Food trucks, sparkly dresses, bright and beautiful flowers there was no doubt that when Maddy and Chris set out to plan their day, they wanted it to be downright fun. “We wanted something laidback and fun with low key festival vibes (food trucks, lawn games, festoon lighting).” They tell “We wanted it to have less of a “wedding” feel and be more like a big party. Having all our friends and family together again was amazing. Being apart for so long during Covid lockdowns made it extra special being together at the wedding.”

Inviting Paul Osta along as chief documenter, the pair chose a Yarra Valley farm for their big day, inviting their very favourite people along for a celebration in the country sunshine. “The overall atmosphere was amazing and it made for the perfect day (laidback, fun, lots of smiling faces and enthusiastic dancing).”

After meeting through mutual friends at a bar in Melbourne, there was a bit of a sense that there was something more between Maddy and Chris. “Although we didn’t talk to each other that night, Chris messaged Maddy on Facebook asking if she’d like to meet up at the same bar the following week to see his band play. Maddy ended up missing Chris’ band play because of work, but we still hung out for ages. A few phone calls later (where we bonded over a love of music, pizza and The Simpsons) we went on our first date. Our subsequent dates were then spent in the hospital (Chris had an operation) and Chris asked Maddy to be his girlfriend (while he was probably still high on painkillers…).”

The proposal? A New Zealand stunner! “We were campervanning around New Zealand’s South Island. We were meant to have a helicopter flight onto Fox Glacier, but bad weather cancelled the flight. Instead, we decided to hike up to Fox Glacier (which was not a great time for Maddy who was sick and had an injured foot, but Chris made us persist!). When we got to the glacier, we had the whole place to ourselves, and Chris proposed!

Maddy and Chris chose The Digital Poets to capture a film of their day.

For his wedding attire, Chris opted for something non-traditional, finding the pieces at Daniel Hechter. “He wanted something with patterns and colour, that could be paired with chinos for a more casual and comfortable look. Chris opted for a light blue, checkered jacket from Daniel Hechter, paired with navy chinos. It took us a while to find something Chris liked, but as soon as he tried it on we knew it was the one.”

The flowers? Bright and so beautiful in hues of lilac, raspberry red and pink. All styled by Flowers by Megan. “Flowers by Megan did an amazing job with the flowers and nailed the brief. Originally we were going to keep it basic with white florals and greenery, but after being bombarded with bright florals on Pinterest, we changed our mind last minute and opted for bright and bold florals with lots of reds and pinks. Megan was so excited to be working with bright flowers that she went above and beyond to create the most stunning flower arrangements for us. We are so glad we didn’t end up going with the whites!”

Maddy’s wedding dress? The most sparkly of beauties by Rachel Gilbert. “The two requirements for my’s dress were, 1) non-traditional, and 2) be as sparkly as possible. The dress shopping experience was extremely stressful as I couldn’t find anything I liked (there’s a severe lack of sparkly wedding dresses out there that don’t cost $10k), so I was getting ready to settle and buy a dress I didn’t really want. I happened to walk into Rachel Gilbert in Armadale one day and found the ultimate sparkly dress with head-to-toe sequins, and it was absolutely perfect.”

Country venue Olinda Yarra Estate was just what Maddy and Chris were after, they explain  “Our favourite part of wedding planning was visiting venues for the first time, and envisioning how our day might look! Olinda Yarra Estate was the first venue we saw and we fell in love with it immediately. We were so ecstatic we jumped into wedding planning straight away.

It’s a beautiful farm and homestead, surrounded by acres of paddocks, and gardens designed by the same person who curated the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne – so there were endless amazing photo locations. Shelley was AMAZING and so much help in the lead-up to the wedding and on the day. She ensured everything was running smoothly, and that we were having the best time.

We got married in the converted barn, and then had our reception on the grounds. Olinda Yarra Estate has a large, permanent marquee that was perfect for the dance floor, photo booth and chill-out area. The outdoor space was decorated in festoon lighting and featured a cubby-house-converted-into-a-bar, room to play lawn games and a food truck area.”

Maddy walked down the aisle with her dad to “Heart Beat Here” by Dashboard Confessional.

“We didn’t want a long ceremony, so we kept it short enough that we could get the party started ASAP, but long enough that we didn’t rush through it,” explain Maddy and Chris of their ceremony officiated by Jessica Hughes. “We are both laidback and easygoing, so we wanted our ceremony to be fun with lots of laughs and little quips. Our celebrant Jessica Hughes perfectly captured our story and made it a personalised ceremony for us. She took the time to get to know our story, what’s special to us and what we wanted in a ceremony. She was also there to help us out with any pre-wedding stresses and is genuinely the best human.”

Meet Minnie, the most important guest of all. “It was a requirement that our dog Minnie (border collie) was at the wedding. She walked down the aisle as one of Maddy’s bridesmaids, then joined us for photos. She even got her mini photo shoot. Having our dog Minnie there was the best. She’s the most important part of our family, so having her there (even though she had no idea what was going on) was super special.”

Noting working with their photographer as “Incredible” these two have nothing but good things to say about their photographer Paul Osta. “Talented, friendly, down to earth and super professional – he made the time to get to know us and our “vision” for the day, and went above and beyond to capture the perfect moments. He made us feel comfortable on the day and we instantly relaxed when he was around – making the whole “getting photos thing” fun and easy. We LOVE his style and his ability to capture candid moments.”

Maddy and Chris have this advice for you. ” Have fun and enjoy the process. Plan a wedding that’s perfect for you – don’t let other people tell you what you should do, it’s not their day. If you don’t want a particular tradition, then don’t do it! If you want something different and unique, go for it!  No matter how much you plan for, things inevitably go wrong, but try to move on when it does because you will have the best day regardless. Also, the day goes so fast – take moments where you can just stop and soak it all in.”

“We wanted to incorporate our friends and family in the wedding as much as possible. Our friend’s brewery and winery supplied the alcohol, while Maddy’s cousin baked an incredible cake (and cupcakes) for us. These personalised touches made it extra special. Maddy’s grandmother even hit up the dancefloor for one song only – the Nutbush (and getting all the guests together to dance the Nutbush as well).”

Dinner  was a food truck feast! “We wanted food trucks as catering, so we opted for a pizza truck (Gather Round), Mexican food truck (Poncho Mexican Food Truck) and gelato cart (Gather Round). The food was incredible.” And on drinks? Cornella Brewery,  a friend of the newlyweds supplied all the beer and wine, made themselves!

Even the first dance has the party vibes in mind. “We didn’t want a traditional first dance where it was all eyes on us. When we were welcomed into the reception, we went straight to the dance floor and danced to “Belong” by Cash Cash & Dashboard Confessional. After about 30 seconds we invited our guests to join in dancing too.”

Congratulations Maddy and Chris! Thanks for sharing the stories of your day with us. Thank you also to Paul Osta for sharing today’s beautiful wedding with us!