Pip & Brendan

Rich rusty toned leaves, deep grey skies and the cosiness of candlelight and fires – is it any wonder I adore Autumn? These very elements set the scene for today’s stunning Stones Of The Yarra Valley autumn wedding of Pip and Brendan captured by Louisa Bailey and with the bride’s brief of an indoor Autumnal forest with plenty, and I mean plenty of foliage, the scene was set.

Pip kicks us off by telling us how she and Brendan came to be. “We worked together at a publishing company and a friendship and then a relationship grew over time. Before we had even kissed, Brendan had agreed on the spur of the moment to buy a ticket to the Coachella Music Festival and join me and my friends (who he’d never met) on a road trip. I think it was around then that we both sensed that something might be there.”

The bride chose Andrea Gorrie Couture  to make her wedding gown, she explains “The dress ended up working out really well. I was very nervous because I’m not the kind of person to have spent any time thinking about this stuff until I really had to – so there were lots of ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ and confused looks whenever people would ask what I wanted. I have always loved pleats however and had this idea of some big, diagonal, origami folds. The material was silk but spun in a denim-like twill – really stiff and just like wearing a big denim dress. Also, it had POCKETS. Big, utilitarian POCKETS. At one stage I had 3x lippies, tissues and my phone in there and you couldn’t tell the difference. MAGIC. My girlfriends and I love ‘razzle’, so I felt like sparkle needed to make an appearance and commissioned a crop top made of this amazing embellished material.

Andrea Gorrie Bridal made my dress and Andrea was so much fun to work with – she’s a total pro. The dress and top were quite technical to pull off (getting those pleats right, making the top from a single, un-broken piece of material so as not to interrupt the pattern) and she did them perfectly. I would recommend her to anyone.”

Pip and Brendan chose Stones of the Yarra Valley  for their wedding, Pip noting “All one venue for everything – that’s what we liked about Stones and it was one of the main reasons we chose it. We got married in the Chapel (non-religious), moved to The Dairy for champagne and canapes and then into The Barn for a formal dinner and dancing. Stones is beautiful – it was late April so the ornamental vines were bright red and the vines in the winery were transitioning from green to yellow.

We both think Autumn is the best time of year so as soon as a date popped up for Stones, we quickly googled to see what the leaves would be doing at that time of year. Autumn leaves were a big deciding factor for us. Because it was in the Yarra Valley, a lot of people chose to stay in the area and make a weekend of it. Given that they were going to all that expense, we organised buses to pick them up from their accommodation and drop them home again at the end of the night, so no one had to drive and they could all relax and have a drink and enjoy. We’re really glad we did that as we felt it added to the mood of the day.”

Of their photographer, Pip tells “We used Louisa Bailey, a Melbourne-based wedding photographer who has the added benefit of being the sister of one of our very good friends. Having Louisa there – especially when we didn’t have a wedding party – was so great. She knew us and knew our friends and knew what I would forget even before I forgot it (seriously – I probably would have walked out of the house without my shoes and getting rained on if it wasn’t for Lou.”

Of the vibe the couple chose for their wedding, Pip explains “Fun and hassle-free. More than anything else, we wanted it to be about all of our friends and family having a good time and laughing a lot. Good food. Good wine. And foliage – HEAPS OF FOLIAGE (because everyone wants to pretend they’re in a forest indoors, right?) We tried to get rid of as many formalities as we could – if something didn’t pass the litmus test of ‘what’s that for?’ then it didn’t make the cut. Consequently, there was no bridal party (why play favourites and, also, why limit everyone’s personal outfit fabulousness?), no cake (any ‘tradition’ that relies on modern refrigeration is NOT a tradition), no bonbonieres (we still have no idea what they’re for), no throwing of the bouquet (seriously, let’s have a great night and then make single female friends feel awkward: what’s that about?).”

Pip walked down the aisle to a pianist (Diana Woodhouse) playing “Where Is My Mind?” by The Pixies.

Blooming Brides created the floral arrangements for the day, Pip explaining “Rita from Blooming Brides did the most SPECTACULAR job with the flowers and foliage on the day. She was able to perfectly translate the very odd Pinterest board I created for her (that included a Major Mitchell cockatoo as its ‘spirit animal’) and created the most incredible, spectacular, indoor forest of autumn foliage and flowers for us. Rita uses no florist block and her work is as much sculptural as beautiful. Everything was thought of by Rita, including brown paper put out at the end of the night for guests to take big bunches of flowers off the tables and transport them home so they could live on after the event. The flowers were actually the only bit I enjoyed about wedding planning (not a natural wedding planner) and I just remember Brendan and I standing there, gobsmacked, when we first walked into The Barn before the guests came in.”

The first dance was unplanned, Pip explaining “We weren’t going to do a dance but the venue convinced us to! We danced to ‘You got it’ by Roy Orbison. We didn’t practice – unless you count 15 minutes on the morning of the wedding, in our PJ’s, practising!”

The newlyweds were spoilt with one more very special surprise – a flash mob! “The best feature of our wedding was a complete surprise. Unbeknownst to us, our friends had been secretly organising a dance (or, as my brother, Bob, the MC introduced it ‘a mini-Rock Eisteddfod’) for the 3 months prior to the wedding. We had no idea. All of a sudden, the dance floor was cleared and people were told to go back to their seats. Then ‘Can’t Take my Eyes Off of You’ by Frankie Valli started playing and the performance commenced. They also filmed all the rehearsals (because our friends realised quickly that the worst thing about the surprise would be the fact that B and I didn’t get to be part of all of the secret squirrel organising) and created a zine of rehearsal photos, ALL OF THE PLANNING EMAILS (my god, the email chains were hilarious!) and the instructional videos they created for those who couldn’t attend rehearsals. It was seriously the best thing that happened ever and the best surprise on the day. There were also glitter cannons, dance moves (‘The Brendan’) and very specific props based on our terrible sense of humour. The best.”

Pip remarks “All I can remember hearing was laughter from the moment the ceremony started to the end of the party we had afterwards. (We loved) Family: we both loved having our parents, siblings and family members there – it meant so much to have a great party with them. Friends and the dance: especially the ones who would go to such great lengths to choreograph a mini-Rock Eisteddfod AND keep it a secret (which is almost impossible in our group). Big thanks to the four ‘Dance Captains’, Lelly, Emily, Violet and Sally for coordinating the chaos.”

Pip and Brendan got an even bigger surprise when Haven Images showed up to make sure the dance was captured on film!

Congratulations on your marriage Pip and Brendan! Thank you for taking the time to share your day with us! Thank you to Louisa Bailey  for sharing today’s photography!