Dave and Melissa

Dave and I met when we were 16. We were best friends for several years until he moved back to New Zealand for a few years, but he never forgot me and after a while, decided he was going to come back to Australia and make me his wife – and he did! I had had a baby girl named Sophie in his absence and was no longer with the father, so when he caught up with me he had a beautiful baby girl to meet and fall in love with, which he did.

Within a few months of us reconnecting we knew what we had, and had always had was something special and unique and we could not imagine growing old and raising a family with anyone else. Within 4 months of us being together I was pregnant with our son Rory and we were engaged!

After giving birth to Rory in November 2010, it was time to start planning our wedding. We settled on November 6 2011 and started planning! We chose Clios Wedding and Function Center at Palmwoods to host our wedding because not only was the price perfect the setting was too! We wanted an intimate wedding with our nearest and dearest only, so we settled on a guest list of 40. After that, Dave really let me take the reigns! Being a creative person, I relished the idea of creating the perfect wedding! I got to work planning and creating right from the start.

I hand painted fabric and sewed up the table runners from it, I organized the seating plan and made a backdrop for our homemade polaroid photobooth. I also made rocky road for our guests to enjoy, about 40 meters of bunting, my daughter’s lavender wreath, the invitations and place cards, the paper doily confetti cones filled with dried lavender, rum flavoured cookies for the boys and fans for the girls. We had teapots which I had borrowed from my grandparents as centerpieces, which we filled with flowers arranged by Exclusive Wedding Flowers. They included hydrangeas, roses, lisanthus, dusty miller and lavender for a pretty country garden party feel. We had unique little salt and pepper shakers at each table, and tea cups filled with yummy rock candy.

For my dress, I searched for the perfect dress on numerous occasions with no luck. Each shopping trip only helped me narrow down all the specific elements I wanted in my perfect dress, to the point where I realised that my perfect dress wasn’t sold anywhere and I would have to have it made! So I sat down and designed my dress and hired Frances at Plum Blossom Designs to make it for me. Nicola Daly did our hair and Tasaleema Nigh did the makeup and both did an amazing job!

For the bridal party I wanted a unique look with a vintage edge. I decided on purple checkered shirts with suspenders and newsboy caps for the boys (with Dave standing out with a vest instead) from Roger David and silk floral jumpsuits for the girls from Tree Of Life.

We wanted a fun ceremony, so we hired Lynette Maguire who certainly was a lot of fun! We wrote 10 promises for one another. I made Dave promise to mow the lawns and fix things around the house, he made me promise to always laugh at his jokes no matter how many times I’d heard them.

We hired Mobydisc to dj the first half of our wedding, followed by the band Mustard Duo for the second half – they were fantastic! I would definitely recommend a band over a dj as it creates a whole different mood. We also hired 2 different photographers, the first was Karen Buckle, who did an amazing job as did our other photographer Leonardo Siabatto.

We had a buffet for dinner which was delicious. Our cake toppers were made by Exclusive Designs and were little replicas of us and our children in our wedding clothes! We placed them on top of 2 stacked white chocolate and caramel mudcakes which we bought from the Cheescake Shop.

We honeymooned in a very private little escape called Flaxton Rise (10/10!!!) which was just outside of Montville, followed by a riverside townhouse in Noosa. And we pulled the whole wedding off for only $14000! It was definitely the most perfect, happy day of my life. My favourite part was when everyone had left at the end of the night and it was just me and Dave and the band, and they played for us while we danced together… perfection!

Photography by Karen Buckle and Leonardo Siabatto.

Ms Gingham: I love garden weddings! Kids are naturally at their best when allowed outside! In this one, everyone looks so relaxed and happy! Thanks so much to Melissa for sharing her day with us!

Melissa says: “Well I’m 28, am now married to my best friend since I was 16 and we have two beautiful children, Sophie is almost three and Rory just turned one.”