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WFML Real Bride: Emma
When watching news reports on the fire that tore through popular wedding venue Spicers Hidden Vale, on the 7th of April, the WFML team discussed how awful it would have been for the couple tying the knot that day. Thankfully, no one was injured and we can confirm the beautiful couple who were caught up in this tragedy still celebrated their love and enjoyed their ‘big day’. The pair endured extreme levels of stress however throughout it all, as you can see from the photos, their smiles never left their faces. Emma and her husband Matt are epitomes of the idea that it is not what you have, but the people around you that are of highest importance. This story is belt told in Emma’s words…
After over a year of planning our wedding, the big day was finally here! Leading up to the big day and through the ceremony, everything ran smoothly and there were no issues or reasons for concern. The weather was amazing, the vendors and staff were great, we hadn’t forgotten anything – everything was lined up to be a perfect day. Shortly after the ceremony, as we started taking family photos, disaster struck. The venue’s main building (the 99 year old homestead) caught fire. We were evacuated to the front of the property and spent almost 4 hours on the driveway, waiting and watching emergency services attempt to put out the blaze and waiting to see if our reception (and accommodation!) could be salvaged.
We remained positive throughout the afternoon and were hopeful that we would still be able to make something of the evening, but it was when it started to turn dark that we began to realise that our day would not end up as we had planned. Due to concerns of safety, we were advised around 7pm that we would not be allowed to stay on site and would be escorted by police, staff and torchlight to quickly pack up our rooms (with the majority of guests planning to stay there overnight) and leave the venue. It was quite the surreal experience to be in my wedding dress and by the light on my phone be packing up our bridal suite to leave.
Our family and friends rallied and quickly organised a makeshift reception of sorts at the local Grandchester pub and honestly it was beautiful. Through many tears (and I think in shock) we were able to celebrate with our family and friends who supported us and were able to make the evening special.
In the pool-room of the pub, we had our first dance, shed (happy) tears at the speeches and cut the cake. The photo of Matt and I cutting the Woolworths mud cake on the pool table (our cake was in the building that burnt down, and I personally never got to see our cake or the set up of the outdoor reception space – so my best friends ran out to the local Woolies and put it together with icing and chocolates!), sharing the special moment with a smile on our faces is my favourite picture.
We are still working with Spicers to finalise the details, however we are hoping to arrange a date out at Hidden Vale later this year so we can hold the reception that we planned. We are looking forward to finally celebrating our marriage with our family and friends in the setting we envisioned. I’ll be looking for a special dress to wear for the re-do and I’m hoping that I can come back to WFML to find the perfect dress! My bespoke wedding dress that I wore on the day will always have a special place in my heart and memories (and the unforgettable smell of smoke) – so I’m after a celebration dress to celebrate!
In regards to the dress I wore on the day, I fell in love with the bodice beading and the Italian lace when trying on dresses. WFML were able to tailor the design of the dress with those thoughts in mind and I was able to make it my own by changing the material of the skirt and shape of the bodice. I felt comfortable in my dress and I loved the idea that my dress was made for me and unique to me.
Make sure that you try on dresses of different styles and cuts. I thought I had an idea in my head of what type of dress I’d like to wear, but when I was trying on the different styles I found that I could pull off a style that I didn’t think would suit my body type. Trying on dresses should be a fun and exciting experience, so take the chance to play dress ups and try on all the dresses you can! We were impressed with WFML’s ability to make us feel like we were welcomed, even when it may have been a chaotic time (with their recent renovations). The champagne was a lovely touch.
WFML provided personal service and support without being overbearing or too focused on making sales to care about the bride (like some other bridal shops). The girls from WFML were fantastic. I remember it was a busy time for the team during renovations with the dressing room in the bedroom and the gowns hanging in what would be the kitchen. It was actually quite fun to see the renovation progress each time we visited – WFML still provided a professional and personal service through the disrupting time.
Photography: Jess and Steve from Jess Marks Photography @jessmarksstudio
Florals: Roberta from Green and Bloom @greenbloomevents (florals)
Hair / Makeup: Karissa from KM Makeup Studios @kmmakeupstudios