The allure of a rustic wedding, all time worn and beautifully nostalgic, has long inspired…moody skies and earthy tones, natural surrounds and nonchalant celebrations.
This real wedding is rustic reimagined, a marriage of the old with the new, the refined with the wild, the dark with the light. It’s raw & rustic. It’s polished, yet relaxed. It’s easy elegance.
An aesthetic that inspires a new take on rustic….one that is infinitely more chic with moods of classicism and eternal beauty. Blooms are oversized and foraged in abundance. The weather beaten remnants of a barn, summer vines, wild oak trees and a small rendered chapel that is the Stones of the Yarra Valley paint a moody landscape for a bride in a billowing long sleeve gown by Israeli Designer Yaki Ravid.
HOW WE MET: Up until 2 years ago we both lived in separate states. Mike in Victoria and myself in NSW. I had family that lived in Melbourne, so I would always be flying from Sydney to visit them a 3-4 times a year. It was about nine years ago that I met Mike in Melbourne through one of my cousins - they were best mates. It would be one visit 5 years down the track that we both found ourselves single at the same time, the one and only time.
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: After what seems like two extremely long years of being in a long distance relationship, Mike and I finally moved in together. We had such a hard time physically and emotionally being apart for such a long time, that he proposed days later in our first home, that we both lived in, in the same state, with no furniture. So personal and most importantly private.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: A commitment to create and share joy together, encourage and challenge each other, and making sure home is wherever we are.
WEDDING LOCATION: As I live in Sydney, I didn’t know much about wedding venues in Victoria. After a lot of lot of research online and I came across The Stones. I always imagined I would elope in a place like Tuscany and from photos alone I fell in love. Most importantly, I knew Mike would love it because it definitely made him feel at home being nestled in amongst all the farms and animals.
THEME/STYLE: We just tried to incorporate as much of ourselves into the wedding – lifestyle, hobbies & personality – as well as our own personal touches. We were after an ethereal and classic look with a modern twist, as well as emphasis on our natural surroundings. Mike loves to go camping and hunting in his spare time, so we had a lot of antlers incorporated into the whole look, in particular the stationary.
PHOTOGRAPHY: The super talented Jessica Tremp from Brown Paper Parcel along with Steph Tout from Long Way Home, who were able to capture the love, romance, fear and silliness so beautifully, with a hint of darkness which I love so much.
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: All of my stationary was done by my talented older sister Lili Nikova. She created a beautiful antler logo using our initials that was used consistently throughout the wedding.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: Our incredible flowers were done by Rita from Blooming Brides, who literally turned our wedding into a beautiful forest. The bouquets were oversized and had a beautifully wildly foraged aesthetic, with was perfect for the rustic venue and natural landscape.
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR: We had our ceremony in the Chapel at the Stones of The Yarra Valley. A beautiful and quaint chapel with gorgeous windows and wood paneled ceilings. We had greenery tied to the end of the pews and a breathtaking arrangement on our alter table, with scattered pillar candles and cascading foliage for a very natural feel.
The reception was held in The Barn at the Stones, with floor to ceilings windows and picturesque views of the vineyards. Not much was needed in terms of styling as the venue alone was stunning. As we wanted to be amongst all the guests, we had the bridal table centred in the middle of the room with an amazing hanging foral arrangement full of greenery as the main focal point. We then had scattered jars on all the tables filled with flowers, and tea lights upon tea lights in between to create a romantic ambience.
WEDDING SONGS: The bridesmaids and I walked down the aisle to Reign of Love by Cold Play which had a romantic feel to it. Our reception entrance was to Now that we found love by Heavy D & The Boys for a little touch of Mike, catchy and upbeat. We danced our bridal waltz to Otis Redding’s These Arms of Mine, as Otis Redding is a favourite of mine and I love a bit of nostalgia.
ENTERTAINMENT: As homage to our backgrounds, we played 40 minutes of traditional Assyrian music and 40 minutes of traditional Macedonian & Serbian music. For the rest of the night we had a friend of Mike’s play some party tunes to get everyone up and dancing, DJ FMR.
CELEBRANT: Our celebrant was Carolyn Ganzevoort. I only found Carolyn a couple months prior to our wedding and her sweet and calming nature was what attracted us to her. She was having fun and laughing with Mike and the groomsman just prior to the ceremony, which definitely helped put everyone at ease.
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE…Communicate with your partner and make it about the two of you. Everything else doesn’t matter. Time goes so quick! Take each moment in.
SIMONE & MIKE'S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: Brown Paper
Parcel & Long Way Home
BRIDE'S DRESS: Yaki Ravid
BRIDE’S SHOES: Nine West
BRIDESMAIDS DRESS: Carla Zampatti
BRIDESMAIDS SHOES: Winsor Smith
GROOMS FORMAL WEAR: Rhodes & Beckett , Farage and Florsheim.
HAIR: Boda Haircutters
MAKEUP: Jade Kisnorbo
FLORIST: Blooming Brides
WEDDING VENUE: Stones of The Yarra Valley
CATERING: Stones of The Yarra Valley
CELEBRANT: Carolyn Ganzevoort