Zoe & Andrew

If there was a wedding that was filled to the brim with tradition, music and love then Zoe & Andrew’s modern Jewish vineyard wedding would be it! Captured by Daniel Brannan, Zoe and Andrew wanted to honour their Jewish heritage by putting their own spin on the day. From the gorgeous green vineyard setting, the epic dance festival that took place outside to the handmade chuppah, it all fell into place to create this beautiful day.

Zoe tells the tale of how she and Andrew came to fall in love. “Andrew, otherwise known as Woolf, and I met in London. We met at a mutual friend’s birthday party.”

The bride chose a Valentino gown from Le Louvre “It was a Valentino dress. I knew I didn’t want a bridal dress. I wanted a piece that was well made, from good fabrics. I would have chosen something that wasn’t white if I thought it was beautiful. The dress I chose was from Le Louvre. The Valentino just felt so beautiful – the fabric was soft, the lines were structural but the overall look simple, it felt feminine but not dainty. It reminded me of a time passed, a sort of Katherine Hepburn look. There were probably many different types of dresses I could have gotten married in, but I really loved how I felt wearing that lovely piece.”

The couple chose vineyard venue Stones of the Yarra Valley  for their wedding, explaining “Originally, we wanted to get married at my Zoe’s cousin’s farm. But it just wasn’t feasible. We wanted to get married somewhere that felt meaningful and beautiful. A venue that didn’t feel like a venue but had the experience and resources to make the organising process easy. The Stones of the Yarra Valley gave us the best of both worlds. We loved the green of the outside and the light of the inside. ‘The Stones’ were truly phenomenal in the lead-up and during the wedding. They were warm, personable, professional and understanding.”

Zoe remembers “We walked ‘down the aisle’ to After the Goldrush by Neil Young (two of our friends, Jarrod Lewis and Hayley Lewkowicz, played the guitar and sang this very meaningful song).”

“We wanted a traditional Jewish chuppah ceremony, which imbued our egalitarian values. We both feel very connected to our Jewish heritage and liked the idea that our chuppah will be one of many in the history of time. We didn’t want to ‘perform’ our chuppah, so we asked everyone to stand in a close circle around us. We wanted our families to be a big part of the ceremony so our siblings held the chuppah, we asked grandparents, cousins and friends to say parts of the ceremony alongside the rabbi. I wore a veil and ring from my great great grandmother who wore these in the 1800’s. We also drank from a wine cup of the same period.”

Even the chuppah held special significance for the couple, who tell “The chuppah itself was made by Zoe’s cousin Amichai Lankri from Mandrake Workshop  from wood collected at a farm belonging to other cousins of Zoe’s. This farm holds great importance for us as we spend many happy times there. Woolf and Zoe draped themselves in a traditional ‘talit’ from Andrew’s family. The chuppah felt meaningful, sewn together by tradition, history, family, friends and who we are.”

Of their photographers, Zoe remarks “Daniel Brannan was our photographer. He and his assistant Chris were exceptional. The process before the wedding was easy – Dan was so lovely, professional and warm. And on the day they were both just amazing. They understood who we were and what type of vibe we wanted. We felt comforted in their presence and never overwhelmed. And we think the photos are truly incredible. His shots are natural, real and beautiful. Dan managed to capture all of the special moments and no image seems overly manicured. We have had friends say that they wish they could get married again so that they could have photos like ours. Dan, you are a legend.”

The couple worked hard to hire a team of vendors they trusted, the bride noting “We loved sharing the day with our much loved and amazingly talented cousin Amichai Lankri from Mandrake Workshop  who put together our beautiful chuppah, our genius photographer Daniel Brannan, our insanely beautiful florist Georgie Boy by Gina Lasker and our awesome band the Jonathan Skovron Band. Ami, Dan, Gina and Jonathan are all truly talented people full of warmth and wonder. They were all truly outstanding at what they do. (The band interwove some of Woolf’s favourite 80’s British songs into our favourite folksy tunes – genius!) Monica Gingold and her team were also the perfect make-up and hair artist group. Monica was so calm on the day. (And she let me keep the natural look that I wanted. I was the second bride she had ever met who didn’t want false eyelashes!)”

Georgie Boy by Gina Lasker  created the floral arrangements for the day, the bride remembering “The reception was a feast with long tables and shared plates. We had lots of dancing to lots of old, soulful music and sparklers to end the night. We wanted nature to fill the room so the amazing florist Gina found the perfect way to arrange natives and other textured floral arrangements within the space. The gorgeous hanging installation was an art piece!!!! It is also why we chose to make our name placements out of gumnut branches.”

Zoe and Andrew kicked off the celebration with traditional Jewish dancing, the bride remembering “The Jewish dancing was outside. It felt like we were in an older time, dancing with our community, amidst the setting of my Australian childhood.”

“We tried to keep the evening very simple – us, our people, our music, our feast, our late night full of joy.”

Congratulations on your marriage Zoe and Andrew! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Daniel Brannan for sharing today’s beautiful celebration!