Emma and James

Mother Nature set the timeline for Emma and James’ day, the bucketing rain, not dampening the spirits  – the handmade, farm celebration already filled to the brim with joy.  From the tractor rides the guests took to the ceremony (complete with handmade Star Wars cushions for comfort – just the start of the handmade treats) to the whiskey bar they enjoyed as evening fell. The rain added yet another story to the most magic of country weddings, the colours as vibrant as the newlyweds themselves.

Captured beautifully by Georgia Wiggs the day unfolded. James proposed over a roast dinner. “James proposed at our apartment in Abbotsford, following a home cooked meal by James (Roast Duck) with matched wine. Hugo our beautiful fun loving puppy was there. This is something simple that we both love – good food and wine in our apartment with our puppy. Emma had NO idea and her dad didn’t believe her when she called him. Emma’s dad was in Box Hill hospital receiving Chemotherapy – we snuck in at 10 pm (after visiting hours) with the help of a lovely nurse to show off the tanzanite ring James had made for Emma.”

The bride chose Grace Loves Lace‘s “Kiki” gown, noting “It was simple, elegant, minimalistic, figure silhouette, comfortable!! Long sleeves, high neck, no train. I knew exactly what I wanted and after spending one day at bridal stores around Melbourne knew I wasn’t going to find it there. One look at the website and I came across “it” – the one! GLL was fantastic throughout the whole process. I  ordered it online, anxiously awaited its delivery and had it confirmed it was the one as soon as I tried it on!”

Peppercorn Floral Design created the bright and beautiful bouquets, the bride explaining “We left the flowers in the very capable and amazing hands of our florist Lynne Thompson of Peppercorn Floral Designs. We showed her our outfits, the theme of our wedding and colours we like and she created a masterpiece! We were absolutely blown away by our flowers – it complemented our wedding perfectly.”

The couple’s four-legged friend, Hugo, played a shining role in the day.

Tells the bride “We married at James’ parents beautiful farm property in Mt Eliza. We both love the property and enjoy working on the property so knew this is where we wanted to celebrate our wedding and share our special day with everyone. We had the freedom to make the day “ours”, including tractor rides from the parking paddock to the pre-ceremony drinks. We also had plenty of space for those who travelled far to stay – camping in a paddock.”

Of her walk down the aisle, the bride explains “We wanted something upbeat to reflect how excited we were to be getting married and set the fun atmosphere we were going for – ‘I love you always forever’, by Betty Who. My dad walked me down the aisle.”

Helen Peters officiated the ceremony, which had a lot of special timing as it unfolded. Emma and James explaining “Originally our ceremony was meant to commence at 4 pm. Our invite had please arrive at 3:30 pm, with the idea of having drinks and cheese platters prior to the ceremony. However, the weather had other ideas! Emma and the bridal party were oblivious to the large front rapidly approaching; all they could see was blue sky and sunshine out their window/end of the house! Luckily all the guests were on time (enjoying champagne, beers and cheese platters in the sunshine) and the bride was ready, and we made the quick decision to “go now or never” and kicked the ceremony off at 3:35 pm. The celebrant made a few modifications and the ceremony finished just as the heavens opened up!

Some guests claim the first lightning strike appeared right behind us as we had our first kiss! We managed to get a quick group shot with everyone holding umbrellas and ducking/covering from the rain – priceless then everyone rushed back inside for cover. All we could think of was – we made it! And it was exhilarating! We love excitement and living in the moment so this was just us. The signing took place inside. We are just so happy that we were able to have the ceremony outside as the bride, groom and groom’s parents had put so much time and effort into making the property look immaculate over the past year.”

Emma tells “We had one reading – James’ sister Emma wrote a poem about the bride and groom (she is very talented at writing poems!). It was perfect – the right mix of humour and heartfelt rhymes. This is how we wanted our ceremony – light-hearted, funny, happy, us.

We wrote our own vows together – it was an alternating rhyming poem that also had the right mix of humour and heart felt rhymes, and of course, mentioned our puppy, Hugo. We also wanted to involve the bridal party more and got them to do the askings, which they wrote their own questions for –Eg. “Emma, do you promise to support James through life; through the good times when Hawthorn is winning, and through the bad times when Hawthorn is losing, no matter how grumpy he gets?” and “James do you promise to continue to express your love with the “little things” like waking up early to make Emma coffee and breakfast before work each morning?“ 
It worked so well and all in the nick of time!”

Of their photographer, the bride remarks “Georgia is a long-term family friend of the groom’s family. Her parents attended the wedding as guests. She did a fantastic job of capturing the day, from the breakfast right through until the late night dancing.” 

Emma notes “Our favourite photos were taken post-ceremony under the rainbow – James and I looking at each other with excitement, thinking “We did this! We’ve pulled it off! We’re married!” The smiles show just how happy we are.”

The day was absolutely filled with handmade elements, Emma explaining “As many personalised DIY aspects that we could. Everything that we loved, hoping people would love it too! Eg. Plenty of food – cheeseboards on arrival, Flying Calamari Food truck, meats and sides for mains with DIY sliders and bars, gelato truck, and Whiskey Bar with all Japanese whiskey stemming back from our time together in Japan.” James made the wedding cakes – whiskey and white chocolate and whiskey and dark chocolate layered cakes with salted caramel and salted dulce de leche ganache alternating with chocolate ganache, decorated with candied pecans.”

Guests took home handmade cheeseboards, Emma noting “Our favours, wooden cheeseboards were used as placemats on the night. Hours and hours and hours of sawing, sanding, branding (with a personalised electric brander), and oiling. Wood was either Melaleuca or oak from trees cut down on the family property.” The couple added handmade touches to everything – the homemade ceremony backdrop, the hessian table runners, fun stickers, candle holders and signage, The groom even made the wooden dance floor (along with his brother and father!)

Emma notes “We loved the compulsory wine & cheese board that came with every planning session and the endless hours spent outdoors working on DIY projects that really made our day unique.” Guests enjoyed a feast catered by Flying Calamari Brothers Cam Milan and a dessert of ice cream with ice cream cart Bianco Latte. Emma tells “The Flying Calamari Brothers were amazing! everyone is still raving about how good their calamari was!! Not only was it a big hit, but also they were amazing at catering for all the food intolerances.”


Emma describes the dance floor as “The most awkward part of the night haha!!! Maybe we should have put a little bit of pre-thought into it, instead of spending all out time on our crazy DIY projects! After about 30secs we’d both run out of dance moves and we’re keen for others to join us on the D-floor to take the limelight off us! Except it took what felt like a minute for guests to cotton on to the fact that our hysterical waving meant come & join us! They got there before the end of the song and everyone had a great boogie!”

A big congratulations to you both Emma and James! Thank you for taking the time to share your day with us! Thank you also to Georgia Wiggs for sharing today’s beautiful photographs.