After 20 years of marriage, Rosa and Steve gathered their friends and family again, with a few new additions, to renew their vows at Petrichor Farm in NSW. With a strong focus on sharing and creating new memories, their elegant, boho-inspired vow renewal was a success. From the custom wooden hearts of noughts and crosses keepsakes made for all the guests to play together to the pausing of the ceremony, every detail of the day was focused on their guests’ happiness and comfort.

As a photographer herself, Rosa wanted to ensure their wedding photographer had the same passion for capturing the moment as she did. They found the perfect addition to their day with Michael Southam Photography, who captured the whole day in all of its elegant glory.

Rosa and Steve met through their mutual friend, Dallas. After years of missed opportunities, they finally met in passing on a night out in 2001. It wasn’t until early 2002 that they officially connected again at Dallas’ 30th birthday dinner. “We spent the whole night chatting as it seemed we actually had so much in common – we both loved theatre, dance and playing basketball. That night was the start of our journey together. For our first actual date the following week, Steve took me to a tango dance club as he knew I loved to dance. We went to the theatre together, out to dinner, and before we knew it, we were inseparable.”

Towards the end of 2002, Steve took their relationship to the next level, asking Rosa’s parents for her hand in marriage. “He had the whole evening planned – he picked me up for dinner at a friend’s restaurant, where he had organised to propose later that night. However, the restaurant was very busy and loud, and although he did theatre, he was shy and opted not to propose there. We left after dinner, and he drove me to Redcliffe for a walk on the jetty,” Rosa described. “I remember the night well – it was so windy, and I remember saying “Let’s turn back”, but Steve insisted on going further. When we reached the halfway point, he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him in half Italian and Spanish. As I was Italian, he had been learning to propose to me in Italian – so super sweet! As he was nervous, it came out in a mixture of languages, but of course, I said yes!!”

By May 2003, they were married after a beautiful morning garden ceremony in Montville, with a string quartet and serenading, “I surprised Steve on the day by singing our song, “Heaven” by Bryan Adams, to him. He had secretly organised one of his theatre friends to sing it to me but had no idea that on the day I would be actually singing it to him – a magical moment and not a dry eye on the day.” She continued. “Later in the day, Steve surprised me by playing the guitar and singing to me this time – “The Rose” by Bette Midler. Even now, our friends and family still remember and talk about our special day.”

Fast forward through 20 years of life’s ups and downs, Rosa and Steve gathered their two beautiful children, friends and family to renew those vows they made to each other. After their plans to renew their vows at the location of their original wedding 20 years prior fell through, they decided to move their sights to Canberra. “We chose Canberra as that represents the next chapter of our journey together. We love it there – and are planning to eventually retire there, so it made sense to us to find a venue.”

After two venues fell through, they found the perfect location to renew their vows. “Sometimes the universe works in mysterious ways, and all our prior dramas led us to Petrichor Farm. We had the most magical day, thanks largely to all the amazing people who brought it all together for us. Without their efforts, it would not have been as memorable, and we will cherish the day forever.”

Even though she was not planning to wear a traditional gown for the renewal, Rosa looked stunning in her mermaid-style gown by Madeline Gardner, which she found at A Bridal Affair in Brisbane. “I had tried a few different gowns, but when I put this one on, I just knew it was perfect; I felt that the dress was just meant to be. The dress basically inspired the theme for the day – Debbie from A Bridal Affair made me feel like I was getting married for the first time. I can’t thank Debbie enough for making my wedding dress shopping feel special.”

For any successful wedding or renewal, it will take two to tango – so it was important to Rosa that Steve also felt good in his attire. His custom suit jacket had the inscription “New Beginnings 27.05.2023” stitched inside to commemorate the special occasion. “I really wanted Steve to feel just as special. We chose Theodore to make a suit for Steve to wear for our wedding renewal. Theodore makes you feel special from the moment you walk in. Steve’s suit was custom-tailored especially for him. The colour chosen was in keeping with our Boho style theme, with a special jacket and vest lining depicting stained glass art of 2 people in love. Danielle and the Theodore team were amazing to deal with, and the experience did make Steve feel special.”

Rosa’s wedding party included her daughter Scarlet, sister Silvy, cousin/best friend Donna and best friend (of 45 years!) Maria. The party was dressed in a selection of gowns designed by Shona Joy, perfectly matching the tones and atmosphere of the day. Steve had their nephews Massimo and Konrad by his side, wearing matching tailored suits from Theodore. With their son, Orlando, and godson, Steven, sharing the ring-bearing duties.

After staying the night at the Ovolo Nishi Hotel in Canberra, the couple and their guests made their way over to Petrichor Farm. Steve and Rosa arrived together in a gorgeous white 1956 Rolls Royce from A1 Cars, where they walked the aisle together towards their guests.

The original plan for the ceremony was outside under a huge elm tree; however, with autumn coming to an end, the air was too cold. “As our celebrant Jen was starting to speak, I noticed how cold everyone was looking. This was May in southern NSW, and the wind had increased making it particularly chilly. I asked Jen to stop, apologised for making them all sit outside for us, and said I couldn’t continue seeing everyone feeling cold. So we stopped the ceremony and moved inside to continue. Everyone was grateful for that decision, especially one of my godson’s daughters. She was sitting with a blanket wrapped around her, and she jumped up, in the video, you hear her say “thank goodness” as she ran inside – so super cute. Our day was about our family and friends coming together to share our love and friendship; for them to be warm while doing so was included in that.”

Wanting to have a similar atmosphere to their first wedding, they decided to hold a more intimate version this time. Surrounded by 40 of their closest friends and family, they read the original vows from 20 years ago, with some new additions (from the heart!). “Our celebrant, Jennifer, suggested we include a “hand-fasting” ceremony, where our guests placed ribbons over our joined hands, resulting in an infinity knot being made – this is where the expression “tying the knot” originated, and it was a beautiful moment to include our family and friends to be part of our day.”

Keepsakes are found in various forms at most weddings, and Rosa and Steve definitely wanted to keep that creative vibe going. “We didn’t want a traditional guest book, so I had organised something more alternative for my family and friends to put their names on. We had little wooden hearts for them to place into a clear heart box for a keepsake of our day.”

Fionna from Peony n Pearl created these beautiful florals for the day, perfectly bringing the ‘boho-chic’ vision to life. “Fionna and her team did amazing work creating a magical day for us. I was so emotional when I arrived on the day to see how perfectly she had followed my vision. My bouquet was stunning, even more beautiful than I had imagined. I had given Fionna free reign on my bouquet design and the flowers for the day, and she well and truly exceeded my expectations; I am so grateful for her work.”

“Finding a photographer was a challenge for me as all my family and friends know I love photography, and no excuse is needed for me to take many photos at any time. I am about capturing the moment, so I needed somebody who shared my style of photography,” Rosa explained. “My nephew mentioned someone he knew from playing soccer together that I would like. When I met Michael, I knew as soon as I saw his photos that he was the right person to capture our special day. He snapped away without being intrusive or in the way, and I am grateful for his professionalism and artistry.”

Choosing a favourite photo from the day was a tough job, as they loved all of them. “I wanted some fun photos to bring out our quirkiness, so I acquired cowboy hats and boots for us. There is a photo of Steve and I next to the old farm truck that shows how much fun we were having.”

Another beautiful touch added to the day was a Vegan grazing station for guests to enjoy. “My sister and nephews are vegan and I really wanted to do something special for them as they were a big part of our day. Our Chef Dave did an amazing arrangement of food which not only they loved but the rest of the guests enjoyed.”

Inspired by their original wedding, the first dance was to “Heaven” by Bryan Adams, the song Rosa sang to Steve 20 years ago. But this time, it was a beautiful live rendition by their wedding musician, Josh Lovegrove.

A perfect addition to the day came from Rosa’s longtime friend, Donna Gibb, who created a live wedding painting. “Our guests were invited to participate and they loved that they could be a part of creating a painting for us to cherish forever,” she recalled. “I had the pleasure of being Donna and Terry’s wedding photographer on their special day, so it was nice to share this with her in return. She has a beautiful soul and a special place in our lives, so it is an absolute pleasure to have a work of her art on our wall.”

What Rosa and Steve loved most about planning their vow renewal was their ability to celebrate their vendors on the day. “Being able to assemble an amazing group of people who made the day magical was wonderful, but this wasn’t going to be your typical wedding day or renewal. After all the work they had put in, we wanted our vendors to appreciate their efforts, so we invited them to stay and share our day,” they explained. “They sat amongst our family and friends as it was important to us for them to be there. Our lives together have been a journey of joy and happiness, then sadness, and back to joy and happiness. We wanted everyone who has been there with us through this journey to be a big part of the day. This included our florists, musician, our photographer, and even the owner of Petrichor Farm to join us for a drink in celebration.”

Congratulations Rosa and Steve on your beautiful, bohemian vow renewal! And a huge thanks to Wedding Painting By Donna Gibb for sending this stunning wedding our way!