Elle and Matt dreamt of a wedding in the South West of Western Australia. The region where Matt and his family have spent many long summer days by the beach, and a spot the couple want to come back to time and time again. So they picked a local park they fell in love with, found a farm nearby that could host a wedding, and set about planning a day, that as, in Elle’s words “something clean, relaxed and romantic.”
With an all-white colour palette letting the natural settings do all the talking, incredible blooms (Elle’s favourite part) and beautiful, emotion-filled photography by Jodie of Merge Photography this is a day that was, just as they’d dreamt. Which, for us, means it’s an utter dream to share!
Elle and Matt first met over a decade ago, says the bride “We met through mutual friends 10 years ago at a music festival. Straight away there was something special but alas, Elle was already seeing someone at the time. Fast forward 6 years of friendship, a couple more moves from Matt and even being housemates at one stage, and we finally became official. We became Mr and Mrs Jilley nearly 10 years to the date that we met!
Matt popping the question that seems to be very on theme for these two- low-key and beautiful! “Both of us are pretty low key and Matt knew I wouldn’t want anything over the top.” remembers the twosome ” He decided that a proposal during the afternoon dog walk would be a perfect time.
Following three outfit changes from Matt (attempting to hide the ring box in his pocket) they set off on their usual walk. Still wanting the element of surprise, Matt knew that their dog Harvey, if given the chance, would lead them onto the jetty along their usual route. (A jetty was also the first place, pre-dating, that Matt asked for a kiss and Elle said no..) it was here that Matt popped the question, making sure with all his care not to drop the ring in the water. Elle said yes of course and Harvey remained oblivious!”
Matt wore a classic suti frop MJ Bale. Elle sharing “Matt is a pretty traditional and self-proclaimed “plain” guy. He did toss-up between navy blue and black however ultimately went for a sleek black, MJ Bale suit. “Not fancy enough for a bow tie” he opted for a black-tie, silver tie clip and white pocket square.”
Elle wasn’t sure what gown she wanted to wear on the day, but she found her match at Karen Willis Holmes. “I loved dressing shopping with mum. I know it was something she had been looking forward to (since Matt proposed) and so that was super special. When I first started dress shopping I had no idea what I wanted. I initially felt quite overwhelmed but with the help of my mum (who cried as soon as we walked into the first shop!) we soon narrowed it down. After trying a few dresses on, I knew I wanted something fairly simple and comfortable.
I tried a couple of other stores however at Karen Willis-Holmes there were quite a few dresses that I loved. The assistant who helped us was truly like a fairy godmother! She was so intuitive, understanding and knowledgeable! We had the best experience. No fuss and everything were easy! Could not recommend the store and the staff enough!”
The couple chose a park in Dunsborough, for their ceremony, a nod to Matt’s family, Elle tells “We chose a quiet, private park near to Matt’s family’s holiday home. We loved the idea of being reminded of our day whenever we go back for holidays. The location ended up being absolutely perfect, mainly due to the extra watering and fertilizing from Matt’s family a few months beforehand!
We even had Matt’s uncle “vacuuming” the lawn the day of the ceremony! We were so lucky to have so many helping hands, it truly was a team effort. As an extra special touch, Matt’s dad was able to deliver a large tree stump from their farm to use as the singing table.”
Matt’s most memorable moment? “Being incredibly nervous about 10 minutes before everyone arrived. How happy I was on the day, and how I couldn’t believe the woman I’d always wanted to marry was finally walking down the aisle toward me.” Elle chose to walk down the aisle with her dad to an acoustic version of Elton John’s “Your Song ” played by Brayden Sibbald. “Our acoustic singer Brayden Sibbald has such a beautiful voice, it was beautiful.”
Elle and Matt were married by Sarsha Wetherell. “We wanted an intimate and relaxed ceremony filled with our closest friends and family. Given the location we had a few other extended friends come by which was lovely. Matt’s cousin, Sarsha Wetherall was our celebrant and she was really helpful with planning the entire ceremony. We both needed a lot of guidance and she just seemed to understand what we both wanted.
Looking back at our photos it was one of my favourite parts of the day! During the ceremony, Matt’s Dad walked down with Matt’s two little nephews who had the rings which were super cute. Matt’s Grandma did a reading of 1 Corinthians from the Bible and it was perfect.”
The couple made sure to include special nods to family throughout their day, especially during the ceremony “We both liked the idea of using the stump from Matts parents farm for the signing table.
We ended up surprising both of our mums on the day as witnesses which was special.
I tied the wedding bands of my mums mum (Nanna Sally) and dads sister (Aunty Chris) around my bouquet both of them are no longer with us but I liked knowing that I had something from each side of my family with me on the day. A few days before the wedding my mum sewed a little “bluebird of happiness” into my veil for “something blue”.
“We had the BEST wedding party.” raves Elle ” Matt’s groomsmen included his best man and long time friend Adam, his brother Wes and two other friends Troy and Ryan. All dressed in black suits similar to Matt, hired from Penguins Formal Wear.
My bridesmaids included her long time best friend Jessica, her new sister-in-law Robyn, her cousin Casey and another beautiful girlfriend, Ashleigh. Elle again wanted something simple for the bridesmaids how she mainly wanted to make sure they all felt comfortable and confident. All four bridesmaids ended up choosing a silk-touch cream Shona Joy dress which somehow seemed to look beautiful on everyone!”
“Choosing a photographer was one of the longest decisions. ” remembers Elle “We heard about Jodie (Merge Photography) from our friends (the mutual friends from the “how we met story”). I remember speaking with Jodie on the phone and instantly felt so calm and organized!
She recommended a timeline during our first phone call and I pretty much-based everything around that straight away! On the day she was everything we needed-fun, relaxed and new about what she was doing! We didn’t spend extended amounts of time on our photos (which was great) but we also didn’t feel too rushed. She is such a beautiful person and a true professional. 10/10, 100% would recommend.”
The modern farm venue of The Tiller Farm had all the charm these two were looking for their reception “Before we met George and Kaleigh at Tiller we had visited a few other venues but nothing seemed to fit the bill.” explains Elle ” The first time visiting Matt had been called away for work so both of our mums came with me. After meeting George and Kaleigh (and Miss Molly the dog), talking about what they do and seeing the property I fell in love! I Took lots of videos and photos for Matt and he agreed that it seemed to be just what we wanted.
All the food is grown on the property and George is an absolute wizard! Again, they were both so easy going but professional, it was a very easy decision. During the reception, George even came out and spoke about each dish which added something special. There is so much love, thought and hard work that goes into everything he makes we wanted everyone to know about it!”
The incredible reception florals 9along with the rest of the beautiful blooms for the day) were styled by Lara Rose Botanical Stylist. Says Elle “The flowers were probably one of the elements I was most excited for. I had a fairly clear vision in my head but just needed a creative genius to bring it to life. Lara-Rose came recommended by quite a few vendors and friends. After our first phone call, I was blown away by the passion and energy she had. She made me feel comfortable and seemed to instantly get the image I had in my head. In the end, everything was 10 times better than I imagined (I mean look at my bouquet) and the reception space was on another level. Matt and I hadn’t planned to do a first look at our reception space however when we arrived we were convinced by staff to go and have a look because everyone was just so excited!
Lara Rose also worked so closely with Mel at Cape Events to incorporate both the florals and lighting in the space. I trusted these ladies 100% and what they delivered was amazing. I love everything about the day. My florals were amazing, I loved the way the suspended installations slowly turned with the slight evening breeze! It was magical! Our reception space, in general, was perfect I couldn’t pick just one!”
“I think one of my favourite things about the wedding was our vendors! I just feel like I had THE BEST team. They all worked so easily together and I truly trusted them.
I honestly could not choose a favourite! From hair and Makeup to food and furniture everyone was spot on! I made an effort to enjoy every aspect of planning. Every time I felt stressed I tried to remind myself that it was meant to be fun!”
The first dance almost didn’t happen (but just quietly, we’re so glad it did!) The bride explaining “Matt and I were both very undecided about a first dance. We both agreed that it would be no more than 30 seconds (made VERY clear to our DJ) and that we wouldn’t need dance lessons. There were a few nights spent “practising” around the lounge room to YouTube tutorials with Harvey attempting to join in. The song we chose was “Forever you and me” by The Teskey Brothers
A big congratulations to you both Elle and Matt! Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us. Thank you also to Merge Photography for sharing today’s beautiful wedding with us.