When it comes to country weddings, the wedding of Emma and Richard is the perfect example of how you can blend country charm with modern urban moments. The couple, who were strong in their commitment to a relaxed, stress-free day, handed over the reins to Big Love Elopements to make it happen. “It was all fairly enjoyable planning-wise. Because we did something small it meant we didn’t have a lot to plan for and all our vendors were just as laid back as us.”

With a keen focus on family – Emma and Richard’s two tiny children acting as their wedding party, and plenty of deliciously beautiful details (Emma’s dress is out of this world) captured by The Hogans,  it was the perfect relaxed wedding day for the pair who met when they were sixteen. “Our first date involved the food court and KFC!” laughs Emma.

And the proposal? As easygoing and special as the rest of their life, and plans together says Emma “After a day of running errands Rich cooked my favourite meal and afterwards sent me off to the supermarket to get dessert. I didn’t think much of it until I returned home and there were candles lit, soft music playing and Rich had dressed up in a shirt. I still didn’t clue on until he slid the ring on my finger.”

We know you want to know all about Emma’s dress and quite rightly because doesn’t it look like a work of art? It’s a beauty by Aussie designer Zimmermann. Emma shared “I wore a cream-based midi dress with a floral pattern from Zimmermann. I had tried going shopping for a traditional white dress but it didn’t feel right. I wasn’t set on having white, ivory or cream and was open to anything. I eventually tried on my dress and it was the AHA moment I was looking for.”

The quiet moments of photographs before the ceremony remain some of Emma’s favourite moments of the day. “Courtney was amazing. She stepped in at the last minute as Jake was sick but she made sure we were comfortable and felt relaxed the entire time. I loved having our photos before the ceremony. It allowed us time for just the two of us and let us relax for the rest of the day knowing we could just spend it with family and Courtney would do the rest.”

The beautiful floral arrangements of Australian natives were put together by Luvleigh Estate Flower Farm. “I didn’t want to make too many decisions so it was easy dealing with Luvleigh as all I had to do was put in what I needed and they made the bouquets and arrangements from what was in bloom” explains Emma. “I loved that they only did Australian natives. Everything worked out perfectly as the flowers tied in great with my dress.”

Emma walked down the aisle on the arm of her father. “I walked down the aisle at my father’s request as it was something he really wanted to do” she explains. “Richard and I had created a ceremony playlist and I made sure every song included was something I was happy to walk down the aisle to and I actually can’t recall the exact song that came on the shuffle when I walked down.”

Emma and Richard worked with Jessie Belle and Big Love Elopements on their ceremony. “We wanted something small, intimate and not too lengthy. We didn’t have any readings but did write our vows.”

“Our daughter Bonnie stole the show during the ceremony. She wanted to have cuddles, explore the gardens and generally be the centre of attention. Afterwards, we had to bribe her into family photos by telling her that we were going to see the sheep. We wouldn’t have it any other way though as that is her personality through and through.”

The charming country venue of Woolbrook Homestead was the perfect spot to say “I Do” says Emma. “Rich choose Woolbrook Homestead as our ceremony spot as it was somewhere he had grown up near to and spent some time at. When we went for a visit we fell in love. All we wanted for our ceremony was somewhere outdoors with a big tree and beautiful gardens and Woolbrook definitely meet that criteria.”

“Having just our families there made it all the more special. We were able to include all our siblings with my brother and Richard’s sister being our witnesses and my younger sister being our ring bearer.”

Almost stealing the show, Emma and Richard’s tiny tots also acted as the wedding party. “We didn’t have a wedding party but like to think our daughter was my maid of honour and our son was his best man. We dressed them mainly for warmth and comfort. Bonnie in a skirt, tights, knit jumper and gumboots and Wesley in corduroy pants and knit jumper.”

The celebration, back in the urban sprawl was held at ALMA says Emma. “ALMA for our reception was also an easy pick. We love going there for dinners and knew our families also enjoyed the food. The upstairs function space was perfect and gave us the natural light and space we wanted. They went above and beyond on the day making sure there was plenty of food and drinks. ALMA was a stand out in that they made sure everyone had enough so much so that we actually sent our guests home with take-home boxes filled with food!”

Wedding favours? Chocolate bars from Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie. “We made our place settings/wedding gifts. We purchased chocolate bars from Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and then wrapped them with each name.”

Big beautiful congratulations to you both Emma and Richard. What a day you’ve made for us by sharing your story. Thank you also go to The Hogans and Big Love Elopements for working with us on this story!