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Alicia & Mark

Alicia and Mark chose the romantic vineyard region of the Hunter Valley for their wedding day. Filling their reception with crystal chandeliers and flowers, they turned a beautiful Autumn day into a romantic vineyard wedding.   Popcorn Photography was there to capture it all.

Alicia tells the story of how she and Mark began dating. “Mark and I met at a BBQ about 8 years before we started dating, he was a friend of my very over-protective cousin. Although there was an instant connection between us my cousin instantly forbid Mark from taking me out. We developed a friendship and stayed in close contact over the years, until one day we asked ourselves what we were so afraid of, ignored everyone else’s opinion, and went on our first date. 2 months later we were moving in together and 3 years after that we were planning a wedding.”

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Peonies Floral Designer and Stylist created the floral arrangements for the day, including the brides peony and rose bouquet adorned with a crystal brooch.

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The couple made a weekend out of their wedding, starting on the Thursday prior. Alicia explains, “As we all live in Sydney, and the wedding was in the Hunter Valley, we organised for our entire bridal party and their partners to join us two days before the wedding for a wine tour. We got to spend the whole day just relaxing and having a great time with our closest friends in the lead up to our big day. The following day the boys went to play golf and the girls treated me to some pampering at The Golden Door spa. This really made the entire weekend an experience that everyone could enjoy and would never forget. It was the perfect way to start our wedding weekend!”

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Alicia wore a Maggie Sottero gown with her bridesmaids in pale pink gowns from George.

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The groom received a heartfelt present from his bride to be, Alicia explaining, “I suppose the only real DIY was my gift to Mark, he is a complete watch fanatic so I gave him two new watches in a personalised watch box that had his initials etched in the glass top. I also created the wrapping paper which was a collage of photos of us over the past four years. He loved it so much he still refuses to throw the wrapping paper out!”

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Alicia walked down the aisle with her father to ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ by Ingrid Michaelson. The couple chose to marry at Hunter Valley Gardens. Alicia noting “My sister actually found our ceremony venue about a year before Mark and I were even engaged, she was visiting the gardens on a weekend away and text me a photo saying “this is where you need to get married!”. Two years later and she turned out to be completely right!”

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Mick the Jeweller created the couple’s wedding rings, Alicia remembering, “We would also like to make special mention of our Jeweller, Mick the Jeweller. Michael not only made our wedding bands, but he also made the beautiful diamond stud earrings that Mark gave to me as a gift on our wedding day. Regarding the designing of our rings, although I knew exactly what I wanted in a wedding band, Mark had only a vague idea of the ring he was looking for. A simple description and a few researched images later and Michael had custom designed the most amazing, unique wedding band we had ever seen.

Mark is complimented on his ring constantly and is always asked where he found such a unique piece. We could never thank Michael enough for the wonderful service he provided us, he really made the entire process a stress-free, fun and exciting experience! We can’t wait to work with him again to make more special pieces throughout our marriage.”

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Kerryn Tippett of ‘Wed by Kez’ performed the ceremony, Alicia remembering, “Although we didn’t completely write our own vows, at the advice of our celebrant we did work together to create vows that we would both say to one another. This made the process far more personal and genuine. We loved our vows so much that we are getting the final words of them made into an artwork to display in our home.”

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Of their photographer, Alicia says, “As soon as we decided to get married in the Hunter Valley I had no doubt in my mind who I wanted for our wedding photographer! I had been following Popcorn Photography’s work on their blog for months before our engagement. I fell instantly in love with how breathtakingly soft, romantic and timeless their images were. They were the only photographers I spoke to or met during the planning process, and the second we spoke to them (actually, before we even spoke to them..) my mind was made up!

Unfortunately due to work travel commitments Mark and I were unable to complete our pre-wedding photo shoot prior to the big day. This made me slightly nervous as I was unsure how awkward this may make us in front of the camera on the wedding day. Thankfully we could not have asked for a more relaxed, PATIENT (there was quite a lot of giggling throughout our photos!), and amazingly creative group of photographers! They instantly put the entire bridal party at ease, and just enjoyed the day with all of us. They really captured our individual personalities (giggling and all!) and gave us the most amazing and timeless memories of our big day.

Just a tip regarding working with photographers on your big day, trust their creative genius and just do what they suggest! Although climbing through pinecones, in a garden, on a hill doesn’t feel quite so glamorous at the time, the end result just might blow you away… ”

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Alicia and Mark made a last minute decision to move their venue to Ironbark Hill Vineyard  with the help of their wedding stylists Peonies Floral Designer and Stylist . Alicia explains, “Although we confirmed all bookings a year in advance Mark and I had an unexpected complication with our original reception venue pop up 2 and a half months before our wedding date. We were at a complete loss at what to do (and understandably fairly stressed about the situation!) when our stylist, Darlene from Peonies, recommended we change venues.

We were extremely hesitant so close to the big day, but the girls from Peonies sourced all available venues for us and gave us their honest and professional opinion. They knew that we wouldn’t be walking into the wedding reception we envisaged if we didn’t make the change, and they wanted us to be 100% happy with every single aspect of our day. We are SO glad we took their advice! Our wedding reception was better than we could have imagined and we really walked into the wedding reception of our dreams. As scary as the situation was at the time I am so thankful for their help and couldn’t imagine it any other way.”

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The reception was filled with blooms and a sparkling chandelier, Alicia noting “One key element I really wanted was a big chandelier in the centre of the room. We chose one to fit in our budget but when I walked into our venue the girls had sourced a HUGE amazingly beautiful chandelier which was far more grand than the one we originally booked. This was a total surprise and was one of the definite standouts of the day for me. I also envisaged a room full of flowers for our reception.. The table settings and wreath behind the bridal table were so gorgeous! I could never even have imagined it looking as beautiful as it did”

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Hello Naomi created a three tier white cake with pink and white blooms.

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The first dance was a romantic, intimate moment says Alicia. “Our first dance was to ‘How Long Will I Love You’ by Ellie Goulding. Although we were surrounded by 100 friends and family those few minutes felt like we were the only people in the room. After all of the photos and all of the socialising with guests it was nice to have a moment in our own little world to take it all in and just enjoy the moment.”

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The night ended with plenty more dancing, orchestrated by DJ XYDJ , although not from the girls! Alicia tells, “The only real story would be the crazy dance off that took over our reception! Almost all of the men that were at our wedding completely took over the dance floor and us poor girls had to fight to get any room on there at all! It was definitely a sight to see. We loved fact that all of our friends and family really let their hair down and just enjoyed the night with us was amazing! As soon as the formalities were over it was party time! Our DJ was great and the dance floor was full until the venue was well and truly ready to close.”

Design Patrol captured the film for Alicia and Mark to remember their wedding day.

Congratulations on your marriage Alicia and Mark! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Popcorn Photography for sharing today’s wedding with us!