Cass got more than she bargained for when she bagged an $8 Scoopon for six weeks of CrossFit classes, where she happened to meet the love her life! She recalls, “I still remember to this day the moment I walked into the gym at 6am and saw Simon – scruffy hair, old gym tee, trackies, ugg boots and all.” The chill pair threw a suitably chill wedding, with the talented Alex of Motta Weddings behind the lens for their relaxed, organic affair.
Wanting the day to feel like ‘a really big life-changing picnic’, the couple opted for a venue with a great outdoor space and blank canvas interior. The Estate Trentham in Victoria proved the ideal spot to create their laid back wedding. Cass shares, “We scattered rugs and cushions over the backyard and hired games for our guests to play – Jenga was a massive hit.”
With a beautiful venue to start, the couple kept styling minimal. A cute hand lettered ‘shit just got real’ motif by Kate Pullen was printed to plywood by the bride’s own studio, Wood to Wall. In-lieu of a seated dinner, and keeping with the relaxed vibe of the day, guests were served delicious entrees and mains from Paleo food truck Craved by Caveman.
Cass and Simon’s advice to others tying the knot is to choose like-minded artists and suppliers who get your vision. “We were blessed with such an incredible array of vendors who really made our day as special as it was, so putting effort into picking the right people definitely paid off for us.”
Professional acrobats who tour the world 10 months of the year, Jascha and Joren met through circus friends and spent their first date adventuring in the Scottish Highlands for a week. After officially tying the knot a year ago, these lovebirds flew home to Jascha’s hometown of Adelaide to throw an epic party, all captured by the wonderful Kate Pardey.
Splitting the day into two events, the couple kicked things off with a “breakfast with the queen” themed brunch at Adelaide’s Botanic Park. The first of two ceremonies took place under the giant Morten Bay Fig trees, surrounded by loved ones. Jascha shares, “Joren’s family is Jewish and although we are not, some of the traditions are quite beautiful so we created our ceremony based around a select few. A family friend indigo dyed a linen sheet which friends held above us as a ‘Chuppah’ representing the future home we will create together.”
While casually chatting to friends about the struggle to find a venue big enough to fit 150 people within their budget, a mate happened to mention he owns warehouse that they could use. A car park for local businesses by day, the couple threw a pop up wedding/warehouse party, fitting everything needed to add their own touch to the space in just one van.
Ceremony number two took a theatrical turn, in the Bride’s own words. “To fit with our unconventional and eccentric style we held another ceremony at the reception. We invited all of our friends and family to sign up to be part of the wedding party, in any role they desired. We had around 20 bridesmaids, 15 groomsmen, a gaggle of flower girls (and boys!) and an unofficial celebrant. While the wedding party was being wrangled we left the warehouse to make our big entrance in Jascha’s grandpa’s sports car. We drove right into the warehouse and walked down the aisle with all of our parents to Queen’s rendition of the bridal march. After some makeshift vows and confetti cannons, we sealed the deal by stomping on another wine glass which cued the DJ’s and the party began!”
Captured by Elsa Campbell, Natalie and Elliott’s farmstead wedding proves that DIY can be a more than worth the effort. After receiving a gift from her bridesmaid for a bouquet workshop at Villa Floretti, Natalie decided to fulfil her dream of flowering her own wedding, while satisfying her obsession with King Proteas. The result was a foliage and flora filled wonderland – a DIY dream for aspiring florists!
Their venue, Country Heart, is a working brussels sprout farm in Coldstream, just a short drive from Melbourne. Natalie shares, “We love the outdoors so having our ceremony outside was something we’ve always wanted. When we first saw the paddock overlooking the Healesville Ranges and knew we’d found the place we’d get married!” Their ceremony was open invite, with over 200 people attending to witness their ‘I dos’, followed by an afternoon tea catered by friends and family, complete with donut wall. Coffees were served from the gorgeous converted caravan bar, Frankie, which later poured the drinks at their reception.
The rest of the evening continued in the farm’s converted air hangar – which was the perfect mix of indoors with an outside feel, as the whole side of the venue opening out onto a grassy area overlooking the scenery. Roaming canapes and lawn games were followed by share plates on the long tables inside the hangar. Styled by the bride, the venue featured an abundance of gum foliage and native blooms, taking full advantage of the lofty space.
The key to this pair’s DIY success was in their very helpful loved ones. Elliott shares, “Delegation proved to be the name of the game as Nat was able to distribute tasks. Just about every detail was put together by ourselves or family and friends – it really made the day all that more special knowing that it was a contribution and team effort by so many who love us.”
Jacqui and Rob are not your average couple – from skateboarding on their first date to a proposal at the end of an 8-hour rock climb, they love adventure, and wanted to create a wedding day to reflect this aspect of their relationship. Of course they needed someone special to capture such a unique day, and their photographer friend Don Derosier of Don and Julia Photography flew in from Alaska to oblige.
The next job was to find the perfect setting for their action-packed day. “The Watagans is a place we had spent much time exploring, 4wding, hiking, climbing and camping,” they share, adding that the deal was sealed once they saw some photographs Don had taken in the old pine plantation. “We had a very loose plan B wet weather option, but we were determined it wouldn’t rain and the weather was on point!”
Once the location was sorted they went about putting together a day that involved some of their favourite things in life, including good wine and cheese by an open fire, music performed by friends and fire-twirling. High on their list was snowboarding, however there was a small issue – it doesn’t snow in the Watagans. No problem – enter Rob’s brother who drove trailer after trailer of Zamboni shavings from an ice rink over an hour away to create a jib line in the middle of the forest.
When it came to fashion, the couple opted for items with meaning rather than designer labels. Jacqui’s wedding dress was created by her mother based on a sketch by the bride herself, while Rob honoured his Scottish ancestry by incorporating his family tartan into his and his groomsmen’s outfits. True to the couple’s adventurous nature and appropriate for the setting, they both donned colourful socks and boots.
The following day, the newlyweds donned their wedding getup once again and headed to Stockton Dunes with Don for a carefree portrait sesh, resulting in some stunning sunset snaps.
Old school glamour and just a few Harry Potter inspired touches, Kate and Matt’s Monsalvat wedding has us spellbound. Melbourne photographer Oli Sansom was in his element for this moody, magical affair.
When the venue Kate had her heart set on wasn’t going to work out, her bestie suggested the charming Montsalvat, and it turned out to be a perfect match. Their ceremony was set in front of the stained-glass windows of the upper gallery, with a floral floor arch by Raven and The Rose featuring greenery and grasses with pops of white and yellow flowers. Guest of honour, Tyto, the Australia Barn Owl basked in the sun that streamed through the window panes.
The epic reception in the Great Hall was adorned with bright blooms and festoon lighting installed by the groom. In Kate’s own words, “Sometimes when you have a vision, despite all your efforts, your ideas just don’t come together. Lucky for us, on this occasion our pages of style notes paid off! We were both so happy with how it all came together and lifted the room, which is usually quite dark, into a bright and colourful wonderland.”
Melbourne foodies at heart (remember Kate’s hens?), these two made sure there was plenty of feasting on the day. Kicking things off with a pre-dinner dessert of meringues, a seasonal harvest banquet, and a selection of home baked cakes, followed by a finale of wedding cake from Miss Ladybird Cakes. Guests then took their sugar highs to the d-floor for a 90’s dance party, complete with bride and groom karaoke. “Don’t leave a microphone near the dance floor when we are around, especially if there’s alcohol involved.”
Lisa and Stefan ticked all the boxes when it came to planning a laid-back, countryside wedding. With an intimate ceremony and outdoor reception under the stars, the talented Amy Kate Photography captured every heart felt moment.
Loaded with personal elements and DIY details, the relaxed affair could not have been more ‘Lisa and Stefan’. The bride hand-lettered glass signage and invitations, and friends got involved in the DIY action, creating bouquets, performing music and even designing Lisa’s dress. Oh, and did we mention the burger and donut trucks? We’re drooling, and so were Lisa and Stefan, admitting that they have ‘a thing for burgers’ as much as they do for each other.
But this burger-loving couple had a unique story to tell, after beginning their relationship as star-crossed lovers, separated by seven oceans and far too many countries to count. Lisa is originally from the UK and Stefan is from New Zealand. Once Lisa made the journey over for good, Stefan couldn’t wait to tie the knot and promptly proposed on the beach. To ensure she didn’t find out about his master plan, Stefan buried the diamond in a cup on the beach (having checked on tide times). Later with Lisa by his side he found the hidden spot, uncovered the diamond and got down on one knee… He even hid her best friends in the bushes to photograph the whole thing. Adorable!
High-school sweethearts Cassandra and Tyler’s country Victorian wedding was a heartfelt celebration of love, life and family. The couple chose photographer Caroline Sada to capture the day, after instantly connecting with her emotive and natural style.
When Cassandra’s step-father David sadly passed away before the wedding, the decision to be married at his favourite place in the world came naturally. His Derrinal property, fondly referred to as the ‘Ranch’, was both meaningful and organically beautiful. “Our ceremony was so emotional for everyone there. We draped a large piece of white cotton over the branches of David’s tree, to create an arch, and we were married under it. We didn’t need any more decorations than that, the tree and the setting itself provided everything we ever wanted. And we knew that David was with us, in that moment.”
With their venue under the open sky, surrounded by the subtle colour palette of country Victoria, a natural theme for the styling was the perfect choice. A mixture of gum leaves and native foliage picked on the day, was combined with various candle holders collected from op shops in the months leading up to the wedding.
Cassandra fell in love with her gorgeous Mariana Hardwick dress as soon as she put it on. “People had told me to not make my expectations too great, and that crying when I see ‘the one’ was not really going to happen. But it did. I couldn’t help but let out a tear, it was so perfect and I didn’t think I would find something that matched our ‘theme’ and my personality so well.” It ended up being a good thing that she had picked a custom dress, as not too long after she found out she was expecting! The girls at Mariana Hardwick kept her bump in mind right up to her last fitting just a few days before the wedding!
Joella and Dan’s original plans for an outdoor garden ceremony became the inspiration behind their foliage-filled indoor wedding, captured by Hannah Bird Photography. A July date in New Zealand called for a cosy alternative, and the pair and came to a compromise, bringing the garden aesthetic inside.
The ceremony was held in a stone church, nestled in the Port Hills of Christchurch, strewn with bunches of silver dollar eucalyptus. After they’d said their forevers, Joella and Dan decided to do something symbolic that they would remember as the years passed, so decided to plant a tree on their wedding day. “There had recently been big bush fires in the Port Hills so we planted our tree where others had been burnt down.”
Wanting a venue where they could bring in their own caterers and have let their creativity run free, a quaint hall on the beach at New Brighton ticked all their boxes. Creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the reception and bringing the garden inside, they styled the space with soft lighting and plenty of foliage.
This creative couple had the DIY thing down pat, even hand-sanding Jenga sets for each table of guests. Teams of friends and family put together everything from the teeny tiny succulent favours, to the glass terrarium gardens. Joella had some sound advice when it comes to wedding day DIY endeavors. “Delegate, delegate, delegate! Rather than take everything on yourselves, get the people who love you involved. Friends are there for you and want to be involved with your big day, it’s not a disservice to ask them to help out.”
While strolling through the laneways on a visit to Melbourne, Bekki stopped on Hosier Lane to take a picture of a particularly pretty piece of street art, before realising that it was actually her proposal! Captured by Ashleigh Sky Photography, Brad and Bekki’s laid-back Perth wedding was all fun and games with a ton of creativity.
After such an imaginative proposal, their wedding was destined to be a celebration of what makes them unique. The ceremony and reception were both held on a vacant plot of land owned by Bekki’s dad, giving them a blank slate to do whatever their hearts desired. They brought elements of their life together into the styling, using antiques and vintage items from their home and the local café that Bekki owns.
Family and friends banded together for the DIY effort, achieving a rustic vintage vibe. “We made everything ourselves! From the signage, the lighting, the flower cones. Mum spent weeks sewing all the floral bunting and my father in law made the back drop out of pallets.”
Doing things their own way continued right down to choosing their wedding party. Bekki wanted her best (guy) friend of 15 years and brother to be with her the whole day, so she went ahead and made them part of her bride tribe. “The boys definitely embraced the once in a lifetime ‘bridesman’ position, didn’t let go of their bouquets all day!”
When it comes to wedding day stress, Bekki has some tips for staying chill. “What isn’t done the week of the wedding, leave. If it means you’re playing UNO on the morning of your wedding with your bridesmaids, then why not! Do what you want to do, don’t follow traditional guidelines and follow your heart, you won’t regret a thing!”
Lee and Chloe’s love story began in a cafe, and continued in one! Their modern industrial wedding captured by Pierre Curry was held at the Mordialloc breakfast spot they opened together, Hendriks Cafe.
Lee met Chloe when he was a cafe barista, and she was a frequent customer. “It turned out we both had crushes but were both incredibly shy and couldn’t find the courage to talk to each other. A year of silent staring from across a cafe later and we finally started dating”.
In 2015 they opened the doors to Hendriks Cafe. “It was a labour of love that took us over 8 months to finish with the help of our amazing families. Because we put so much of ourselves into Hendriks we couldn’t think of a more perfect place to have our wedding than the place we built together.”
With free rein of their converted 1950s factory venue, Lee and Chloe chose to enhance the space with floral installations and arrangements, transforming the cafe from day to day to something special while keeping with the industrial style. “Our initial concept was to use deep pink and burgundy flowers on a base of rich green foliage. Megan of Mordialloc Florist took that idea and made it incredible. She knew exactly what arrangements to highlight with colourful flowers and which arrangements to pare back to create texture and not overpower the space.”