Rachel and Phillip

Steam trains, Australian natives, laughter through the rain drops? That sums up the joy of the wedding of Rachel and Phillip in Western Australia. Their quirky country celebration embraced life and colour and even though the rain made for a change of plans, the celebration became richer for it- with guests pitching in and helping the couple have a beautiful, memorable wedding day.

Rachel tells their story. “Phillip and I actually went to the same primary school and high school, with Phillip being a year above me. It wasn’t until after high school that we first met properly when we were working on a yearbook together. I then went traveling and it wasn’t until a couple of years after that first meeting that we finally started going out and the rest is history.”

CJ Williams Photography  shot the wedding day and stayed true to the vintage, rustic feel that Rachel and Phillip wove throughout the many elements of their wedding day.

Rachel wore a sweetheart strapless gown from Hobnob Bridal. Her hairband was a prize she won on Polka Dot Bride from Belcanto Designs.

Rachel and Phillip were married at a historic village. Rachel remarks “Kalamunda History Village is a venue we had grown up with as kids and we thought it would make an interesting location for our ceremony and provide a lot of great photo opportunities as well. It is run entirely by volunteers and I would like to thank them for their cooperation and communication leading up to and on the day.”

Rachel chose an unusual song for her walk down the aisle. She explains “We actually went for something a little different and walked down to the Vitamin String Quartet’s version of Highway to Hell. Phillip is a massive AC/DC fan and in a funny way it seemed fitting.” The couple were married by a family friend, Pastor Richard Foster.

Rachel says “We DIY’d practically the whole wedding. I spent weeks colouring rice to be thrown as we walked back down the aisle and hand stamped ‘throw me’ onto 100 little brown bags for the rice. We made all the invitations ourselves, as well as the programs, menus and place tags for the night. We also re-labelled some of the Carldenn Homestead wine with a personalised sticker using the monogram we won from Poppiseed Designs through Polka Dot Bride.

We had made up the chalk board speech bubbles but didn’t really get to use them as much as we would have liked as the rain kept washing the chalk off. We had the bridal party writing things on them and it turned out most of them centred around beer!”

Rachel’s bridesmaids wore black lace gowns from Review and Pilgrim. They added sweet accessories from Lovisa.

Rachel and Phillip used bright, native blooms throughout their wedding ceremony arranged by a dear friend who is also a florist. Rachel says “For the ceremony, we collected the jars and Phillip made the wire loops and our florist sourced the bright red banksias. The theme with our flowers was to have natives and succulents and as many bright colours as possible.

I had a brooch from my Nanna who passed away last year, on my bouquet so it was lovely to have her represented on the day.”

The bride wore pink converse sneakers underneath her wedding gown.

Of their photographer, Rachel says “The photographer, Carly Williams, is a long-time friend of the bride and groom and there was never any doubt that she would be shooting our wedding. We love her style and the way she captured candid moments and had great vintage themed ideas that really worked for our style. ”

The rain did have cause the couple to change plans. Rachel explains “The rain did hamper our day a little but everything does always work out in the end. We had to change to plan B at the reception quite late in the day so all the guests were helping to move tables and wipe down plates and chairs before the bridal party arrived. We are very grateful to everyone that helped out and some even commented they enjoyed it as it gave everyone a chance to meet each other and having it in the smaller location allowed for conversations to flow across tables.”

The groom’s family played a special role at the reception, held at Carldenn Homestead . Rachel explains “The reception was held at the groom’s parents’ house. They have five acres of land in Walliston with a small vineyard called Carldenn Homestead. The original plan was to have the reception on their tennis court, surrounded by the bush and with lanterns overhead. The rain stayed away just long enough for our ceremony and photos but set in before the reception so we had to change to plan B and have it under the giant carport instead. This change of location lead to a ‘cosier’ environment and as a result everyone seemed to mingle with each other with ease.

I really loved our table centre pieces. I bought all different coloured teapots and had them filled with native flowers and succulents. Our florist was a dear friend and did a brilliant job with these and I handed them out to the friends and family that had helped us out in the lead up to the day.”

Rachel says “We spent several days before the wedding setting up the reception area hanging lanterns and calico and putting coloured lights going up the trees. Our mothers sewed the napkins for our 100 guests as well!

The candy bar was one of the few things we had decided to have right from the start and I bought jars here and there in the lead up to the day and then we stocked up on bulk lollies. For a while it seemed there was a permanent line to the candy bar so it was definitely a hit with the guests!” The three tier wedding cake was made by Rachel’s bridesmaid Calli.

The groom and groomsmen wore handmade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cufflinks from The Clay Collection. Rachel says “We bought the cuff links for the groom and groomsmen very early on in the wedding planning. Once we saw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cuff links we couldn’t go past them!  They were very well received by the boys on the day!

The first dance was held under the night sky. Rachel recalls “Our plan B location for all the tables was the location for the dance floor. So once dessert was over we cleared a few tables away and the dance floor was uncovered! Neither of us are very good dancers so we pretty much just swayed our way through Happy Together by The Turtles and then had everyone join us on the dance floor.”

Congratulations Rachel & Phillip! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to CJ Williams Photography  for sharing today’s photographs!