Full of Irish heritage, English garden party vibes and spring-inspired florals, Elly and Derek brought their dream wedding to life. The rustic Austinvilla Estate perfectly complemented the soft tones of their wedding. With Lauren Joy Photography in their dream team, their wedding is now forever immortalised.

Elly and Derek met the old-fashioned way – on good old Bumble! Derek found the best way to surprise Elly with their proposal: by doing a new activity together to throw her off. “He proposed to me on the 12th hole on a golf course before he birdied the hole. We had never played golf together before, and I never expected to walk away with quite the hole-in-one! It is very hard to surprise me, and I can confidently say I had NO idea! It was a day we will both never forget and will always laugh about.”

Austinvilla Estate was the perfect venue for their English garden party wedding, as it was private and had onsite accommodation for their guests. “A lot of our friends have kids, so this meant they could put them to bed and come back and enjoy the party. Also, about 85% of our guests were travelling from overseas or interstate, so accommodation on site or close by was important to us.”

Derek’s vision for his outfit was a dark pant and a contrasting jacket. With his favourite colour, navy, they knew he would wear a variation of blue in his attire. His wedding party all wore matching outfits, with blue pants from Country Road and neutral toned jackets from Politix. “This was super easy because our groomsmen were all over Australia, so we knew choosing brands that were accessible meant we could give them the details, and they could just go in.”

One of the things Elly was most sure of was her wedding dress—she wanted to feel like a princess. “I found an image of my dress online, and the bows were just so me. I also knew I wouldn’t want anything over the top in design. I loved that my dress had a wow factor, but it was simple and elegant with just the sateen finish. The dress was made in Italy and flown over a couple of months before the wedding for alterations,” she explained. “I also had a second dress; being that it was December, I knew I may need something a little less to combat the heat. I bought this dress from Etsy for $200, and I LOVE IT! It complimented my first dress but was super fun and perfect for the party.”

Elly’s wedding party all chose their own dresses – their only brief was to think pink!

They loved that the venue had everything on site, including the salon, where they could get ready. “I didn’t want to have to make my guests trek from one venue to the next; we just wanted an easy, fun day for everyone.”

Elly walked down the aisle with her mum and dad to the tune of “I Get To Love You” by Ruelle. They wanted the ceremony to be quick but reflect who they were as a couple. Their celebrant, Genene Deakin, created a beautiful flow for the ceremony, making it personal, loving, and funny—perfectly fitting Elly and Derek. “We didn’t include readings, but we did have a candle, which Derek lit for our grandparents, who are no longer with us.”

Once the ceremony had finished, Elly and Derek worked with Lauren Joy Photography to capture their portraits. “Lauren is a legend; we told her we didn’t want to do a long shoot with family and bridal party, and she was amazing. The family shots were smashed out in 15 minutes, which were so beautiful. She was also everywhere without feeling like she was in your face, which was perfect for us as two people who don’t love the camera. She is also just super chilled, which put us at ease on the day and let us have fun with it.”

Tigerlily Flowers created all the beautiful flowers, and Elly had put 100% of the creative direction in her hands. “I honestly think this was the BEST part of the day. When I saw what she created, I could not have planned it better myself. As it was between Christmas and New Year, our original plan of pink, green and white flowers wasn’t going to work, so I just said to my florist, I just want it to look like an English garden tea party, and she NAILED it. I love flowers so much and I loved loved loved what I got on the day.”

Five of their favourite things about the garden party wedding were:

“1. Our family coming over from Ireland and Spain meant we also got to have both sides of the family together for Christmas.

2. Our bridal party, they all just were so supportive and there for us.

3. Our flowers, I will say it over and over again, but it really made the day for me.

4. The band, it was so special to incorporate so much of the Irish culture into our day

Marrying my best friend – so lucky and continue to be every day.”

A lot of the decor for their reception was DIY’d by Elly. All the signs she made herself using Canva and Kmart frames, the linen napkins were hand-tied the night before, and she bought the candles and table decor. “The table runners were just long pieces of fabric that the venue had and we scrunched them up so they ran down with candles and flowers dotted through.”

Each table had a QR code that linked to their wedding Google Drive, where guests could upload any photos or videos they took throughout the night. “My brother is a video editor, so he edited them all together to create our wedding video. It was so much more personal than having a videographer/editor who didn’t know us, and it meant we got to see elements of the night we would have missed otherwise.”

To kick off the reception, Elly changed into her second dress. This gown hit her ankles, had whimsical bow details, and had a gorgeous twirly skirt.

For their first dance, Elly and Derek danced to Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House”. This was the perfect mixture of the two of them, showcasing Elly’s love for Ed and Derek’s love for Lego!

Derek has an Irish heritage, so they included various nods to this throughout the reception. From the traditional Irish wedding wish in Elly’s mum’s speech to the Irish band and dancers to the traditional Irish song Elly’s nephew sang.

That wasn’t where the Irish influence ended, as Austinvilla is also known for its Irish Chef – and according to Elly, his food was “AMAZING”. “The chef also made chip sandwiches (crisps, not hot chips) at the end of the night, which is a very Irish meal at the end of a big night.”

Please join us in congratulating Elly and Derek on their beautiful garden party wedding! Thanks to Lauren Joy Photography for capturing this wonderful wedding.