and other decorative bits and bobs hired from Good Day Rentals, the lounge area was a great spot to sit and watch the wedding festivities unfold before our eyes and included an amazing gold velvet lounge, armchair and drinks trolley. The brass candlesticks decorating the tables, and crystal and glass cake stands were hired from the lovely ladies at Betty May Vintage, who went out of their way to get them to Kate’s warehouse in time to be transported for the day.
As a tribute to both our families, we had black and white photographs of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents on their wedding days placed throughout our reception.
Hire: Good Day Rentals and Betty May Vintage
Honeymoon: We travelled to magical Queenstown the Monday after our wedding and spent a not so relaxing week on the mountain.
Other: We absolutely did not want our wedding day to end! Our reception finished at around midnight, but as our guests had booked out the Yarra Valley Grand Hotel, we organized with them to stay open for a few more hours and had a bus to transport everyone that wanted to carry on back there! It was a great end to a wonderful day.