Ash and Sam

Whoops! I’ve fallen a bit behind with the blogging of late. It has taken a backseat to meeting and marrying some seriously wonderful people, but I have so much love and beauty to share with you all that I’m determined to get back on board.

Today, it’s with the beautiful Ash and Sam, who make me happy just thinking of them.

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

We first met one lunchtime and the smiles didn’t leave either of their faces for the entire meeting. Ash and Sam weren’t just excited to be getting married, they were excited about life, full stop. As they told me about their relationship, their families and their plans for the wedding, I found myself getting excited too. I just wanted to spend more time with these gorgeous people and their infectious zest for life.

They had booked one of my favourite venues, Stones of the Yarra Valley, for their springtime wedding. Stones is stunning no matter the season and in springtime it is beyond beautiful. The blossom was out on the trees, the air was crisp and everywhere you looked were fields full of green. The idyllic surrounds of the Yarra Valley were the perfect setting for the beginning of a new life together.

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Sam was a relaxed groom, greeting family and friends with hugs as they arrived. John Warren was on the camera that day and I love the candid moments John has captured as Sam waits for his bride. In fact, Sam kept his cool right up until the doors of the chapel closed, notifying us to Ash’s arrival. Then, it was up to his groomsmen and I to distract him until he laid eyes on his bride!

Once the doors of the chapel opened and the bridesmaids began their walk down the aisle, Sam took a big breath, put his shoulders back and readied himself for Ash’s entry.

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Following the entrance of Ash and Sam’s utterly adorable niece and Ash’s bridesmaids, the bride herself appeared in the doorway of the chapel. This was the moment when all of Sam’s resolve left him and I can’t say I blame him. Ash was simply breathtaking. She appeared lit from within  as she made her towards Sam to an acoustic version of Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years on the arm of her very proud grandfather.

We began the ceremony by asking Ash’s Mum and Sam’s Mum and Dad for their blessing of the marriage, which all of them gave with a resounding ‘I do’! We then paid tribute to Ash’s much-loved Dad and lit a candle in memory of him. It was a moving, emotional and loving moment and I don’t know that anyone was left without goosebumps by it.

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

The ceremony incorporated the story of Ash and Sam’s relationship, beginning with a chance meeting one night out and culminating in an engagement while on a family holiday to Thailand. There were also many laughs when we recounted how one of  Sam’s favourite memories was of the secretive way Ash first told him that she loved him – and then pretended she hadn’t!

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Two readings were shared by Ash and Sam’s close friends, the first being Holding Hands and the second An Irish Blessing. Both prompted more tears and big hugs with the bride and groom. People often worry that crying during a reading or vows will take something away from the day but in my view, it adds so much to it. Honest emotions are beautiful to witness and it was clear how much Ash and Sam mean to their friends by the sincere and loving readings they gave.

Following their self-penned vows and the exchange of rings, I had the great pleasure of pronouncing Sam and Ash husband and wife. Ash’s brother played live guitar during the signing as a gift to the couple and they took a few moments after the signing to stand alone and just take in the fact that they were now married. Then there were cheers, whoops of joy and a few high fives all round as they were introduced to their guests for the first time as Mr and Mrs before exiting the chapel to a shower of rose petals!

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Congratulations to two absolutely beautiful people. It was my honour to be part of such a special, love-filled day and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to get to know you both. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.

Much love, Koren xx

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Ashleigh and Sam, 12 October 2012
Venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley
Photos: Warren Photography
Flowers: Blooming Brides
Celebrant: Koren Harvey

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Penny and Glyn

Sometimes I am surrounded by so much beauty I struggle to take it all in. I’m not just talking about physical beauty, but about the beauty of emotions, the beauty of people of all ages and backgrounds who care for each other coming together and the beauty of small moments.

Penny and Glyn’s wedding was one of these occasions.

Warren Photography

They met on the first day of high school in Sydney and were part of the same friendship group all the way through uni. It was only once they were nearing the end of their tertiary studies that they became a couple. Not long after this, Glyn was transferred to Melbourne for work. They told me that it was (ironically) perfect timing on their part – they spend over ten years living a few streets from one another, then as soon as they became a couple, one of them moves states!

Such was their bond, however, that a mere 900kms weren’t going to get in their way. After enduring two and a half years of flights back and forth, Penny transferred to Melbourne to be with Glyn. They set up a life and a home together and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Warren Photography

They took off on a month-long overseas holiday a week after becoming engaged. Both Penny and Glyn say that the time spent overseas, just the two of them, allowed the realisation of the life ahead of them to sink in and they returned home even more excited about their marriage.

A year after Glyn’s romantic proposal, they married at the stunning Stones of the Yarra Valley (one of my all time favourite venues). Stones is at its best in autumn when all the leaves are changing colours, the days are crisp and the light is golden.

Warren Photography

It was touching to watch Glyn in the moments before Penny arrived. He was so full of nervous anticipation he couldn’t keep still, but as soon as Penny and her Dad appeared in the doorway, he calmed immediately. Absolutely breathtaking in her Mariana Hardwick gown, Penny entered to a live rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D by Amati String Quartet. You couldn’t wipe the smile off her or Glyn’s faces from that moment on.

Warren Photography

Penny and Glyn had written down some of the things they love about each other to incorporate into the ceremony. They were little things, such as sharing a bottle of wine on the couch and talking about their day, but these small moments of intimacy speak volumes about what they both value. Taking the time to be with one another, to appreciate one another, to reflect on their relationship and all it has brought them.

Warren Photography

Their friends read two passages on marriage; an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and the wise Apache Blessing before emotions ran high when they got to their vows. It can be nerve-wracking for a couple when they say their vows, but Penny and Glyn weren’t daunted. They made their vows with such sincerity and emotion that nearly all of their family and friends were wiping away tears and photographer extraordinaire John Warren caught a beautiful moment when Glyn’s sisters gave in to their feelings.

Warren Photography

Glyn and Penny emerged from the Chapel into a shower of rose petals before taking a wander in the golden light of the vines with John and the talented crew from C2 Video. (You can watch the video of their day here. Be warned: it is stunning). They then made their way across to the Barn with their family and friends for a party that went well into the night.

Warren Photography

Congratulations, Mr and Mrs J. The way you feel about each other comes across in every single thing you do and it is so clear that at the heart of your relationship is a strong and abiding friendship. It was my absolute honour to be part of your day.
xx Koren

Penny and Glyn, 19 May 2012
Venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley
Bride’s gown: Mariana Hardwick
Photographer: John at Warren Photography. More photos here.
Videographer: C2 Video. See the full video (it is AMAZING) here.
Florist: Blooming Brides
Musicians: Amati String Quartet
Celebrant:
Koren Harvey 

Jazzing it up

Earlier this year, we attended the wedding of our friends Elysha and Wil. They married in a religious ceremony at the picturesque Stones of the Yarra Valley on a crisp autumn morning.

Elysha and Wil

Lysh is my little sister’s best friend and having watched her grow from a gorgeous teenager into a beautiful woman, it was particularly poignant to witness her marriage to the equally beautiful Wil.

Both Lysh and Wil are stylish, creative souls and put their own innovative touches on their wedding day.

The stunning chapel at Stones of the Yarra Valley

The chapel was decorated with red and orange floral arrangements to honour Elysha’s Dutch heritage and her late Mum. Friends read blessings and poetry to the couple and Lysh and Wil’s sisters acted as their witnesses. It was an intimate celebration of love and family.

After Wil and Lysh were pronounced husband and wife and prepared to make their exit, the opening bars of Fly Me to the Moon seemed to float down from above.  Wil had organised a jazz band and hidden them in the choir loft as a surprise for his bride. 

As Wil took his new wife for a dance, signs began to pop up around the chapel.

In another surprise for Elysha, Wil and some of his friends had hand-stencilled signs to hoist aloft as they danced their way into their new life together.  It was a perfect moment and resulted in much delighted laughter.

Other signs included 'W loves E' and 'Congrats!'

The newlyweds then made their way out into the sunshine to the strains of jazz standards, where they posed with their wedding party and perhaps the most appropriate sign of all.

What unique touches will you be incorporating into your wedding day?

Elysha and Wil, 1 May 2011
Venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley
Bridal gown: Collette Dinnigan
Bridesmaid gowns: Ted Baker
Flowers: Blooming Brides