With an intense love for each other, their friends and family, their dog Alfie and camping, Deb and Charli brought together all these elements to create their rustic wedding. Filling their night with Fireball, s’mores and handstands, they wouldn’t change a single thing from their perfect day. With Zach Taylor on their team as their photographer and Adam from Infinite Productions as the videographer, the essence of their wedding was perfectly captured.
Working as paramedics, Deb and Charli knew of each other for about two years before they got to know each other and officially started dating. “Like with all meet-cute stories, the flirting and dating stemmed outside work on a night out. We spent the entire night laughing and dancing with each other, and when Charli’s heels got too much for her, I generously offered to swap shoes for my more comfortable cons, half unaware that this was a “move”,” Deb recalled. “We partied until 5 am, and at the end of the night, I thought it was a perfect time to watch Jurassic Park, to which Charli replied, “I love that movie”. Shortly after this, an official first date was organised – a breakfast picnic in Hyde Park. Everything was so natural; we found we were very similar with similar interests, and we had so much fun that the date turned into lunch, which then turned into dinner, and the rest is history!”
Dianne Rowe Private Collection is a jewellery designer and mutual friend of the couple – whom both Deb and Charli had contacted separately only two weeks apart to order a ring to pop the question! “She had to play the both of us to find out who would actually get in first! I had contacted her first, but Charli was super organised and had my ring finished first! Charli had been working away and had organised a surprise and elaborate two-year anniversary celebration to make up for being away,” explained Deb. “So she went all out – it started with a trip down south to Margaret River, staying at Losari Retreat. Charli organised a 1965 Ford Mustang to pick us up in the morning and drive us to our secluded breakfast picnic at Shelley Cove, with a photographer disguised as a sunbather (which I did not pick up on!) to capture the moment Charli asked me to marry her. And I was completely surprised and had no idea. This was followed by multiple wine tastings in our Ford Mustang and a degustation lunch at Vasse Felix. Once we got back to Perth, I organised Charli’s ring ASAP and surprised her with the ring and a coffee in bed in the morning. We decided to look at wedding venues!”
To start the day on the right foot, Deb and Charli spent their time getting ready together. Helping them get ready was Hair and Make-up Artist Elicia Rose, who had actually suggested the idea since she was working with both of them. “We had decided it would be fun to get ready together on the morning of the wedding, and it would calm our nerves. We had the same hair and make-up artist anyway, and it was time spent together on the day that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. So we had Charli, myself, and our bridal party getting ready together in the morning, which was so much fun. We had breakfast and some drinks together and just some silly shenanigans in the morning. Then we separated to put on our dresses and then did our first look. It could not have gone better!”
They removed the Best Man/Maid of Honour titles for their wedding party, saying, “We didn’t want to choose any best man/woman or maids of honour and wanted everyone just the same and with us on the day.” Charli had her two sisters, Jess and Emily, as Bridesmaids. Deb had her two best friends, Baylee as her Bridesmaid and Josh as her Bridesman. They also had best friend, Tom, as their ring bearer and flower/confetti man.
As two women wearing dresses to their wedding, Deb and Charli enlisted Charli’s sister Jess to become their Wedding Dress Whisperer. “She was the only one to know both of our dresses to make sure they matched well together and that we also didn’t pick the same one! She took her role VERY seriously, and once I knew the dress I had chosen, Jess organised with Luv Bridal to have it put away from the rack so Charli wouldn’t even see it when she visited the store! If you’re in the same boat, I highly recommend having a wedding dress whisperer!!”
Wearing the Cora Dress from Evie Young at Luv Bridal, Deb looked incredible. It was a lucky find, as it was one of the first dresses she tried on – and she instantly fell in love with the lace details and backless cut. “It felt comfortable on, and the train was a perfect size. It felt weird to pick the first dress I found, so I tried a few other stores, but I just kept coming back to that first dress, and none of the others quite compared. I was quite nervous and overwhelmed about the whole bridal dress shopping event as well, but Luv Bridal was such a relaxing place to be; they welcomed my mum and two sisters-in-law (and even my dad on the second visit!), and my consultant, Lisa, made me feel so comfortable and relaxed, the whole experience was amazing!”
She paired her gown with Swarovski jewellery, hair pins from JJ’s House and a pair of comfy white sneakers – ready to dance the night away.
The bridesmaids wore these beautiful maroon-coloured gowns from JJ’s House in the various styles they loved the most. “We wanted them all to be comfortable and wear what style suited them best. We ordered them at the same time, so they came off the same material roll.”
The bridesman and ring bearer, on the other hand, were more challenging to dress! “We took the boys out shopping, and it turns out men also have different body shapes – so trying to get the same pair of tan pants was proving difficult, but we got there in the end. They paired these with a white shirt, brown shoes and a belt, and we ordered them maroon bow ties to match the bridesmaids.”
Like Deb, Charli was also overwhelmed when shopping for her gown. After visiting five/six stores, with three dresses shortlisted, she decided to try on a completely different, random dress in hopes it would help her decide. “She loved it and ended up buying it on the spot from Brides Selection. Charli also had a veil to wear on the day, which she then decided against at the last minute and had some flowers from our florist put in her hair instead.”
Once everyone was ready, it was time to have the first look. This was the perfect chance for Deb and Charli to include their dog, Alfie, in the wedding. But since he’s an anxious little guy, this was the perfect opportunity. “We knew we wanted to do a first look as we knew we’d both be nervous, and we wanted that moment to see each other for just the two of us without everyone else there and watching. Unbeknownst to me, Charli had organised for Alfie to join her on the first look, so he still got to be with us for a bit of the day, and I was totally surprised and so happy to see him. She had fed him cheese to keep him quiet, so I didn’t know he was there, and she had popped a maroon bowtie on him.”
The venue for the day was the rustic Chapel Farm in Perth – with space for an outdoor ceremony, undercover reception space and lake views. “We actually initially chose Baldivis Farm Stay, which ticked all the boxes: outdoor ceremony, gorgeous venue, undercover barn for reception, outdoor fire pit, and they had availability in May. Unfortunately, my dad’s health declined at this time, and we decided to change venues to find something closer to home for them in case Mum might have to take Dad home early,” she explained. “We had been to Chapel Farm before, so we knew about the venue, and it happened to be close to my parent’s place. They also had availability in May, so we made the switch and couldn’t have been happier! Chapel Farms event coordinator Katie was also amazing!”
Deb and Charli walked down the aisle separately as the song “Love You For A Long Time” by Maggie Rogers played. “We loved this song as soon as it came out, and it sort of felt like our song, so we always knew we’d choose it. We also wanted something a little more upbeat as we came down the aisle. We did throw around the idea of having the Jurassic Park theme song, so we decided to include that as our prelude before we walked down!”
Deb walked down the aisle with her mum, and her brothers organised for her dad to meet them at the top as a surprise – allowing her to walk with both her parents. After the rest of the wedding party walked down, Charli walked with her dad on her arm.
Their ceremony was fun, relaxed and full of laughter – perfectly encapsulating their personalities. Mark Kenny was the celebrant, perfectly fitting Deb and Charli’s personalities and all the fun vibes they hoped for!
As a surprise for the wedding party, Deb and Charli organised their entrances to be accompanied by fun/embarrassing facts about each other, which turned into a bit of a roast. “We started the ceremony off with Tom walking down the aisle and letting off a couple of confetti cannons to really set the vibe early! The roast was a surprise to our bridal party and a lot of fun! We didn’t include any readings, but we did include a wine box ritual, where we had a bottle of Vasse Felix wine from our engagement in an engraved wooden box. We had placed a written letter to each other inside, with the idea that we can open it up on our fifth wedding anniversary (or sooner if we wish) and then replace it with another bottle of wine and another letter each and just keep that tradition going in our marriage.”
Keeping with the rustic theme, the flowers for the day were dried and preserved so they could keep them forever. “We decided to go with Dried Flower Bar Bunbury, and a friend living south drove them up for us. We had dried natives with some creams, dusty pinks and maroons – we actually kept our bouquets, and they are on display in our home. We had the matching arbour (which we relocated to the reception area after the ceremony), cake flowers, and buttonholes for Tom, Josh, and our parents. Our bridesmaids had baby’s breath bouquets. We also decided on simple olive greenery vines on our reception tables.”
The wedding planning was a joint effort; they knew they didn’t need all the bells and whistles – just their friends and family, a killer dancefloor and plenty of Fireball. “The biggest challenge, though, was that I ended up getting COVID two weeks before the wedding! I was in isolation the week before the wedding, with Charli having to organise a fair share of the last-minute wedding planning as well as bringing me food, wine and snacks – so it was easy for me in the lead-up to our wedding day, haha! I also had to isolate and avoid contact with Charli at all costs to keep her COVID-free so the wedding could go ahead! But this meant we got to hang out across the hallway and finalise all the finishing touches, including the seating plan, and then we were able to plan our honeymoon as well!!”
Deb and Charli loved everyone on their dream team and picked all the perfect vendors for their day. “We had the absolute best day, and our faces hurt from smiling and laughing the whole time! Everything went so smoothly (for us anyway; if anything went wrong, we actually didn’t know about it!),” Deb exclaimed. “Our vendors were all amazing, and we couldn’t have asked for a better dream team. They were all so relaxed, made us feel comfortable, and they were all funny and sweet! Zach Taylor, our photographer. Mark Kenny, our celebrant; Adam, our videographer from Infinite Productions; and our musician and DJ, David Lazarus! Our make-up artist, Elicia Rose, and our hair stylist, Elegant Edge, who’s also a good friend. Our engagement and wedding ring designer and friend, Dianne Rowe Private Collection. And all the staff at Chapel Farm, and Katie, our coordinator, who just made everything run so smoothly and perfectly leading up to and on the day!”
Zach Taylor, who came highly recommended by their Celebrant Mark, was the photographer for the day. “We loved his photos, their style and his editing. We organised to meet him for a drink one night, which turned into one bottle! He was so chill and made us feel at ease straight away, and his humour just matched ours. Even when Charli and I both got a little awkward and quirky, he just kept right up with us, which was hugely important for us as we had no idea how to pose for photos or what we normally do with our hands, but it didn’t matter coz Zach was there and made us feel at ease and just laughed and joked with us all day which got some really good photos for us!”
As cake toppers, Deb and Charli had Pop Vinyl figures made in their image, including one of their dog, Alfie. In their life post-wedding, these guys are now displayed in their home. During the reception, their love for Fireball really shined – with trays of shots always going around and even making sure one got delivered to their table.
After going back and forth on whether they wanted to do a first dance, they decided to attend a dance lesson to make the most of their dance floor. “Because if it was left to us, we would have just twirled around until one of us fell! So we made a date day out of it and went for a lesson at Jump Into It in Wangara. But we also knew we wanted a fun and upbeat song to start the dance floor, so we chose Lime Cordiale’s version of “I Touch Myself”, which was hilarious! We asked for some lifts and dips to be put into the choreography, and they gave us a really good routine. We also only asked for the first minute and a half as then we were going to invite the rest of the guests to join us, and we didn’t want to be dancing for a full 3-4 minutes with everyone watching. We also organised sparklers for everyone to wave around during our dance, so the guests also had something to do!” Deb explained. “I actually got COVID before our wedding, which meant we had to isolate from each other, making it extremely difficult to practice our dance – so we tried our best separately from opposite ends of the hallway while in isolation! It wasn’t until the night before the wedding we had time to practice and we kept dropping each other and laughing, so we had no idea how it was going to go on the day! But when the time came, and after a couple of drinks, we just decided to go for it, and we nailed it! (must have not thought about the pressure!)”
They had plenty of fun and food-based elements for their guests to enjoy, including a fire pit for Smore’s! “We had a Smore’s dessert table, which we set up ourselves, including the signage, all the ingredients, the containers and roasting sticks. We had marshmallows, biscuits, different flavours of chocolate and a smores menu, or people could make their own flavoured smores. We had a big sign that said, “Girls have s’more fun”. We do a lot of camping and usually always make smores if we have a fire, so we always wanted to have this!”
Of all the photos from the day, Debs’s favourite had to be Charli’s handstand on the dance floor. “All of them! But if I have to pick – it would definitely be Charli kicking her sister-in-law’s beer out of her hand and smashing it onto the ground; everyone has shock and concern on their faces, but I’m just smiling and clapping like a proud wife!”
Congratulations, Deb and Charli – you put together an incredible, rustic wedding that your guests won’t forget any time soon! And a huge thanks to Zach Taylor for capturing and submitting it for us to share.