I’m lucky enough to spend my days with some of the most beautiful weddings you will ever lay your eyes upon. Weddings that are as romantic as they are elegant, and as heartwarming as they are pretty. And this gorgeous day? It’s a fairytale romance that begin with a grandfather’s matchmaking (must.read.below) and ends with a whole lot of magic captured by Milton Gan. See it all here.
From Milton Gan Photography… April and Michael are the most gorgeous couple ever, both in personality and looks, and having known each other most of their lives it seemed inevitable that they would end up together. They chose the exclusive Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa as the venue for both their ceremony and reception and it’s easy to see why. Nestled in the beautiful Southern Highland of NSW, the Milton Park estate comprises elegant buildings and pristine ornamental gardens and is the perfect location for a summer wedding. April and Michael personalised their day with a whole range of gorgeous details, many of which were inspired by April’s love of SMP.
From the Bride… I knew most of Michael’s family before I ever met him. I grew up in a beautiful small coastal town called Dalmeny, right next door to Michael’s grandparents. Michael would visit every Christmas and each time his grandfather (Ray) tried playing matchmaker with the girls next door. Albeit unsuccessful, we would meet in the future.
It wasn’t until I moved to Sydney for college a few years later that Michael listened to his grandfather and contacted me. Unfortunately it was around this time Ray passed away, however we feel this drew us closer together. We went on several dates, the first being secretly planned with help from my best friend. Instantly we knew there was a connection and we became inseparable ever since.
It was only appropriate, since we are such family-oriented people, that Michael proposed to me on Christmas Eve in 2011 at home in my backyard. He had asked my parents permission the night before so mum had a magnum of champagne at the ready and we celebrated next door with both families.
Wedding planning was a truly fun process. I had always loved weddings and I followed Style Me Pretty for many years looking at all the beautiful details and stories. When it came time to plan our wedding I had a vision of a garden romance theme full of personal touches. Growing up in small coastal towns it was easy to decide on a summer wedding. We chose the 7th of December then realised coincidentally it is Michael’s parents anniversary.
We both fell in love with Milton Park in Bowral, the beautiful estate gardens and the French provincial inspired Orangerie. We knew it was the venue for us. As it was a destination wedding for most involved we decided we would stay at in a holiday house for the weekend. Gibraltar House was the perfect place to get ready and celebrate. The boys had a separate cottage to use whilst the girls and our family used the main house. I had personalised door hangers made for each room, as well as a welcome bag with a locally made jar of jam as a gift for our guests.
What followed was a magical day filled with happiness, laughter and many lasting memories. A palette of blush, ivory and soft pastels, lush peonies and touches of rustic charm created the scene. As guests arrived they were greeted by a sign pointing to the ceremony “Happily ever after starts here” then walked over the grounds to the tulip lawn. The aisle was strewn with white petals and at the end was a white chiffon arbour with white orchids lining the top. Live acoustic music created the mood as I walked down the aisle to James Morrison “I won’t let you go”. The ceremony conducted by Robyn Pattison was created with a great focus on the importance of our families. Michael’s mother performed a reading for us which meant very much to us both. We exchanged personal vows that we had kept secret from each other until that moment.
The reception, held in the Orangerie looked out onto the gardens. Each table had a centrepiece full of peonies, white roses and hydrangea complimented by crystal footed vases on a mirror base, surrounded by mercury glass votive candles. Place cards were printed on white linen paper and stood upon a cork. The bookshelf near our band held a section of wedding photos from generations in the family to signify the joining of our families and to remember those not with us.
Our red velvet wedding cake, filled with french strawberry conserve and cream cheese frosting, coated in belgian white chocolate ganache was made by my Maid of Honour. The invitations were made by my sister and I organised the place cards, ceremony fans and other stationery. The vision I had was put together by Chanele Rose Flowers on the day, she was just like a fairy godmother.
Our photographers Milton and Amy were fantastic. I don’t know how they managed to capture some of the moments but their images express the emotions throughout the day perfectly. They made us all feel at ease, allowing us to be ourselves. and we had so much fun with them
Michael and I had practised a special first dance to surprise our guests. We danced our upbeat routine to Michael Buble’s “Everything” and enjoyed our moment together. Many special memories were made that day. One of my favourites, aside from marrying the love of my life, was being able to not only share a special father daughter dance but sharing a dance with my 89 year old grandpa. I could see how proud he was and to share that moment was truly special.
When the night drew to a close we farewelled our guests and hopped onto a bus taking us back to the holiday house. We continued the celebrations with our friends and made the most of the rest of the night. As we drifted off to sleep together for the first time as Mr & Mrs we thought about our big day and realised just how lucky we were.
Photography: Milton Gan Photography | Cinematography: Soda Films | Floral Design: Chanele Rose Flowers | Wedding Dress: Mariana Hardwick | Cake: Katey Baddeley | Ceremony Venue: The Tulip Lawn, Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa | Reception Venue: The Orangerie, Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa | Bride's Shoes: Michael Kors | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Ester Boutique | Groom's Attire: ASOS | Groomsmen's Attire: ASOS | Celebrant: Robyn Pattison | Bride And Bridesmaids' Robes: Homebodii | Candy Buffet: Chanele Rose Flowers | Ceremony And Cocktail Hour Band: Soul Arte | Ceremony Styling: Circle Of Love Weddings Sydney | Hair Accessories: Kristi Bonnici | Reception Band: The Buble Experience | Wedding Rings: Hatzi Jewellers