Caz & Louis 

When you receive a wedding invitation in the mail and it says “wear whatever makes you happy”, you know that #1 you have some cool friends and #2 you’re in for a hell of a good time. With the groom kicking around in Chuck Taylors and the bride wearing a beautiful boho skirt and top that she picked up the day before the wedding, these two did their wedding their own way incorporating everyone and everything they both love – and yes, that includes traditional Texan BBQ for dinner. The words are written by the bride (our regular contributor Caz Pringle) and the photographs are taken by Will Hartl, from This Day Forward Weddings

How did you meet? We actually went to primary school together!! We lived three streets away from each other and used to walk to school together. Louis moved away up north at the end of Grade 3 and he left me broken hearted as I had a bit of a crush on the kid back in the early 90’s. We reconnected 19 years later when I was looking for a Melbourne band to interview for an online music magazine and came across Louis in an image of his old band called Zuzu Angel. The rest is history.

Our wedding style was Rockabilly warehouse party meets Texan BBQ. We really wanted to have a relaxed atmosphere where our friends and family could wear what they wanted and let loose. The dress code was actually “wear whatever makes you happy” and one of Lou’s mates hinted at taking this to its logical extreme. Thankfully, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, he rocked up in a nice pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

We got married in an old timber warehouse in North Melbourne called Laurens Hall (which has since been knocked down) on the 4th March 2016. It was a massive venue, so we used a lot of the existing wooden infrastructure to close in the space to make it more intimate.

My dress was more of a skirt and a top – I unashamedly worship Stevie Nicks, so she was my inspiration. I found my skirt at Spell & the Gypsy Collective in Byron Bay and the cami top from Scanlan Theodore in Melbourne (the day before the wedding as I changed my mind on my top last minute!! Crazy, I know!) I tied it together with a vintage brown belt, brown tasselled heels and a chunky silver necklace.

Louis is a casual dude and he didn’t want to be anything else than himself on our wedding day. He wore brown chinos and a blue shirt from Jack London, teamed with white Converse high top Chuck Taylors.

We had our best friends sign the registry and our brothers do some short speeches, but didn’t have a formal bridal party.

My beautiful and talented friend and stylist Leah Hallis – a director of Create Expectations – picked the flowers from a floral wholesaler and arranged them in all sorts of second hand vases given to us by a friend. She also handmade the birch wood archway onsite herself – made from birch wood, twine, Asarina Scandens (snap dragon vine) and moss on the base. Baby daisy flowers were wedged into the moss base and throughout the arch.

She also used some of the flowers to braid into my hair, she is a woman of many, many talents.

My oldest brother played “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix on electric guitar as I walked down the aisle – I love the song so much I have some of the lyrics tattooed on my left arm. Mike knows his way around a Stratocaster too.

My year 12 drama teacher was our celebrant and she was awesome – she understood the vibe of the wedding straight away, Louis and I got along incredibly well with her and being able to project her voice in a massive timber warehouse was no mean feat! Our ceremony was peppered with music lyrics and our vows were short, sweet and humorous… I think I actually promised not to ask Louis to shave his beard (may not have stuck to that one haha). The whole thing lasted no more than 15 minutes. All of our friends and family had a glass of champagne or a drink in hand, it was so relaxed.

Although we had the Texan BBQ (brisket and hot links) and sides catered by Le Bon Ton, my mother and godmother made all of the salads themselves. My best friend and I ran around the day before the wedding picking up all of the wine, beer and champagne from Dan Murphy’s – completely filling two cars full of beverages, which was a joyful experience for us both. Using my contacts in the events industry I was able to arrange all of the lighting, sound, glassware and kitchen ware discounted or in some cases free of charge through some of my suppliers who are also my friends.

One of our best friends was the head chef at Le Bon Ton in Melbourne at the time, and both Louis and I are ridiculously in love with Texan BBQ. Leaning on the friendship, the Le Bon Ton chefs prepared a BBQ that guests could help themselves to throughout the night. We had the smoker stationed outside in the courtyard so people could stand around and watch the show and breathe in the glorious BBQ air. Paul from Silver Creek Smokers was at the helm and he tells a hell of a story! Most went back for seconds, thirds and perhaps fourths. We had compliments about the food for months afterwards.

My father was terminally ill and we were concerned he wouldn’t be able to make the wedding, but he did. He was pushed in his wheelchair down the aisle by my middle brother and had a smile on his face the whole time. He got the chance to ‘give his daughter away’, which I knew was so important to him. And to a man that he liked and wholly approved of, which I’m sure he quite liked too.

My favourite photo of the day (below) is of my brothers and I flanking our Dad in his wheelchair. The old boy was just so pumped he could make the day. We all were.

Special heirlooms… My wedding band belonged to my grandmother, given to her by my grandfather after they had been married for 50 years. It is all I wear nowadays!

A tribute to Caz… Louis wrote and performed a song he had written specifically for the occasion, standing high above the crowd on a mezzanine and wielding a 12-string guitar. I hadn’t heard the song before and it left not a dry eye in the house. It was quite a rock star moment.

The photographer… My old friend and professional photographer Will Hartl, from This Day Forward Weddings, was our photographer. He and I had worked together for many years at a bunch of the events I worked on. He knows I hate photos and prefer to be behind the scenes, so he just captured the laid-back vibe and special moments with our families without making a ‘now it is time for the family photos’ structure to the day. They turned out spectacularly.

At the time of our wedding planning, I was co-running an event management company called Social Lion and honestly, holding our wedding in March was madness really. Social Lion was just finishing up the Australian Open and were well into production on the Grand Prix. My business partner (who was also our MC) and I just added it to the list of gigs we were already planning. Suddenly, at one point we thought “oh yeahhh I am getting married next month, better get onto that!”. It was all a bit crazy in hindsight!

Any advice for engaged couples in the depths of planning their wedding? Remember to steal some moments with your partner throughout the night. It just goes by so fast and you spend most of the time chatting to friends and family. Sharing a laugh and a drink with the one you’re marrying is bloody important. Oh… and remember to eat!

A parting note from the groom… Caz and her business partner Matty pretty much planned the entire wedding, so I didn’t see the venue or their glorious little personal touches first-hand until the day. Walking into Lauren’s Hall, immaculately and individually styled, with the smell of Texas BBQ in the air and the smooth, funky soul of Van Morrison on the wind is something I won’t forget in a hurry. Nor will I forget Caz, looking a million bucks, making the whole crowd laugh during her vows with her usual mix of grace and wit. Or Rog – Caz’s dad – and the smile on his face when I shook his hand as he came down the aisle. Or my mum’s excited, arrhythmic arm-dance thing when I sang a song – there are few things as strangely hypnotic as a Jilly Valentine boogie.

Ms Zigzag says: As you can tell from this super chill, “come exactly as you are” wedding, Caz and Louis are an incredibly cool duo. And while they might be total rockstars, they are also just two big softies with huge hearts and we wish them all the very best for their lives together. You can read more from our regular contributor Caz on Polka Dot Bride here

About the author Caz Pringle: Caz has been in the Event Management industry for the last decade, producing events for the likes of Rolex, Revlon, New Balance, Jeep, The Australian Open, Peroni and Alfa Romeo. After running her own events company for three years, she now lives in Antalya, Turkey with her husband Louis – where they remotely work as a copywriters and digital content producers. Caz also writes the blog about boxing and women’s empowerment, you can follow it on Insta @SheCanPunch.