This was the romantic setting I found myself in for James and Fiona’s late summer wedding at Ripponlea Estate. The phrase ‘a Midsummer Night’s Dream’ has never been more apt.
The team from Weddings of Distinction set up the ceremony space to make the most of Ripponlea’s stunning ornamental lake. A white carpet and delicate arrangements of flowers in blush tones marked the aisle Fiona would soon walk down, while ducks glided across the mirror-still surface of the lake behind.
James and his groomsmen mingled with the beaming guests as we awaited Fiona’s arrival. The hum of excited chatter filled the shady glade we had gathered in, the sound of laughter and backslaps ringing out clearly.
And then suddenly the moment was upon us.
Fiona’s beautiful bridesmaids floated down the aisle in soft pink frocks, James shifting on his feet as each one drew nearer, knowing that their entrance heralded the arrival of his beloved.
When Fiona appeared from behind the gazebo on the arm of her Mum and brother, James lost all his composure. When he recovered it, a beaming grin broke out on his face. Fiona was a vision in her lace gown, a delicate tulle veil covering her face but certainly not her joy.
The moment James met Fiona at the top of the aisle is one I’ll never forget. He kissed her passionately, a gesture that he would repeat numerous times throughout the ceremony. This is a couple that loves, deeply, and aren’t afraid to show it – much to the delight and cheers of their guests!
It was very important to James and Fiona that we pay tribute to their loving mothers in the ceremony and I'm so, so glad that Tess Follett was there to capture the moment we did so. The look of love and understanding that passed between these two exceptional women was so moving.
We told the story of James and Fi's relationship and their beachside, hoodie-clad Californian engagement, highlighting the things that they’re proudest of and their hope that they will never, ever become too old for cuddles and kisses. Interspersed with all this was a poem that James had written for Fiona some time ago, shared beautifully by a good friend.
Tissues were in high demand during their emotion-charged and laughter-filled vows before a first, married kiss that was long, lingering and greeted with another excited round of applause.
After signing the register, the very happy newlyweds grabbed a glass of champagne each and didn't so much walk back down the aisle as dance it!
Tess’s beautiful images of this romantic summer celebration capture perfectly the love and joy that seemed to imbue every single aspect of the day, and the dance floor shots in particular fill me with the sense of one big party!
James + Fiona
Venue: Ripponlea Estate and Gardens
Photographer: Tess Follett
Ceremony set-up: Weddings of Distinction
Flowers: Helen Dillon
Celebrant: Koren Harvey