From start to finish, Carmen and Tom shared every moment of their wedding day as a team. Their relaxed wedding was truly a celebration of their relationship and the community they’ve found around it.
From their two dogs, a hungry goat and guinea pigs, their day was filled with animals – exactly how a farm wedding should be. And thankfully, Sarah Godenzi was there every step of the way to capture all the goofy, endearing and tender moments.
Carmen and Tom met in the microbiology research lab where they both worked at Monash University. Tom had been planning a proposal during an upcoming holiday they were planning, but unfortunately, when one of their dogs broke his leg, they couldn’t afford to take the trip anymore. “I was too excited to wait, so I decided to weave the proposal into our routine and proposed it after one of our regular winter Sunday outings to the pub.”
They started their wedding day exactly how they dreamed: together. “We went through the entire day together. We went out for breakfast together in the morning. We walked the dogs. We got ready together. We had a drink before the ceremony together. We were with each other from the start until the end.”
The Collingwood Children’s Farm was the first and only venue Carmen and Tom viewed for their wedding, and it was the perfect blend of their upbringings that they didn’t have to look further.” I grew up running around small farms in the country, and Carmen grew up going to the Collingwood Children’s Farm. We thought it was a good representation of both of us; we also love this area of Abbotsford and often walk our two dogs along the Yarra River in the Dight’s Falls reserve,” Tom explained. “We also wanted the wedding to feel comfortable and fun for our families, friends and their children. Food is also very important to both of us and our families, and the Farm Cafe served up an absolute abundance of delectable dishes.”
Wearing custom-tailored suits from Anna Cordell, Carmen and Tom flawlessly complemented each other. “We went through the entire process of getting the suits made and fitted together.” Tom was in his lavender suit, and Carmen wore her white linen suit. “Anna Cordell and her team are champions of slow fashion. We wanted to support local businesses as much as possible. Anna’s clothes were featured at Melbourne Fashion Week this year! An honour to wear clothes designed by her,” Tom described.
On one side of the wedding party, Scott, Tim, Haris, Ronni, Liam, and Sam wore suits they already owned, to eliminate the need to buy new suits – adding to the overall relaxed vibe of the day. Carmen’s side of the wedding party included Chantelle, Adriana, Jess, and Rhea – who wore matching teal jumpsuits.
One of their favourite inclusions of the day was their two Australian Cattle dogs, Merlin and Bruno. This photo here is one of Carmen’s favourites! “I remember it as being perfect. An amazing day. I was over the moon that my dogs could be involved too!”
Tom and Carmen entered the ceremony together as a team, walking to “This Must Be The Place” by The Talking Heads. Carmen carried Tom’s grandmother’s wedding handkerchief during the ceremony, continuing a family tradition, as his grandmother, aunts, and cousins had done before.
The ceremony was relaxed and a little bit goofy – perfect for Tom and Carmen. “We trusted our wonderful celebrant Nat Sproal to deliver our story and convey a feeling. We wrote our own vows and got to read them in front of all of our favourite people,” Tom recalled. “Nat Sproal was fantastic; she really conveyed a sense of who we are as a couple on the day and captured our quirks. Nat also made all the paperwork and legal stuff super easy and effortless. Couldn’t have done it without her.”
Merlin and Bruno were a pair of well-behaved ring bearers who enjoyed the ceremony thanks to Hannah and Sinead from The Wedding Sitter wrangling and keeping them company on the day.
Following the main ceremony, they hosted a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, honouring another tradition and spending time with family. “We were able to bring people together from all across the country and friends from Singapore. We even had guinea pig cuddles scheduled for all of the children that attended.”
While Carmen’s favourite photo was their family portrait with Merlin and Bruno, Tom’s favourite was this tranquil moment after the ceremony. “We both have a glass of sparkling wine and we are chatting, and there are a couple of snaps of us dancing under the trees in the soft waning sunlight of the day.”
The flowers chosen for the day were Australian natives and foliage. Thrive Flowers provided the greenery in the reception barn, and Carmen and Tom thrifted all the vases for these beautiful dried lavenders and billy buttons they sourced from a local market.
The day wouldn’t have run as smoothly or comfortably if not for their dream team of vendors, and one of their favourite parts of planning was finding them all! “My favourite part was that we did all the planning together as a team. We booked most of our vendors from the couch in one sitting when we were both home sick from work with Covid…”
Tom had a slight mishap during their portrait time and lost his corsage. “I got a little too close… and a goat ate my corsage.”
Sarah Godenzi perfectly captured the relaxed and goofy nature of Carmen and Tom. “She captured the feeling of the day so perfectly and made us feel super comfortable (we both hate having photos taken). Portrait time was basically like strolling around with a mate who was also taking our pictures! Some of the pictures she took are absolutely ethereal and out of this world stunning.”
For their first dance, Carmen and Tom chose “One Crowded Hour” by Augie March, played live by The Baker Boys Band. “We danced together on the barn dance floor in front of all our friends and family, but I could have sworn we were dancing by ourselves in our kitchen…” Tom described. “The Baker Boys’ Band were incredible. Their sets were perfect for our wedding and got everyone dancing.”
Carmen and Tom – congratulations on perfectly creating this relaxed and playful wedding! And thanks to Sarah Godenzi for sending this our way, and for capturing the goofy essence of the day.