Lauren & Tyson

The saying ‘opposites attract’ speaks to this lovely couple who bonded over their mutual love of great food and embrace each others differing personalities! This also happened to become part of the central focus for their incredible, laid-back wedding at Alchemy Distillers where guests were treated to great food and great drinks. Their ‘Feast-ival’ wedding was intimate with Smokey Oscar capturing everything from candid moments to the mind-blowing cuisine that flowed throughout the day and night. Bride Lauren, who proves her foodie status as the brains behind Foodie Melbourne, shares their day and details all of the background for how this fabulous, feast-ival day came about!

Tyson and I met on Tinder in 2016, immediately bonding over my love for the Melbourne food scene and his love for burgers. I had just bought my little bachelorette pad for me and my dog Ollie, but before I knew it, he had moved in with his dog and we were smitten with each other despite being total opposites. When we got engaged in Paris at the end of 2017 and started planning our big day, we knew we had to find a wedding venue that was the perfect balance of both our personalities – me, the highly strung food snob with a food blog, who loved a whimsical, bohemian theme and him, the outdoorsy, sports-loving, laid back and loveable bogan who could not be more chilled!

And so, our ‘Food + Gin Wedding Feastival’ was born. Tyson had the great idea to hit up our friends who had recently opened the gorgeous Alchemy Distillers in Healesville and see if we could have our wedding there. Their mostly outdoors, rustic vibes were perfect for Tysons’ ideal venue, and their incredible cocktail options worked for the food snob in me. The gang at Alchemy were pretty happy to take care of the bar and us take care of the rest, so we were able to bring in all the food I could imagine (with Tyson’s one request- burgers).

Our wedding was exactly what I imagined. With a little help from the amazing coordination of Christine from the I Do Crew to help me bring my vision together, everything went exactly as I imagined (despite the 38 degree weather forecast… boy was it hot!)

The girls bridal party had a wonderful and relaxing day getting ready at a local Airbnb, kept chilled by the calming presence of our makeup artist Maddison Tippet, who just exuded zen all day as she worked on us and made us beautiful.

For such a huge day in my life, with the help of my wonderful bridal party and Mum, it was such a relaxing day and I didn’t feel overwhelmed or stressed at all. Putting on my beautiful Madi Lane dress from Luv Bridal was definitely a pinch me moment, as it was exactly the kind of dress I envisioned and the flower crown by Rainflorist completely nailed the bohemian vibes I was looking for.

Over at Alchemy in the upstairs apartment, despite a few wardrobe malfunctions (wrong pants sizes, oops!) the boys had the same experience getting ready. Both Tyson and I were both super lucky to have friends that were calming presences for us, so that the lead up to the big moment really just felt like hanging out with our besties, but wearing nicer clothes than we normally would!

We had the lovely Jenna from Smokey Oscar capturing every special moment of our day with her keen, artistic eye and she did a great job of following my brief – candid shots, with a focus on the food and guests enjoying the evening. Our videographer also did a great job of capturing all those special moments. We umm-ed and aah-ed about paying for a videographer, but we are so glad we did, as they captured so many moments we didn’t get a chance to see.

Pontoon lighting and some giant games from Swan Lane Hire were all that was really needed against Alchemy’s stunning canopy of bright leaves, as well as some simple, stunning Autumnal florals by Rainflorist Diamond Creek. We were treated to acoustic tunes by a duo from Lark Music, which completely suited the chilled festival vibes we were looking for. Even our celebrant, Samuel Miller, added to those vibes by being super laid-back, fun and helping us make our wedding vows into a hilarious love party, rather than super serious.

Food-wise, a talented group of vendors helped make our food dreams a reality. Our catering (all external to the venue) had enough style and finesse to impress me, but the food was casual and rustic enough to impress Tyson. We began the night with a well stocked graze table by Stasia Fox, then moved into canapés and ‘burger and chips’ (Tyson’s one insistence) by the amazing team at Gringlish Co.

Dessert had to be my favourite course, as we managed to organise a Sicilian style cannoli cart by the wonderful N’Cannuolo, complemented by roving canapés by Gringlish Co and a stunning cake by Katielou’s Cakes.

Since then, I have had so many wedding guests tell me they were some of the best desserts they have ever had, especially that freshly piped cannoli, which means as a foodie I achieved my goal. The other element we got so much good feedback on (unsurprisingly) was Alchemys’ incredible cocktails, and we felt so lucky to be looked after by the team there and able to offer our guests an absolute ripper drinks list.

Once that hot sun finally went down, I remember having a moment with Tyson as we sat back and looked around and realised that I (we, but mostly me, he would admit that) had actually pulled this together. We were surrounded by our favourite people in the world, who were loving the cocktails, grazing all night, listening to music that was perfect for the balmy summer evening and everyone just seemed so relaxed which suited us as a couple and our family and friendship circles perfectly.

The best advice I got during the wedding planning process was to do what we wanted, not what others wanted us to do, and I am so glad that I didn’t listen to people who tried to cajole me into having something more sophisticated, or ‘sit down’ as opposed to the way we did do it.

The main advice I would give brides and grooms going into the process is not to sweat the small stuff. I did my best not to do this, and because of this, the whole wedding planning process was fun, not stressful. Surround yourself with a bridal party and vendors you trust and who seem to understand your vision, and don’t be afraid to let go of the reins a little bit and take a step back so you can enjoy the day.

Something that feels so huge looming over you is over in the blink of an eye, and just becomes something you ‘awww’ over in your photos and videos, so it is so important to be able to breathe and take in every moment of the day. We had about 15 minutes where I told our photographers to stop during our bridal party shoot and we just sat with our bridal party, passed around a bottle of bubbly and spent time with them, and I am glad we had that before the craziness of the reception!

It was all over so fast but I feel like we managed to make the most of every minute and for me personally (as it should) it was one of the most magical days of our lives… Tyson says it is for him, but second to Richmond winning the Grand Final – there’s that loveable sense of humour again.

Thank you to all our vendors who worked with us to make the day possible and to bring our vision to a reality!

Ms Zebra Says: What a foodie’s heaven! Congratulations to this amazing couple – and for putting on the most ‘feastabulous’ wedding event.