Real Wedding – Vanessa & Jarrod, Coldstream VIC
Real Wedding – Vanessa & Jarrod, Coldstream VIC

Real Wedding – Vanessa & Jarrod, Coldstream VIC


After becoming engaged, Vanessa and Jarrod could hardly wait to be married, so gave themselves six months of planning before they planned some marriage magic!

Set in the stunning Yarra Valley, they were wed at one of our favourite venues ‘The Riverstone Estate’, with rolling the valleys and vines creating the perfect backdrop.

Drawn to a bohemian feel for their styling with a touch of elegance and class, Vanessa and Jarrod enjoyed their relaxed and romantic day and Sarah Godenzi was there to capture all the moments.


In Vanessa’s words…


The meeting. 

We met through a mutual friend and just knew we were meant for each other, he couldn’t have been more right! Contacts were exchanged but it took us a few months before we met for our first date in November 2014. The connection was instant, we were drawn to each other. Followed by regular fun dates after, in no time we just knew we were each other’s forever, it was real and amazing! Just the feeling I always dreamed it would be.


The ‘one’.

Pretty much straight away! Not sure we realised at the time, but it didn’t take us long. Jarrod was different; he has the warmest soul and most calming effect on me. I now know that feeling of  “when you know, you know”. My family also felt love at first sight as he became a part of it instantly.


The proposal.

In August 2016, Jarrod took me away to our special place Byron Bay. We arrived on the Friday. Getting up early to walk to the Lighthouse and watch the sunrise is our favourite thing to do. So we rose early on the Saturday, and made our way to the lighthouse. Nestling ourselves on the rocks at the most eastern point of Australia we sat calmly watching the beauty of the sunrise. Once I finished Snap-chatting, and put my phone away and I surrendered to the real intensity of the sun rise. Jarrod turned to me, already conveniently on his knee, and expressed his love to me (I still had no idea), we were having a moment and it was special! He then reached into his backpack and out came my beautiful ring that he had been secretly planning over the past few months, and at that moment he asked me to marry him. It was the most amazing feeling, it truly went down like a fairy-tale. We took some time to soak it all in and made our way back down for breakfast. We took a couple hours to enjoy the time alone, soaking up what had just happened, before we picked ourselves up a bottle of champagne by 9am and set ourselves up to celebrate. Calling all our nearest family and friends to share our exciting news it was a day we will never forget!


The planning.

Jarrod and I just could not wait to get married, we knew what we wanted in our lives together and we wanted it all now! So, we gave ourselves six months to plan our big day! Admittedly, this time frame put a bit of pressure on when it came to availability and finding the right venue, dream dress (as most places require more than 6 months) and as I quickly learned, celebrants book out so far in advance too! We literally had to start straight away. On the plus side, there was no time for overthinking anything. We were both pretty laid back about it all, we knew we wanted it to be a relaxed day spent with only our closest of family and friends, and we didn’t want all the big formalities. So, we chose cocktail-style, to allow everyone to mingle and just have a party.

I am an extremely organised person, which helped, but I found things just worked out for us and came together without any major stress – just like it was meant to be. I trusted it would and it did. It helped that our visions were on par, we really enjoyed working together on the planning.


Style inspiration. 

I always visualized a laid back, informal day (originally, without shoes). We had wanted a Byron Bay wedding in the Hinterlands but found our dream venue in the heart of the Yarra Valley with the most picturesque dreamy views that just had it all! Being a little spiritual, I have always loved a touch of bohemian. To me it is calming, but I still wanted an air of class and elegance. Jarrod also felt this and we agreed on everything, it was smooth sailing and we trusted the process. Before I knew it I thought we were capable of being professional wedding planners!


The dress.

I knew I wanted a simple non-traditional dress; classy and elegant yet relaxed (not asking too much, right?). At times, it felt impossible and I would just have to settle for anything! After we had already exhausted many options I finally had my appointment at The Bridal Atelier. There was one dress I had picked up in there the first day we were out looking and I said I don’t mind this. Had my appointment booked for two weeks later, having looked everywhere else in between and what do you know! That dress was the one and boy did we all know it! It was different, not traditional, classy, elegant and relaxed! Everything I wished for and more!


Favourite moment/s.

I loved the excitement of walking out to marry the man of my dreams, I had to keep pinching myself that it was really happening.  I just couldn’t wait to get to him, my excitement and the feeling of how right this was took all the nerves away! For both of us our favourite moment was our ceremony as it really sets the tone of the day and it was our moment to share our special story with our loved ones, and walk away as husband and wife. We also had the most beautiful celebrant that made it fun and super special!


Meaning of marriage.

Marriage to us is a celebration of spending the rest of our lives together. A celebration of our love for each other and a way to feel whole together.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Latch by Sam Smith and You’re The One That I Want by Lo Fang

After ceremony: Only Love by Ben Harper

Reception entrance: Feel The Love by Rudimental

First dance: I Love You, Always Forever by Donna Lewis

Party starter: Is This Love by Bob Marley (remix)


Funny stories (or near disasters).

Not so much the lead up to the wedding day but the days before the proposal! We work in a family business together and one particular night Jarrod was not contactable. I tried my brother who informed me he had left hours ago. His phone was off, it was miserable and raining outside and a bit of worry began to set in. It was also very out of character. Once the family got hold of this the search was on.  Hospitals, friends, brothers and finally the police – we needed to file a missing persons report! Soon after, Jarrod arrived home with not a worry in the world, nor did he realise the drama he created. I guess I was just happy to see him home safe and believed his story. Later I found out that he was with my dad asking for his consent!


Planning surprises.

Everything came together pretty smoothly for us. I was a little surprised at how much time you need for a wedding dress, finding a venue, celebrant, photographer etc as a lot of people do plan so far in advance! However, we were lucky everyone that was meant to be a part of our day was. We feel that we could not have found better suppliers.


Words of wisdom.

Keep it true to you, don’t let others over influence or let you stray from what you really want. You are vulnerable and for a lot of us it’s all new. Just trust your choices, don’t over think things and enjoy the lead up, let it be fun not stressful! After all, the day is over in a heartbeat so enjoy every part including the planning and lead up. Be sure to take time out to yourselves on the day to take it all in. It was by far the best day of our lives yet!




With a Yarra Valley wedding day, you can be sure it will be one to remember. Check out some of the region’s best wedding venues here



Ceremony and reception: The Riverstone Estate, Coldstream – The team at Riverstone were amazing to deal with and plan our special day, they helped make everything run smoothly and allowed for us to just relax on the day and trust that they would have us in the right place at the right time. They know exactly what you need! And as for the A+ venue, it was unbelievable with the 360 degree views of the stunning Yarra Valley – guests thought it was heavenly, as did we!

Celebrant/Officiant: Celebrant Kate – Having only six months to plan a wedding, we were so lucky to find Kate, she was the most dreamy celebrant, we fell in love with her the moment we met her and knew she was the one to officiate us! To us the ceremony was the most important part as it sets the rest of the day up and we didn’t just want anyone to make this happen – our story is special to us and she sure did deliver it to our guests! Couldn’t recommend her highly enough

Photography: Sarah Godenzi Photography –  I believe we were drawn to the right people for our day and Sarah was definitely one of them. She was so easy going, friendly and relaxed (everything we were looking for) we just knew we could easily spend our day with her! Sarah knew the perfect balance of being organised and having the day structured in the best possible way and still allowing us to have a load of fun and laughs, feeling relaxed and free which made it a breeze. We loved sharing our day with Sarah and the planning was so much fun! We absolutely love her style and couldn’t be happier with our photos

Videography: These Wild Eyes – Ben was such a dude! Laid back and fun, and just quietly did his thing, never did we feel there was a camera in our face and now we have this amazing video to look back on and wow did he capture our day so perfectly.

Styling: Bride

Florist: Flowers of Yarra Glen – Wow did Allie go above and beyond for us! Not only did she do the most beautiful job on our flowers, she remembered my visions from the day we met and at times when I would stray, she would bring me right back! I look back on our day and Allie was a huge part of making our dream and vision come true. From getting me proteas for my bouquet to helping hubby create our dreamy arbour, she is one in a million!

Hair: Hair by Liv, Olivia Anderson – Liv was awesome, so much experience in hair dressing and I just knew I didn’t need to stress about hair! She put together exactly what I wanted to suit my dress and style of day. She also did a fabulous job on my gorgeous bridesmaids and mother.

Make-up: Mother of the bride: AKA Superwoman and one rocking make up artist!

The Dress: Florence Gown by Rue de Seine (purchased at The Bridal Atelier)

Veil / head wear: Flower piece by Flowers of Yarra Glen

Shoes: Wittner

Rings: Wayne Rogash

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Sheike

Groom’s suit: Briggins – Laura was so helpful and experienced, the guys loved meeting up at Briggins for their fittings over a beer and game of table tennis, such a cool atmosphere and quality of suits were right on!

Catering: The Riverstone Estate

Cake / Cake topper: Suziek Cakes – Suzie is one talented and creative woman, the skies are her limit! She put so much love and care in creating our perfect wedding cake and we couldn’t have been happier. Flower decorations by our florist.

Stationery / Signage: Papertoken – Daniel is passionate about creating the perfect picture for your day, he takes the time to get to know your likes and vision and from this creates the perfect style from invites to menus, to any signage – he can do it all!

Entertainment: Andrew Healey Music – We have had Andrew play for many of our special occasions from family weddings, to my 30th Birthday, work events etc. We highly recommend him. Andrew knows how to work the crowd and his voice is really something special, he is so cool calm and collected and our guests always love him! Andrew plays solo, duo or trio depending on your wants and needs.

Transport: Samba Kombi Services – What a gorgeous family to deal with. We could not rate them highly enough and we were so pleased to have come across Eleanor that fulfilled my vision for the day.

Hire: Valley Event Hire (Games)

Honeymoon: Six Senses Lamuu – Maldives

Wedding night accommodation: Botanica Editions, Habitat House – This place was simply divine! Gardens and accommodation are so beautifully maintained, so much love and pride shown by the beautiful owners who were incredibly helpful and friendly to deal with.

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