Real Wedding: Esther & Nick's Mudgee Wedding

"As parents we were delighted when our daughter Esther, and her partner Nick, announced their engagement. We knew they had the style and imagination to create a unique and wonderful wedding. And that’s just what they did!" – Anna Pedersen (Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of The Bride's Diary)

The Proposal

Five years ago Esther wished on a shooting star to meet her “future husband in the next three months” and ten days short of the deadline her wish came true. Set up on a blind date, Nick and Esther’s relationship began as it has continued, in a whirlwind of repartee and romance. On the morning of his proposal Nick surprised Esther with a scenic drive to Berowra Waters in a vintage E-type Jaguar convertible. He then took her by boat to a waterside cottage, where Nick proposed in the pool with an emerald-cut diamond ring he’d designed himself.



Kath Marshall from Little Blue House designed a bespoke stationery suite including boxed invitations with hand-illustrated maps to and around Mudgee. She worked to our budget and really listened to what we were trying to achieve, creating a modern country aesthetic in our grey, green and white palette. We also loved having her advice, like place cards having a name on both sides, and how to minimise postage costs. We were so grateful for how easy she made the whole process.


The Boy’s Suits

InStitchu rose to the challenge of styling our men in a party that included not only the groom and groomsmen but also a bridesman. We agreed that Nick’s side would wear grey (light for Nick, mid for Groomsmen, and dark for his dad) and my side would wear blue (mid for Bridesman and brothers, dark for Father of the Bride). Institchu styled each man with a tailor-made suit, shirt, tie, pocket square and cufflinks.


Bride’s Wedding Dress

When I found Gwendolynne Burkin’s dresses online I knew instantly I?had to wear one of her intricate works of art. I?love how she designs for a woman’s body, celebrating curves with timeless silhouettes and glamorous embellishments. Thrilled to find this Melbourne designer showcased at Savvy Brides in Sydney, I bought the first dress I ever tried on. Meeting Gwendolynne during the fitting process was a highlight, she was warm and attentive, and I’ve never felt more beautiful than in the “Hope” gown she made for me.


Bridesmaid’s Dresses

Bridesmaids Only embraced how different our three gorgeous bridesmaids are. They suggested keeping hemlines and fabrics consistent so the girls could choose a style and colour for their custom made gown that suited them each individually. To continue the cohesion pocket squares were provided in each dress fabric for the corresponding groomsman to wear.


Beauty, Hair & Make-up

Bella Medi Spa in Mudgee pampered and prepped our bridal party in the days leading up to the wedding – tans, nails, facials and massages. Everyone felt and looked a million dollars. Then Mudgee hairdresser Katrina Curry worked her magic on the day, incorporating a braid for each bridesmaid for consistency, while keeping ’dos romantic and right for each girl. She styled mine to suit a veil early on but still hold up to dancing later. Sydney-based make-up artist Brooke Low arrived with her famous protein balls to keep energy up and made everyone look beautiful. Brooke even set up a touch-up bar at the reception which our girlie guests loved, and I’ve had many requests for her details since.


The Church

St Mary’s Church is the centrepiece of historic Mudgee, and Father Tony could not have been more welcoming to our family and us. He made our ceremony memorable for his warmth and personalised approach, and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones in this beautiful parish.



Mudgee is a special place for Nick and I and we couldn’t wait to share it with our guests. The food and wine scene is well known and combined with undulating landscapes, friendly locals and a plethora of things to do, it is the ultimate destination wedding location. As many of our guests hadn’t been before, we included a guide in our invitations covering eat-and-drink spots, our favourite vineyards, and spare time suggestions like the scenic drive to Gulgong. With so many guests having gone back since we’re not the only ones who love this special place.


Reception Venue

Mudgee means ‘nest in the hills’ and nowhere embodies that more than Bunnamagoo Estate. With breathtaking 360° views, we chose a marquee overlooking the vines and distant hills. As the sun set and revealed Mudgee’s signature ‘golden hour’, I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect setting.



There’s nothing quite like having drones capture your wedding! Our cinematic video features sweeping shots of Mudgee, a bird’s-eye view of our marquee and a group shot in front of the church that has to be seen to be believed. Friends had lamented that a video was the one thing they wished they’d had, so we took their advice and are thrilled we now have this memento to watch with our children on our anniversary every year.


Acoustic Music

Triple J Unearthed artist Matt Boylan-Smith was top of our wishlist for sunset drinks and we were beyond excited he could do it. From the moment guests stepped off the bus and took in the breathtaking views, Matt set the mood with laid back, acoustic tunes that everyone knew. No-one even noticed we were off having our photos taken during this part of the day. What an amazing talent he is!



We weren’t prescriptive to our florist as we were in artistic hands with the Sweet Art team. We simply asked for green foliage with white flowers and received a stunning concept of cascading installations - from canopies above the tables to conversation-height arrangements on them, and a waterfall of foliage off the bridal table. The romantic, loose arrangement style was carried through to bouquets, buttonholes and cake.



Sweet Art has been making our special family cakes for 30 years, and it was a privilege to have one of their renowned creations. Knowing the cake can sometimes be underappreciated at the reception, we saved serving ours until the recovery lunch the next day. Not a scrumptious morsel was missed.


Event Management & Marquee

Michelle from Domayn Events didn’t flinch when we told her our big ideas – ladders hanging from the ceiling, custom-made signs for the dessert table and absinthe bar, and a part of the marquee hidden until party time. She knew her team were up for it! Not only did they set up our marquee, power, bathrooms, cool rooms and kitchen, but Domayn Events also took over management of all logistics and suppliers two days before the wedding so we were free to relax and enjoy the time with our guests.



We’d noticed the favourite wedding photo our friends posted on their first anniversary was never a staged one, it was always a candid, fleeting moment from their day. So we looked for a photographer who captured the emotion of a day through its people and places. We were so lucky to work with Jonathan David. Renowned for his destination wedding photography, Jono truly gets to know the location and all the important people at the wedding. We will cherish his photos for a lifetime.



Waiters surprised guests with personalised aprons for designated carvers just before bringing out platters of spring lamb and slow-cooked pork with crackling. The sharing of food was the perfect ice-breaker for people who didn’t know their tablemates and ensured everyone ate as much food as they wanted in the meat of their choice. Mudgee Made Catering created a delicious menu tailored to each part of our day from substantial canapés to one of their famous dessert tables.



We were delighted to find that Bunnamagoo wine was of the best in Mudgee, with a full flight from sparkling, white and red, to dessert wine. We had waiters pour the champagne and sticky but left reds and whites on the table for guests to pour themselves, so they weren’t looking around for a waiter to top up their glass at the table all night.


The Party

Domayn Events pulled off our crazy idea to reveal the party space after dinner. We had our first dance in front of a false wall that dropped mid-song to unveil a fantastic live band, dessert table and Absinthe bar, because “Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder” after all! Guests flooded the dance floor and didn’t return to the tables for the rest of the night.



Weddingstar had too many great bomboniere options to pick just one, so we bought a few of everything we liked, wrapped each with brown paper and string, and had a Lucky Dip Bomboniere at the end of the night. 


At the conclusion of the reception, our guests piled onto two buses where singing and revelry continued all the way back into town. A fitting end to a perfect day!

Wedding Suppliers

Bomboniere & Guestbook Weddingstar @weddingstaraustralia
Bride’s Dress (Sydney Boutique) Savvy Brides @savvy_brides
Bride’s Dress Designer Gwendolynne @gwendolynne
Bride’s Shoes Alan Pinkus @alanpinkus
Bridesmaid’s Dresses Bridesmaids Only @bridemaidsonly
Bridesmaid’s Shoes Wanted Shoes @wantedshoes
Caterer Mudgee Made @mudgeemade
Church St Mary’s Mudgee
Drone Videographer Eagle I Solutions @eagleisolutions
Flowers & Cake Sweet Art @sweetart_official
Getting Ready Venue (boys) Angourie Studio
Getting Ready Venue (Girls) The Tannery Mudgee
Groom’s Suit Hugo Boss @hugoboss
Groomsmen & Bridesman Suits InStitchu @institchu
Guest Transport Ogdens Coaches
Hair Katrina Curry Hairdressing @katrinacurryhairdressing
Make-up Brooke Low @brookelowmakeup
Marquee & Management Domayn Events @domaynevents
Music (Acoustic) Matt Boylan Smith @mattboylansmith
Music (Band) Sydney Jazz Collective @sydneyjazzcollective
Photography Jonathan David @jonodavid
Pre-wedding Pampering Bella Medi Spa @bellamedispa
Reception Venue & Wine Bunnamagoo Estate @bunnamagoo
Rings King Street Design
Stationery Little Blue House
Videographer Bring Into Being

Join The Bride's Diary to plan your perfect wedding. Use our interactive planning tools and build your wedding inspiration scrapbook. Share this exciting journey with thousands of other members in our Bridal Buzz forums. Welcome...

Register Now Sign In
Sponsored by Weddingstar Australia

Preview our

Current Issue


The Bride's Diary Partners