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Casey & Jono

There is such a sense of sweetness in Casey and Jono’s country garden inspired wedding. From the bride’s beautiful floral hairpiece, to the vintage tea cups at the reception. But it’s not just the physical details that make this wedding sweet, it’s the physical ones too. The moment the bride’s father passed her hand to Jono’s at the end of the aisle, the first dance which went nothing as planned but tricked guests into thinking it was a choreographed number – every moment, every detail.  Casey and Jono chose Sayher Heffernan to photograph their wedding day.

Casey tells the story of how she and Jono came to be. “We tend to think our love story is fairly ordinary, but no love story is ever ordinary! We actually met in high-school. We were in the same Outdoor Ed class and I can guarantee you, neither of us were ever late to that class! We were together for a few months but split up when we both went to university in different towns. It wasn’t until we were about 24 that Jono finally came to his senses and realised I was the only one for him. He hotly pursued and I secretly high-fived myself as I’d been pining for him all those years! Fast forward to 2015 and we were married on the day of our 5 year anniversary.”

bridesmaid in grey lace

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The bride chose a strapless lace gown from Bendigo Bridal Collections.

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chalkboard wedding sign

Casey and Jono married at Ross & Yvonne Petzke Family Garden.  Casey tells, “Both loving the outdoors, we knew we wanted to be married outside. Our only other priority was that the venues were beautiful in their own right. We didn’t want to have to spend a lot of money trying to make a place look good. The garden used for the ceremony was absolutely stunning. Just set back from the Murray River was this oasis of lush green lawn, curtained by a wall of beautiful green forestry. It was private, intimate and provided enough shade ensuring our guests would be comfortable in the sometimes hot (up to 43 degrees in summer!) Swan Hill sun. It ticked all the boxes. On the day, we had family members and friends who had lived in Swan Hill for years exclaiming how “absolutely beautiful the garden is” and that they “had no idea this was even here!” even though the majority of them had walked their dog past on a daily basis. Looks can be deceiving. Always book an appointment and check out the inside of a venue instead of just driving by.”

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From Little Things styled the ceremony and reception creating the floral decor arrangements for the day.

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Of the processional, Casey remembers, “I wanted something modern and meaningful (I loved this song when Jono and I started dating, it brings back memories of excited road trips to go and see him) but something that still gave a nod to the traditionalism of a wedding. Something ceremonial, but relaxed and fun, setting the mood for the rest of the day. I’m Yours, by Vitamin String Quartet was the perfect choice for us.”

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There was a special moment shared as the ceremony started that was captured, something which the bride applauds their photographer for.  “The photographer was the first thing we booked! I think we had only been engaged 5 days when we set the date and booked our photographer Sayher Heffernan. We had been following the the amazing photos Sayher captures for years, so there was no doubt in our mind, he was the only photographer we wanted. Check out his website and you’ll see why.

He has this natural ability to capture raw emotion, the unstaged, once-in-a-lifetime moments. I remember the first time we excitedly flicked through our photo’s when we had to stop, tears rolling down my cheek. Here was this stunning shot of my dad passing my hand over to Jono after having just walked me down the aisle. He had said to Jono “She’s all yours now. Goodluck” and the three of us shared a private giggle, unbeknown to the 120 family and friends watching on. It was a special moment and one I may have forgotten over time, had it not been for this photo. I stared at that photo for 20 minutes thinking “I didn’t even know Sayher was there. How did he capture this cherished memory?” But that is what he does.

He is so professional and so friendly, he puts even the most un-photogenic people (me!) at ease, and that’s when the magic happens. Our photographer was easily the best money we spent on the wedding.”

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There was a special guest as ring bearer. “Harry (our 18 month old Golden Retriever!) was our ring bearer! He is our first (fur) baby and there was no way we were leaving a family member behind (plus we didn’t trust our best man with the rings!!!).”

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Jenny Davies officiated the ceremony and helped the couple write their own vows, the bride reflecting, “Our vows were really special. While it was a daunting thought to write them ourselves, I’m so glad we did. It was such an intimate moment to share with each other, I’m so glad it was based on sentiments and promises that reflected us and our relationship. Having Jenny Davies as our celebrant was also very surreal. Jenny has known Jono’s mother (Jude) for almost all of her life and was a bridesmaid when Jono’s parents got married. She watched Jono grow up (busted heads, traumatised babysitters and sometimes irresponsible parenting and all!) and to have her proudly join us in marriage was a true honour. It made the ceremony so much more special.”

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Happy hour continued in the gardens until 5pm.

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The bouquets and bridal party flowers were arranged by Farmyard Flowers.

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Casey tells, “The photos that were taken in the hay shed and in the paddock were all taken on the farm that I grew up on. It was such a delight to be able to go back to a place where I used to dream about my wedding day as a child, and capture some special memories there.”

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Casey and Jono chose Outdoor Pavilion, Swan Hill Jockey Club  for their reception, remarking, “The Outdoor Pavilion at the Swan Hill Jockey Club was also a ‘love at first sight’ moment. The pavilion itself was simple; cement floor, tin roof held up by exposed wooden beams and 3 white walls, the 4th long wall missing, allowing us to spill out onto a lush green lawns. It was the perfect canvas for us to add our own personal touches and easily create the relaxed, fun, country-style atmosphere Jono and I live our lives by. The staff were also fantastic to work with. They allowed us access days before and after the wedding for set up/pack up and nothing was too hard for them. They definitely helped contribute to a stress free day!”

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wedding sparkler send off sign

Much of the decor was created by the bride and groom. “We wanted our wedding to be as personal (and cheap!) as possible, so a lot of our weekends were spent DIYing! We handmade our invitations. The ‘welcome’ sign was actually made from an old dressing table we got from the tip for $10! I sprayed the mirror with blackboard paint and wrote on it using liquid chalk. All the wooden signs (this way, keep going, I do/we did) were made by Jono and I. I handmade the white doily lanterns using crochet doilies and a craft glue/papier mache technique. These now proudly hang in our outdoor area, I absolutely love them.”

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homemade relish wedding favors

Guests received jars of homemade relish. “Half of them were filled with Jono’s Grandma’s recipe and the other half were my Nanna’s recipe. As both have passed on, this was a lovely way to include them in our special day, and bring our two families together.”

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“We made our confetti cones easily from paper doilies. Most of the tea cups and saucers we bought from op-shops, then spent a very fun (aka messy!) afternoon pouring them with candles. I was lucky enough to squeeze in a bit of a girls weekend, where I sewed all the bunting with my step mum. Some of it is now hanging in her grandchildren’s rooms, and we’re looking forward to the day we can hang it in our own children’s nursery. She also organised the candy bar for us and made the brown paper/doily take home bags. I decorated some tin cans to tie behind our getaway car, and scribbled little love notes on them, the wedding date etc as a bit of a throwback to our high school days!”

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Casey describes the wedding as, “Laid-back, fun and beautiful; a true reflection of our relationship.”

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The first dance was a hit, the bride remembering, “Our first dance was to Glenn Millers, In The Mood. Jono picked this one. A few months before the wedding we were having a glass of wine and watching a Christmas movie when it came on. He jumped up immediately and started bopping around our lounge room, before grabbing me and throwing me around it too, declaring it HAD to be our first dance.

The Sunday before the wedding a friend of mine who is a dance teacher came over to show us a few moves. Nothing too hard. She had choreographed a fun little routine for us and it only took a couple of hours to learn. However this little dance number was a surprise for all our guests, and as we had family/bridal party arriving on the Wednesday, we were only able to sneak in two more practises (you can see where this is going yeah?) before the big day. On the night we couldn’t remember half the moves; I was spinning the wrong way, Jono was knocking the flowers out of my hair, it was a bit chaotic! But it was SO. MUCH. FUN!

Half the crowd thought we’d been practising for months and had no clue we were making mistakes while the other half thought we were just naturally talented dancers, making up this amazing routine on the fly! While it was more reminiscent of the dance we did in the lounge than the choreographed routine, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

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“We only had 6 people RSVP that they couldn’t make it on the day which was really surprising, as that meant a lot of our friends and family were traveling from all over Australia to be there. It’s the most wonderful feeling seeing all their smiling faces. They’re smiling because they’re so proud of you and genuinely wish you all the love and happiness in the world. It’s such an infectious feeling and the day wouldn’t have been the same without them.”

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Thank you for sharing all the moments of your day Casey and Jono! Thank you to Sayher Heffernan for sharing this gorgeous wedding with us.