Every single wedding on Polka Dot Wedding remains deep in my memory, the stories, the moments become part of us. And with Virginia and Pete, this is not going to be any different. Described by the bride as “Casual, bush theme, gumtrees, nature, outdoor. Many people have commented on what a fabulous occasion it was!” This is a story that embraces the Australian bush (right down to Virginia’s bush inspired dress, which she made herself!). Guests donning gum leaf name tags and embracing the Dwellingup forest as they celebrated these very special vows.
And of course, because we’re talking about The Music Issue this September, we have to acknowledge how Virginia and Pete made music a focus of their day. The couple walked down the aisle hand in hand to the sounds of Virginia’s orchestra performing live, before friends performed throughout the ceremony, and the reception.
If there ever was a day that was all about family, friends, and what truly matters, this is it. Captured in utter beauty by We Are All Stardust.
Virginia and Pete’s paths first crossed online. “We met online as both of us were widowed and didn’t want to be alone for the rest of our lives. WE both felt sure ‘this is the one’ when we first met face to face.” The pair surprising family and friends with news of their engagement at the bride’s son’s wedding. “WE announced our engagement at my son’s wedding in England as all my close family were there. Pete had proposed to me a few days earlier, on bended knee, of course. We had discussed it, so it was not a surprise, but very welcome.”
Virginia and Pete wanted to be surrounded by nature on their wedding day, so they chose a family property as their setting for the celebration. “We wanted to get married on Pete’s brother’s place as we wanted to stand among the gum trees. Their daughter got married there 4 years ago and it was magical, we wanted some of that. Luckily Noble River estate is just across the road, so it was an easy decision to go there for our simple reception, where we would be undercover and dry, if not warm.”
Peter wore a suit he already owned. “Pete wore his usual suit as it seemed OTT to buy another, he couldn’t think what he would buy differently if he went to buy a new one” explains Virginia. “We chose the green shirt to tie in with my colours (he had seen the dress being made all along) and he bought his beautiful hand made silk bow tie at a craft workshop in England, ready for the wedding. He does like a bow tie for special occasions.”
Virginia’s beautiful gown? Can you believe she handmade it herself? “I made my own dress, with the gum tree theme taken for photos of beautiful gum trees, the bark in particular, that we saw while hiking together in Tasmania. It is all silk, all the embroidery hand done, and the little flowers are made from real gum nuts filled with tulle held in place with glue gun glue. I was really pleased with how it worked out and many people were complimentary about it.”
Music was a really important part of the day for Virginia and Pete, who had an orchestra play as they walked down the aisle hand in hand. “My sister played the Purcell trumpet voluntary which was really special” remembers Virginia. “Before that, while we walked down from the house the orchestra I play in, played Arrival of the Queen of Sheba for us, very tongue in cheek!” It was just as they wanted it. “Having all my musical friends contributing, so many of them: the orchestra, the flute solo, a piano and violin duet and our dear friends Gillian and Charly from ‘Two on Six’ who played so beautifully at the reception.”
Do you spot Polka Dot Wedding couple Katy & Will?? We sure did! Virginia did not carry flowers, but did carry something special. “I didn’t carry flowers, the dress being enough, but made a tiny bag with the leftover silk gum leaves to have something to carry and a tissue if I needed it.”
As with everything about the day, the wedding ceremony was limited in formality, just how Virginia and Pete wanted it. “We wanted the ceremony really short, so had heavily edited what the celebrant wanted to say. No readings, just a flute solo by a dear friend while we signed the register. We were very happy with how it went.”
The handmade details for this day were almost endless. “We did everything. The road signage, the flowers, the name tags, the wine from Pete’s cellar, the desserts, the share table before, the tarpaulin to protect the Orchestra from the weather. I wanted it to be very casual and stay with the gum leaf, gum tree theme. We also hand made thank you gifts to orchestra members for playing.”
Post ceremony, guests enjoyed a host of delicious treats. “Making loads of cakes and sampling them before” was one of Virginia’s favourite parts of planning the wedding. “For quality control, you understand! The desserts looked fabulous and were all eaten, so that was a huge success.”
Pete’s favourite memory of the day was seeing the couple’s family and friends together. “We had so many of our different friends who met each other for the first time and they all got on really well and enjoyed themselves.”
Want a day as relaxed as Virginia and Pete? Take this bride’s advice! “Try to have everything organised in good time and delegate people to do jobs for you. They will enjoy being involved and it will free you up to really enjoy your day. Make sure you get what YOU want. It’s your day. Try not to be pressured into doing things to please others.”
The pair were thrilled with their photographer. “Nat was fantastic. She captured so many fabulous shots of us, but also of our guests and family as they milled around. She got lots of casual shots of flowers, trees, and food items. We have a wonderful portfolio of memories for the day. She was unobtrusive and very easy to have at the event.”
“We must mention all the friends and family who couldn’t be there because of COVID. We invited as many friends and family as possible, and everyone got along really well. It was lovely to see the groups mixing and getting to know each other.”
Dinner commenced! The food? Delicious! “Manuel and his team from Paella & Tapas did a wonderful job of our food. Top-notch!”
A big congratulations to you both Virginia and Pete! How lucky we are to share your day. Thank you both and thank you for sharing today’s celebration! Thank you also to We Are All Stardust for sharing today’s celebration.