Zara and Andrew

The Australian country side is one that has a unique feeling to it, there’s a quiet nature to the country, but a feeling that there is plenty of room to kick up your heels and dance all night. Which is exactly what Zara and Andrew did when they married in rural Western Australia- just outside of  Kojonup.

Zara explains how the couple came to meet. “We met at the UWA tennis club back in 2002. It was a perfect match from the opening round and we’ve been a winning pair ever since. We met one day at a game of social tennis and we got along so well – her love of football, her ability to beat the groom in a tennis match made him come back for more punishment”.

Photos are by Objektiv Photography who made the most of the beautiful landscape and quirky details that Zara and Andrew’s wedding provided.

As a graphic designer, Zara made the invitations and stationery herself,. She explains “We DIY’d nearly everything in our wedding… and all from the other side of the country as we are currently living in Melbourne. As I’m a graphic designer, I thought it would be cheating not to DIY. Stationery including the invitations, ceremony booklets, menus, table numbers and table layout, candy bar, take-away bags and guest tree, tags for guests to write on were all hand made. ”

Zara wore a halterneck gown from Baccini & Hill  while her bridesmaids wore watermelon pink gowns from Pilgrim. The girls all wore shoes from Diva Peeptoes in Fuschia from Betts and jewels from Angelique .

Zara and her bridesmaid’s hair and makeup was styled by Curly Wig Salon. The floral arrangements were done by a Kojonup local, Cindy Westbrook,

The ceremony was held on the Andrew’s family farm ‘Upwood’, 25km north-west of Kojonup. Zara recalls “Andrew’s mum (Jill Mathwin) Andrew’s sister and brother in law  (Deb & Justin Elliott) and family had spent 10 months getting the farm and the gardens absolutely perfect and the ceremony site was built from scratch. 2 months ago it was a patch of dirt. 3 trucks of gravel had to be brought in and compacted, the bordering logs brought over with the bobcat. And nearly everything was recycled from on the farm which gave it a rustic feel. What made it even more special is that the family farm is a reminder of Andrew’s dad who is no longer with us, so the site we chose was very special.”

Zara says “Most things around the ceremony actually came off the farm. The blocks of wood down the aisle were cut up off the farm, the gates and wagon wheels we found in an old paddock, and instead of flowers along the aisle we had wheat that the kids went and picked out of the paddock. This huge project required us to take a few trips back to Perth in the months before to help to pull it all together.” Zara and Andrew hired cream carpet for the aisle and market umbrellas to shade their guests from Divine Weddings and Events .

Andrew wore a suit from Hugo Boss while his groomsmen wore suits from Penguins Formal Hire.

Music was carefully considered Zara explains. “The bridesmaids and the bride walked down the aisle to ‘If This Is It’ by Newton Faulkner, and during the signing we had ‘Better Together’ (Jack Johnson) as this has always been our song, and ‘Empire State of Mind’ (Alicia Keys) which was appropriate as we got engaged in New York.”

The couple were married by Catie Woods  (0419 871 103) . Zara recalls “We decided to write our own vows (and keep them secret from each other until we read them aloud on the day). It was a nice process to go through and when we asked the celebrant did they ‘fit’ together, she just laughed. As it turns out, we had both mentioned that we were each other’s rock and we would be by each other’s side as long as we were West Coast Eagles supporters. This got a laugh from the crowd. We even managed to get the 2006 grand final into our ceremony wording.”

Zara remarks “It was really special to have it on the farm where the groom grew up and somewhere that holds so many memories of his dad. ”

Of their photographer, Zara remarks “Mladen Males from Objektiv Photography was fantastic. From our first meeting when we viewed his gallery of photographs we knew this was the photographer for us. We were not a fan of the posed photographs and would rather the unexpected moments and Mladen captured them all beautifully. We ventured into the sheep pens, had photos in the tall pines and next to the shearing sheds , and of course had running shots through the wheat fields which turned out brilliantly. Everyone has commented on how great our photos are. We were especially excited to see that Mladen had photographed all the my little DIY projects that we spent months putting together, which made the time spent on them all worthwhile. We couldn’t have asked for better photographs of our fun-filled memorable day.”

Two, rather large farm sculptures made a quirky appearance. Zara explains “Also at the ceremony, we made a 12ft tall bride and groom out of hay bales . These sat at the top of the driveway, and the bus full of guests even stopped to take photos. The head of the bride may have fallen off a few times due to gusty winds but finally at 7.30pm the night before the wedding we pulled it all together.”

Zara says “We had a perfect day with the weather – and a beautiful location looking over an amazing farm with 180 degree views. We wanted a personal wedding with rustic charm and a country feel with close family and friends. ”

Guests adjourned to Stone Mason’s Distillery to celebrate the nuptials. Zara recalls “The reception and pre-dinner drinks was held at the Stone Mason’s Distillery (known by locals also as Glenlossie), 1km north of the Kojonup town. It used to be a large stone barn that they have turned into a Distillery and they make their own wines and liqueurs. It is very rustic with stone walls and wooden furniture and a decking out the back overlooking the fields. The reception was held in the function room which included a lot of wooden furniture, stone walls and wooden wine barrels which was the feel we were after. The rest we brought in and put up ourselves (which took 2 days).”

The reception was full of details handmade by Zara, Andrew and their families. Zara explains,The reception was DIY central. The candle-holders on the tables were originally farm posts from the Mathwin farm. I then took them 800km north to my home town Geraldton where the bride’s Dad then crafted them to size, they then came back to Kojonup for the wedding and put on the tables. He was also responsible for the handmade guest tree and the beautiful candleholder that sat on the bridal table (unfortunately we didn’t get a photo of this). The bride’s mum was responsible for the hessian table runners on every table.”

Sweet treats were a given . Zara says “The candy bar and the ‘Sweet As’ letters were all put together and laid out by us. The lanterns and fairly lights we put up ourselves, the blocks of wood on the table as centrepieces were cut up from the farm. We also made up 10 x A3 posters that hung along one wall with photos of us telling a story using puns (as Andrew is well known in our circle of friends as the Pun King!).” A cupcake wedding cake was made by Littlesweet Baking and decorated with red and cream sugar flowers by Cakes From Heaven.

In lieu of traditional wedding favors, Zara and Andrew chose a cause close to their heart. Zara notes, “We decided to donate money to the Cancer Council instead of favors as this is something very close to our hearts. At the moment, my mum is going through chemo and it was important to us that we should donate to a worthy cause instead of giving useless gifts. My mum even chose which part of the Cancer Council she wanted it donated to.”

Zara’s grandfather provided a little surprise at the reception. Zara remembers “We got to the reception and sat down and there were two eagles made from wool sitting next to our place cards. We found out later that the my Pop had put them there as a little surprise. When you squeeze them out come little baby Fremantle Dockers so you can see why it’s funny!”

The first dance  was a choreographed routine. Zara explains “We learned an actual routine for our first dance. We had lessons to learn a rumba routine to ‘Lucky’ by Jason Mraz (featuring Colbie Calait). Alex at the You Can Dance Studio in South Melbourne had a tough task teaching us to dance, Andrew always said he would be the instructor’s biggest challenge – he was right!. The dance lessons were lots of fun and we laughed at each other… a lot. We were very nervous before our dance with everyone standing around to watch, but once the music started we were ok. We may have missed one step in the middle of the dance (bride’s fault!), but hopefully no-one noticed.” DJs R Us kept the music going through the night.

Congratulations on your marriage Zara and Andrew! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Thank you also to Objektiv Photography for sharing today’s images!