Starting 2022 off with a colourful, love-filled bang with Julie & Dave’s artsy colourful & quirky country wedding, captured by Sarah J Photography! The couple planned their wedding during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdowns in Victoria. They certainly didn’t think in April 2020 they would still be holding their breath at the beginning of the following year, crossing their fingers that their autumn wedding, almost a whole year later, could actually go ahead as planned. They breathed a sigh of relief when March came and after a snap 5-day lockdown in Victoria, things seemed to look promising. Julie tells us about planing their day, and how it all came together!
Both being art teachers, we wanted our wedding to reflect our love of colour, nature, and most of all each other. Above and beyond anything else, we wanted our wedding day to symbolise our quirky personalities and our lives together. After almost 10 years together, we were very familiar with each other’s eccentricities and wanted to share those with our friends and families on our wedding day.
For our invites, I knew I wanted something floral, but also something useful. Too often wedding invites are left on someone’s fridge for years until they’re eventually discarded without a second thought. I found images of specially screen-printed handkerchiefs and thought, “why not make one for everyone!”. So, I contacted my beautiful friend Bethany from Whistle and Twine and asked if it’d be possible to screen-print all our invites onto handkerchiefs. The irony of Covid was not lost on me! I was delighted when Bethany said yes and agreed to make the invites. While turned out to be absolutely stunning. An oddity that friends and family could enjoy aesthetically, as well as practically.
On the morning of the wedding, Adrienne Makeup Artist and Hairstylist from Kyneton styled my, and my mum and sister’s, hair and makeup beautifully. The brief was ‘natural’ and she met the brief perfectly. She created lovely curls and bronzed makeup for each of us. Sarah from Sarah J Photography (ironically, another art teacher) also joined the team in the morning, taking beautifully natural, light, and airy photos throughout the day. Sarah captured very special moments between friends and family, no photos feel forced, but instead, just show the real love flowing between everyone on the day.
Winding back over 9 years, our first date was an op-shop crawl around Ballarat, where I was hunting for vintage laces for an art installation I was creating at university. It certainly seemed like an odd twist of fate when after I had already purchased a different dress from Etsy, I stumbled across Girl on a Pony Vintage. Jenni, who has her own Etsy store, was so excited to talk to me, sending her photos of 30-odd different vintages laces she could turn into a stunning wedding dress. Ironically, I chose the very first lace Jenni showed me, a 1960s Nottingham style lace, trimmed with Battenburg lace that is over 100 years old. I was over the moon with my dress, a reflection of my love of lace and our first date.
At first, we explored venues around Daylesford, a place we had always loved to venture to when living in Ballarat together. Many nights were spent exploring websites and looking at locations on Google Maps. Finally, it was my mum, Carolyn, that began helping us look further afield in the Macedon Ranges, when she came across The Estate, Trentham. I fell in love with Lynda Gardner’s signature style immediately, but also thought that such a stunning venue was sure to be well above our price range! Low and behold, after chatting with Lynda, The Estate was available on the date we’d hoped for and was the perfect price-point! And so, we had our canvas. A stunning front and back garden, along with a perfect little barn in case the weather turned sour.
Two stars who made the day incredibly special for us were the beautiful Jenny, from Joyful Ceremonies and musician Julian Smith. While the two had never met before, they gelled instantly and worked together to create the most amazing ceremony for us and our loved ones. Jenny was full of love and light, making guests feel at ease, laugh and cry throughout her beautifully written ceremony. While Julian expertly played songs by Aine Tyrell and Darren Hanlon that each told a story about our lives and travels together.
Worn on my wedding dress was a very special pin. My dad, Steven passed away in 2020, 6 months after being diagnosed with esophagus cancer. This pin was a piece of my dad, carried with me on my wedding day. Throughout my childhood, my dad had a 1953 Ford Customline sitting in the shed in pieces. His goal was always to restore it. As I got older, I joked with him that I wanted it to be my wedding car. I’d hoped it would give him some incentive to actually get it on the road again. As Dave and I became more serious, the clock was ticking. However, time and life often have other plans for us. Steven passed away and still, his dream car remained in the shed, each piece accounted for, but still in boxes. So, while Steven’s Customline couldn’t drive me to my wedding, I still wanted it (and my dad) to be a part of the day. I found a company on Etsy called Pin4all, that specialise in custom enamel pins and had 10 made. One for each of my family members to wear on the wedding day. I didn’t feel anyone could take my father’s place walking me down the aisle, so instead, Dave and I walked out of The Estate’s front door together, hand in hand!
When in the first lockdown, we scoured the internet looking at venues to hold our special day. We had a few places in mind, but after inquiring and finding we had menus and drinks lists full of things that just didn’t interest us, we opted for a more DIY concept wedding. While we were well aware this would take a much more considered approach and a ton more effort, it was worth finding a blank canvas that we could imbue with everything we loved.
I am obsessed with picnics and high teas, so it was a no-brainer when we came across the amazing work of Emma AKA The High Tea Mistress. Emma curates high teas, ensuring the flavours match perfectly between savory and sweet items, along with the teas! Dave and I opted for a beautiful grazing table, along with a high tea, including Emma’s signature mini-buns, quiches, butter chicken vol au vaunts, mini lemon meringue, and apple crumble tarts, along with tiny red velvet cakes. Emma also provided the colourful mismatched crockery and teacups, crystal drinkware, and beautiful antique couches for guests to lounge on and capture some beautiful photos.
The day would not have been nearly as colourful as it was without the absolutely phenomenal flowers, grown, picked, and arranged by Janae from Fleurs de Lyonville. I decided to have a flower corsage I could wear, matching with my beautiful flower crown. We also asked Janae for three ‘DIY flower-filled buckets’, so we could arrange flowers in a variety of vintage glass bottles, dug up from my family’s farm in Cobden.
Rather than having a cake, Dave and I felt we wanted something different, especially since our guests were already enjoying a generous high tea. So instead, we opted for a donut display for them to choose from. We found OMG! Decadent Donuts in the Macedon Ranges, which is a franchise owned by Sophie. Their donuts are gluten, egg, nut and dairy free, as well as vegan. With a lot of guests who had an array of dietary requirements, it meant that everyone could still enjoy these amazing donuts. The flavours chosen were: Strawberry Patch, Berry Sinful, Choc Mint Bliss and of course, OMG cinnamon – the original! These were a total hit, with many guests nibbling away at the donuts during the day and some taking them home in the custom-made bags by Serendipity Design Corner.
Along with the donuts, I also created a wedding cake pinata! Instead of cutting the cake, Dave and I hit the pinata! Guests were given a mini picnic basket, from Weddingstar, each with their own unique enamel pin inside as their gifts, along with a note inviting them to grab their little basket when we opened up the pinata. They used these to collect all the delicious lollies and chocolates that flowed from the pinata.
After the ceremony, guests filtered into the barn of The Estate, where we, along with our amazing friends and family, had set up hired furniture from One Big Day. There were mismatched vintage chairs, along with spacious 3-meter tables and a vintage dresser where guests were invited to take polaroid photos for the guest book.
Once guests had played quoits, taken photos, eaten their delicious high teas, listened to fantastic music, and chatted away throughout the day, they then also enjoyed some delicious pizzas made from local ingredients. Knowing our friends and family well, we decided to order some beautiful warm pizzas from Lump O Dough pizzeria to arrive at 5 pm to keep the party going. They went down a treat!
The day was everything and more than Dave and I had ever dreamt of. Everything was beautifully curated by us, embodying all the things we hold dear to our hearts. Including vendors who held the same morals and beliefs as we do was key to ensuring an amazing day and we can’t speak highly enough of all the amazing people mentioned above, who made the day so special. But above all else, the most exceptional part of the day was being able to celebrate our love with friends and family who mean the world to us.
Thank you to Julie & Dave for sharing their very fun and beautiful wedding day! And to Sarah J Photography for sharing their stunning images!