Beth and Kin: A Stunning Wedding Down Under, With An Ode To The Groom’s Chinese Heritage
Today, we are a tad bias in our excitement sharing this gorgeous wedding, all the way from Australia, since this wedding was that off our Founders Cousin, Beth Downie.
Beth met her now husband Kin, on Tinder, over 5 years ago back her hometown of London. 6 months into their relationship, Kin moved to Australia for work, and within 9 months Beth joined him and there began their new adventure together. They have since made Melbourne, Australia their forever home, together with their fur baby Mochi.
This stunning wedding was a small and intimate affair with fewer than fifty guests in attendance, but the attention to detail and small touches created as a gentle nod to the grooms Chinese heritage, are simply breath taking…and that vegan coffee buttercream wedding cake! WOW! Over to Beth, to talk us through her special day and the planning.
♡ The proposal…
Kin proposed to me on our 4-year anniversary at Polperro, our wedding venue, where we were staying over the weekend. He’d booked a villa for us to stay, which had a gorgeous view overlooking the vineyard and onto the hillside. Kin organised a picnic hamper and a bottle of bubbly for us to enjoy in a little forested area just beyond the vineyards. That evening, after we dressed up and before we headed to a restaurant, he proposed to me on the balcony of our villa in the evening sunshine under a deep, rich blue sky.
♡ The wedding theme and location…
As mentioned previously, we got married at the same location in which Kin had proposed to me. Although we did hunt around for other venues, nothing else quite compared, and it now had the special memory of us getting engaged there. Polperro is a winery/bistro restaurant in Victoria, about an hours drive of Melbourne centre. The drive to get there is full of winding roads with magical views of the coast, vineyards, and lush green forest. Polperro itself is a goregous little modern french bistro, nestled amongst the vines of its very own vineyard. Another great feature of the restaurant is that they grow the majority of meat and veg in house, and make all of their owns wines.
We didn’t end up going with a theme per say, but instead wanted to make sure that every decision we made was somehow a reflection of us as a couple. Whether it was referencing our heritage, favorite movies, or just generally us as a couple. We had also each picked something which was particularly important to us which we would be more flexible with budget on.
For me, it was the floristry that was most important, I’d made a whole powerpoint presentation to work closely with the florists to bring my vision to life. I was inspired by a scene in Great Gatsby, in which Daisy meets Gatsby for the first time in years and he completely goes overboard by filling a small cottage with thousands of orchids. I let the florist know if the flowers didn’t make people react with ‘oh my god’ then they weren’t done right, I really wanted to make them eye-catching! I also wanted the flowers to represent the heritage of both myself and Kin, so we combined both Oriental and English origin flowers (orchids and lilles, hydrangea and garden roses). Colour-wise we went with something tonal, modern and dramatic, again drawing on the reds, which symbolizes luck, joy and happiness in Chinese culture.
For Kin, it was photography. One of Kin’s biggest hobbies is photography, he loves learning about it and one of his favourite things about us going on holiday is having an opportunity to pick up his camera. We found FreeTheBird on instagram: a photographer who is talented, passionate and dedicated to creating beautiful, natural but non cliched photos. We weren’t disappointed and every time we look back at these photos it brings us back to all the sights and sounds of our most cherished day.
♡ The wedding cake….
We designed our wedding cake to compliment our floristry and went with a two-tier burgundy to white ombre buttercream, with flecks of gold leaf. I found our cake maker on Instagram, she creates the most AMAZING designs.The aesthetics sparked our curiosity but the flavours sealed the deal. To cater for our dairy free and vegan guests, we decided to go with a fully vegan chocolate cake with coffee buttercream. We also had our florist dress the cake with fresh flowers.
♡ The dress…..
If you’re like me and have never really been the type to dream about your wedding as a child, then this whole wedding dress experience will be very new to you. In my initial stages of research, I was really drawn to the current trends of ethereal gowns with 3D flowers and embroidery, similar to those from Galia Lahav and Berta bridal.
The first wedding dress I ever tried on was a 3D flower embellished gown and it had definitely given me that ‘wow’ feeling. However, I felt it was only because I was trying on my first ever wedding dress rather than it being ‘the one’.
Many, many bridal boutiques later, the more wedding dresses I tried on, the less special I felt in them and I had started to doubt the aesthetic I’d had in mind. The pressure of being beautiful bride all felt a little too much and I started to feel that perhaps a white wedding dress wasn’t for me, so I went on the hunt to seek something a little alternative.
That’s when I found Suzanne Harward. Suzanne creates these beautifully unique dresses which incorporate unconventional textures, colours, and embroidery. I was particularly drawn in by a nude wedding dress with colored floral embroidery here and also a floral dress with burgundy piping I’d seen on her Instagram. So, the day of my appointment rolls around, and I’m ready to try on my selection of colourful embroidered gowns. After browsing the showroom and selecting a few dresses, I picked up a white soft trumpet gown to throw into the mix. Just as a wild card, and to see how the other dresses compared to something more traditional.
The sales consultant was excited about me being so open to the idea of wearing colour, and we both loved the Bluebird gown. Then we got to the last (white) dress, and she had joked with me that it may be a little pointless trying this one on after all the amazing colourful ones.
I decided to still try it on anyway, and before I got to see it in the mirror the SA said ‘Oh I take it back…. this looking amazing on you’. So I walk out to the mirror and there it was again, the ‘bridal feeling’ and we both agreed this was my dress.
Most brides will tell you that the dress they end up choosing was totally different to what they had imagined they’d wear. So, I do recommend keeping an open mind, and try on all the silhouettes to see how you feel in them. I feel there’s a sweet spot between choosing something unique, maybe a little out of your comfort zone and also feeling confident and beautiful in what you’re wearing.
♡ Most enjoyable part of the planning process…
The most enjoyable part for us as a couple was hunting for our wedding venue.
A recently married friend of mine advised us to treat venue hunting as a date day/night out as a couple. It was an amazing opportunity to not only try out new restaurants, create new memories, and visit beautiful places. But also get to know our home of Victoria, and what it has to offer a lot better. That being said, in the end we chose to marry at the same place we got engaged because nothing else compared to the beauty and the emotions it held for us.
For me as a Bride being very interested in design, I also loved the whole design process of such a big event. It was very rewarding being able to design everything and see my vision brought to life.
♡ The most stressful part of the planning process….
This was unique to my situation, but for the most part I didn’t have any help with planning our wedding. All of our bridesmaids and groomsmen were abroad, so it was difficult to delegate any tasks. We also were applying for our residency at the same time, so Kin was left with that task whilst I was planning, as we were playing to our strengths, and mine certainly isn’t all the visa jargon! It was definitely a full-time job planning a wedding!
Its undeniable wedding planning on your own is very challenging and stressful. It feels like there are a million different things and small details to worry about. However, I also found it an unexpected opportunity for personal growth. I would say I’m a lot more resilient now, able to handle tough situations and my emotions a lot better and see that hard work really can pay off. It was also a very inspiring experience, especially when you find the gems in the wedding industry that are really passionate about their job and working with the couples.
♡ Top three tips for a bride-to-be…
If you can, give yourself the luxury of time, so you are able to paint the story of your day before you feel the pressure of booking anything. I found it very challenging to be able to set a budget and choose an exact wedding style (eg. Elopement, intimate, cocktail, dinner etc.) without much knowledge on the wedding industry and how much things cost. Especially when you tackle one thing at a time, there can be a pressure to book when you know other couples may be looking at the same dates. With time on your side, you will have more time to investigate and make educated decisions for your big day. Also, use the adrenaline/excitement of your fresh engagement to get a head start with picking things out! I definitely got burnt out towards the end of planning, so I was so thankful for my hard work at the beginning.
Agree as a couple what’s most important to you both, what you’re happy to stretch budget on, and what’s less important to you both. Picking one thing each that we were happy to spend a little more on also worked well for us. Then find ways to be creative with the smaller details.
Have faith! There will be moments where the stress of planning everything gets on top of you and you’ll maybe wish you had eloped. But believe me when I say this, when the day comes, it will be worth all the blood sweat and tears. I can whole heartedly say it’s true when people say it ends up being one of the best days of your life. As an introvert, I’ve never felt so outgoing and euphoric in my life, and was so happy to share those moments with those close to me.
♡ Did you use Bride Club ME in the planning process? If so, how?
Of course, reaching out to my cousin Rio, the Founder, for all her tips, tricks and opinions! As well as using the @BrideClubME Instagram page as a source of inspiration. I would highly reccomend the site and their concierge for all of your needs.
The Bride’s Little Pink Book
Wedding Venue & Accomodation – Polperro Winery / First Look Dress – Needle & Thread / Wedding Dress – Suzanne Harward / Celebrant – Jac the Hitcher / Photographer – Free The Bird, Jai Long / Florist – Poppy Culture / Cake – MissLadyBirdCakes / Bridesmaids Accomodation – BAMF Cottage / Wedding Favours – Sketch and Etch Creative / Bridesmaid Dresses – Sheike / Grooms Suit – M.J. Bale / Aquamarine Engagement Ring- Charles Rose / Wedding Band (Ring) – Grew&Co.