Real Wedding – Warrick & Mikhaila, Wye River VIC
After surprising their friends and family by eloping whilst on holidays in dream destination Positano, Warrick and Mikhaila wanted to make their Australian wedding pure celebration with zero stress.
In a move guaranteed to ensure a relaxed start, they chose to do first look photos before their ceremony with tribe star Stefani Driscoll Photography. The look on Warrick’s face as he turned to see Mikhaila for the first time, with their bridal party cheering them on in the background, made for the most memorable of moments.
Choosing soft peach and cream-toned theming ensured their style blended beautifully against the incredible coastal backdrop, creating a sense of effortless elegance.
Mikhaila’s beaded Karen Willis Holmes gown saw her looking every inch the glowing goddess, translating perfectly from beach to dance floor, where tribe music masters The White Tree kept the party going well into the night.
We met at a music festival on the 1st of January 2011. We were both there with friends who were on a mission to set us up. Nine years later we’re really glad they did! My gorgeous matchmaker friend Sammi was even in our bridal party, so hopefully she was enjoying the rewards of her efforts all those years ago.
Our time together has always been comfortable and easy; it just works. I guess when you know, you know.
Warrick popped the question on a long weekend away in Wye River. We spend a lot of time holidaying there, so it’s a special place for us and our families. We’d already been together for eight years, so I definitely wasn’t expecting it, and burst into tears when he got down on one knee. I’ve always wanted to marry him; it was the best moment ever. He also proposed with a fake ring (apparently I’m quite fussy…okay yes it’s true), so we later had a lot of fun ring shopping before I landed on my gorgeous piece.
Well… this wedding is actually what we’ve been calling ‘our big fake wedding’ because we eloped in Positano, Italy in August last year. We had already booked a four-month Euro trip when Warrick proposed, and we decided to get married on our trip and celebrate with our friends and family when we returned. Our Positano wedding was incredible and a huge surprise to many when I popped a photo online. When we returned home after our trip, all the fun began again as we started planning our mock wedding in Wye River.
Considering we were already married, we were inspired to create a relaxed, easy-going wedding atmosphere. We wanted everything to be simple and easy for our guests and us. We did a ‘first look’ and took most of our photos before the ceremony so that after it we went straight onto celebrating with our loved ones. It worked perfectly.
I’m a huge fan of Karen Willis Holmes and booked an appointment at one of their boutiques as soon as I could. The minute I tried on my ‘Cassie gown’ I was sold.
Definitely our ‘first look’. That moment when Warrick turned around and saw me was priceless. Our bridal party were cheering behind me, and he was lost for words. It was perfect.
Meaning of marriage.
For us it’s about formalising the commitment we’ve made to one another, to enjoy our journey through life together.
Aisle: All of Me by John Legend
First dance: A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
Funny stories or near disasters.
The weather! We were hoping for a warm sunny day (as can be somewhat expected in February), but the forecast was predicting thunderstorms for weeks prior to our date. Fortunately, it was misty but didn’t pour, and our photos look amazing from the overcast skies.
We were surprised when planning our Italian wedding, it was really complex and involved multiple meetings at different Embassy locations, and neither of us speak Italian, so the language barrier was apparent. When it came time to plan our mock wedding, we were grateful to be able to communicate with ease.
Words of wisdom.
Don’t forget to delegate! Most importantly though, savour every moment; the day is over in a flash.
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WARRICK AND MIKHAILA’S VENDORS
Ceremony venue: The front lawn of the Wye Beach Hotel.
Reception venue: Wye Beach Hotel. We were lucky enough to gain a spot in their first wedding season after opening the new function centre. Everything was perfect and the functions manager Fiona went above and beyond to make our day everything we wanted it to be.
Officiant: After eloping in Italy last year we didn’t need any legal documents so we asked Warrick’s sister Shae to be our mock celebrant and her partner Shae to be our MC. Shae and Shae were brilliant, they brought such a personal touch to our wedding. They made us laugh and cry and looking back I think it was one of the greatest highlights having our loved ones in those roles.
Photography: We already knew Stef (Stefani Driscoll Photography) after being in a wedding which she shot twelve months before ours. As well as her incredible work, we loved her genuine, vibrant nature and felt so comfortable around her. As soon we started planning our wedding we knew it had to be Stef and fortunately she was available for our date!
Styling & Florist: Stef (Earth Flower Apollo Bay) did our bouquets and styling throughout the venue. She captured my vision perfectly.
Hair and make-up: Hilary from Hilary Holmes Makeup was the talent behind our makeup and her gorgeous stylist Kelsey did our hair.
The dress: I wore the Cassie gown from Karen Willis Holmes’ Luxe collection.
Shoes: Sol Sana
Rings: Charles Rose
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Bec and Bridge
Bow ties: Just a bow tie Warrick had worn previously in a friends wedding.
Catering & Bar: All done by the amazing staff at the Wye Beach Hotel.
Cake: We opted out for a cake and instead had a gelato bar, all organised by the venue.
Stationery / Signage: The poster in our sign was created by Abbey Lane Design who later also designed our thank you cards.
Entertainment: The White Tree. We hired Will to perform and DJ our event and he was great, his style suited our event perfectly.
Honeymoon: Unfortunately due to Covid-19 our honeymoon has been postponed but we certainly count ourselves lucky for the four months we spent in Europe last year!