Emma and Aidan’s bright and beautiful Hunter Valley wedding was a celebration of timeless elegance and personal touches, held at the enchanting Circa 1876. Their love story began at a charity event in memory of a mutual friend, blossoming into a romance that culminated in a magical proposal in the Maldives. As bride, Emma states, their wedding day was a reflection of their unique style and deep connection, featuring a vintage-inspired black-tie affair adorned with vibrant colours, gold accents, and sparkling details. From Emma’s bespoke Grace Kelly inspired gown to the grand 100 meter aisle, every element was crafted to create a day that was both stunning and deeply meaningful.

We met at a charity event in the name of a mutual friend who had passed away.

The proposal happened whilst on a trip to the Maldives that we had booked on a whim in the middle of Covid lockdowns. We booked it almost two years in advance and lined it up to celebrate my 25th birthday (assuming we would be easily through restrictions by then… it ended up being that the borders only opened a month before we left!).

Aidan hijacked my birthday dinner on the beach and proposed, which was a very brave decision given how much I adore celebrating my birthday, and luckily, I said yes.

For our wedding we wanted a classic, romantic black-tie event with a vintage style and incorporating pops of bright colours, gold, and sparkle throughout the details. Essentially a soft vintage backdrop, with everyone dressed to the nines and a healthy dose of sparkle and colour.

The wedding ceremony and reception were at Circa 1876 in the Hunter Valley, with the ceremony outside on the grounds. We both also got ready on site at The Convent.

Our wedding party was a combination of siblings and friends. My sister was my maid of honour and then I had three friends as bridesmaids. Aidan had his best friend Luke as his best man and three friends as groomsmen.

Aidan went for a classic midnight navy three-piece tuxedo with black satin details. He chose this as he loved the elegance and formality of the three-piece and almost everything he owns, or wears is navy, so there was only ever going to be one colour that he went with.

My dress was exactly what I had imagined, a vintage base with nods to Grace Kelly, soft lace and floral details, and a serious train! I chose my dress as it was custom made to be my one-of-a-kind dream dress, and I loved being able to make it truly unique. Aside from my dress I was also obsessed with my veil. I knew I always wanted something unique, a little over the top and very dramatic, so I had it custom made so that the blusher was full length to the floor. The train was 5.2 metres long (I will always be proud of the fact that that means it was 0.2 metres longer than Kate Middleton’s royal wedding).

Circa 1876, it has been our favourite restaurant in the Hunter Valley region since our first trip away together in 2017. We both got ready at The Convent – it was the perfect backdrop for the morning, the building has such beautiful heritage details which we both love.

The ceremony was held outside on the grounds of Circa. The courtyard was gorgeous, but the amazing aisle is what sold me. It was so grand and is over 100 metres long which I loved, as I wanted that moment of walking down the aisle to last forever! The reception took place inside the main restaurant which has the most beautiful open wood ceiling and chandeliers to keep the vintage vibes going.

I walked down the aisle to a string trio playing ‘Never Enough’ from the movie The Greatest Showman.

We had the best ceremony by the wonderful Meredith, it was exactly tailored to us. A perfect combination of pure happiness and giggles, moments of stillness to take in the gravity of the day and a few sneaky little classic Disney quotes intertwined throughout.

Even though we were getting ready on-site, and I could have walked to the ceremony space (which Aidan did), I was obsessed with having wedding cars. I also loved having the time to drive to the ceremony with my parents and have a moment of pause and quiet together to take in the fact that I was about to get married. So, we ended up hiring weddings cars to drive us around the Hunter region, stop off at my favourite winery Gundog, for a tasting of my favourite rosé with my parents and bridesmaids, then driving back to the venue for the ceremony. I am so glad we did that because it was one of my favourite moments of the day. I will never forget the feeling as we drove back into Circa and my Mum, Dad and I all looked at each other and had a beautiful moment of stillness to take it all in.

The whole ceremony I don’t remember looking at anyone other than Aidan, and we were in our own little world just the two of us, completely oblivious to the 80 sets of eyes staring straight at us.

We had the most amazing florist. I am not a creative type, and I gave Amanda a bunch of photos I had seen and a very basic description of what I liked with my limited vocabulary of styles and colour themes, and she worked wonders to perfectly create what I was envisioning. We had a very bright spring floral theme with pops of pinks, purples, oranges, and a light blue. I am a very bright and colourful person and she managed to create a floral meadow with our décor that was essentially my personality in an image.

One of my favourite details of our ceremony was how we had each given our grandmothers our wedding rings to hold and protect throughout the day and they were our ring bearers in the ceremony. We are both very close with our grandmothers and it was a beautiful moment we will never forget being able to involve them in the ceremony.

We are not very creative or crafty people, so we didn’t DIY much, luckily however Aidan and I have an amazing friend who have a great eye for design, so she worked with us to create all our invitations, menus, and signage. Although I think it was 99.9% here with Aidan, and I just watching on amazed and excitedly agreeing whenever she asked for our input or if we were happy with each incredible thing she came up with.

My engagement ring was my mothers. Aidan proposed with it exactly as she wore it for 30 years before we worked with our jeweller to add details to the band to add a touch of me to the design, giving me the most amazing final product that is a perfect combination that is in a beautiful way “ours” (Mum and I’s).

On the day my parents also gifted me a bracelet with one of the cufflinks my Dad wore on his wedding day on it, they did the same for my sister at her wedding the year before so we each have one. I also wore a my “something borrowed,” my sister’s headpiece from her wedding.

Our photographer Kathy was perfect. We chose Kathy because she matched our style in terms of capturing real candid moments rather than positioned images, and she did it beautifully! She was able to perfectly capture the spirit of the day, and our most special moments. Honestly half the time we didn’t even know she was there until after she sent us the images. There is one moment where she has images of my mum and I on the balcony getting ready, and we still cannot figure out where she was hiding when she took them, because we thought we were completely alone out there!

I honestly don’t think I could pick one favourite detail of the day. Everything was so true to us. A little way into the planning I realised that our idea of perfect will be different to anyone else’s and we had to stay true to what we wanted, even if that was meant being a little over the top at times or having some elaborate or dramatic details (queue the 5.5 metre train).

Honestly everyone we had working on our wedding was amazing! I must make special mention for Amanda of Sage Blossoming and Meredith of Married by Meredith, who were the absolute dream team, to give us our perfect, uniquely us celebration.

Also, Kathy of K3 Photography and Aaron and Taylor of Wildfolk Films for capturing the spirit of our day so perfectly and naturally. They never made us feel like we needed to be positioned or filmed a certain way or manicure a scene to make it “look good” for the camera. They just let us enjoy the moment for what it was.

For our first dance, we chose John Legend’s cover of God Only Knows (What I’d Be Without You). We chose this song, because I have always loved the scene at the end of Love Actually with everyone being greeted by loved ones at the airport. it is such a great depiction of pure unconditional love, and so listening to this song has always filled me with that same feeling. We had a classic waltz, and took lessons to get our basics covered, it is fair to say that Aidan was not the most confident going into the lessons and we did opt for the “simplest” version of the steps offered by our teacher, but I am so glad we did them as they were a fun activity leading up to the day. I personally think we ended up with a good result.

Make it your day! Who cares what other people “would or wouldn’t do.” I had a brilliant support team who accept me for me, whacky and sometimes over the top and all and I’m so grateful for them helping us to have the courage to make our day so perfectly us.

We absolutely love this advice Emma and Aidan! Thank Please be sure to view their gorgeous wedding highlight video above from the fabulous team of Wildfolk Films