Before we share anything else about this Southern Highlands wedding at Bendooley Estate, we must mention the rather excellent event that took place at Tina and Matt’s reception. “Our friends surprised us with a flashmob and danced to a medley of Queen, Eminem and Sia. It was epic”, says Tina.
Other highlights included their incredible floral arrangements by Little Bird Bloom, their Chinese tea ceremony and their photo session with the lovely Zoe Morley. And let’s not forget their lip sync battle with their bridal party. This wedding was an absolute cracker and you can check out the entire celebration below.
Tina, how long have you and Matt been together and how did you meet?
We’ve been together for five years and we met at a friend’s Australia Day BBQ back in 2015. We were cutting out Cards Against Humanity cards the first time we met because our friends were too stingy to buy the real cards.
Can you tell us a bit about your proposal?
We were in Hungary for the Dragon Boat World Championships in 2018 and three days before the races started we decided to do a sunrise walk by the Danube river in Budapest. I (Tina) walked down one of the pontoons right by the river to take a photo of the beautiful sunrise and when I turned around, Matt was on his knees with a ring. It was 5:30 am in the morning and my eyes were barely awake and it took me a good few minutes to comprehend what was happening!
Was your wedding in your home town or was it a destination wedding?
We had our wedding 1.5 hours away from Sydney where we live at Bendooley Estate.
How did you decide on the location of your wedding and the venue itself?
Matt worked in a book shop for five years before he started teaching and when we discovered Bendooley Book Barn, we fell in love. We knew it was where we wanted to get married and celebrate with all our family and friends. The bookshelves surrounding the tables with the greenery draping from the ceilings – we knew there’s no other place we wanted to have our wedding.
How many guests did you have?
In a few sentences, how would you describe your wedding?
It was full of pure happiness because everyone you love is there to celebrate with you. There really isn’t a better feeling than having all your family and friends in one place eating good food, drinking and having fun!
Did you write your own vows? How did you find that experience?
We wrote our own vows because we wanted it to be personal. We both enjoyed the experience because we are quite competitive with each other and wanted to see who wrote better vows and who got the most reactions from the guests at the ceremony!
Our celebrant Liam Chapman gave us amazing resources and guided us through the whole process so we felt very comfortable and confident when writing our own vows.
Were there any traditions you did not partake in or any specific to your family or religion that were special to you?
We had a tea ceremony in the morning before the ceremony to celebrate my Chinese culture. It was really special to have done the tea ceremony because it’s the only time you get to wear traditional outfits.
Now that you’re married, what’s the best piece of advice you can give other couples in the middle of planning their own weddings?
Get the big things organised as early as possible.
Were you inspired by a particular wedding style or vibe when bringing your day to life?
We were inspired by a rustic and industrial vibe. We wanted the wedding to feel warm and cosy, a bit like the feeling of autumn. We knew we didn’t want anything flashy or too commercial.
Did you get involved in any DIY for the day?
For the name cards for the guests, we bought leaves from our local florist and wrote each of the guest’s names on the leaf. It was a good way to add to the floral and greenery decorations we had in the reception. We also made our own table numbers with the inside pages of books to tie in with the book barn theme.
What are some of the most memorable and special moments of your wedding?
All the dancing! Apart from our own rehearsed dances, our friends surprised us with a flashmob and danced to a medley of Queen, Eminem and Sia. It was epic. The speeches were incredibly special from our parents to our bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Do you have any standout suppliers that you would recommend in a heartbeat?
Florist: Little Bird Bloom – the floral arrangements they created were beyond incredible. The bouquets, the arch (this was one of the most beautiful floral installations we’ve seen!) and the ceiling feature were just amazing. Kate from Little Bird Bloom understood exactly what we were going for and made us feel very confident.
Makeup and hair: Marianne Fidel – Marianne and her team are very experienced with weddings and brides so it was a breeze working with her. She is so empathetic to your whole experience and knows exactly what to do to make you feel completely at ease so you are absolutely stress free.
Photographer: Zoe Morley Photography – we don’t know where to start with Zoe. All the words related to ‘incredible’ is how we would describe her. She is so talented and experienced in her art, we feel so grateful that she shot our wedding.
Celebrant: Liam Chapman – Liam walked us through the process of the ceremony so thoroughly that we were able to feel as relaxed as we could on the big day. He is so friendly and approachable, we would highly recommend him!
Tell us about your dress/suit, how did you find it? What did you love about it?
I got my dress made in Hong Kong and Matt got his suit from Joe Black. I loved the simplicity in my dress. Matt loved that his suit fitted him perfectly and was comfortable to wear.
Finish this sentence. The best (or most unique) thing we did at our wedding was…
Our lip sync battle between our grooms and bridal party.
What are you most looking forward to now that you’re married?
Our honeymoon which may not be happening anytime soon. But we are just happy to have gotten to celebrate with everyone that we love.
CREDITS: Photos Zoe Morley // Venue Bendooley Estate // Flowers Little Bird Bloom // Celebrant Liam Chapman // Cake Claire’s Cakery // Stationery Fast Printing // Bridal gown custom made // Brides shoes Nine West // Hair piece and favours Etsy // Accessories Lovisa // Bridesmaid dresses Shona Joy // Bridesmaid gifts Her Banana and Piyama // Groom and groomsmen suits Joe Black // Ties Politix // Makeup Marianne Fidel // Transport Robertson Bus Service // Fairy lights Events Pro Shop // Accommodation Berida Hotel // Photobooth The Photobooth Collective.