You know how it is when you meet someone and you just click… that’s how it was with Maddie and Nath when we sat down to chat about what they had in mind for their wedding day, almost a year out from their planned date. I was familiar with the venue, Peterson House in the Hunter Valley with its corrugated tin roof, beautiful area to hold a ceremony and grounds filled with sweeping vineyards backed by large gum trees on the horizon. The only missing link for the perfect wedding was Maddie and Nath’s friends and family… if they were anything like them, I knew the day would be perfect.
It turned out better than that! What a great family, what awesome friends and that sunset. We had to run for it but you couldn’t have scripted a better day. I asked Maddie to share her view on the day, Nath, the planning and everything that goes into something as big as organising a wedding day. I also asked for any advice or help she could give to couples preparing for their wedding, in the Hunter Valley Vineyards or not.
What’s the story behind the two of you – how/where did you meet?
We met at university whilst studying our teaching degrees.
Can you tell me about the proposal?
Nath absolutely surprised me with his proposal. We were on a 2 month summer holiday traveling around Europe. We had been living in England for three and a half years and coming home at the end of this trip. We were in Positiano on the Almalfi coast, which had always been a dream of mine to get to. Nath had organised a surprise private 3 hour boat tour around the Almalfi coast. After a swim stop, he got down on one knee surprising me with roses and a little prepared speech finishing with asking me to marry him. It was the best day of my life until we got married.
Where was your wedding ceremony and reception?
We had both our wedding ceremony and reception at Peterson’s House. We had always liked the Hunter Valley and I liked the idea of getting married in the Hunter Valley. We fell in love with the grounds at Peterson on a trip we made with friends to do some wine tasting not long after getting home. There were other wineries that we had liked as well, however, we found Peterson’s had a better package and pricing.
Were you going for a certain theme or style with your wedding?
We didn’t have a theme exactly, I did want it to have a little bit of a rustic feel and I wanted the colour teal blue to run through the wedding.
Can you tell me about your wedding dress and any advice you have for other brides looking for their perfect gown?
I found my wedding dress in a shop in Leichhardt on Parramatta Road. The ladies in this shop were great and always made us feel so special when we were there. We had been to a couple of shops that day. My advice would be to not take too many people when you go shopping and make sure you decide on a dress that you absolutely love not because other people love it. Also, don’t have one style in mind as you may be surprised on the day.
Where did you find your wedding shoes and do you have any advice for brides looking for their bridal shoes?
I wasn’t overly fussed on my shoes as I knew they wouldn’t be seen very much, so my shoes were just from a shop in Erina Fair. As long as they are comfortable and you can last in them the whole night, that is what mattered to me. And I did. ? Advice would be if you are going to be walking on grass in heels, it’s a good idea to get plugs you can put on the bottom of them. One of my bridesmaid did this for me and they saved us on the day!
Where did you find your jewellery and accessories?
My jewellery on the day was gifted to me as presents. And my hair accessory was something borrowed from my sister in law as she had worn the same one on her wedding day.
Who did your hair and what led you to the style you chose?
My long time hairdresser on the Coast, Tiffany Evans did my hair. She has been my hairdresser for at least 8 years – it was very special to have her with us for the day. I wanted an up-style as I liked the back of my dress so I didn’t want my back covered. I did some research on Pinterest and had a trial before the day to check that I liked it.
Who was your makeup artist and what were your instructions when booking – what were you after?
My make up artist was Bronwyn from Face On at Erina. She was absolutely amazing. I wanted to look natural as Nathan doesn’t like anything over the top, but still stand out. She did exactly this. I had a trial a couple of weeks before the wedding to go through what I wanted and check I liked it. I would highly recommend her to anyone getting married.
Where did you find the guys suits? Were they purchased or hired and why?
We found the boys suits in Connor. They were purchased but very affordable. We didn’t want people to have to pay too much and when Nathan found what he wanted, it was easy for the boys to go into a shop near them and get what they needed.
Can you tell me about your flowers/bouquets?
I chose Lillies as my flowers. Lillies were my mum’s favourite flower and have always held a special spot for my family. This was my way of feeling like mum was close by on the day. My bouquet was slightly bigger than the girls and had some orchards in it as well to tie in with the navy of their dresses. They were from Buttercup Florist in Killarney Vale on the Coast. They were absolutely beautiful and we even got a surprise little bouquet that matched the bride’s bouquet which was perfect for my flower girl.
What led you to choose the wedding cake you did?
I always wanted a cup cake tier as cup cakes are my favourite type of cake. We stuck to flavours we like and enjoy.
Can you describe the photography part of the day?
Andrew spent time with both groom and groomsmen and bride and bridal party before the ceremony. He was there throughout the ceremony, wedding shoot, reception, bridal dance and stayed to see the dancing and party start before sneaking off. From the minute he was with us, he made us feel comfortable and relaxed. Andrew was able to make suggestions about where to take photos and how to pose. His experience and knowledge of our venue and location really shined through with our photos.
At the ceremony and reception, we never felt like he was there, but he captures all the important moments from the day/night but never imposing.
In particular we love that Andrew was able to capture the natural moments we had only giving us little suggestions so our photos reflect us as a couple relaxed and not posed. We couldn’t be happier with our photos from our day, we have so many great moments we can look back on. Our album is perfect, there is nothing we would change, we couldn’t be more thankful to the team at Impact Images for capturing our wedding day as it truly was.
What led you to choose Impact Images for your photography?
When browsing the wedding photos on the Peterson House website I noticed quite a few from Impact Images. Also friends of ours recommended Impact Images. After our introductory meeting with Andrew, there really wasn’t a decision to be made we knew he and the team at Impact Images would be the perfect choice for us and they were even better than we could have imagined.
Can you tell me about your most memorable moment from the day?
I don’t know if we can pick just one. haha
Just marrying my soul mate, our relaxed ceremony, chasing the sunset for our wedding photos and our wedding dance. It was all perfect.
Can you tell me a little about your honeymoon?
We went to Hawaii for 2 weeks, our trip was split up between north shore, Waikiki and Maui. Maui was our favourite. We already talk about going back!!!
We just lived it up, drank lots, ate great food especially seafood, shopped A LOT, had a good balance between sightseeing and relaxing pool or beach side, just enjoying being newlyweds. We definitely did not hold back on this holiday.
What is the most important piece of advice you could share with brides to be?
Don’t stress, it all does fall in to place like everyone says. Much easier said than done as I am speaking from experience. Try to take in every moment because like everyone told me the day just flies and it really did. I couldn’t believe when it was time to leave, I wasn’t ready for it to be over.
If you had the chance to redo the whole thing again, what changes would you make?
I actually don’t think we would change anything. We possibly would have extended the hours if possible. We could have extended for one more hour and in hindsight we maybe would have done this.
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