Real Wedding – Vanessa & William, Yarra Valley VIC
Real Wedding – Vanessa & William, Yarra Valley VIC
Real Wedding – Vanessa & William, Yarra Valley VIC

Real Wedding – Vanessa & William, Yarra Valley VIC



It was love at first sight for Vanessa and William, whose wedding day was an intimate autumnal affair, held at Stones of the Yarra Valley. The lush green oaks and whimsical creeping vines were complimented perfectly with a few floral touches, thanks to Rita of Blooming Brides. The couple celebrated with family and friends amongst the sweet sounds of the jazz band and serene surroundings of this incredible venue.

This romantic autumn day was captured beautifully by Katie Harmsworth Photography.

In Vanessa’s words…

The meeting.

Will and I met one night when we were out with our respective groups of friends. We had mutual friends but we had never met before. The attraction was instant, and mutual.

The one.

Probably that night; I just knew!

The proposal.

We went to Birragurra for a beautiful meal at Brae to celebrate our ten year anniversary and he popped the question just before dessert!

The planning.

There was only a short amount of time between our engagement in September 2015, to our wedding April 2016. However, I started planning for the wedding from my hospital bed after having back surgery in October. It was a great way to use that time! I knew what I wanted and the planning process is so much easier once you have enlisted the help of incredible suppliers. Stones of the Yarra Valley helped facilitate the process by providing a list of suppliers, which really helped give us an idea of who to chose.

Style inspiration.

After searching through countless Bridal magazines and trawling the internet for inspiration, I was feeling pretty confident in the style I wanted; elegant, timeless, rustic, autumnal, intimate, considered, beautiful, relaxed. When we were searching for wedding venues, a friend suggested we look at Stones of the Yarra Valley. I knew from the moment we arrived that we had found ‘the one’. It is such a beautiful venue in its own right. I wanted my suppliers to complement the beautiful rustic, country feel of the place and to showcase the stunning autumnal colours of the vineyard

And soft country light that time of year. I knew I wanted to be married outside under the giant oak tree, so there was always the intention to incorporate the natural surroundings throughout the wedding. The jazz band played a huge role in creating the relaxed vibe on the day, and our amazing florist Rita did the most incredible job of bringing my floral vision to life. It was then captured by the best in the business, Katie Harmsworth Photography.

The dress.

My dream dress appeared quite early on when, after doing a few laps of High Street in Armadale, I ended up in Amaline Vitale. Somehow I knew I would find my dream dress there, because I often stood at the traffic lights on the way to work gazing at their beautiful window displays. When I walked in and started looking around, I felt at ease, and Sam, the most fantastic host, encouraged me to try on a few of the dresses, even though I was in my sloppy gym gear! Once I tried on ‘Harriet’, I was in love! After dragging my mum in to confirm my choice soon afterwards, the decision was made. Amaline herself went to great lengths to make sure my dress was perfectly fitted to me, and wearing it was just like a dream come true. A real princess moment! The worst part is not being able to wear it ever again!

Favourite moments.

Probably the moment I kissed my now-husband for the first time!


Even though it’s not a family tradition, we had photos from our parents’ weddings at the reception for our guests to see. Hopefully our children will continue this tradition.

The meaning of marriage.

Joining forces with my best friend, for better or worse.

Wedding soundtrack.

Our band, the Orlando Combo, was sensational! I gave them a list of our favourite jazz songs and they totally nailed the brief.

Processional: It Had To Be You by Frank Sinatra

One of my dear friends, Alexandra, sang us The Luckiest by Ben Folds Five during the ceremony. Her rendition was so beautiful. It brought tears to everyone’s eyes.

Recessional: Honeysuckle Rose by Django Reinhardt

First Dance: Cheek to Cheek by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald

Funny stories or near disasters.

The night before the wedding I realised I had left a whole suitcase of my things back in Melbourne. But luckily I remembered my dress. Phew!

Words of wisdom.

Start early with your planning and be mindful of actually enjoying the process, because your wedding day goes by so quickly. Create a mood board on Pinterest or from magazine clippings, but have a very clear idea of your main priorities and overall themes. Having a clear idea of what you’re after makes it easier to sift through the enormous amount of inspiration you’ll come across, and makes decision making easier. Also, create a budget and stick to it!

Looking to get married in the Yarra Valley ?

Our hand picked list of the best that the Yarra Valley has to offer for Wedding Venues and Reception Centres can be found on our Tribe Page.



Ceremony venue / location: Stones of the Yarra Valley, Victoria

Reception venue / location: As above

Celebrant/Officiant: Jo Betz. She is an absolute gem! We interviewed a few celebrants, but Jo warmed our hearts the moment we met her. She made us feel so at ease around her, and really created a ceremony that reflected us as a couple. We couldn’t have asked for more. She totally aced it!!

Photography: Katie Harmsworth Photography. She really is the best in the business!

Videography: n/a

Styling: Stones of The Yarra Valley

Florist: Rita at Blooming Brides. My bouquet was a giant (and heavy) rambling arrangement of David Austin Roses in soft pink, white and deep crimson, Hypericum Berries, Spinning Gum and Peppercorn Tree foliage. For the ceremony and reception, Rita used a combination of David Austin Roses and autumn foliage to bring nature indoors. She is one seriously amazing lady!

Hair and Make Up: Kelly Cicchetti and Zian Watene for Mecca Cosmetica

The Dress: Dress and veil from Amaline Vitale

Veil / head wear: Crystal hair piece from Stephanie Browne

Jewellery/Accessories: Earrings and rings from Catanach’s Jewellers

Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo

Rings: Catanach’s Jewellers

Bridesmaids dresses: Dresses by Zimmerman and Faux fur stoles by Zara

Grooms suit: Studio Italia

Grooms Shoes: Aquila 

Groomsmen suits: Studio Italia

Bow ties / ties: Ties and pocket squares from TM Lewin

Catering: Stones of The Yarra Valley

Favors: We made a donation to the Prahran Mission in lieu of favors

Cake / Cake topper: Semi-naked cake by Cake Ink

Stationery / Signage: Coocachuu 

Entertainment: The Orlando Combo 

Transport: Two-tone Bentley Dawns from Triple R Luxury Car Rental (East Brunswick)

Honeymoon: We went to Lord Howe Island and stayed at the veritable Pinetrees for a seriously luxurious retreat away from the world. Unforeseen advantage was the lack of mobile phone reception, which improved our ability to truly relax after the stressful lead up to the wedding. This is one of the most magical destinations on the planet; we are hoping to get another opportunity to visit soon!

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