Today, we’re inviting you to escape with us to the country. Where cocktails are flowing, where hugs are aplenty and where romance well and truly resides. Today, we share the beautiful South Australian boho-inspired wedding of Nat and Callum. And from the endless handmade details crafted by Nat herself, the beautiful photographs Tay Bassi Creative and the custom cocktails we’re dying for a glass of, this is a story that will warm every little cockle of your heart.
This wedding? This story? It turns out it’s been nine years in the making. “As I’m writing this, we met 9 years ago to the day (15/07/2011). As 20 and 21 year-olds, we were both finding our feet with the paths we were wanting to take in life. For Callum, this meant studying Engineering at Uni and for me (Nat), this meant travelling as much as my part-time job would allow. This particular night we just so happened to be at a mutual friend’s house at the same time and had a brief encounter. I was immediately drawn to Callum and specifically remember asking my friend later on in the evening once he had left ‘Who was the friend? He was cute!’. So I did what all people born in my era would do…looked him up on Facebook. Turns out he wasn’t like the rest of us millennials and had no interest in social media so didn’t have Facebook. I shrugged it off and didn’t think much more of it. A few weeks later, as fate would have it, I was out on a Saturday night with my girlfriends and bumped into Callum on the balcony of the club. I remember saying ‘hey, I know you…you’re so and so’s friend!’ (I’m sure it was a little less smooth than it sounded in my head..thanks alcohol) but nonetheless, it must have worked as we didn’t stop talking to each other for the rest of the night. From there, things just developed naturally and we started ‘officially’ dating a few months later.”
And on their fifth anniversary, Callum popped the big question, Nat’s version of the story goes like this. “5 years to the day that we met (15/07/2016), Callum asked me to marry him while I was sitting on the couch (yes, really!). He had the ring for about 9 months prior but never found the right time or the right place to do it…so what better place than the couch!? But in all seriousness…in March 2016, at the age of 25, I went through one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I had a prophylactic double mastectomy. It was mentally, physically and emotionally draining and it took a lot to get back to my bubbly old self. Callum and I are both very transparent in our goals and aspirations in life so talking about engagement was just another thing we were going to do together. So I was very much aware of the fact he had the ring I was completely involved in the design and the buying process…it was just up to him to decide when.
We had both discussed getting engaged before my mastectomy but Callum decided the timing just didn’t feel right and in hindsight, I’m glad he waited until July 2016 as it allowed me to really enjoy the engagement and the wedding planning process rather than it being overshadowed by my mastectomy. It gave me a new spring of hope and something to look forward to after such a dark time. So as much as I give him a hard time about making me wait so long, the timing was in fact, perfect.”
Nat briefed her florist to keep the floral details relaxed and full of colour! “Besides the colour scheme, I only had two ‘must-haves’ in the flowers…dahlias and wild! I didn’t want neat little bouquets of flowers with how rustic and mix/match everything else was in the wedding, so I just asked the florist to make each bouquet and flower crown a little bit different from the last and she nailed the (very ambiguous) brief!”
Getting ready with their favourite people beside them is one of Nat and Callum’s favourite times of their day. “Getting ready was something we will always hold close to our hearts. Just like the wedding itself, we wanted the whole day to feel really relaxed and stress-free so we all just got ready in the house together! That’s right…Callum saw me getting ready! He saw me getting my hair and makeup done while he was plotting around the house having some lunch and some beers with the boys. The only part he didn’t see was when I hopped into my dress and that’s when we did the ‘first look’. But that early morning with my bridesmaids getting our hair and makeup done, finishing off some last-minute DIY’s, music blaring, drinks in hand and with the rest of the bridal party and family rocking up throughout the day is something I will always cherish.
We also had some of my family staying in the house with us (3 nights in the house was included as part of the wedding package) so we were just surrounded by loved ones all weekend..it was awesome! You always hear about these horror stories and the stressful ‘morning of’ so it was so fun to just see everyone relaxed and enjoying themselves before the reception had even started. I feel like this set the vibe for the entire wedding itself. ”
The groom had his suit made by Joseph Uzumcu. Nat shares “Callum got his suit made by Joseph Uzumcu. Callum had full control over what he wore, how he wore it, what colours he wore and what patterns he wore. We both wanted to feel amazing on our wedding day so we both just did what we wanted and hoped it would somehow come together on the day!”
The bride wore a gown from Fillyboo. She explains “I wore a Maternity Fillyboo dress…back-to-front!
The whole process of finding the right gown was a bit stressful, to be honest! I am a plus-size bride so I was dreading the process of having to find a dress after all of the horror stories I had heard. My Mum and I went to bridal shops in Adelaide and I purchased a designer gown before we had even picked our venue.
It’s not that I didn’t love the dress, which I still do! But once we had locked in our venue (Brooklyn Farm), I knew the original dress wasn’t going to feel right in the setting and I was just going to be uncomfortable in layers of tulle. I would describe my every-day style as casual boho so I knew what I was looking for but couldn’t quite find the right thing.
I wanted something lightweight, with sleeves (but not tight lace), flowy, ivory and with fine details but once again, not lace. I just so happened to see an Instagram photo of a maternity shoot and this mother-to-be was wearing exactly what I was envisioning but couldn’t seem to find! I did some investigating and found out the brand was Fillyboo. This was when Fillyboo was only known for their maternity dresses and I couldn’t find any examples of people wearing them for weddings. They also had a no-refund policy and I wasn’t even sure if their sizing would fit me. In the meantime (and in a panic when I couldn’t find anything else I liked), I had purchased my second dress from Spell intending to heavily modify it. When it arrived, it was completely the wrong colour and showcased my mastectomy scars in all their glory so I decided the hell with it, I was just going to order the Fillyboo dress and take my chances! When it arrived, I tried it on and thought it was pretty but also wasn’t 100% sold on it. These beautiful fabric-covered buttons were running down the front of the dress and I actually preferred the detail on the back of the dress, so decided to try it on back-to-front. And that was it! It was perfect!
I had to get it hemmed to match my height but that’s how my $350 wedding dress (I ended up buying it on a Black Friday special..hence the ‘the hell with it’ attitude) cost me over $3000+ because I couldn’t make up my darn mind. I am so happy with the dress I chose in the end and the way I felt. I just felt like ‘me’…but the nicest ‘me’ I had ever felt!”
Nat and Callum worked with photographer Tay to have a first look before the ceremony, and they couldn’t be more thrilled with the result. “Tay was incredible! I had been speaking to a different photographer before coming across Tay’s work but he had double booked! Of course, at the time I was beyond annoyed, but everything happens for a reason! I had seen Tay comment on a forum I was following and immediately was drawn to her work. I quickly emailed her for a price list and to see if she was available for our date and I remember having butterflies in my stomach after losing the original photographer I had planned to have. She got back to me the same night and I’m pretty sure I paid the deposit within a few days!
We didn’t meet with our photographer or videographer before booking them…it all just felt right so we just went with our gut and boy, did it pay off! Our photos and video are memories we can cherish for a lifetime. We met Tay for the first time when she took some photos of Callum and me as a little bit of an ‘engagement shoot’. She made us feel so at ease and had all the tricks to get the perfect shot.”
“We decided to get the majority of the ‘formal’ photos done before the ceremony so that we could fully embrace the afternoon/evening with our friends and family. We figured we had paid for this massive party so we may as well have enjoyed it as much as we could!”
The beautiful Brooklyn Farm played host to this celebration, says Nat “This was the easiest part for us! We knew we wanted somewhere we could stay, get ready and have both the ceremony and reception all in the one place and somewhere that was relatively untouched from the wedding scene.
I stumbled across the website for Brooklyn Farm on a forum and loved the whole vibe so much that I emailed them asking if they took bookings for weddings. Much to our delight, they did! We drove down to check out the venue and instantly fell in love.
The homestead was built to film the movie ‘The Boys Are Back’, but you could have sworn it had been there for a century! The owners at the time did such an amazing job of turning it from a movie set to a liveable house for their guests and boy did it not disappoint! The owners drove us around the property and showed us the endless locations we could have our ceremony and it was very much a blank canvas where we could bring in/decorate however we wanted. Within a couple of days, we had locked in a date and paid the deposit. Rather than looking at other venues, we figured ‘once you know, you know!’ You know?”
“The bridesmaids wore dresses from online retailers (Showpo, the Iconic and another random dress store from memory). They wore their shoes, accessories that I had gifted them to say thank you and of course the flower crowns from the florist. We went for an earthy colour scheme (burgundies, browns, apricots, blush, etc) and I do love a good floral print, so we mixed and matched the bridesmaids dresses to be within that colour scheme as well as have a mixture of lengths and textures. The bridesmaids chose how they wanted the hairstylist to style their hair and how they wanted the makeup artist to do their makeup as I wanted them to all feel comfortable on the day too. Some had a bold lip, some had a natural look, some hair up, some hair down, some had a tan, some didn’t. I loved the way each of the bridesmaids still looked like themselves on the day!
Nat walked down the aisle with her dad to Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’. “The entire wedding party (including Callum & the groomsmen) walked down the aisle too as we had already done a first look and all got ready in the house together.”
Callum’s favourite memory of the day? “When we were saying our vows and butterflies were flying around us. Just felt like our loved ones who couldn’t be with us were still there celebrating with us.”
Callum and Nat chose Amy Harrison to officiate their ceremony. “Our ceremony was beautiful all thanks to our amazing celebrant. She made everyone feel so at ease and kept everyone captivated with the way she delivered the ceremony and our story. Callum and I are not overly emotional people, yet we found ourselves both holding back tears when our celebrant talked about how hard we found 2016 both as individuals and as a couple and how far we had come to get to where we were today. It was personal, fun, emotional, serious, easy, happy and of course a little bit of legality thrown in there too…all the things you could want in a ceremony.
We only invited our very closest friends and family so it felt safe, comfortable and special to be sharing our vows in front of our nearest and dearest. Despite the endless locations we could have had our ceremony, we decided on a space just on the other side of the creek near the house. It had a stunning large tree that arched perfectly over the area we held our ceremony and set the scene beautifully.”
Sentimental touches? Oh, Nat and Callum added those too! “We made sure to have photos of loved ones that had passed so that we could feel like they were with us on the day. Rosemary has a special meaning to Callum’s family so we made sure to include that in the boutonnières and hints of it in the bouquets and flower arrangements.”
Every one of these creative touches? Handmade by Nat! “I DIY’d SO many details! Save the dates, invites, coat hangers, wedding favours, cocktails, decorations, the arbor, the macrame on the arbour (gosh, that took forever!)…even ALL our signage was all hand-drawn! I am a creative soul so when I envisioned my wedding, I always pictured a blank canvas where I could put my touch on everything. Luckily our venue was absolutely stunning so I didn’t have to go too over the top, but I loved every minute (and there were a lot of them) of my DIY projects.”
When planning their reception, Callum and Nat ditched the seating chart, citing “We wanted everyone to have fun so didn’t have arranged seating. There’s nothing I hate more than being in high heels with nowhere to sit so we ensured there were more chairs than there were people, but anyone could sit where they wanted and were free to roam as they pleased. We feel this is what made the night so fun and carefree. There was no pressure on our end to see every table and talk to every guest as everyone was mingling and dancing the night away!”
“I honestly loved doing the DIY stuff! ” shares the bride. “I would have ‘crafternoons’ with my family where we would each have a task and make all the fun stuff! I loved that everywhere you looked at the wedding, it was something personal and handmade. It just brought the extra touch of ‘us’ to the wedding.”
Callum and Nat chose to hire Cargo Catering Co to cater their reception, Nat certainly added these guys to her “raves”! “We loved loved LOVED our caterers! Given that our venue was in the middle of nowhere, we needed caterers that could bring everything to us. My Mum was the one who found Cargo Catering Co. and once again…without even trying their food, I booked on a gut feeling and it did not disappoint! Their food was OUTSTANDING and they catered to all our dietary requirements.
We had so many people tell us how much they enjoyed the food so not only was their service great but the food itself was to die for! They had also just released their ‘Speakeasy’ drinks van so I booked that too and not only did it look great, the staff were amazing! I don’t think there was a single moment in the night I had an empty glass. Their attention to detail was impeccable.”
“I know it sounds cliche, but seriously..just ENJOY the moment! ” advises Nat. “Everyone tells you the day goes quickly…and it does! But if you just try to be in the moment and soak everything in, it seems to last that little bit longer.”
These two made sure their favourite people were involved in every part of the day. Nat shares “We decided on having four bridesmaids and four groomsmen so we were limited on numbers. I had a very close friend who I still wanted to be a part of the wedding so we asked her to be our MC. She chose a dress that complimented the bridesmaid dresses and also had a flower crown to show she was part of the wedding. I loved that all my best friends were in my wedding in one way or another!”
Sunset, just with her new husband, remains one of Nat’s favourite moments of the wedding. “I have a handful of ‘favourite’ photos which I love all equally, but one photo that just brings me back to that exact moment in time was when we snuck off with just the photographer and videographer during sunset to the top of the hill to get some snaps. Callum and I are holding hands, looking away from the camera and you can see is the rolling hills, the stunning sunset, the tiny town of Myponga Beach and the sea. We were a few drinks down, having the best time ever and we just got to be in the moment, just the two of us, on the top of this stunning hill and got to breathe it all in for a moment.
Much to the horror of the owner of the property, her husband had taken us up in his farm ute (dust, tools and all!) to the top of the hill while Tay and Brady (the photographer and videographer) were holding on for their dear lives (and very expensive equipment) in the tray going up and down some pretty uneven ground. I was laughing and smiling the whole time at the little ‘adventure’ we were going on and assured the owner I didn’t care at all about the state of the ute! So just the memories alone behind that photo makes it one I love to look at.”
The newlyweds took to the dance floor to ‘Unchained Melody’ by Nataly Dawn. Nat reminiscing “Callum closed his speech by saying ‘I’d like to finalise this speech by asking Nat, for my first wish as a husband, and ask if she’ll join me in my first dance’. I am the ‘talker’ of our relationship so everyone was surprised when Callum was the one doing the ‘thank you’ speech (this was my one request after planning 99% of the wedding, haha!) So when he finished off his speech with those words, I think you could hear even the manliest of men’s hearts exploding. We then walked to the dance floor (cough, some vintage rugs) and had our first dance to ‘Unchained Melody’ by Nataly Dawn. We chose this song as The Righteous Brothers’ version was my parent’s first dance song. I was 5 years old when they got married and will always remember them dancing to it. It’s also the song that’s on their ever-so-90s wedding video (cross-fades and all), so it just reminds me of love.”
And once the stars came out, it was time for dancing, and hiring Just Music Entertainment to DJ the wedding was a choice Nat certainly does not regret. She says “We weren’t going to get a DJ but decided in the last minute to get one. I’m SO glad we did because he read the room so well and was playing the best beats! Not something my Spotify playlist could have done that’s for sure!”
And one last part of this story comes from cinematographers Infinity Films who worked to capture the day in motion.
A big congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for sharing your stunning day with us! Thank you also to Tay Bassi Creative for sharing today’s beautiful photographs with us!