IZZY + MATT by Hannah Blackmore Weddings

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:

Izzy: Matt and I met over seven years ago after I’d just come back from a university exchange in Paris. I was looking forward to being footloose and fancy-free in Sydney but fate had other plans!

We were introduced by mutual friends and unexpectedly just hit it off. We went on a double date and then it all just sort of grew from there. We had more dates where we got to know each other better,  and I just discovered that he was this kind, sweet soul with a great sense of humour who has an incredible ability to make me laugh. Our relationship has grown and gone from strength to strength. Two years ago we moved to London – which has been an incredible adventure (filled with lots of travel). It’s been challenging at times but it’s also strengthened our relationship, as we’ve really had to be there to support each other and I think we’ve grown a lot together. I feel so lucky to have met him.

Matt: Izzy and I both work in marketing and moved to London just over two years ago for a career challenge and to be able to explore Europe. I work in sports marketing. We both love to travel, discovering London and its markets and trying new dishes and cuisines. We love the sun, TV and making each other laugh. We get each other and know how to treat each other in any mood. It’s not so often you find someone who fits your world so perfectly. We are truly best friends. We chat every day, constantly throughout the day.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details:

We got married at Mindaribba House, a beautiful old Australian property that was built in the 1800s on the banks of the Paterson River in the Hunter region. Living in London, we chose our venue because we wanted a real sense of home and the opportunity to spend quality time with our friends and family who we don’t get to see very often. We wanted our guests to have a great time and feel relaxed and have as much fun as possible (hence the recovery party the next day, which I can highly recommend to anyone who is tossing up whether to have one!).

The venue was surrounded by lush, green rolling hills, lots of vine leaves and a beautiful pool area where guests gathered for the canapés and cocktails. We had planned to have the ceremony outside under two beautiful trees but unexpectedly it poured with rain the night before so the grass was like mush. Luckily, our plan B was a stunning room with high loft-style ceilings, and countless French doors that opened up on onto the property, so we still got a taste of the outdoor setting we wanted.

Our beautiful florist Rach from Botanica Bird created the most phenomenal floral display with a pretty basic brief from me. We wanted to create a French/Italian countryside feel with whites and greens and a touch of pink. What Rach delivered was beyond our wildest dreams, she used potted plants, lots of lush greenery and orchids and roses that really transported us to another world.

We walked down the aisle to Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles. We had live music for the ceremony and cocktails and then once it was time to get the dance floor going, our band (Oberon Lane) turned into a DJ, and honestly, they were so fantastic – from the moment the dance floor started to the time the buses came to take people home, the dance floor was packed and going off, it was so much fun!

As huge foodies, food was super important and Fennel and Co catering delivered with delectable canapes, a giant antipasto grazing board and a shared feast for mains – just delicious. There was a lot of love and laughter in the air on our wedding day. We feel incredibly lucky that we were able to celebrate before the COVID restrictions came into play just two weeks later.

Tell us about your main outfits:

My dress was from Karen Willis Holmes. I tried on quite a few dresses before finding ‘the one’ and didn’t really know how you were supposed to decide because there are so many beautiful designs out there, but in the end when I put my dress on not only did it look great but it was by far the dress I felt most comfortable in. The design was classic and simple but the structured fit with the v-neck top and low back gave it a bit of modernity. We landed in Australia with only 10 days to go before the wedding and the ladies at Karen Willis Holmes managed to squeeze me in for all my fittings with a rather short timeline, and still made absolutely sure the dress fit perfectly! My shoes were Loeffler Randall and were these fabulous gold lamé party shoes. I wanted something I would be able to wear again after the wedding. Finally, my earrings were a lovely organic pearl and gold pair from Maison Sabben.

For the bridesmaids, I wanted them to feel comfortable in what they wore and choose something they actually might want to wear again. So, I chose the colour (forest green) and they chose their dresses, which were all from Shona Joy.

Matt wore a Ted Baker suit which he brought over from the UK. The other items such as belt and shoes were from Aquila. His shirt and bow tie were from M.J. Bale as was the suits that the groomsmen wore. Matt chose to wear a darker navy to the rest of the groom’s party which looked great.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

Walking down the aisle with my Dad was kind of surreal. I didn’t realise how much the emotions were going to take over and the reality of what we were doing kind of hit me, so I really had to hold back the tears. When I got to the end of the aisle, seeing Matt there looking just as emotional as I was feeling was pretty special.  

I think the ceremony itself was also a highlight – you don’t necessarily think about it so much during the planning process as other things tend to take over. The ceremony was so personalised thanks to our wonderful celebrant Steph. We didn’t want it to feel stiff or formal; we wrote our own vows, which was pretty magical as we kept them a surprise from each other so hearing them on the day was so beautiful and a memory I think we’ll both treasure.  

The group shots with the bridal group were so much fun. It was so nice to take that time away and be with your close friends just soaking in what just happened. We also took 20 minutes, just us, to sit at the fire pit opposite the tent where the dance floor was happening at the end of the night to take in the day we just had and watch everyone having fun. It was something we’d recommend all couples do on the night before things get too wild!

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

In terms of wedding planning, just take it one step at a time and try not to let yourself get overwhelmed by it. We had to plan our wedding from the UK, so it was essentially like planning a destination wedding with lots of Skype calls early morning and late at night. We even booked our venue before we’d seen it in the flesh!

Do your research and take your time picking your vendors because if you feel confident in your vendors, there is honestly very little to worry about on the day! Every single one of our vendors was fantastic. I loved planning the wedding and found it all pretty easy, with lots of Excel spreadsheets to track everything! In terms of other more general advice, just cherish the small things that you do for each other each day and live in the moment. Be kind to one other, listen to each other and respect each other’s way of processing and dealing with things. If you can communicate openly and honestly with one another, you’re already doing a great job (and the wedding planning will be a breeze!). And always remember to laugh – nothing is ever as bad as it seems!

Ceremony + Reception location: Mindaribba House | Videographer: Light Noise Films | Photographer: Hannah Blackmore Weddings | Celebrant: Stephanie Bardsley | Entertainment: Oberon Lane | Planner & Styling: Izzy & Matt | Hire: Crab Apple Hire | Marquee: Mindaribba House has a permanent tent structure | Flora: Rach Cullen from Botanica Bird | Catering + Beverages: Fennel & Co | Signage: State of Elliot | Cake: Hello Naomi | Wedding Dress: Karen Willis Holmes | Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy | Groom’s suit: Ted Baker | Groomsmen’s suits: MJ Bale | Rings: Diamond Specialist | Bride Shoes: Loeffler Randall | Earrings: Maison Sabben | Hair & Makeup: Nicola Johnson | Fragrance: Chloe Eau de Parfum