When it comes to the wedding of Christina & Ambrose, we could rave about any number of things. The bride’s reception gown made by her sister, the open-air reception, the epic grazing tables. But that isn’t what we indeed fell for with these two – it was their vision, their mission for the day, and how it unfolded in the most wonderful of ways.
Christina describes their Yarra Valley winery wedding as “Fun, unique, DIY, casual, intimate, sustainable and a touch of elegant boho charm” and while you’ll have to read on to see every single reason this stands true (so evident by the photos & film snapped by Odd Socks Society) just some of our favourites include the couple working with their local food karma network for their feast, the beautiful handmade quilt complete with traditional African and Aboriginal fabrics presented to the newlyweds from the bride’s mum, the dancing that only added to the joy of the day, and the story that wove in between it all. This one? It’s truly special.
These two made their match on Tinder! “Good old modern technology – we both swiped right on Tinder and matched” laughs Christina. “For two people who originally thought dating apps weren’t quite their thing, it turns out that it was meant to be. Thankfully we weren’t on Tinder for too long. When we met it was quite an instant connection.”
And because you know we always need to lay out the story for you, we, of course, wanted to share Christina’s version of how the pair became engaged. “Ambrose proposed when we were on holiday with my parents in Maui in November of 2017. Maui has always held a special place in my heart – its beauty is transcendent and I love the culture and relaxed vibes – I always feel so at home.
On an afternoon toward the end of our holiday in Maui, Ambrose, my parents and I went to see a blowhole. It was quite impressive and powerful. But not as impressive and powerful as Ambrose’s next move. Next to the blowhole is where Ambrose proposed – in front of a rock that has a naturally formed heart-shaped hole. A kind lady asked if we wanted to have our picture taken in front of it and we graciously said ‘yes’. When she finished, Ambrose asked her to take one more picture and that’s when he kneeled and proposed. And of course, I said a gasped ‘yes’. We climbed back up the steep and rocky hill where my parents were waiting and we shared the news. The whole time we walked up the hill I kept saying that I was speechless, all the while with the biggest smile on my face. When we reached the top of my hill where my parents were waiting, I was so giddy that my parents instantly knew what had happened without me saying a word (and my mom saw the ring and kept excitedly saying “what is that on her hand?!”) and we celebrated into the evening.
And the resulting proposal photo is beautiful! The lady that took the photo did a great job with framing the shot.”
The bride wore a beautiful halterneck wedding gown designed by White by Vera Wang for the day. She tells “I was lucky enough to have two wedding dresses and even luckier that one of my dresses was made by my super talented sister. She made her wedding dress and I was honoured when she asked if she could make me a wedding dress.
The wedding dress that I bought was found on the only day I went dress shopping with my mom and sister when I was visiting my hometown in the US. And thankfully the dress also came in an extended length size because I am 6’2”. The dress fit perfectly and I didn’t require any alterations.
I wore the dress that I bought for the ceremony and a bit after the ceremony.”
One of the wedding day moments most special to Christina? The walk down the aisle. She remembers “My dad’s goal/dream coming true of being able to walk me down the aisle since he was diagnosed with an advanced stage of prostate cancer in 2005. Our father-daughter dance was to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Iz Kamakawiwoʻole.”
“My favourite part of the day was the moment that I finally got to see my beautiful bride walk down the aisle” reminisces Ambrose. “I had anticipated it leading up the wedding and I couldn’t have imagined anything more amazing. I jumped up and down as soon as I saw my gorgeous bride.”
As the couple had wed officially a few days before their “actual” wedding, they were able to be married by a friend. Christina explained “We wanted our ceremony to feel relaxed and inviting and above all, we wanted it to feel like our own and representative of us. Our friend, Steve, was our “celebrant” and opened up the ceremony by making an Acknowledgement to Country. This was then followed by Carl Sagan’s opening words of Cosmos. Ambrose and I both felt that this matched our wonderment of the universe.”
“Ambrose and I each wrote our vows and read them to each other for the first time during the ceremony.”
The Yarra Valley set the scene for the day at the beautiful outdoor winery venue Greenstone Vineyards. Christina says “I found the wedding/reception venue during a winery tour with two of my bridesmaids. I walked onto the balcony of the venue, looked out and instantly knew it was the one. It had a wonderful covered balcony and a lovely large lawn area with vineyards surrounding it and hills in the background. It was simply perfect and fit our style of having everything without having to have much.”
The groom donned a Hugo Boss jacket paired with pants from MJ Bale. Not the original plan says Christina. “Ambrose went out with a few of his mates and bought a wedding jacket. But then he ended up losing weight when he got back into an exercise routine a few months before the wedding. So in true Ambrose fashion, he ended up wearing a Hugo Boss jacket that he found at Savers for $15 earlier in the year (one that didn’t fit him well before losing weight).”
Mel Strang arranged the stunning bouquets. “The flowers were all Australian natives and arranged by our amazing friend, Mel, that is a florist.”
Raving about their photographer is an obvious thing to do for these two, the bride noting “Storm and Xave are absolutely amazing! From the time we met them for our consultation to now (we still catch up!), they have been fantastic. They are 100% committed and their talent shined through well before getting our photos and videos. They are professional and maintain a down-to-earth vibe – which was wonderful on the day of the wedding, they made us feel so relaxed. The resulting photos and video were exactly what we wanted and embraced the natural feel that we were after. We are especially in love with our highlight video. It was exactly what we wanted and I was ecstatic when we got permission from the artist to use the track because I knew it had to be the track for our wedding video. I bawled when I first watched it and I’ve replayed it over and love it!”
Guests continued celebrations outdoors, with grazing platters by Yarra Valley Platter Co and beautiful locally made food. “We loved having a communal feeling by having the lovely folks of our local food karma network loan us lawn games, family contributing in many ways such as making salads and friends contributing their talents by making the wedding cakes, ceramic vases, doing my makeup, MC-ing/“celebranting” and DJing.”
“Keeping it as sustainable as possible was important to us” remarks the bride. “We used bamboo plates and cutlery that a local cafe gave away; we collected jars and used them as a part of our decoration; we purchased pre-loved items from markets and op shops and used as a part of our decorations and Ambrose and I planted trees and native bush to represent wedding guests instead of wedding favours.”
We talked about handmade details, well Christina and Ambrose had a ball making them! “I enjoyed adding so many personal details with the DIYs that Ambrose and I made: hanging macrame piece (made by Christina), elephant and giraffe cake toppers (made by Ambrose), ‘A & C’ initials made of cork (made by Christina), ‘cork people’ holding up photos of young bride and groom (made by Ambrose), painted pinecone floral bouquet in a basket (made by Christina with help of bridesmaids), pressed flowers on candles and candlesticks (made by Ambrose and Christina), wedding invites (made by Ambrose and Christina) and a floral curtain (made by Christina and bridesmaids).”
Christina and Ambrose were surrounded by family and close friends in their wedding party, noting “The bridesmaids wore dresses that were mismatched and a dusty rose tone. Two of my bridesmaids wore the same dress (Asos), one wore a dress found on The Iconic and my sister (maid of honour) wore a floral- print dress from Kleinfeld Bridal.”
The speeches are favourite memories of both the bride and groom, who were lucky enough to be presented with a very special gift during them by the bride’s mother. “My mum surprised us with a quilt she designed and made in under a month (crazy!) The quilt is absolutely gorgeous and symbolic. It features Australian Aboriginal fabric and traditional African fabric.”
I love that these two didn’t throw out tradition for tradition’s sake, but did what was right for them. “We included some traditional aspects in our wedding, mostly because there are certain things about weddings that make them work well. Beyond that, we tried to steer away from being traditional and instead make it into something of our own.” Oh and that cake? A three-tier carrot cake made by their friend Jack.
Before dancing, the bride changed into her reception gown, handmade by her sister! “Around dusk, I changed into the dress my sister made. I also wore the dress my sister made a few days beforehand when Ambrose and I officially got married at the Old Treasury Building in Melbourne. We did this so that a friend could do our vows on our wedding day.”
The first dance was to a favourite song of the couple. We chose “Siren Song” by Camelphat. “It always gives us the feels.
We choreographed the dance ourselves and just had fun with it. We started by Ambrose circling me and “checking me out”, representative of the beginning of a relationship. The dance progressed to including a bit of “heel and toe” (taking it back) and even a dip.”
Turns out these two? They’re actual DJS (you&meep)! So music was key for them having an amazing reception. Explains the bride on their decision to hire The Fields. “Music that we loved and music that wasn’t the same old music typically heard at weddings. Music was one of the things that instantly connected Ambrose and I.
The highlight of the night was when we played a deep melodic techno DJ set – one that was years in the making. We’ve DJ-ed at many events and parties, but there’s nothing like playing a set at your own wedding. It was the first time my parents saw me play in person so it was quite special to see them dancing to it.”
Not only did Odd Socks Society capture the stills of the day, but this film? Also their work!
A big congratulations to you both Christina and Ambrose! We loved sharing every part of your day today! Thank you for your stories and thank you Odd Socks Society for your beautiful images!