We know winery weddings really make the most of the rolling vineyards, but after we share the story of Taleah and Dan with you, you might just be convinced to embrace the cosy warmth of the vineyard setting during winter!
“I wanted a moody, warm cozy vibe. It was all about warm tones in the flowers with lots and lots of candles” says one of the stars of today’s show. Taleah and Dan chose to wed in the vineyards in the middle of Western Australia’s Swan Valley for their day. And with Monica Cugnier Photography, it’s every bit as cosy and warm as you’d expect, the perfect next step for the couple who both swiped right on Tinder!
Dan’s original plan, to pop the question in the most romantic of cities – Paris, was thwarted thanks to COVID; Taleah says the Plan B? Her favourite “Dan had originally planned to propose in front of the Eiffel Tower on our overseas holiday in 2020. Unfortunately due to covid, our trip was indefinitely postponed.
His next plan was to surprise me at my family Christmas in Sydney later that year however once again covid struck and the borders closed so neither of us could travel. He devised a plan to propose on Christmas Day in front of the Christmas tree whilst our dog decided the proposal was the perfect time to show off his new squeaky ball that he got for Christmas.”
Taleah found her beautiful Jack Sullivan ballgown at Hobnob Bridal telling “It was the dress of my dreams and made me feel so beautiful and confident! It was not what I thought I wanted but my girlfriends and the ladies at Hobnob convinced me to try on a princess dress and as the second my dress went on I knew it was the one.
Because we got married in covid times I couldn’t have all of my bridesmaids there and my mum, but my two closest friends made it the most special experience. My shoes were from an Australian brand Forever Soles. They were beautiful velvet ruby red heels which matched in with the colours of my flowers.” She carried hair pins to finish the look, that her mother had worn on her wedding day.
Taleah and Dan said “I do” overlooking the vineyards at Swan Valley venue Riverbank Estate Winery. “It is the most magical place and has a beautiful view over the Swan vValley vineyards” remarks Taleah. “Our ceremony was held on top of the hill behind our reception area. We fell in love with how intimate the venue felt. The restaurant space is cosy and welcoming and it opens out to a beautiful lawn with vines climbing the walls.”
Taleah walked down the Kina Grannis cove of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. She shares “Sadly I walked myself down the aisle… due to Covid my mum and dad couldn’t get into Perth as our borders were closed. My dad was supposed to walk me down the aisle. Thankfully we live streamed our special day and they got to join us digitally.
When the bride walks down the aisle as we know everyone stands then once she’s at the end, normally the celebrant asks everyone to sit again. I walked down the aisle, everyone stood and our celebrant forgot to tell everyone to sit again! So none of us noticed until about halfway through the ceremony, I’d just finished my vows and we realised everyone was still standing. We all had a good laugh and it was one of the funniest moments. It just goes to show that these things happen and weddings aren’t always perfect. If you have a laugh and make the most of it, it becomes a core memory.”
“We wanted our ceremony to be short, fast and entertaining” explains the bride of the decision to hire The Wedding Host as their celebrant. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously and whilst our vows were personal and so special we both added our personality and a few funny twists to them. Our celebrant James Beecroft (The Wedding Host) understood this entirely and whilst there were lots of happy tears there were lots and lots of laughs.”
Taleah and Dan chose Lime Flowers to create the floral arrangements for their day. “Lime has a unique take on wedding flowers and strayed away from traditional bouquets” explains Taleah. “I wanted something with natives and warm colours that felt big, beautiful and dramatic. My bridesmaids had smaller versions of my bouquet, Dan and the groomsmen had red roses and foliage for the boutonnière.
Our arbour flowers matched in with my bouquet and had the same roses, natives and foliage as my bouquet. For the guest tables, I wanted very simple mixed greenery which was used to decorate the tables and it looked magical with the candles. Our head table also had the same greenery and had box candles.”
Planning your wedding? Take Taleah’s advice. “Take it all in! It goes by so quickly and it’s the best day of your life so take a moment to step back and enjoy it.
Don’t sweat the little things on the day… things will go wrong, the weather might throw a curveball or there may be vendor issues but just take it in your stride and remember the bigger picture. You are marrying your best friend, surrounded by your favourite people. Enjoy it and celebrate.”
The golden light of the newlywed’s sunset portraits is just one of the reasons they loved working with photographer Monica, says the bride. “Monica is incredible. She was and is so kind and friendly. She made the day so special.
The first time we met her was at a cafe and we hit it off instantly. She is so vibrant and kind and that shows through her photos. She captured every single detail so perfectly. From the getting ready, to the party, she was there for it all and we had the best day sharing it with her.
We got our photos back so fast and the second I opened the gallery I cried happy tears. Looking at the photos and how she captured the day was everything we could have asked for.”
This was a day full of personal touches, of special handmade details, right down to the guitar guests signed as the guestbook (honouring the couple’s love of music and Dan’s talent as a musician) as well as a disposable camera to make sure every moment was captured. “Much to Dan’s frustration I turned our house into a wedding warehouse for 8 months. I did as much as I could. From the wedding invitations, menus, and bar cards to all 300 of the candles which I sourced through the Facebook marketplace. I designed our signage and seating charts. The Facebook marketplace was our best friend! I sourced so much from past brides and painted/changed it to suit our style.
Going and meeting our vendors and digging into the details of our day was our favourite part. Seeing my vision come together on the day was the highlight though.”
After dark, it was time to party, the newlyweds hosting a sit-down dinner reception in an onsite marquee. “The lawn was the perfect place to have a clear marquee which we had lit up with festoon lighting and candles to make it feel cosy and warm” remembers Taleah. “The team at the Riverbank, in particular, Lindsay and Beverly were fantastic to deal with. They were so helpful with the planning process and they were incredibly flexible when our numbers dropped due to covid border closures.”
Taleah had chosen the couple’s first dance song well before she’d even met Dan! “The song we did our first dance to was a song called “Forever Begins Tonight” by Australian band The McClymonts. For me, this song was a non-negotiable. From the first time I heard it, I knew that it was the song that one day I would have my first dance to and it was so special. We didn’t choreograph our dance at all.. and looking back it’s probably something we should have thought about a bit more. We just got up there and winged it and threw in a few twirls and spins haha.”
Congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for sharing your day with us and thank you to Monica Cugnier Photography for sharing today’s beautiful celebration!