Thomas & Rachel

Rachel and Thomas’ Rainy Tanglewood Estate Wedding on the Mornington Peninsula in December was “relaxed, organic, green and native …with a touch of 70s disco.” While most couples may lose their cool if it was raining on their wedding day, Rach and Thomas (affectionately known as Vossy) not only took the unexpected summer rain in their stride, they embraced it. They said “Everyone was forced into a “nothing we can do so let’s party!” frame of mind.” These two are too cool and you are going to love reading about their wedding written by the bride with special comments from the groom, Voss. These moody, stunning photographs were taken by Photographer Daniel Milligan.

We met on the dance floor many moons ago and became instant best friends with plenty of mutual friends between us too. After ten years together and two years being engaged, we finally sealed the deal in December last year at Tanglewood Estate.

We wanted a very relaxed, laid back event, showcasing the beautiful natural environment, local produce and chilled out vibes of the Mornington Peninsula. We described the day as “relaxed, organic, green and native …with a touch of 70s disco” to our wedding stylist.

We dreamed of our guests sprawled out on the lawn from the deck to the dam with the sun beating down, great tunes playing and drinks flowing. So of course, it poured rain all afternoon long! But in the end, the rain added to the atmosphere of the day in a way we could never have imagined ourselves.

Everyone was forced into a “nothing we can do so let’s party!” frame of mind. People got rained on, and had to walk through mud, but everyone was smiling and the dance floor even kicked off before guests had found their seats at the dinner table! The raw materials of Tanglewood Estate, the greenery of the florals and the overall styling chosen for the day was all intensified by the moody sky and we had plenty of disco vibes flowing throughout the evening too.

I wore long flowing white pants and a little matching top in pleated chiffon by Silvana Tedesco. I had done the lap of High Street, Armadale with my Mum but as soon as I walked into Silvana’s boutique in Hawthorn and tried a few things on, I knew I’d found my ‘outfit.’ Silvana and her staff were amazing to work with and when I had my final fitting in those pants, all I wanted to do was dance! Coupled with make up by Studio 2 and hair by Amy Alexa Hair, you could not wipe the smile off my face on the big day!

Voss’ suit was custom made by P Johnson Tailors. Again, we had a tried a couple of tailors in the city but when we had our first meeting with P Johnson Tailors, they got our style and vibe straight away, and we knew we weren’t going to be looking anywhere else. We worked together to design and create a (relaxed but well fitted) wool and linen blend blazer in light grey with bone coloured chinos, and paired this with a simple white shirt and khaki coloured tie. His best man, his brother Anthony, also wore the same.

We had a very fun and very full bridal party! Our special ladies were in a mix of cuts and colours, olive green, gold, pink and pearl, from various locations including Zimmermann, Morrison and Uniqlo!

While the groomsmen wore Bone jackets and white shirts from Joe Black and olive chinos from H & M.

Our ‘bubble’ girls were in gorgeous pink dresses from Witchery Kids, and our ‘bubble’ boy, James, was in a linen shirt and beige linen shorts, also from Witchery Kids. My brother Alex, who was MC, was also in a pink blazer and he co-ordinated perfectly. The whole bridal party looked so fantastic together, I was so pleased!

The flowers by Floral Architecture were amazing! I had a very loose brief of “greenery, natives, organic in shape, whatever is in season or local…” but allowed the ladies to be their creative selves and they killed it.

Given the raw and rustic beauty of the Tanglewood Estate, especially that gorgeous little chapel, I wanted the styling to be quite minimal and pulled back. Hannah from Nowadays was right on top of that too. The recycled timber of the barn provided the perfect backdrop to long timber tables, organic shaped plates and dark linen napkins with a touch of greenery and candles in random glass jars and a gorgeous green installation above Voss and I on the centre ‘bridal party’ table by Floral Architecture topped it all off.

We fell in love with the venue, which we were directed to by a friend of ours, pretty much as soon as we saw the view from the deck of the ocean overlooking the dam. The chapel was still waiting for a planning permit from the council at the time, but the idea of having everything on the one site – chapel, deck, barn – made the decision very easy! It’s so stunning with the vines in the background, and being able to drink the wines made from those same vines as you lookout over the vineyard at dinner from the barn… it really is a magical location.

I walked down the aisle to “Forces” by Japanese Wallpaper (Vossy’s choice) and it was sung live by Vanessa with Zac on guitar, from our band, Like This. Zac and Vanessa played acoustic tracks together while guests waited for the bride to arrive and I think that helped to set the right mood! The chapel was packed to the rafters and it created a very intimate setting.

We are both Catholic so to ensure my grandmother attended(!?), we had a Catholic priest perform the ceremony (which was much more difficult to arrange than we expected!) Father Brendan Hayes was so lovely and the ceremony was perfect. We tried to have representatives from each of our families and friendship groups to perform our readings and our mothers lit the wedding ceremony candles and signed the registry for us too. We exited the chapel to “Aint’ Nobody” by Felix Jaehn.

The choice of song for our first dance took a while to nail down. We chose to do our father/daughter dance, mother/son dance and first dance all in the one song so we had a few different tastes to satisfy. In the end, we chose “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay, a decision also supported by the fact that the song was already a part of the band’s repertoire!

Vossy says, “We had a few bars of choreographed dance that we were supposed to practice but that task slipped through the cracks so we freestyled and it wasn’t pretty to watch, but it was a lot of fun!” 

We made sure to include the mother/son dance on the day as Vossy had missed this at his year 12 school formal and my dad was very proud to be father of the bride so he wasn’t going to miss out on any of his traditional roles of walking me down the aisle, speaking on our family’s behalf and dancing as father and daughter too.

We did the invitations and other signage and stationary for the day ourselves. I’ve had plenty of experience with putting together folios at university and again we wanted very simple, minimal designs on recycled paper so that was fine to do ourselves. We had planned to buy our own flowers and do our own styling originally to save costs but I’m so glad we had Nowadays and Floral Architecture on board in the end. There are so many finer details and output of time in the final lead up to the wedding, especially with family and friends visiting between Christmas and New Years, I would never have had the time, nor the skills to pull off what they pulled off, so I was so grateful to have them! Also, my close friend and bridesmaid Claire handcrafted the cross for the chapel, my brother Alex was an absolute star as the MC on the day and our good friend Bec filmed the whole event too.

I guess there was plenty of “something news” throughout the wedding, but for the “something old” and “something borrowed”, my cousin Katie lent me our grandmother’s own wedding ring to wear for the day, and my Dad who walked me down the aisle wore a blue blazer as my “something blue!”

We chose not to have dessert as neither of us ever eats the desserts at other people’s weddings because we are usually too busy dancing. Instead we chose to cut a stack of cheese wheels as we entered the reception which our lovely caterers, Mr Hall Catering Co, put together for us as part of their gorgeous charcuterie and cheese board display.

Aside from the gorgeous speeches, the rest of the evening was all about the food, wine, music and dancing. Both the band, Like This, and the Caterers, Mr Hall Catering Co, were absolute stand out suppliers. We chose them almost as soon as we had selected the venue, and were very lucky to have done so too as they are both so highly sought after that they are nearly all booked out for the year ahead now too! The food was amazing, all local and seasonal produce, put together by one very talented chef! Caitlin and Tristan, the husband and wife team of Mr. Hall Catering Co. were so lovely to work with, and so accommodating! We had our charcuterie and cheese platter to begin with, alongside a few roving seafood and vegetarian canapes. Later we all sat down to shared plates of meat, fish, salads and sides in the barn, which was a great way to get guests mingling too.

Then the band was unreal. The group have such a great stage presence and they are all so talented as well. There’s a saxophone, drums, guitars, keyboard, male and female vocals, their live performances are spectacular, and they DJ in between sets so there was never a break in the music all night long.

Vossy’s favourite detail: The band/dancefloor was going off, everyone loved them!

Vossy’s favourite memory: The band playing an epic rendition of “It’s Raining Men,” there was an amazing guitar solo and the dance floor went crazy for the entire song!

Our photographer, Daniel Milligan, was brilliant. He did our friend’s wedding a year or so ago and he was so lovely and easy going. As Vossy and I aren’t terribly comfortable in front of the camera, Danny was great at capturing those candid moments and was basically invisible throughout the night, which is unbelievable considering what he managed to capture on that camera! The edited photos look amazing, especially with lighting caused by the weather and the cute little umbrellas in our bridal party shots too. We are both so happy with how the photos turned out and it’s very difficult to select our favourite snaps!

Vossy’s comments: Amazing! We didn’t even notice he was there, which was great as the two of us aren’t into having our photos taken. 

Vossy’s favourite photo: The series of photos capturing Rach popping the champagne at home and all the resulting reactions – very funny!) Our very generous friend Bec is putting together a wedding video as a gift to us and we cannot wait to see it!

Vossy’s advice for couples marrying in the future: Get a planner to help you. It was the best money we spent!

I suppose my advice would be to prioritise what’s important to you, and loosen or let go of the rest… There are many more people that have dreamt about ‘your big day’ than just you and your partner!

Also, do but money away for a break after the wedding, you will need it! …And yes, our wedding planner/event stylist/day of co-ordinator Hannah Pickford at Nowadays was amazing. I wish we had got her on board much sooner than we did!

Ms Zigzag says: I enjoyed every moment putting this post together with the bride, Rach. From Rach and Voss’ ‘a touch of 70s disco’ brief to their sunny attitude on a rainy day, well, these two are legends and we wish them all the very best. Thanks to Rach, Voss and Photographer Daniel Milligan for sharing this wonderful celebration of love with us!