Sometimes we meet our partner in the most unlikely of places. Luke + Celeste were work colleges and our handsome Groom, Luke sat back and waited for the prime opportunity to start to get to know Celeste better than what would be allowed in a normal 9-5pm job. Luckily he is a man of patience and resilience and after years of waiting he finally got his chance with #RCREALBRIDE Celeste. Fast forward 3 years later and Luke went to extreme measure to propose in a way that had us all gooey with the lovely thought behind his proposal.
With all the focus on Royal Weddings lately we found it only fitting to feature a bride and her dress that would make Kensington Palace proud. The Nicole Spose gown in ‘17092’ is a gown fit for a princess.
Photography: John Warren Photography
THE FIRST SIGHT
Luke and I knew each other for quite a few years before we ever looked at each other as anything other than work colleges (although he says different – he said as soon as he started talking to me on the phone, he knew he wanted to get to know me better). We both worked for the same company but in different locations and met for the first time in 2013 at a work conference, but it wasn’t until two years later that we went out on our first “date”, I thought we were just having a friendly after work drink – He thought it was a date.
Then he asked me out for lunch the week after and then off to watch the surfing the week after that. And from then on, we seemed to see each other every week!
Luke finds it very hard to keep a surprise, but he did very well on this one!
Our two-year anniversary was coming up and it so happened to fall on the morning of our annual work conference. Luke called up my boss and said that he was taking me out for breakfast so I would be late, which my bosses both said was ok. He told me the night before that we had to get up very early because he had a surprise for me for our anniversary – and I had to dress in old clothes that could get dirty. I couldn’t think what it was, but went along and in the morning at 4am I got dressed in my old jeans and jumper and jacket that i wouldn’t mind getting dirty. He comes out in his nice jeans, cashmere jumper and big jacket! I was like, “why are you dressed so nice?!” he said “come on, we’re going to be late!” and ushered me out the door and into the car without another word.
We arrived at a hotel that had Global Ballooning baskets out the front and he blurts out, “There! We’re going there”, unable to hold his surprise any longer… or so I thought!
I was so excited, I had always wanted to go in a Hot Air Balloon. So off we went, we helped get the balloons set up and inflated and then we all filed in – Luke keeping a strange distance from me and not letting me put my arm around his waist.
As the hot air balloon took off, we actually flew over the gardens where my mum and dad had their wedding photos, which I told Luke and he was like, ‘Really?! That’s amazing!’
It was such a beautiful feeling, floating over the house and parks in the dawn, heading toward the city. It was just as the sun started to break the horizon and we were floating directly over our beautiful city Luke says to me, “Celeste, there’s something I need tell you”, I turned around to see a very pale face and immediately thought something was wrong. He then proceeded to tell me how much he loved me, and how wonderful our time together has been. He then got down on one knee in the basket and asked me if I would marry him! I had tears of happiness running down my face and said “YES!” The whole balloon cheered! It was the most amazing proposal, location, moment – everything. We were even lucky enough that one of our fellow passengers was filming it all and sent it to us! Luke had had the ring box in his pocket the whole morning which is why he hadn’t wanted to get to close to me in case I felt it!
From the moment we drove down the driveway of Stones, we both knew. It is just the most beautiful place, with everything you need in one spot. But it was the feel of it that got us. We just felt happy and like we had found OUR place. We didn’t even say it to each other at first, but the next week and every place after that, we both just kept coming back to Stones. The care and detail in everything at Stones is impeccable, from the buildings, to the staff to the food to the grounds. It was the perfect mix of beauty and elegance. It is just beautiful.
Like all brides say, this is a hard one to choose. Getting ready in the morning at my parents’ house with my sisters and mum and dad was really special to me. It was so nice to have the people that mean everything to me, in a place that I had grown up in, be with me that morning and to have us all get our hair and make-up done and getting dressed together. We all felt so special.
And then the moment that I heard the Bridal entrance music. My friend Garth Ploog played the grand piano in the chapel and sang live for my isle walk and when I heard him start singing my bridal entrance song, I knew it was all about to happen. I felt a rush of emotion; excitement, wanting to stop time, to be able to enjoy every second, nerves – it all came. I gripped onto my dad’s arm and turned into the chapel and saw Luke for the first time. All while Garth’s beautiful voice serenaded the moment. I couldn’t believe that it was finally here and happening!
I wore the Nicole Spose dress 17092 in Ivory. I had never seen it in all ivory until the day it arrived finished at the Armadale store for me to pick up. I was so nervous, but once I had gone to see Rita at alterations, both herself and Joseph transformed the gown into my perfect wedding dress. It became a perfectly fitting, customized masterpiece. We made a few changes to the original gown to make it my own and the final result was stunning. Their care to detail was incredible. They made me feel so special and really took the time to make sure that the dress was fitting and looking at its uttermost best! I really could not thank them enough.
FINDING THE ONE
For me it was my alterations done by Rita and Joseph. They were so patient and knew exactly what to do and exactly what did not need to be done to the gown and created a masterpiece for me. Even at my final pick up, Rita took in just a little bit more of the neckline of my dress so it was fitting just perfect. It was the most wonderful customer care and service. And their work was faultless. Just beautifully done.
ADVICE FOR OTHER BRIDES
Go shopping by yourself with your mum or your closest friend first, have the experience of trying on your first wedding gown shared with someone you care about. Make a list of all the gowns you loved. Then on another week, go again to your favourite stores and dresses and try them all on again by yourself. Trust your gut. You will know instinctively what you like, what you felt best in and what made you want to swish around the room when you put it on because it felt so good. Trust yourself.
Dress: Raffaele Ciuca Bridal
Photographer: John Warren Photography
Venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley
Church/Celebrant: Shannon Jeans
Flowers: State of Nature Florals
Hair: Sharah at Harlen Hair
Makeup: Megan Harrison
Shoes: Alan Pinkus
Invites: Fabled Papery
Suits: Bell and Barnett
Band/DJ: The Garth Ploog Band
Bridesmaid Dresses: Forecast
Bonbonerie: La Belle Miette
Table Centrepieces: State of Nature Florals
Rings: Custom design