In keeping with the gold theme of November, today we share with you the wedding of Hariette and Aaron, captured by Gavin Cato Photography. With golden hues from the sandstone church where they were married, to the autumnal orange and gold leaves in their portraits, and finally to the glorious canopy of twinkling fairy lights adorning their reception, Hariette & Aaron’s elegant & glittering Autumnal Wedding in Borwal is every gold and love-filled wedding dream at its finest! Here is Hariette to tell us about their love story and their perfect day…

Believe it or not, Aaron and I met at a set of traffic lights on a busy intersection in Sydney on the morning of New Year’s Eve nearly 10 years ago! I was waiting to cross the road and my now husband just came up and said hello to me! The rest is history!

Aaron said he had planned the proposal for over 6 months – how he kept it a surprise I will never know as I had NO idea. To keep it a surprise he proposed on his 30th birthday weekend away in Berry on the South Coast at Silos Vineyard in 2018. When we walked into the restaurant, I had noticed a beautiful room set up with candles, champagne glasses, a fireplace going and the biggest bunch of flowers and had only thought “Oh that is so nice for someone” – not thinking that it would be for me! Just before we sat down, I found out the property had alpacas and I was so excited about seeing alpacas that Aaron had to come up with an excuse to get me back to the room! It was the biggest and BEST surprise and one of the best nights of my life!

We had 5 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen and our 2 nephews as the ring bearers. Aaron’s best man is living in London and was unable to attend in person. Despite booking 3 flights to try to get from London to Sydney, each was consecutively cancelled and so sadly he was unable to attend the wedding. To ensure he was still able to be present and there for the day – the groomsmen organise a life-sized cardboard cut out!! So Pete was there in spirit and style! He also pre-recorded a hilarious and heartfelt speech and watched it in real-time with us all via Facetime.

I had my dress designed and made by the EXCEPTIONALLY talented dressmaker – Louise Alvarez. I can say nothing other than it was absolute perfection from the first meeting to the final pick up. I really did not know what style or type of dress I was looking for and my sister (who had her dress also made by Louise) booked me in to see Louise. Within the first meeting where Louise tried me in different styles and materials, shades of ivory and white she came up with a sketch of the most perfect dress! She and her team not only designed and made the dress of my dreams but made the most magical experience where you can see your dress come alive before your eyes. She used the most exquisite handmade French 3D lace which trailed over the entire bodice and off the shoulder collar. A sheer layer of silk organza was placed over an ivory satin skirt and train. Absolute perfection. It is an experience that I will never be able to thank her enough for!! My mum was constantly in tears every time I put it on at each fitting! Louise always has a twinkle in her eye and was able to create the most amazing masterpiece that I never wanted to take off. She is INCREDIBLE.

My 92-year-old grandma was unable to come to our wedding due to being too frail to travel from Sydney to the Southern Highlands. She is one of the most special people in my life so I wore a silk bracelet that she wore on her wedding day! We also organised for a live stream so that she could still be a part of the whole day and we are planning on getting dressed up in my dress and Aaron’s suit from the day and celebrating over a glass of champagne! Definitely not complaining over another excuse to wear my dress again!!

I absolutely LOVE flowers however I am personally not great with being able to identify with the names of specific types of flowers. So alongside my mum, our florist Clementine Posy did the most magnificent job in our flower arrangements!! I have always loved long stem roses so the bouquets were made up of lush, beautiful white O’Hara and Grandiflora roses in creamy shades of white. They were all bound together with white ribbon and I had a handkerchief of my previous next-door neighbours (my third grandmother) wrapped around mine that had been embroidered with my initials and the date of the wedding which was extremely special.

We were married at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Berrima in May 2021 – one year from our original date that had to be postponed due to COVID. When we were looking for venues to be married in – it was St Francis Xavier that gave me the warm and fuzzy feelings every single time. This beautiful sandstone church was built back in 1851! Due to the COVID restrictions and this incredible church being small in size, we had to reconsider our location for our ceremony. Every other location we looked at for our ceremony just did not have the same vibes or impact that St Francis Xavier did. About 4 weeks out from our wedding day in 2021 we received a call to let us know that restrictions had eased completely so we were able to hold our entire wedding guests inside! It could not have been more perfect. The inside was glowing and as we looked back onto our guests the autumn leaves were framed in the doorway with the warmest and incredible lighting. One of my absolute favourite moments of the day was just after we said “I do” and looking back at all of the most special people in our life finally being all together again with us.

Our priest who married us, Father Tony Egar, married my parents 37 years ago! He must have done something right, right?! He flew from Adelaide to be with us in the Southern Highlands and he was quintessential in creating the happiest, warmest atmosphere that set the scene for the entire day!

We had the most incredible display of flowers at the church which started at the archway of the sandstone church which filled the railings with green foliage and creamy white and pink roses that popped out.

Our photographer Gavin Cato… where do we even start?! The man behind the lens is a GENIUS and captured the most magnificent photos of our wedding day!!! Not only was he unbelievably helpful throughout the whole experience (particularly when we had to postpone) but he was so kind during such a crazy time. He’s not just a photographer but becomes someone you can trust and most importantly laugh with! Aaron and I aren’t people that like to pose for photos and Gavin let us be ourselves, made us laugh and captured the more incredible photos.

His attentiveness to each person and to the afternoon light was amazing. If this isn’t enough – having photos sent the next day and then the rest within the week is incredible!! This guy is some kind of wizard. He was able to capture the most special moments that we will cherish for a lifetime!!!

Centennial Vineyards in Bowral was our reception venue – a place we have loved for many years for their beautiful restaurant among the vineyards, their food and most importantly their wine and bubbles! From the colours of the leaves to the warm open fireplaces and the crisp blue skies, the Southern Highlands is one of the most magical places in the world particularly during autumn and at Centennial Vineyards. It is a real-life fairy tale in the Southern Highlands and our favourite place to be. There is no better place to get married. We had the fairy lights strung throughout each of the beams within the venue as well as strung out in the courtyard. It truly created an atmosphere that can only be described as magical. It was more perfect than I could have ever imagined!!

We had a romantic, magical theme with colours of rose gold, creamy whites and blush pinks which were highlighted with our magnificent floral arrangement during the ceremony and at Centennial Vineyards.

I have always had a bit of an obsession with anything that sparkles and fairy lights. We had fairy lights running through the beams of Centennial and through the courtyard which was nothing short of spectacular. We had candles scattered throughout the venue which helped create the most special and enchanting atmosphere. It was such an amazing atmosphere that no one wanted to leave at the end of the night!!

As for the venue florals again created by Clementine Posy – along the banquet tables were scattered arrangements of creamy pink coloured roses, lisianthus flowers and hydrangeas mixed with foliage and candles in vintage glass holders. The display that was created above the fireplace was a masterpiece. It can be described as nothing other than a magical, lush oasis garland filled with the most beautiful flowers including more roses and hydrangeas.

For our bonbonnieres, we had designed individual hand sanitiser bottles for each guest that read “Spread the Love”. Given the times with the pandemic, we thought not only was it practical but also a bit of fun!

All of our vendors were phenomenal. We would love to promote the extraordinary work people did to make our wedding as special and perfect as it was! Each was so unbelievably talented – we were in constant awe of what they did and felt always so confident in their hands. Developing such a special bond with each of our talented vendors who made the whole experience the BEST and people who we became so close to that we would have invited them to our wedding anyway!

Particular shout out to Bec, our wedding coordinator from Centennial Vineyards who worked tirelessly with us through the ups and downs of postponing and was never flustered by anything! She even went to the effort of tying each guests napkin individually herself and even found rose petals for Aaron to throw out on our entry to the reception with only 5 minutes of warning. She is an incredible person who gives you all the time in the world and someone who we have gained a friend in!

We had Timothy James Bowen help set the atmosphere for the night with his beautiful acoustic guitar playing and singing in the courtyard by the roaring fire and under the fairy lights. He then continued on playing in between speeches and during dinner. We knew everyone was as excited as we were to kick off our heels and get on the dancefloor after SO long of not being able to. The dancefloor kicked off with PRODiscos DJ after our first dance and carried on throughout the night!!

It was a day FILLED with sunshine, love and laughter. The best day ever. Being able to have a minute to ourselves with champagne and a piece of the cake letting everything sink in was SO surreal. We looked back at the venue and watched everyone dancing under the fairy lights or catching up by the roaring fire – this is a memory we will cherish forever.

My great grandfather always used to say,  “If you worry too much then you’ll get skinny and your stockings will fall down and that’s not a good look! So enjoy every minute and HAVE FUN!” Everyone always says it’s over in the blink of an eye and it is completely true! It sounds completely crazy but I am so happy we had another year due to postponing just so that we could savour every single moment from the lead-up, to the wedding day to relishing and remembering every moment even months after the wedding. Enjoy the absolute best day of your life… so far!

Hariette and Aaron’s stunning wedding day film was created by the Marry Me Movies team.

Thank you to Hariette & Aaron for sharing the love and their gorgeous wedding! And to Gavin Cato Photography for sharing their exquisite images from the day.