keli & luke

BENDOOLEY ESTATE, BERRIMA, NSW

photos captured by: The Evoke Company | styling by: Merci Bouquet 

When Keli and Luke’s celebrant asked them what they thought of eachother when they first met in Wollongong during a night out, Keli said she thought Luke was, "Good looking and boyfriend material," and Luke said Keli was, “A tanned little pocket rocket.” “Nine years on and that still makes me giggle!” Keli said.

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A PARISIAN PROPOSAL | Luke proposed in Paris on Bastille Day during the couple’s European holiday. “We took the Metro into town to watch the fireworks. It was the busiest day of the year and we found ourselves squashed like sardines on the train with hundreds of locals and tourists all with the same idea!” Little did Keli know that Luke had an engagement ring padlocked inside his backpack. “It now makes sense as to why he was sweating and growing more and more nervous as people bumped into us on the train. I thought it was just the crowds! When we finally made our way off the train we realised there was simply no room for any more bodies in the city so we packed up and made our way back to the hotel. It was there that Luke opened a bottle of Champagne and surprised me with a diamond ring. A ring that had also been on quite an adventure that evening. Luke’s proposal was so heartfelt. With teary eyes I screamed, ‘Yes!’”

ORGANISED & OVERJOYED | Keli’s wedding journal kept her organised with appointments and to-do lists. “We created a wedding budget spreadsheet so that we wouldn’t miss any small details. We also started looking at wedding venues early on as we knew how quickly they could book up. Having both the ceremony and reception at the same place proved to be a good decision for us and easy for our guests.” 

Keli and Luke also booked the majority of their suppliers 9 months prior to the wedding including their photographer, florist and stylist. “This way we could focus on the small styling details of the day in the months closest to the wedding. Every month I made a checklist of things I needed to book or finalise. I was also lucky enough to find my wedding dress 8 months before the wedding and had a good idea of what I wanted.” Being so organised made the planning process incredibly enjoyable for Keli. “I absolutely loved the planning and design factors of creating a wedding.”

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BENEATH THE ARBOUR Handmade timber signs welcomed guests to Keli and Luke’s wedding and an arbour of white roses and cascading foliage formed a sweet backdrop for their ceremony. “With my arm linked firmly in my dad’s I no longer felt nervous. I couldn’t stop smiling seeing my husband-to-be standing under the beautiful arbour.” The floral theme of green and white continued to the reception with dahlias, David Austin roses, freesias, lisianthus and hydrangeas. 

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Keli and Luke had an evening ceremony at 5pm. “It was a relaxed day getting ready with our families and bridal party. My bridesmaids and I sipped Champagne and snacked on delectable cheeses and antipasto platters.”
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SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS | Having always loved visiting the Southern Highlands, Keli and Luke knew it would make the perfect backdrop for their wedding. “It was a destination wedding without being too far from home. Berrima is a quaint town with beautiful gardens and open spaces, sandstone churches and an array of country style wedding venues. However as soon as we arrived at Bendooley Estate we knew it was just right. We loved the food and wine and the ceremony location that overlooked the lake. There was also a rustic barn with beautiful exposed beams for the reception.” Bendooley’s Book Barn with shelves and shelves of old books was a point of interest for Keli and Luke’s guests.

THEME & STYLING | “We had a theme of Rustic Whimsy which was created with bare timber tables and lush garlands of green foliage and white roses entwined on the chandeliers.” Various sized hurricane lamps formed the table centrepieces accompanied with tea light candles which helped create a warm, romantic atmosphere for the barn. “In keeping with our theme, we chose wooden table numbers and simple place cards embellished with twine and a sprig of dried lavender my mother had picked. It smelt amazing and added a personal touch. I was so thrilled with how each individual styling element came together to create an enchanting space.” A handmade wooden chest with a burlap banner and engraved with the couple’s names and wedding date was a fitting focal piece.    

“Seeing the magic that was created in the Book Barn by our florist and stylist was breathtaking. Luke and I were so euphoric after our wedding that we stayed up all night reflecting on the day. I have asked him multiple times since if we can do it all again. He said, ‘No’, but we have incredible memories and the photos help us relive our day over and over again!” 

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  Keli’s bridesmaids wore Shona Joy dresses in powder blue. “They were simple and elegant and the girls looked beautiful beside the groomsmen in their navy suits.” 

Keli’s bridesmaids wore Shona Joy dresses in powder blue. “They were simple and elegant and the girls looked beautiful beside the groomsmen in their navy suits.” 

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Keli and Luke had a 3-tier, semi-naked wedding cake which consisted of chocolate, caramel and banana layers. Berries, foliage and white blooms of roses and lisianthus decorated the cake. “It not only looked amazing but tasted even better!”

5 WISHES | “As I have Italian heritage, I wanted to incorporate the tradition of sugar coated almonds as wedding favours. We placed five almonds in a drawstring bag for each guest. The five almonds represent five wishes for the married couple, health, wealth, fertility, happiness and longevity.” 

THE GOWN | Keli wore Pallas Couture’s Angelika gown. “It was a combination of lace and silk with a fishtail and long train. I also wore a long, thin veil for the ceremony which I felt complemented my dress and, looking back on the photographs looked especially beautiful blowing in the breeze. I have always loved Pallas Couture dresses and the style of my dress made me feel truly beautiful.” 

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credits

gown: Pallas Couture, pallascouture.com    

shoes: Verali, veralishoes.com.au

photographer: The Evoke Company, theevokecompany.com.au   

wedding venue & caterer: Bendooley Estate, bendooleyestate.com.au

reception decorations: Decorative Events, decorativeevents.com.au

stylist & flowers: Botanica Style Co., botanicastyleco.com

cake: Cake Arcade, cakearcade.com.au

stationery: ImpeccaBelle Photography & Design, impeccabelle.com

groom & groomsmen: Tramps The Store, trampsthestore.com.au

bridesmaids: Shona Joy, shonajoy.com.au

flower girl: Tea Princess, teaprincess.com.au

page boy: Next, next.com.au

music: White Clover Music, whiteclovermusic.com

celebrant: Altar Your Thinking Kristie Poole, 0423 183 582

hair: The Little Birdcage, (02) 4225 0950

makeup: VDJ Makeup Artistry, shebabrowboutiquebysilvia.com.au