“Fairy tale wedding” gets thrown around way too often these days and it’s a phrase I tend to steer clear of except when a wedding really does feel like stepping into an imaginary moment that just couldn’t exist in real life. When Tahlia arrived (as a total surprise to everyone) in a white carriage pulled by two grand white horses into her Hunter Valley Garden wedding, it was a jaw dropping, air gasping, make believe moment. The day didn’t start like that though.
Arriving to photograph Jimmy and the ‘bhoys’ was like stepping into a scene of “Once We Were Warriors” and a little daunting, even his young nephew was giving me sideways and untrusting looks as I unpacked my camera. They warmed up fast and within minutes I felt part of the crew, laughing and shooting as they played up to the camera.
I was surprised that under those tough, hard exteriors were a bunch of the most emotional guys I’d witnessed at a wedding.
Enough words from me, I’ll continue with photos of the day while Tahlia fills you in on the story in…
What’s the story behind the two of you?
Jimmy and I met at a night club in Sydney which at the time was quite prestigious and classy called “The Ivy.”
I like to believe it was fate as Jimmy had never been to the club before and this was only my second time there. My friend actually started talking to Jimmy first but as soon as he saw me I caught his attention and we’ve pretty much been inseparable since.
Can you tell me about the proposal?
As with most things that happen in our relationship, I somehow always manage to ruin Jimmy’s plans. Jimmy planned to take me too the Opera House restaurant for dinner but being me and always so worried about money etc I looked at the prices and said let’s go somewhere else!!
Our proposal was still magical and everything I could of hoped for. He took me to a different restaurant in Darling Harbour which had delicious Italian food (my fave!) we had a lovely meal and I was wondering why Jimmy was acting so funny – giggling etc, then he placed a box on the table and for moment my heart skipped a beat thinking maybe?!
Jimmy said those 4 amazing words “Will you marry me?” and the crying got heavier
Then he said I hope you like your present because it was also our 2 year anniversary so my heart commenced beating and I thought ok just a present. Jimmy continued to reinforce this present idea by saying I hope you like your necklace it’s just something small.
I opened the box and sitting there was the most stunning engagement ring I had ever seen, so sparkly and bright and in true Tahlia tradition I started crying. Jimmy said those 4 amazing words “Will you marry me?” and the crying got heavier. So we kissed and hugged and he said, “so will you?”
In all the excitement I had forgotten to actually say anything. As I knew this would be the only time I would hear it I asked him to say those exciting 4 words again, this time responding with YES!!! It was a very exciting and loving moment which I will never forgot.
Where was your wedding ceremony and why there?
Our wedding ceremony was held in the Hunter Valley Gardens. My first obstacle in this whole process was to decide if I wanted a beach or country wedding as I have ties to both. I knew from the start I wanted a horse and cart and felt that tied in better with a country wedding so that’s what we did.
We looked at many places in the Hunter Valley but the location we had our ceremony in the gardens was the only place that took our breath away when we saw it for the first time and it still does and always will now knowing that is where we said our vows.
Where was your wedding reception and why there? We had our ceremony and reception in the one location as we wanted to make it a smooth and easy for our guests as possible. Our reception was also held at the gardens in the beautiful lakes terrace room they have, it was all divine and perfect.
Were you going for a certain theme or style with your wedding?
I didn’t start off with a theme but as I began to choose colours/decorations/invitations etc I ended up with a sort of soft vintage style which I loved. So then I sort of used that as my basis when choosing other things needed for the day.
Can you tell me about your wedding dress and any advice you have for other brides looking for their perfect gown?
Go to Luv Bridal at Chatswood!!!
I had planned to go to 3 different wedding dress shops on the first day I went looking for a gown. Luckily Luv Bridal was the first on the list as we walked in those doors and didn’t walk back out for over 3 hours!
We cancelled our other appointments at the other stores as the experience and knowledge that the lady I was dealing with, “Carol,” was incredible let alone the selection of gowns.
The first gown I tried on was the one that I wore on my wedding day, nothing else compared and I just knew as soon as it went on that it was the one… I looked like everything I had hoped!
Where did you find your wedding shoes?
Again Carol from Luv Bridal was just a ball of knowledge, she had advise and expertise about everything weddings!! She suggested some stores to look for wedding shoes and I ended up getting some divine wedges from Wanted which we just perfect for the day.
If you’re having an outdoor wedding, I suggest wedges as they don’t slip and sink in the ground.
Where did you find your jewellery and accessories?
All my jewellery and accessories came from Luv Bridal also. They were really a one stop shop for weddings. And again it was just like it was meant to be, I happened to find this shop, I happened to go there first, they happened to have an amazing deal on that ended the day I went and I happened to find everything I needed on that day! Which I was so grateful for as gown hunting can really become quite exhausting and overwhelming so you want someone that knows what they are doing.
Who did your hair and what led you to the style you chose?
Alicia’s Personal Hair Design was my hair artist and she was amazing. I chose a big up style for my day because I wanted it to be secure and not have to worry about bits dropping etc.
I recommend doing an engagement shoot so you can work out what you don’t like about your look before the big day! This is how I discovered the hair style I wanted.
Who was your makeup artist and what were your instructions?
Again, my make up was just perfect on the day. All the suppliers I used I can recommend 100% as they really studied what I said I wanted and nailed it completely. I found pictures of make up styles that I liked and discussed them with my make up artist to work out what would work best for me and suit my style. Again on this day, this was perfect.
Where did you find the guys suits?
We went with Roger David for our suits, they have the options to purchase or hire and they were very helpful. All our guys received everything on time.
Can you tell me about your flowers/bouquets?
I had a friend of one of my bridesmaids create our flowers, Lee Lee’s Floral Designs.
All I had to do was send a few photos of bouquets I liked and she handled everything and they were perfect and gorgeous. Again couldn’t have been happier with the initiative and confidence of all my suppliers.
What led you to choose the wedding cake you did?
For my wedding cake I just wanted something unique and simple which was created perfectly. I found my supplier through a wedding expo and her cakes were so delicious that I had to go with her.
Beautiful cakes – I loved the look and taste of our wedding cake.
What did you have for your Bomboniere?
I wanted a personal touch with our bomboniere’s so we made home made strawberry and vanilla jam. This tied in with my sort of vintage theme and also gave a lovely personal touch.
Can you describe the photography part of the day?
The photography part of the day was incredible. Andrew did such an amazing job giving us the perfect amount of time to chat and mingle with each other throughout the excitement of the day whilst also capturing every moment.
What led you to choose Impact Images for your photography?
I could just feel how passionate Andrew really was about his photography and the information on his website and blog and different documents just made me feel so confident in his ability to capture everything perfectly and I was absolutely right. Andrew was the person person for our wedding day incorporating laughter and excitement into every photo.
Can you tell me about your most memorable moment from the day?
Now this is an incredibly hard question to answer. To be completely honest from the moment I woke up on the morning till the moment I closed my eyes the following morning, every single moment was memorable.
From getting ready with the closest people to me in the world in the morning, to seeing the horse and carriage for the first time, to walk down the aisle towards my future husband, to seeing everyone’s faces as they took in one of the most overwhelming days of our lives, to laughing with our bridal party through the photos session to entering our amazing reception and all the beautiful speeches and dances that followed.
The whole day was my most memorable moment.
Can you tell me a little about your honeymoon?
The Maldives. What more do I have to say, complete relaxation/food/sunbaking/spa treatments, etc etc etc.
I really think the honeymoon is a vital part to sealing and completing this taxing experience you have just been through with your new husband/wife. It gives you time to really settle into knowing that you are now husband and wife and you just get to completely enjoy that with no stress. Priceless.
What is the most important piece of advice you could share with brides to be?
Be true and honest to yourself in whatever you want for your day, after all it is yours, not your sisters or your mothers or your best friends.
I can honestly say I had the best support network around me throughout the entire organisation of our day but I hear some horror stories of other people trying to take control and that really just proves to you who your true friends are. It is your day, everyone around you should be supporting you in that, if they’re not, you should consider if they should be there.
If you had the chance to redo the whole thing again, what changes would you make?
It was amazing and there will never be another day in my life like it only new exciting adventures to experience together 🙂
If you’d like to see another Hunter Valley wedding, you’ll love this 1950’s themed wedding!