Johanna and Alex’s Rustic Wedding at Butterland is elegant, simple and oozes love. Captured beautifully by Smith and Archer Photography, this wedding reminds us why we love a rustic country wedding.

This love story began while Alex and Johanna were working at Rivoli Cinemas. Our time at Rivoli was very special and we were so lucky to meet so many amazing people and form lifelong friendships and memories we will cherish forever. When we first started seeing each other Alex was very nervous and very conscious of not overstepping any boundaries as we were friends before partners and obviously not picking up on my cues so I had to ask, ‘Are you going to kiss me or what?’”

With love in the air, Alex proposed to Johanna. I proposed to Jo during a trip to the Northern Territory in April 2022. Jo has always loved travel and exploring new places and I always thought it would be nice to propose while we were off exploring together. Unfortunately with COVID, a number of our travel plans got cancelled, however, we had planned a trip to visit the NT together and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. During the trip, we did a tour with a group around Kakadu and Katherine. I was trying to find the perfect opportunity however it was difficult to find some time away from the group. With time running out on the final night, we were in a campsite just outside of Katherine with the backdrop of a beautiful sunset. I suggested to Jo that we should go off on a walk and collect some firewood, once we had some privacy I was trying to compose myself to pop the question when we came across an abandoned car. Jo was getting Wolf Creek vibes and wanted to head back to the campsite, so with my arms full of a load of sticks I knelt in front of her, dropping the wood and fumbling around for the ring as I popped the question. Jo responded with a ‘are you serious?’ before an excited ‘Yes!’

Gushing about her flowers, Johanna tells us that Katie Marx Flowers exceeded their expectations “Butterland’s owner Katie is a florist by day. We provided her with the inspiration of a ‘cottage garden’ and she ran with it. We absolutely trusted her with the floral arrangement and as expected she made the beautiful venue look even more special on the day. We loved the small details she added around the event space where we had the reception, it looked magical.”

With her sister by her side, Johanna was able to choose the perfect wedding dress. “My sister took charge of the whole process, as I wasn’t too keen to do the traditional dress shopping. After looking online and not finding a lot, we visited a few boutiques and were glad to stumble on Lola Varma. Courtney was excellent, she listened to the things that were important for my comfort and it was great to feel able to try on a number of the gowns to feel firm in my decision. I could have chosen so many of their beautiful gowns to wear, however, felt most comfortable in the Lotta gown. My dress was the very last of the original material.”

Alex wore a beautiful sand-coloured linen suit from Peter Jacksons which Johanna tells is was to fit in with the relaxed garden theme.

“We didn’t want the wedding to feel too formal and wanted our attire to fit in with the relaxed garden party type of vibe we were planning. Alex wore a cream/sand linen jacket with black suit pants from Peter Jackson.”

Weddings are filled with special little moments. Johanna and Alex share their favourite moments of the day.

“Alex loved seeing me walk down the aisle and the beautiful nature environment of the ceremony, also the speeches and the dinner setting which was a shared feast style and felt very homely and just like a great catch up with old friends. So really all of it!”

Johanna chose the two most important people to walk her down the aisle. “I chose to walk down the aisle with my parents who have both played such an important part in my life and I wanted them both to be there with me.”

With their heart set on finding a celebrant who could keep the ceremony mood light-hearted, Johanna and Alex chose Susan Chamberlain to help them seal the deal! “Our ceremony was in the beautiful gardens of Butterland, on a backdrop of the old butter factory and native plants and trees. We wanted to achieve a relaxed vibe that felt like a gathering of old friends, but still respect the tradition and importance of the day. Our celebrant Susan Chamberlain did a superb job keeping the mood light-hearted, even slotting in some excellent butter puns!”

Alex and Johanna chose stunning wedding rings from Cushla Whiting.

If there is one thing Alex and Johanna agree on, it’s that they both love cheese! “Alex and I also both love a cheese platter- and we made sure this was included after the ceremony for our guests to also enjoy, and Emma James Catering did a splendid spread.”


While Johanna and Alex loved all of their wedding vendors, musician Little Wolf Entertainment really stood out to them. “Our beautiful musician Gaia, booked through Little Wolf Entertainment. Her voice was stunning and we found ourselves throughout the day just enjoying her performance, we were so grateful to have her there performing and honestly felt guilty at times that she was performing at our wedding and we weren’t all there just to listen to her sing, she was amazing. Highly recommend and we hope to see one of her gigs soon!”

Johanna enlisted help from Make-up By Inez to help complete her wedding day look, with accessories from Tiffany Duliege.

No wedding is complete without your best friends by your side. Johanna tells us what their beautiful wedding party wore.

“Alex had his lifelong friends Doug, Jimmy and Ben as his groomsmen, dressed in the same linen jacket and suit pants, minus the bow tie from Peter Jacksons. Johanna had her sister Sarah and best friend from high school Richa as her bridal party. They wore the ‘Twilight’ dress from the brand Reformation, and shoes of their choice. They also wore the ‘Sabine Pearl Earrings’ from Maison de Femmes.”

Johanna and Alex chose the talented Smith and Archer Photography to capture their love-filled day.

“Ali Bant of Smith + Archer was our photographer. She was great throughout the whole process. We let her know from the start that we aren’t people that like to be the centre of attention and certainly don’t like being the subject of posed photos. She made a great effort to understand what we were hoping for and what we would be comfortable with on the day and was happy to adapt to whatever we needed. I think together we found a happy medium of not feeling as if we needed to awkwardly pose endlessly throughout the day to get the right shots but still capture so many beautiful moments. We are absolutely thrilled with the results, as are our family and friends, she is very talented and we couldn’t recommend her enough!”

While Johanna and Alex loved the whole process of planning their wedding, their favourite task was finding the perfect location to say ‘I do’. “Our favourite part was picking the venue. We had visited a few venues but not fallen in love with any and many of our plans were on hold until that detail was locked in. When we arrived at Butterland we immediately fell in love with the venue, it was the perfect rustic natural vibe that we were looking for and it was easy to visualise celebrating the day with all our closest family and friends in that space.”

While it’s almost impossible for this gorgeous couple to pick their favourite photo, they tell us “We have so many favourites! Alex’s is a shot captured of us walking back towards Butterland after our sunset shots with the beautiful butter factory building in the background.
I loved the sunset shots with the beautiful country landscape in the background, and with my arms around my new husband.” Johanna said.

Johanna and Alex wanted a rustic wedding in the country which is why they chose Butterland as their wedding venue. “We always liked the idea of a country wedding and the relaxing feeling of getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city for the weekend. We also love being surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes. We looked at a number of venues and Jo’s sister suggested taking a look at Butterland on the recommendation of a friend. When we visited the venue we immediately fell in love with the rustic feel and history of the building and the beautiful gardens and views, not to mention the old train tracks out the back.”

Johanna and Alex chose Moon Dog beverages to ensure their wedding guests stayed hydrated throughout the night!

Always surrounded by loved ones willing to offer a hand, Lucy and James weren’t short of offers to help with their wedding.

“We were very fortunate to have many offers of help from family and friends on the day. My mother had been collecting and drying rose petals for months for guests to shower us in as we walked down the aisle together after the ceremony,” Johanna said
“We also had a friend’s mother sew together bunting in neutral colours that complemented the flowers and were hung around the event space. My sister’s partner’s sister has a talent for cake making and kindly put together our beautiful cake. And my brother and sister-in-law designed, and printed all the signage and place cards!”

Their five favourite things about their wedding? “Being around family and friends from far and wide (including Japan, New York, Sweden to almost all states of Australia). Getting to share the day with Alex’s Grandma. Alex’s brother’s speech was so special, he had been preparing it for months and he did such a fabulous job. Staying with our wedding party in the lead-up/post-event. There were no pranks pulled in view of April Fools.”

Ensuring their wedding guests were transported safely, Johanna and Alex chose Castlemaine Bus Lines.

While planning a wedding can be stressful, Johanna imparts some wisdom on future couples getting married. “Plan early if you can to try and avoid stress in the build-up to the wedding and once the day comes around try to let go of all those details you have been scrutinising for months and just enjoy the day.”

Johanna and Alex chose not to have a formal wedding dance, however, snuck a moment on the dance floor with Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ as the evening came to a close.

A huge congratulations to Johanna and Alex on sealing their love, and big thank you to Smith and Archer Photography for allowing us to feature this stunning day.