Have you ever heard of invisible string theory? It’s the idea that the universe connects people who are destined to meet one day. And this has never been truer for two people than for Matt and Elissa. To celebrate their finally coming together, they invited their friends and family to the family farm for a festival of love. “With us both being musicians and spending a lot of time at festivals, we wanted to channel a festival vibe.”

Their photographer for the day was the one and only Brett Scapin. “A funny backstory with Brett and I is it turns out my grandmother and his grandfather grew up in the same house in a small village in Italy. This house was shared between two families and there were about 30+ people living there! So, in some way, Brett feels like family and it was perfect that he was there!”

There are some people in our lives we are destined to meet, one way or another. And for Matt and Elissa, there were multiple invisible strings connecting them. “We met on Tinder 10 years ago, but there’s a bit of a backstory… My mum actually met Matt before I did; she saw him and his band “The Scrims” busking and had a feeling I would be into “the violinist”. She watched them for a while and gave them money and when she came home, told me about this band that I would have loved. She didn’t take note of their name so I couldn’t look them up, but she went on and on and on about how I would have loved them,” Elissa explained. “Fast forward a year and a few dates later, I showed mum Matts bands music and she exclaimed “thats the band I was telling you about” the band has a pretty unique sound and she remembered straight away. We clicked straight away and spend pretty much the whole week together, we just loved hanging out and Matt kept telling his friends tongue in cheek he had “found his future wife” and turns out he did!”

Creativity and lyricism run deep in musicians’ veins, so it’s no surprise that he chose a proposal highlighting his talent with words. “Matt was planning on proposing, but each event he organised ended up being cancelled due to lockdown restrictions from Covid. After waiting a few months, he decided to propose one casual night when we were eating breakfast for dinner. He read a beautiful letter he wrote for me and it was very personal; I couldn’t imagine being proposed to in any other way.”

Keeping things close to home, they held their festival wedding on Elissa’s family farm in Woodend, VIC. “We have had memorials of loved ones and scattered ashes on certain trees, and there is a field of trees with plaques remembering family members who have passed away, so by having the wedding there, it really felt as if our grandparents and other passed loved ones were part of our important day.”

To provide overnight accommodation for their guests, Matt and Elissa got Happy Glamper on the job. “We wanted our family and friends to be able to spend the night, so they set up 11 tents along the dam bank, which looked amazing, and were really comfortable! Then behind that other people pitched up their own tents or brought caravans, the whole paddock was filled with campers.”

“Being at the family farm was a pretty special tradition you could say. I grew up there and have so many fond memories, and it is definitely one of my favourite places in the world. My dad has done a beautiful job of landscaping and building on the property, so it was a no-brainer! There were multiple areas around the farm that we used on the day. We got married in front of a beautiful domed garden gazebo with a classical-style wrought iron roof. Surrounding the gazebo was a hedge and stone statues, beautiful trees and the lake in the background. We used the Art gallery as our space for the lunch, which dad had built with the wedding in mind, and then in the evening used the tin shed as a stage.”

Before the official wedding events started, Matt and Elissa had a sit-down family lunch in the Art Gallery to thank everyone for their support. “As it was going to be a hands-on day for our parents, we wanted to give them a special lunch which was before the ceremony and allowed them to relax and be served by our amazing caterer, Gary, from Spade to Blade,” they explained. “This lunch included 60 of our closest family members, and it felt very calm and special. It gave us a chance to mingle and chat with our loved ones without the need to rush off to the next person. The building that we had the lunch in (a separate art gallery next to the lake) Dad actually built in the year leading up to the wedding, so it felt super special to have christened the room with such a special event. After lunch, it was the start time of the wedding for the rest of the guests, and we went straight into the ceremony, and that’s when the festival-style wedding started.”

Originally planning to wear a casual dress, Elissa soon realised there was nothing that grabbed her attention. “I was planning on buying something casual from a non-bridal shop but found that although the designs were nice, nothing was made to the standard I would have liked. So we engaged a family friend dressmaker, who was able to bring my vision of a tight top and waist to life with an ankle-length swing skirt,” she described. “She was 80% finished with the dress when I found out I was pregnant, so we had to scrap that idea and I went with something flowy and comfortable enough for my 7-month pregnant belly to fit. I was really happy in the end, and I was very comfortable, especially with my white cowgirl boots!”

Opting for a farm-chic look, Matt wore a tan sports jacket from Rodd & Gunn paired with brown tailored pants from Ben Sherman. Matching the rest of his neutral outfit, he finished the look with a crisp white shirt and no tie. The wedding party on Elissa’s side wore gold silk gowns from Dissh, and on Matt’s side his party wore the same gold silk dress, and his brother who wore a tan jacket from Peter Jacksons and dark blue pants from Uniqlo.

The ceremony music was provided by Elissa’s school friends in a string quintet consisting of two violins, two cellos and a viola. They played Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream No. 8 (Nocturne) as she walked down the aisle with her dad, mum and brother. Her bouquet was designed and created by her beautiful friend, Elissa Dannock.

Lisa Brown was the celebrant for Matt and Elissa, and she struck the perfect balance of sentimental and fun. “I remember the feeling of walking down the aisle, seeing Matt, and then turning around to all of our 350 family and friends and feeling SO overwhelmed with love and gratitude. It was one of the best feelings of my life! We both wrote and read our vows but kept the ceremony short and sweet.”

As the wedding took place on the family farm and not an event venue, many of the elements throughout the day were DIY’d or brought in by friends and family. “Our whole wedding was pretty much DIY. As it was on our property, we had to bring in marquees, furniture, lighting, toilets, speakers, bins, signage, and carparks; we even put on a spit and BBQ and grazing tables so there was food to make in the lead-up. There were many working-bee weekends, which friends and family helped with. On the day, SO many of our family members pitched in to help things run smoothly; as the guest list was 350, there was a huge amount of planning and prepping involved. However, this is also what made the day feel so special for us so we didn’t mind the extra work.”

Elissa’s favourite part of planning? Seeing their family and friends come together to pitch in and bring their dreams to life. “To be honest, the planning was pretty stressful as it was on our property and there was a lot to do ourselves, and I felt as if there wasn’t too much I could tackle due to being pregnant, but my favourite part of it would have definitely been the working bees we had, and having our friends and family show their support and love. There were lots of laughs and good lunches, and I am forever grateful to everyone who helped out in the lead-up.”

Catering the food for the crowd was Happy Camper Pizza and Elena’s Paella, ensuring everyone was happily full and relaxed.

Brett Scapin was the photographer for the day, and with his natural charisma, he charmed all the guests and captured their genuine exchanges throughout the day. “Brett discussed with us at length prior to our wedding what it was we were after, and as Matt and I weren’t too keen on posed photos, Brett captured the day in such a genuine way, with heaps of photos of people laughing, dancing, eating and people showing their affection. A few of my family members apparently were telling him to take more breaks and to sit down and eat because they thought he was working too hard!”

Instead of a traditional first dance, Matt and Elissa brought their musical talents together and performed a first song. “Matt’s jazz band, The Scrims, accompanied us to “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall and Oats. Matt sang the first verse and I sang the second verse, then we both sang the choruses together. It was very fun and all of the guests got really into it!”

***p.s. throughout the day, SEVEN different bands played! Every musician and group were family members and friends of Matt and Elissa, making it an extra special addition to the day.

Their five favourite things about the day? “The Music, Food, People, Location and knowing our little girl was there in my belly soaking up all the love!”

Can we all raise a glass Matt and Elissa – congratulations on your beautiful festival of love, and may you create many more melodies together in the future! A huge thanks to Brett Scapin Photography for capturing and submitting this stunning event.