Once again, being a celebrant living in the Yarra Valley, allows me to experience wonderful wedding venues in the region and Vue on Halcyon Wedding Venue is perfect for your wedding ceremony and wedding reception.

And, with all the interruptions Covid brought to weddings in 2020 and 2021, I got to experience this beautiful Vue on Halcyon wedding venue twice; once for a cheeky, secret elopement and the second time for the wedding celebration. Sarah and Chris certainly had a wild ride when it came to their wedding planning and eventual wedding. I don’t like throwing the word ‘journey’ around too much but for this couple and celebrant, it certainly was.

Julie Byrne Celebrant - Vue on Halcyon Wedding Venue -Sarah and Chris

The Back Story

Sarah and Chris decided to elope in November 2020 at the Vue on Halcyon wedding venue with themselves, their parents, Melbourne Celebrant Julie, Immerse Photography and New Age Films. It was a legal only ceremony as they were saving their wedding celebration with friends and family at a later date. Amazingly, this elopement was kept quite from everyone else until I revealed the surprise to everyone at the wedding in March 2021. Brothers, grandparents and bridal party were none the wiser! So, at the beginning of the ceremony, I made an announcement:


The Announcement

Covid has played havoc with weddings in the last 12 months. It was the 22nd November last year that Sarah and Chris decided it was the right time for them to legally become husband and wife. (insert ooh’s and ah’s from all guests) Our couple here today, myself and witnesses came here to sign all the legal paperwork; intimate, succinct and meaningful. So, today is the day they finally get to share their wedding with you all and celebrate their love and union. Today is their chance to exchange personal vows, rings and have all their loved one’s present. So, let’s get wedding version 2.0 started!


View on Halcyon Wedding Venue

The Wedding Venue

The Vue on Halcyon wedding venue is a contemporary venue set amongst the vines a the gateway to the Yarra Valley. With a country feel, there is a plethora of spectacular photo opportunities for your wedding day. Dean is always on hand to coordinate the day and provide cover where needed (see pic!) Sarah and Chris married in the light-filled, open space in the chapel (which was perfect on the rainy day) before enjoying family photos, bridal party shots and celebrating in the reception space till late in the evening. Genelle from Immerse Photography captured the day superbly.

Julie Byrne Celebrant - Vue on Halcyon Wedding Ceremony  -Dean
Vue on Halcyon Wedding - Sarah and Chris Wedding

Dogs in Weddings

Fur babies are such an important part of the lives of many of my couples and this was certainly true for Chris and Sarah. The dogs featured at both of their wedding ceremonies! Penny and Polly, the flower dogs, looked fabulous in their tutus whilst page dog Diesel very handsome in his suit and flower. And like most couples, make sure you hire a dog wrangler for the day so you can enjoy yourself and ensure your puppies are looked after properly.

Julie Byrne Celebrant - Sarah and Chris Wedding with Dogs

The Wedding Styling

Sarah was so excited to wear her dress from Fairytales Bridal and stand with and in front of an arbour that was created by the brilliant Debbie from Flowers from Debbie O’Neill. The colours of the florals were just breathtaking. The bridesmaid dresses were provided by Aneta from Bridemaid Dressing Room and local shop Trevor Dudleys looked after the boys. All the elements of wedding styling came together to look remarkable.

Yarra Valley Wedding Venue
Vue on Halcyon Yarra Valley Wedding

Their Love Story

Sarah and Chris met on Tinder in 2015. On their first date they went to mini golf. Chris’s first impression of Sarah was how gorgeous he was and she was easy to talk to and they were able to laugh together. Sarah noticed how competitive Chris was; she wouldn’t let her win mini golf) but then his kindness and easy going attitude. It was a great first date and the match was a draw. They continued the date by going to Lillydale Lake for a walk but not before Chris went to get his dog Diesel. He thinks that sealed the deal!

In these early stages of dating, Sarah was impressed with the fact that Chris cared so much not only about her but her family, especially her nan. He had compassion and empathy. Sarah impressed Chris from the very start with how strong and switched on she was, the way she ran her business and dealt with some struggles; it was admirable to see. She was also caring and generous.

Sarah knew she first loved Chris when she saw how much love he had for diesel. As silly as it sounds it showed her that he cared, had compassion, and loved animals just as much as Sarah does. For Chris it wasn’t an exact time, but as cliche as it is, he knew she was the one early on. The the first night they spent together at the crown Metropol, it felt really comfortable and they had lots of laughs, Chris think that’s when he knew how much he really loved her.

Their relationship developed and (Chris) proposed to Sarah while on holiday in Bali in mid- 2018, after keeping the ring hidden from her for a week. This wasn’t easy as it was in a rather large box hidden with a rather large bulge in his pocket. Heading out for dinner, Chris decided he was going to make his move. It was a beautiful night with a full moon over the ocean, all the couples were taking photos with the moon and when it came to their turn he said let’s go down near the water for a better shot and asked his mum to come and take the picture. Before the picture was taken he dropped on one knee. Chris doesn’t know who was more excited; Sarah or his mum! Chris couldn’t have been happier with how it went.

Sarah describes Chris as compassionate, empathetic and strong willed.  She loves that he is her rock. He listens to all her woes and worries, gives Sarah great advice, supports all her life’s decisions even if she does make mistakes along the way. Chris was there for me when she lost three of the most important people in her life. He picked her up when life had really pulled her down. Chris loves their little fur family as much as she does; even if she has brought home many more fur babies than they started with. HE loves her with all his heart and just one hug can change her mood. Chris has taught her even if life kicks you down and you want to give up, she has the power to pick herself up as she knows that he has her back and will help Sarah through any of life’s struggles. She realised she doesn’t have to tackle everything on own as they now are a team.

Christopher describes Sarah as selfless, caring and generous. He loves that she puts other people before herself in any situation and how strong and independent she can be. He loves how her smile can light up even his worst days, one look at her and all his stress melts away, he loves her appreciation for animals, especially the fur kids and the way she makes him feel about himself is uplifting. She laughs and picks on him when he does something stupid (which is rare) and that she can be serious and focused one minute but then can be fun and silly and a smart ass the next. No matter what, Sarah has Chris’s back. Essentially, he loves everything about her. Sarah has taught Chris to be a better person in almost every aspect of life, she has helped him to like himself more, taught how to be more organised, more responsible and to be a much stronger person, he wouldn’t be the man he is today without Sarah.

Together, they love going on holidays together, dinner dates, doing puzzles, watching tv series (unless Sarah goes rogue and watches a whole season without Chris!) In their relationship they know that love, communication and honest are extremely important. Sarah looks forward to growing old together and Chris is able to spend the rest of his life with such an amazing woman. Hopefully, soon, they will start a human family to add to the animal menagerie.

Julie Byrne - Vue on Halcyon - Sarah and Chris' Wedding Day

The Vows

Epic is the word to describe Sarah’s and Chris’ heartfelt wedding vows. Tears were shed (cue mother crying) as they finally exchanged their vows in front of their loved ones,


I apologise if this is too long, but it could have been longer.

People say today is supposed to be one of the best days of your life. but the best day of my life was the day I met you. When we met, I thought I was the luckiest guy in the world and thought you were soo beautiful; boy was that an understatement. I learned that not only did you look beautiful, but you were beautiful to your core.

When we met I was just a boy. Spending the last 5 years with you has turned me into the man I am today. I owe all that I am to knowing and loving you, you have made me more confident, more resilient, and you’ve done something my mum could never do…get me to like my vegies.

You make me want to better myself just for you and the fact that you love me has made me appreciate myself more than I ever thought I could, and I can’t thank you enough for that.

You have shown me a love I never thought possible, not just to me, but your family, your friends and your pets…even your hermit crabs!  You have loved and supported me through my highest highs and definitely my lowest lows.

We’ve laughed together, mostly you laughing at my stupidity. We’ve cried together and I promise to always be your shoulder to lean on. I love the way you can light up even my worst days with just your smile, I love how kind, caring and generous you are and how cheeky you can be.

I love the life we have built together, I love the future plans we have together, and I love how whenever you go shopping you always say, “I bought you something”! I love you even when we’re watching a TV series and you go rogue and watch 2 seasons without me and also when you say you’ll be home in 20 mins….2 hours later your home!

But, most of all, I love everything about who you are, and I think everyone in this room’s life is that much more special just from knowing you.

I promise to always protect you, to pick you up when you’re down, to keep doing dumb things to make you laugh…but I can’t promise I’ll stop reading the paper at you or hogging the remote.

I said when we first met and I’ll say it again, sometimes you have to search through a field of weeds to find a beautiful flower…and I found the most beautiful one I could imagine. You are my inspiration, my motivation and my best friend.

I love you sooo much and I can’t wait to grow old with you.


Chris from the moment I met you I knew you were my Clyde to Bonnie, my Clark Kent to Lois lane and after living with you for 2 years and many many episodes of Seinfeld my Gerry to Elaine, or Kramer. Even though you didn’t let me win mini golf, I knew from that day we were me to be.

You are my shoulder to cry on when things get tough, a warm embrace when days are grey and best dad to our fur babies. You are there when times are tough. Whatever hurdle is put in front of us I know your there to get us over it.

I love the way you dance to make me laugh. I love the way you sing in the car like you’re on a talent show, I love that you push my hair back off my face when I’ve been ugly crying, I love that you love a good argument even if you’re wrong you’ll still stand by your right.

Today I want to make a promise to you I’ll keep, I promise to never stop holding your hand, laughing at your dad jokes and to give you all the love and support my heart can give.

In the famous words of Freddy Mercury, you’re the best friend that I ever had. I’ve been with you such a long time. You’re my sunshine and I want you to know, That my feelings are true. I really love you.

You’re my best friend.

I thank Sarah and Chris for entrusting me twice to ‘marry’ them and ensure that I was available through all the date changes. If you’re looking for a friendly and flexible celebrant, please contact me here.