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Posted by Eternal Bridal on

On April 13th 2024 in the picturesque Hunter Valley region, EB real bride Maddy tied the knot with her first and only love, Harry. We sat down with Maddy to hear all about her love at first sight moment and how that turned into 'I do', how her ‘yes to the dress’ moment took her by surprise, and why she recommends leaving your wedding for some quiet alone time together.

Let’s go back to where it all began. When and how did you meet your significant other?

I was eighteen and he was nineteen. A girl in my year at high school was dating one of his friends and she was throwing a birthday party. My best friend was invited and as she didn’t know many people she asked if she could bring me as a plus one. 

When the night came, my friend and I stuck together and the few people we knew for most of the night. My, now, husband and I didn’t even know each other were at the party until about 11:00pm when we were told to head inside as cake was about to be served. My friend and I were one of the only people inside at the time when this cute guy leaned against the doorway, glanced our way and gave me the cool-guy “what’s up” head nod. 

As we were the only people in the room and he was extroverted he struck up a conversation. We continued talking and, somewhere along the way, one of his friends saw that we were vibing and decided to distract my friend for the rest of the night. We talked for the rest of the night about anything and everything, and he definitely used my love for dogs to his advantage -- Showing me photos of his own chocolate labradoodle to win my heart! 

We exchanged snapchats at the end of the night, and the rest was history!

How did your now-husband propose?

It was on our fifth year anniversary, he had planned to take us to the restaurant where we had our first date, but it had closed down. So he booked for another incredible Italian restaurant close by in Darling Harbour. 

After we had indulged on bread, cheese, pasta and wine he suggested that we walk it off around the Harbour. It was raining so, huddled under an umbrella together, he led us to the place where we shared our first kiss - a small, quiet wharf with a little park bench. 

We were reminiscing about the moments before we shared our first kiss - We had been on a few dates by that time and he still hadn’t kissed me. Unbeknownst to me, he had attempted to subtly kiss me multiple times over the few months, but it had completely gone over my head. We were sitting on that bench chatting when I asked when he was going to kiss me, to which he laughed and said he had been trying. And of course, we kissed. 

Upon reminiscing about that night he said “I will try to be more direct this time” and got down on one knee. I, however, had turned to look out at the water, so hadn’t noticed. When I turned back I was very surprised to find him on one knee. Before he could even get through his little speech he had planned I said yes!

I probably should have seen it coming, being our anniversary and going back to our first kiss spot, but alas, it had gone over my head once again!

Was there a theme for your wedding? What inspired you while styling your dream day?

I had always wanted an outdoor wedding vibe without actually being outdoors, and when we were talking about wedding locations both of our first picks were wineries. I really wanted the space to reflect the calmness and beauty of the vineyards, so I decided to go with a soft, laid back, and romantic vibe. I kept most things white with many candles all around the room and tables to warm the space up, with wooden, sage green and emerald green accents (like table menus, wedding favour labels and vines/greenery).

The reception space at Peterson House in the Hunter Valley already had soft white drapery along the ceiling with fairy lights underneath and a few chandeliers built into the space, so everything melded so well.

What was the inspiration behind your bridal look?

Since I wanted to lean into the winery theme I wanted my complete look to be relaxed, simple and elegant. I’m not one for heavy makeup, so my make up artist really listened and kept it simple but made my eyes focal points. 

I didn’t want to have to be stressed leading up to the wedding, or on the special day, so the less I had to think about the better. I trusted the professionals, leaned on their knowledge and expertise, and it turned out perfectly. Simple jewellery, pearl drop earrings and a pearl necklace, simple makeup, simple hair style, all in order to really make my dress and the scenery stand out! 

The last few weeks I decided to go with a simple veil, one layer just behind me, and it really added to the soft and elegant theme I was going with, without blocking the stunning train of opaque floral/leafy lace.

Describe your ‘yes to the dress’ moment. How did you feel and what made you say ‘yes’?

My ‘yes to the dress’ moment took me by surprise! I initially wanted a typical A-style, fairytale dress, without too many poofy layers, and with some sort of floral/viney/leafy lace on top. I was so disappointed when none of them really spoke to me - They were all lovely, but just didn’t feel like me. 

Kaila suggested we try some different styles as it was my first dress try on, so I followed her lead. She pulled out a few more form-fitting dresses under the same winery/lace aesthetic. The first one of those she got me to try on was a tight-fitting bodice dress with floral lace, which then flowed straight down (into a slight mermaid tail) with a train of opaque floral lace trailing behind me. It was an instant yes, though I was so surprised by it. 

I promised myself, and my mum, that I would try some other boutiques to compare. But every dress I tried on I just kept comparing to that one at Eternal Bridal that took me by surprise. The next week I went out and bought it and cancelled the rest of my other appointments!

How was your experience at Eternal Bridal?

Incredible from start to finish! Kaila made me feel so comfortable the entire time, and really listened when I told her about my inspiration. I knew she could see that I wasn’t feeling the A-line dresses, even though that’s what I thought I wanted, and used her professional expertise to steer me towards more form fitting dresses to fit my body type better. She was so patient as I tried on dress after dress, and I couldn’t be more thankful because I wouldn’t have found my dress without her expertise!

They made every appointment feel special, and made it feel like I wasn’t just ticking a box by buying a dress but reaching a milestone in our wedding planning!

What was the highlight of your special day?

It would have to be literally feeling the love in the air the entire day. We put so much of our heart and soul into organising a wedding not just for ourselves but so that every single one of our friends and family could celebrate our love with us and feel how much it meant to us. We are the first to get married in our friend group, so we wanted it to mean a lot to them too, as they’ve seen us grow over the six years we had been together. 

I didn’t realise how well we had done until even our most unlikely friends said that they had cried during the ceremony. Everyone feeling the emotion of the day and leaning into it was so overwhelming and so incredible at the same time!

If you could go back in time and give your newly-engaged self one piece of advice, what would it be?

You will get swept up in the day, how quick it goes, doing the rounds, and how each part of your runsheet blurs by. But make sure you take time to enjoy it! Be present and take it slow. 

People aren’t going to care if your cake cutting is late, they don’t know the schedule, so make sure to spend time with your new husband/wife! Check in with each other, go get some fresh air together, and be present in the fact that you just got married! Everyone is there to celebrate you and your love, make sure you celebrate it too. 

Maddy and Harry’s vendors: 

Wedding dress Petal by @enzoani via @eternalbridal

Photography @mattashton_photo⁠

Make up and hair @ivorystatehairandmakeup⁠

Venue @petersonhouseweddings ⁠

Celebrant @joinedbyjeff⁠


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