Photo by: Michael Briggs Photography

A Touch of


A fairytale-themed wedding evokes a number of images; blush pink roses, classic colour palettes, an impressive arch, and a sweeping backdrop. Some couples take inspiration directly from their favourite storybook romances – with the gown and horse-drawn carriage to match – while others pepper their day with whimsical flourishes and reinforce their connection to nature. Having brought countless fairytale weddings to life, Karen Bentley, sales and marketing manager at The Riverstone Estate, shares her thoughts with Tegan Lyon about styling your venue to bolster the magic of your day.

Photo by: Michael Briggs Photography

A Fairytale Of Your Own

A ‘fairytale’ theme is a rather broad concept, and different couples attribute different meanings to this style. Whether this is simply a mood you are trying to embody or a theme that dictates your choice of vendors, your fairytale wedding is unique to you and your partner – just like your personal love story. “I honestly believe a fairytale wedding is your own idea of your wedding,” Karen echoes. “You could ask six different brides their idea of a fairytale wedding and get six different answers as it’s an individual dream.” However you choose to embrace this theme, make sure this whimsical style complements your tastes and preferences rather than overriding them; your wedding may be a special moment in time, but it’s important to stay true to who you are as a couple as the memories and photographs will last a lifetime. “Trends evolve and change yes, but the ideas and dreams of bringing the fairytale together do not,” Karen says. “We bring together the theme and give it life.”

Pleased With Simplicity

A natural environment is the perfect locale for a fairytale themed wedding – restrained yet effortlessly beautiful. Couples need only venture an hour or two out of Melbourne to find some of the country’s most renowned vineyards and cellar doors that encapsulate this vision. Located in the heart of the Yarra Valley, The Riverstone Estate is one of Victoria’s most well-known wine regions and premium wedding destinations. Utilising breathtaking Yarra Valley sunsets, iconic vineyards, and an uninhibited view of the night sky, The Riverstone Estate creates a timeless, natural setting that beautifully harmonises with a romantic, fairytale theme. “You will always remember dancing under the lights and stars at Riverstone,” Karen muses. “That’s your forever fairytale.”

An outdoor wedding locale that is rooted in nature offers a number of benefits, particularly when it comes to capturing photographs in organic light. The Riverstone Estate hosts ceremonies and receptions in a stunning exterior location that capitalises on daylight, sunset and incredible panoramic views to give couples the wedding album of a lifetime. “Lighting brings such romance into play, particularly as we move from dusk to dark,” Karen adds. Transitioning from day to night is easily achieved with the right lighting and there are a number of options that adhere to a fairytale theme. Tealight candles paired with hanging glass tealight holders offer a rustic, yet romantic vibe, while taper candles have an irresistibly classic feel. In particular, festoon lights set the perfect mood for an outdoor wedding during those twilight hours and beyond. “The Riverstone Estate has two key features for our festoon lighting which work beautifully,” Karen explains. This vintage charm will set the tone for your fairytale wedding and show up wonderfully on camera.

While some couples might be wary of hosting an outdoor wedding due to Melbourne’s inclement weather, it’s important to discuss your concerns with your venue or wedding planner in advance to coordinate a back-up plan and weather-proof your day. If it’s lightly drizzling, clear umbrellas area must-have for bridal parties and guests, as they will keep everybody dry without interrupting the visual aesthetic of your wedding. As a bonus, these umbrellas often make for a stunning impromptu prop for your photographs. It’s essential that your venue can swiftly transfer your ceremony or reception indoors during signs of poor weather. At The Riverstone Estate, the wedding coordinator will closely monitor the weather and prepare an entire team to shift chairs, décor and guests inside if needed.

Tying It All Together

There are many components that combine together to execute a fairytale-esque wedding at your venue, including décor, cake, flowers and colour schemes. Your choice of venue will often influence and inspire these stylistic choices, working in tandem to personify your desired fairytale. For this reason, it’s best to opt for an understated or pared-back outdoor space that won’t outshine your styling. “Our view does a lot of the work,” Karen notes, “the features within the main dining space at The Riverstone Estate are very neutral, creating a gorgeous blank canvas to be styled.”

When it comes to a storybook setting, an arch or arbour anchors the wedding ceremony; these can be styled simply with minimal flowers or decorated with full, luscious florals and greenery. There are various colours and species of flowers to complement a fairytale theme, however, large, fluffy roses and peonies are perhaps the most romantic pairing, known for their strong perfume and impressive beauty. “[Colour] is such an individual choice,” Karen acknowledges. “Naturally in our setting it’s very organic; we see a lot of natives which are beautiful and equally a lot of whites, greens, and blush.” Your seating, cake, bouquet and table arrangements can be styled to match, both blending and enhancing your natural surrounds. For an extra whimsical touch, scatter the same flowers along the length of the aisle.

The magic of a fairytale motif is that it can be interpreted in any manner of ways, but a remarkable outdoor venue with stunning natural views will always supplement this theme. Once you’ve found an external backdrop that you love, the romantic styling is sure to follow, leaving you and your partner to relax and soak up your real-life fairytale as it unfolds.