Eileen & Oliver
If you’re averse to seriousness, you’re the kind of person who always wants to dance, who can’t stand serious wedding photos and is always the last one off the dance floor, then Eileen and Oliver’s wedding? It’s going to be your jam. These two? They wanted their wedding full of handmade cheer, they wanted photos full of exactly who they were (funny faces included) they wanted to celebrate not just each other, but their friends and family- right down to the most important guest, their two-year-old son. Luckily for us, they invited photographer Aleksandar Jason Weddings along for the ride!
These two first laid eyes on one another at a Canberra bar, Eileen recalling “I first noticed Oliver in a bangin’ red leather jacket one winter night at a Canberra bar. Later that night we find ourselves alone on a bus bench having a chat, confused as to where all our friends went. We decide to go for a walk to find them, as we are walking Oliver lends me his beanie. The rest, so they say, is history.” History that led to a romantic (and very mutual!) proposal on the stunning Inca trail. “We were doing the Inca Trail in Peru, and we were sitting on a mountain taking a break” remembers the bride. “The view was spectacular. And we talked about getting married and decided to go for it. I loved that we talked about it and we both had equal say in our future together. That, to me, is very romantic.”
The bride worked with her aunt on her beautiful handmade wedding gown, sharing “My dress was made by my aunty. It’s a replica of a Valentino dress I love. She lived overseas and we’d FaceTime with different ideas and fabric options. It’s very special because it was made with care and by someone I love and she was able to fly here to attend our wedding.” She added a sequin jacket from Vintage Garage for the photo session.
Eileen and Oliver had a “first look” before their ceremony (complete with their two-year-old son) so they could take photographs together and maximise time with their guests.
Want an orange break during your portrait session? Why not! Eileen and Oliver did just that!
The bride had long had Aleksandar Jason in mind to capture the wedding. “I worked with Aleks when I worked as a music publicist and he would come along to music events and photograph bands. I have always loved his work, so when I found out I was getting married, I booked him immediately.”
The much loved Wye River General Store played host to the wedding, a nod to Oliver’s family’s connection to the region. Eileen tells “Wye River is very special to Oliver’s family. Lots of family vacations have happened there over the last few decades and Oliver’s dad is a lifetime member of the Wye River Surf Live Saving Club. Once we learnt that the Wye General did functions, we jumped on the chance.”
Although not the initial plan, Mother Nature forced Eileen and Oliver’s ceremony inside. “It poured down rain on the exact time our ceremony was about to start, forcing the groom and guests to retrieve all the chairs for the ceremony in the rain and bring them inside” remembers Eileen.
Of her walk down the aisle, Eileen remembers “My favourite song of all time is “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure, so I asked my uncle and cousin to play it live on acoustic guitar. It was beautiful. My dad walked me down the aisle and it was perfect.”
The couple worked with one of the bride’s close friends for their wedding flowers, choosing Australian natives from Geelong Flower Farm. “I wanted to have flowers that were rustic and robust. I have always loved natives and love how low maintenance they are” explains Eileen. “I chose a colour scheme that goes with rustic natives – green, red and gold. My flowers were arranged by one of my lifelong friends.”
The couple worked with Nadine Mannering – Three Rings Celebrancy on their ceremony, noting “Our original ceremony venue (the beautiful outdoor area near Wye General next to the reeds) was rained out, so we had to move everything and everyone under the Wye General’s verandah at the last minute. I was disappointed that the original plan didn’t go ahead, but it turned out to be intimate, cozy and lovely. It was a magical ceremony.”
Handmade everything was the name of the game for Eileen, who explains “Probably about 80% of my wedding was DIY. I DIY’d anything I could to save money to go towards our food and bar.
I created a little Save The Date video. I created and printed the invites – which were little booklets with all our wedding details – travel, accommodation, gifts, etc as well as the name cards, table seating, welcome board. I built and created the wedding arch. I sourced the material for the vintage-looking table runners and centrepieces/vases. I created the ceiling hangings. I’m particular about music, so Oliver and I made our own wedding playlist for dinner and dancing. So much DIY! It wasn’t easy, but definitely worth it.”
The bride’s love of the written word translated to beautiful favours for the couple’s guests. “A year before the wedding I decided to collect classic books. Instead of a wedding ‘favour’ I wanted people to take home a classic book they’ve never read. I printed bookmarks with our wedding date on them. I sourced books and a couple of small bookcases from op shops, online marketplaces, library sales, friends, etc. By the time of our wedding, we had 100 classics, they were a hit and great conversation starter for our guests.
As with everything about this wedding, Eileen and Oliver did their first dance their way to Oliver’s choreography! Eileen sharing “We went non-traditional and did our first dance to ‘3005’ by Childish Gambino. We did choreograph dance moves, Oliver rapped, I sang and there were jumps, spins and synchronised kicks. Needless to say, everyone loved it and commented on how “Oliver and Eileen” it was.”
A big congratulations Eileen and Oliver – what fun it was to share your beautiful day! Thank you to Aleksandar Jason Weddings for sharing today’s beautiful wedding!