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Hannah & Ben / Modern English in the Grampians

Monday 14th May 2018
Set amongst a dramatic Australian countryside landscape, an elegantly styled formal affair inspired by the classic English children's novel, The Secret Garden set the scene for the wedding of Hannah and Ben. Thoughtfully and candidly captured through the artful eye of photographer, Oli Sansom.
Posted under: love-stories Tagged: #weddings

What was the inspiration behind your Wedding theme?

The original inspiration behind our styling, particularly the flowers, was based on one of Hannah’s favourite books “The Secret Garden”. Being from England it was important to Hannah to incorporate a mix of England and Australia in the wedding. We also wanted to keep the styling and formalities relatively traditional and timeless. The overall theme of the wedding was classic, formal and elegant, but in terms of the vibe we ultimately just wanted the most fun party for us and our guests! We juxtaposed beautiful and formal styling – garden roses, cut glass, dark wood bentwood chairs – against the dramatic Australian country side with some fun extra touches such as a string duo, and a rapper and saxophonist!

What led you to decide on your venue?

When we started researching venues online, Mount Sturgeon Homestead was one of the first to catch our eye however we originally dismissed it because of the distance from Melbourne. After six months of searching for venues in and around Melbourne, nothing had been quite right so we decided to go and check it out. We had some very specific criteria that we wanted our venue to fulfill; privacy, beautiful surrounds, period architecture, flexibility and great food… Mount Sturgeon Homestead ticked all the boxes. As soon as we stepped out of the car and took in the breathtaking views and beautiful old homestead we knew it was “the one”. The three-hour distance from Melbourne ended up being a blessing, turning the wedding weekend into a mini-holiday for us and our guests and creating the perfect atmosphere for a huge party!

Favourite detail from the day?

It’s almost impossible to pick just one thing… the whole wedding was so beautiful and the setting was just exceptional. Watching the beautiful pink sunset over the mountain through the open sides of the marquee with the soft candle light on the tables was definitely up there. For our guests the scotch and cigar bar set up on a vintage brass bar cart was a huge hit!

The Bride’s Gown

I was so overwhelmed when it came to my wedding dress as it meant so much to me and there were endless styles and designers that I loved, I didn’t know where to start. I shopped for a dress for well over a year, trying on wedding dresses in Melbourne, Sydney, London and New York. There were plenty of dresses that I loved and came close to choosing but nothing left me feeling certain that it was “the one”. I had come across Paolo Sebastian on Instagram and I adored his dresses. They are feminine and beautiful combining both classic elements and modern design. From my first meeting with Paul I knew I had made the right choice. He listened to my ideas and sketched out a design for me, when I saw it I knew that all the elements were perfect. I couldn’t have loved my dress more!

Favourite moment from the Day?

We couldn’t pick one! Of course, seeing each other for the first time on the day when Hannah walked down the aisle was very emotional. The ceremony set up was so beautiful and it was amazing to finally see each other standing there surrounded by all the gorgeous flowers.
All our speakers were sensational and we were blessed with some very touching and hilarious speeches which are definitely some of our favourite memories from the day.
The highlight from the reception probably has to be when we surprised our guests with an incredible rapper who kicked off the dance floor as trays of espresso martinis were brought out!


Photographer: Oli Sansom

Videographer: Humdrum Films

Venue: The Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

Wedding Planners: will&jac (Catherine Williams and Clare Jacobsen) 

Celebrant: The Commitment Company, Megan Thompson

Flowers: Prunella

Music: Rutherford Entertainment
 (DJ: Eddy Mac, Saxophone: John Henry, Rapper: Matty Charles, String Duo for Ceremony: Blair & Fran)

Bridal gown & veil: Paolo Sebastian

Bridal Robes: Mae Sunday

Shoes: Valentino (ceremony) & Aquazzura (reception)

Engagement Ring, Bride and Groom’s Wedding bands: Kallure Jewellery

Accessories: Tiffany & Co. (earrings, bracelets)

Bridesmaid dresses: Camilla & Marc

Hair: Alex Newman

Make-up: Tess Holmes

Groom’s Suiting: P Johnson

Tie / Bow tie: Le Noeud Papillon

Shoes: Gucci

Socks: P Johnson

Watch: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

Groomsmen suits: MNDATORY

Stationary & Invitations: Mickey Loves Jacqui

Sperry Tent: UnderSky

Furniture: Place Settings

Whiskey Cart & Signing Chairs: Good Day Rentals

Candle Vases: Weddings of Distinction

Linen: Harry the Hirer

Transport: Trotters 

Welcome and Bar Signage: Sketch and Etch


Monday 14th May 2018