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Dave and I first met at a Bledisloe Cup rugby game in Melbourne in 2007. Sparks flew, but  we didn’t see each other again for another year, when a mutual friend arranged for us to be at the same event. Four years on from that second, fateful meeting, Dave proposed on the Great Wall of China.

We married a year later in the middle of a Melbourne winter and opted for an elegant black tie wedding celebration.

I slept at my parents’ house the night before the wedding with my four bridesmaids. My sister Trea had decorated the kitchen with bunting reading ‘Today You Are The Bride’. It was quite surreal to be experiencing a wedding from the other side and I was touched to receive so many congratulatory messages that morning from my clients. Needless to say, the atmosphere in the house was buzzing, fuelled by sugar, champagne, hairspray and excitement!

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Haniff and Candice from Rare Earth Hair began our transformation into bridal beauties. Haniff has been my hairdresser for over four years and knows my (somewhat frizz-prone) hair better than anyone. He and Candice worked with each of the girls to design hairstyles that suited their individual style and preference. They even managed to lure Dad off the couch for a blow-dry.

Gill Guyton of Beauty in Motion did our make-up and absolutely nailed it. She gave everyone a polished, elegant look in line with their own personality and was so relaxed throughout it all. I remain amazed by Gill’s skill – she had five women to make up and she did it all so beautifully and without rushing. Nothing was too much trouble and I loved that I needed only minimal touch-ups throughout the day.

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Shane from Botanics created our wedding flowers. Shane has a talent for understanding a vision even when you can’t articulate it, so my only brief to him was that the flowers were white and featured lots of texture. I couldn’t have imagined how beautiful they actually were. Shane also put succulents in my bouquet, which we potted afterwards. They now live on our window sill, a lasting reminder of our wedding day.

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I had been warned by so many of my brides that the morning flies past, so I was surprised when we were ready ahead of schedule. We then promptly lost that time again trying to work out how to do up my bridesman Alex’s bowtie (hint: YouTube is your friend) and eating lunch – a fainting bride is not a good look.

My bridesmaids wore black, one-shouldered floor length gowns that we had custom-made on a trip overseas, with black shrugs from Forever New.

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My gown was by Suzanne Harward. I’ve written about my search for the dress before and I still can’t write about it without gushing. The lace-embellished tulle bodice, the buttons, the delicate straps, the flowing silk organza skirt and the full veil… I loved it so much.

The dress was so stunning it needed very little embellishment, so my only accessories were a pair of earrings created by Ellissi using diamonds passed down from my Dave’s Mum and my late Nan.

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When it came to our photography and videography, we wanted it to occur organically and unobtrusively. We wanted vendors that wouldn’t get in the way and who would feel like friends when we were interacting with them. For those reasons – and many more – we chose John of Warren Photography and Marcus of C2 Video to record our wedding. I’ve worked with both John and Marcus before and knew they were not only exceptionally talented, they were also great fun to be around.

It was when John and Marcus walked into the house that it hit me that we were actually getting married today. Normally when I run into the boys at a wedding it’s just before the ceremony begins. We’ll have a chat about ceremony logistics and how the bride and groom are going. It was a shock to realise that in this case, the bride and groom were us!

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Once our wedding cars arrived, it was time to go. To further complement the black tie theme, we chose two-toned Jaguar Mark 5s and a 1955 Rolls Royce Silver Dawn. With a little (ok, a lot) of help from the girls I was settled in the back seat and we were off. This celebrant was about to get married!

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Images by Warren Photography

Ms Gingham says: It’s been so great following Koren and Dave’s wedding journey! This is so exciting I can’t wait for part 2!

Koren Harvey says: “I love standing with a groom waiting for his bride to arrive and watching the emotions well up in his eyes. I love seeing the joy on a bride’s face when she catches sight of her husband-to-be. I love what I do. Being a celebrant is the best job in the world.”