Real Wedding – Simone and David November 2012

Simone and David  – 3 November 2012 at Rippon Lea Estate, Victoria.


How did you meet?

We met on Phi Phi Island, Thailand in 2004, we were both on holidays with friends and staying in the same beach huts. After a fleeting holiday romance, we stayed in touch as David lived in Sydney and I lived in Melbourne. After 11 months of talking on the phone and exchanging emails, the romance was rekindled when I visited Sydney and there was no turning back! Six months later after doing the long distance relationship, David finished university and moved to Melbourne, where he lived for three years. After a year of travelling the world together in 2009, we settled in Sydney in 2010.

How did the proposal go?

David planned a romantic getaway to the Intercontinental Fiji in October 2011 and I was none the wiser. On our third evening, after a few days of terrible weather and having cabin fever, I demanded David put some effort in and make the night romantic! After a few drinks Dave gained the confidence to pop the question. The proposal took place over a bottle of champagne in the eternity bathtub on the balcony of our suite! After that night we had perfect weather and every day was a celebration!

Describe your wedding dress & accessories

Wedding Dress: Luci di Bella custom made Sienna gown. Ivory silk chiffon with silk underlay and beaded shoulders.

I always knew the style of dress I wanted, something elegant and flowing with a touch of sparkle. After visiting numerous wedding dress shops in both Sydney and Melbourne I visited Luci di Bella on High Street, Armadale. As soon as I tried the dress on, I knew it was ‘the one’ – it was made of ivory silk chiffon with a silk underlay and beaded shoulders and was just divine. I felt so beautiful in the gown and it was so comfortable and weightless on. Luci and the girls in the store were an absolute pleasure to work with and I had a ball visiting the boutique for each fitting with my Mum, Grandmother and Bridesmaids! I found some gorgeous silver sparkly Mimco shoes at David Jones Bridal, which I paired with a large Swarovski crystal beaded headpiece and crystal drop earrings, both from Glamadonna.

Describe the attire of the bridesmaids

With two of the three Bridesmaids (my sister and Maid of Honour Olivia and friend Emily) living in London in the lead up to the wedding, one of the biggest challenges was sourcing the Bridesmaid dresses without the girls being able to try them on together. After an exhausting search online and in stores, I came across Two Birds Bridesmaids and visited the store with my other Bridesmaid Maddie in Sydney. We fell in love with the colour, fabric and the cut of the navy blue knee length dress straight away and were amazed how many different ways the one dress could be worn. We then found a stockist in London where the other two were able to try them on. These dresses were perfect as each of the girls was able to choose their own personal style to wear on the day and it is something they will defiantly be able to wear again.


Describe your flowers

Our wedding flowers and venue styling were done by the talented Kate Hill from Kate Hills Flowers in Prahran. From our initial meeting Kate totally understood our vision and just ran with it. She was highly professional and organised and we knew she would deliver exactly what we were after. She was up at 2am on the day creating our boutiques which were made up of ivory garden roses, David Austin roses and lithianthus, so much work went into each one and I was delighted with them when they were delivered on the morning of the wedding. The table centre pieces and the ceremony flowers were stunning blue delphiniums, ivory roses and silver cinneria leaves, which our guests were then able to take home and enjoy after the wedding. Kate styled the wishing well table with a birdcage, candles, guest book and flowers beautifully and included flowers and scented candles in the bathrooms, which was a lovely touch.

Describe your reception

We wanted our wedding to be an elegant and classic event, but more than anything we wanted it to be a fun celebration that our family and friends would always enjoy and remember. Rippon Lea was the perfect setting for this, with its stunning gardens, impressive ballroom and wonderful catering provided by Peter Rowland Catering. An outdoor ceremony under the Elm trees in the gardens was a beautiful spot for the formal part of the wedding to take place. We were then able to have our bridal photos taken around the expansive private property while our guests enjoyed drinks and canapés on the lawn and around the poolside terrace. The reception was held in the ballroom which looked stunning and our guests danced the night away!

Who did your photography?

Sorrento Wedding Photography – they did a wonderful job capturing so many natural and special moments on the day that we will have forever!

What was the highlight of your day?

Walking down the aisle:

Having my Dad walk me down the aisle was a very special moment that I will always remember. My Dad was so proud and held me tightly as we walked down to Florence’s ‘You’ve got the Love’ played by the strings duo. Seeing all of our family and friends smiling faces for the first time was very exciting and I could not wipe the smile off my face. One of my close friends gave me the advice to make eye contact with as many people as possible so you remember the moment – and this really works. Seeing David down the other end of the aisle looking so handsome in his suit is one of my happiest memories.

First Dance:

We enlisted the help of my amazing grandmother, Mim, to give us dance lessons, as she did this professionally many years ago. She gave us several lessons in the lead up to the wedding and it was lovely for her to be involved in such an important part of the wedding day. Mim choreographed a modern day Bridal Waltz for us to ‘This Must be the Place’ by Talking Heads. Although this was not a traditional choice for a wedding song it worked perfectly for the feel of our wedding and is one of David’s favorite songs. When the music came on, everyone was clapping and there was an electric energy in the room. As soon as the Bridal Party came to join us, the entire dance floor erupted with people, who continued to dance the night away! Our DJ Alex Jack, along with the saxophone and conga player really knew how to keep the guests entertained. Definitely one of the highlights of the night!


We were so lucky to have such wonderful wedding speeches, all of which were very different but equally captivating.

During the ceremony, we had heartfelt readings from Simone’s brother Thomas, friend Isabel and the final reading which our friend Ben wrote called ‘Ode to David and Simone’, which was a lovely personal touch to the ceremony. It meant a lot to us that so much though and consideration had gone into these readings.

Our MC Chris, who had travelled from London did a almighty job keeping the crowd under control and making sure proceedings ran smoothly all night. Starting off with Father of the Bride, Richard, (who was under strict time limit instructions) warmed up the crowd with a few light hearted stories about Simone growing up, a few cracks at the Groom and some important life lessons. Maid of Honour and Simone’s sister Olivia then gave a heartfelt speech delivered to absolute perfection. Afterwards Best Man Andrew, had the crowd in stiches over his definition of ‘What is Love’, delivering a Best Man’s speech which would be hard to beat. David then concluded the formal proceedings with a moving and emotional speech from the heart that did not leave a dry eye in the room.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

A month in South America in February!

Why was Wedding Gifts Direct the best choice for your registry?

Wedding Gifts Direct had a fantastic range of products available for our registry. It was super easy for us to set the registry up on line and for our guests to use. We also found there was a great deal of flexibility compared to other registries we looked at and no hidden surprises.

Do you have any tips for the unmarried and engaged couple?

The wedding is so much more than just the actual wedding day. Think of the whole planning process and lead up to the wedding as part of the bigger picture. I had such a wonderful time with our families and friends in the lead up to the wedding, planning all of the elements and discussing all the detail of the big day. Getting married is such a special time in your lives and definitely something you want to share with your loved ones. The day before the wedding pampering with your Bridesmaids, the excitement of getting ready on the wedding day and the post wedding recovery party all contribute to your overall wedding experience, so enjoy every moment!

On the day, make sure you and your husband take time out to spend together and take it all it. These are the moments you will be able to remember after the wedding, as the day does fly past. Most of all have fun together on the night, don’t get caught up in the smaller detail and things that are out of your control. You have done all the hard work and planning now just enjoy your special day!

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