Though Australians Shannon and Mark were introduced by a mutual friend in July of 2009, it took six months of running into each other at social events for Mark to finally build up the courage to ask Shannon out on a date. Just over four years later, in April of 2014, Mark brought Shannon to the botanical gardens in the Adelaide Hills of Australia for a picnic. "I told him it would be the perfect place for someone to propose," remembers Shannon. "A few minutes later, Mark was on one knee!"
The couple chose to celebrate their wedding at one of Adelaide's world-class wineries, The Lane Vineyard, taking advantage of the beautiful setting, impeccable food and wine, and of course a sentimental detail — it was the first winery that the pair ever visited together as a couple. They let the venue speak for itself, choosing a classic white color scheme and simple details, and paring down the guest list to just 50 people so that the celebration would be intimate and comfortable.
Keep reading to see a beautiful celebration in the Southern Hemisphere, photographed by Nicholas Purcell.
After trying on a series of "ugly" gowns at different salons for a few laughs with her bridesmaids, Shannon visited Alexis George's boutique and fell in love with a fitted Guipure lace wedding dress. "It was made to measure, and I fell in love instantly," she says. Mark wore a blue M.J. Bale suit with a light blue tie.
"I'm so glad we did a first look. It was my favorite part of the day," says Shannon. "We laughed, hugged, kissed, and freaked out that we were almost husband and wife."
Shannon's all-white bouquet was made up of David Austin roses, lisianthus, and freesias. Her bridesmaids, in knee-length white dresses, carried smaller bouquets of the same blooms.
The groomsmen donned the same blue suits as Mark, with darker ties to set them apart.
Shannon's mother walked her down the aisle, then the bride and groom exchanged vows that they'd customized with their celebrant. "She sent us a list of vows to choose from, then Mark and I sat down with a bottle of wine and picked the words that best reflected our relationship," says the bride.
Inside the winery, long tables were topped with white linens and all-white centerpieces that matched the bride and bridesmaids' bouquets. Guests sipped The Lane's Blanc de Blancs, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, and Merlot as they ate oysters, roasted Coorong angus beef, barramundi filet, and pulled pork shoulder. Shannon's sister-in-law made the couple's white chocolate mud cake, filled with raspberry filling and topped with vanilla bean buttercream.
Shannon and Mark shared their first dance to Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe" before guests hit the dance floor to a Spotify playlist assembled by the groom. "He chose a lot of funky house music, acoustic tracks, and a few 1980s power ballads — my favorite!" says Shannon.
The couple headed to Tasmania for a two-week honeymoon. Says Shannon, "Stay true to who you are when you're planning. And don't sweat the small stuff!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Lane Vineyard || Wedding Planner: Crystel Newman of The Lane Vineyard || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Alexis George || Shoes: Tony Bianco || Hair: MJ by Mat Johnson || Makeup: MECCA || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Betrothed || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: M.J. Bale || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Bella & Brunt || Florist: Blooming Bridal || Catering: The Lane Vineyard || Photography: Nicholas Purcell Studio
Did you love this destination wedding? Then check out another couple's far-flung "I do's" in the video below!