Jodie & Shaun’s Old English Garden Party Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,

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Jodie & Shaun

 There is a gorgeous feeling to Jodie and Shaun’s old English garden party wedding. The couple had straw boating hats made for their male guests, lace parasols for the ladies and chose to carry their old-world theme throughout every element of the day. I can’t wait to share this one with you captured by Ben Swinnerton .

Jodie and Shaun kick us off with the story of how they came to be. “Jodie was living in a shared house with one other person in South Yarra and they were looking for a new flatmate using a popular flatmate website. Coincidentally, Shaun was moving out of his flat and looking for a shared house when he saw an ad posted by Jodie that described her as a professional woman working in software sales in her 30’s. They contacted each other and arranged to meet in a café. Shaun arrived a minute early and from his car could see that the café had actually burnt down the night before!

He had just dialled Jodie’s number and put the phone to his ear when he noticed a woman standing out the front of the noncafé who had heard her phone ring and was reaching for it. They made eye contact and both put their phones away with a smile. Shaun got out of the car to introduce himself and received a big, wet kiss (not on the cheek). A little stunned he followed her lead to a different café up the road contemplating if he could live with this person who was a little too familiar, and also didn’t look in her 30’s at all. “So you work in software sales?” asked Shaun as they were walking. “No, not really” she answered. Confused Shaun made small talk and asked her some other questions. She interrupted him by saying: “My name is not Jodie” looking a little irritated. Shaun understood that sometimes people on flatmate websites had ulterior motives, but this woman seemed crazy and he was thinking about how to make a fast getaway.

Just then Shaun’s phone rang. He answered and it was Jodie who had just arrived at the original meeting point. Shaun looked back down the street and there was this tall brunette on the phone. He bolted toward her and never looked back. One month later Shaun moved into the house and six months after that Shaun took Jodie to dinner, it seemed like the perfect time for him to tell her he had fallen in love with her and did not want to be just a flatmate any longer. 10 years and two children later they were married!”

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Jodie chose a lace wedding gown crafted by Judith Valente . She explains, “Being a reluctant wedding dress shopper, I decided I needed to embrace the experience and not let the bridesmaids down. My bridesmaids coordinated our day on High Street, Armadale by making a few bookings…and the three of us had a ball. I ended up trying around 60 different dresses on, some just to make us laugh, but ended up buying from the very first place I went to.

We were impressed by the less arrogant, honest and knowledgeable treatment we received and designed the dress together, modifying an existing design she had (the very first dress I tried on!). It had vintage lace, a beautiful diamante waistband, slim fitted waist with a beautiful train.”

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Jodie and Shaun chose The Mount Sturgeon Homestead, The Royal Mail Hotel for their wedding. The newlyweds explaining, “We wanted a venue that was picturesque, had good food and wine, great style and far enough away so that we could trap our guests for the weekend. The Royal Mail Hotel is renowned for its food and wine so we decided to put up a marquee on the grounds of the homestead to make the most of the surroundings. We had our reception at the front of the beautiful old homestead and the marquee was hidden in the back.”

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Travelling guests enjoyed a mid-journey pit stop, the bride and groom explaining, “As we were asking our guests to drive 3 hours we decided to set up a pit stop half way through to ensure they were well looked after. We organised a St Ali coffee cart, an Italian Gelato van, and a beautiful french crepe food truck on the side of the road for our guests, who identified themselves by the car bumper sticker we gave them.”

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Jodie and Shaun worked with will&jac to plan and style the day. They remark, “We had a really fantastic group of vendors, but the reason for this was because we had the best wedding planners you could possibly ever wish for. Having a wedding planner enables you to focus on the extra little things that can make the day memorable. They did all the grunt work, managed all the vendors, remembered all the details while we focused on the fun things. We enjoyed every second of our day because that’s all we had to do, they took care of every other element and still had a smile and a laugh for guests at 2.00am when they left. Seriously worth every cent.”

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The bride walked down the aisle to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”.

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Guests dressed in black tie, the couple providing lace parasols and straw boaters for their guests. “In order to ensure that everyone stuck to the black tie theme we organised a hire service for the men who wanted to utilise this. It was really popular, especially for those travelling. This combined with the hats and parasols really made it a special atmosphere with everyone feeling good about themselves.”

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Of their ceremony, officiated by Michael Webb , Jodie and Shaun remember, “We had straw boaters made for all the male guests, and parasols with fans for the women, it created an authentic and special atmosphere where everyone participated. We chose a relaxed, confident celebrant, with simple vows and 2 readings; A poem -“The owl and the pussy cat”, and a Rhett Butler quote from “Gone with the Wind”. The day was more about celebrating with family and friends than a lengthy, verbose ceremony.”

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Of their photographer, Jodie remarks, “We wanted to catch real moments and real people. We obviously had some set family shots but what appealed to us more was capturing the feel of the day without being posed. We also wanted someone who we felt comfortable with and who was down to earth. Ben was everything we were looking for.”

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“We spent some time making up some funny (some sarcastic) personal titles for each guest at the wedding, which we had a “Town cryer” announce when it was time to make their way to the marquee. These are still joked about between friends when we catch up.”

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Victoria Whitelaw styled the flowers for the day, Jodie noting, “We wanted these to have a real impact and they were absolutely superb. Two big flower “Chandeliers” suspended from the ceiling (benefits of a marquee) with glass baubles.”

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For their first dance, Jodie and Shaun chose “We have all the time in the world” Louis Armstrong. “(It) was meant to be a little ironic considering we waited 10 years, have two kids and are in our 40’s. Also, it was a James Bond theme from “On his majesty’s secret service” – the almost forgotten Bond film with the Australian George Lazenby as Bond (Shaun added the last sentence).”

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Cover band Adam 12  made the dance floor the place to be. “We went with a band – but not a wedding band. Instead, we went for probably the best cover band in Melbourne: Adam 12. It was more expensive but those guys were amazing.”

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The couple chose C2 Films to film their wedding.

Congratulations on your marriage Jodi and Shaun! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Ben Swinnerton for sharing today’s images!






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  • Inspired Memories - Ben - Polka Dot Bride says:
    October 19, 2018 at 12:32 am

    […] Choosing a theme that tipped a hat towards the English past & celebrated the age old garden party, this wedding was showered with love & boat hats! The Groom, Shaun shares his lasting memories of his and Jodie’s Old English Garden Party Wedding. […]



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