Real Wedding – Vanessa & Chris, Geelong VIC
Thank goodness Chris made that last minute decision to attend a friends farewell party, where he was destined to meet his future bride, Vanessa! The couple were married at St Mary’s in Geelong, before celebrating with family and friends at the award winning Clyde Park Vineyard.
Being a Wedding Sales Executive, Vanessa knew exactly what it took to put together a wow-factor wedding. Dark and bold florals paired with lush greenery set an elegant country scene for the occasion, which was held in Clyde Park’s breathtaking Barrel Hall. Simply stunning imagery photographed by our very own Stef of Stefani Driscoll Photography.
In Vanessa’s words…
We met nine years ago through a mutual friend at her farewell party. Chris made a last minute decision to come along with some mates; lucky he did! We got chatting towards the end of the night and ended up going out on our first date a few days later. It wasn’t the best first date though, I was convinced Chris wasn’t interested in pursuing things because he was so quiet, almost stand offish. That night I went home and told my mum “I don’t think I’ll ever hear from him again”. He called the next day, it turns out Chris was just really nervous!
I think our answers differ quite a bit on this one. Chris says he knew straight away that I was the one but it took me a little longer. I don’t think I can really pin point a certain moment when I knew Chris was the one, I think it was more that I realized I didn’t ever want to be without him.
We had been travelling through Europe together and had one very special night in Budapest (Chris’ parents home town). We were staying at the Sofitel and had the most beautiful room overlooking the Danube River. We were just about to leave for dinner and I was pressuring Chris to hurry up so we wouldn’t be late! He called me over to the window to look at the view one last time and when I looked back at him, he was down on one knee holding out an engagement ring! We met up with my parents, my sister and her husband two days later in Venice and had the most amazing time celebrating our engagement together.
I actually found it quite easy and enjoyable. Working in weddings and having been part of the events industry for over five years I had a very good idea of what was required and where to start. There were a few stressful moments, as there always are leading up to a wedding, but I kept reminding myself that at the end of the day this was an exciting time that would only happen once so I wanted to enjoy it. I tried to be quite methodical about things as well. For example, picking one thing to focus on at a time rather than trying to arrange everything at once. I found that to be very helpful.
There were two things that I knew I wanted for our wedding; a long sleeved gown and bold, dark floral’s. Chris and I both decided that we wanted to have a wedding outside of Melbourne so once we had settled on Clyde Park as the venue everything else fell into place around that. I’d like to think that our wedding had an elegant country feel to it. Well, that’s what I was going for anyway!
I actually only went to three different bridal shops in my search for the perfect dress. I knew what I wanted from the beginning so I didn’t want to waste too much time shopping around. The gown I picked was designed and custom made by Wendy Makin at Brides on Collins. My sister had purchased her dress from there several years ago and I knew that I wanted to go back when it was my turn. It was an all lace, long sleeve gown that was just perfect and exactly what I wanted.
To be honest the whole day was so perfect, I don’t think I have a favourite moment. We were both so nervous before the ceremony but I think once that was over and done with it was so nice to just enjoy those first few hours of being married. I’m so glad that we chose to have our photos just the two of us, it was so nice to spend that time alone together before the celebrations started later on with all of our guests.
Whilst I wanted our wedding to be relaxed and not overly structured or traditional I felt it was important to include a few that meant something to me. My mum and sister made sure I had something old, new, borrowed and blue. I also really wanted to include a bit of an Italian feel as a tribute to my family’s background so I was sure to have a few Italian songs at the reception for my family to enjoy.
The meaning of marriage.
Marriage is about making a commitment to the single most important person in your life. Promising to be there to love and support them through whatever happens in life. It’s forever.
Aisle – Balcony Scene from Romeo and Juliet
Recessional – To Love Somebody by Michael Buble
First Dance – Latch (acoustic version) by Sam Smith
Funny stories or near disasters.
The planning process was fairly smooth sailing the entire time although there were a few near disasters in the week leading up to it. Chris’ brother and best man broke his leg the week before the wedding which meant a last minute panic about suit pants and shoes! Thankfully he was ok and still able to stand up beside Chris on the day, with the support of crutches of course! Another issue happened when I picked up my dress. I stupidly didn’t try it on again and took it straight home. Two days before the wedding, something made me want to try it on again and I’m so glad I did because it turns out it needed quite a few alterations. I turned up at Brides on Collins rather stressed the day before the wedding but the girls there were able to work their magic and within a few hours I had my dream dress. My hairdresser also had to pull out the day before the wedding due to be hospitalized; she sent an amazing replacement on her behalf though. It’s all about taking everything as it comes and knowing there’s always a way to figure things out.
Not really. I think that’s due to the fact that I’m surrounded by weddings and brides and grooms every day. I probably surprised myself at how decisive I was with a lot of the planning. We only looked at two venues, I met with two photographers, two florists so I think I was pretty good at deciding what I wanted.
Words of wisdom.
Slow down and take time to enjoy it. Everything will get done in the end so concentrate on one task at a time and you’ll find that you’re ticking everything off that list sooner than you thought you would. And lastly, make sure the wedding is a reflection of the two of you. At the end of the day it’s about no one else, just the two of you and the love you’re celebrating so make sure it’s everything you want it to be and enjoy it!
VANESSA AND CHRIS’S TRIBE
Ceremony venue / location: St Mary of the Angels, Geelong
Reception venue / location: Clyde Park Vineyard, Bannockburn
Celebrant/Officiant: Father Gerard Keith
Photography: Stefani Driscoll
Videography: Weekend Films
Florist: Charlie & Co
Hair and Make Up: Jessica Woods Hair & Make Up
The Dress: Wendy Makin from Brides on Collins
Veil / head wear: Brides on Collins
Jewellery/Accessories: Samantha Wills earrings
Shoes: Tony Bianco
Rings: Anton Jewellery
Bridesmaids dresses: Forever New
Grooms suit: Politix
Grooms Shoes: Roger David
Groomsmen suits: Politix
Bow ties / ties: Van Huesen
Catering: Clyde Park Vineyard
Favors: Donation to Australian Cancer Research Foundation
Stationery / Signage: Designed by bride’s best friend and printed by Stitch Press
Entertainment: Like This
Honeymoon: Two blissful weeks in Greece! We spent a few days in Athens but the majority of the trip in picture perfect Santorini.