Bride & Groom: Natassia & Aaron Soper
Planning & Styling: Jaspers Berry ( they don’t allow for external stylists)
Gown: Lee Petra Grebenau
Venue: Jaspers Berry
Photography: The Evoke Company
Videography: Mitch Hickman Films
Floral: Flowers on the Mill Berry and Jaspers Berry
Cake: Adrienne Cakes
Hair: Zoe Blackburn Hairdressing
Make-up: Nadeen Hunt Makeup
How did you and your husband meet?
Aaron and I grew up in Wollongong and had a number of mutual friends, so it was inevitable that one night our worlds would collide. We were both out at a local bar, when I slipped and fell on the floor. Aaron came to my rescue, but also lost his footing and we both ended up back on the floor in a fit of laughter. I was immediately taken by his cheeky smile and gorgeous caring eyes. To this day we joke that he literally swept me off me feet.
How did he propose?
On our first date Aaron set up a sunset picnic, with my favourite wine and cheese at a quiet local beach. I moved states for a few years, however, every time I returned home, we would take a long walk back along that same coastal stretch and dream up our future together. 5 years later, we went for that same walk at sunset and he had once again set up a surprise picnic amongst the dunes, however, this time he had packed expensive champagne and diamond ring.
Bending down on one knee, he asked “Will you marry me.” I was so overwhelmed by the moment and taken by surprise, there were a few nerve racking minutes for Aaron, before I replied, “ Of course.” For those that know Aaron and I, it was a perfect proposal.
What was your vision for your wedding day?
Our main focus was to make sure every one had fun and that no one would go hungry or thirsty - I am Italian after all.
It was an end of summer wedding, so I wanted the day to feel fresh and elegant, with whimsical elements. I mainly used white flowers, as it’s a classic colour, with hints of blush pink, gold - and lots of greenery.
I wanted guest to feel transported to another wold and that’s mainly the reason why we chose Jaspers Berry. The huge heritage property is surrounded by insanely beautiful gardens, with hidden rooms and spaces filled with vintage antiques and is pretty perfect as it is. We made sure the wedding was staged in different areas over the night, so that people had time to explore and enjoy all the grounds had to offer. On arrival we had roaming canapés, a grazing table and aperitifs. We cut the cake outside on the deck, before moving every one inside to the reception hall for shared meals, dessert and dancing. The night ending with night caps and smoked ham sandwiches in the bar and sitting room. The wedding planner at Jaspers and I worked hard to make sure guests would always be entertained, comfortable and no one ever had and empty hands or would go home hungry.
Where did you look for your wedding inspiration?
While I always knew I wanted to get married, I was never the type of girl that had my big day pre-planned. So, l drew a lot of inspiration from the reception venue, Jaspers Berry. It was so magical, that I just wanted to build on the story the venue told and add to its vintage beauty.
I worked with the team at Jaspers to enhance the beauty of certain areas, and they were so great in bringing that vision to life. It’s so easy to be swept away in wanting all the trimmings, but sometimes you have to look at the backdrop you have to work with and appreciate its beauty.
Other then that I trawled social media, Pinterest and vendor websites, grabbing images of styles, colours and decor I was drawn to and incorporated elements of different weddings and ideas into my own.
What drew you to your gown from Helen Rodrigues Bridal?
After having quite an unsuccessful run, I was pointed to Helen’s store by a friend. As soon as I stepped inside the boutique and saw her stunning gowns, I knew I was going to find the one. I literally felt a weight lift from my shoulders.
Lee Petra Grebenau’s collection instantly drew me in - the dresses are classic, yet modern in style and the intricate fabric and beading caught my eye. On my first visit, I found my dress! Helen and her staff were fantastic - they understood my vision, picked out the exact styles that suited my body shape and gave me real feedback ( even if I didn’t want to hear it )
At the end of my fitting, I had two gowns I was deciding between. The girls said, ‘which one did you love on the hanger and could see hanging up on the day of the wedding.’ As soon as they said that, I knew my dress was the one. It gave me all the feels, as soon as I put it on.
The other thing I love about Lee’s dresses, aside from their beauty, is how comfortable they are. It even had built in underwear! I wanted a dress that was easy to wear and I could dance the night away in. Not once did I feel uncomfortable in my dress… I felt like an absolute princess.
A big thank you to Helen’s team for not rushing my decision. The fittings were fun, conversations always flowed and I truly felt welcome…it was sad to say goodbye. Overall, it was an experience I hope every bride gets to have.
What was your wedding planning journey like for you? How far out did you start planning?
Because our reception venue is so popular, we had to book in our wedding earlier than anticipated, which meant I had just 9 months to plan. ( eek! )
Lucky for me, the team at Jaspers Berry took on most of the planning responsibilities - with everything done in house, from catering, to flowers and decor. There were many emails between us to make sure every detail was perfect. The team really goes above and beyond to ensure your vision becomes a reality - this took a lot of pressure off me.
I really enjoyed the process and surprisingly it was very stress free.
What was the biggest decision you had to make?
The dress! Thank god for Helen’s team, otherwise I would still be roaming bridal stores trying to find the one.
What was the highlight of your wedding day for you?
This is a hard question to answer - from getting ready with my bridesmaids, to walking down the aisle with my father, speeches and first dance - the whole day was perfect.
However, marrying the love of my life and watching the smile on his, my family and friends faces, definitely stands out for me.
Is there anything you would do differently?
Nothing! We dream about reliving it every day. It was hands down the best day of our lives!
Is there any advice you would give other #HRBride’s?
Have faith in the process and trust the advice given to you by the people in the industry. They know what they are talking about and have years of experience. Sometimes we can get stuck on an idea, and not see the forest through the trees.
Don’t stick to a budget. If you love a dress and it makes you feel beautiful and confident for your big day, buy it! I have no regrets.
Don’t sweat it on the little things, in the lead up to the big day. I know some problems seem like mountains and have great importance, but on the day they honestly don’t matter. You are so swept up in the joyous occasion, all that noise fades away.
I was given the advice to take 5 minutes with your new hubby to step back, sit and watch your party unfold together in silence. It’s that quiet moment in the chaos of the day that we can look back on. It was great to see all our guests enjoying themselves, and made all the hard work and time worth it.