Tess & Bradley

For Tess & Bradley, the stars of today’s modern handmade country wedding, the relaxed vibe of being at home, was exactly the feeling they wanted to give their guests. So there was no more natural place for their big day, then on their own country property. The beautiful December day they chose, was filled with handmade touches from beginning to end.

With Immerse Photography behind the camera, the newlyweds treated their guests to a beautiful afternoon in the country- cocktails under the blue sky, hot pizza from a truck, beautiful blooms and everyone pitching in to help.

After meeting via an online dating site, the groom proposed on a weekend away. Tess remembering “We were on a weekend away down by the beach with all of my side of the family for a birthday celebration. After a sneaky chat with my dad, Brad asked if I wanted to go for a walk – just the two of us. It was so windy and cold, so I was reluctant, but in the dunes, overlooking the ocean, he got down on his knee! We had even more to celebrate that weekend and it was so special that I got to share that special time with my family.”

Let’s be honest- we all fell head over heels for Tess’ pink jumpsuit! She chose the beautiful jumpsuit at Ginger & Smart  after much searching, telling  “I didn’t have a set idea as to what sort of dress I was looking for, I had three main criteria – it needed to be comfortable, I needed to feel myself in it and it needed to be a party dress!
Not being an overly traditional bride, I went through stages – from the full white and veil experience to a fully sequinned colourful dress. I was ready to try them all!
My sisters (bridesmaids) first tried this jumpsuit on to wear for their outfit, but then I thought “I like the look of that”… and I knew it was it. It ticked all my boxes – rose gold (obsessed with the colour), metallic and shiny, I was able to show off my shoes, it was comfortable, I wasn’t going to trip on it and it had pockets!”

If you want your guests to feel at home, why not celebrate at home? Tess remarks “The ceremony and reception were both held at our property. We had recently moved into our new house which my father had built us, and we felt lucky to be able to celebrate such a special occasion in our magnificent new home.”

Tess walked down the aisle with her father, remembering “All of our ceremony music was played and sung by a friend – Angelie. I chose an Ingrid Michaelson cover of “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. I love this version and it gives me goose-bumps! I wanted all of my immediate family to be involved. My two brothers walked Maisie and Jenna down the aisle. Followed by my mother Mary who was carrying our son Jude. Then my father Patrick walked with me.”

Billie + June Concepts created unique hoops for the bridesmaids to carry, Tess explaining “We worked with Maggie, from Billie+June Concepts – who was incredibly professional. I only stipulated to Maggie the particular flowers we wanted, plus lots of greenery, and left the finer details up to her creativity. She most certainly delivered.
For my bridal bouquet, I wanted a gathering bouquet, which means to have guests hand you flowers as you walk down the aisle to make up the bouquet. And it turned out to be everything I had imagined – and some! I wanted Proteas and King Proteas are my all-time favourite flower, so I wanted them to be a feature. Maisie and Jenna, instead of the traditional bunch of flowers, they held floral hoops, which I think really was a subtle point of difference. She was open to all of my ideas and simply made them work.”

 John Murphy made if official, performing the relaxed ceremony, says Tess. “We wanted our ceremony to be simple and reflect our relationship – but most importantly – portray our excitement and joy in being in each moment. It was filled with so much laughter and emotion and is one of the most common comments from our guests – “We could really feel the love”. Which is perfect. Our celebrant John, had a soft and discreet approach and was mainly there to facilitate and tick of the formal components, and let us really lead the process.”

So much of the day was handmade and brought to life by family and friends, Tess remarking “Being at home, I feel it was ALL DIY!!! But specifically, we made a few elements, like the bunting guide ropes down to the ceremony. We recycled bits of timber from our house build to make the directional signs. We collected and then painted old paint tins and jars for flower vases. But there was a lot of hunting and gathering of items like blankets for the cold, wooden crates for the small tables. We hired plants from the local nursery so we had to cover and tie them. There was some paper decoration component which took a lot of manpower to “fluff” them and construct the arrangements for the marquee

I would also like to mention that we had a tremendous amount of offers of people wanting to help – extended family came out in force in the lead-up. They were even still planting trees on the morning of the wedding!! So the putting together of this wedding quite simply would not have happened without these people.”

Of their photographer, Tess notes “We met with Genelle on a number of occasions in the lead up to our day and from the very first meeting, we were on the same page. Working with her was so easy.
Our instruction was pretty simple. It was going to be a relaxed, romantic, hilarious and emotional day, so that is what we would like our photos to reflect. She has done that to perfection.
Brad and I didn’t want the formal approach, we wanted her to capture the pure joy that was present on that day. It was easy, it was fun, it was candid. She created images that we can look back on – that will take us back to that very moment – and be able to relive all the emotions.
Genelle has captured our day exactly how we remember it and for that we are grateful.”

“We loved the colours of the day. Not only in what our colour scheme and decorations and outfits looked like but it came down to where we live. Our property looks up to the Cathedral Ranges, and the colours that the sun brings upon dusk truly are breathtaking. Being able to celebrate outside, in a clear marquee under the stars was by far the greatest triumph.”

“I cannot pick a favourite nor fault any of our vendors – they all had our best interests at heart and each of them was outstanding. But in saying that, Genelle and Maggie have stolen the show in my eyes.”

Speeches were a highlight for the bride who explains “Natasha and Howard’s speech was hilarious – as their sense of humour is quite unique and witty! There was a story that they told about Brad where we could hear the gasps and sharp draw of breath. It was an “in” joke and it had me in tears of laughter!”

The bride convinced the groom to dance to one of her favourite songs, she explains “I love Beyonce, so I was able to convince Brad to sway to “XO”. I say sway because both of us do not really dance, so it was more of a soft sway and a chance for us to have a chat! It was so natural.”

Guests dined on pizza from Happy Camper Pizza and drank endless cocktails whipped up by Liquid Infusion.  “We both love cocktails, so we had a selection of cocktails and bar staff to mix them fresh, which was such a luxury and was a real hit with the guests.

“It was seeing all the ideas and visions that I have been carrying around in my head for 12 months finally come to fruition….and then it turning out better than you had planned!!!!”

A big congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for sharing the beautiful stories of your day with us! Thank you also to Immerse Photography for sharing today’s photography!