On the 23rd of November 2018, Renee & Ambrose tied the knot in a simple, elegant , and utterly beautiful wedding at The Summergrove Estate. The couple wanted a classic and fresh feel so opted for a theme of gentle whites and pinks with hints of gold and striking greenery for an extra fresh feel. We sat down with the lovely bride, Renee, to hear all about their love story…
How did you and your partner meet?
“At a music festival in 2010!”
How did he propose?
“On our 7thyear anniversary, he blindfolded me and drove me down to the spot where we had our first date (sitting on the beach). When I got out of the car, there were candles leading down to a private oasis he had set-up. He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! We spent the rest of the night drinking champagne and laying under the stars listening to the ocean. It was perfect!”
Length of engagement?
What do you love most about your partner?
"His easy-going nature"
What’s your most important piece of advice for creating and maintaining a strong relationship?
“I would say that a strong relationship takes a lot of work. I think that’s where a lot of couples fall down – thinking that loving each other is enough. You really have to dedicate the time and effort to make sure you don’t lose that spark.”
Tell us about your wedding gown and how you chose it:
“I had originally tried on a different ‘made with love’ gown at a bridal store and really like their styles so I went to the ‘made with love’ showroom and tried on 4 of their dresses. They were all beautiful and honestly, I would have happily worn any of them, but ‘Ella’ captured my heart because of her long train and beautiful lace.”
Did you do a ‘first look’ before the ceremony?
“Kind of! I did a ‘first look’ with my parents before the ceremony which was really lovely.”
What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
“Timeless, elegant with simple decorations.”
How did you come to choose the location and venue?
“Our close friends (Ambrose’s best man and his wife) had been married there a few years prior to us. When they got married there, the chapel or the barn had not been built yet so when we went back there to view it for our wedding, we fell in love with the barn and the chapel. The thing that we really enjoyed was the spectacular views on the property and saw so much potential for beautiful photos.”
Can you describe what type of ceremony you had and how you were able to personalise it?
“Our ceremony was sort of simple. We decided not to have any readings or gestures/rituals as we are not religious people and couldn’t really think of anything that was symbolic for us or our relationship.
We wrote our own vows which were kept a secret until we said them to each other for the first time. Our vows were surprisingly similar to each other’s considering we wrote them separately. It was so emotional and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the chapel. Even Ambrose, who I’ve only seen cry a handful of times in our 9 years together, had tears in his eyes and was struggling at times to get his words out. I will never forget that moment! My favourite part of Ambrose’s vows was when he told me when he knew he loved me- he said we were just sitting down across from each other having lunch and he looked into my eyes. No words needed – just a bond between two people who had found the love of their life. My vows basically went through a timeline of us growing as a couple. I was 16 years old when I met Ambrose so we shared a lot of major milestones and he really helped me grow into a strong independent woman.
Our wedding party consisted of 3 of our closet friends each (6 in total). Our best man and maid of honour were our witnesses to sign our marriage certificate.
I walked down the aisle with my dad who gave me away.”
Describe the cake (include the flavours) and cake topper:
“My mum made the cake – she did such an amazing job and all the guests commented on how delicious it was. It was white chocolate mudcake with pale pink buttercream icing. Decorated with the same style of flowers as our bouquets and a gold mirror cake topper “Mr and Mrs”.
What flowers did you use in the bouquet and at the venue?
“For the bouquets, we had peonies and roses in white/blushes/creams and pinks – they were stunning! At the chapel we had vines climbing up around the chapel window and bunches of greenery on the pew ends. At the barn we had greenery along the centre of the long banquet tables with peonies scattered.”
How did you choose your table décor?
“I just compiled some ideas based on pictures off Pinterest and picked things that I thought would look elegant and timeless.”
What was the menu for the reception?
“Our main meals were rib eye steak and chicken stuffed with camembert/semi dried tomatoes.”
What was your favourite moment from the day?
-Sharing each other’s vows
-Listening to the speeches
-The time we had along together taking photos
-Celebrating at the reception with our family and friends
Name your wedding soundtrack:
Aisle: You are the reason by Calum Scott
First dance: Unbelievable by Craig David
Any DIY décor elements?
“I brought blush/pale pink fabric which my mum made napkins out of. I brought different sized glass cylinders and candles to decorate the tables and hired gold cutlery which really complimented the overall look.”
What was the biggest splurge of the day?
Other than the venue itself – photography and videography
How did you save on costs?
“Doing as much of the decorating myself as possible. My mum made the cake. We didn’t have any transport as we got ready at the venue. We tried to keep the guest list as small as possible to keep costs down and keep the wedding intimate.”
In hindsight, anything you would have done differently?
“Not a single thing!”
Where did you go on honeymoon?
“We went to Queenstown, New Zealand straight after the wedding. However, we are going to the United States in May which will be our ‘proper’ honeymoon.”
Any tips that you can give to future brides?
“It sounds so cliché, but honestly – try to relax and enjoy the lead up. I spent most of my morning worried about being late or things not happening on time. Just take a breath and remember what the day is all about because trust me – when you see your partner standing at the end of the aisle, all your worries will disappear.”
If you could sum up your wedding in one sentence, how would you describe it?
“The best day of my life and a time I will never forget!”