Coombe Yarra Valley Wedding of Emily and Paul

Emily + Paul’s Coombe Yarra Valley Wedding Team:

Celebrant: Elisa Westein

Venue: Coombe Yarra Valley

Videographer: Video Boutique

Florist: State of Nature

Dress Designer: Marie Claire

Make Up Artist: Trish Sousa

Hair Stylist: Kaleigh Codrea

Cake Maker: Katielou’s Cakes

Suit: Oscar Hunt

DJ: Katty Liz


Emily and Paul’s Coombe Yarra Valley wedding finally happened after being postponed for a year due to Covid-19. It’s been a roller coaster ride for the couple as the restrictions were easing and tightening over the months prior and they knew their day was in the hands of every Victorian. You can imagine the relief when it finally arrived, the sun bursting through the clouds after days of miserable weather, and Paul’s sister catching a last minute flight from Brisbane after the borders had opened again that day.

It just couldn’t have gone right for a more deserving couple.

Paul started the day in tears, something we’d see a bit of, reading his letter from Emily and enjoying morning cocktail with Coombe’s Gin.

Emily was getting in ready in the other wing of the Homestead at Wandin Park Estate, displaying her killer multi-tasking skills by having her hair and makeup done whilst also guiding Paul’s sister through her Covid test to get it done and approved in half an hour so she could just make it to the ceremony.

My dear friend Elisa Westein held a beautifully, heartfelt ceremony in the Italian Gardens at Coombe. Just look at Paul’s face as he watched Emily walk down the aisle. It should tell you all you need to know about how deep the love here goes.

I was so pumped to get a stunning sunset and be able to combine it with these two gorgeous souls who were so easy, having so much fun together and not getting enough of their intimate time together.

The speeches were hilarious, and poor Paul not only got roasted by his best man, but by his own mum and then new brothers-in-law. Like a champion though, he dished it straight back.

We danced into the night, stepping out briefly for a shot under the stars and I left these guys ready for a beautiful life together as Mr & Mrs Marks.

Q1: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?

We did not need to set a particular theme, the Coombe setting can almost set it for you. The Italian Gardens are magnificent ceremony space, with the long stoned aisle and low hedges that line it, with the huge hedges that surround the estate as backdrop. We knew that we wanted it to be classically elegant, with a modern touch. We went for a light colour palette of light grey and white for stationary, and bridesmaid dresses, with some tones of cream and dusty pinks and golden latte through our florals.

Q3: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

The florals were so beautiful and matched with our vision for the day. The bridal bouquet was contemporary, romantic, and luxe, with dusky pink, and golden latte tones and creams. Roses, peonies and phalaenopsis orchids were used, with an offset single red rose. Bridesmaid bouquets were a smaller version of the brides, with slightly more white, and no red rose. The groom wore a dusty pink rose with a smaller red rose. The best man wore a dusty pink rose. Soft complimentary foliage’s were also used. The red rose in Paul and Emilys sets were as a special touch we chose as a sign of remembrance for Pauls father. Red roses were Harry’s favourite flower and he tended lovingly to the many rose bushes he had in his own garden. Structured, asymmetrical and romantic floral arrangements were built onto stands and positioned either side of us to the ceremony. They were then bought inside the reception venue to be repurposed into smaller vases and dotted along the guest tables. Low arrangements were created along the front of the bridal table to give the effect of a lush, romantic runner. Dense floral were used to match the overall theme (large open roses, peonies, soft foliage’s and ferns).

Q5: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

We went their separate ways when it came to fashion and neither knew what the other was doing until they saw one another on the aisle. Emily: I have always loved an open low cut back. I knew that it was a feature I wanted. I also knew I wanted something slim but not silky where I wouldn’t be comfortable on the day. I went to an extensive list of bridal stores, I tried on so many dresses where the back was beautiful, train was long but perhaps the front wasn’t right. I then tried on my dress, much more modern in style than I would have expected to go for– the fit was perfect, the dress had several layers, the beading and lace so detailed but soft, delicate and feminine. The glimmer in the dress hard to catch in photos but enough to catch your eye in the sun. The pattern was modern but not heavy. The ivory colour suited my pale skin, and it was just perfect. My floor length dress, was comfortably fitted, with a stand out low v back fitted with boning, low v front with sheer in the middle, and a beautiful train that fanned out from a single point. The train extended to a round shape. Paul: When it comes to Men’s attire, you just cannot go past the look of a clean cut, well tailored tuxedo. From having suits tailored in the past, i know that the tailors style can really show in their design. With this in mind, i searched for a tailor that shaped their suits accordingly. When i first went to Oscar Hunt, i was still considering a dark navy tuxedo. After speaking with the Tailor, and also discussing with the Maid of Honour, i settled on a 2 piece black Tuxedo, with no silk stripe on the pants. The shirt was slightly textured with thick threading, french cuffs and simple back buttoning. Leather patent shoes and a self-tie bow-tie finished the look. I also got custom cufflinks made with Emily’s initials and date of our wedding engraved for a special touch.  On the wedding day, I couldn’t find these cufflinks after searching everywhere. I later found them at home,  having fallen out of my bag.  They are now going to be the item that I wear on each of our anniversaries and is a bit of a laughing moment as we look back.

Q7: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

For Paul, it was seeing Emily walk down that long aisle towards him and finally having their moment together. Seeing Emily in all her beauty was the most amazing moment and one that I will never forget. After having a wedding during the Pandemic, having all of our family and friends together was more than i could ask for. For Emily it was much the same. Seeing Paul for the first time and having everyone together to finally share in their happiness was everything.

Q2: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?

Our venue, Coombe, is so beautifully presented that we didn’t want to overdo it with decorations. The waved wooden arching of the roof with the floor to ceiling glass windows was a feature enough. Dame Nellie Melbas old stable doors have been topped with glass and repurposed as a feature table. For this reason, we show cased this and left it unclothed, as the bridal table. The bridal table had a 1m long floral setting across the front of the table with some candle clusters on either end. The long guest tables had white linen cloths with tea light candles scattered throughout. The florals that were used during the reception in the stands, were re purposed, broken down and ran down the centre of the guest tables, and later wrapped for guests to take home. Customised name place settings finalised the guest tables, hexagon acrylic name cards with the light grey splash of paint behind the name – matching the bridesmaid dresses. With sudden changes to our guest lists due to covid we had some last minute additions which I found myself hand painting the name cards to try to best match the others we had ordered months prior. I purchased our invite design off etsy and we added a 2D barcode for RSVP and further information via the website we set up. I later took the same design and made my own seating chart to match and used an old frame to make it look complete and professional. I also provided the design to Coombe to create matching menus. The design was light grey with a single floral outline in white, In line with our colour palate.

Q4: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

We had a beautiful acoustic singer for the ceremony and canapes, and she then performed as a DJ for the reception. Our song we chose to walk down the aisle was Vance Joy – I’m with you, and it took a unique and special take having a female vocalist perform this. We also played two dedicated songs, a wedding song for the anniversary of a guest couple, and a fun song for Pauls dad Harry. We had so much fun during our photo shoot, and sneaking out with Rick Liston at sunset and night to capture some magical shots. The speeches were a highlight; they were so funny, and well performed and so utterly personal to us. We both however shared a lot of love about how are vows fell into place. We kept them completely secret, and they were so in line with each other I nearly gasped as Paul read his first. At the end of the night back at our accommodation, we poured a port (courtesy of the house) and reread each others vows – I still don’t think people believe we did not write them together.

Q6: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

We first met on Bumble. After some cheeky banter about Paul’s next tattoo and the deal breaker neck or hand spots for Emily, a first date was arranged. Emily was held up at work that night and thought she wouldn’t hear from Paul again after messaging him she’d be late for their first date; but like a true gentleman, Paul was happy to hang around at work for a little longer. Following the first date sharing a few wines together, both Emily and Paul quickly called the people closest to them about how well the date went. The proposal: Emily was given a mug when she was in her early 20’s as a Christmas gift with the saying “I’m single” and on the bottom of the mug it said “Not desperate”. After a period of time together, Emily told one of her friends that she was so happy in the relationship and maybe it was time to get rid of that mug. Her friend, Peter, told Emily, you keep that mug as insurance until he puts a ring on it. Paul told Emily that he would one day make her break that mug and even went so far as to one day, put a card with her ring size in the mug. On the night of the proposal, Paul had organised a lovely little get away down the coast. Apparently Paul can’t keep any secret because Emily had a feeling that something was going on. After a trip to the peninsula hot springs, as we sat by the fire together, Paul presented Emily with a large gift bag. From the bag, Emily pulled out her “I’m single” mug and a hammer, as Emily turned to Paul, he had the ring out ready to ask Emily to marry him. The next morning, Emily smashed the mug and got some action shots in doing so. Paul later replaced the mug with one that said “future Mrs Marks”, he first wanted to confirm she wanted to take his name.

Q8: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

Enjoy the process together. We had the best time going out to all our favourite venues to test the food, meet the staff and discuss the options of the day. Coombe was the first venue we visited, that didn’t mean we stopped sampling every other winery option in Melbourne. We had so much fun together. Find a venue and suppliers that you get along with and have trust in. The wedding coordinator at Coombe knew every part of the venue and every step of the day, we were always left feeling like the day was going to run perfect whenever we spoke with her. If we didn’t have the confidence in our coordinator, we would not have booked, and we would have had a difficult time being married during a covid year – we were completely support by all our suppliers throughout the process of postponing and things being up in the air. Our celebrant stood to the side of the aisle and had us stand together facing our guests, not our back to them. This simple, non traditional arrangement meant we could see our guests smiling, waving, crying with happiness – it made the entire ceremony so special – it’s a special part of the day we remember. When things go wrong or change, your guests wont know, only you will. By the time the wedding comes around, enjoy the moment and allow the day to just happen so that you can enjoy your time as a newly married couple.