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Vanessa and Rich’s Daylesford Lavender Farm Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Vanessa & Rich

A wedding in a lavender farm is such an incredible thought but it’s even more fun to see it come to life. Vanessa and Rich took to Daylesford for their wedding and married next to the vivid purple lavender fields. Bliss!

Vanessa tells their story. “Rich and I met by chance when we were both out for Sunday night drinks at a pub in Melbourne. I was with a group of girlfriends and he was with his Uni mates, and just as I was about to call it a night, we crossed paths on the dance floor. Rich introduced himself and I decided to stay out a bit longer – the best decision I’ve made yet! The following week we started seeing each other, and after a month of dating we were officially a couple. That was almost 10 years ago now – we knew from the start we were in it together for the long haul!”

Photos today are by Brent Lukey who captures weddings classically and cleanly and just the way they are.

Vanessa recalls, “We put a lot of effort in to personalising our wedding, and made all of our ‘save the date’ cards and invitations. My parents made rustic looking signs to welcome guests to our wedding and direct them to the ceremony. They fitted in really well with the country / rustic feel of the wedding.”

The floral arrangements for the day were styled by Tonia Todman. The bride’s bouquet had a special something blue. Vanessa recalls, ” My grandmother who wasn’t able to make it to our wedding gave me her blue antique crystal brooch as my ‘something blue’, which I attached to my bouquet and kept with me all day. ”

Vanessa wore a gown and hairpiece designed by Catherine R Couture. She explains, “I designed my dress with Catherine and she and the girls there did a tremendous job making it – I adore my dress and seeing it come together was a lot of fun!” Vanessa’s bridesmaids wore lavender gowns from Out With Evie.

The bride arrived at the ceremony in a London taxi cab from London Taxi Weddings . Vanessa remarks “A nod to my (the bride’s) English father, and the year we spent living abroad in London.”

Vanessa walked down the aisle to “Bella” by Angus and Julia Stone. The couple chose Sault Estate for their ceremony and reception. Vanessa explains,  “Our wedding was held at Sault Estate, a beautiful lavender farm in Daylesford near the Wombat State Forest. The estate has a French provincial feel about it, surrounded by stunning purple lavender fields, manicured gardens and a feature lake.

When we first began looking for a wedding venue, we were after a one-stop shop venue that had a great setting for our ceremony, brilliant food and wine for the reception, and beautiful surrounds for our photos. We didn’t want our guests to have to move to another location, and we wanted our photos onsite so we could spend more time relaxing with our guests after the ceremony, and enjoying the night. Sault had it all.”

Post reception, guests enjoyed champagne and a local touch from Vanessa and Rich. Vanessa remembers, “We served local Daylesford mineral water at our ceremony (for which the area is famed for), and created fun little straw flags, which we attached to striped straws. One side said ‘eat drink and be married’, and the other had our names and wedding date.”

Of their photographer, Vanessa remarks, “We had been admiring Brent’s wedding photography on his blog from early on in our engagement, so when the time came to decide on our photographer, it was an easy choice to meet with him. It was obvious that Brent really understood the vision we had for our wedding, and we shared his love for candid, relaxed, yet stylish photography. After viewing his wedding albums, we also really loved the way his photos told a story about the day, without looking too posed or unnatural.

On the day Brent was a pleasure to work with, and he remained professional, friendly and calm despite the weather making his job difficult. He did a wonderful job capturing our wedding with such warmth and happiness, despite the freezing cold wind that whipped up in the afternoon. Brent worked tirelessly to make sure he got the perfect shot, and everyone was very impressed with his energy and the way he went about his work on the day.”

Of Sault’s reception venue, Vanessa says “The food was modern, and featured a lot of regional produce. The interior of the restaurant was just what we were looking for – understated and elegant. The restaurant had big windows overlooking the lake that offered great views at sunset, as well as couches to relax in, and an area for our live band where guests had a ball dancing the night away.”

The personal touches continued into the reception, Vanessa explains “For our seating chart, we used escort cards. We hand wrote guests’ names and table numbers on tags, and attached felt letters or little birds or birdcages to them. We pegged the tags to wire that was strung across a rustic frame, and guests searched for their tags to find their seat.”

The decor was scattered with personal photographs. Says Vanessa “To acknowledge our parents’ long marriages and those of our Grandparents we framed photos taken from their own their wedding day and displayed them at our reception, alongside our guest book. None of our Grandparents could be at our wedding so it was nice to have their photos with us on the day.”

Even the table numbers were handmade with Vanessa explaining, “My husband made the table numbers, which featured sketches of us during our travels, that he took from photos.”

The reception kicked on with the speeches becoming a highlight of Vanessa’s memories of the day. “My Dad’s father-of-the bride speech got everyone laughing about a very funny and appropriate childhood story that was so fitting for a wedding speech. It was a very touching moment for me to see him up there speaking in front of everyone so proudly about myself and Rich. Our best friends (maid-of-honour and best man), each made memorable and heartfelt speeches too. A highlight was my maid of honour’s speech. Everyone was in awe when she recited a very cleverly written limerick about our friendship, and my relationship with Rich – people are still talking about it! And the best-man’s speech was the warmest and nicest speech I’ve ever heard! We’ll treasure these memories for a long time. “

As favors guests received mall glass jars of locally produced Daylesford Des O’Toole Pure Honey. The wedding cake was made by Sault, a croquembouche filled with white chocolate and lavender flavoured custard.

Vanessa and Rich hired The White Tree to entertain guests at their reception, starting with their first dance  Vanessa remembers  Our first dance was to “This Old Love” by Lior, a gorgeous song about growing old together. It’s been a favourite song of ours from the early days of our relationship. We had a hand full of intense lessons in the few weeks leading up to our wedding with Charlie from ‘The secret garden of dance’ in Kew. These were a lot of fun, and gave us plenty of laughs too!”

Congratulations Vanessa and Rich! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Brent Lukey  for sharing today’s photographs!

Photographer: Brent Lukey / Bride’s Dress: Catherine R Couture / Bride’s Shoes: Alan Pinkus / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Catherine R Couture / Groom’s Attire: Arthur Galan / Groomsmen Attire: Raffaele Ciuca Men’s Formal Wear / Bridesmaid Dresses: Out with Evie / Bridesmaid Accessories: Myer / Hair & Makeup Artist: Evelyn from Rogue Artists / Flowers & Decor: Tonia Todman / Invitations & Stationery: Rock Paper Scissors / Venue: Sault Estate, Daylesford / Ceremony Officiant: Rebecca Brady, RJ Celebrancy / Band: The White Tree / Favors: Daylesford Des O’Toole Pure Honey / Cake Baker: Sault Estate, Daylesford / Wedding Rings: MDT Design / Transport: London Taxi Weddings / Wedding Registry: Thankyou Gift Registry Services / Dance Lessons: The Secret Garden Of Dance

Laura and Matt’s Relaxed Byron Bay Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Laura and Matt

The wedding of Laura and Matt tok place at one of Australia’s most beautiful towns- Byron Bay. The place where you go to unwind and in Laura and Matt’s case, marry!

Guests at the wedding were served bottles of sparkling water with a label telling Laura & Matt’s story. Laura recounts it, “‘Life has a way of falling into place. After early chance encounters, marriage was not in the air. It was not until after meeting once again at a mutual friends 30th years on. Next morning Laura awoke to find a surprise guest in their share house and later in the day after Matt left, a love letter was found. The first of their many adventures began on a hot summers day with the idea of running 10kms in Wilson Prom. With love in the air, they were off with no more than a bottle of water and a packet of sweet chilli tofu. The adventurers arrived back at the car nine hours and 40km later, dehydrated and exhausted, yet somehow still laughing. Laura had taken them on a shortcut. In October 2010 they took off for a holiday to Sumbawa, Indonesia. After an epic day surfing, a sunset dinner in a local hand build restaurant, followed by a stroll on the beach, Matt proposed. Laura said YES. And so here we are! The beginning of another great adventure. ‘

Photographs today are by Sayher Heffernan who flew from Melbourne to capture the wedding. I always love Sayher’s beautiful, artistic eye and the clear details and moments he captures.

Siobhan Frost created the invitations and stationery for the wedding.

The couple saw each other before the ceremony, in keeping with the relaxed vibe of the day.Laura explains “Both Matt & I wanted a simple and relaxed wedding for all our guests to catch up, meet each other and enjoy the night ahead. We got our photos taken before the ceremony so we could spend more time with our guests who had all travelled from somewhere to get to Byron.” Laura chose an elegant gown from Lisa Ho.

Of their photographer, who they flew from Melbourne. Laura says “We chose Sayher for his raw-natural approach to photo’s. We wanted to capture the day in its natural environment. Sayher was absolute a treat to work with, professional, personable and stress-free. He was up early getting photo’s of the boys surfing, with us for the day getting ready and took some amazing photos of friends and family later on at the ceremony and reception.”

Laura’s bridesmaids wore apricot gowns by Wayne Cooper.

Of her walk down the aisle, Laura remembers, “Our musician Luke Matthews played a song I heard on Offspring – ‘Sister’ by Jamie McDowall. It put myself and bridesmaids (two sisters and two close friends) into tears walking down the aisle.”

Laura and Matt held their ceremony and reception at the Byron Bay Surf Club. Laura explains “The Byron Bay surf club appealed to us with its wooden interior and open deck overlooking Byron’s main beach. It comes as an empty shell which allowed us to decorated as we wanted, catered for our 125 guests and enabled us to have our ceremony and reception at the one place. Being an empty shell it did make a bit of extra work organising cutlery, crockery, linen, extra tables, serving dishes etc. Another plus was the ideal location being so close to the centre of Byron, allowing family and friends to get there easily and head out after the wedding.”

The reception tables were covered with simple natural elements Laura explains “The glass jars on our tables were filled with cuttings and flowers collected by my cousin from her and her neighbour’s yard. The bouquets were also handmade by my very creative cousin. Our table settings and napkins were prepared the day before with 10 friends on hand to help. We gave each guest a glass bottle of sparkling water which were antipodes bottles re-stickered with a story of Matt & I. The wooden blocks we served food on were hand cut and oiled by a good friend. Hessian table runners I bought in bulk then measured and trimmed.”

The decor was sweet and simple. Laura says “We took a minimalist approach to decorating opting for small jars and pastel colour flowers to help lighten the room, while using the bomboniere’s, hessian table runners and serving blocks to add a natural look to the tables. I had a picture of everyone sitting down to a big feast, passing food around and sharing stories which we made work by having three long rows of tables and mini banquets of food at each table. The marquee on the deck helped to give an elegant look for the ceremony and the cocktail furniture provided spaces for people to sit down and mingle. Couldn’t have asked for a better wedding!”

The cupcake wedding tower was created by Greg’s Cakes .

The wedding was catered by Catering By Sharon. Laura recalls ” I can’t speak highly enough about Sharon. She and her team put on a feast of food with great service. We had 4 canapés after the ceremony followed by a banquet of food on each table for our guests to share. Braised Beef Cheeks, Crispy chicken breast on Asian greens and a vegan homemade pumpkin ravioli served in a salsa with extra sides. Guests were raving about the food. It felt like one big Sunday dinner!”

The first dance was on the deck. Laura remembers, “Our first dance was to Bon Iver’s ‘Holocene’ under the paper lanterns on the deck. Felt like we were in our own bubble of happiness.”

Congratulations to Laura and Matt! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Sayher Heffernan  for sharing today’s images!

Photographer: Sayher Heffernan / Cnematographer: David Whiting (Friend) / Bride’s Dress: Lisa Ho / Flowers: Rebecca Penkaitis (Cousin) / Venue: Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club / Music: Luke Matthews / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Handmade & Designed  / Bridesmaid Dresses: Wayne Cooper  / Makeup Artist: Christine McDonald & Melissa Penkaitis / Hairstylist: Melissa Thompson / Invitations & Stationery: Siobhan Frost / Cake Baker: Greg’s Cakes / Catering: Catering By Sharon

Ombre Engagement Party

by | Bride, Engagements


This gorgeous ombre engagement party comes to us from Melbourne event stylists Leo & Bella who styled this gorgeous engagement party for Pia and Pete. The couple met when bar hopping in Melbourne, Pia who had travelled from Perth to get a taste of what the east coast was like ended up staying. Pia eventually dragged Pete back to Perth to meet her parents and ultimately, it’s where Pete proposed!”

Of their ombre engagement party, Pia explains “We had the engagement party on the 12 May at the Cullen Hotel on the rooftop. We chose the Cullen due to the amazingly breath taking views of the city and wanted a rooftop feel which the Cullen definitely delivers on with huge wall windows but all while being enclosed in side in the warmth.  The beautiful Daisy from Leo & Bella made everything run so smoothly and it was such an honour to have her style the venue.”

Daisy just got it from our first catch up, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted – an ombre effect theme which I had come up with from a cake I had seen. But I had no idea how to actually achieve this but Daisy did!! And she had so many great ideas – including the amazing life flower display saying “love”. The dessert table was definitely our feature and it looked perfect! The amazing cupcakes and macarons really topped it off.

Pia remarks “The night in all was 110% perfect! All our favourite people were there and I would not have changed a thing!”

The engagement party was catered by Fred & Ginger , Pia says “I would definitely recommend  Fred & Ginger, they did such a great job and not only was the food was amazing, they were both so lovely and friendly and made the night run so smoothly.
We had about 100 of our closest friends and family with a lot of Pia’s family travelling over from Perth. The highlight was definitely having my beautiful Nan & Pop there who are both in the 80’s and traveled all the way over from Perth for the night. Another highlight of the night definitely would have been Pete’s speech. It was so special and I was so overwhelmed. There was one little man who couldn’t be there on the night – our little pup Henry – the cutest little jumper wearing Maltese x fluff ball. Pete made sure to mention Henry in his very warm and entertaining speech.”

Daisy of Leo & Bella took Pia’s inspiration photo of an ombre cake and created the party to fit in with the ombre theme. She says “I was very excited to to bring all elements of colours through out the party. On the dessert table we had a 3 tier ombre ruffle cake, 4 styles of ombre cupcakes made by Andrea of Cake-a-lishious, apothecary jars filled with decadent almond Turkish delight and also ombre coloured scrumptious macarons from La Belle Miete. I love the idea of flowered ombre backdrop and a ‘LOVE’ word covered in flowers would be perfect. Katie from Muesli & Yoghurt took the idea and filled the rooftop of the Cullen Hotel with gorgeous flowers. All this was captured by Jess Parker from Love, Joy and Laughter

Concept, Styling & Decor: Leo & Bella / Photographer: Love, Joy & Laughter / Cake, Cupcakes & Sweets: Cake-a-lishious / Flowers: Muesli & Yoghurt / Venue: The Cullen Hotel / Macarons: La Belle Miete / Catering: Fred & Ginger
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