‘Come let me love you, let me give my life to you,
let me drown in your laughter, let me die in your arms,
let me lay down beside you, let me always be with you.
Come let me love you, come love me again’ – Annie’s Song
This wedding is straight from a fairy-tale, a romantic, garden wedding filled with love, beauty and fun.
When the bride is studying event management and hopes one day to own a wedding venue you know her own wedding is going to be nothing short of exquisite. I tell you now, Michaela and Daniel’s wedding is one of the most spectacular, well planned, loving weddings I have ever seen.
Love Birds: Michaela Bates, 27 and Daniel Ford, 32
Ceremony & Reception: Ravensthorpe Restaurant & Guest House
Theme: A romantic, garden wedding. It was outdoor elegance with a touch of quirk!
The dress was originally purchased strapless, however to make it unique, Deb from Princess Bride added a lace keyhole back with gorgeous cap sleeves that was detachable. Michaela says it ‘let me be traditional for our ceremony and a bit more modern when I removed the lace sleeves for the reception’. They rearranged some of the silk and lace flowers that adorned the gown to form a “belt” on the waist of the dress rather than have them scattered over the bodice. Michaela says ‘Deb is so amazingly skilled at sewing and created my absolute dream dress’!
The Bridesmaid dresses wore custom made creations of peach and rose lace and soft tulle by Leanne Hamilton Couture from Bathurst. Their dresses were soft, feminine and reflective of their own personalities. Each girl chose their own jewellery, shoes and hair styles.
Hair/makeup: Hair and makeup was simple, soft and natural. Hair was created by Lauren Morris Hair. Makeup by Courtney from Powder Puff Makeup Artistry
Decorations: The couple wanted the decorations to really reflect the vintage tones of the wedding. The colours used in all the decorations were pastel and reflected the ivory, peach and rose tones of the bridesmaid dresses and the bouquets.
The bouquets were natural stem posy bouquet of mauve and pink roses, lemon tulips, white lizzy, white trachillium, snaps, berries and dusty miller foliage and these were used throughout the decorations as well.
The table decorations were a beautiful combination of candles, crystal and mirrors accented with teacups and flowers that matched our bouquets. The tables and outdoor decorations were done by Simone from Woonona Florist and the rest of the styling was put together by the beautiful bride and her bridesmaids.
Scrabble tiles were used on the bridal table to spell out “The Men”, “The Maids” and “Mr” and “Mrs”. The bride’s father passed away 10 years ago so in memory of him they placed a Sarsaparilla bottle on the Bridal Table that he had given the bride as a teenager.
One of the most creative aspects of the wedding was a display of twine wrapped pens which were topped with an origami pinwheel with each guest’s name on it. This complimented the guest notebooks that were placed on each table so that each guest had their own pen to take away. The note books also doubled as table numbers and the front read ‘ please leave a message for Daniel and Michaela to read on their “1” year anniversary’ ‘or “2” year anniversary’ and so on. Michaela says ‘It’s great that each year for the next 10 years we can open a book and relive our wedding day through our guest messages!’
The bride is an avid reader so utilised her love of books throughout the wedding; there were hearts cut from book pages tied around the chairs both in the reception and ceremony, paper planes folded from book pages instead of confetti for guests to toss, the pin wheels were folded from Encyclopaedia pages and a beautiful book carved with the couples initials and a heart on the gift table.
Gorgeous milk bottles and bright coloured straws were used for toasting bottles, they also had jute topped mini honey jars as bonbonnieres and signs handmade by the bride’s mother throughout the wedding.
Outside was decorated with teacups and doilies. Adding to the luxurious feel was a mixture of vintage chairs hired for the ceremony.
One of the standout features of this wedding was giant ‘LOVE’ sign.
In a sentimental moment for the couple, early on the wedding day they locked together two locks, attached the keys to the ends of giant colourful balloons and let them go.
Food: Canapés and Pre Dinner Drinks followed by Chicken Breast on Mushroom Risotto with Basil Pesto or Lamb Rump with Spinach and Feta on Tunisian Spiced Pumpkin with Labna, Twice cooked Chat Potatoes with Rosemary and Rock Salt, Summer Salad of Pear, Rocket and Parmesan
Dessert Buffet featuring: rosewater pannacotta, macarons, pavlova and orange cupcakes with citrus syrup.
Cake: Flourless chocolate Belgian made cake
The bride and groom utilised cake toppers that really reflected their own personalities. The cake toppers were a sign that said ‘still shopping’ and a batman figurine.
Drinks: Ravensthorpe’s signature strawberry champagne cocktail as well as a selection of red and white wines, soft drinks and premium beers.
Photographer: Mel Hill Photography of Canberra. The brides says ‘Mel and her husband Michael did not miss a single minute of our day, they were fun, professional and their package was incredibly good value. Their photos are works of art and they are so incredibly talented’.
Cars: A vintage green Kombi named Rhonda that also featured in Packed to the Rafters!
Rings: Bride: a band of diamonds that compliments a bezet pear shaped engagement ring.
Groom: A platinum thick band rimmed with yellow gold.
Each piece of stationary complimented each other by staying with a vintage feel i.e. blackboard looks, colourful 1950’s paper, most of the stationary was generally in the peach and rose colours that accented our entire wedding. The formal invitations were ivory with ribbon and lace wrapped around the invitation and pearl paper inserts adorned with pearls.
Music The bride in tribute to her parents walked down the aisle to their song, “Annie’s Song” by John Denver. At the reception DJ Grahame Brown from Wollongong DJ’s kept the guests dancing all night.
Special moments: The groom and best man arrived by helicopter when no else (including the other groomsmen) knew they were going to! The bride says ‘It was a fantastic surprise and the reactions from the guests were just priceless!’
The bride says it was special to her to have both her 10 year old stepdaughter and a grown up, 23 year old friend as flower girls. She says this was just for something different.
The bride and groom chose to have their “first look” photos before the ceremony so all our formal photos were out of the way so after the ceremony they could just celebrate with their guests. The bride says the first moment of seeing each other was so intimate and special.
Another moment that the bride says is close to her heart was when the entire bridal party lined up to enter the marquee and serenaded the guests with a song at the top of their lungs before entering.
The bride says the night wound down with the bridal party staying at the venue and sharing a midnight supper of gourmet pizza with the owner of the venue spontaneously playing the guitar.
Cost: Michaela says she lost track of exact figures, it was well over budget but worth every penny for what was the most amazing day!
Stockists: Reception & ceremony: Ravensthorpe Restaurant & Guest House | Dress: Watter’s Patagonia from Princess Bride | Groomswear: Van Heusen & Jack holeman Menswear | Bridesmaids: Leanne Hamilton Couture | Hair: Lauren Morris Hair | Makeup: Powder Puff Makeup Artistry | Florist: Woonona Florist | Photographer: Mel Hill Photography | Stationary: Etsy.