SL: How did you first meet? M&J: We met through a friend from my work. He went to school with Jonathan and when I went to say hello to him in a bar he introduced me. Jonathan contacted me after that night and asked me out to dinner. We had the most perfect first date filled with lots of laughs and good wine & food.
SL: Where & When did you get engaged? M&J: We got engaged 6months after our first date. Jonathan arranged a weekend away at a hotel in the Grampian Mountains in Victoria called the Royal Mail Hotel. We went there because it had an amazing restaurant we wanted to try. The scenery in the area was so beautiful that as soon as we arrived at the hotel I went for a long bushwalk. When I returned Jonathan was anxiously sitting on the bed. He called me over and said he has a surprise for me. He told me to sit on the bed and close my eyes.
M&J: I was convinced that he had brought me a dress to wear to our special dinner and I was worried that I wouldn't like it but would still have to wear it. Instead when I opened my eyes, he was kneeling on the floor in front of me with the most beautiful ring and asking me to marry him.
Mandy gave each of her bridesmaids a sample of their dress fabric in stunning royal blue and were open to design their own dresses to their individual styles. The colour matched perfectly with the accents & details throughout the wedding venue.
Mandy's dress was by Maggie Sottero, Shoes by Peeptoe, Hair by Zapps Studio & Makeup by Natalie Urban.
SL: The Big Day - Location, Location, Location (Why, Where & When)? M&J: We were married on the 8th November 2009 at Bells, Killcare. We both love food & wine so we needed somewhere that has this as their focus. We had also both dreamed of a garden wedding.
When we went to Bells for a Valentines Day lunch we fell in love with it and had booked it for our wedding within a week. It was perfect - we stayed in the beautiful hotel and could have the ceremony & reception in the same place. The garden was gorgeous and the food and wine perfect.
SL: The most special memories of the day? M&J: Seeing Jonathan for the first time. As you know Jonathan is a contestant in Masterchef and he had been away for a few weeks before the wedding doing filming and was leaving at 7.30am the day after the wedding, So it was very special to see him for the first time and spend a perfect night together!
Flowers & Floral Decorations were by Beach Blossom Flowers and included unstructured arrangements of pink ranunculus, David Austin roses, Hydrangeas and freesias all designed to look like they had been freshly picked from the garden.
M&J: Our first kiss as man & wife was amazing. Especially because we had not seen each other in a while. As soon as the ceremony was finished we went off on our own for about 10minutes to catch our breath and spend a few moments together taking it all in.
M&J; Jonathan's speech was brilliant. He spoke so well and his words were so beautiful. It took every bit of concentration I had not to burst out crying when he spoke.
Mandy & Jonathan enjoyed their cocktail style event with a funky jazz band whilst guests were served bellinis & beers in the afternoon sunshine.
M&J: Sharing the day getting ready with my bridesmaids and family. We all had such a lovely relaxing day together drinking champagne, getting ready and wishing away the rain!
The gardens at dusk and under the moonlight make stunning photos.
Another reason to fall in love with a weekend trip on the Central Coast - a European country house & restaurant overseen by one of the masters in the kitchen, Stefano Manfredi.
SL: Anything you would change if you could do it all again? M&J: I would not change a thing except to have my husband for more time after the wedding. Having to leave at 7.30am the day after our wedding to film Masterchef means I think we have to renew our vows in a few years time - perhaps in Italy!! SL: We are definately available for that one Mandy!!
The delicious croquembouque was the perfect choice for a wedding cake.
Thank you to Mandy & Jonathan for inviting us to cover their very special day and for sharing in a behind the scenes interview with SugarLove x