This week’s Wedding Wednesday is extra special as we are featuring one of our very own. Little did Catherine know that when she was choosing her wedding gown at Raffaele Ciuca Bridal just a few years later she would become one of our amazing bridal stylists! This love story is so gorgeous let’s get into it.
It’s pretty unforgettable when he wears a mullet wig to break the ice when first meeting you. It definitely did the trick for Catherine. There are many different reasons why we fall in love with the people we do, but most would agree that it’s so important to fall in love with someone who makes you laugh.
#rcrealbride Catherine wore the Ralea Gown by Pronovias (La Sposa). A satin princess A-line gown, with a v-neck bodice that is lightly draped at the front and back.
Photography by Dan Evans Photography
THE FIRST SIGHT
Robbie and I met back in 2012 after a mutual friend introduced us. My first thoughts of Robbie were “who is this weirdo?” as he decided a great way to break the ice for our first meeting was wearing a ridiculous mullet wig. He made me laugh right away! There was definitely attraction, but we remained friends for about a month or two until we were both cast in a local musical together. It wasn’t long until Robbie asked me out and he pulled out all the stops for our first date. He insisted on driving to my family home to pick me up and he even sat down with my parents and we all had a glass of wine before we left. He took me to one of the nicest restaurants in Adelaide (having no idea how much of a foodie I was) and we ended up being the last to leave the restaurant because we were having so much fun. After that night I knew I was going to fall in love with him.
After dating for 4.5 years, moving interstate and surviving studying full time together, Robbie popped the question. In true Robbie fashion he went all out. I had finished work for the day in Emporium in the city and was expecting Robbie to pick me up on our way to a group dinner with some friends. Instead of Robbie, my best friend (and future bridesmaid) Steph walked in to my store and was followed by another friend carrying a camera (filming the whole thing). Steph handed me a note from Robbie that instructed me to follow Steph and that he’ll see me soon. I was led through the city and along the way we bumped in to friends and family who had been planted along the path and each person had another note from Robbie. We walked to the entrance to the botanic gardens (by this point followed by a group of 7 of my closest friends) and my parents were there waiting with another note from Robbie. They had flown over from Adelaide specifically for this moment and I had no idea. I walked arm in arm with my parents and as a group we continued in to the botanic gardens where I finally saw Robbie waiting for me with a bouquet in hand. I walked over to him, he made a beautiful speech, got down on one knee and proposed and I said, “yeah of course!!!”. Our amazing friends filmed the whole thing and edited it for us that night so now we have a wonderful memory of that day to look back on.
I always wanted to get married in the garden of my family home in the Adelaide Hills so choosing a ceremony venue was easy. We decided on a second venue for our reception to limit the amount of work required at our family home so I was looking for something within 30 mins of our house and a venue with a similar formal garden vibe. I flew down to Adelaide for a weekend and looked at two venues, one in the hills around the corner from my house and one 20 minutes away in the city. I honestly thought I was going to go for the hills venue but after I visited it in person, I just felt it didn’t quite fit the vibe I was going for. When we visited the Ayers House conservatory I instantly fell in love. The room was just stunning and I’d had excellent recommendations that the food and wine was amazing which was a huge prerequisite for us.
There were so many amazing moments! Walking down the aisle and seeing Robbie shed a tear at the altar. Looking out at all our friends and family during the ceremony. The acapella song our bridal party performed during the ceremony (they sang “For the Longest Time” by Billy Joel). The moment a huge freight train interrupted our photos. Walking in to the reception for the first time as husband and wife and the outrageous applause and standing ovation we received (that’s probably my favourite moment). Listening to the amazing speeches. Our first dance and the incredible vibe on that dance floor.
I adored my dress. I have never felt more beautiful than I did on my wedding day and I expect I never will again! I was convinced I wanted something really detailed with beading or 3D flowers and was very surprised when I found my dress. I fell in love with the simplicity of it and how it just accentuated my best features. I tried on about 10 gowns but the one I chose was the 4th dress I tried (on my first day of dress shopping). It was classic and elegant and comfortable and made me feel like a queen on the day.
FINDING THE ONE
I had an amazing experience at RC. I wanted to treat myself as I’ve always been obsessed with weddings so trying on dresses was a huge moment for me, so I booked the bridal suite and was assigned the incredible Francesca as my stylist. I knew I could trust her straight away. She was confident and instantly showed her experience in the industry. We picked out 4 gowns to try based on the photos I’d shown her on my Pinterest board/photos from their website. I was pretty confident going in what I thought I’d end up with and the first 3 gowns we tried were very much in that style. They were all beautiful but I didn’t get that “feeling”. Francesca saved the best for last which was the only plain satin dress I picked out as a wild card. As soon as I put it on I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face and my two bridesmaids and my mother reacted the exact same way. It was the dress that showed me off the best and I truly felt like a bride in that moment. Francesca was patient but also wasn’t afraid to tell me exactly what she thought which I really respected. I felt like I was in very safe hands as soon as she greeted me and she continued to be amazing through the whole process right up until I picked up my gown months later.
TIPS FOR ALL THE BRIDES TO BE
Enjoy it! I know planning an event isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but try to find joy in the planning phase because it’s such a special time. At the same time, don’t feel like you need to do it all on your own. Ask for help! That’s one of the reasons you have a bridal party so don’t be afraid to reach out to your bridesmaids or groomsmen if you need extra hands on deck. Don’t stress the small things or things out of your control (especially weather). I promise the wedding you end up with won’t necessarily be the exact wedding you thought you were going to have but that’s ok! I was obsessed with the weather leading up to the big day and thankfully we ended up with a glorious day, but I’ve been to weddings where it’s rained or it’s been 40 degrees and it’s the last thing you remember. Lastly, get a videographer if you can because the footage is so special to look back on and really gives you a different insight in to the day that pictures don’t necessarily capture.
TIPS FOR A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP
Communication. I’m a huge fan of just talking things through. When you feel sad, let your partner know. If you’re upset by something they did, let them know. If you’ve had an amazing day, let them know! Open communication, trust and honesty are so important in a relationship. Robbie and I survived two years of full-time study in the same class while living together in a new city and there’s no way we could have done that without great communication.
—YOUR LIST OF VENDORS—
Dress: Raffaele Ciuca Bridal
Photographer: Dan Evans Photography
Videographer: Little Darling Films
Venue: Ayers House Conservatory
Celebrant: Kate Anolak
Flowers: Wild Fusion Flower Studio
Bride’s Hair: Myself
Bridesmaids Hair: My sister/MOH
Makeup: Samantha Ruby Artistry
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Crown: Viktoria Novak
Invites: Kiki and Poppi
Band/DJ: Steve Locke Events
Bridesmaid Dresses: White Runway (Pia Gladys Perey)
Rings: Michael Hill
Cake: Cheese wheels from Say Cheese
Event Coordination: Tonic Event Design
Wedding Video Link: https://vimeo.com/274053885