Monica and Ryan gathered their people in the gorg Southern Highlands for an ultra-elegant countryside celebration with subtle old Hollywood influence. Reflecting on their journey to the aisle, these high school sweethearts describe their experience as “smooth sailing”, thanks in part to the support of their spectacular vendors, “[We’re glad we] booked in dream vendors who took the stress out of the day.”

Speaking of which, can we take a moment to admire these pics from Matt Ashton Photography?! Obsessed is an understatement. Also, we could go on for days about Monica’s dress. We all know that calling on the talents of clever friends or fam can add an extra personal touch, but how many brides can claim that their own sister designed their wedding gown? Monica’s beautiful bridesmaids wore Bec + Bridge, while Ryan and his best guys looked suave in M.J. Bale suits. The Flower Pursuit was the creative genius behind those ethereal florals, while Above Below Visuals got the chic celebration on film. What a team! Scroll down to suss it out for yourself.

FAVE DETAILS “The florals were an absolute dream. Sarah from The Flower Pursuit took my vision and elevated it to new heights! The hanging floral installation above our ceremony spot was an absolute show stopper. Sarah also moved some of the aisle installations below the hoop during our portraits and these are some of my favourite photos from the day.”

THE DRESS “My talented sister designed my wedding gown! She is only 26 and in her first year of full time business designing bespoke couture pieces. It was so special to wear a dress she designed and constructed, and I loved being part of the design process with her. We did try on dresses off the rack to get a sense of what I would like, but nothing came close!”

THE SUIT “We both had envisioned a classic black suit for a timeless and classy feel. We chose M.J. Bale and loved the tuxedo jacket with a subtle satin collar to really elevate the groom among the groomsmen. It was a pretty quick decision!”

REFERENCES “I first heard of Bendooley Estate from my Mum as she had attended a wedding there in the past and loved it. We came across Terrace Press [at] One Fine Day Wedding Fair and found Matt Ashton from the Real Weddings section of Hello May! Tim (Above Below Visuals) followed shortly after we found Matt via their podcast Make It Epic and Instagram. I came across The Flower Pursuit via Instagram and reaching out to Sarah was one of the fastest decisions I have ever made!”

LITTLE LOL “I didn’t think it was funny at the time… but after picture-perfect weather, the heavens opened up mid-ceremony and DRENCHED our guests. It was raining so hard that we ended up stopping and moving locations mid-ceremony! My hair took a turn from perfect to windswept. But our celebrant and supporting vendors took it in their stride and continued the magic.” 

STANDOUT VENDORS “Our entire vendor team knocked it out of the park, but these four need a special mention. Matt Ashton Photography made us feel so comfortable, and the proof is in the pudding when it comes to his work. Our photos are so natural and capture the day beautifully. Tim (Above Below Visuals) knew I loved the old-school style, but I couldn’t stretch the budget any further, so he surprised me by bringing the Super 8 camera along on the day! This truly meant so much to us, and we can’t thank Tim enough for going above and beyond. Sarah (The Flower Pursuit) is a flower magician and her talent is unmatched. We were blown away by her gorgeous arrangements and are so thankful she was there during and after the ceremony as her ideas really elevated our portraits! Nat (Marry Me Natalie) hasn’t been in the wedding game for long; but you would never know! She was a weapon on the mic and also MC’d for us. She did a tremendous job wrangling our huge wedding.” 

If there’s one thing we can take from Monica and Ryan’s day, it’s that the right vendors make getting married a piece of (wedding) cake. So get your planner out! You’re going to want to take note. Go BTS at Terrace Press here, or check out The Flower Pursuit on the Hello May Directory for even more pretty petal arrangements. If you have any ‘what do I wear’ woes, don’t worry; our friends Bec + Bridge and M.J. Bale have your back (literally). Or, if you’re looking for some standout visual storytellers, Matt Ashton Photography and Above Below Visuals are who you’ll want to talk to. 

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Matt Ashton Photography Cinematographer Above Below Visuals Stylist & Florist The Flower Pursuit Stationary & Printer Terrace Press Menus & Signage DIY Monica Pagano (Bride) Venue The Stables, Bendooley Estate Cake Maker Applemire Cakery Other Desserts Bendooley Estate Wedding Favours DIY (Family) & Plasdene Glass Pak Entertainment Ben Fox Band Celebrant Marry Me Natalie Rings Temple & Grace Transport Robertson Bus Service THE BRIDE Bridal Gown & Veil Designer Gabrielle Pagano, GP Creatives (Family) Robes / Getting Ready Tees Bec + Bridge (Bride) Cotton On Body (Bridesmaids) Shoes Collection via Myer Accessories Rosaries For Life (Bracelet) Hair Kayla Goss Bridal Makeup Gemma Jamieson Fragrance/Perfume Gucci Bridesmaid Dresses Rebecca Valance, Effie Kats, By Johnny & Meshki Bridesmaid Gifts Witchery, Sol De Janeiro, Mecca & Cotton On Body THE GROOM Suit & Bow Tie M.J. Bale Shoes Julius Marlow Barber / Grooming The Bearded Barber Groomsmen Suits M.J. Bale Groomsmen Ties Blaq via Myer Groomsmen Gifts Bendooley Estate Wine