Carly and Johnny had a clear vision in mind for their wedding. “The style we were going for was kind of a country, rustic, boho feel” says Carly. “We wanted the day to feel relaxed and fun! Not all formal and boring!”

The couple who chose a (boiling) hot summer day for their country wedding to unfold, centred their day on fun, on family and friends, and on furry animals (their venue’s resident deer and their dog Trixie to be exact). With beautiful blush and burnt orange details, and handmade boho-inspired details (including a beautiful macrame arch), it’s as lighthearted and as joyous as you’d expect and luckily for us Courtney Laura Photography was there to capture every moment!

Carly and Johnny’s tale began on a dating website shares Courtney, “It was funny because we had one or two friends in common, but had never met before!” Johnny popping the question, with their dog Trixie almost stealing the show. “Johnny proposed to me by putting the ring on our dog Trixie’s collar and sending her into the room, where I was still in bed. He then came in and got down on one knee. Following this Johnny took me out to breakfast at the same place where we went on our first date four years before and then filled the rest of the day with fun activities together in the city.”

Johnny and his groomsmen were dressed in suits from Opal Formal Wear. Carly shares “Johnny wore a light blue suit, he has always looked great in blue and when I asked him what colour he wanted to wear he said blue! It was pretty much the first suit he tried on.”

Carly found her boho-style lace gown at Karen Willis Holmes. A gown her mother stumbled upon. “The Millie gown is a boho style gown with fitted stretch lace, a keyhole back and mermaid type flair. My favourite thing about the dress was how unique it looked, it had a very vintage boho feel. I loved the little cap sleeves, the train and the delicate lace.

It was the first shop I went to with my mum. We went and I tried on lots of sequin dresses and we quickly realised that just wasn’t me. My mum found THE dress on the rack, so she will want to take the credit for it. The moment I tried on the dress I knew it was the right one! When I had decided on the dress the one on the rack wasn’t in my size and the lace was so rare the store had to call the warehouse to check they had enough material. Only two were ever made – mine and the original one on the rack.”

“One funny memory is when Courtney was getting photo’s outside at my house we were all lined up and Trixie (our dog) just comes and plonks herself down in front of us all! She just wanted to be the centre of attention! She also kept barking during the ceremony every time everyone clapped, she was so confused!
Also, I forgot my wedding veil and made my brother and sister go back to get it! It delayed all the running of the day by half an hour, but it was okay! Everyone got to get a drink before the ceremony haha.”

The couple were married at the country venue Gum Gully Farm. “We chose to get married at Gum Gully Farm in Silvan. As soon as Johnny and I were not even finished the tour, we just looked at each other and said that ‘this is the one!’ We had looked at lots of other venues and Gum Gully was just beautiful. It is family-owned and runs a business and it had the country rustic feel that Johnny and I were both after. All the staff at Gum Gully were so warm and lovely and made the whole process of organising a wedding easy!”

The day was filled with heartfelt, handmade touches, says Carly, “I wanted to make my family and friends feel included. My family did a lot to help me! My older brother Matt made the arbour for our ceremony and my sister Tania made the beautiful macrame backdrop to hang on the arbour.
My sister Emma and I made all the sugar cookies which were our bonbonniere. We made 120 cookies in one day on our own! Johnny and I made all the menus, name place cards and the seating chart on our own. We had to go exploring to find gum nuts to tie all the name place cards too. My family and friends came with Johnny and me to set up all the tables and the arbour for the ceremony the day before our wedding.”

As she walked down the aisle with her brother, Carly chose “‘Always” by Isak Danielson to play. “I love this song as it is happy and upbeat, but still a really beautiful love song.” She explains “My father passed away 5 years ago so my little brother Dean walked me down the aisle. I had one maid of honour, Lauren, we have been friends for 28 years! Lauren walked our dog, Trixie, down the aisle as we wanted Trixie to be part of our day also. My sister Melanie made a little heart from one of our dad’s shirts as something blue and so my dad could walk down the aisle with me even though he has passed away.”

This was a wedding, truly all about the guests, says Carly. “I loved walking down the aisle and seeing all the smiling faces of my family and friends and Johnny crying as I walked down the aisle toward him! I loved my family all being there – I have 6 siblings and 14 nieces and nephews and it is a massive feat to have us all in one place at the same time! And I loved having my friends from childhood and high school attend. They made me laugh and calmed me down when I was having a pre-wedding meltdown.”

“The ceremony was held in the chapel as it was a really hot day and it was air-conditioned” remembers Carly, who along with Johnny chose Kate Haley Celebrant to officiate proceedings. “We wanted the ceremony to be happy, but also romantic. Johnny and I did our vows and it looked beautiful with the arbour set up in the background.”

For their flowers the couple worked with Sassafras Flower Design. Carly tells  “I used Pinterest to send inspiration pics to my florist (Jess from Sassafras Flowers). I knew I wanted, whites and soft blushes to contrast the burnt orange dress and Johnny’s blue suit.”

The newlyweds were thrilled with photographer Courtney. “We met her online during the lockdown in the valley loves wedding fair. Right from that first zoom call we knew that her fun and easy-going personality was what we wanted for our day. We got so many compliments about Courtney and it was like she was just one of the family! She worked her butt off.”

As with much else about this day, the first dance was relaxed and fun, Carly shared, “Johnny and I decided that we didn’t want to do a traditional slow dance. We wanted to do an upbeat and happy song. For about a week before the wedding, we moved all our furniture on our deck to make space to practise dancing and we choreographed our dance ourselves by spending an hour or two each night.

We picked the song “I Found You” by Andy Grammer and Cash Cash. A couple of days before the wedding we showed my mum and the surprised look on her face was priceless. We started our reception with the dance and everyone got out of their seats and clapped and cheered us along. It was the most fun ever and the absolute highlight of the night for me.”

“My favourite photograph of the day is the photo Courtney took during our wedding dance. The absolute look of happiness on my face captures the entire day.”

A big congratulations to you both Carly & Johnny! Thank you to sharing your story with us and thank you to Courtney Laura Photography for sharing today’s beautiful images.