How good are weddings that stray a little from the usual – I can’t wait to share all the details. The wedding of Tiana and Ben was a stunning Hunter Valley wedding and one that will stay with me for a long time; not only for its little differences but for the fun, happiness and love that was shared by EVERYONE.
It was a spectacularly awesome day. One of the major differences was that Tiana and Ben had their ‘location’ photos before the wedding ceremony. Sure, it was a little removed from tradition but it worked so well for them. There were a couple of great reasons why.
Their wedding was just before the start of daylight savings and wanting to start the reception early enough to enjoy the setting sun with their guests meant the timing had to be brought forward to suit the setting sun over the vineyards.
The other big reason was the last thing Ben and Tiana wanted was to shoot off for an hour of photos immediately after their beautifully prepared ceremony – they wanted to share this time with their closest friends and family. It worked perfectly.
Instead of me rambling on about their perfect Vineyard wedding, Tiana and Ben have answered a few questions about their wedding in the hope you get a glimpse into how they planned their day and can hopefully pick up an idea on how you too can have a similar kind of experience on your wedding day or get a glimpse into the lives of a simply gorgeous couple.
What’s the story behind the two of you, how did you meet?
Ben and I started working together about 10 years ago. We got along really well and were good friends. After a year or so, I was transferred to another branch and ended up leaving the company to work in Sydney. We kept in contact for a little while and then lost touch. A few years later, we met up for a coffee and now here we are.
Can you tell me about the proposal?
We went up to Hamilton Island for a 40th Birthday. We spent about a week up there and on our last day we went on a seaplane trip. Ben proposed on Whitehaven Beach. I didn’t say anything for a while because I was shocked. He just stood there and went “well….?”
Where was your wedding ceremony and why there?
We had both our ceremony and reception at Peterson House in the Hunter Valley. A lot of our wedding guests were going to be travelling to attend our wedding, so we thought the Hunter Valley would be perfect as everyone could have a bit of a weekend away. That way, we got to spend time with our guests in the days before and after the wedding.
Once we had decided on the Hunter Valley, we went and had a look around at a few different places… Basically, Peterson House won because of the chocolate shop! It gave me a reason to go there 🙂
Were you going for a certain theme or style?
Not really! Our invitations were black and white so we kind of kept to that for the cake, place settings and programs. We just wanted to keep it simple and black & white tied in well with our Winter wedding.
Can you tell me about your wedding dress?
My wedding dress was a Sottero & Midgley dress. I bought it from Abbey Bridal in the city. I went down with my Mum, Aunty, two close friends and spent a day trying on dresses (which was tiring)!
It was the second dress I tried on and knew right away that was the dress I was going to buy… Nevertheless, I spent the whole day trying on dresses at different bridal stores and went back for my dress that afternoon.
Brides Shoes by?
My bridal shoes were actually my ‘something borrowed’. They were the shoes my Mum wore when she got married.
Jewellery and Accessories by?
My jewellery and accessories were pretty basic. Most things I had already had, and the rest I borrowed from Mum.
Who did your hair, what led you to the style you chose?
My hair was done by Kyle Walbank at J-Rose Hair at Noraville. Kyle and I are actually good friends and went to school together. I drove him crazy. At first I wanted my hair out. He tried to talk me out of it due to practical things, like wind and how annoying it would be.
We did a trial and he did the out, flowy kind of style that I wanted. After a few weeks, I thought about it and realised he had a point. I found a style that was still down but more manageable. I sent him the picture by text message along with a “please don’t hate me, but I want to change the style”.
He replied with “thank goodness!”
Who was your makeup artist and what were your instructions when booking – what were you after?
My makeup was done by Keira-Lea Hirst from KLH Make Up Artistry. Keira had done my makeup a few years ago and she was fantastic. I was so excited when she told me she was available to do my makeup. I don’t wear a lot of make up, so I wanted something fairly natural. She did a really great job.
Groomsmen Suits by?
We actually hired the suits – it was a total nightmare.
A few months before the wedding, we called to confirm that they had the size we were after (they didn’t have the correct size at the time of the first measure) and they had lost our order. Then when we went to pick up the suits, they didn’t have the suits ready and told us they didn’t have ties either.
The two pageboys (my little brothers) weren’t able to get to the store for the final fitting the day we picked up the suits and when we got to our hotel, the suits hadn’t been altered. One suit was about two sizes too big. With the help of the hotel Concierge, my Step-mum managed to do a really dodgy job of altering the suits.
Can you tell me about your flowers?
My flowers were done by Jade McIntosh flowers. My bouquet was really simple – a posy of baby’s breath. My flowergirl had a matching smaller posy. Everyone was a bit shocked prior to the wedding when I told them I was JUST having baby’s breath, but they were pleasantly surprised and I got lots of compliments.
As our centrepieces, we had tall arrangements of cherry blossoms and magnolias. They were beautiful!
What lead you to choose the wedding cake you did?
Again, we wanted something simple. Our invitations were black and white, so we kept going with that. Jade organised some Columbian Roses and baby’s breath for the top of the cake, and that looked great. We chose mud cake (because everybody loves mud cake).
What did you have your Bomboniere?
Our bomboniere was a chocolate bar which was personalised with each guests’ name and a thank you message. These doubled up as place cards.
Can you describe the photography part of the day?
Our cheeks hurt from smiling! The photography part was great. It was very relaxed. Half of the time we didn’t even realise Andrew was there.
When we got our photos back and were looking through them, we had a lot of ‘when did he take that one?!’ moments. We had a lot of laughs and Andrew was VERY patient with my annoying brother trying to be a professional photographer and getting in his way.
What led you to choose Impact Images for your photography?
I had met Andrew previously for two separate work photo shoots. He had done a great job with those and I really liked his relaxed approach. When we started looking at wedding photographers, we had a look at the Impact Images website and loved the photos there.
We didn’t want the traditional ‘pose like this’ kind of photos and we didn’t see a lot of those kinds of photos on the website.
We had our initial meeting with Andrew at the studio prior to booking and he was so knowledgable and gave us some great tips and ideas for our wedding photos. It was clear he was really experienced and knew exactly what he was doing, so we booked that day.
Do you have a memorable moment from the day?
Ben: First seeing Tiana in her dress and standing there watching her walk down the aisle.
Tiana: I loved every bit of it. Although, the surprise of being serenaded to ‘True Blue’ by one of my good friends was hilarious.
And also the garter toss… it became a contact sport.
Can you tell me a little about your honeymoon?
Our honeymoon was amazing! We went to Kuala Lumpur, Patong, Phi Phi Island and Bangkok. We were away for just under a month and we had a blast. We saw so many beautiful things, met some great locals and ate incredible food. I came back 4kgs heavier and my suitcase had triplets.
What the most important piece of advice you would like to share with brides to be?
Our life was mayhem in the months leading up to the wedding between work and family events. The wedding planning was put on the back burner a bit and the week leading up to the wedding was insane. The day before the wedding was so stressful. We spent the day running around, picking things up, dropping things off and it was not fun at all.
Don’t have my attitude and think ‘that won’t take long and I’ve got plenty of time to do it’ because it really does sneak up on you and all the little things add up.
If you had the chance to redo the whole thing again, would you change anything?
We wouldn’t change a thing.
Despite the stress of being unorganised, we had a fantastic day, got married and we were surrounded by all the people that mean the world to us. What more do you need?
Anything else you’d like to add?
Mel from Overload Entertainment was our DJ/MC for the night.
She was so easy to deal with and even handed over her microphone to a friend for him to sing us a song. She was so patient with everyone and kept the night running smoothly!