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Jen and Rowan

Jen and Rowan chose a handmade rural wedding for their marriage celebrations. Choosing Jen’s parent’s property they created the decor themselves, setting up a “tent city” for willing guests to stay near the celebrations. Being eco friendly they worked hard to make sure their wedding had as little impact on their surrounding environment as possible and instead created a celebration that not only respected their beliefs but was meaningful and beautiful at the same time.  Tigs Macallan was there to capture the day for Jen and Rowan.

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Jen had her dress handmade, remembering, “Jenni Webb custom made my wedding dress. Because we live remotely, we are a long way from any bridal shops. In the short amount of time that I had to look in bridal boutiques I didn’t see anything that I really thought was “me” and certainly not at a price I was happy to pay. So I met up with Jenni, a family friend, and we had really similar ideas about what style and fabric would suit. She took my measurements and I went back to the desert. From then we corresponded by email. She was amazing! She sent me drawings, photos of fabric samples and lots of photo updates as she started sewing. From my end at least, it came together pretty easily, and really beautifully!”

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Guests were able to stay in tents on the property in the couple’s own “tent city”.

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Jen and Rowan tel,l “We’re both environmentalists and so we borrowed some “camera traps” which are used to take automatic photos, triggered by movement, of wildlife. We set them up around our wedding to take happy-snaps of our guests.”

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Guests were welcomed with tea, Jen telling, “Our wedding was all on my parent’s property in central Victoria. We have had a lot of fun times and great parties up there over the years and we wanted this to be one more to add to the list. We invited guests to arrive an hour before the ceremony and our groomsmen served tea, coffee and home made biscuits as everyone arrived.”

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The processional was led by a bagpiper. Jen and Rowan remembering, “We spent a lot of time talking about what music to have for our ceremony and asked a lot of friends for input. In the end we couldn’t find anything that would complement the sound of wind through the gum trees and the magpies warbling about so we left nature to it and decided against recorded music. However, the week before the wedding, the best-man from Rowan’s parent’s wedding offered to play the bagpipes for us. He had done this at Rowan’s parent’s wedding, and as we already had our Scottish heritage proudly incorporated into the day, so we decided to “walk up the hill” with pipes washing across the countryside – and it was really, really special!”

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“Guests walked to the ceremony, the newlyweds remembering, “Our wedding ceremony was up the hill and once all our guests were there, we walked up together, led by our bridal party and joined by our parents. We were married under a big Peppermint Gumtree full of family-made bunting, overlooking the mountains.”

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Rosemary Salvaris married the couple, Jen telling, “Our celebrant was also really wonderful, she was great at listening to what we wanted for our ceremony and helping us to pull it all together.”

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Of their photographer, Jen tells, “Tigs, our photographer was great. We live in Central Australia, and our wedding was in Central Victoria, so it was hard for us to meet a lot of photographers in person. We did a lot of internet searching and we liked Tigs’ photos and got a great ‘vibe’ from her work. We met up on Skype and we knew she’d be the right fit. We didn’t want a pushy photographer who acted like the whole day had to be arranged for them, but we did want a really beautiful and natural record of the day – which is exactly what we got! “

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Each bridal party member was able to choose their own outfit, Jen remarking, “Once we had a colour theme, the two bridesmaids went vintage-dress shopping and found dresses that complimented each other but that were not the same. This was just perfect! We never wanted to force our bridal party into the same outfits, especially as the boys each had plenty of suits from different weddings, and it’s nice for everyone to be comfortable in what they’re wearing. The dresses looked great and we hope that all the bridal party were happy wearing something they’d each chosen for themselves!”

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After a champagne toast and photographs, it was time to celebrate! Jen and Rowan recall, “Afterwards, everyone walked back to the house and the reception was in Jen’s parents’ garden. We were lucky to have a mild night and everyone enjoyed an informal meal, drinks and dancing.”

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The wedding truly lived up to it’s handmade style, Jen and Rowan telling “Everything we could do ourselves, we did. Both of our Mothers, one of our bridesmaids and Jen sewed over a hundred metres of bunting. We did all the flower arranging, including the bouquets. We used buttons as glass-markers and hung candles in glass jars in the trees. Jen’s dad made a fire pit for the occasion and an arch for the guests to drive under when they arrived. Instead of having a wedding cake we asked 12 friends who love baking to make us something to share for dessert. We bought op-shop tea-cups and mugs for the tea and coffee and one of our bridesmaid’s sister’s did us a huge favour and did our hair and make-up.”
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Marian Rennie catered a feast for guests, the newlyweds note, “Marian Rennie was fabulous. We wanted lots of fresh, local produce and she did a fabulous job! Everyone commented on how great the food was and no one went hungry!”

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There was no first dance, just amazing music, the story goes, “A friend of ours played Rowan’s old records all night. We didn’t have an official first dance, but we danced along with our friends and family well into the next morning.”

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The wedding turned into a weekend affair, Jen and Rowan telling, “Guests camped over, or stayed in accommodation near by, and the next day we had a big brunch and then tree planting to finish it all off.”

Congratulations Jen and Rowan! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Tigs Macallan for sharing today’s wedding with us!