If your Tuesday needs an utterly feel-good story, a wedding that will make your butterflies aflutter and your heart swell, then by George do we have it for you. Erica & Erin’s wedding returned to the scene of their very first wedding together, the moment they call the beginning of their family.

“We decided after the wedding that we’d love to change our surnames to Margan” explains Erica. “We considered it the birthplace of our family in the same way that surnames were often created based on where a family was from or what they did.”

The brides are no strangers to “I Do’s”, they capture them frequently because their alter ego? It’s none other than Margan Photography. And who do photographers choose to photograph their own big day? These two booked James Day to capture wedding round two!

We always like to go back to see how love stories started, even when there are nine years between moments! Erica fills us in on this one. “We met through work! We were both doing the same role but I was in NSW and Erin was just starting in Victoria – they asked me to get involved in bringing her up to speed and we quickly became best friends. Two and a half years later that friendship revealed itself to in fact be love.”

The couple opted out of a wedding party, instead, they decided to include their two boys in the day. “We didn’t really have a wedding party – our little boys were there with us though! They wore chino pants and white shirts and one wore a red bowtie and the other wore a teal bowtie (a little nod to our original wedding date – where Erica wore a red dress and Erin wore a teal dress).”

“I (Erica) found my dress through  Bohemian Brides and it was a gorgeous gown by Willowby by Watters – I’m 6’4 and Watters was able to make me a custom length and the gorgeous girls at Boho Brides were just amazing. It was an awesome experience.”

Erin worked with Reclamation on her long-sleeve lace gown, says Erica “Erin worked with Trista Smith of Reclamation to make a custom gown for her with vintage lace. Trista is based in America so there was lots of working with a local seamstress to get measurements right and skype video chats but what arrived was absolute perfection.”

The brides say “Nine years before we held our wedding at Margan Winery with 100 family and friends. Our guests formed a labyrinth (spiral circles) on the lawn and Erin and I entered from either side – and walked past each guest and we were married in the middle of those circles. We decided after the wedding that we’d love to change our surnames to Margan as we considered it the birthplace of our family – in the same way that surnames were often created based on where a family was from or what they did.

Margan is the most incredible winery with amazing award-winning wines and the most sensational farm to plate restaurant. Lisa and Andrew and all the staff have been so incredibly supportive and welcoming of us and all our family and we just wouldn’t imagine it anywhere else.”

Erica and Erin left the flowers and styling for the day to the Wedding Designer team.
“We just told the amazing girls at the Wedding Designers that we wanted lots of deep pink berry colours.. cos they’re our favourite! The circle arbour was really important to us – we wanted it to be symbolic of the circle from our first wedding and we really love the extra symbolism of ongoing love and equality.
We also let TWD know that the “signing table” shouldn’t be an afterthought – because the signing for us really was the big deal – we were finally able to make our 9-year marriage legal and the girls did the most incredible job of giving that space it’s own thought.. and the couch that dripped in flowers as well. Loved it.
We absolutely love oversized bouquets as well and the girls worked to be both a little different so that when they came together they created a really beautiful piece of floral art as well.”

The brides walked down the aisle together to “Love Is Love” by Mary Lambert. “We walked into the circle with our boys and started the song at the second verse “Look at us now, beautiful family” remembers Erica.

Eric and Erin chose Lillian Lyon to perform their ceremony. “Lillian has been a huge advocate for marriage equality forever and holds the most beautiful ceremonies. She was just wonderful throughout the whole process and we absolutely adore her.”

Says Erica “It was really important to us that before beginning the ceremony we did an acknowledgement to LGBT elders. We included the following as our ceremony began:

“Before we start, Erin and Erica have asked that we pay respect to the courageous efforts of LGBTIQ leaders, both past and present who fought so tirelessly for equal human rights in the face of great hostility, ignorance, fear and discrimination.

Their victories have enabled the lives of LGBTIQ people in Australia the freedom to be themselves and love openly with a far greater measure of recognition and acceptance.

We acknowledge all those who did not make it to see days like today.”

The ceremony was just as special as you’d imagine. “Our ceremony was perfect” remembers Erica. ” It was heart-warming and beautiful and funny and super emotional – we had spent over 10 years passionately fighting for marriage equality – we marched, we rallied, we had so many conversations pushing for our family to be seen the same as the hundreds of wedding ceremonies we’d photographed together. It was a huge deal for us.

We used the reading “Marriage is not beautiful” – which is just about as perfect a description of our then 9-year marriage as we could find. It’s real and raw and filled with the not so flowery new love stuff … but super important.”

I mentioned the day was filled with stories, and the numbered vineyards of Margan Estate have played a special role for Erin and Erica. Erica explains “There is a row of numbered vines at the front of Margan and every year for our anniversary we’ve returned to take a photo at the corresponding vine. We were there when Erin was pregnant, then next when our first son was just 1 year old. The next year Sage was 2 and I was heavily pregnant with our son Arlo.. and then when Sage was 3 and Arlo was 1. We loved that we were able to celebrate our 9th Anniversary photo by taking our “legal” wedding photo there on the first year that we were able to make it legal.”

“We’ve been huge fans of James Day for many years” notes Erica of the couple’s chosen photographer. “As wedding photographers, he’s been a huge ongoing inspiration for us. When we fell pregnant with Sage we asked James to do our maternity photos for us and then James took photos of our family later as well. Yes, he’s technically a genius with a camera but more so he is such a beautiful person to spend time with.

We love the experience of being photographed by him .. not only is he funny and genuine – he has this wonderful knack of bringing it back to the real .. and you can forget you’re having a photo taken and instead enjoy being in love with each other. There wouldn’t be anyone else we’d want to be there and we felt super lucky that he was free!”

2021 is going to see plenty of midweek weddings, and Eric and Erin agree that marrying on a weekday is amazing. “One of our favourite memories is having all our immediate family attending for us – on a Wednesday from all around the country.”

Erica advises to let go of any expectation. “You can do anything you want to do – there are no rules. My brother needed to head back to Canberra and we wanted to make sure we were having our photos in the gorgeous evening light so switched things around and had a “reception” lunch before the ceremony and then he could head off straight away.. and it was so lovely to spend so much time with everyone. That won’t be perfect for everyone but it was perfect for us.”

One of our favourite photos is one James took of us with a circular ring flare. Erin and I had been standing on the side of a dirt road to capture some gorgeous light and completely wrapped up in each other and it’s just such a stunning super clever and special piece of art that basically says everything to us.”

The biggest of congratulations to you both Erin and Erica, what an honour to be able to share your day! Thank you both for sharing your story and to James Day for sharing today’s photographs with us!