Weddings like this one warm my heart.  Like in an all-encompassing, feel good kind of way.  Because not only is it absolutely beautiful from start to finish, it’s filled with moment after moment of that pure, unadulterated happiness we so adore.  That head over heels kind of happy that can only be found in two people totally meant to be, celebrating in grand style with their friends and family.  Seth Buchanan Photography captured all of the magic and there’s nothing better than basking in the full gallery.  Join me there for more.

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From the Bride… The only thought or daydream I ever had about marriage was that I might like to elope to somewhere ancient and faraway, selecting a ring from an antique market along the way. In November 2010 Peter, proposed to me under the main chandelier in the beautiful Aya Sophia, Istanbul, and I found myself choosing my engagement ring from an antique shop in the Grand Bazaar. The ring is gorgeous, old and imperfect and always reminds me of Istanbul and the little bubble of happiness we were in for the rest of our trip. Resisting the urge to elope, we instead began planning a wedding at home in Orange where I grew up — and I am so glad we did! The 18 months of planning were some of the best and most precious moments of getting married as we planned and partied with family. As life turned out, my best friend became engaged around the same time and married only about eight weeks before me. Sharing the planning experience with her was just the best fun.

We started researching the venue options in Orange from wineries to restaurants and found that we were spoiled for choice, as the town is an emerging food and wine haven. However, when we walked into Mayfield there was no question. The historic property with its beautiful gardens, converted old workers’ cottages and country schoolhouse was perfect (and probably appealed to us both as history fans — Pete is an ancient historian and I work in a museum). The property is owned by Kathy and Richard Thomas, and it is their home as well as their business. Kathy, along with her assistant Jess, was amazing. She mowed lawns, raked leaves, supervised vendors and allowed us to have our run of Mayfield. In the end, we felt as though we married at a friend’s home rather than a business, which all contributed to the warmth of the wedding day itself.

My parents used their talents to make favors for our guests and in the summer collected raspberries, strawberries and blackberries that my mother turned into jam. Mum and I then found fabric and ribbon for the jars, as well as an online jam-jar label template on Eat Drink Chic to label each flavor. I had trouble finding a dress that suited me so I ended up getting the bridal gown made, as well as the bridesmaids’ dresses. On the wedding day Pete carried with him, for good luck, a Sassanian silver coin from the seventh century AD that his colleagues had presented to him as a wedding present the week before. Our ceremony was pretty personalized, and my favorite element was at the end when three couples we admire spoke to us of what makes their relationships work. My best friend Sam and her husband Ben who had been married eight weeks spoke first, followed by Daniel and Karina who have been married for four years and were accompanied by their new baby daughter, Edie. Last to speak were Pete’s colleagues Tom and Lea who have been happily unmarried for 20-odd years. Our officiant Terry was wonderful in guiding us through on the day. The flowers in the marquee were all a gift from our good friend Jane, who basically cut down her beautiful garden and transported it to our tables. Despite being completely unmusical ourselves, we have managed to end up with some very talented friends. Michael Carney, Pete Harding, Melinda Pettigrew and Ben Sticpewich all played and/or sang. Our photographer Seth was also a no-brainer; we saw his work and chose our date based on his availability. One of the things people have commented on the most since the wedding has been the quality of our photos.

Wedding Photography: Seth Buchanan Photography / Wedding Venue + Accommodations: Mayfield Vineyard in Orange, New South Wales / Floral Design: Jane Nixon of The Blayney Florist (02 6368 3784) / Officiant: Terry Barnett / Catering: Michael Manners / Wedding Cake: Alana Thomson of Laney Cakes in Canberra / Music: Michael Carney + Peter Harding with Thief Urban / Tent + Rentals: Adors Party Hire / Wedding Dress: Custom / Bride’s Veil: SIBO Designs / Bride’s Garter: Lo Boheme / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka “Randall” via eBay / Makeup: Anna of Utopia Spa (02 6362 0979) / Men’s Suits: Herringbone