With just fifty guests, a sparkling golden wedding gown, a wedding ceremony that kicked off with a favourite song by “The Beatles” and handmade (by the couple themselves) lawn games, Beth and Alex’s wedding as a weekend of fun, of love, of family, and of favourites. “It was a reflection of all that we love about each other. From the vows to the reception, it was “us” from start to finish. We wanted our wedding to feel laid-back and relaxed but still “special” says Beth. “the beautiful setting brought a lot of the “special” we were looking for!”

Set at the beautiful country venue of Mona Farm, Beth and Alex enlisted Natasha Maree Photography to capture their day. The pair inviting their guests to spend an entire weekend in the country to celebrate with their very favourite people, sharing  “We loved the fact that everyone was able to be there – between all of the chaos and uncertainty that 2020 and 2021 have thrown at us, we consider ourselves so incredibly lucky that everyone we love was able to attend.”

The pair, who hit it off immediately after meeting on a dating app, became engaged in the most unlikely of places – while on an adventure through Russia! Beth kicks off their tale. “Like many millennial couples, we met on a dating app! But unlike lots of bad dates you hear about, the conversation flowed easily – it felt like talking to someone I’d known for years.”

Alex chimed in “We were travelling across Russia in 2019 on the Trans-Siberian railway, and I’d planned a “picnic” to have on the train where I was going to propose over some caviar. However earlier that day we’d had a mishap with an Airbnb experience overcharging us, and Beth spent the evening on the phone to Airbnb trying to organise a refund… I proposed the following morning instead (which turned out to be equally as romantic).”

Beth and Alex wanted a “weekend wedding” vibe, so they chose the beautiful Mona Farm as their wedding venue. “We wanted something big enough to host our friends and family so they could have a “weekend away” with us” explains Beth. “We stumbled across Mona Farm which had enough space to accommodate everyone, and had been tastefully renovated with lots of interesting art and beautiful grounds as a bonus!”

Beth walked herself down the aisle to “In My Life” by The Beatles, a special song with a special meaning. “Our household listened to a lot of Beatles growing up, and I think the lyrics paint a wonderful picture of how it truly feels to be in love.” Alex adds “The most vivid memory was seeing Beth walk around the corner of the old stables. She was beautiful. She has been working on her dress in secret for months and I finally got to see it in all its shimmering glory. I was gobsmacked.”

Beth and Alex were married by Steph Slater Celebrant. Says Beth “We wanted the ceremony to be funny as well as heartfelt – we are both criers, and our amazing celebrant Steph did a wonderful job of lightening the mood while we sobbed our vows at each other!

We asked two people very close to us to do a reading each, and we ended up playing scissors/paper/rock to decide who would go first with their vows. We had so many compliments on our ceremony afterwards, but can’t take any of the credit – it was all Steph!”

“I love peonies and poppies, and although peonies aren’t in season at that time of year, the team at Barton Flower Bar managed to get some poppies in the arrangements for me!” exclaims Beth of the couple’s floral arrangements. “Alex likes silver dollar eucalyptus and they incorporated lots of it into our greenery, too.
Above all we wanted the venue to shine, so opted for a few asymmetrical arrangements rather than anything over the top that would detract from the setting.”

The couple opted out of a wedding party. “We chose not to have a wedding party, as our guest list was quite small, and we didn’t like the idea of putting any extra pressure on our friends – we just wanted everyone to relax and enjoy themselves! We both invited some of our best friends to get ready with us in the morning, and Alex’s nieces and nephews did a wonderful job as our flower girls and ring bearers.”

Beth was stuck in lockdown while looking for her wedding dress, so she found her golden gown online. “I ended up buying my dress online and altering it myself – we were living in Melbourne during the long 2nd wave lockdown, which meant that sadly I missed out on the experience of trying on dresses with my mum and girlfriends. I had known for a while I didn’t want to wear anything white or floofy, so chose something more pared-back that I was still able to dance in!” Alex was inspired by Instagram. “I wanted something wintry to go with the venue and season, and was tossing up between forest green or a tweed look, but ended up finding an Instagram photo which I took inspiration from.”

“Tash is not only a creative genius but also a truly lovely human being” says Beth of the couple’s chosen wedding photographer. “She had the exact type of calm and relaxed energy we needed on the day to offset our anxiety! She was generous with her time leading up to the day, especially when the venue threw us a curveball and tried to get us to change the time of our ceremony, and let us flex our creative muscles in choosing some of the locations where we had photos taken.”

“Surprisingly, nothing went wrong on the day, everything was perfect… unless there’s a closely guarded secret that our friends and family are yet to tell us about?! We both remember how quickly the weekend flew by, and yet those memories will be so vivid for years to come. We had a truly wonderful time!”

The newlyweds offer up this golden advice to you. Beth’s advice is all about the vendors. “We wanted our wedding to feel like a long weekend away where everyone felt relaxed and could enjoy good food, good drink, and good fun – find vendors who you vibe with and who understands your vision, and making your dream a reality will be a piece of cake.” While Alex is about staying true to yourself.  “Do your own thing – don’t cave to pressure or keep something irrelevant to you just because it’s “tradition” or expected.”

“We both remember how quickly the weekend flew by, and yet those memories will be so vivid for years to come. We had a truly wonderful time!”

The couple styled their dinner reception with pieces they’d sourced themselves. “There were a few months there when we were ducking into every op shop we walked past to check the kitchenware section for brown bottles… ” remembers Beth. “We found an inspo pics online we liked the look of and were trying to recreate, but amber glass bottles seemed really hard to find. We got there in the end, however!”

Alex lent his hand to DIY too. “We designed the invitations, website, and the DIY decor – we’re both creatives at heart! I spent a few weekends making our table numbers and menu holders, and some lawn games for guests to play between the ceremony and the reception. Cornhole was by far the most popular, and I ended up spray painting a geometric design with some of the leftover spray paint from the table numbers, which matched the theme of our invitations.”

Although they kept their day modern and minimal there was one special detail, thanks to Beth’s family. Beth telling “My mum likes to buy newlyweds in our family a cake knife and server, engraved with their wedding date. Don’t tell my mum but we accidentally left them behind after the wedding… Mona Farm kindly posted them back to us, phew!!”

“We just wanted everyone to have a wonderful time” notes Beth. “We organised babysitters for some of our guests with young kids, so they could enjoy the party worry-free, and a bus to and from town for some friends and family staying off-site. One of our favourite parts was the recovery breakfast the next morning, and the coffee cart – highly recommended after a night of celebrating!”

The first dance was a contentious choice, says Beth. “There was a lot of debate about this… neither of us was too keen on dance lessons, so we chose “Stand By Me” as we both like the song and it’s easy to sway along to! Our DJ (We Play Records)  was under strict instructions to not leave us hanging for too long before changing it up to something everyone could hop up and dance to!”

The biggest of congratulations to you both Beth and Alex! Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us. Thank you to Natasha Maree Photography for sharing today’s beautiful images.