Every now and then I see a set of wedding photographs that are so beautiful, so mesmerizing, I am actually tempted to order prints for my own home. Then I realize that it’s someone else’s wedding and that people might think that was a little weird. So instead, we preserve them here on the blog where I can come pore over them time and time again. Such is the case with this next wedding, photographed to undeniable perfection by Australia based wedding photographer Marcus Bell. This wedding and the images that followed are pretty much as gorgeous as you can possibly get…with a sense of romance, of mystery, of total passion tucked into each and every one. And if like myself, you are desperate to see even more, click right here.
We first met at high school in Perth. In fact, in that first year at high school, when we were just 12, we shared a kiss on school camp. Being typically awkward adolescents, what followed was silly practical jokes and constant teasing characteristic of young affection. We simply stayed friends through the remainder of school. After school we separately forged our paths. It wasn’t until 13 years later that a mutual friend from school, Jacqui (who was later to be my bridesmaid), decided that they we be perfect together. Jacqui had a few quiet words to David who immediately increased the frequency of his sweet messages via email and phone. David then flew from his resident Melbourne to my home in Perth to take me on our first date, and then a second, before flying home. In his speech at our wedding, David said he knew within the first five minutes of that first date that I was “the one”. I was instantly swept off my feet as well.
We had 12 weeks to plan our wedding. Not long after setting the date David flew off to India and then directly on to the West Indies for cricket – leaving all the planning to me. This is not an unusual story (i.e. groom leaves all wedding planning to bride) but in my case I was reluctantly organising a large wedding I didn’t want for a groomzilla who was dictating from afar! Furthermore, a volcanic eruption in Iceland mean that flights were cancelled across Europe and Heathrow airport was closed the day before David was due to fly home. Not the additional stress a bride needs! Needless to say he made it home in time (about three days before the wedding) and managed to write his speech, memorise his vows and learn how to dance in record time.
Our wedding day was perfect! We couldn’t have asked for anything more. It was elegant, sophisticated, fun and just plain amazing. The venue, Stones of the Yarra Valley, is breathtakingly beautiful. Choosing to marry in Melbourne in autumn was a little risky but the sun was shining and the autumn leaves were stunning.
Choosing a gown was difficult for me. All wedding gowns are beautiful and I just didn’t know how to select one. I was tortured by girls who told me they “knew the minute they tried on their dress that it was the one” or girls who “always knew what they wanted”. I think I tried on every dress in Melbourne and scoured the websites of every renowned wedding dress designer. In the end I went to Helen Manuell, of Manuell and Moore, who had previously made me a gown for the Allan Border Medal. She made this gown especially for me. It is perfectly fitted and because it has no buttons or zips it feels like a silk glove. I love it.
We had some photos taken before the ceremony and before our guests arrived so Marcus orchestrated our first meeting in private and captured it on film. They’re some of our favourite photos. Marcus was relaxed and fabulous. We don’t remember having most of our photos taken but Marcus was always there capturing magical moments. We will treasure the pictures of us sharing intimate moments, sneaking a kiss and holding our family members close. We didn’t want to pose and Marcus’ journalistic style was just what we wanted. He captured all of the emotion in the real moments of our day. He is amazing. Every moment was a highlight and Marcus was there to capture it all!
My Dad is ill and couldn’t make the journey to Melbourne for the wedding. We left everyone wondering who would walk me down the aisle and when it came time, I arrived at the chapel door alone, and walked a little way down the aisle before David walked down to collect me and we walked down the aisle together. It was really romantic and set the tears flowing in the chapel.
We wrote the entire ceremony ourselves, from beginning to end. We wanted the whole ceremony to be personalised and we included all of the things we wanted to say to each other on our big day. We memorised not only our vows but all of the other beautiful things we wanted to say about each other. David forgot a small part and had to ad lib but he spoke from the heart, was hilarious, and gave our ceremony the perfect combination of tears and laughter.
We hired Tom Carty to play during our ceremony and pre-dinner drinks. He is exceptionally talented and his repertoire covers most of our favourite music. We felt very fortunate because he left his tour of the UK briefly to come to Melbourne and play our wedding then flew back to resume his tour. He is amazing. Any songs he didn’t know he learned especially for us.
We filled the reception with flowers. Mostly roses in antique pinks and creams. They were stunning. Victoria Whitelaw completely understood our desire for class, elegance and beauty. She was amazing to work with. We wanted to give our guests gifts that would remind them of us, and our amazing wedding day, for years to come. We gave our male guests Mont Blanc pens and the girls designer (Gucci, Versace, Burberry) silk scarves. They loved them!
At the end of the night, our guests formed an arch for us to run through to our waiting Rolls Royce. We were flying out just hours later to our honeymoon in Koh Samui, then on to our second home in Nottinghamshire, England. It was an emotional farewell after spending such a short time with our families and friends from Perth and knowing we wouldn’t see them for another six months.
We planned our wedding in 12 weeks and it was a fairytale. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need 12 months to plan a wedding, it’s just not true.
Gown: Helen Manuell for Manuell & Moore / Photographer: Marcus Bell of Studio Impressions / Ceremony + Reception Location: Stones of the Yarra Valley / Caterer: Stones of the Yarra Valley / Reception Decorations: Victoria Whitelaw / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridal + Bridesmaids Accessories: Jeanette Maree Jewellery / Wedding rings: Blizzards Fine Jewellers / Groom’s attire: Ferrari Suit Hire and Sales / Bridesmaid’s outfits: Toni Maticevski / Celebrant: Father Joe Giacobbe / Stationery: One Post / Transport: Classic & Prestige Car Hire / Hair and Make-Up: Melinda Wain / Cake: Cake Palette