Kristen & Greg

  • Photography by Kelly Newman Photography

Greg was leaving his teaching job to start a new career and I had just been employed to start at the same school. After a guided tour from the principal, I was introduced to Greg, who he kindly donated a few left over resources to help me get started, only to drop everything all over the floor in the staffroom! We spent the summer in different countries but were reunited in January the following year and the rest is history.

Kristen & Greg

The proposal happened on 21st April 2017. I had asked to have fish and chips at Cockle Bay Beach all through that summer. After a lovely dinner, watching the sunset Greg asked me if I wanted dessert. Greg had organised cupcakes to be made for me from my favourite baker, Bluebells Cakery. The cupcakes had the words “Will you marry me” iced onto them. As I opened the box, Greg was ready on one knee to ask the question.

I'm a big fan of winter and Greg prefers summer, so we met in the middle and went with an autumn wedding, holding it in April at Villa Maria Estate. We had three particular things that we wanted in a venue. These were: Good food and wine, the same location for both the ceremony and reception, and a venue that was easy to access from our house in Cockle Bay as I wanted to get ready at ‘home’. We were extremely fortunate with the weather on the day as the forecast was for steady rain – we actually managed to sneak our ceremony and photos around Villa Maria in before the rain returned.

Kristen & Greg
Kristen & Greg

Susan from Orlando Flowers created the most beautiful floral arrangements we could have asked for. My bouquet had ivory dahlias, white lisianthus (with no green buds), white spray roses, Sweet William, Eucalyptus, olive and star jasmine foliage. I brought in some photographs of styles I liked and between us and Susan she got the image we had and more. They were elegant, romantic but modern.

Kristen & Greg

I organised a surprise helicopter to transport Greg to the ceremony. I used HeliTranz and would highly recommend using them to anyone who is interested. I managed to organise Greg, his parents and the groomsmen to be picked up from his former primary school, Mellons Bay Primary. The helicopter then took them to Villa Maria for a pretty impressive landing. 

I used my bridesmaids' grandfather's car. He drove the car that my dad and I travelled in. The bridesmaid's father belongs to a car club and managed to get a friend with the same car to also come along. So we had two matching, blue cars, which were incredible similar in colour, 1954 and 1953 Chevrolet Belairs.

Kristen & Greg
Kristen & Greg

I'd always had my heart set on Anna Schimmel. Her gowns are so elegant nd beautifully made. I wanted something classic, but timely, elegant but modern, soft and romantic. I went along to my first appointment with my mum. In a short amount of time, I got down to two dresses straight away, they matched what I had in her mind perfectly. Greg had mentioned the idea of liking sleeves, so this is something I kept in her mind whilst trying the dresses on as well. After this appointment, Kristen went to one other wedding store with my mum, nothing even came close. 

Greg's mum is a mother of two boys, so for her second appointment, I asked her to come along to see the two dresses on and help me decide. It was instant, as soon as the dress went on my mother-in-law fell in love. The dress was unbelievably perfect and I got so many compliments on how amazing the dress was.

Kristen & Greg

I had my three best friends Chloe, Lauren and Melissa as my bridesmaids. Chloe and I became friends at intermediate school and our friendship grew from strength to strength at college. I met Lauren and Melissa at college and together we have so many amazing memories together. We went to Amber Whitecliffe and used one of her dress patterns to make three beautiful dresses. They fitted the three girls with different body shapes perfectly and the light blue shade of blue was amazing. Amber Whitecliffe is also very appropriately next to The Chocolate Boutique, so a sneaky snack after each appointment was always happily accepted by the group.

Kristen & Greg

All the suits were bought from Rembrandt on Shortland Street. Even though it was out of the way, Greg specifically wanted to work with Tim Begg, who had measured suits for him in the past. Greg’s suit was a fully customised made-to-measure, which included embroidery inside the jacket with both sets of initials and the date of the wedding. He wore a white shirt with dark brown shoes, belt and matching watch. The pocket square was a classic white linen which complemented the floral design on the white tie. The groomsmen all wore the same ready-to-wear suits off the shelf. They were a slightly darker navy to Greg’s suit but wore the same belt, shoes and shirt as Greg. Their ties had dusky blue and matching dusky blue pocket squares all to tie in with the bridesmaids. The suits are complemented the “formal” look we were after.

Kristen & Greg
Kristen & Greg

We had a sit down menu and offered the choice of two entrées, three mains and had a lolly bar plus the wedding cake for dessert. Everyone had bread as a starter. The entrée choices were pork belly or salmon. We went with the choice of chicken, fish and lamb for the main. Our wedding cake by Bluebell's Cakery (a nod back to the engagement) which was three-tiered with lemon, chocolate and raspberry and banana flavours offered for dessert. The food was absolutely exceptional. We actually had gone in a week before the wedding for lunch and to settle which red meat to go for. Lamb was an amazing choice and having the three meat choices meant every guest had a selection.

Kristen & Greg
Kristen & Greg

We are both very organised people, so everything was organised months leading up to the wedding. Greg works for a school photography company, so we used this as the setup for the group photographs. Kristen enjoys cooking and baking, so she made all of the favours, which also doubled up as the guest names. We had so many compliments about ‘how relaxed we both were’ on the day and on the days leading up to it.

Kristen & Greg
Kristen & Greg

We had the most amazing band – White Chapel Jak. They got everyone involved by ‘teaching some dance moves.’ It looked like a modernised version of line dancing with every guest on the dance floor. We also waited until after all the formalities and had a sparkler photograph. We got our guests to light the sparklers and we had one photograph walking through them being lit and then another photograph with our guests having them lit around us. These created some stunning and fun photographs.

One of the most memorable parts of the day was the location of our cermony. We actually had originally organised the ceremony to be in a different location on Villa Maria’s site. But in the leadup to the wedding, the vines had been trimmed and we decided it wasn’t quite the best spot. As we were standing talking to the wedding coordination, I saw a car coming down a driveway I hadn’t really noticed before. We asked the coordinator what the road was and she said, 'oh it just goes around the back of the property'.

So we went for a drive. I turned to Greg and said drive on that grass patch. We got out of the car and that’s when I said to Greg, this needs to be the spot. So, we came home and emailed our coordinator, expecting to have ‘no’ as the reply. But to our initial surprise, this wasn’t the case. We were more than welcome to use this spot and there had never been a wedding there before. This is what sold Greg. The first couple to get married in the spot that overlooks the estate and captures the whole property. We cannot thank Villa Maria enough for making this vision come real. They tidied the site up; mowed the lawns, vacuumed the clippings and made our ceremony location absolutely stunning. They were so accommodating and every idea was with a ‘can do’ attitude. 

Kristen & Greg

If I had one piece of advice it would be: It is actually ok to have your hair and makeup trial and then decide it isn’t quite right and to try someone else until they get the look you are going for!

THE DETAILS: Bride’s gown ANNA SCHIMELL; Hair AMELIA, BOUTIQUE BRIDE; Makeup JESSICA LEE HUNT HAIR AND MAKEUP ARTIST; Spray tan NAKED TANZ; Groom and groomsmen's attire REMBRANDT; Bridesmaids' dresses AMBER WHITECLIFFE; Bride's shoes TROUSSEAU; Bridesmaids' shoes FOREVER NEW; Photography KELLY NEWLAND PHOTOGRAPHY; Rings SCHWEDER BESPOKE JEWELLERY; Flowers ORLANDO FLOWERS; Cake BLUEBELL'S CAKERY; Catering and venue VILLA MARIA ESTATE; Music WHITE CHAPEL JAK.


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