Lets start at the beginning, when and how did you and your partner meet?
Matt and I had been together for almost 10 years when he asked me to marry him. We met through friends and remained friends for a few years before becoming girlfriend and boyfriend. Matt likes to tell the story that he “courted” me for some time before I finally said yes to going out with him. He would help me with my uni work (we were both studying Architecture) which was his ploy to spend time with me, and my ploy to get help on my assignments! After several months of persistence, we spent the whole day together on 12th of January 2009 and officially became a couple.
Tell us about the proposal ..
Everything about it was perfect. Matt put a lot of time and effort into making the moment special for us both, which is a true reflection of him and our relationship. He spoiled me with a weekend getaway to the Barossa as a birthday gift, which began on a Friday with a bike ride and picnic through the Jacobs Creek winery area. He had secretly driven up to the Barossa a few weeks before to scope a few areas and thought this spot would be the one. We rode through the vines and set up a cheese and wine picnic (my favourite things) and walked up to the top of a hill to take a photo of the view. I started to walk back to our picnic and could sense that he wasn’t behind me – I turned around to see him down on one knee with a ring in his hands!
I of course said yes (after telling him to get up because it was all too emotional) and we enjoyed the rest of our picnic and bike ride together before calling all our family and friends to tell them the exciting news and making our way to Hentley Farm for a special dinner.
The rest of the weekend was spent doing an Italian cooking class at Casa Carboni, dinner at Fermentasian, wine tastings and finally Sunday night dinner at my parents’ house with our families to celebrate.
The Dress! Tell us about your experience finding the dress .. How did you decide on the one?
I always knew I didn’t want something from off the rack. I wanted something that was made just for me, to suit my body and reflect my style. My mum had always said to me that one day I would go to Caleche to have my wedding dress made, and her wish came true! Being a makeup artist and doing bridal makeup from time to time she always felt that you could recognise a “Caleche dress” from the quality and attention to detail. I’m very indecisive, particularly when it comes to decisions as big as this, and the typical wedding dress look isn’t my style. I was after something simple but with a point of difference. Liz was fantastic – she let me come and try on the dresses they had in the studio a few times, feel the fabrics and workshop ideas with her until I could visualise what I was after.
I love how the dress evolved throughout the process and my favourite part was an additional drape that was added to the back only weeks before the wedding. I came to Liz one fitting with a new scar on my back (a memory from my Hens night) that would have been completely exposed with the then design. She came up with a way to hide it by and it ended up looking even better than before – it was like it was meant to be there the entire time! I was really looking forward to wearing my dress on the day and felt so comfortable in it. It felt like me.
Can you give us some details on your wedding location?
Matt and I chose to have both our ceremony and reception at Mitolo Wines in McLaren Vale.
We had a few prerequisites when choosing our wedding venue; we didn’t want it to be a well-known location that everyone had been to before, ‘barn’ is not our style, and we wanted everything to take place in the one location. I would love to say that we shopped around and did our due diligence, but to be honest there wasn’t really anywhere else that ticked all the boxes. McLaren Vale was also the perfect distance to make it a bit of a destination and excuse for our guests to make a weekend of it, which we loved.
The design of the venue resinated with our personal style; sleek, contemporary and architecturally designed. Perfect for us as we both work within the architecture/design industry. The surrounds were picturesque and we could imagine how the day would flow from beginning to end.
The Mitolo staff worked with us to make the day come together how we imagined, down to the small details. All our guests commented on how fantastic the food, wine and service was, they were really impressed by the quality.
What was your favourite moment of the day?
This is hard! It’s all a blur but there are a few that stick out. Walking down the aisle with my dad was really special. We had driven to the venue just the two of us in my late-Nonno’s (grandpa’s) car which was a nice touch and I could feel how proud he was when we walked towards everyone arm in arm together. Seeing Matt at the end of the aisle and all our favourite people standing around us was such an overwhelming and happy moment.
The sunset was the thing I think everyone will remember about our wedding day. The colours in the sky were amazing, particularly after it had been grey and raining that morning. Matt and I loved the shoot we did as the sun was going down, taking a moment just the two of us while our guests ate dinner. When we returned the Mitolo staff served us our own dinner for two, which felt a bit like a date night while we looked out and watched everyone else enjoying the night.
Hens Day! If you had one, please tell us all about it!
My Hens Day was the best! My bridesmaids, including my 5th bridesmaid – my mum, did the most amazing job. We started at Hula Hoop for an Italian themed lunch with all of the (50) special women in my life. It was beautifully styled with so many little touches that they knew I would love, like mini limocello bottles! We then continued on to my parents’ house for an after party which had everything from a DJ, topless waiter and prosecco pong. The girls really outdid themselves and I am still so grateful and appreciative!
Lastly, is there any advice or words of wisdom you have for future brides?
Enjoy the process and make sure you take a moment (or two) to take everything in on the day. When I woke up the next day all I wanted to do was do it all over again!
Photographer: Matthew Dwyer Studio (Instagram: @matthewdwyerstudio);Location: Mitolo Wines, McLaren Vale (Instagram: @mitoloweddings / @mitolowines); Groom Outfit: Suit and Accessories by Calibre, Shoes by Joseph Uzumcu; Bridesmaid Outfit: Dresses made by Elise’s friend to replicate a favourite dress of hers that all the Bridesmaids love; Groomsmen Outfits: Suits by Joseph Uzumcu (Instagram: @josephuzumco); Flower: Twig Studio (Instagram: @twigstudio); Makeup: Hannah Aubert Artistry (Instagram: @hannahaubert_artistry); Hair: Ashlea Munn (Instagram: @ashleamunn.hair.makeup); Jewellery: Engagement & Wedding Rings by Everett Brookes, Bride’s Earrings from Caleche; Celebrant: Camille Abbott (Instagram: @unbridely); Music: Ceremony – Jacqui Lim (Instagram: @jacquilimmusic), Reception – JP Light & Sound (Instagram: @jplightandsound).