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Going the distance: Simone & David’s elegant garden wedding

It was a fleeting holiday romance that evolved into a long distance relationship and resulted magically in marriage.

Melbourne-based Simone Matthews and Sydneysider David Coburn met whilst holidaying on Phi Phi Island, Thailand in 2004.

For much of the year that followed, the pair stayed in touch via email and phone and rekindled their romance when Simone travelled to Sydney 11 months later. After six months dating long distance, David moved to Melbourne and in 2009 the pair spent a year travelling the world together before finally settling in Sydney in 2010.

The proposal came in 2011 – on another tropical island – this time Fiji. Simone tells, “After a few days of terrible weather… the proposal took place over a bottle of champagne in the eternity bathtub on the balcony of our suite! After that night we had perfect weather and every day was a celebration!”






The bride says, “I always knew what kind of dress I wanted, something elegant and flowing with a touch of sparkle.” She found it on Melbourne’s High Street, Armadale: a Luci Di Bella custom made ivory silk chiffon gown with crossover ruching at the bodice and beautiful beaded shoulders. Her dazzling Swarovski crystal hairpiece and earrings were from Glamadonna and her Mimco silver sparkly shoes were purchased at David Jones Bridal.






With two of her three bridesmaids living in London, one of the biggest challenges facing Simone was sourcing bridesmaids’ dresses that all the girls could try on. After an exhausting search online and in stores she came across these multi-way wrap dresses at Two Birds Bridesmaids – which just so happened to have stores in Sydney and London. “We were amazed at how many different ways the one dress could be worn,” says Simone, adding, “Each of the girls was able choose their own personal style to wear on the day and it is something they will definitely be able to wear again.”




David and his three groomsmen wore navy blue two-button fitted bespoke lounge suits teamed with ivory French cuff shirts by Phuket tailors Victor and Co. Their navy and ivory pin spot ties were by UK label TM Lewin.





On walking down the aisle, Simone’s advises other brides-to-be to “make eye contact with as many people as possible so you remember the moment – it really works.” She adds, “Seeing David down the other end of the aisle looking so handsome in his suit is one of  my happiest memories.”






The couple chose Melbourne’s Rippon Lea Estate, with its majestic mansion and manicured grounds for their navy and ivory themed garden wedding. Simone says, “Navy blue is such a classic colour which complemented all of our bridal party and worked really well with the venue.”





The elegant three-tier chocolate cake was by Culinary Cupcakes and had ivory icing, handmade peony roses and navy blue ribbon around each tier.




Of their first dance Simone recounts, “We enlisted the help of my amazing grandmother, Mim to give us dance lessons as she did this professionally many years ago. She gave us several lessons in the lead up to the wedding and it was lovely for her to be involved in such an important part of the wedding day. Mim choreographed a modern day bridal waltz for us to “This Must Be the Place” by Talking Heads… one of David’s favourite songs.”



The bride closes with, “The wedding is so much more than just the actual wedding day. Think of the whole planning process and lead up to the wedding as part of the bigger picture… it all contributes to your overall wedding experience, so enjoy every moment.”

Photos courtesy of Melbourne and Sorrento Weddings.

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Tags: garden wedding, melbourne and sorrento weddings, rippon lea estate

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