Calèche real bride Maia and partner Andrew had their beautiful wedding reception at the newly renovated Simon Hackett Winery in Mclaren Vale. Planning their Adelaide wedding from NSW the couple saw first hand how COVID can impact the wedding planning process but of course, it all came together perfectly on the day – read below for plenty of advice and snaps from Maia.

Lets start at the beginning, when and how did you and your partner meet?

Andrew and I actually met at a wedding! It was 4 years ago – February 2018. It funnily came full circle too, in a way, as the groom at that wedding then became the MC at ours.

Tell us about the proposal ..

We were on a little weekend trip away in the Hunter Valley at Christmas time, and I really wanted to go to see the Christmas lights at the Hunter Valley Gardens. Andrew thought it would be a nice spot to propose as he was expecting it to be a quiet little lights display however, after arriving and seeing hundreds of people filling the gardens, he realised the proposal was going to be a lot more public than he’d originally anticipated. Luckily though, he was able to find a secluded spot and pop the question. The Hunter was the perfect place to get engaged, because we then spent the rest of the weekend celebrating over a lot of wine!

Maia and Andrew walking through vineyards

The Dress! Tell us about your experience finding the dress .. How did you decide on the one?

Dress shopping was an interesting (and not always straightforward process), as I was battling COVID restrictions and border closures for a lot of the year in the lead up to the wedding. I was living in Sydney at the time but really wanted to be able to share the experience of dress shopping with my mum and my sister, so I came over to Adelaide to try a few stores, and then they came over to visit a few in Sydney too.

Calèche was the first store I went to, and the Portofino dress that I ended up choosing was maybe the third or fourth dress I tried. The simplicity and elegance of the dress really stuck with me, and after trying on other dresses in both Adelaide and Sydney, I kept coming back to the Portofino – I loved its square neckline and hadn’t been able to find anything else like it. When it came time to make my decision, I was stuck in Sydney and couldn’t come back to Adelaide to try the dress on for a final time, so my sister actually went and tried it on for me, and I decided it was ‘the one’ over FaceTime!

Maia is wearing the Portofino gown of the La Dolce Vita collection – a beautifully structured gown featuring a modern square neckline and full A-line skirt.

Black and white portrait shot of Maia in her gown from the front. The gown has a square neckline and full skirt.
View of Maia in her gown from the back. A low square neckline. Views of vineyards behind.

Accessories! How did you accessorize your outfit?

Although the overall design of the dress was quite simple, I knew I still wanted to keep my accessories quite minimal and unfussy too. From early on, I had planned to have a colourful floral hairpiece that would match a very colourful bouquet, so those two elements were going to be the ‘standout’ accessories. I come from a Polish background and have been heavily involved in Polish dancing since I was very young. As part of our traditional costume, we wear floral ‘wreaths’ in our hair that’re made up of lots of colourful field flowers, berries and wheat. I wanted my wedding hairpiece to replicate one of these wreaths, so I had a smaller version made and sent from Poland. It was a little detail that was very special to me on the day, and the vibrant colours of the flowers within the hairpiece, bridesmaids’ bouquets and groomsmen’s buttonholes really stood out. This also tied in with the beautiful custom veil created for me, which had applique flowers scattered across the train and along the edges.

Close up of Maia in her gown holding a colourful bouquet
Maia getting ready - drinking bubbly and showing a floral hairpiece in her hair

Can you give us some details on your wedding location?

We came across Simon Hackett Winery by chance when we were exploring venue options in McLaren Vale. It was February 2021, and we were wanting to get married in December of the same year, so had left it very late to secure a venue and were being turned away by many of the wineries who were already fully booked for the whole of 2021. We came across Simon Hackett and found out that the winery was about to undergo huge renovations for the purpose of holding weddings. We immediately fell in love with the rustic, Tuscan-like feel of the winery, and locked in our December date. Over the next 8 months, we watched as the renovations took place, and as the winery transformed into an absolutely beautiful wedding venue. Ours was actually the first official wedding at Simon Hackett Winery, and we couldn’t recommend it more highly for future couples. The team at SH were wonderful throughout the whole process, and incredibly accommodating of all queries and requests – particularly given we were planning the whole wedding from Sydney.

Maia and Andrew at the church altar - sharing a kiss
Reception decor - table settings

What was your favourite moment of the day?

When the dancefloor kicked off. We had just finished our first dance and the father-daughter dance, and everyone gathered under the marquee that looked out onto the vineyard and joined us in dancing. It was just so nice to be able to celebrate with everyone that we loved – over half our guests had come from New South Wales and had been in lockdown for close to 6 months, so everyone was finally able to dance, sing and just let their hair down after a very long time. It was just so much fun, and everyone really got into it!

Hens Day! If you had one, please tell us all about it!

Unfortunately because of the COVID restrictions at the time, Andrew’s and my bucks and hens plans couldn’t go ahead. We’re hoping to make up for it though on our (hopefully European) honeymoon.

Lastly, is there any advice or words of wisdom you have for future brides?

Don’t lose sleep over the colour of the serviettes. Don’t sweat the small details. When you look back on the day, you (and 99% your guests) aren’t going to remember the minor details. What’ll stick with you is the immaterial and irreplicable moments – dancing, singing, good vibes and good company.

Red, white, blue and green floral bouquets
Bridal party standing in front of Winery
Black and white shot of Maia and Andrew walking through bar torino
Black and white shot of Maia and Andrew during the ceremony
Reception decor - table settings
Maia and Andrew snapped in Bar Torino after the ceremony
Black and white shot of Maia and Andrew sharing a kiss in the vineyards


Photographer: @gav.ocean; Location: Simon Hackett Winery; Groom & groomsmen’s suits: Ignition for Men; Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy; Flowers: Flowers by Zofi (@flowersbyzofi); Makeup: Ali Knight (@aliknight.australia); Hair: Amber Stephens (@ashairartistry); DJ: DJ Dizzy; Cake:  Small Delights.



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