The rustic charm and romance of Collits Inn was exactly what Ingrid and Iain had envisioned for their special day.

PHOTOS: Hello Sweetheart

“Waking up on the Saturday morning was magical – there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.”

Having met at the Retro Hotel in Sydney back in 2012, Ingrid Woon and Iain Cowan became engaged on 23 June 2017. “Iain proposed to me at his family home in Castle Hill,” Ingrid recalls. “He organised an indoor picnic by candlelight in front of a projector screen with a video he had made showcasing photos of our time together.”

Iain’s video ended with the words ‘Will you marry me?’, at which point he dropped to his knee. Fortunately Ingrid said an instant ‘Yes’, as Iain had arranged for both of their immediate families to arrive shortly after his proposal so they could all celebrate together.

After deciding on 5 May 2018 as the date for their big day, the Sydney couple agreed that they wanted a destination wedding.

“The idea was to make a whole weekend out of the day with our family and friends, which made it very special,” says Iain. “We were able to have a ‘wedding eve’ get together the night before at Blackheath’s local pub, the Gardners Inn. This was a great opportunity to have a catchup with everyone that had made the effort to come from Sydney, interstate and overseas for our wedding, and it set the ball rolling for celebrations the next day.”

When it came to deciding on a venue, the couple was adamant about wanting an outdoor ceremony in a classic Blue Mountains setting. “We fell in love with Collits Inn the first time we saw it,” says Ingrid. “The beautiful, rustic barn was so romantic and charming, and we thought the gorgeous lake and stunning mountains surrounding the property would make the perfect backdrop for our ceremony and the relaxed garden party we were planning before the reception.”

Ingrid and Iain did all of their own planning and spent time reading reviews on local wedding vendors. “Throughout most of the planning period we were in very close contact with our amazing florist, Trish Carter from Blue Mountains Floral Designs, who helped us as we tweaked our vision for the flowers and barn setup,” says Ingrid. “In addition, the team at Collits Inn were very warm and friendly from the outset, which helped to make the planning process and the day itself relaxed, enjoyable and fun,” she adds.

The day before their wedding was bitterly cold and blowing a gale, so Ingrid and Iain could do little but cross their fingers and hope Mother Nature would be kind. “Waking up on the Saturday morning was magical – there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the sun was shining and everything was so still,” says Iain. “Thankfully that stunning weather hung around and the day ended with the most amazing sunset glow, which was captured in our wedding photos.”

Joined by four bridesmaids, four groomsmen, Iain’s goddaughter Mackenzie as flower girl and 140 guests, Ingrid and Iain walked under an aisle of olive trees and were married beneath an arbour by celebrant Allegra Hartford Davis.

“We wrote our own vows and had Iain’s sister and my brother do a reading each,” says Ingrid. “Allegra also had some fabulous ideas which we incorporated into the ceremony, including a ‘Warming of the rings’, whereby our wedding rings were passed around to all of our guests so they were ‘warm’ by the time we put them on.”

Another lovely ritual involved having both Ingrid and Iain’s mothers light a double-wick candle during the ceremony, symbolising the coming together of both families. “It was so much fun and all our guests commented on the uniqueness of the ceremony,” Ingrid adds.

“I will never ever forget the moment I saw Ingrid step out from behind the olive trees on the arm of her Dad. She was breathtaking,” says Iain.

Along with being driven from Mount Victoria to Collits Inn by her Dad on the way to be married, walking down the aisle was a major highlight for Ingrid: “Seeing Iain standing at the end under the amazing floral arbour with a huge smile on his face, in front of our closest friends and family, was a surreal moment for me.”

Ingrid also loved stepping into the barn for the first time and seeing the outstanding job Trish had done with the flowers, foliage and styling on the tables, with candles and romantic glowing lights. “It was just magical, and all my dreams came true!”

This real wedding was featured in Blue Mountains Love magazine Issue #5.

VENUE | Collits Inn, Hartley Vale
CELEBRANT | Allegra Hartford Davis of Married by Allegra
BRIDE’S DRESS, VEIL & BOLERO | Karen Willis Holmes, Alexandria. Worn with shoes from ASOS and earrings from Lovisa
BRIDESMAID DRESSES | Witchery. Worn with shoes from ASOS and faux-fur wraps and jewellery from Forever New
GROOM & GROOMSMEN | Oxford suits and accessories. Worn with Williams shoes.
WEDDING RINGS | St Germain Jewellers, Castle Hill
HAIR | The Bridal Hair Co
MAKEUP | The Bridal Makeup Co
FLOWERS | Trish Carter of Blue Mountains Floral Designs, Woodford
CAKE | Two-tier, semi-naked caramel mud cake with a frosted finish and gold flakes made by JK Cake Designs, Castle Hill. Additional florals by Trish Carter of Blue Mountains Floral Designs
CATERING | Chris at Collits Inn prepared a three-course banquet of shared platters and a dessert bar featuring a selection of small puddings
CEREMONY MUSIC | Acoustic music by LZ Trio
RECEPTION MUSIC | DJ Adam from The Vintage Stylus
INVITATIONS, WELCOME SIGN & MENUS | Michael Cooper Graphic Design
TRANSPORT | Guests travelled to and from the venue via Lithgow Buslines
ACCOMMODATION | On the wedding-eve, Ingrid and her family stayed at GrandviewHaus, Mount Victoria, and Iain and his groomsmen stayed at Collits Inn. After their wedding, the couple stayed at Collits Inn.
PHOTOS | Hello Sweetheart