As everyone who works in weddings knows, when Mother Nature decides she’s going to have some fun, boy does she make it happen. For Shazz and Tara, a rained out ceremony, was, however, just another story to add to their day.

This was a day that was about the stories, about the moments and the magic. The pair invited guests to camp with them on the paddock of their soon to be home together. They planned and curated details that were not only reflective fo the lives they’ve built together, but were at their very core sustainable and eco friendly. And they did it all, despite the rain, despite what life threw at them. And that’s all we need for a Friday feel good wedding! This one captured in all it’s glory by  Victoria Baker.

Fo Shazz & Tara it was a solid friendship that was the foundation of their love story, Shazz and Tara sharing “We met in 2003 when we joined the same soccer team. Shazz was 17, Tara 18. We were best friends for 5 years until it turned into a little something more.”

And the proposal? It was Shazz who popped the question first, just! “Tara had a ring and a proposal date set, but Shazz jumped in faster and asked the question first because she had just bought a ring and couldn’t keep the secret any longer (less than 24hours!). Funnily enough, our dog Andy was the ring bearer in both proposal scenarios. We got engaged at our home, which we loved, in October 2012.”

What is a festival without camping? Tara and Shazz chose Soul Camping to create their campsite so guests could make a weekend of it. “We wanted to give guests the option to camp. We booked with Soul camping so those who wished to glamour could hire one of their amazing tents, we got the honeymoon suite which was beyond expectation!”

Shazz chose a lace Lover gown found at  Still White. She says “I chose a dress by an Australian designer Lover the Label. I got it second hand as I really wanted to have a sustainable wedding. As it turned out, it was a sample dress and due to some quality issues, they changed the inner lining before releasing it.

Luckily, my cousin used to design dresses and had made wedding gowns before and she fixed it for me, which made the experience a bit more special, after the initial drama. I didn’t want a long dress as it was going to be a summer outdoor wedding and I didn’t want it to drag on the floor. I wore shoes by Australian designer Forever Soles.”

Tara chose a gown designed by Catherine Deane. The bride noting “The idea was to have a little lace to tie in with Shazz’s dress, and I also didn’t want a gown dragging on the floor, so went for something deliberately shorter. I wanted my ‘something blue’ to be in my shoes and went for an edgier hairstyle to tie in with my personality more.”

The brides met before their ceremony for a first look and photo session and adored the result. “We did a first look photo shoot before the ceremony. As we were both walking down the aisle, we wanted to see each other before we got to that part. It was lovely seeing each other before the ceremony to get some alone time and take it all in together before the madness started. We also invited our parents to come and get some photos with us after that, which was really nice for them to get to spend that extra time alone with us both. We had a guest come over from Melbourne and family fly all the way from England. We had a close friend do our hair, our MC was a best friend, entertainer an old friend, celebrant an old friend.”

And their photographer? She comes highly recommended from these two. “Victoria is so professional and easy to work with. To be honest, we had no idea what we wanted. We remember our first meeting with her and she asked us what feel we were going for or if there was something we specifically wanted. And after seeing her work, we put all of our trust in her to come up with something amazing. And she did just that.

We feel so lucky that we were led to her after our original photographer double booked us. It was the best thing that could have happened as we ended up with the best photographer of them all. She was also so amazing after the wedding, her communication has been second to none and I think we have bought just about 1 of everything from her just to show her our appreciation!”

To those yet to walk down the aisle, these two brides advise “Just know that the planning is hard, but the day is more than worth it. So hang in there. And get help from people. Our family and friends loved being a part of our wedding, and it truly made it more special knowing they had thrown themselves into something just for us, to make us happy on our big day.”

The paper cones were handmade by Shazz. “I used an old book to make the cones holding confetti for the guests, all of the rose petals came from my brother’s garden, he and his girlfriend dried them all out for us.”

The couple’s niece played Norah Jones “Come Away With Me” as the brides walked down the aisle.

“We bought a block of land in Boyup Brook in 2017 and we knew it’s where we wanted to marry. Both the ceremony and reception were at the block. Everything had to be brought to the site. Although it was a summer wedding, it was lucky we decided to go with the marquee as it rained for most of the day! At the last minute, the ceremony was switched to inside the marquee, thanks to the help of amazing family and our friend who helped coordinate on the day. The marquee was placed in the exact spot where our future home will be built.”

Married by Amy performed the ceremony, Shazz and Tara remembering  “We wanted a brief ceremony that was tailor-made by our celebrant (a friend of Tara’s from uni), she had us fill in questionnaires and put together the wording herself. It was a surprise to both of us on the day, which we loved as our reactions were genuine and spontaneous. We wanted it to be very happy and sweet as that is the truest reflection of us. We had our niece Grace read “How falling in love is like owning a dog” by Taylor Mali, as we both LOVE dogs. Grace surprised us by changing it up and making it more personal to our love story.

Tara and Shazz made sure to include special tradition and moments in their day. “I wore my grandma’s brooch as my something blue, but I wore it as a pin on my shoe” explains Shazz, “Tara wore one of her Mum’s rings. We each had something old, new, borrowed and blue. We did the traditional cake cutting and first dance.”

That wedding arbour? Made by bride Tara! Shazz explains “She made a beautiful wooden arbour for if the ceremony had to be indoors (luckily as it was very much needed!). The wooden arbour was decorated with second-hand lace and the oasis flower arrangements made by our sister and law and aunt. All oasis arrangements were made by them.

The rug we stood on for the ceremony, was gone from home that I croqueted a few years back.”

There was so. much. handmade detail to love for these two. Shazz explaining “I really wanted the wedding to be low waste and eco friendly and I love being crafty and Tara is also really talented with carpentry skills. So there were so many elements DIY’d. Basically, all of the decor was made by us using materials we already had or sourced second hand.”

The couple chose their own private block for their wedding, with photos at Harvey Dickson’s Country Music Centre.

Shazz and tara chose a private first dance, one of their first moments as newlyweds, telling “We both don’t love the spotlight, so we briefly danced by ourselves before inviting our guests to join us. The song we chose was “The Story” by Brandi Carlile. It has special meaning to us, the lyrics really capture our journey together, plus the build of the song and the vocals are amazing.”

Let’s talk blooms! The floral arrangements for the day were styled by La Botanic. Shazz tells  “Tara’s maid of honour organised our bouquets as our wedding gift. Our instructions were basically natives, with pops of orange. We were so happy that she took this stress away from us and it definitely felt more special on the day knowing they were a gift and they were so beautiful.
Our oasis arrangements were done by our sister in law and aunt. Our sister in law got up early to pick up the flowers from the Perth flower market and transported them all down herself. She had a boot load of beautiful native greenery and so many pops of warm orange flowers. At first, they thought they were decorating an outdoor arbour. But with the weather on the day they had to decorate an indoor arrangement and they worked so hard. What they did for us was well beyond expectation and simply stunning.”

Tara and Shazz enlisted the help of family and friends to decorate their marquee. “The day before the wedding our entire bridal party and some other family members came down to help set up the whole marquee. This started with rolling out the fake lawn we ordered as the flooring. 2 of our helpers Alicia and Ali became the A team for this and smashed it out, giving orders to people to keep the process moving! It was an epic day putting together all of the tables and doing the table settings and putting together all of the DIY elements. We told our wedding party it was going to be a big day, but even Tara and I were surprised by how crazy it got. But luckily for us, we had an amazing team who went above and beyond for us in the setup and all of everyone’s hard work paid off. We created our dream venue from a rather bleak looking patch of land (all dried up over the summer).”

Guests took home boxes of cookie favours made and decorated by bridesmaid Donna, and bridesmaid made fun chatterboxes with fun facts about the newlyweds to break the ice.

For Tara and Shazz, they needed to consider their wedding beyond themselves, Shazz noting “We wanted it to be a sustainable wedding, with as little waste as possible. So this played a huge part in our decision making for the reception. We hired plates, cutlery and glasses, handmade reusable napkins from recycled material, we had a compost bin set up for food waste as well as a recycling bin for wine and champagne bottles. We chose Kombi Keg WA to supply beer and soft drink so there were no beer bottles, plastic or aluminium cans. Everything on the tables was reusable, recyclable or compostable.”

Tables were topped with handmade centrepieces. “The marquee centrepieces were made by wrapping 6 hula hoops in material I sourced from an old rag rug. And we wrapped native greenery around them and hung them down the centre of the marquee.

I made all of our table numbers using a photo of Tara and I on one side reflecting the number of years we had been together for that number (ie table 1 had a photo and a story of Tara and I together for 1 year, table 2 had a photo and story for when we had been together at 2 years and so on, all the way up to 12 years!). I made the structure that they hung from using a tree trunk at the base and I painted dowel in copper and copper safety pins hung the card table numbers in place.”

This was a wedding where every last detail was considered. Shazz says  “Tara made a wash-up station with old pallets and wood and a sink she sourced for $1 from the local tip. She set up all the hose connections herself and also placed a mirror in the middle so guests could freshen up after a loo break.
My brother’s girlfriend also sourced accessories like hand soap, deodorant, wet wipes, hair clips etc and decorated our outdoor washroom.”

A big congratulations Shazz and Tara! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us. Thank you also to Victoria Baker for sharing today’s celebration!