Tag Archives: winery

Kendra and Luke

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On a beautiful November day last year I was lucky enough to conduct the wedding of Kendra and Luke. Their wedding was held at the stunning Lindenderry Estate in Red Hill. I love Red Hill. I love the beach and I love vines. Both hold ties to growing up for me and my favourite winery is Red Hill Estate because of the views of the sea and the vines. So I was very excited to be conducting another wedding down on the Mornington Peninsula and Lindenderry didn’t disappoint.

I’m lucky enough to get to see lots of different wineries and estates because of conducting weddings. This is one that I would love to go back to. A really stunning place with a lovely looking restaurant, accommodation and day spa.

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Kendra and Luke have spent the last ten years in love. After meeting at the 18th birthday of their friend Bianca, Kendra thought Luke was very confident, handsome and very easy to talk to. Luke thought that Kendra was gorgeous and smart. However, it was almost 2 years later before they went on their first date. They have spent the years just enjoying the simple things in life together. They love hearing about each other’s day and are just happy spending time together no matter what the activity. Regardless if it’s trying out new restaurants, watching movies and tv shows, enjoying music and seeing bands, or traveling. As long as they are together they are happy.

They haven’t had to make too many adjustments to make a happy life together. They make each other laugh and get on each others nerves like any couple. Kendra takes a long time getting ready for bed but always insists on going to bed first. She even thinks it’s funny that Luke spends lots of time in the bathroom doing his hair and can’t stand still when he is on the phone. They have a really strong foundation to their relationship and they never stop each other doing things that they enjoy as individuals. They love spending time together but are also aware of the importance of spending time with their family and friends without the other sometimes too.

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It’s obvious how in love Luke and Kendra are when they start to talk about all the things that they love about each other. Luke feels like he can tell Kendra anything, and he loves that she is very loving and caring. She is generous and would do almost anything for her loved ones. Kendra said that Luke is very supportive and whenever she is stressed or anxious he knows how to calm her down. They can always work through things as a team. Luke teaches her new things, makes her laugh and feel loved and safe.

I asked them to tell me when they knew that they were in love, neither of them could pin point the moment that they knew. However they can not remember not being in love.

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I’ve known Luke for quite a few years through my husbands work. I’ve also worked with him on some weddings he has photographed, so we knew each other. Conducting someones wedding is different though, so it was really lovely to be able to get to know him and Kendra. There is something lovely about helping someone that you know get married. Luckily for me I spend quite a bit of time with lots of couples and getting to know them is one of the ‘perks of the job’. Making new friends and getting to be a part of their wedding is a very special thing.

For me having my photographic background comes in handy when I’m conducting weddings, working with photographers and videographers. My ‘day job’ means I get to geek out with cameras and all of the gear. At this wedding, it was so exciting for the photographic geek part of me as Luke and Kendra had a drone! Not during the ceremony, but while we were setting up, Mario flew the drone over a few times getting footage of the stunning ceremony site and working with the photographer and videographer to work out the footage that they would be using to make a video for Kendra and Luke.

The next day I received a beautiful text message from Luke and Kendra telling me how happy they were and that they had lots of lovely compliments from people, even some of their old Italian relatives who had never been to a wedding outside of a church. I love hearing feedback that the couple have received and hearing that people enjoyed the ceremony. I love creating and delivering a ceremony. I love being a part of the wedding and making it suit the couple. What really warms my heart when people tell me, or the couple, just how much they enjoyed the ceremony and how much they felt that it matched the couple.

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Kendra and Luke’s beautiful photos were taken by Seda Photography. You can look at her website here or find her facebook page by clicking here.   Also have a look at the stunning Lindenderry at Red Hill website and plan your next wine tasting weekend.

 

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Cheese cakes

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A lot of couples are changing things up when it comes to wedding cakes. It is not unusual to have a cake made entirely out of cheese.  What a great way to put more of ‘you’ and your own personality into your wedding. If you’re not really into cake or for some reason you can’t eat it, it’s an especially good idea. Cheese cakes are making an appearance at more and more weddings.

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Which isn’t a bad thing if you are a lover of cheese like me. What a great idea to do if you are having your reception at a winery. The chosen cheeses could be paired with the wines that the winery offered. Lots of the cheese cakes that I have seen have all sorts of fruits that compliment the cheeses. They look lovely with all the figs, grapes and apples as well as flowers to decorate them.

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It could also be a great way to provide guests with nibbles while they are waiting between the ceremony and the reception. Not only does it look great it, it gives people a choice and can be easier than having someone handing out nibbles and canapés. A good solution if you are doing a bit of a do it yourself wedding. Or even an idea for a small celebration wedding. There are pages and pages of inspiration on the internet and pintrest has thousands. I found a great article with tips for creating your own cheese cake here.

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My best friend had a cheese wedding cake at her wedding. We celebrated the ceremony on a paddle steamer that took us to a winery for our lunch and on the way to the winery there was a fantastic cheese cake for people to enjoy. If you haven’t read it before you can read about Emily and Jules’ day by clicking here.

Have you been to a wedding where the couple chose to have a cheese cake? Would you happily forgo the standard cake for one?

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All images found on Pintrest.

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Elissa and Michael

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Elissa and Michael were married on a lovely (but very hot) Friday in February at Mitchelton Winery in Nagambie. What a fantastic day it was.  It was a stunning day by the river and the gorgeous decked area that they had for the ceremony was breathtaking.

Elissa and Michael’s love began around 7 years ago, Michael was living in London, and Elissa was traveling all around Europe with her friend Jo. They were staying with Jo’s brother who happened to be Michael’s housemate.  Michael remembers thinking that Elissa seemed nice, but maybe a little shy. Elissa thought that Michael was cute, maybe a bit out of her league. Especially with their obvious differences in their taste of music. She didn’t think that he would be interested in a girl like her. Obviously Elissa wasn’t too shy and Michael was interested in a girl like her, and together they have come a long way through the last 7 years. There were times they thought that they might not make it, but they have grown and learnt together over these times and have strengthened this wonderful bond that they share with one another.

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Michael says that Elissa is always positive and she is always patient with him. She is friendly and talkative and open to new experiences, like going to his family reunion without him and not having met any of them yet. Michael knows and appreciates that she has always been there for him before anyone else. Elissa said that she loves Michael’s heart and his passion. She says that he has a heart of gold that never falters and he has a wonderful passion for things, especially music. Anything new Michael discovers, he becomes engrossed in and puts everything of himself into it. He is loyal and passionate and has an uncanny ability to defuse heated situations. His calm nature can be infectious.

Elissa and Michael had 6 attendants each, which is a lot of people to keep organised. Michael and some of his groomsmen arrived in a fantastic vintage valiant. Elissa had such lovely ladies around her for her special day, they were all so fantastic and friendly. Usually I don’t really have that much to do with the attendants, but all of Elissa’s spoke to me during the day or at the rehearsal and were all truly lovely. They all wore different shades of green and all wore dresses that suited their personal style. Elissa was a stunning bride who would probably look great in whatever she wore as not everyone would be able to pull of wearing a dress like she did. I loved that they had the wheat bouquets, it all just matched perfectly.

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Michael and Elissa have spent time in the last 7 years having fun together, travelling and making each other laugh. Elissa fondly remembers travelling to Dublin and Denmark together. This is when she realised that Michael was her favourite person to travel with. He is always taking her to places that she’d never think to go and taking her out of her comfort zone, but she always knows that it will all be ok. A perfect example of this is one of Michael’s fond memories, the time that he took Elissa to a heavy metal concert in Brixton, London. She had never been to anything like it before and Michael remembers her reactions to the clothing, the people and the event as a whole was priceless.

Michael proposed to Elissa after a wonderful Anzac day, when they had watched Michael’s Dad march wearing Michael’s Grandfather, Brian’s medals. That evening Michael played the biggest gig of his life, at the Palace in Melbourne. They had a fantastic day and night and when they finally got home at 3am they were talking about what a wonderful day that they had just experienced. This when Michael asked Elissa to marry him. They then proceeded to jump in a cab to the airport to fly to Sydney.

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They had some wonderful moments during the ceremony, Michael’s Nan did a reading and shared some beautiful words for the couple. But not everything went to plan on their day. We had issues with the PA system that the venue supplied and we had a heat affected bridesmaid pass out mid ceremony. (She was ok, and even came back before the end of the ceremony, Brownlow medal worthy effort there I might add). Even with all these things to throw us, Elissa and Michael took it in their stride. They obviously made sure that their friend was ok, but still managed to have a really beautiful ceremony and they shared some lovely personal heartfelt vows. They didn’t let any of these things take away from the promises that they made to each other.

What a wonderful way to spend a Friday afternoon. I can’t think of anything better than making truly lovely people husband and wife.

Thank you to Roberto Bossio, who was photographing and JL and the crew from JLB The Studio for the use of their images. Check them out at JLB The Studio, Click here to see their website.  Check out the website of Mitchelton Wines too, such a lovely view of the river. Nice wine too I am told.

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Alternative venues

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Weddings don’t all need to be about function centres, and big wedding estates. Though these are lovely and great options with everything in one place, a chapel or some lovely little area for your ceremony and somewhere to have the reception, sometimes though they start to all look a little bit the same. They are usually stunning and well looked after, and probably come with a reception coordinator for the day too. If you are looking to express a bit more individuality and showcase your personality at the same time, you might want to look at having your wedding reception somewhere else.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a wedding at a beautiful function centre, but again the place where you have your ceremony and your reception for that matter is another great way to tell your story and let your personality be reflected in your big day.

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I had my wedding reception at a winery. A lot of wineries now have great areas that you can have your ceremony and seem to have a little bit more originality to each of them. I recently did a wedding out at Killara Estate, check out the blog about it here. It had such a lovely feel to it and it was really quite different. You could have a wedding at your favourite winery or have it in a certain area because it means a lot to you as a couple.

You can continue to think outside the square, more recently I have been talking to couples who are looking at having their wedding in really original places. A few couples are having their ceremony at a property. Whether it is friends or family that own the property, it can be a great way to do things the way that you want. If you have a marquee or just have it out in the open there are plenty of ways to make it look lovely.  My sister had her wedding this way, out on the property of the Grooms family, with a houseboat moored close by for toilets. The ceremony was held outdoors and the reception in a marquee.

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Friends of ours had their wedding in their back yard, with a marquee and wonderful catering. There was no fanciness, no big dress, both the couple wore jeans and it was one of the most beautiful, loving heartfelt weddings that I have attended.

Some of the most meaningful weddings I have conducted have all been in places that have meant a lot to the couple, choose something that means something special to you and it all just adds to making the day more personal and your own.

Have you been to any weddings that were not held in a traditional setting? Did it work or not work in the couples favour?

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A  very big Thank you to Kirralee for the photos on the blog this week, check out her blog about this wedding here and look at some of her other stunning photos. You can also read a bit about her, or look at her facebook page.

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My Wedding Day

wedding1My wedding was on a perfect Saturday in March, in Mildura. We were both young, and I thought I knew more about the world than I did. I knew nothing about weddings, nothing about what you can have and what you can do with weddings. I didn’t realise that we could make it so much more personal than it was. I didn’t know about writing my own vows about music that can be used or about anything except that I wanted to be married.

Looking back now there are things that we would change, but only small things, like music (definitely)  I would probably have a song that meant something to me coming down the aisle, rather than the traditional bridal march, something like Gorcki by Lamb, or Angus and Julia Stone’s, Wedding Song or  Forever by Ben Harper. Just something that said a little more about me and my husband. (some of these weren’t released I know) I would probably have a different hairstyle, and a handful of the guest list would be different, but all things considered it was 13 years ago and no matter when you get married there are little things that I’m sure everyone would want to change about their day.

All of that aside, we had a lovely wedding day. It was in a beautiful church, with all of our family and friends at the time. My step father conducted the ceremony, which was heartfelt and emotional.  My Mum walked me down the aisle, as I felt she should, she was the one that raised me and it just felt right to do. My sister (11 years old at the time) did a lovely reading. We had some of our best friends  (and I’m happy to say people that are still some of our best friends) stand beside us while we became husband and wife. We promised to share our lives together and stand by each other in sickness and health, for better for worse.

We had a beautiful reception at Trentham Estate Winery. We had lovely food and drank great wine with our family and friends. We had a small group of people because at the time the restaurant only held 50 people, we ended up having 46 people there, and even that was quite tricky to make sure that we got around to everyone and had a bit of time with them all.  The weather was perfect for drinking wine on the river. We had our photos done at Trentham Estate too, so that all of the family shots could be done and people could see us having our photos done by the river while they ate canapés.  I have really  fond memories of the day, spending time with people that I loved, in a perfect setting. I remember laying on the grass laughing with friends, feeling the sun on my face watching the river in my wedding dress, running downhill for our infrared wedding photos, sharing our first meal and husband and wife with special friends and family members, some of who are no longer with us, waving at little girls from the wedding car and wearing my wedding dress into Coles.  Yes, I did wear my wedding dress into Coles, I always said that if you spend that much money on a wedding dress you should wear it ALL day, and I made sure that I did that.

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Wine Box and Time Capsules

There are some rituals for the ceremony that I am hearing more about, it is the time capsule or a wine box ceremony, there are lots of people out there who have seen a candle ceremony and the sand ceremonies done at weddings, and thought that they are a great idea but feel that they might not want to have it as their friends had it at their ceremony, or that they are not something that would suit their personalities. If that is the case, a wine box or a time capsule could be something that you might like to consider.

Depending if you like wine or not would be one way to decide on if you would make a wine box or a time capsule, but really essentially they have the same idea behind them. During the ceremony, you can put together the time capsule or wine box. It is something that you choose to open at one of your wedding anniversaries, maybe your 10, 15 or 20 year anniversary. Long enough away so that time has passed and you have forgotten some of the details of things that have gone into the box. You can buy these boxes, or you can make one yourself. During the ceremony you can put all sorts of things in the wine box/time capsule. One great thing that you can put in it is a letter to each other, one from each of you, you can put in it how you feel about each other now, what you hope for in the future and how you are feeling about the up coming wedding day, it is something that will be great to read years down the track. You can add things that hold special meaning to you in your relationship, or momentos that you have from special places.

This is also a great way to include children in the ceremony, if you have children from a previous relationship or together it would be a great way to include them, they could write letters to the two of you. Other ways you can include children in your ceremonies can be found on my other blog posts on Sand ceremonies with children, and Children in the wedding ceremony.  It can also be a great way to incorporate members of your family and to include people that have passed away, by asking someone close to them to contribute something to the wine box/ time capsule, they can be mentioned in the ceremony when the box is being compiled and a great way to incorporate them into the ceremony without drawing too much attention to the people who are missing if it might be recent or too upsetting for some people.

You could also choose to do this at the reception instead and have this as something that all of your guests can contribute to, they could fill in a questionnaire, answering things like, where will we be living in 10 years time? How many children will we have? How many animals will we have and what types? Or you could ask your guests to provide you with tips and advice for married life.

Thanks to Corey Brown, once again for the wonderful photos. Check out his blog here.

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Em and Jule’s renewal of vows

Recently, I had the privilege of marring my best friend and her husband. They had originally married two years before at a registry office and my friend was always cross that she didn’t get to have the whole white wedding. So she decided that she would just do it, and what a magnificent day it was.

They were already legally married, so we had a renewal of vows ceremony, which allows you to do pretty much whatever you want. You can have rings, have vows, or none of those things if you don’t want them. You can use the rings you already have or get new ones. It is really up to your imagination what can be done.

So I had the honour of marring them and still got to be a member of their bridal party. So I feel doubly lucky. I can now begin to understand how my step father must have felt when he performed my wedding. There is something truly special about helping someone who means so much to you exchange promises with each other and watching the look in their eyes and they pledge their love to one another.

The wedding ceremony itself was on the paddle steamer Rothbury. After the ceremony concluded we all ventured down stairs and enjoyed watching the scenery while we drank wine, ate and shared lovely company. The paddle steamer dropped us off at the beautiful Trentham Estate Winery, where we enjoyed a lovely lunch and after a couple of hours there we got back on the boat.  The Rothbury took us back to the Mildura Wharf where we were then driven to the dinner reception. We were joined there by another 50 or so guests where we all partied, enjoyed a lolly bar, chocolate fountain and fairy floss, and had our photos taken in a specially set up ‘photo booth’ area with props and dress ups.

All of it was so much fun, the planning was great, it was really easy for me to suggest readings and rituals that they could use in the ceremony, it helps that I know them both so well, although sometimes these things come quite easily when I meet a couple and talk to them for a while it is easy to determine what is important to them and what things are a priority. I must say I had great fun helping these guys with suggestions for their vows and found it really interesting which ones each of them ended up having as their final vows.

I must say it was a fantastic time. I had a blast.

Thanks to Blueberry Studio for the use of your beautiful images.

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