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Rustic Hunter Valley Wedding

This is the sort of wedding you fall in love with instantly, because it’s just so pretty.  Think a beautiful garden ceremony meets lush blooms from Peonies Floral Designs meets a whole lot of mesmerizing moments captured by Tea Lily Photography.  In other words?  It’s beyond romantic and beyond amazing. See every last beautiful moment right here in the full gallery.


From the Bride… Rustic and elegant. Soft and pretty. White and nude neutrals to let the natural surroundings shine. Small and intimate with people who have been there for us and have had a big impact on our lives. To ensure that everyone we had there felt valued as they are our dearest and nearest.

Gifts for family and friends-

* Groom’s best mates were given pocket squares with their initials on them.
* Groom, groom’s mother and bride’s father were given embroidered handkerchiefs with personalised notes.
* Bride’s sisters were given “giving keys”. These keys are manufactured by homeless people who are looking to transition out of homelessness. They are employed to create keys with words of encouragement stamped into them. The philosophy behind the giving key is that the recipient of the key is only the owner of it for a period of time until they find someone to give the key away to who needs the message more than they do. Sisters were given ’embrace’ and ‘courage’.
* No bridesmaids or groomsmen – everyone was too important to only choose a select group.

Note: To our creators and capture-ers – Our day was joyous, seamless and easy, not only from the love and friendship from our dearest and nearest, but also from the amazing people who helped to create and capture this special time in our life making this day possible. Leading up to our wedding, we would often receive comments about how calm we were planning this day, but the credit really goes to you all who were so wonderful to work with that we never had to worry. Each and every one of you are truly talented and brilliant and you always made us feel comfortable to enjoy the planning process and, of course, our day. I believe that you all share the same passion – to be the best at what you do – and that is what has made our day absolutely magical. We can’t thank you enough.

Photography: Tealily Photography | Florist: Peonies Floral Designer | Wedding Gown: Sottero And Midgley | Ceremony: Peppers Convent | Makeup: Sally Studio | DJ: XYDJ | Celebrant: Melissa Soncini | Bride’s Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. | Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Giving Keys: The Giving Keys | Groom’s Suits: Mr Mister | Handkerchiefs: Etsy | Hangers: Heavenly Hangers | Herbies Spices: Herbies Spices | Invites: Deciduous Press | Music: Dylan Wright | Reception & Ceremony: Roberts | Video: Paper Cranes Productions | Wedding Rings: Fairfax & Roberts

Elegant Hunter Valley Wedding at Peppers Creek

You are going to need to sit down for this beauty, trust me. Because just when you think it can’t get any prettier, it does. And then some. Captured beautifully by Studio Impressions Photography, this wedding is the definition of jaw-droppingly gorgeous. With gorgeous florals from Peonies Floral Designer and styling by Decorating Dreams, this gallery couldn’t be prettier if it tried. See more here.


From Studio Impressions Photography …Madeline and Matt were going for an ‘Elegant Vineyard Chic’ feel to the wedding and drew inspiration from a number of places, such as old Parisian manuscripts for the programs to the names of Lake Como towns (where we got engaged!) for our table names.
The bride designed and produced the programs, menus and bombonieres.

From the Bride…The girls and I stayed at a property onsite so there was never a feeling of rushing at all the whole day which made for a relaxed and enjoyable experience. I was given away by my mother who was a picture of perfection (and had intentionally coordinated her outfit to match my sash!) and we walked down the aisle to the string trio’s version of a “Thousand Years”. Exchanging vows in front of our nearest and dearest in the gorgeous sandstone Peppers Creek Chapel was literally everything I hoped for. A special touch for me, was a photo of my late father that was placed in a silver heart locket and attached to my bouquet – giving me the much needed feeling that he was still able to walk me down the aisle. They arrived to a string trio which really set the mood for the ceremony. Matt had put together “Our Story” that was printed and distributed as part of the program, in order to give guests something to read as they patiently waited.

We walked out of the chapel, showered in rose petals thrown by our guests to the tune of Natalie Cole’s Everlasting Love before being whisked away to our location shoot by our fabulous photographer, Marcus Bell. Marcus had found some really stunning places hidden within the Hunter and took vineyard wedding photography to a whole other level, taking advantage of the awesome dusk light. From the first meeting he was warm and easygoing and precisely who we wanted to cover our special day. He covered my requests for formal family portraits, as well as the amazing landscape shots, and then all the candids in between! I couldn’t even spot him during the reception, yet the shots he captured were just truly breathtaking.

During cocktail hour, the guests were kept busy with canapés, drinks, the photobooth and assorted lawn games before being ushered into the enchanting Peppers Creek Barrel Room for the reception. The Peonies team did an amazing job of bringing to realization the couple’s vision with elegant mercury glass vases, romantic ivory flowers and the warmth of candlelight.

Midway through the mains, we played a twist on the Shoe Game and instead had given out to each guest 2 paddles, one with the Bride’s face on it and one with the Groom’s face on it. The awesome MC then asked everyone (including us!) a series of questions and everyone held up the paddle of who they thought best answered the question. Needless to say I believe most of the crowd got the answer wrong to “Who is the better driver”!? Haven’t laughed that hard in ages (and made for some hilarious candid shots!).” Each of the 240 game paddles were painstakingly made by the couple leading up to the wedding.

Our first dance came up which was something both of us were extremely nervous about. We are probably the world’s most uncoordinated couple, so we decided to start dance lessons 4 months prior to the wedding in order to give us both some much needed confidence. As if a dance wasn’t challenging enough, I had a moment of aberration and thought it would be a good idea to copy a routine from So You Think You Can Dance which involved the Viennese Waltz?! And although we missed a step or two (we were told no one noticed!), to have us overcome our shortcomings and have a go at this together was something I think all couples should do. There’s a feeling of accomplishment when you learn something together, invest time to get it right together, and sets a perfect example to dance through the rest of your lives together.

Music was very important to us, so after the first dance our awesome band Brown Sugar took over and really got the dance floor pumping. Our cake was a 3-layered masterpiece by I Do Wedding Cakes, consisting of a Caramel Drop, Red Velvet and Cherry Ripe layers.

The night ended with a sparkler sendoff by the guests and the groom’s MG getting a makeover from his groomsmen. The guests were driven home by various shuttles in order to ensure they could have a good night and not worry about driving afterwards and had personalized M&Ms (for Madeline & Matt) as bombonieres if they wanted another sweet bite for the ride home. The kids received activity packs at the reception (packaged in the same champagne ribbon as the bombonieres!)

Madeline’s advice for a smooth wedding day:

1. Book your vendors ASAP – all the small details can come after, but to avoid disappointment hit all the big points of reception and ceremony venues, photographer and band first.

2. If it can be done BEFORE the actual day – DO IT. Leave the day of the wedding for the essentials – eat, hair & makeup, eat, and get dressed (did I mention eat?). The Morning Of is not the time to start steaming outfits or making bombonieres.

3. Confirm orders with vendors a month before, and then a week before. Trust me. (Better to be annoying, than be left with no chairs at the reception!)

4. Finally, if you can’t change it, don’t stress it – there’s no point getting worked up over something that cannot be changed. So identify the issue, find a substitution/resolution and move on.

Photography: Studio Impressions Photography | Styling: Peonies Floral Designer | Styling: Decorating Dreams | Flowers: Peonies Floral Designer | Wedding Dress: Essence Of Australia | Wedding Dress: Anna Campbell | Cake: I Do! Wedding Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Peppers Creek Chapel | Reception Venue: Peppers Creek Chapel | Shoes: Miu Miu | Groom's Attire: Joe Black | Jewellery: Chanel | Jewellery: Tiffany & Co. | Reception Caterer: Peppers Creek Chapel

Romantic Garden Wedding

Say the word “wedding” and I immediately picture a gorgeous garden soiree.  Maybe that’s the uber-romantic in me, or just the fact that I’ve been wanting to have a garden-centric wedding since before I could speak.  So this beautiful Hunter Valley affair?  It’s basically my everything, with lush blooms and decor from Peonies Floral Designer and a whole lot of magic captured by Candice Campbell.  See it here.


From the Bride… We wanted an outdoor garden wedding from the beginning and when we found Robert’s Restaurant by accident, we immediately fell in love with the raw rustic styling of the restaurant, made even more amazing by the beautiful garden it was set in. With wooden log clad walls and high vaulted wooden ceilings, exposed beams and large cast iron chandeliers, the rustic charm and history filled the air.

We wanted a simple, intimate and carefree wedding that reflected who were are and what we love. Our theme was Rustic Romance with pastel colours of blush and peach with hints of lemon yellow and ivory. Our ceremony was in the late afternoon at 5pm, beneath a handmade gumleaf arch at the end of an aisle of thick full green foliage with 70 guests of our closest friends and family. We were blessed with gorgeous hot summer weather which continued on into the night.

Our Celebrant Kim Oakhill made our ceremony truly special, with her unique take on ceremony presentation, it was fun and full of good laughs, my sister read my favourite poem – ‘As long as your eyes are Blue’ by A.B Patterson.

My wedding dress was an Allure gown in champagne with a lace bodice and a big ruffled organza skirt. The groom wore a grey suit with a slight sheen and a navy and white checked shirt and navy tie. My two bridesmaids wore peach and blush pink knee length chiffon Donna Morgan ‘Morgan’ dresses and the groomsmen wore lighter grey suits with matching navy and white checked shirts and navy ties. Our makeup was courtesy of the fabulous miss Trista Jayne Rogers, and our hair was don’t by Melanie Sterjovski both local to Newcastle NSW.

I had always wanted to be married in a garden under an arch, Robert’s had everything I dreamed, except for the arch, and so that was my job… to make an arch. I began the arch the day before the wedding, I had collected bunches of eucalypt branches filled with fresh green gum leaves and gum nuts and created my arch. I had collected meters and meters of pastel satin ribbon in various shades matching or colour theme to hang in the archway. Peonies Floral Designer completed the rest, adding gorgeous flowers, the ribbons and some vine to the complete the look.

Peonies Floral Designer created all of the floral and styling of our bouquets, buttonholes, the venue and ceremony styling, including completing the floral styling of my DIY arch and my flower crown… My most favourite thing I wore that day! Darlene from Peonies floral Designer absolutely blew me away with her vision for the flower crown and for every detail of our venue and ceremony styling.

Candice Campbell Photography captured all of our special moments. We chose Candice for her love for sun flare and effortlessly natural style and of course her beautiful personality which made us feel so comfortable. We visited Peppers Convent, the Robert’s Restaurant gardens and vineyard and a local field to capture our photographs all within five minutes of our ceremony and reception location.

Guests enjoyed a three-course sit down meal by executive chef George Fancisco, of pork belly, three-cheese stuffed zucchini flowers, dukah crusted chicken breast, beef sirloin, lavender honey panacotta and triple chocolate silk cake with raspberry peppercorn sauce.

Our wedding cake was made by a friend Nikki Adams, it was a two-tiered ruffled chocolate mud cake and it was delicious! She also made a four-tier caramel mud slab cake and a white chocolate, coconut and raspberry mud cake for our desert/candy bar. Sharna Hunter my sister in law created our pastel themed candy bar.

We enjoyed a night full of fun and dancing to our favourite country music on an outdoor undercover dance floor draped with fairy lights. Our night was finished off by walking out with our guests through a shower of sparklers, and a short walk to Peppers Convent that shared the property with Roberts Restaurant, where we had reserved all of the rooms for our guests. We spent the next morning having a delicious cooked full breakfast with our guests in the Peppers Convent dining room.

It was the most amazing weekend we have spent with our closest friends and family that has given us the most special memories.

Photography: Candice Campbell Photography | Floral Design: Peonies Floral Designer | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Weddington Way | DJ: MMDJ | Groom's Attire: Gentlemens Outfitters | Groomsmen Attire: Gentlemens Outfitters | Celebrant: Uniquely Yours - Civil Ceremonies By Kim Oakhill | Accomodations: Peppers Convent | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Roberts | Venue And Ceremony Styling: Peonies Floral Designer | Wedding Rings: Michael Hill Jewellers

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