Madison and Alister

If there ever was a time I wished my family owned a winery, it was upon seeing the rustic Clare Valley farm wedding of Madison and Alister captured by Kate Pardey Photography.

With Alister’s family the owners of Pikes Wines, it made sense that the couple made the most of the farm and the vines as a backdrop for their special day. Madison and Alister actually opted to make the most of both their families’ properties. An outdoor ceremony was held at the bride’s family home, before celebrations began at a clear marquee at the groom’s family vineyard with plenty of photos across the rolling fields. If that isn’t enough to make you sell up and buy a farm in the country, I don’t know what is!

The newlyweds met at university, Madison recalling, “we became friends from day one. Our friendship blossomed over the next few years and then we started dating and fell in love. Ali is my best friend and we always know how to make each other laugh.”

The bride, a makeup artist (Madison Claire Makeup,) styled her own makeup for the day, telling, “it was a great excuse to buy some new foundation and lipstick! Haha! I also had time to do my sister’s makeup and my mum’s makeup which was really special.”

The bride worked with Rosie of Alpha Beta Gamma to create her gown, remarking, “I tried on a few “bridal” dresses and I just didn’t feel like myself. Rosie had actually made two dresses for me before (including my year 12 formal dress and my 21st dress). I remember walking into Rosie’s shop and seeing this beautiful cream cropped top. I tried it on out of interest and I fell in love with the cut and the fabric. It just so happened that Rosie had enough of the fabric to make my dress, or a top and skirt. I asked Rosie to incorporate pockets into my skirt and I also wanted a more casual, loose-fitting top to wear at the reception, so we chose a lovely silk fabric to match the skirt. Rosie did an amazing job with my wedding dress and I felt gorgeous and more importantly, comfortable!”

Madison and Alister held the ceremony at Madison’s family home. The bride explaining, “my parents live about five minutes from our house and they have the most picturesque garden. I was able to get ready in the morning with my family and then just walked out of the house when I was ready, so it was an easy choice to have our ceremony there.”

Madison remembers “I walked down the aisle to “Best of My Love” by The Emotions. I was very determined to have an upbeat song to groove to. My Dad bopped with me down the aisle and it was a perfect entrance for us both.”

Anne Bastian officiated the ceremony, Madison notes “our ceremony was very relaxed. We didn’t announce my arrival, I just kind of appeared and people had to create a path! There were lots of laughs and an overall relaxed vibe in the crowd. We didn’t want it to be too long, but we chose to write our own vows, which gave a nice personal touch to the ceremony.”

The couple opted for no wedding party, explaining, “we actually decided not to have a wedding party to keep the day super relaxed. We still involved friends and family with readings and speeches, and we actually found that not having a wedding party helped us share these jobs around more. Not having a wedding party also allowed us a good amount of alone time with our photographer, Kate Pardey, between the ceremony and reception. It was great to have this time with Ali and I think it helped slow down the day and let us take in the moment.”

Natives were on the bride’s mind when she chose to work with Daisy Lane Flowers, “I came across Daisy Lane Flowers in Balaklava and fell in love with Tess’ rustic style of flowers. I absolutely love natives and bright colour and Tess used the most amazing array of flowers to create the bright and happy bouquet of my dreams.”


Of their photographer, Madison remarks, “Kate Pardey was our photographer for the day and I honestly cannot praise her enough. She has a fantastic style where she captures the moments throughout the day, as opposed to too many posed shots. She made us feel really comfortable and it was like having a good friend hanging with us taking snaps. Thanks Kate, you legend!”

Pikes Wines hosted the reception, says the bride, “Ali’s family have a winery, Pikes Wines, which is also only five minutes from our house. They also have an amazing garden and we had a clear marquee set up on the lawn. We were very lucky to have two beautiful venues that we also have a family connection to and this made our wedding venues really special.”

The bride styled the table decor herself, noting, “I borrowed the hessian runners from my sister’s wedding and foraged for the baby blue gum the day before the wedding. Clare is abundant with this foliage and I love natives, so it was an easy option.”

Hand Made Catering cooked up a storm for the celebration. Madison telling, “our caterer and event planners, Hand Made Catering, was the stand-out vendor on our wedding day. Chef Stuart Oldfield is seriously talented at what he does and we received so many compliments from our guests about his food. In addition to the food, they are also amazing wedding planners and took care of all of our equipment hire, set up, service and pack up. Their service is impeccable! I remember getting ushered to the bus at the end of the night and I hadn’t managed to get to our leg ham and cheese platter (I know – yum!) when Nicole (Event Manager) came out of nowhere with a bread roll full of ham, cheese and chutney. It was like she read my mind!”

“We loved having all of our family and friends in the one place at the one time. We have been living in the Clare Valley for over three years now and have lots of family and friends that live interstate and overseas, so it was just really special to have everyone there to celebrate our wedding day.”

Madison notes, “seeing everything come together after months of planning is very rewarding. Everything turned out just as we had hoped and I think that came down to our organisational skills and being relaxed about any changes on the day.”

The newlyweds kicked off an evening of dancing, Madison remembering “our first dance was to “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher” by Jackie Wilson. We wanted something a bit more upbeat! We didn’t get around to having any dancing lessons and it was a bit easier to dance to than a slow song.”

Congratulations on your marriage Madison and Alister. Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us! Thank you also to Kate Pardey Photography for sharing today’s beautiful photographs.