Bulong Estate in Yarra Junction is the perfect wedding venue to have a winery wedding in the Yarra Valley. This boutique Yarra Valley winery is exclusively yours for the day and has expansive grounds for picturesque photos. And, what suits many couples is that it is smaller. Inside can seat 40-60 guests and this suited Tess and Hayden perfectly. They didn’t want a large wedding and found that Bulong Estate suited their needs perfectly. Monica and the team are fabulous at, not only these smaller weddings, but large, outdoor celebrations as well.

One very important aspect for Tess and Hayden on their wedding day was including their greyhound, Sadie, in their wedding ceremony. She is the apple of their eye and has her own Insta account! Bulong Estate were so accommodating with Sadie and the pictures of her are adorable.

Bulong Estate wedding

Local photographer, Jon from Millgrove Photography, captured the day and is always fabulous to work with. The florals were created by Bunch about Town and the ceremony and reception music was played by one of my fave quirky and talented duos, Brendan and Starbrina. Fairytales Bridal supplied the gown with Flawless Hair and Make Up completing the look.

It was an absolute pleasure working with Tess and Hayden and I wish them all the best in love and life.

Their Love Story 

Tess and Hayden went to school together (St Leonard’s College) and knew each other from Year 7. They became friends around Year 10 with lots of classes together. They started dating after finishing Year 12. 

Tess remembers Hayden (in Year 7) was very loud and a bit annoying. But really, which boys weren’t at that age. Hayden’s pretty forgetful and doesn’t remember many specifics that far back. He does remember in year 10 just hanging out at lunchtime in their friendship group. Tess was quiet and reserved but could be quite witty too. 

In these early stages, they really just hung out watching movies at each other’s houses or at the cinema, where friendship developed into a relationship. The first time Hayden tried to kiss Tess, it was totally unexpected, and Tess literally ran home.

Despite this unexpected moment, Tess says Hayden was always fun to be around and he was also really kind and Hayden says that they just got on really well.

Hayden proposed on their eleventh anniversary in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens. He had had a crazy week, worked night shifts (9pm – 7am), accepted a new job and quit his old job, meaning he didn’t have time to go shopping for a ring. He instead ordered a temporary ring (so they could choose an actual engagement ring together) and then missed the AusPost delivery anyway (he was asleep due to the night shifts). In the hour before Tess got home from work, he had to pick up the ring from the Post Office and drive to work on his day off to quit his job. By the time Tess got home, he was unusually stressed about going on a holiday.

Bulong Estate wedding
Bulong Estate wedding

On the day of the proposal, it was a beautiful warm day with blue skies. It turned out the whole of Castlemaine also thought it was a good day to visit the Botanical Gardens so Hayden walked in a lap around the park, looking for a spot without any spectators, to finally propose. They got three quarters of the way around the lake before he got his chance.  

Tess describes her Hayden as talented, friendly and confident. Hayden is dependable and Tess can always count on him to help me when she’s in need. He is someone who she can share all of her problems with. Hayden has a quirky sense of humour and can always make Tess laugh. He is very driven to achieve what he wants and always motivates and supports her to achieve what she wants. Hayden has taught Tess how to use an excessive number of power tools and how to do projects in the house and garden. 

Hayden describes Tess as organised, clever and tenacious.

She is always thinking and being considerate of others and their feelings. She always seems to know what is happening, organising catch ups, and is always at least one step ahead of Hayden so they actually do interesting and wonderful things together.

Tess is always supportive, even if his ideas are sometimes a bit crazy. She has taught Hayden how to keep his big mouth shut, he has a habit of putting his foot in it, all the things he never learnt at school such as maths, spelling tricks and pronunciation. Hayden needs Tess as his in-person editor.

Together, they love travelling, having been to many countries together, walking Sadie (they never thought they’d become crazy dog people who regularly attend greyhound meetups and have lots of doggy friends through their dog’s Instagram page), watching musicals, the circus and comedy shows and board game nights.

In marriage Tess and Hayden know that listening to each other, making decisions together and doing things together will be extremely important to keep them happy. Tess looks forward to formalising their commitment and relationship, no longer a boyfriend or partner status, and for Hayden to moving on to the next stage of their lives together. They can’t wait to continue their relationship as husband and wife, start a family of their own and have some great memories from their wedding, to remember forever.

Melbourne Celebrant Julie

The Vows


You are my spell check, my sanity and help me keep my balance.

When I’m forgetful, you help me remember the good. When I am strained, you help me let go of the bad.

I trust you to always have my best interest at heart. When I am with you I am a better person

I promise to love and support you. I will always be proud to be your husband.



You are my best friend and my one true love.

You have helped me through challenges and brightened my days with laughter.

When I’m with you, I feel I can be the person I want to be. I cannot imagine my life without you.

Today as we begin our lives as husband and wife, I promise to always love you.

If you’re looking for other wedding stories, check out my real weddings page.

wedding melbourne celebrant julie
wedding melbourne celebrant julie
wedding melbourne celebrant julie