The sun shone warmly on fragrant fields of fresh lavender as Samantha prepared for her marriage to her beloved, Winston.
The loving couple had first met in their mid teens and had been together for over thirteen years, having become engaged in a romantic setting in Bali in 2012.
Samantha had decorated the light-filled, rented house at Red Hill with her personal touches – cute signs, flowers, photographs of her Grandparents’ wedding day and paper decorations.
Samantha was visibly moved by her gift from Winston, the bridesmaids were thrilled with their framed cartoons of themselves with Samantha, and Samantha’s Mother, Father and Nonna shared tears of joy and cuddles with her, revealing the closeness of their relationship.
It was “so much fun” for Samantha getting ready on the wedding day. After a relaxing and refreshing morning swim, she was “bursting with excitement” and she felt as if she were preparing for “the biggest and best party of my life!”
Her Mother carefully buttoned her beautiful gown and happy bridesmaids attended her in knee-length, sleeveless, lemon dresses.
Samantha glowed with serene joy and calm beauty in her elegant, figure-flattering wedding gown of gossamer-fine lace, with cap sleeves and a generous, scooped neckline.
A glittering comb in her softly styled hair, a full-length veil, sparkling peep-toe shoes and pearl jewellery complemented Samantha’s gown to perfection.
Samantha’s abundant pastel bouquet had special sentimental significance – attached inside were two brooches containing photos of her Grandfathers.
Samantha and Winston chose picturesque Stillwater, Crittenden Estate, as their wedding location. Situated on the Mornington Peninsula, “it had everything we were looking for in a venue – amazing food, wine and an awesome vibe.”
The Peninsula holds special memories of carefree Summer beach holidays and relaxed, fun times with family and friends – it’s a place where the couple feel “truly happy”.
Winston and his groomsmen looked impressive in ocean blue suits, fresh white shirts and stylish, black bowties.
Whilst preparing for the wedding, Winston had felt “surreal” and had mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. He just wanted time to pass quickly “so that it could all happen’”.
He waited expectantly in the open-air chapel for a first glimpse of Samantha walking the soft, green pathway on the arm of her proud Father.
As their eyes met, the first thing that went through Winston’s mind was, “Wow! She looks amazing!” And he thought, “How lucky I am that this is the girl I am marrying!”
Samantha, smiling broadly, thought that Winston looked “dashingly handsome”!
Together they stood beneath the leafy wedding arch, under the dome of a sapphire blue sky, and with a clear view of the mirrored tranquility of the silver lake.
Every word of their heart-felt, loving vows had special meaning for them as they had written the words themselves. Speaking the sacred words, surrounded by closest family and friends, is a special memory which Samantha and Winston will cherish forever.
Radiating an aura of joy, the happy couple walked the “aisle” as husband and wife to the instrumental version of “A Thousand Years”, played live.
Guests sipped drinks and joined in games on the lawn while Samantha and Winston had portraits taken in the dappled shade of sun-kissed willows and amongst the cool green foliage and gum trees on the white winding road.
The couple’s attempts at riding a vintage bike in formal wedding attire, with tin cans rattling behind, provided lots of fun, laughter and several ‘”takes” to perfect.
It was delightful to capture Samantha and Winston’s natural rapport and loving expressions in their eyes, smiles and body language.
Samantha’s individual touch was evident in the Reception area with tables decorated in vintage style, incorporating hessian, wood, bunting, personalized signs and a variety of fresh flowers.
There was no special theme, just “having things in our day that we really liked.”
After fine food, entertaining speeches, and cutting of the cake, it was time for the symbolic first dance to the song, “Let’s Stay Together”, by Al Green.
On the decking, in the balmy evening air, guests made a circle around the newlyweds and watched as they danced with eyes only for each other, soaking up the emotion. Soon after, the dance floor was rocking!
As night fell and the lights glowed golden, the sweet sounds of music, celebration and laughter could be heard from afar.
“Happily Ever After” definitely started on Samantha and Winston’s magical wedding day!
Would you like to see Sam and Winston’s engagement portraits click HERE.
Sam and Winston’s Wedding Team:
First dates are memorable occasions which are truly unique and meaningful for every couple.
In 2002, Erin and Ty experienced their own very special first date – a home-cooked, (by Mum), candle-lit, Schnitzel dinner in Ty’s bedroom, eaten from the table he had made in Woodwork!
It was certainly a success and now, several years later, the loving couple were preparing to become husband and wife.
Erin felt “relaxed, content, loved and excited” at the thought of seeing Ty.
Smiling broadly and with sparkling eyes, Erin was carefully buttoned into the sculptured, figure-flattering bodice of fine, sheer-edged lace.
A full, filmy peplum softly skimmed her silk-smooth skirt and train. Sleeveless and with plunging v necklines front and back, the gown was cool and classy.
A dainty, fascinator veil was seductively placed over Erin’s forehead and her softly swept-back hair.
On her wrist, Erin wore the Tiffany pearl bracelet that Ty had given her when he nervously and shyly proposed two years earlier, in December 2012. Ty loved her excited reaction to his proposal. He also presented Erin with a sparkling, solitaire diamond ring which he specially chose for her himself.
Erin glowed with serene beauty and calm elegance. Her four bridesmaids who wore retro-styled, knee-length dresses of the palest pastel shades of blue, pink, lemon and green.
Funky pastel oval rings, (thank-you gifts from Erin to her attentive bridesmaids), and perfect posies of delicate, shell pink roses, enhanced the subtle colour scheme.
Ty and his groomsmen shared pre-wedding camaraderie as they donned their flattering blue suit coats, crisp white shirts and “cheeky” blue, polka dot bowties.
“Relaxed and ready to go”, Ty was honoured to wear his late Father’s watch as a very special memento.
Erin and Ty found their “perfect wedding venue” at Train Trak Winery in the picturesque Yarra Valley, north-east of Melbourne.
They wanted a barn-style wedding and loved the rustic colours and textures in the cellar “chapel”, (with its amazing view), and Zonzo Restaurant, surrounded by patchwork fields, lush vineyards, panoramic views, luxurious lawns and green vistas.
“The venue had so much character that we didn’t want to add too much decoration that would take your eye away from the space.”
Metal, low wooden beams, corrugated iron and weathered wood were enhanced by Erin’s selection of invitations, green and white flowers, vases of tin and terracotta, and “touches” of hessian, twine, wire, blackboard and chalk.
On first seeing Ty in the chapel, Erin “felt warmth and a smile” come across her face.
“I had been so excited to see him all morning and so looking forward to standing with all our family and friends, holding his hand.”
Ty felt excited and content and proudly admired Erin looking “beautiful and free”.
As Erin walked the aisle to stand with Ty, selected loved ones each presented her with a flower for her bouquet. In a moment of exquisite beauty and symbolism, Ty offered the final flower to Erin and her Mum lovingly secured the blooms together with string.
Another sacred and special moment for Ty and Erin was speaking their vows. Illuminated by the Summer sun, the couple’s love and unity shone for all to see.
Erin felt “safe and comfortable” as she and Ty shared their tender first kiss as husband and wife.
They beamed with happiness, walking the “aisle” together to the song, “How long I Love You” by Ellie Goulding.
Train Trak Winery provided a stunning rustic backdrop for Erin and Ty’s couple portraits.
Rich and varied scenery enhanced and highlighted the tenderness, joy and intimacy of Erin and Ty’s relationship – capturing “our kind of love”.
Ty says he was initially attracted by Erin’s appearance, but he soon discovered “her beautiful nature, her smile, her patience, her thoughtfulness and the way she cares for others.” Her kindness is a trait he particularly admires.
Erin, initially intrigued by Ty’s sense of fun and humour, loves his “wittiness, cheeky character, thoughtfulness, his determination to provide for his family and me and the way he shows his love for me.” His witty comments and attempts at singing and dancing always make her laugh!
At Zonzo, the Reception venue, the happy couple and their guests enjoyed traditional Italian cuisine of pizza and slow-cooked roast and the custom of “shared table”, bringing family and friends together.
Reflecting on their special day, Ty was very happy to have his Pop attend the Wedding and to have a “good chat” with him.
Erin loved the time spent being photographed with Ty, the speeches and being surrounded by, and dancing with, “all the most important people in my life.”
Cutting the cake and sealing their wish with a passionate kiss, Erin and Ty look forward to many happy times together as husband and wife and to making those wishes come true!
Erin and Ty’s Wedding Team:
Simone and Lasath wanted a “modern wedding, filled with colours and styles that they liked” and truly reflecting their unique personalities and values. The impressive Immaculate Conception Church in Hawthorn was a significant choice for the ceremony as it was Simone’s Grandmother’s parish church and both of Simone’s sisters had been married there – a growing family tradition.
The Reception venue, Circa, The Prince Deck in vibrant, bayside St Kilda, impressed them with its spaciousness, serene swimming pool and the way the light filtered softly through the ornate metal window screens.
Early on the Wedding day, Lasath and his team dressed with extra special care, anticipating the exciting time to come. Immaculately groomed in suits of cool blue with vivid buttonholes of fiery red and cream, they appeared confident and relaxed as they set off for the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Simone was enjoying her time with the bridesmaids and donning the beautiful Mimma Priolo gown that had been specially designed for her.
“Mimma understood exactly what I wanted and we discussed materials and options”.
The Italian lace in white, bright pink and blue-green which embraced Simone’s well-fitted bodice, cascaded daintily over a waltz-length, gathered, tulle skirt, and formed the basis of the Wedding colour scheme – warm sunset colours of orange, peach, watermelon, flamingo and coral enhanced by cool, muted teals and misty blues. The feather-light tulle overlay added a sense of mystery and softness to the blue-green beneath.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I love colour so it was always going to be a bit of a colour explosion!”
Simone was a picture of beauty, grace and elegance, with her thick, dark hair softly styled into a chignon at the back.
With her bridesmaids beside her adorned in shades of coral and watermelon, and her abundant bouquet of full-petalled roses in tones of flame red, hot pink and orange, Simone basked in the warmth of joy and colour. The girls’ dresses had been bought “from all over the world” – New York, Sri Lanka and Melbourne, so Simone was pleased and relieved that everything matched!
Waiting in the bluestone Church in Hawthorn, Lasath, his groomsmen and wedding guests glanced in anticipation at the Gothic arched doorway for a first glimpse of Simone on the arm of her proud Father.
Illuminated by golden sunbeams, Father and daughter paused, savouring the moment, then walked the long red carpet towards the Altar. There, Simone and Lasath exchanged their sacred vows.
A particularly emotional moment for Lasath, in addition to seeing his beautiful bride, was the Priest announcing the couple as Mr. and Mrs. Kahingala.
“It signified that we were finally married and we could start this new chapter together.”
Simone felt so excited that they were married but was particularly impressed by how handsome Lasath looked in his suit!
After the Priest’s blessing, Simone and Lasath walked the aisle together to the emotional strains of Norma Casta Diva by Vincenzo Bellini. Their love and happiness was palpable as they gazed into each other’s eyes.
Nearby Hawthorn Railway Station provided a unique location for capturing the elation of the newlyweds and the bridal party through the camera lens.
Their “first chapter” had begun in 2011 when they met. Lasath was intrigued by Simone’s beauty, and the fact that she was outgoing and an interesting conversationalist.
Simone noticed Lasath’s confidence, and that he was outgoing, friendly and good-looking.
Their first date was a tapas dinner at Lulo Restaurant on Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn.
In October 2012 they became engaged, when Lasath took Simone for a luxurious weekend away at the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld, at the foot of the Grampians in Victoria’s Western District. Simone had discovered the “secret” proposal in advance -a receipt for the ring in the car and her Father telling her Lasath had asked for his permission.
She decided to “keep quiet” and let it all unfold. The suspense became intense when Lasath still hadn’t proposed even during the special “degustation dinner” – a sensual sampling of delicacies over several hours. Finally, on the Sunday, he proposed at the lush MacKenzie Waterfalls with a black diamond and white gold commitment ring. Later, the couple bought sapphires and had the engagement ring made in Sri Lanka.
Simone and Lasath have a lot in common – they can “sit down and discuss politics, philosophy, go dancing, travel and have lots of adventures together.”
Lasath describes himself as the humorous one. He loves amusing Simone with funny Sri Lankan English phrases to get out of domestic duties! Mutual caring, sharing and kindness are character traits that they both value.
It is a Sri Lankan tradition to be led to the Wedding venue or ceremony by Kandyan (region of Sri Lanka), drummers and dancers. The colourfully dressed drummer chanted blessings in Sinhalese, (Sri Lankan language). Two male dancers in striking costumes danced their way from the entrance hall of Circa, The Prince, to the wedding cake, finishing off with backflips!
Relaxed and happy, dining at tables overflowing with luxurious bunches of vivid blooms and fine food, dancing and having fun with family and friends, Simone and Lasath have created unique Wedding memories that I am sure will bring joy forever.
Simone and Lasath’s Wedding Team:
Embracing under the entwining branches of leafy trees, Samantha and Winston smile broadly with love, joy and happiness.
Completely at ease and gazing tenderly into each other’s eyes, they radiate a positive, uplifting energy which enhances and brightens their surroundings.
The sparkling, diamond-studded Engagement ring that they chose together, reflects and radiates their light and love.
Samantha and Winston’s shared life path began in earnest thirteen years earlier when they “caught each other’s eye” at a house party.
Samantha, aged fifteen and Winston, aged seventeen, quickly became inseparable as they had so much in common – they had attended the same secondary school and Winston had also been friends with some of Samantha’s friend’s older brothers.
After six months of close friendship, their love blossomed.
In early Spring, 2000, Winston invited Samantha to a first date – dinner at a local restaurant.
“….after dinner he walked me home – it was a long walk!”
The relationship had rapidly progressed to a new level!
The harmony of their togetherness is strengthened by the admiration, respect and attention they freely give to each other.
“We are both easygoing and support each other to achieve anything we want in life.
Winston appreciates that Samantha is “warm, thoughtful and outgoing.”
He loves her beaming smile and her contagious laugh.
“She makes me smile and she understands me”.
Samantha loves “how respectful and generous Winston is with both our families and friends. He is a true gentleman!”
“Winston is the most genuine person I know….kind, considerate and someone I can trust”.
Samantha and Winston have grown together in love from the teenage years to adulthood and share many interests and passions – travelling to new places, wining and dining, football and other sporting events, the gym, time with family and friends, just being with each other and enjoying life to the fullest!
Shared experiences and new adventures keep their relationship dynamic and fresh.
Amazingly, Winston was still able to surprise Samantha with a proposal of marriage and Samantha was able to surprise him in return by the length of time it took for her to say, “Yes!”
On September 1st, 2012, Samantha and Winston dined in a beautiful French restaurant in Bali.
After cocktails and dinner, and just before dessert, Winston invited Samantha to walk with him down a lantern-lit path towards the gazebo, surrounded by fertile rice paddies and tranquil lily ponds.
The romantic scene was set and the timing was perfect.
At first Samantha was “lost for words” when Winston, on bended knee, asked her to be his wife.
The loving couple “were overwhelmed with excitement and joy” after Samantha recovered from the initial surprise and finally accepted.
The exotic Bali proposal, rich in atmosphere and powerful emotions, is one of Samantha and Winston’s favourite memories.
In any location – the park, the City or the beach – Samantha and Winston bring love, happiness, optimism and a sense of playfulness.
Cocooned in the softness, security and warmth of a “blanket of love”, the cosy couple look forward to their Wedding day and the many wonderful adventures awaiting them.
Thank you Samantha and Winston for allowing me to capture your engagement portraits…. Stay tuned for their wedding photos!
Fluffy white clouds floated gracefully across expansive blue skies and the warm earth displayed its Summer-gold cloak, on the day that Tanya and Kyal were married at The Briars – an historic rural property and homestead on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.
Tanya and Kyal share “a great affinity for the outdoors” and a love of travel and adventure, having become engaged on a hike in India in 2012. Cocooned in their tent, oblivious to the freezing temperatures outside, they were having a laugh and enjoying each other’s company and “it was perfect”!
Tanya was completely surprised by the proposal. Kyal knew Tanya’s favourite gem stone and had the stunning ring specially made by a friend of hers.
On the morning of the Wedding day Kyal was relaxed and happy, his only fleeting worry being that he and his groomsmen had such difficulty opening the band on the beautiful gift Tanya had given him!
Meanwhile, Tanya was sharing precious friend and family time getting ready for the wonderful day ahead.
How exciting it was for her to don the romantic, vintage-inspired, Lisa Ho wedding gown. Sleeveless, in ivory lace with an interlocking flower-shaped pattern, and with four layered frills softly cascading from a dainty pearl waistband, the elegant dress featured a generous “key-hole” back plunging dramatically to the waistline.
With a floral clasp securing a fine scallop-edged veil to her softly waved dark hair, Tanya’s natural beauty and elegance shone radiantly.
“Fresh, relaxed summer styles inspired us”.
The delicate blush of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the abundant bouquets of cool green chrysanthemums, golden yellow “buttons” and lacy white Gypsophila were enhanced by the men’s “buttonhole” flowers and soft, buttermilk ties.
Surrounded by rustic buildings and earthy hay bales, Tanya stood happily beside the wedding car with her parents, sisters and best friend. This was one of her very special moments to treasure, as was her first glimpse of Kyal at the end of the aisle.
Tanya’s Father proudly ushered her across the lush green lawn towards welcoming guests and her beaming husband-to-be. When Tanya first saw Kyal she felt overwhelmingly excited, yet relaxed and at ease. “He looked incredibly handsome!”
Reflecting on their wedding day, Kyal remarked that “nothing could top Tanya walking down the aisle towards me. She looked stunning!”
When they first met, Kyal was not only captivated by Tanya’s beauty – it was clear to him on initial impression that she was “engaging, intelligent and funny.” Later, he happily discovered that she was kind, generous, and fun, valued family and friends highly, and was “a bit of a dag”!
Tanya was impressed by Kyal’s kind smile and his joyous nature – he laughs easily and often.
“He has a wonderful, relaxed energy” and is gentle, kind and fun-loving. He will go out of his way to make you feel special”
After the ceremony, Tanya and Kyal walked the aisle together as husband and wife to the acoustic version of “Everlasting light” by The Back Keys.
“Our musician, Mark, did a brilliant job of adapting it …….it was such a beautiful rendition.”
Posing naturally for portraits, the couple and their wedding party were highlighted by the rural landscape – the contrasting rugged appeal of open fields, vintage farm machinery, corrugated out-buildings and sweet-smelling hay.
After mingling on the lush lawns and in the colourful gardens, everyone made their way to the Barn for a lavish wedding Reception.
The wedding party and guests were treated to fine dining, in rustic cosiness, under festoons of twinkling lights, bunting and fresh flowers.
Tanya and Kyal’s tender first dance was to Otis Redding’s, “That’s How Strong Our Love Is”.
The Barn at the Briars “was a perfect fit” for the relaxed, country-style wedding that both Tanya and Kyal wanted.
“It was a massive DIY affair that Tanya managed to pull off while living interstate. There are a lot of thanks to family and friends for helping to make it happen.”
As the cool, deep blue of night fell and Tanya and Kyal embraced in the golden light of the barn, they radiated love and happiness for all to see.
I wish them a wonderful future and many more happy adventures together.
Tanya and Kyal’s Wedding Team:
- Ceremony and Reception: The Briars
- Caterers – Maude Street Catering
- Florist: Secret Garden Mornington
- Stylist: Tanya and Kyal with the help of their family and friends
- Hairdresser: Jenny Coyle
- Make-up artist: Hayley Cronin
- Brides dress: Lisa Ho
- Bridesmaids dresses: Zimmerman
- Grooms Suit: Studio Italia
- Groomsmen suits: Studio Italia
- Cake: Mandy Crema
- Music – Mark Brunott