“It was a setup! We met five years ago when our respective best friends set us up (they were our maid of honour and best man on our wedding day, they also got married to each other two years ago and we were their maid of honour and best man on their wedding day)” shares today’s beautiful bride Natalie on how the day came to be. It was one of those stunning winter days in Western Australia as the two tied the knot, photographer Kate Drennan capturing all the stunning details as their day unfolded against the vineyards, with beautifully elegant style. From the ditching of favours in lieu of midnight pulled pork sliders to a post-ceremony grazing table and beautifully romantic sunset shots. This was a day that was beautifully planned to reflect its shining stars.
It was in Switzerland that Zach popped the question, Natalie sharing “Zach asked my dad, in the presence of my granddad for his permission to ask me to marry him.
We were on holiday in Switzerland and while on a hike (amongst the vineyards on Lake Geneva) Zach waited until no one was around – which coincidentally was at the top of a very large hill (after an 8 hour hike with no food – I was hangry!) Zach lead with the words “Hey, I have a question for you…” then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. My fingers had swelled up so much from the hiking in the heat that Zach was worried that the ring would not fit. He told me afterwards that he had purposely waited until a recent application of sunscreen to make sure my finger was a little greasy and he was able to wedge it on and then take it off straight away so that it didn’t become stuck!”
It was a challenge for Natalie to find her dream gown the bride to be turning to Karen Willis Holmes to find it. She tells “I went to six different bridal stores looking for wedding dresses. I went to Karen Willis Holmes in Perth three times before finally choosing my dress. I wanted something that would be beautiful and classic, something that wouldn’t go out of fashion, that I could pass on to the next generation. I am not a girly girl so I didn’t want something that was overrun with glitter, tulle and lace. I loved all of the KWH dresses (which is why I kept going back), the quality, feel and fit were amazing. The first two visits to KWH I liked all the dresses but nothing was quite perfect. The store assistant (Ash) was amazing and so informative. She ordered two bodices from the eastern states for me to try on (I had seen them online and felt that they were more the style I was after). I knew I already loved the skirt and once I tried on the bodice with the beautiful intricate subtle lace detail I knew that was exactly what I was after. It really was perfect!”
The beautiful Barrett Lane Swan Valley set the scene for Natalie and Zach’s big day. In Natalie’s words “When we were looking at venues in Perth we wanted to find somewhere that we would feel at home, we looked at a few function centres but they were all too structured and formal for us. We both knew Barrett Lane was the perfect location as soon as we saw it. The beautiful garden courtyard, high timber beam ceilings, glass windows and balcony overlooking the vineyards, it felt like us and the symmetry of getting engaged in the vineyards and getting married in them as well seemed perfect.”
Natalie and Zach chose Married by Kristy to perform their ceremony, noting “Our celebrant was an important choice for us. We wanted someone young and vibrant, someone, who could command the room and do all the legal parts but still keep it light and heartfelt. Kristy Wright was all of that and more, she set the mood for our day, our guests loved her, found her funny and charming, she was perfect.”
It was important to the couple that they honour family not with them, the bride sharing “My granddad and gran on my father’s side were a big part of my life. Unfortunately, my gran passed away over a decade ago and my granddad over a year ago. Zach never got to meet my gran but he was lucky enough to meet my granddad, he loved hearing my granddad’s stories and the way he always greeted people. If anyone said “hi, how are you”, granddad’s response would without fail to be “you know me, any better and I’d be dangerous”.
Both Zach and I wanted to include them some way in our day. Our signing table was my gran’s which had been passed onto her by her gran. We also had their wedding photo printed and placed onto the signing table so that they were with us.”
The bridal party created grazing platters for guests to enjoy with post-ceremony drinks.
Guests enjoyed drinks and canapes in the gardens. The Handsome Stranger serving up drinks in a way that suited the day’s elegant vibe. Natalie sharing “We wanted something that reflected us. We both enjoy nature, minimalist, classic things. We also didn’t want to have to spend our life savings on a wedding, we both would rather spend the money on our honeymoon so we decided on a few key items that we would splurge on and anything else we either shopped around to get a better price or compromised on.”
Says Natalie “We would have been happy being married at the registry office and at times during the planning it was definitely tempting. But at the end of the day, it was amazing to have our friends and family there to celebrate with us and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
“The whole day was amazing” tells Natalie, “I think we both agree that when we first saw each other that was when the nerves and anxiety disappeared and we felt safe, happy and relaxed.
We had our photos between our ceremony and reception and we really enjoyed having some time out with family and then our bridesmaids and groomsmen to just celebrate with our nearest and dearest before returning to the party.”
The Bohemian Flower Collective styled the stunning floral details, Natalie dreaming of “Loose, unstructured, natural white and greens for the bridesmaids. The same for me but with a pop of moody burgundy’s to tie in with the bridesmaid’s dresses. The groom’s buttonhole was burgundy to match mine and groomsmen were white and green to match the bridesmaids.”
Of their photographer, Natalie shares “We both agreed that investing in a photographer was really important to us. We wanted someone who could capture the candid moments, those little moments shared between us and our guests that we would always remember. And Kate did an amazing job! To find our photographer I stalked many Instagram accounts, Kate Drennan’s work is amazing and we both loved the look of her photos, we agreed she was exactly who we wanted for our wedding day.”
The couple did much of the decor themselves, hiring Poppin Cork Events and Little Brown Fox Styling to ensure it all ran smoothly on the day. Natalie tells “The venue was basically a blank canvas, they provided the ceremony chairs, some tables for the reception and wine barrels. The rest of the furniture we hired. The day before the wedding, along with our families and bridesmaids and groomsmen we set up all the venue and hired furniture where it needed to go.
We placed some flowers, candles and goody baskets in the bathrooms. ….basically all the essentials for a good night and a not so painful next morning.I didn’t want to be worrying about anything on the day so we hired a stylist to put the final touches together on the day (flowers, tablecloths, candles etc).”
Guests enjoyed a feast catered by Showcase Catering. Natalie telling “The manager, Daniel, was so friendly, knowledgeable and really went out of his way to ensure we had exactly what we wanted on the night. On the night the food was great and all of our guests commented on the exceptional service.”
“The speeches were one of our favourite parts!” tells the bride. “Our dads went first and spoke straight from the heart. My maid of honour and then Zach’s best man was next, they really stole the show, there was not a dry eye in the house after their speeches, everyone was crying from laughter. We had so many guests comment afterwards on how amazing all of the speeches were and we couldn’t agree more.”
Hummingbird Cakes created a decadent wedding cake, “We had a three-tier wedding cake. I loved the new semi-naked, naked cake trend. But couldn’t decide which one to get, so I got them all. The bottom layer was fully iced, salted caramel, the middle was semi-naked chocolate with raspberry coulis and the top was naked vanilla with mixed berry coulis. The salted caramel layer was to die for!” tells Natalie.
And it was the stories after the fact, that the bride loved the most. She explains “At the end of the night we left through a tunnel of love, made by our guests, and as soon as Zach and I got in the car to go to our accommodation, we could not stop talking about the day, the night, everything that had happened. We had such an amazing time and it was great to relive those moments together at the end of the night.”