“My bridal shopping experience was great! I wish I could remember the name of the lady who helped me because she was incredible, but I was so thankful for her help. She wasn’t pushy at all and it was so obvious to see that she really wanted to help and not just try to sell me a dress!” #RCREALBRIDE ESTHER RC – How did you meet Toby? My husband and I met at his best friends birthday. In this world we live in of social media I knew of him and was floored when he walked in the door! I was really excited to meet him. He looked incredible! He was wearing a mandarin collar shirt with a Bolo tie (those little Western cowboy ties), a tux jacket, nice slacks, beautiful leather shoes, a cool earring and his well known man bun. I loved it! Long story short, we talked for hours at this party and sparked a flame which has grown into a roaring fire! RC – How did Toby propose? The proposal was pretty spectacular. He had been planning a date day for a while now and made sure I had kept the day free. We had been so busy, as I am studying medicine and he is a full time nurse, so we had been saving up for a special day together. He came to my place in the morning and allowed me time to get ready (VERY unusual haha) and told me we were going out for brunch first. We went to a little place called the Picnic Basket which was cute and then heading down to the Huon Valley in Southern Tasmania which we both love. We sat by a river down there and then went antique shopping which is a favourite past time of ours. We then headed back up to Hobart for a delicious coffee from Yellow Bernard and hit the antique shops in Hobart. He had planned a few hours at Savoy Baths which was divine. And then it was time to go get ready for dinner. I was a bit suspicious at the late booking! We started driving to ‘dinner’ and I got suspicious as I knew there were no beautiful restaurants where we were headed. He pulled over and said, Esther you need to put this blindfold on which I refused! But I kept my eyes tightly shut the rest of the drive. He parked after a rough ride and then picked me up out of the car and carried me down an embankment! So much trust was needed! He put me down on the beach and told me to open my eyes. At the end of the beach was this dinghy with fairy lights and bunting strung up on it. Inside the boat were beautiful antique rugs, champagne, and a delicious gourmet antipasto platter. We rowed out which was quite hilarious and I couldn’t stop giggling. His plan was to stay out in the bay for a while, but the wind picked up and he had to pop the question very quickly! Of course I said yes but we rowed back straight away as I was terrified we would drift out. On our way back in Toby shouted “hey Digby!” which I was incredibly confused about. Out popped a surf photographer from behind two buoys! He had photographed it all as the sun was setting. It was so perfect. We drove home and my closest friends and family were all there waiting to celebrate with us! It was so special and I was floored. RC – Is there a particular reason as to why you chose your venue? I always wanted to get married in a garden and always wanted a reception in a barn (very hard to find). So the garden we chose because my parents knew the owners and it was out of town and a bit wild rather than a cottage garden. It was a stunning backdrop for the ceremony! We couldn’t find a barn, so a marquee was my next best option. And my parents had just bought a 5acre property the year before so we were able to have it there! I loved it. It was such a big family ordeal which is exactly what we wanted. RC – Your favourite part of the wedding? My favourite part of the wedding probably had to be our vows. We both decided to write our own vows and had our celebrant read over them before the day. I couldn’t stop crying while reading mine out to Toby and his words just melted my heart. It was so heart felt and was a beautiful start to the day. RC – How did the dress make you feel? I LOVED my dress! It was a bit of a miracle story. I had looked a lot in Tasmania already and had decided to fly to Melbourne to have a look with my MOH and mum. We had attended so many appointments in 2 days and I felt sick and was ready to give up when mum thought we really needed to go to New Sydney Rd. She just had this gut feeling. Well I walked into Raffaele Ciuca and asked if I could have a look and there just happened to be an appointment free half an hour later. Well my niece happened to live 5 minutes away and could come (one of my bridesmaids) and my sister was in melbourne with her family visiting and she could join too! So I had 3 of my bridesmaids there, my mum and 2 of my flower girls! It was such a blessing. I found some dresses I loved, but fell in love with one. I said yes and then looked at the label. I seriously could not believe my eyes! I had been eyeing off a dress since I got engaged from Maggie Sottero and for some reason I thought I could only get it in Sydney. I had chosen Brianna without even realising! It was seriously meant to be and it just felt so right. I loved wearing it! I felt so beautiful! RC – How was your bridal shopping experience? My bridal shopping experience was great! I wish I could remember the name of the lady who helped me because she was incredible, but I was so thankful for her help. She wasn’t pushy at all and it was so obvious to see that she really wanted to help and not just try to sell me a dress! RC – Tips for brides-to-be! Tips for brides to be: decide early on to not stress on your wedding day. I know that sounds a lot easier said than done, but I made that decision at the beginning of planning and it worked. Things go wrong! It’s life! Life is not perfect, so why would your wedding day be flawless? We had lots of things go wrong, but not a single one of them stressed me out. I couldn’t change any of it, someone else had to deal with it. It was great! That would really be my number one tip!