Genevieve & Ollie
Genevieve and Ollie’s wedding did a number on me. It might be because I sent the entire time writing their story with the sounds fo Genevieve’s surprise serenade to her husband playing loudly, it might be the stories that are filled with passion and romance that the bride herself shared, or it might just be that these two did it their way, so very beautifully. Whatever it is, we’re thrilled today to celebrate this little part of Tasmania, with beautiful images by Rosie Hastie with you. Buckle up and grab a tissue folks, this one is full of stunning moments.
The pair first met on Tinder, tells Genevieve. “We didn’t meet in person until after weeks that lead to months of online banter through the infamous Tinder! After shying away at the last minute from meeting up for a date not once but twice, Ollie finally worked through his nerves enough to meet Gen for a beer at the pub… and beer led to dinner, led to a postprandial stroll, led to girl buying boy ice cream and sitting in the park until it got so late it’s a wonder no one lost a glass slipper…”
And the proposal? Ollie popped the question not long after the couple packed up their possessions and moved to Hobart, Genevieve filling us in. “After the months of organisation and farewells to our Sydney family, we set off for our tree change to Hobart in Jan 2018, turning it into a month-long road trip adventure. A few days into our journey, after a series of over 40 degree temperature days, we went exploring in search of the waterfalls of Barrington Tops.
Ollie did his standard disappearing off to the boot of the car to pack the backpack, I was instructed to stay clear. Assuming this was either one of his German OCD Tetris packing moments, or maybe even one of his sweet gestures to pack some nice nibbles and drinks for a stop on our walk, I wandered off to look at a trail map and thought nothing of it.”
She continues “We set off on our walk, Ollie seeming distracted and somewhat jittery as we got closer to the falls. A couple was bathing in the pools at the base of the falls – in the nude. After having the standard giggle that a strangers’ bare bum usually inspires, we decided not to disturb them and headed further upstream to find another nice spot for a dip. As far as we searched, Ollie had his heart set on returning to that perfect spot. In the end, we turned back and found we had it to ourselves this time.
We jumped from large rocks into the deep pools and sat beneath the falls, letting the water massage our heads. As we basked on the rocks in the sun, Ollie rustled around in his treasure chest of a backpack and pulled out two wine glasses, very timidly talking of our favourite wine we had enjoyed on a biking wine tour on a New Zealand road trip years ago.
This was a wine I knew we couldn’t get in any Australian bottle shops and had to pay as much in freight as the actual wines themselves to get them across from NZ. As he pulled this very wine out and started pouring it for us, it clicked that THAT was why he’d been so sneaky with packing and so distracted on the walk. So as I sipped my wine and laughed at his grand efforts to sneak this bottle of booze along in our overpacked car with a month’s worth of camping gear, I was still caught completely off guard when he then turned to me with a little jewellery box in his hand. Looking terrified and hopeful, and through a stuttered series of well mannered gentlemanly “would you kindly” and ‘“if it please you’s”, he finally asked if I would like to spend the rest of our lives together. I was pretty chuffed.”
The spot chosen to prepare for the day was almost as important as the wedding venue itself. The bride explaining “The Swansea/ Freycinet region of Tassie’s East Coast is an epic place. Full of wineries, moody cliff lines and Mountains across the sea, we knew this was where we needed all our favourite people to come to join us for a big party.
Avalon Coastal Retreat is a stunning architectural dream set on the cliffs overlooking the Hazards of Freycinet. True luxury and stunning vistas, and less than 10 mins drive to the wedding venue!
This is where the bridal party beautified themselves for the big day… It was also where we stayed the night before and had a mini gathering with the wedding party to ease into the festivities… (and make sure the wedding booze wasn’t poisoned, you know)…”
Genevieve could not think of a better place to look for her wedding gown than Grace Loves Lace. She shares “I went with a Grace Loves Lace number- perfect for the boho theme, super comfortable and a little bit of fun with a low back and 90cm train. Despite the headache of having to send the dress interstate for an alteration a few weeks before the ceremony, I was well looked after by the Grace Loves Lace team and have to say I was lucky with the whole bridal dress experience… there are infinite nightmare stories I was aware of and somewhat bracing myself for!”
Beautiful jewelled pieces finished her look. “To accessorise, going with more of a Viking warrior aesthetic than a gentle flower child, I wore a beaded feather crown, handmade in Battery Point by the clever Miss Haidee Millinery.
Jewellery included hammered sterling silver with freshwater pearls from Lizardi Jewelry, and a Wedding Band by Jai Hay (in Hobart’s Mathers Lane) made to fit and match the intricate work of my engagement ring (found in our favourite local antique store in Battery Point, Annick’s Antiques).
My taupe heeled sandals from Toms were humble and practical, super comfortable and subtle to allow the rest of the attire to have their glory!”
The scene was set for the day with the stunning tones worn by both the bride and groom’s favourite people. Genevieve explaining “Our wedding vibe was Bohemian Garden Party – picture earthy tones and a rustic farmhouse with bespoke furniture, driftwood decor and dry stone walls. A light and airy country garden with sprinklings of wildflowers fused with strings of harps, banjos, fiddles and guitars to create a relaxed and charming folk festival.”
The beautiful cocktail garden party wedding? Held at Piermont Retreat. “A rustic retreat of Argentinian influence, complete with Homestead Restaurant, with an amphitheatre reminiscent of Tuscany, and scattered stone cottages amongst the cliffs and shores of Swansea” tells the bride.
“This was a destination wedding, and we wanted a space that would not only host us for ceremony and reception but accommodate as many of our guests as possible so we could have a full weekend festival over 2 days. Having everyone staying on-site or in nearby Swansea town made things so much easier and maximised everyone’s enjoyment! One look at Piermont and it’s hard not to be entranced by the place. On top of the grounds, the food is exquisite, and we were so well looked after by the Venue staff (notably Dom, Naomi and Sean!) – we can’t wait to go back and stay (this time, a little fewer distractions, perhaps?)!”
Emily Sanzaro played the emotional processional song, live as Genevieve walked down the aisle. Genevieve remembering “Emily Sanzaro mesmerised us all with her Harp, playing London Grammar’s ‘Strong’. It was my father who got the privilege of keeping his daughter from toppling down the stone stairs of the amphitheatre as we descended the aisle. I think he was as bemused and overwhelmed as I at that moment… we were simply swept up in the atmosphere and beaming faces. And then Ollie broke EVERYONE- myself included- with his giddy weeping, as he watched me approach.”
“We tried not to follow any particular traditions” explains the bride ” we wanted it to be our unique day that felt relaxed and organic, with a big focus on guest enjoyment – because when the people around us are having a great time, we’re having the best time!
The couple chose Married By Meredith to officiate their ceremony “We wanted it to be relaxed, humorous, genuine and light-hearted. Our celebrant Mez (of Married by Meredith) was a dear friend of many years, she knew us both (too) well and made us feel at home, grounded with her warm and calm energy. She even infused playful references to our joint nicknames (the Pickles) in her delivery, much to our delight (particularly when she announced “all those in favour of this union, shout “Pickle!!”).”
“There were so many elements that came together – the people, the excitement, the stunning venues and weather, outstanding food and our favourite wines, the music… and the speeches! I don’t think I’ve laughed so much for so many hours in a day. Can we do it again, please?! (Bags not paying for it…)”
Beautiful, boho styled floral details added to the vibe of the day. “The zesty and delightful Eliza Rogers of Primula Floral Styling covered the spiel perfectly. She went with an earthy, rustic, forage-style backdrop of eucalypts and dried grasses, with wild sprawling pieces around a driftwood wedding arch, and complemented by the soft delicacies of some gentle meadow-style flowers in small vases and under glass cloche domes.”
Genevieve and Ollie were s happy with their choice of photographer, Genevieve particularly not able to pick a favourite image! “We were frothing at the work of Rosie Hastie while researching Tassie Photographers – and well and truly stoked when she was available for our dates! The memories she captured from the day are beyond anything we could have imagined. We followed her lead, but she knew we wanted to be caught in natural moments rather than posing, so for a lot of it she was walking along with us and being part of the party. She scored us some beaut scenic shots around Avalon Coastal Retreat and Piermont too, which will make for some wall features in the nest when we get our act together. Ahh but the evidence is laid out before you – see for yourself!”
The venue was generous enough to let us supply our favourite wheels of cheese from the local Farmgate markets, provided by Elgar Farm, and rather than a wedding cake we had hundreds of mini sourdough doughnuts provided by the girls from Lady Hester (any Hobartian will know about these little goodies).”
Not only was this a boho-inspired garden party, but it was also a handmade garden party – the newlyweds creating much of the decor and details themselves, Genevieve remembering ” We didn’t have a wedding planner so a lot of the detail came down to us. Hundreds of hours went into putting together our own invitations, wedding favours (local teas corked in test tubes with homemade tags whose graphics were designed by a talented friend, Erin Fiore), wedding programs (also designed by Erin), a driftwood wedding arch (erected by our adorable groom’s party), decorating wishing well buckets and signs, bathroom refreshments, rose petal confetti that was scooped into wooden cones by guests, a big basket of blankets for later in the eve, and bringing a few fire pits to scatter around the front of the reception grounds. We also hired a bunch of additional decor such as festoon lights and had a backup marquee to pop up in case of rain (we were blessed with sunshine the whole weekend thankfully)! My sister, conveniently a talented lighting designer, was able to string the festoon lights artfully around the trees of the restaurant and create a kind of ambience one would liken to a fairy bower from a Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
“It was so special to notice the complete absence of stress and flusters throughout the days themselves” shares Genevieve. “It was a monumental effort getting the whole weekend organised. Yet once approximately 95% of all elements were in place, everyone involved, including the bride & groom, were able to simply enjoy themselves and seize moments.
It was a wonderful showcase of how we and the people we choose to be closest with are experts in having a good time.”
Tasmanian produce was a big focus of Genevieve and Ollie, who made sure their menu included plenty of local delights. “We wanted to make sure our wedding guests were well looked after with fresh Tassie produce and succulent wines! Sean, head chef of Piermont’s Homestead Restaurant, made sure we had a gorgeous selection of canapés comprised of fresh seafood, ethically sourced meats from local farms and homegrown vegetables and greens, as well as a grazing table including cheeses and breads. A special culinary delight Piermont are well known for is their Asado – an Argentinean feast prepared over an open fire pit for several hours. We rolled this out for our recovery day, as the festive bluegrass banjo and fiddle tunes of the Foleys wafted over the fiery barbecue.”
One of the most magical moments of the evening? When Genevieve surprised Ollie with a song she composed (A reworking of ‘Wait for Me’ by Motopony) and sung herself (see it in full here). Ollie tells “Gen is an outrageously talented musician and had (in secret of course) been working on a piece of music she was going to play for me.
It’s hard at the best of times to remain emotionally ‘un-stirred’ when Gen is performing. But to have her play this particular piece, in that particular moment, accompanied by the deep tones of a harp that’s quite literally plucking at our little hearts, was too much.”
The newlyweds took to the dance floor to a sea of sparklers, Genevieve reminiscing, “Being two of the most uncoordinated and unsporty people in the Southern Hemisphere, we set forth the ‘Firefly dance’, embracing our guests join us in lighting a shower of sparklers as we twirled and laughed to the spirited tunes and endearing lyrics of Xavier Rudd’s ‘Storm Boy’.”
A big congratulations to you both Genevieve and Ollie! Thank you for sharing your stories with us and a big thank you to Rosie Hastie for today’s beautiful imagery.