Emily and Mark 

We chose a rustic country setting for our wedding at the Tuggeranong Homestead in Calwell, ACT. My husband is a farm boy and has always loved the outdoors, so an indoor wedding was just not an option! Wanting to stick to his heritage, we added touches of country to all areas including the ceremony, entrance and reception. The wedding is just as much about the groom as it is the bride and I wanted to stay true to that through the entire day!

We also wanted to DIY as much of the day as possible to save money. So my husband made chalkboards, flower table boxes, signs, and our incredible arbour that we were married under.



I always said I did not want it to rain on my wedding day. Thankfully, we got the complete opposite. 39 degree heat and a scorching Summer’s day.

Getting ready was surprisingly relaxing. I had always expected it to be stressful and rushed, but we were waiting with time to spare! A healthy champagne breakfast, giggles and smiles all day were the best. It was definitely one of the best parts getting ready with my girls.





Our makeup artist was insanely amazing. She did eight faces in record time and didn’t run late. I would highly recommend Meg Stewart to any bride who doesn’t quite know how to put in to words the look you are going for. Meg will know.

As for my dress. I took a bit of a risk and ordered something online. I had gone shopping a few times and tried on some dresses but nothing was the one. I had found this incredible dress on an Instagram model, which I just couldn’t stop thinking about.

So I sent some pictures of it off to Made With Love Bridal, an online boutique who at the time made custom made dresses, and within a day I’d paid and ordered my dress. It was so easy. To be completely fair, I was a little nervous about the dress, but only because I am a perfectionist. When the dress was delivered, it was so stunning and just amazing! It made me feel like a princess all day.




I’d had my heart set on our florist pretty much since the day we got engaged. Flowers, to me, were probably the most important part of the day. I absolutely love flowers and always have, so it was pretty important to me that the florals were right. I thought she was booked out because she was so amazing, I just had a feeling she wouldn’t be available. However, I was delighted when I found out that she actually was available for the date! I booked her straight away.

When you have had your heart set on something for so long you don’t question it. Alicea from Lilygrace Flowers took the stress out of choosing my bouquet. Because I had had my heart set on her for so long and loved everything she did, I literally told her to do what she thought. And she absolutely blew me away. The bouquets were more than I could have asked for. They were just amazing. And she got my favourite flower, roses.



Another thing I had had my heart set on was our photographers. Daniel and Maria from Keepsake Photography also made life so easy and were so easy to get along with. It felt like we had friends photograph the wedding. From the first time we saw their photos there really wasn’t any other photographers that we looked at. We just knew they would capture every second in a stunning way, which they did.

The whole day was so perfect. Mark and I look back on it still to this day and say how amazing it was and wish we could do it again. Honestly, I think anything could have happened and we would have been happy just because we were married.

One of my favourite parts of the day was hanging out, eating gelato with Mark and our dog who attended (and wore bow tie!) It was like we were finally a family and it didn’t matter if there were 1000 guests or 1. We were so happy in that moment that it did not matter.


We hired a gelato cart as we knew the forecast was going to be hot. We also wanted something for guests to do while they waited for the reception. We got so many compliments on the gelato and how it was such a great idea. It kept ‘hungriness’ at bay and also cooled guests down. Zoltan from Pure Gelato was so easy to work with also.



The reception was an absolute dream. My husband worked tirelessly for two days beforehand and most of the wedding day to set up festoon lights so that we could eat under the stars, and they were amazing. I just couldn’t believe it was our wedding. The Homestead has this old barn which most couples have their reception in, but we wanted to be different. We used the barn as a dance floor.

A bit of a story about the festoons – the weather was so hot on the day of our wedding that the wire actually melted, causing a few of the lights to drop and break. Luckily the groomsmen and my husband are all quick thinkers and are able to fix anything – and they got the lights replaced and running without too much of a glitch. It just meant my beloved groom only had 30 minutes to get ready!! Thankfully he’s handsome enough as it is!




My advice to any future brides – you will get over the planning. You will get over the stress and just want to be married. I can guarantee you that it will be the most amazing day of your life, no matter what happens, because in the end all that matters is that you and your love end up married. If that happens, then it has been a perfect day.


Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Emily and Mark; what a beautifully pretty wedding – and in the heat! I’m sure you enjoyed that refreshing gelato; such a wonderful idea!

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Tuggeranong Homestead / Makeup Artist: Meg Stewart / Photographer: Keepsake Photography / Bride's Dress: Made With Love Bridal / Flowers: Lilygrace Flowers / Gelato: Pure Gelato

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As Carmen looks back on her elegant winter solstice wedding, she recommends hiring a videographer to capture those special moments.

“Definitely hire a videographer! It all goes by far too quickly. More specifically – hire Lumina Motion Pictures

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Images by Luke Going Photography

Megan and Barton's Rustic Queensland Country Wedding

Megan and Barton

We have been together for five and a half years, and unlike “normal” people, we work together 24/7 as race horse trainers. I thought Barton would never pop the question and I always sent him text messages of pictures of rings that I liked. A weekend away turned into quite a surprise for me when Barton popped the question. Usually not much gets past me and I am difficult to surprise at the best of times, but Barton had organised the whole thing; he designed the ring and hid it in an oyster while we were eating our dinner. Quite surprised, I was more in shock of the ring he had picked – it was more than I ever dreamed of.

The wedding planning was pretty relaxed and easy as we both knew what we wanted. A rustic country wedding that was relaxed and informal. We were both happy to have a marquee in a paddock of our property that we had just purchased. Then I came across this beautiful little working farm on Instagram that hire out their property for DIY weddings, “DARCLO”, Washpool Queensland. As soon as I saw the photos I fell in love and it was exactly what we wanted. We went and checked the farm out the following week and right away I knew it was perfect. Without a doubt this venue was us.

Finding the perfect dress was hard, I went to numerous bridal stores and nothing was doing it for me. Then I was Google searching and found Karen Willis Holmes and one dress in particular stood out. So I ducked in the next day by myself and tried and it on and it was the one, but I knew I couldn’t buy it without my Mum’s approval. So I organised another appointment with my Mum and a couple of friends to see how much I loved this dress! I got the “Johanna” gown and a silk tulle removable skirt with a lace hem that sat over my lace gown. It was perfect and the most comfortable gown.



Come the wedding day, I was surprised how calm I was; the weather was a perfect 30 degrees. It all just come together so nicely without any hassles. One thing we couldn’t decide on was how many people to have in our bridal party. Barton only wanted one, his brother  – and I have two sisters so it wasn’t going to work, so I thought why not be a little different so I had five bridesmaids. I wasn’t worried because it suited our informal wedding. It was such a relaxing day getting ready with my bridesmaids.



Walking down the aisle was one of the happiest moments of my life, I remember Dad was shaking and I said to him “stop shaking, you will make me nervous.” The ceremony was short and sweet as we wanted it that way. Then we went off by ourselves with our photographer, Marc Grimwade, who is also Barton’s uncle; it was great to spend some time together alone and catch our breaths and take it all in.

I made all the decorations myself, that ranged from navy, white, lace and hessian with lots of greenery. We had hay bales for seats at the ceremony on the hill looking over the paddocks and creeks with the view of the mountain in the back.





The reception was held in the hay shed, where we had hung just over one kilometre of fairy lights as the main feature; we also had wagon wheel chandeliers hanging down – they made such a warm glow and it was magical. I used horse shoes as the name cards for the seats to tie in our background of horses. Hessian and lace table runners ran along beautiful long timber tables with tiffany white chairs and candle lanterns on each table. It was hard to believe we were in a working farm shed.




Our wedding cake was made by a friend from my home town – a buttercream two tier cake wrapped with hessian and lace and decorated with flowers we picked from the gardens.


The reception was great fun and that was what we wanted. With the bar and dance floor set up outside the shed, this was where the party was; we had rusty claw foot bathtubs filled with plenty to drink, cable wheels for bar tables and a few scattered fire buckets with hay bales to sit on.

We chose a buffet style roast dinner and the guests could help themselves to what they wanted. Our first dance was to “My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw; that song really describes us and we felt like the only ones there in that special moment.


We were so happy with all the vendors we used. We picked mostly local vendors or small businesses run by friends of ours. We could not have been more appreciative of the Clark family who run and own “DARCLO”. They let us into their home and lives for months leading up to the wedding and couldn’t possibly have been anymore accommodating. They made everyone feel so welcome and at home. They went above and beyond – from helping us set up the lights to helping sew up some emergency tears in dresses. We could not have had the day we had without the amazing family behind the scenes. They gave us our dream wedding.

Having a DIY wedding is so much work and takes a lot of time but it’s so rewarding and amazing seeing it all come together. One thing we worked hard to do was keep our wedding individual and meaningful to us as a couple. We cannot begin to express our gratitude and love for everything our families and friends did that helped us along the way –  they made our day so perfect!



Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Megan and Barton; your DIY touches added to your rustic theme perfectly; what a beautiful day in a beautiful setting spent with family and friends!

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Darclo / Photographer: Marc Grimwade Photography / Bride's Dress: Karen Willis Holmes / Bridesmaid Dresses: Forever New / Catering: Coast To Coast The Golden Roast / Flowers: Flora By Laura / Wedding Cake: Abs-solutely Yum Cakes / Hair and Make-Up: Asta's Hair Boutique / Celebrant: Knots Tied By Kylie