Gemma & Myles
When a wedding has all of the newlywed’s favourite things – acro yoga, macrame, a talent show – how could it be any less than fabulous? Gemma and Myles wanted a boho inspired wedding at Tocal Homestead and their day captured beautifully by Zoe Morley exhibits every bit of the romantic, relaxed vibe they wanted to create.
The couple who met at high school became engaged shortly after their sweet anniversary. The bride remembering “I designed my ring a few months prior with Natalie Marie Jewellery – the prongs on the underside of the ring are in a mandala flower pattern with tiny diamonds inside each petal. (It is the same design at the very centre of the mandala on the back of my invite, which I painted) We didn’t know exactly when the ring would be ready. The ring ended up being quite complicated (turns out my simple drawing on a post-it note wasn’t very simple…) Natalie emailed us about a week after our anniversary and Myles picked my ring straight away, We had just bought a new apartment but hadn’t been granted access, so we had a little picnic in the backyard and he proposed there.”
The bride styled many elements of the day – from the stationery to the bouquets which had macrame styled wraps. She now works for her own wedding business, A Song of Beginning. “I did a floristry course beforehand so I could do my own flowers on the day, and ended up loving it so much I started my business, A Song of Beginning. I wanted native flowers and lots of greenery, and for the bouquets to be loose and wild with different textures and sizes. I made macrame bouquet wraps with tassels for the bouquets, which I now sell in my store as well. The bouquets were all different, with lots of beautiful natives in different pastel colours, and plenty of eucalyptus foliage. The bouquets had king proteas and proteas, banksias, blushing bride, paper daisies, peonies, poppies, and roses. I also chose blue sea holly to match my blue velvet heels. There were also some mustard/gold colours to match the bridesmaids’ dresses.”
The bride worked with her cousin, Mylee Atelier to create her gown, telling “My amazingly talented cousin Joanne made my dress! I knew what I wanted (high neckline, simple silhouette, a non-poofy skirt, lace) and my dress ended up being was exactly what I envisioned (with just a little bit of embellishment and beading on the sheer back) and it was so comfortable, and ended up being perfect for the weather we had.
I loved being part of the process, from our shared secret Pinterest board, comment trains and screenshots, choosing the fabric (French lace and silk chiffon, silk organza for the sheer back), working through all the strange problems that popped up (over-slippery lining and low-backed strapless bras), thousands of fittings, but most of all it was a really special experience because I was doing it with my cousin.”
Gemma remembers “My brother walked me down the aisle to Ben Howard’s “Depth Over Distance”.”
Francine O’Brien officiated the ceremony, Gemma explaining “We wanted a short and simple ceremony, but for it to be intimate and meaningful. We had a smudging ceremony, which involves the burning of a bundle of white sage to cleanse and purify energy and to bless a space. We stood inside a circle of stones which formed a sacred space, and I made a circular macrame hanging in the place of an arch as the ceremony backdrop.”
“Everyone was staying together because the venue wasn’t in Sydney, so our friends and families had little mini-holidays in the Hunter. We stayed with our bridal party the night before and set up the reception decorations, and then Zach made us all tacos for dinner. It was so nice to see people from different groups and just completely different parts of our lives together hanging out together – it’s a really surreal feeling to look around at a hundred people and know that you know every single person there.”
Of their photographer, Gemma notes “Zoe is absolutely amazing. She is so bubbly and helpful, and just a genuine joy to be around, and obviously, she is insanely talented. She has an amazing eye! We had Tarryn as the second photographer, and the both of them did an amazing job. I think they made the day look much more beautiful than it was – and it was a beautiful day. Zoe kept us all calm and on time, fixing and touching up anything and everything that needed to be. I had stalked her on Instagram for ages before and had always loved her style, so am so glad we could have her there to capture the day.”
Gemma and Myles chose Tocal Homestead for their wedding, noting ” It was actually the first venue we had gone to see, and we liked it instantly. We thought we should see some other venues as well before locking it in, but we didn’t really feel that they were right. We loved the vibe of Tocal straightaway – the giant old fig tree which we got married under, and the beautiful countryside landscape and lake, the horses. The reception was in the homestead barn, where we set up two long tables for dinner with the band and dance floor downstairs, and a photo booth area upstairs.”
One of the bride and groom’s favourite past times is acro-yoga, so of course, they would find a moment for a little fun on their wedding day! Gemma telling “We do acro yoga (partner based blend of yoga and acrobatics) but we couldn’t, because Myles’ suit would be stained by the grass (the base is lying down). But then one of the girls realised that the bridesmaids all had blankets (in case they got cold) so we just used that (normally we use a yoga mat). I’m so glad we did because acro is such a big part of our life (Myles is a PT and I teach yoga) and it was really funny to try and manoeuvre into the positions in a dress and suit (very different than doing it in yoga clothes!)”
In lieu of a traditional newlywed cocktail hour, Gemma and Myles joined their guests, organising a sunset talent show. Gemma explaining “The in-between time is usually when the bride and groom go off to take photos and the guests don’t really have much to do, so we really wanted to make it really personal and special. We had a giant grazing table and mulled wine and hot apple cider in glass jars, and everyone just chatted and relaxed in the beautiful sunshine (we were so, so incredibly blessed with the weather). It was so special that so many of our friends and family performed (Myles’ grandfather sang for the first time ever in public – he sang ‘You Are My Sunshine’!) – we really know an amazing bunch of people, which I’m so grateful for! Our beautiful friends Jen and Chris did a spectacular acro performance.
We really wanted our wedding day to be really a celebration of the people and things we loved most (music, acro, picnics, lots of good food) and so this was really special to us both. Myles was in a band in high school (his groomsmen Zach and Richard were also in the band) so they performed some of their original band songs during the talent quest (and Britney Spears’ ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ which they had played at our high school graduation) which was so much fun!”
Guests dined at long, candlelit tables on a feast catered by Sprout Catering. Gemma noting “We had two long tables and the food was served family-style with share platters so that everyone had a chance to share food, walk around and talk to each other. The food was absolutely delicious – Sprout did an amazing job! We really liked having the long tables because it is a more relaxed/informal atmosphere. We didn’t have a bridal table so we sat with everyone else, and we really enjoyed that everyone could come up and talk to us and that it was really casual.”
Sprout Catering created a chocolate drip wedding cake, which was surrounded by doughnuts. “We had a little doughnut wall which everyone absolutely loved!” tells Gemma “They were Krispy Kremes, and I am still so sad that I didn’t get a chance to have any! We put little bags next to the donut wall for people to take home, and we still have friends coming up to tell me now that they ate nine donuts and took another 8 home in the bags, so it’s so great to hear that everyone really liked and appreciated the little details that we had.”
Gemma tells “I love making things, so I did the flowers, hair and makeup, my tassel earrings, wishing well, doughnut wall, and most of the decorations. My cousin made my dress, and my friend Edie did the invitations and stationery. We had a talent quest in between the ceremony and reception, where our friends and family performed – so I suppose we even had DIY entertainment!
I made the bouquet wraps and all the other macrame pieces, including the circular hanging which was used during our ceremony and also for a photobooth backdrop during the reception, and a large macrame wall hanging which was our reception backdrop. We also had macrame hangings on the back of our seats. I made the hanging greenery installations which hung over the reception tables, as well as the table decorations (candlesticks made of gold painted bottles and vases with fresh flower arrangements). The guests’ place cards and favours with succulents grown in my garden in little glass jars with their names written on cards tied to it (my friend Edie did all the beautiful calligraphy). The seating chart was an old mirror that I had painted the frame gold and handwrote the names in chalkboard marker, and I also wrote most of the signage.”
Paul Skinner Creative captured this beautiful film of the day, that so beautifully makes a mark of those special handmade touches and fun performances.
Congratulations on your marriage Gemma and Myles! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to Zoe Morley for sharing today’s stunning images!