“It’s one thing to provide good service when business is good. It’s another thing to consistently provide outstanding service when business is impacted by an unexpected disaster such as COVID-19.”
On their March 2020 hen’s and buck’s weekend, Melbourne couple Krystal and Glen received the call that their Riverstone Estate wedding in six weeks’ time was COVID-cancelled.
The nurse and business banker had fallen in love with the Yarra Valley wedding venue after their surprisingly difficult search began for somewhere that would gladly host an intimate guest list of 70. Riverstone Estate ticked this and many other boxes.
“As we drove up the driveway, we couldn’t believe the stunning views of the Yarra Valley – they were absolutely breathtaking!” says bride Krystal. “We immediately fell in love with the outside of the venue, and that grew when we walked inside and saw the fireplace and the dining room overlooking the incredible views.”
Krystal and Glen loved the venue’s set price per head that included a beverage package and use of fairy lights and wine barrels; the restaurant’s award-winning menu, and the exceptional service from Riverstone’s staff. They didn’t hesitate to book in their wedding date for May 1, 2020.
“If only we could have seen into the future,” says Krystal. “Sadly, we were among thousands of couples whose wedding was cancelled due to COVID-19.”
“Throughout our entire journey, our wedding co-ordinator Nicola provided us with support and reassurance; and shared our laughs, tears and frustrations. We were never left in the dark wondering where we stood or fearing how we would be impacted financially.”
When Victoria’s lockdown finally ended, the couple didn’t hesitate to reschedule their big day. They married on January 15, 2021, with 42 loved ones.
“Our wedding day was in many ways everything we could’ve imagined and more,” reflects Krystal. “We are so incredibly grateful for the journey we had with the staff at Riverstone, we truly believe that our experience throughout COVID contributed to the most amazing day of our lives together.”
Photos courtesy of Rick Liston.VISIT RIVERSTONE ESTATE
If they could do it all over again, Krystal and Glen say that despite the pandemic, they wouldn’t change a thing about their post-COVID wedding.
“I wish I could explain the incredible pressures that we went through as we realised that COVID-19 was going to change our lives in ways we never could have predicted. Planning a wedding before COVID-19 existed, and replanning a new wedding day during a global pandemic had incredible stressors that only those sadly experiencing the same thing or in the wedding industry can completely understand. However, despite what we went through, and the continuous challenges we were faced, we would never change the amazing day that we had.”
Krystal’s maid of honour was dressed in a floor-length wine evening gown from Ferrari Formalwear & Bridal.
VISIT FERRARI FORMAL & BRIDAL
“I had one bridesmaid/MOH and so was lucky that we only needed to find a perfect dress for her. The dress we chose was a long fitted wine coloured V-neck gown that cinched at the waist and flowed into a slimline skirt which had a front split. It was feminine and comfortable to wear as the material was a luxury jersey fabric, which was stretchy and allowed her to move with ease throughout the day.”
Photographer Rick Liston captured the couple’s intimate nuptials and they couldn’t be happier.
“From the moment Rick arrived to photograph us the morning of the wedding, he made our nerves immediately feel at ease. He had us laughing throughout our day, and honestly captured the most incredible photos we have ever seen, we have received endless compliments for our photos!”
Pete the Celebrant doubled as officiant and MC and was a definite crowd-pleaser.
VISIT PETE THE CELEBRANT
“We wanted a relaxed, fun vibe for our wedding day, and with Pete we had exactly that. We had endless compliments about him throughout and after our wedding day for being so engaging and funny. Pete does an incredible job at engaging the crowd using his creativity and improvisation no matter what the circumstances may be. We had a thunderstorm during our ceremony and he did an awesome job at making light of the situation.”
Krystal looked gorgeous in a Martina Liana wedding gown from Fairytales Bridal Boutique.
VISIT FAIRYTALES BRIDAL BOUTIQUE
“This dress was a stunning romantic fit and flare design with a sweetheart neckline that complemented my body shape perfectly. The lace was elegant and I loved that the bodice made me feel extremely supported without having to worry about what bra I needed to wear underneath. I felt absolutely beautiful in my dress! Choosing ivory was the perfect option for me as I am fair in complexion and I LOVED how the beautiful chapel train turned into a gorgeous lace skirt.”
Riverstone Estate offered a delicious share-plate menu that ensured no guest went hungry.
VISIT RIVERSTONE ESTATE
“Riverstone assured us that no matter what, our guests will absolutely not be leaving hungry, and their food is outstanding – reflected by being voted in the 2019 ABIA Awards – #1 Wedding Restaurant Venue in Victoria.”
Video by Solasta Wedding Films.