We recently had a chat to a gorgeous couple, Sophie and Peter who tied the knot in the Hunter Valley last year. Their wedding was absolutely beautiful, and a true reflection of their love for one another. We sat down with Sophie and Peter to find out more about their wedding planning process and the big day. They even had some great tips for other couples who are in the thick of planning.
We absolutely loved chatting with Sophie and Peter about their stunning wedding day, and we hope you enjoy reading their story and getting inspired by their photos too.
The wedBooker Team xo
1. So, Sophie, can you tell us a bit about your love story with Peter? How did you two meet, and how did he propose?
We met on a night out in Sydney back in 2009. I was out with some friends and he heard my voice and without hesitation asked me, “are you from England?”. We spent the whole night chatting, getting to know each other and realising that we had so much in common. We’ve been inseparable ever since. The proposal was incredible. Peter and I travel a lot and wherever we go in the world, we always book a fine dining experience. It’s become a bit of a tradition and something we look forward to every time we visit a new country. In August 2018, we had decided to visit Spain and book an incredible restaurant called Aponiente, which is on the southwest coast in a town called El Puerto de Santa María. During our dinner, we were suddenly invited to go on a ‘tour’ of the restaurant and meet the team. Little did I know that this was all planned and something that Peter had been working on with the restaurant for months. Our ‘guide’, who was in on the whole thing, took us around the restaurant, telling us about the kitchen, the local area and invited us to the rooftop to take photos. When we were looking out over the ocean, my favourite song by Sam Cooke suddenly started playing through the speakers. I turned around and there was Peter on one knee, holding the most spectacular vintage ring. He asked me, “would you give me the greatest honour by being my wife?” and of course, I said “yes”.
2. What venue did you two choose to tie the knot, and how did you choose this special place for your big day?
We love food and wine, so it was a no brainer that the Hunter Valley was perfect for our wedding – a culinary delight! We love the landscapes, the vastness of the place and knew it was the right choice for us. With so many international guests, we thought to make a weekend of it, so we booked every room in The Convent and then had our ceremony in the hotel’s chapel and our reception at Circa 1876. We had a gorgeous pre-wedding BBQ on the Saturday night prior, meaning our friends and family could come together from far and wide.
3. How did you both find the wedding planning process? Were there parts that you enjoyed most and parts that you found slightly challenging?
We loved every second of it and did it together – grooms should have a say too! Everything from choosing the colour palette to picking the menu. I’m a natural organiser, so it was a really enjoyable experience putting everything together, planning all the different elements and seeing it come to life. We did put our trust in a styling company, which was a huge help and took quite a bit of pressure off. It was really important that it was what we both wanted and was a reflection of who we are as a couple, which I felt it truly was. Whilst we made sure that our guests would have a wonderful time, we still wanted our wedding to be about us and our love for each other. Budget management can be tricky and it’s quite easy to get carried away. For anyone that is planning a wedding, there are thousands of suppliers out there and it can be hard to make the right decision. I relied heavily on trusted recommendations, but ultimately just trust your gut. However, I do believe there are some areas that are worth investing in – for us, it was the photographer and videographer. We had lots of family and friends who couldn’t travel to Australia and we didn’t want them to miss out. So it was important that we captured every part of the wedding so we could share the day with them.
4. Tell us about your wedding day. It looked incredible! How did everything unfold, and what was your favourite part of the celebrations?
As we’re English, we’re used to traditional weddings, so we included some of those elements. For example, we were married by the local reverend in the gorgeous on-site chapel, said traditional vows to each other and chose a sit-down meal style of reception – we designed a custom three-course menu and had our own wine list put together by the restaurant. Our day was captured by the ever incredible photographer, Thomas Stewart and videographer, Timbrel Films. We were serenaded by Breakfast at Tiffany’s a Latin-jazz live band all day, who took care of our ceremony, canape hour and reception entertainment. Finally, we surprised our guests with a fireworks display just as our first dance finished – it was amazing, bringing quite literally a bang to the party. Styling-wise, we wanted to keep it very elegant and stylish and let Peonies Boutique taking care of everything. The reception room was filled to the brim with blooms, candles and crystal-look glass wear and had a stunning floral display behind the bridal table. The dress code was black-tie, with Peter and his groomsmen dressed in velvet tuxedos and I, in a beautiful Inbal Dror gown, vintage jewellery and Christian Louboutin heels. My bridesmaids had custom dresses made by a Central Coast wedding dressmaker and hair and makeup was done by Chic Artistry.
5. If you could give couples a few tips for planning and enjoying their wedding celebrations, what would they be?
Try not to get too caught up in the stress of it all – at the end of the day, it’s your wedding so make sure the day is about you two. That’s why everyone is there celebrating with you. Make sure you keep a track of spending and your budgets. Make a note of when invoices are due, so you can prepare well in advance. You don’t want a wave of financial surprises two weeks before your big day. Plan, plan and plan. And, when it comes to your actual wedding, get enough sleep the night before, have a little glass of bubbles before you hit the aisle to calm your nerves and enjoy every single second. The day passes as quick as a flash – soak it all in, take lots of mental snapshots and enjoy celebrating being a married couple!