Elisa and Tim

A country wedding in Australia can’t be beaten really and today’s with it’s sense of humor and joyfulness is a sight to behold. Held in the country town of Tenterfield, Elisa and Tim had a fairytale romance that led to a beautiful country wedding. What a celebration!

Elisa tells their story. “Tim and I are both Australian and from (relatively) close small hometowns. We went to the same university and even both lived on campus at the same halls of residence at the University of Newcastle, but never met. We ended up meeting in a pub on the other side of the world in London where a mutual friend introduced us over a Sunday roast and bottle of red! After that first meeting, despite trying to coordinate a date over good old Facebook, we couldn’t quite manage to find a day we were both free over the busy Christmas party season. Thank goodness lady luck stepped in again as we both happened to be going separately to New York for Christmas! Needless to say we had a whirlwind fairytale romance in the snowy Big Apple. We even happened to run into each other at the top of the Empire State Building!!”

Photographs today are by Mihaja Photography who has such a beautiful way of photographing weddings.

Elisa chose a tea length gown from US designer Justin Alexander. Her friend arranged the flowers for the day, Elisa recalls, “The flowers were done by my good friend Tiffany Carter at 7 months pregnant!”

Elisa and Tim made the decision to marry in Tim’s home town of Tenterfield on his parent’s farm & vineyard “Deetswood“. Elisa explains  ” Tim and I have both always wanted to get married on his families’ lovely farm and vineyard “Deetswood” in the gorgeous Tenterfield, NSW.

His family had been planning on building a new cellar door for a while so when we told them our plan of having our post ceremony drinks and canapés there, the goal then became to get the building done by October 13th! Unfortunately we weren’t able to help them too much being in London (sorry!!) so Tim’s amazing family got to the job for us. When we arrived in Tenterfield 10 days before the big day we finally got to lend the hand that Tim’s dad and sister particularly were in desperate need of, and the work was completed JUST in the nick of time.

That is, the plumbing was finished with the help of a few volunteer guests the day before the wedding! The ceremony site was also decided upon just 10 days prior, further down the farm on a pretty patch of paddock. We then had to clear (a LOT) of cow pats, weeds and dead branches (thanks again to our amazing parents and volunteers!). We also cleared a path down through the vineyard and other paddocks so our guests could wander down along the track country fair style.”

Being a graphic designer, Tim designed the stationery himself.

Elisa describes the wedding as “A DIY rustic, relaxed, vintage country fair with lots of sentimental touches.”

Elisa arrived in a vintage car. She remarks, “I just have to mention the three local characters who offered to drive us to the ceremony down in the paddock (!!!) in their gorgeous vintage cars for a couple of bottles of wine each (and the drivers were a huge hit of our day in and of themselves!)”

For her walk down the aisle, Elisa remembers “Our singer Sara Eriksson sang and played guitar. It was the Regina Spektor version of The Beatles ‘Real Love’.”

Elisa loved “The fact it snowed the day before the wedding and was perfect on the day! ”

Of their photographer, Elisa says “We still live in London and were planning our wedding from afar, so we actually found our amazing photographer Caroline of Mihaja Photography through a Google search! Photography is important to both Tim and I, so we really wanted someone we could trust wholeheartedly and whose style reflected our vision for the day. Caroline’s blog completely wooed us and we booked on the spot. Thank goodness out instincts were right!! Our pictures we everything we wanted and more- she really has a gift for spotting the most amazing locations and we loved her choices! Her co-anchor for the day Jude was also amazing and they were both lovely to boot.”

Elisa and Tim chose Tenterfield’s Steinbrook Hall for their wedding reception, Elisa explains ” I was hunting for an alternative to the standard big white wedding marquee so started searching online and fell upon the utterly enchanting Steinbrook Hall. I knew immediately, but we sent out our lovely scouts who thankfully approved, and even drew mud maps of the hall for us. It was bizarre and difficult planning a wedding having not seen any of the venues until a week and a half out, but everything was just as we had imagined and more.

It was a perfect and intimate setting for our big family dinner. Thanks especially to the local committee who have taken great care in restoring it to it’s former glory so sympathetically! And the hall committee members who turned up on the night to wash dishes for us, then insisted that their wages were to go back into the hall restoration fund.”

Elisa and Tim’s wedding cake was made by a family friend, Elisa recalls. “The cake was a very special treat- we had seen some pictures online of gorgeous sponge cakes decorated with cream, strawberries, roses and icing sugar that were exactly what we were after, and then lucky for us one of our amazing guests volunteered to make it for us! She did an absolutely amazing job, and we ended up using her cake as the centre of the dessert.”

Guests received brown paper bags full of marshmallows ready to be toasted on the bonfire at night.

Elisa says “We decided to have message blackboards instead of a signing book for people to leave us their notes and well wishes. We plan to display them in our house one day!” Old wedding photos were displayed around the venue.

“The venue was decorated with vintage bottles. Everything was special to us because it was such a hugely monumental effort for everyone involved. It was just so overwhelming when we looked around on the day to know that we had so many wonderful and supportive people there for us, who helped turn a working farm and winery, and a rustic old hall, into our perfect day. That said, the vintage bottles we hung as vases in the hall were really a special feature we had wanted to include from the get go.

As a child Tim made a collection of some of the more beautiful bottles he found and dug up at the old farmhouse on the property. We knew the hall tables wouldn’t have a lot of space for table decorations as we were having a table buffet, so we made the plan to use the bottles as vases and hang them from the rafters at Steinbrook Hall. Unfortunately when we got to Tenterfield from London and searched the numerous barns on the property, we couldn’t find the collection! As our hearts, and organisation, had really centred around this plan, we decided to head back to the now collapsed farmhouse (in the photographs) and dig up some more with the help of Tim’s young niece and nephews. It took about three days to clean and wire them all up, and another to hang them, but they were definitely one of our favourite design features of the day, particularly as they had a story and history of their own. Not to forget that all the flowers in those said vases were done by my very lovely old school friend who was 7 months pregnant at the time! We should probably note here that 2 days after the wedding, we found Tim’s original bottle collection… hmmmmm we both just started laughing when we saw them as it had been such a lengthy laborious process getting the ‘new’ old bottles clean, but we wouldn’t change it for the world as now we share those memories. ”

Elisa says “Our entire wedding was literally DIY! From Tim’s dad actually building the cellar door from scratch (and I mean cutting down the trees for the lumbar and everything), to clearing the farm and ceremony site, to cutting down and stripping bamboo for 60+ flags, sewing countless rows of bunting and garland from old curtains and sheets my mum had been collecting from thrift stores, covering old jars and bottles in lace, all the design and printing for the stationary, making haybales for seating, digging up old bottles from a bottle dump at the old farmhouse and cleaning them to use as vases, handpainting all the signs, making hessian table runners, cleaning and restoring old drawers, tables and windows we found in the shed to use for as decorations and furniture… the list is endless! ”

Guests enjoyed local produce and local wine! Elisa explains “The catering at the reception was done by some local chefs from the Courtyard Cafe in Tenterfield, Kim and Tanya, and they really took our dream of having a ‘big family meal’ and ran with it. We wanted the food to be hearty and rustic with the emphasis on people tucking in and sharing, passing things up and down the table to one another and getting their big napkins dirty! We also really wanted them to showcase the local produce of the region, which we then outlined in detail in the menu. The canapés were put on by a local business Mistral Hill who make delicious preserves, chutneys, and dhukka etc. They also sourced other local ingredients to be used like salami and olives from producers in the region. The reports were great from our guests but Tim and I didn’t really get a chance to sample any as we were too busy with the photos and guests! All the wine was provided by the winery Deetswood of course, so have so have to give them a plug! Our guests really appreciated the delicious wine!”

Elisa remembers “As you can probably gather by now, our wedding was very DIY, so instead of a DJ or band, we put together a playlist of all our favourite party/dancefloor songs. We printed a list off for each table and asked them to vote collectively as tables for their favourite three- a good way to get people talking! My brother then took control of the computer and voila! We had a jukebox of sorts. What we couldn’t anticipate was that a few of our awesome guests, namely ONE, decided to become our amazing and passionate wedding singer for a few songs! It was the best, funnest, coolest surprise and would never have worked if we had tried to plan it that way.”

For the first dance, Elisa explains “We didn’t choreograph any moves, so just picked a song we loved and rolled with it. It was a cute song by Ingrid Michaelson called “You and I” which has an excellent ending with everyone joining in and clapping along on the recording. We asked our bridal party to lend a hand and get the guests started off, but everyone got really, really into it and by the end of the song everyone was even stomping along too!”

Congratulations Elisa and Tim! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Mihaja Photography for sharing today’s wedding!