Beautiful Bendigo is the shining star in Trent & Zach’s wedding. A story that began in 2017 when the couple met online, “I guess you could say it was a classic ‘love at first sight’ situation” laughs Trent, blossoming into a wedding that made the most of the season. The couple made the most of the beautiful autumnal garden surroundings of their very special venue when it came to planning their day, captured beautifully by Justin & Jim Photography. Rich autumnal tones dotted with taupes, jewel-toned purples and deep greens were the perfect contrast to the lush greenery that surrounded them.

As for how they got here? It all started when Trent popped the question in 2022. He tells “We had been talking about going to Tasmania for a little getaway at some point but it just seemed to never happen so in 2022 I secretly booked flights and accommodation and surprised Zac with a trip down south just for a weekend.
We flew down on the morning of 01/04/2022. While on the flight to Tasmania, I found out that Zac didn’t really like flying… fun fact to know considering as soon as we had landed I took him on a chartered seaplane flight to a secluded beach that we walked along while the pilot set up a beautiful picnic. When we got to the end of the beach, I was walking behind Zac while we climbed some rocks and there I asked him to turn around where he would find me standing with a ring box. And I think you can guess… he said yes.”

The couple hired Taken By Turners to capture this film of their day.

“We both opted to do the traditions of old, new, borrowed and blue” notes Trent. “Zac wore a hairpin as a tie clip that was his nan’s who has passed. I wore my dad’s horseshoe signet ring for good luck and I wore a bee brooch as part of my pocket florals as a nod to Zac’s parents who have a small local bee-keeping business.”

The grooms both wore custom suits. “I am the planner of the 2 of us and when we started talking about weddings I asked Zac what he saw for his wedding day. He told me all he wanted was to get married under a tree and to wear purple (his favourite colour).
So Zac got exactly what he wanted, he wore a purple suit with a black shirt and tie. I wanted to compliment the purple and there were many ideas but landed on a dark green to compliment the purple also with a black shirt and tie.”

The couple were married at the beautiful garden venue of Chateau Dore. Explains Trent “I had contacted two venues in town both with very different aesthetics. Zac and I arrived at Chateau Dore on a sunny winter’s Saturday morning in 2022 where Nicole (owner) showed us around the garden and lawn areas and then walked us into the reception venue. Zac fell in love with it as soon as the reception venue doors swung open. It had such a warm and inviting vibe with the vintage stone walls, huge timber beams and hardwood floors. After seeing Chateau Dore the other venue had no chance.”

“Zac’s dad John has a classic car, a Buick he called Miss Daisy which Zac arrived at the venue in and we also used for photos. Such a lovely family heirloom.”

Remembered Trent of the processional “We both walked down the aisle. We wanted a traditional style wedding but made for a same sex couple. So rather than our dads walking us down the aisle we had our mums. Zac walked down the aisle to “Better half of me” by Tom Walker and I walked down the aisle to “I believe in a thing called love” covered by Delta Goodrem.”

The couple were married by Kerrie Grossman. “We really didn’t want a big ceremony, neither of us likes to be the centre of attention” notes Trent, “but as the wedding planning went along we both decided that we wanted to write our vows and that we would like our siblings to be involved in the wedding in some way.
My sister (Megan) did a reading called ‘the Monkey and the Giraffe’ and her 2 young boys (my nephews) gave us a little pin each one of a monkey and one of a giraffe. Zac’s sister (Gabby) and brother (Sam) did a reading called ‘When the Right One Comes Along’ and Zac’s youngest sister walked our flower girl (her 1 and a half year old daughter Wren) down the aisle along with my nephews who were our ring bearers.
We exchanged our short but sweet vows and because we had our mums walk us down the aisle we wanted to still include our dads so we had them both as our witnesses who signed our marriage certificate.”

When it came to their wedding party, the couple compromised, explaining Trent  “We each had three of our good friends. Initially, I loved the idea of no wedding party however Zac was 100% sure that he wanted his mates up there with him.

He had three of his friends as groomsmen (Brenton, Tom and Brad) and I had 3 of my friends as groomsmaids (Rochelle, Bec and Jess). Because we were going to be in such eye catching colours we decided for the bridal party that it would be either black or beige/nude. We ended up going with taupe infinity dresses for the girls and the boys’ black trousers, black shirt and tie with a beige blazer.”

The autumnal blooms of the day were styled by  Liv of Pemberly of Malmsbury. Trent remembers “When planning for our wedding I didn’t even really know where to start and I came across a Bendigo based wedding directory website ‘Culture Hitch’ where I scrolled through, saw some beautiful vendors and went to their Instagram’s and business websites.

I went through a list of florists but when I came across the Instagram of Pemberley of Malmesbury I fell in love instantly! I was so stunned by the beautiful floral installations that Liv had created and knew I had to get in touch immediately. Thankfully Liv was available on the date we had decided on and we met with her. I showed her one specific photo of a  bouquet that she had done previously and told her that I absolutely loved it and wanted to go with a style similar to that. I had also seen a beautiful photo of 2 large pillars of apricot-coloured roses and stunning green foliage framing a brick fireplace on her instagram and discussed with her that we loved this idea in place of an arbour and following the ceremony thought it would make a beautiful backdrop for our photo booth. Liv was on board with this. From there, we basically asked Liv to be as creative as she could and just asked her to make it beautiful… and boy did she ever!”

We were both stunned and in awe of the incredible flowers and arrangements that Liv had created. When I first walked into the venue, before the ceremony, I almost cried and had to scoop my jaw back off the ground because they were so incredibly beautiful. We were also floored by the gorgeous pocket florals Liv created for our jackets on the day. STUNNING!”

“My favourite photo is probably one of Zac and I both wearing ‘GROOM” hats” laughs Trent. “My sister had one of them made for me for my buck’s party and I loved it so much that I had one made in black and purple for Zac and we used them in photos after the ceremony just as a bit of fun for some non-traditional wedding photos.”

The couple owes a lot to the vibe of the day, helpfully set by musician Jake Turner. “Without an amazing musician our day wouldn’t have been as much fun as it was. Jake Turner (our musician) was amazing. From the acoustic set on the lawn between the ceremony and reception to being DJ and getting the party started and also was a brilliant MC.”

The newlyweds were beyond thrilled with their choice of photographers. “Jim from Justin and Jim photography was so incredible to work with. We were so fortunate that he was available to photograph our wedding.

When we first met with Jim he sat us down and asked us about ourselves and our wedding plans and what we were hoping for with photography. With his long history of wedding photography, he was able to show us photos of our venue at the same time of year we had chosen to give us an example of what our photos could look like. And WOW stunning! Jim is such a calm and lovely guy. He could not have been more accommodating for anything we wanted or didn’t want. On the day he went between the locations Zac and I got ready at, and captured some beautiful candid shots and at the venue, he just blended into the crowd. He was on the dancefloor as if he was a guest but catching all of the amazing shots of our guests having a brilliant time.
Zac and I don’t have enough words to describe how amazing he was.

If we were to do it all over again there would be no one else that we even consider for photos. Jim is a LEGEND!”

Trent’s advice for planning your wedding? It’s “just take it as it comes. Everything happens for a reason. We had contacted a few different vendors who were unavailable on the date we chose but if that hadn’t happened we wouldn’t have come across the amazing set of people that we did and our day would have been completely different.
Don’t let the planning stress you out. It should be fun. Just enjoy every moment because it will fly by.”

The couple ditched doing much DIY, keeping it simple, but there was one very special part of the day they put their personal touch on. “We wanted the lead up to the day to be as easy and relaxing for us as possible so we chose not to DIY things.
In the lead up to the wedding when trying to work out what to have for wedding favours I had fallen down the rabbit hole of wedding Tiktok. I had a local lady make us some little keyrings which doubled as place settings for the tables; each keyring had a key attached which unlocked a beautiful timber box that had our initials carved into it, made by my brother in law. The box held a magnum of champagne that I had ordered with an engraving of ‘Trent and Zac 22/04/2023’. All of our guests had the chance to try their key in the lock and whoever opened it won the bottle!”

The newlywed’s first dance was a last-minute change, says Trent. “We had a song planned for months for our first dance. Then a week before the wedding, we were driving home from Echuca and a song popped into a playlist on my phone. We heard it once and both of us had chills. We knew we had to change our plans and locked in “Better Together” by Luke Combs.
We decided that we wanted a mother-son dance since usually there is a father-daughter dance and ours was blended into our first dance. A third of the way into the song, we split up and we got our mums up. Zac first danced with my mum and me with his, then we switched and danced with our mums. Smashed it all out in one song.”

The biggest congratulations to you both Trent and Zac! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us, and to Justin & Jim Photography for today’s beautiful images.