Black Tie Country Winery Wedding

With two postponements and three different wedding dates, by the time Lucy and Dan got to tie the knot, they well and truly knew what they wanted for their day. And they made it happen with an incredible dream team of vendors. “We loved all of our vendors” sharing Lucy, “Especially making wonderful relationships with our vendors. They were a blessing. The positive of having to reschedule the wedding so many times was that we really got it right in the end! I was so grateful to delegate where I could!”

With a classic church ceremony, and a beautiful vineyard reception (apt, of course, for The Winery Issue ) black-tie dress code, and beautiful photography by Kirsten Cunningham Photography, this was a wedding not just full of style of substance, but of celebration. Says Lucy “The atmosphere was full of joy and love as it was just after months of lockdown.”

High school sweethearts, “I was in year 10 and Dan was in year 12. We had been together for 11 years by the time we got married!” Lucy and Dan became engaged on a Christmas trip to the Central Coast, Lucy takes the reins in telling the story. “Dan had bought the ring and had it sent by mail to his parent’s house on the Central Coast. He didn’t tell them what it was that was arriving but had just asked them to sign for a Christmas present for me. When he finally showed them what they had been hiding, they were shocked!

But we almost didn’t even get to the Central Coast for Christmas. It was Christmas 2019 and fires were raging through the Blue Mountains at the time. We managed to drive from Orange to the Central Coast just before they closed the roads through the Blue Mountains, with flames lapping at the sides of the car.

My birthday is on the 23rd of December and Dan had booked dinner at Belle’s at Killcare to celebrate on the evening of the 22nd of December. Dan told me that dinner was booked at 7:30 pm, and we were running late! As we drove through Killcare at 7:30 pm, Dan suddenly pulled the car off the road at Marie Byles’ lookout. Dan said, “Lucy – come out of the car and look at the view of Sydney with the smoke from the fires!” I said “No way- we are running so late – I’m not getting out of the car! I know what the smoke looks like – we just drove through the Blue Mountains!” Finally, Dan coaxed me out of the car to ‘look at the view’ and then proposed. It was a special location for us as we went to this lookout on our very first date, almost 10 years before. We then went to dinner at Belles (it turns out the booking was actually at 8 pm) and celebrated.”

Black Tie Country Winery Wedding

Do we adore the special stories that make up your day and this one? It’s pure synchronicity! It all started with the presents that Lucy and Dan bought one another, says Lucy “Dan is an avid art fan. As a wedding present, I purchased a painting from Polly Kimmorley for Dan that she hid in her office for 6 weeks. It was a painting of the Towac Valley – the view from the location where we would be getting married at Borrodell.  I thought I was the best wife to be!

On the day of the wedding, I gave the painting to Andrew, one of the groomsmen, to surprise Dan with. All day, I waited for a report as to how Dan responded to the painting – but there was no response. When Kirsten arrived at our Airbnb after photographing Dan, I said “did he get the painting?” Kirsten responded- “Yes…”. I said – “and what did he think?!” Kirsten said – “I can’t tell you…”

Before I could investigate further, the doorbell rang and the bridesmaids went to the door. The bridesmaids then walked into the room with a beautiful painting of the Towaco Valley by Kezz Brett! Dan had bought me the same gift with a very similar painting for the wedding! Kirsten said – “I can tell you now what Dan said – oh no – I got her the same thing!”

“The lead up to the wedding was so joyous” remembers Lucy. “The wedding party and close family arrived a few days early. It was lovely to take the girls to get various beauty treatments together and spend time together. On the Friday evening, the night before the wedding, the annual food and wine markets were on in Orange. Most of the wedding guests attended the markets and it was a lovely time for us to spend time with our guests before the big day.
The morning of the wedding was so enjoyable for both of us. As we were well organised, both of us individually had a relaxed morning with friends and family, which made the day even better than anticipated.”

Lucy and her bridesmaids had their hair and makeup styled by Haley Jean Makeup & Hair. “Haley was such a delight, both at the trial and on the day. She was a wonderful and warm addition to our day and everyone loved their makeup and felt beautiful.”

Lucy purchased her classically beautiful Madison James gown at Brides Of Sydney. The stunning piece was an a-line gown made of Mikado silk. Says Lucy, “It had a low back with buttons that ran the whole way down the skirt to the bottom. I wanted a classic and traditional dress that was simple but beautiful and comfortable.

During the ceremony, I wore a cathedral veil that was my mum’s with lace detailing at the bottom. Following the ceremony, the veil was removed and replaced with a pearl headband for the reception.
My jewellery was Amelie George pearl earrings, a simple gold bracelet gifted from Dan for my 21st birthday, a sapphire ring that was owned by my grandmother and an engagement ring. My shoes were ivory pumps from Jimmy Choo.”

Lucy was escorted down the aisle by her father to John Denver’s “Annie’s Song”. Dan chimed in “I remember the build-up to when Lucy walked down the aisle – what a moment. The stunner from the school library walked down the aisle of an incredible church to marry me. The proudest and most excited moment of my life.”

The couple kept their ceremony very traditional. “We were married by Fr Karl Sinclair, a young, local catholic priest in Orange who was wonderful and receptive to the sort of ceremony that we wanted to have. We wanted to include all of our immediate family in the ceremony in some way – our siblings were at our wedding party and my little brother was the page bearer. My dad walked me down the aisle and we had both of our mothers do a reading, as well as my close cousin Emily.

Emily and Dan’s father were witnesses to the marriage. My stepmother Kath and her closest girlfriends each did a prayer of the faithful, which was written by us. It felt like a family celebration! We walked out of the church to ‘For Once In My Life’ by Stevie Wonder. It was a wonderful celebration.”

Lucy and held their ceremony at St Josephs Catholic Church Orange. “A beautiful, traditional church in the centre of town” noted Lucy.

After the ceremony, Lucy and Dan chose Borrodell Vineyard to host the winery reception. “We started with drinks and canapés on the lawn in front of the cellar where guests enjoyed the phenomenal views over the Towaco Valley in Orange. Guests then went into the cellar for dinner and speeches. The best views in Orange! Gaye, Kathryn and Rachael were so available and supportive to us, and flexible with our reschedules. I couldn’t have asked for more support from the venue and they were so kind to us to work around the covid restrictions.”

Lucy and Dan adored photographer Kirsten. “Kirsten was unbelievable” raves Lucy. “I had heard many negative things that people said about their photographs, so I didn’t know what to expect. However, from the moment that we engaged Kirsten’s services, she was nothing but professional and supportive. Kirsten had a contract readily available and was happy to discuss everything with us. She was also so patient in her correspondence and contact with us, including helping me prepare a run sheet for the day and answering any wedding-related questions we had, even if they weren’t exactly to do with her. Kirsten also was so kind and helpful when we had to move our wedding three times. On the day, she fitted in perfectly but directed everyone politely to keep everything running on time.
I could not be more positive about our wedding photos. Everyone loves their wedding photos, but we REALLY love our wedding photos. Kirsten got every shot we wanted and we couldn’t be more grateful, She also turned around the photos very quickly which we were so grateful for.”

Lucy and Dan chose Bespoke Country Weddings to not just style the flowers for the day, but to also style up the beautiful details. Lucy sharing “Sarah from Bespoke Country Weddings organised and prepared our beautiful flowers. Classic whites and greens to match the navy of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the navy colour palate. We had whites and greens in all bouquets for all bridesmaids and the bride. The boys all had a beautiful white rose with a small amount of greenery for their buttonholes. Additionally, we had beautiful floral arrangements that were positioned on the bridal table as well as florals on gold plinths that were prepared for the church and then moved to the reception. We had long tables with magnolia leaf greenery down the tables.

Sarah was our go-to person for the wedding. She did all of our decoration and styling and florals for the wedding, but she also made herself available to meet with us at the location, to have coffee, email and talk on the phone when required. I couldn’t have done it without her and felt so grateful for her support.”

It was a classic choice for Lucy and Dan’s first dance to Elton John’s “Your Song”. Lucy sharing “We both just thought it was a beautiful song and we had seen Elton John live not long before. We have a wonderful friend who grew up as a dancer who choreographed our first dance for us as we aren’t dancers. It even included a lift!”

A big party was important to these two, they chose The Press Club Band to make sure their dance floor was full all night long.  “Our band travelled from Sydney and did a wonderful job. We remember the pumping dance floor with the Press Club Band. It was a fantastic party.”

Congratulations to you both Lucy and Dan! What a joy to be able to share your beautiful wedding story Thank you both and thank you to Kirsten Cunningham Photography for sharing today’s beautiful winery wedding with us.

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