We first met Anitra (a wedding photographer herself, check out her site here) and Ben when we showed off their beautiful engagement party. So it seems only natural that we’re sharing their gorgeous wedding day! Marrying on the outskirts of Melbourne the rainy day did nothing to dampen their spirits, instead creating even more stories and memories of their wedding day.

Of how they met, Anitra says, “No fancy story, we met at a party and spent the whole night talking and quickly became inseparable.”

Photographs today are by Leo Farrell who does fly on the wall captures so beautifully.

Anitra designed her own gown and had it made by a family friend.

Anitra and Ben held their wedding at Tara Rise, Badgers Creek. Anitra remembers “We loved the idea of having a backyard style wedding- but the backyard of a Great Gatsby style 1920’s estate. We finally found Tara Rise and were sold immediately. Although we knew it would be more work- we had so much more flexibility in terms of time, planning and serving our own alcohol (which saved a lot of money).”

Anitra walked down the aisle to U2- ‘All I Want is You’ played by close friends on an acoustic guitar. Anitra tells, “A lot of details were picked to honour my dad who had passed away 5 years earlier. Like a photo of him hung around my bouquet so that he could still “walk me down the aisle” and having his famous carrot cake as our wedding cake.”

Guests were spoiled with treats Anitra says. “We wanted each aspect of the wedding to really resonate with us. Each detail was picked because of the meaning or significance it had to our family or us. Ben and I are known amongst friends for always having cheese and dips, so between the ceremony and “reception” we provided picnic baskets filled with locally made cheeses and dips, a picnic blanket and some Aeroguard. Each basket was shared amongst about 10 people and created a wonderful sharing atmosphere.”

The bride and groom traveled in Ben’s father’s red Bolwell.

Of their photographer, Anitra says, “Leo was wonderful and told our story perfectly. Being a photographer myself people often asked me if this decision was hard, but it was actually one of the easiest. I had seen Leo’s work through a colleague years before getting engaged and knew almost instantly that I would love him to shoot my wedding one day. After meeting him, I was even more convinced. Not only talented, he is calm, gentle and unobtrusive, everything you want in a wedding photographer!”

And then the rain poured down. Anitra remembers, “It is the nightmare of any girl planning an outdoor wedding that it rains on the day. We were assured that, with the forecast being for showers, the large trees on the property would provide ample shelter for guests. We hired two market umbrellas just in case.

The showers turned out to be a torrential downpour. We were oblivious to the terrible turn that was about to occur in the weather but our best man organised a lift into town and bought out the local hardware store of blue tarps. Just as the rain hit our male guests were stringing up tarps over the tables through the branches of the trees using ropes and things they had scrounged from people’s cars.

The girls gathered to wipe down table settings and fix flower arrangements. I wasn’t too worried at the time once I saw how much fun people had in the rain. It didn’t last long and being a humid hot day it was a welcomed relief. People kicked off their shoes and danced on the grass all night. Our family & friends still refer to it as the most fun they have had at a wedding.”

There were plenty of handmade touches, Anitra remembers. “I made lace bunting, a hessian Mr & Mrs sign for the back of our chairs, cake stands, paper pom poms, birch plinths, spent countless hours sewing together doilies for the table runners, my sister and I arranged all the flowers, I made the flower girl’s dress, I made all the place cards, menus and hung wedding photos of our parents and grandparents through a garden arch. I also made the invites, including the stop motion video. With the help of a few lovely ladies we also made local berry jam and lemon butter for the favors.”

Of the first dance, Anitra remembers “Ben and I did a few dance classes, mainly because we always wanted to and we figured the wedding was a good enough excuse as any! Whether we performed it or not we weren’t sure until a few days before. It was by no means a polished piece, just a fun swing number with a few dips and lifts to Dragonette- ‘Get Lucky’. The guests loved it.”

Congratulations Anitra and Ben! Thank you for sharing your wedding with us! Thank you also to Leo Farrell for sharing today’s wedding with us!