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Casey and Ben’s Rustic Providence Gully Barn Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,


Casey McCrea

11202888_10153381496657508_800297170845857589_oCasey and Ben

Ben and I met when we were teenagers (Ben was 17 and I was 15) at Ben’s parents’ house in Central Queensland. We starting talking and ten and a half years on we haven’t stopped. Three years later I moved to North Queensland for university and 12 months later Ben followed me. After graduation, I took a job in Victoria; Ben had to wait 12 months before he could move too.  Now we live in Victoria with our two Scottish terriers.

Ben proposed the weekend of his final visit before moving to Victoria. We had spent the day in Geelong and he had planned to propose at the beach but the Geelong Revival Car Show was on. I remember asking him why he was so quiet all day and had put it down to nerves for a job interview he had been to the day before. That evening we were getting ready to attend my work Christmas party, when Ben asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes!!!

It came as a surprise even though we had spoken about it over the years. I was never one of the girls who dreamed of their wedding as a child, my parents aren’t married and I had never thought of it as something that was needed. Ben always said he wanted to get married. I would joke with people who asked when we were getting married that Ben had talked me into it but I had talked him out of it! I did start to think of wedding ideas after meeting Ben though!

We decided to have the wedding locally rather than back in Queensland – we just needed the perfect location. We had decided that our wedding would be a celebration with a small group of family and friends. No theme, no two-colour ballroom set up. We wanted a location that would allow us to have the wedding ceremony and the reception we envisioned. Intimate, with good music, good food and good company.

Providence Gully. Photo by Elysia Cave-Freeman

Ben actually found Providence Gully on Polka Dot Bride! We met with the owner Clare and visited Providence Gully and I knew it was perfect! It had the beauty of the local area – with olive groves and open space –  and The Barn was perfect for the reception. Clare was fabulous, especially for a wedding rookie like myself; she was always ready to talk and allowed us to visit on many occasions. She worked with us, recommended vendors and allowed our decorative ideas to develop and become reality. Best of all Clare was able to let us come out the afternoon prior to set up exactly how we had envisioned things and was on hand through out the day.




The hardest part was finding the dress. I had no idea what sort of dress I wanted or what would look good, I had never really thought about it! I had looked in a number of shops and tried on countless dresses ( I actually lost count) both locally and in Queensland. “The dress” was the last dress I tried on at the local bridal shop, and by last I mean the last style and colour in a long line of potential dresses.

Big thanks to the Eryn and Melissa from Melissa’s Bridal, who were so wonderful. Eryn also did the hair and make-up for the day; she not only understood that I didn’t feel comfortable being ‘bridey’ but also helped me find the perfect dress, hair and make-up! My dress wasn’t white and I didn’t wear a veil ( I had a veil, but felt silly in it). Oh and my shoes were blue satin – I had bought them when I was 18 and had never worn them for fear of ruining them, so thought what better time to try them out ( I ruined them dancing all night!).





Our wedding ceremony was on a Friday afternoon in March. We had pews in the olive grove with the aisle lined with pinwheels. Ben and his groomsmen along with our guests arrived by bus and were greeted by the talented sounds of Arty-Rex – a local father-daughter duo from Melbourne. I knew Alex from school and was excited to have them be a part of the day.






We decided not to spend a large amount of money and refused to buy into the ‘weddings have to be expensive’ mentality, so we did a lot of the details ourselves. From piecing together the invites ( some parts were ordered online and others printed at home) to the layout and decor of the venue. Our flowers were bought at the markets the Thursday before the wedding and arranged by myself and friend Sarah. We collected jars to hold tea light candles in for months prior.


After the ceremony guests were invited to refreshments, canapes and lawn games while Arty-Rex played on. We opened the barn up so people could find their seats early and start documenting the night with the polaroid guest book. We wanted to continue with relaxed, family vibe so we had two long tables for seating, with the bridal party and guests combined.

We didn’t want to decorate to a theme, rather use the natural beauty of Providence Gully and decorate the tables with flowers and lights. Ben hung lights inside to create a sparkling ceiling and lights outside to create areas for people to mingle which still allowed them to enjoy the music and sights on the dance floor.  My sister Elysia took our photographs; I don’t like having my photo taken, so having my sister take the photos helped my relax. My other sister Dominique and I made the wedding cake whilst hand-made programs doubled as paper fans.







Sweet Things by Caroline, a local market find, made our favours; Belgian chocolate pops! We had Hudson’s Famous cater the evening, they were obliging and the food delicious. Dinner was banquet style, with food placed along the tables. After the cake cutting and bridal waltz, the self-serve dessert bar opened and we danced the night away! We loved our wedding day because we did it our way and it paid off. Only regret was that it was over too soon!






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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Casey and Ben; with your handmade details, the intimate rustic barn setting was perfect!

Bride’s Dress: Melissa's Bridal / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Providence Gully / Cake Baker: Bride and Bride's Sister / Catering: Hudson's Famous / Band: Arty-Rex / Favors: Sweet Things by Caroline / Photographer: Bride's Sister

Inspired Words – Kendall

by | Inspired Words, Weddings


Ms Chinoiserie

bridal party running

If you are a passionate crafter, designing many of the details to fit your theme can be so rewarding as Kendall discovered whilst planning her beautiful barn wedding to Zach.

“DIY can be quite time consuming and sometimes difficult, but the process was fun and I loved connecting with every detail”.

blue ombre wedding cake

glass jar wedding decorations

first kiss at australian wedding

instagram wedding sign

silk flower wedding ceremony decor

Images by Laki Sideris

Jane and Mark’s Relaxed Intimate Pittwater Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,


Jane Collins

jane collins wedding 8Jane and Mark

I never really wanted to get married until he walked into the room. Then instantly I knew he was the one. He scared me at first, he was big, rugged and had a presence. He walked away. Then suddenly he was back and talking to my friend, which was actually his old mate from school. All the decisions I had ever made led me to this point in my life and the fork in the road.

From then on we were together, it was just like being back with an old friend, we loved hanging out together and it seemed natural to just be together, everything fitted. I was falling in love.

Mark actually asked me to marry him after a couple of months, and I think I scared him by saying “yes”! We realised that it wasn’t time yet and put it on the back burner.

Years went by and one Christmas Eve he came home with a ring … he didn’t really have to say anything, he just said wear it! I wore it up to our family Christmas that night and we waited to see who would notice. We had bets on which sister it would be. I usually help cook in the kitchen on Christmas Eve and even my Mum didn’t notice. It was late, just before midnight, when I was carving the crackle off the huge leg of pork we had slow cooking in the BBQ for Christmas Day lunch. When my younger sister screamed, “What is that on your finger?”  “Oh do you like it? Mark gave it to me today!” Then came the cheers and tears and champagne!  We were officially engaged.

Years before I had even meet Mark I had tried on my mother’s wedding dress and asked her if I could wear it. She said yes! I had a few modern alterations done and it had to be taken out a smidge, but what I loved about this designer dress (Mum and Dad got married in a small country town in the 60’s ) was the train … It was a back to front bolero jacket pinned with beautiful pearl buttons and  the softest silk that draped down either side of my shoulders. Magical!

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I changed the lace to Swarovski crystals, but kept the small delicate pieces of lace which the dressmaker made into small hankies for my mother and bridesmaids.

Mark is not a lover of big crowded function centres … so one day he said he was taking me to the place he would like to get married. We set out on a ferry on Pittwater and after one stop we arrived at Currawong Beach, a uniquely beautiful, tranquil and mystical place. I was smitten the moment we landed on the sand. Yes was the answer again.

We did pretty much all the organising ourselves, we knew what we wanted and had contacts for every part of the day. Mark is a musician, so his one request was live music, and live music we had.. well into the night.

The food just kept coming all day, lots of beautiful tasty hearty food to help soak up all the champagne ! Roast maple syrup ham in toasted rolls with chutneys and mustard. Our cake was simple white chocolate cupcakes with a frangipani made out of icing. I still make a variation of the cakes today on my blog.

My girlfriend and I went to the flower markets the Monday before the wedding and bought buckets and buckets of flowers. The front room in our house smelt divine!

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My bridesmaids were my two sisters and they wore a simple dress off the rack in a beautiful earthy green; they were the same colour but different styles .

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Our invitations were a ‘message in a bottle’; we had 130 guests so that was at least 70 bottles which I needed to source. Now it’s easy to find them as they’re really popular, but back then it was hard. I found some cool juice bottles that I thought might work , so I started to buy up big and started drinking ( the juice … ). I would buy different flavours just to mix it  up. Once my bottles were emptied and cleaned, I needed sand, shells, and the ‘message ‘ to go in there!


It was to be a beautiful casual wedding and we wanted our guests to feel like they were at a party. I arrived on a boat which was wonderful.

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Mum was with me and both Mum and Dad walked me down the beach aisle. Mark was waiting nervously for me. The weather was amazing and to see my family and friends there for our day filled me with joy!

We were married and my new brother-in-law played guitar on the beach; I think by now everyone had kicked off their shoes.

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One tradition we followed was being formally introduced after our wedding photographs were taken by Co & Co Photography and Andre Martin – we had two photographers which was great! From then on it was our wedding our way. There was a few dramas that we’ll remember…someone had to leave on a water taxi to go to the doctor, a pregnant friend was beginning to feel labour pains, and lots of people needed re hydrating …

We had no noise restrictions so the party went well into the night, and lots of family and friends stayed at Currawong in cabins. We said goodbye to the rest on a private ferry …. some made it home, some stayed at Palm Beach.

We had made it. This was the start of our lives together.

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a beautifully relaxed and romantic wedding in such a special, magical place; congratulations Jane and Mark!

About Jane: I am a food stylist/recipe editor and recipe writer who has started a food blog called sizzleandswirl. Food is my life and I love writing about it and cooking it!

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