There is such a place for stunning classic weddings, for weddings filled with romantic details, for a little bit of glamour and a beautiful love story. This, as it turns out, exactly describes the wedding of Hannah and Luke.
The couple counts themselves as a Tinder success story. “We were both each other’s first dates on the app back in 2015. Luke organised our first date at sea level (a restaurant by the water at Cronulla near where we live). Luke picked me up from my family home and opened the car door and was such a gentleman. He was such a good driver too, I instantly felt so safe with him. We shared a seafood platter that night and each year go back on that same date and share a seafood platter. After the date I told one of my bridesmaids I could imagine marrying him – he was and is the love of my life.”
And their day? Hannah sums it up as “Classic, timeless, whimsical and a little lush.”. There are stunning floral details by the fine folk at Nunu Designs filled with white and blush roses and lush white orchids, black bow ties, champagne, lawn games and beautiful photography by Good Thanks Media. Settle in for this story!
Hannah was completely blown away with the mission that Luke undertook to propose. “It was a total surprise! I feel like I’m still so shocked by how incredible and special the day was. One of the best days of my life. We live in the Sutherland shire near Cronulla so each weekend we will usually go for a walk by the beach and get breakfast or coffee in Cronulla somewhere. This weekend was no different. Saturday morning we woke up and Luke was like “let’s go for a walk” and I agreed. I told Luke I was ready and he gave me a look (bed hair, no makeup, looking fresh) and said ok let’s go and I said “no what was that look” and he was like “nothing you look great” – so off went. Luke parked at the other side of the walking track and I made a comment about why he went this way and he was like “I thought I’d change things up”. Didn’t think anything of it. We parked the car and I reminded Luke to get his sunnies (again little did I know this was a ploy to go back to the car to get the ring).
We started to walk and Luke mentioned he left his wallet in the car – so off he went, to get his wallet. I stood there waiting for him, watching. Again not thinking anything of it. When he caught back up to me I went to put my hands in his hoodie pocket as it was July and cold and he brushed my hand aside (that’s where the ring was – I was oblivious though and just thought he didn’t want to hold my hand).
We were at Bass & Flinders Point and Luke was acting really strange, I started to get sus but nothing happened so thought I was being delusional. He then suggested we go down to these stairs by the water, as we walked down I could see a picnic basket set up and champagne and thought Luke had organised an ultimate date (something we do to surprise each other with a fun-filled day) until he got down on one knee! I was completely shocked and the ring blew me away. It was an oval solitaire and the most perfect ring I could ever imagine. He told me he loved me and asked to marry me and of course, I said yes. The tears started and didn’t stop. He organised for our family’s to meet us at Cronulla RSL afterwards and a night in the city staying at the Shangri-La Hotel. He really thought of everything, and had only picked up the ring that week!”
Luke and his groomsmen went for a classic vibe, opting for suits from MJ Bale Hannah noting “Luke and the groomsmen went shopping a few months before the wedding and he found his suit in the first shop he went into! We had both agreed on a black and white classic theme (my bridesmaids were wearing black) so when he saw the black tuxedo in MJ Bale it was perf. I didn’t actually see his suit until I walked down the aisle (he wanted to surprise me too) – so he would stir me up and tell me he got a maroon/purple/pink/blue suit.. it would change colour whenever I asked him about it.”
Hannah’s bridesmaids all wore black Shona Joy dresses. “My bridesmaids wore black Shona Joy dresses in styles that suited them – all different. Two of my bridesmaids were 20 weeks pregnant at the time so comfort was key! They all looked amazing and each dress suited them so much, and I know this is a cliché thing to say but you really could re-wear these dresses to future weddings as guests! I’m definitely borrowing Pember’s dress next wedding haha!”
Hannah found her beautiful lace gown at Made With Love. “I went shopping one day with all my bridesmaids, my mum and my mother in law and felt so overwhelmed. It was exhausting and I didn’t like anything and then things I did like, then one or two people wouldn’t like it. In hindsight, it was a fun experience as I tried on lots of different styles that I would never imagine (or dare to wear in public lol), and it gave me a good idea of what I liked and what I didn’t. I was definitely drawn towards the more simple styles.
The next time I went dress shopping I booked into Made With Love and I could only have two people attend the appointment so I bought my Mum and mother in law. I had followed MWL on Instagram for years so was kind of determined to find something I liked. The Made With Love ‘Carla’ was the first dress I tried on, and I just wanted to get back into it. I loved the low back, the matching veil, the train and the lace. I didn’t think I was a lacy gal as everything I was drawn to was a lot simpler.
I felt very comfortable and elegant on the day! The dress had a handle on the train which made it easier to get around/for the first dance. Luke and I had a practice first dance whilst our guests were waiting to come into the reception and they are some of my favourite photos!”
Hannah and Luke chose the all in one venue of Bendooley Estate for their big day. “I love a wedding where the ceremony, reception and accommodation are all at the one venue. I had heard good things about Bendooley Estate in Berrima and that ticked all of our boxes. We booked in to have a site visit and fell in love with the venue and the people! Mark showed us around the grounds and showed us both venues the stables and the Book Barn.
We couldn’t go past the Book Barn, the amazing lakeside views, the gardens, the vineyard. It ticked all the boxes and more. We wanted to get married on a Saturday in summer and the 19th December 2020 was the first Saturday available – so we locked it in the next day! It was the only venue we visited/enquired about. Love at first sight. Once we booked in the venue and had a date, everything just fell into place! Finding vendors and getting to know everyone and seeing the vision come to life!”
For the walk down the aisle, Hannah had The White Tree play the Kia Grannia version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. Hannah and Luke opting last minute for a ceremony arbour that blew their socks off. Floral designer Steph tells “I first spoke to Hannah and Luke about 18 months before their wedding. They absolutely loved the larger arbours we had previously done at Bendooley but as always budgets can creep up and we decided on a played down version.
On one of our last meetings, Hannah let me know that they just couldn’t go past the original arbour and we could pop it back in. I may have been a little over-excited and just knew I had to blow Hannah’s mind when she walked down the aisle. I am so pumped that we could do that for her.”
Hannah and Luke handed the responsibility of styling and flowers over to the team at Nunu Designs. “We went with Steph Jordan from Nunu Designs – from our first correspondence, I knew she was a vibe and I locked her in from the get-go! She is so easygoing and such an expert in the field. I had stalked weddings she had done and was obsessed. All of my Inspo photos were legit from her Instagram haha. The flowers we chose were greens, whites with a touch of pink, so we had roses, peonies, orchids and green foliage. It was so stunning – definitely my favourite styling of the day.
Steph was incredible – definitely MVP. Nothing was too big an ask too! I had seen a post Steph had done talking about the arbour and how she recommends it is bought into the reception after the ceremony to incorporate that into the styling of the reception and asked if she could do that (mind you the ceremony was about 300m from the reception and the arbour was very full and very heavy). She had no hesitation in doing that and managed to bring in the full arbour into the reception so we could admire it inside. I had also always pictured the classic petal toss when we walk back down the aisle, but some venues will often charge you for that as they have to clean it up afterwards. I told Steph that I really wanted the petal toss and YOMO to the fee. Steph picked up all the petals after the ceremony and avoided a fee for us! She seriously went above and beyond with so many aspects.”
The couple were lucky enough to have a celebrant relative, who they choose to officiate their day. “It was raining all morning so Bendooley have two options for the ceremony, both outside! One on the grass under a big tree, or one by the Lake which is sheltered. Both options are stunning so it really didn’t matter too much – but ideally, we were hoping to be on the grass by the tree. As luck would have it, the rain cleared for the ceremony and we were married on the grass. We wanted our ceremony to be about us.
My cousin’s wife Lucy is a celebrant so she married us which I thought was so special as she has seen our relationship grow over the years. And Lucy just nailed it!! It was funny, relaxed, and she shared our love story. When it came to signing the registry we had Luke’s brother and my grandad sign our marriage certificate. It was a surprise for Grandad and the look on his face was priceless – he was very honoured to be included.”
Luke’s favourite memory? “It was genuinely the best day of my life, and I’d never been so happy. The highlights were seeing Han walking down the aisle and marrying her, having all of our favourite people celebrate with us and seeing how happy Han was.”
Hannah gives you this advice. “It’s your day! My saying to Luke was YOMO [You Only Marry Once]. When we were tossing up between quotes and the band and the full arbour and the extras in the wedding package, if we were ever in doubt, YOMO. Made making decisions pretty easy!”
Hannah and Luke were thrilled with their choice of photographers. “Our photographers Kat and Ben were incredible! After looking through their previous work I knew I wanted to have them capture our wedding day.
We had only met them on the day as they are from Newcastle but it was as if we had known them for years! They made us feel so comfortable and got so many amazing shots! I loved that they are a total team and rebound so many good ideas from each other. They went above and beyond and walked around Bendooley that morning to find some good spots to get our photos so just led the way! We were soooooooo lucky to also receive our photos in just 4 days!!!!! and right before Christmas – best surprise ever!”
Hannah loves to make soy candles, so each guest had their own personal candle to take home. She says “Each guest got a soy candle and a box of matches which said ‘The perfect match’. I needed to tie in our Tinder success somehow!”
The moments are what Hannah holds dear. “I loved having my family from Victoria able to attend (they had to leave the next day due to border closures but I was so grateful they could be there and celebrate with us). I loved how it was a total celebration and party – after such a long weird year everyone really let loose and let their hair down and we had the best day and night! We have no regrets – everything was perfect and no detail was missed. I look back at it and am so happy with the day! the best day of our lives.”
Hannah and Luke credit their day to their vendor dream team. “2020 was such a hard year for the wedding industry and the uncertainty – but all of our vendors were standing by us the whole way! We were just so grateful that our wedding could go ahead with minimal restrictions! There were so many back and forth emails with ‘covid contingency plans’ I was coming up with and had seen they had done.
I’ve raved on about Steph Jordan from Nunu but she was incredible! Kat and Ben our photographers captured the best photos that we will cherish forever! The White Tree did our music and videography! I am obsessed with our wedding videos, and the music was a hit! Everyone loved it and the dance floor was full all night. Also Kim Asil the MUA from White Lion Cosmetica was and is incredible! She has been doing my makeup since I got makeup done – so for all my school formals and balls and any event. We didn’t even do a trial for the wedding! She just gets me and is a vibe! So fun and relaxed and talented!”
For their first dance, the couple had The White Tree play Vance Joy’s ‘I’m With You’. “I think I was dreading the first dance the most” admits the bride. “I wanted dance lessons but Luke said we’d be right. We practised a few times in the lounge room – had a few lifts and turns thrown in there but pretty quickly invited our bridal party and parents onto the dance floor! Our wedding was the first big event a lot of people had attended that year due to Covid so everyone was eager to get onto the dance floor which suited us!”
Hannah and Luke’s day was captured on film by The White Tree.