An elegant bride adorned in Oscar de la Renta and a cathedral length veil, carrying a whimsical bouquet of roses and trailing sweet pea (brought in especially from Japan by Poho Flowers), walks to meet her groom in the fading golden light.
A simple garden ceremony, set amongst lush greenery, is followed by a moody candlelit reception at Biota Dining, where fine food and wine are shared amongst family and friends, who keep cosy in front of an outdoor fireplace as the night rolls on.
The styling of this wedding has a timeless allure; a beautiful blend of elegant layers and textures (think crystal cut glassware, brass candlesticks, crystal votives, a champagne bar and personalised love letters), yet it remains relaxed in mood – something that was important to the bride Meagan of The Style Palette.
“All we really wanted was for our wedding to be modest but still with a sense of elegance.” explained Meagan. “I ended up throwing a lot of things out the window and cutting out a lot of ideas simply because I did not want to create anymore jobs or add anymore stress. I think a lot of brides put pressure on themselves trying to meet unrealistic expectations and making every detail perfect. In the end all that matters is that you turn up and you marry the person you love.”
While we are captivated by the aesthetic, it is the undeniable sense of raw, authentic romance beautifully captured by Brendan from A Bear a Deer and a Fox that makes this story so special. Each frame steeped in authenticity, drawing you in and perfectly capturing the mood.
How we met: My husband and I met through a mutual friend about nine years ago. I was living on the north coast of NSW at the time and it wasn’t until I moved to Sydney for work that we became an item. Dean played the role of ‘tour guide’ and chaperoned me around the city, introducing me to all the hidden gems. Being with him felt very easy, natural and right.
The proposal: As we had been together for almost a decade I usually know when he has something sneaky planned. To ensure I would not cotton-on, Dean planned the proposal on his birthday. He had booked us a table at Est. and played up the fact he was simply looking forward to a really delicious meal. Just before dessert he proposed. His speech did not go to plan but in its own rambling, nervous way it was perfect!
My husband and I have always been drawn to the Southern Highlands. We had visited there a few times and loved the feel of the quaint towns and landscape. A previous employer had recommended Biota Dining in Bowral, and we had always been meaning to visit. When we finally did, we found it to be the perfect spot to have our wedding. Biota are culinary geniuses so it was a no-brainer in terms of food and service. We loved the seamlessness between in the indoor and outdoor spaces, and it felt easy being able to have the ceremony and reception all at the one place. The garden provided a natural amphitheatre for the ceremony which we both really liked.
MEMORABLE MOMENT… When I spotted my husband, I actually tripped walking down the aisle. We both laughed, and it was perfect because it is those unplanned moments that end up being the most memorable.
Brendan from A Bear a Deer and a Fox photographed our wedding day. We were drawn to, and loved the emotive nature and detail in his work, and the style of his photographs felt very natural and honest. Brendan is a very easy-going person but also very much a professional. After receiving our photos we loved the happiness and emotions he captured and there was a beautiful warmth to them.
Photo Gallery Ç
THE DRESS + DETAILS
Bride’s Gown: My dress was by Oscar de la Renta and I loved that it was simple and timeless from the front but had a gorgeous dramatic bow at the back. When I first saw it, it exceeded all my expectations. I knew in my heart it was the dress. The lace was fully embellished with intricate beading and I fell in love with all the detail.
Shoes: I wore soft pink suede by Max & Co. I did wear them prior to the wedding which was a bit naughty but because they were so high I am glad I wore them in. I am a sucker when it comes to heels, so as a gift to my bridesmaids, I purchased them each a beautiful pair of shoes. They were all black but different in styles, and by different designers including Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Hugo Boss.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: My four bridesmaids looked absolutely stunning in wine-coloured, floor-length gowns from Bridesmaids Only. The girls each chose a different style to suit them and styles that they felt most comfortable in.
Groomsmen attire: My husband and his groomsmen all looked very slick in dark charcoal suits from The Gents Club, and wine-coloured checkered shirts from Herringbone. To introduce a bit of old world we matched some velvet bow ties which we purchased online from Mrs Bow Tie in London. The boys belts and shoes were dark brown, and the tones all worked really nicely together.
Flower girls / Pageboy outfits: My niece, Charlotte, stole the show as flower girl in a sweet little tutu dress and sparkly ballet flats. Dean’s nephew Sol, delivered our rings and looked very dapper in his bowlers hat and vest.
JEWELLERY + ACCESSORIES
Wedding rings: My husband proposed to me with just the diamond. Being a creative, Dean knew I would enjoy designing and being apart of the production process with our jeweller. Our engagement ring is vintage inspired, with a beautiful emerald cut diamond in the center and three marquise diamonds set either side. Our wedding bands, from Bond Street Jewellers, are simple plain gold bands. I chose rounded rose gold, while Dean chose yellow gold to pay tribute to his late father and his fabulous European style.
Accessories: I purchased some beautiful Oscar de la Renta statement earrings. I also wore a cathedral length veil which was plenty of fun. I can never grow my hair long, so I felt like Rapunzel wearing it!
On the day:
My husband and I rented a villa in Bowral for the weekend, and the girls and I got ready there. We all exchanged love notes and there were plenty of tears and cuddles. I also did a bit of yoga which made me feel great! Dean and his groomsmen prepped in his Mum’s room, at a hotel across the road from the wedding venue. They played a little football and Dean even had an afternoon nap!
Hair & Makeup: Abbey Love did both our hair and make-up. I wanted something classic, and almost Audrey Hepburn inspired. For my hair, we ended up going with a high bun in the shape of a rose and keeping my side-swept fringe.
Style: One thing Dean and I really wanted was for our day to be relaxed and social. We chose to have a cocktail garden wedding on the Friday, followed by a recovery lunch at a heritage pub on the Saturday. We wanted the style of our wedding to reflect us as a couple, but also echo the ‘classic country charm’ in which the region of Bowral is so well known for. In terms of colours, we chose a palette of deep bordeaux, rose and other autumnal tones to suit the season and also be striking in the beautiful green surrounds.
Events Planner / Stylist: I am an events planner and stylist, so I planned the wedding myself and I was lucky to have access to all my own style inventory. My dear friend, Kellie Murray was in charge of the set-up onsite. I had complete faith in her to pull it together and she did an exceptional job. Right from the start, I wanted ‘no fuss’ styling. All we really wanted was for our wedding to be modest but still with a sense of elegance.
Florals: For my work I collaborate closely with Poho Flowers so I knew I would use them for our wedding. I provided them direction in terms of look and colours and then left them to deliver the magic. Our flowers were stunning and all the arrangements had a beautiful ‘English garden’ feel to them. Poho used foliage to match the wedding attire and an array of beautiful roses and trailing sweet pea. We were told later that they shipped in the sweet pea from Japan because the flower was not yet blooming in Australia. We were appreciative they went to such lengths to make everything so amazing.
Stationery: We were lucky to have Erin Fiore, one of my bridesmaids, create our wedding stationery. Erin is very creative and unbelievably good at what she does. After I briefed her on our colours, she passionately worked her magic and developed a personalised suite that was extra special to us. She even included a sweet little map that included hot spots around Bowral.
Decor: We kept all our decorations grounded, simple and beautiful. We visited the venue prior and picked only key spots to position styled vignettes. We installed a few little seating areas across the lawn, along with a Champagne bar. We had an abundance of crystal votives and brass candlesticks layered around the venue, so it felt really romantic and cosy. On the mantelpiece, we placed photos of family members who could not be there. It was nice to have a constant reminder of them, and know that they were there in spirit.
Favours: We didn’t provide ‘guest favours’ as such. Any extra funds went towards our favourite champagne, G.H.Mumm, and serving this on the day to all guests. We thought they would appreciate this more than a bar of soap or jar of chutney.
FOOD + COCKTAILS
Catering: We had a garden wedding with four main grazing tables/food stations positioned around the venue. At the start of the day we served canapés and champagne on the front lawn. Then later in the evening we served the full menu which included a produce table, suckling pork rolls, a peaking duck station and a raw bar. We wanted to encourage our guests to roam and mingle, so the format worked well and everyone commented how good the food was.
Beverages: We served our favourite G.H.Mumm champagne, and Centennial Wines which are local to Bowral.
Cake: Biota Dining provided us with a simple 3-tier vanilla cake. The chef decorated it with dark winter berries and petals.
Processional: Moon River by Neil Finn & Paul Kelly
Recessional: Hallelujah I Love Her So by Ray Charles
First Dance: Only To Be With You by Roachford which is a song we both love. It’s an oldy but a super fun song, which perfectly suited the reception.
Father & Daughter Dance: My Girl by Otis Redding
Reception Soundtrack: Our dear friend and talented musician, Max de Groot, played at our wedding. He learnt all our special song by heart, and even practiced a harmonica piece which I walked down the aisle to. He is a one man sensation, and by the end of the night he had everyone on the dance floor!
READING + VOWS
Dean and I wrote our own vows. My brother and Dean’s sister both read poems during our ceremony.
Celebrant: Georgina Reynolds was our celebrant and she came highly recommended by friends of ours. She reminded us of the actress, Helen Mirren. When you first meet her she is very poised and proper but she has a great sense of humour and is very easy-going and a professional.
We had a long, rambling european vacation. As my husband and I both have our own businesses we needed to wait for the right time to leave. We were both very excited to be celebrating 6 months of wedded bliss when we finally arrived in Paris.
WORDS OF WISDOM… I did feel pressure planning my own wedding, as I thought there may have been high expectations considering I do this for a job. I ended up throwing a lot of things out the window and cutting out a lot of ideas simply because I did not want to create anymore jobs or add anymore stress. I think a lot of brides put pressure on themselves trying to meet unrealistic expectations and making every detail perfect. In the end all that matters is that you turn up and you marry the person you love.
Photography: A Bear a Deer and a Fox | Wedding Venue: Biota Dining, Bowral | Bride’s Gown: Oscar de la Renta | Shoes: Max & Co, Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Alexander McQueen & Hugo Boss | Groomsmen Attire: The Gents Club, Herringbone & Mrs Bow Tie | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Bridesmaids Only | Wedding Rings: Bond Street Jewellers | Jewellery & Accessories: Oscar de la Renta earrings | Veil: Brides of Sydney | Hair & Makeup: Abbey Love | Events Planner/Stylist: The Style Palette | Florist: Poho Flowers | Stationery: Erin Fiore | Catering: Biota Dining | Celebrant: Georgina Reynolds | Entertainment: Max de Groot |