if there ever was a wedding that was Dorothy’s ruby slippers in a celebration, than today’s celebration, of Hester and Richard would be it. Perfectly apt for The Red Issue wouldn’t you say?

Tracy Lee Photography captured this one, a celebration for two lovers of colour. The pair choosing a sweet winery for their day. “We wanted a fun, friendly, and elegant wedding, free from tradition, in a natural setting.” That evolved to include not just a sparkly red wedding gown that dreams are made of, but sweet family moments, beautiful photos in the vineyard, and a kickstart to the rest of their life together.

After forming a friendship in high school, it was some time before these two realised there was something more, they tell “We met in high school and found a strong friendship, lasting many years. We grew closer and there were special moments between us. Then one night, Richard kissed Hester out of the blue, and it went from there.”

The proposal was beautiful, involving Devonshire tea and ducks.  “On the 8th anniversary of our relationship beginning, Richard surprised Hester by taking the day off work and taking her down to a boathouse where he spent time in his childhood. We had Devonshire tea on the decks by the water, and then Hester asked if we could go boating. Little did Hester know, Richard had already planned to take her boating. While Richard rowed the boat, Hester fed the ducks as they followed. Then Richard stopped in a private river bend. Hester came forward to kiss him. Richard popped the question. Hester was stunned but then enthusiastically said yes.”

The blooms were a last-minute decision and one that Hester in no way regrets. “With just weeks before the wedding, Hester’s mother called a local florist, West Row Botanica, and described Hester’s dress, and from there the florist put together two beautiful bouquets for the bride and the maid of honour! He also put together two boutonnieres for the groom and best man.
Also, Richard and his mother went to a local nursery, Yarralumla Native Nursery, and picked out a dozen different Australian native potted flowers to have around the venue. These were later given out to guests to take home and plant.”

The sparkly red ballgown Hester chose? It was from Duchess Boutique. “From the start, I did not want to wear a traditional white wedding dress. We’ve always been a couple in love with the colour!  It came in at the waist and flowed out to a fun, multi-layer skirt. It was incredibly fun to walk and dance in!”

The couple each chose one attendant, says Hester. “We both chose our only sibling to stand with us by our sides. Miriam, on Hester’s side, wore a beautiful black dress with a colourful fern and floral print skirt. Robb, on Richard’s side, wore a blue fern print jacket, white shirt, black tie, and black pants.”

“Richard wore a blue tailored 3 piece merino suit, bought from Institchu on Little Collins Street, Melbourne. He wore a sky-blue flower print satin tie and fun astronaut print socks (one small step, one giant leap!). Hester went with him to the suit fittings as Richard did not know anything about her dress and both the tailor and Hester had to make sure the colour matched!”

On the advice of their photographer, Hester and Richard met before the ceremony for a “first look”. “Tracy is a personal friend and exceptional photographer! She makes you feel so comfortable and at ease. We love her candid photography, as well as the more posed shots. We had a lot of fun in our engagement session as well, and this helped us to prepare for photography on the wedding day itself.”

Canberra winery Brindabella Hills Winery set the scene for the day. “Brindabella Hills Winery was an all-in-one venue. We had our ceremony among the vines, overlooking a horse paddock and a beautiful scene of hills and greenery. Our reception was held in their restaurant/bar, with a gorgeous view of the vineyard and a breath-taking view from its back deck.”

Hester and Richard walked down the aisle together, hand in hand to “You & Me” by Lifehouse performed by friend Jessica Maree Horton.

Of their ceremony, officiated by Sharyn Gunn, the couple share  “We wanted to be surrounded by friends and family who were all happy to be there and happy with us. Our ceremony was relaxed, short & sweet, with several laughs and tears. We wrote our own vows, and included the quote by Stephen Fry: “It is the useless things that make life worth living and that make life dangerous too: wine, love art, beauty. Without them, life is safe, but not worth bothering with.”

“It’s your wedding. There will be a lot of pressure to meet others’ expectations or demands. Stay true to your vision as a couple” advise the newlyweds.


Turns out Richard had many a talent when it came to the wedding! “The day before the wedding, we attached hessian and ribbon to the potted flowers. Richard and his family decorated the arbour with eucalypt leaves from their garden. But most impressive of all, Richard made the wedding cake and the croquembouche on the days leading up to the wedding!”

As much as this day was about Hester and Richard, it was also about honouring family, says Hester. “I wore the same flowers in my hair as my grandmother wore at her wedding. Richard wore cufflinks and a chain that had been given to him by family to mark various milestones of his youth.
It was also wonderful to have so much family input into our wedding. Miriam, the maid of honour, created the wedding playlist. Robb, the best man, drew a poster to welcome guests to our wedding, with illustrations of the venue. Hester’s aunt, Karen, beautifully hand wrote all the invitations and signage.”

For the first dance. Hester and Richard chose “Love, Love, Love” bu Avalanche City. “We had always thought of this as “our song”.”

Congratulations to you both Hester and Richard! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thanks also go to Tracy Lee Photography for sharing today’s beautiful celebration.