Emma & Alex
It’s not a secret that finding a stunning venue in the middle of the country immediately makes Polka Dot readers jump for joy and the amazing Butterland is one that always gets you excited. But today’s Summer Butterland wedding didn’t enchant me just for the venue, it was the stories. The bride doubling over with laughter as she walked down the aisle, the table where the newlyweds signed the marriage certificate made by the groom’s father more than thirty years ago. Even the couple’s involvement of their daughter Olive added something magical to the day. All captured in a beautiful way by Adam Gibson.
Emma tells the tale of how they met. “My friend Angie from uni was renting with Alex and so it wasn’t long before we were introduced. Whilst no special story as such, I did start to spend every spare moment at Angie’s place, and the three of us had a pretty special time together of dinners, movies, weekend drives and parties before Alex finally asked me out on my own. To this day, he’s the sweetest, most considerate, and most gentlemanly man I know!”
Alex adds, “Just like Emma said, but a lot cooler.” Emma continuing, “We were away at one of our favourite spots for a weekender – Venus Bay. He proposed to me while we were having a picnic in the sand dunes at the beach. I remember him asking me to stop saying ‘yes!’ so he could ‘actually propose’.”
Says Alex, “I had everything planned, the picnic, the place, the champagne …and then I got really nervous. I was so distracted by the ring in my pocket, I couldn’t speak. Emma must have got tired of my silence so by the time we had walked to the beach and set the picnic up, she said to me “You’re a little quiet… tell me a story” and so it was then or never. I started the story with “There once was this boy and girl….” (I’ll spare you the rest of the story – it sounds so cheesy when you write it down). I remember being so emotional trying to get the words out and thinking I was stuffing up what I wanted to say. But Emma said ‘yes’ before I even got it all out.”
South South West created the wedding stationery, being a dear friend of the couple. Designer Andy kicked off with a monogram that wove its way throughout the day.
Kate Radford styled the bride’s hair and makeup. Emma choosing white heels by Scanlan Theodore to go with her Lover the Label wedding dress.
The couple’s daughter Olive wore a very special dress, Emma explains, “Our daughter’s dress was so special! It was a replica of my mother’s bridesmaids and flower girls dresses from 1972, hand-made by my mother-in-law with a matching drawstring purse. Olive adored it and we didn’t tell my mum about it until Olive walked out wearing it, proud as punch. My mum doesn’t cry easily but I think I saw a tear. Katie also made an amazing little Olive branch head wreath that went with it perfectly on the day.”
Emma and Alex chose Butterland for their wedding, Emma remarking, “I think finding the perfect place to get married is the hardest part in planning a wedding. Just as my hopes were starting to waver, my dearest friend (and bridesmaid) Madeleine Sargent of Made By Mosey (Madebymosey.com) came through with the goods. She recommended we take a look at a place she knew about through a friend and, hello Butterland! We drove out there a couple of times with our daughter, often making a weekend of it, exploring Trentham, Daylesford, Kyneton and Mt Macedon. We created some awesome family memories along the way.”
Alex adds, “Butterland is relaxed, comforting, untouched, private and unique. It felt like you were getting married in a family home, which is exactly what it is and exactly what we wanted. We felt privileged that Katie and Greg opened their home up to our family and friends the way they did.”
Emma walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of Solidissimo by Air, played by Slow Galo.
The Reverend Professor Emeritus Robert W. Gribben officiated the ceremony, the bride remembering, “We loved Alex’s uncle marrying us and blessing our little family.” Alex adds, “My uncle Robert married us which was awesome, not only because he knows us so well, but because he also married my parents back in 1974.”
Emma tells, “My favourite part of the ceremony was when Robert invited Olive to join us. She jumped into my arms and Alex wrapped his around the both of us while Robert gave a blessing for our little family of 3. It made our ceremony about more than just the two of us and beautifully acknowledged the commitment we have to Olive and each other.”
Signing the marriage certificate was really special to the bride and groom, the groom explaining, “We signed our marriage certificates on a table that my grandfather built more than 30 years ago.”
Fig & Salt catered the wedding, kicking off with delicious canapes in the gardens.
Of their photographer, Alex notes, “We have known Adam for a long time and he’s a good mate, so the choice was easy, plus we managed to get Stu (his brother) as well for the wedding, and having two photographers was awesome. Both Adam and Stu are extremely talented, creative, honest and good-natured people. It was like having a family member behind the camera, everything felt natural, fun and nothing was scripted. They shot the day as it should be. Plus it was great to have a laugh and a whiskey with them at the end of the night.”
Emma continues, “Adam and Stu were amazing. Their smiles are infectious and help you relax immediately. And then they’re just super skilled. At one point they successfully blended into a room full of 10 women getting ready and drinking champagne (and they’re tall guys so that’s a talent). In all seriousness, they’ve given me a little time-tunnel back into one of the most important and memorable days of my life. For that, I’ll be forever grateful.”
On describing their wedding day, Emma says, “Comforting, homely, relaxed, funny, musical, insanely good.” And Alex? “A blur, yet the best day of my life (besides the day of my daughter’s birth of course).”
Emma tells, “I didn’t see much of the ‘set-up’ before the ceremony (I left all of it in Alex’s hands). I remember walking in the door of Butterland after the ceremony and looking up at this amazing archway of greenery. Everyone was cheering us as a newly married couple and I was just mouth-opened and ‘wowing’ at Katie Marx’s work and the dining room setting.”
Alex tells, “The table setting was a nice little family project. My sister (Veronica Saunders of Gabriel Saunders) sourced beautiful linen, which my mum (Barbara Saunders) made into 6 metre long table runners (3 of them). I added some Candle holders from Normann Copenhagen and Beeswax candles from Queen B Candles. And then Katie topped it all off with olive branches and some elegant flowers.” Alex’s sister also decorated a powder room for the female guests. “My sister also created a perfect little powder room off the main room, styled with mirrors, throws, things to pamper yourself with and a huge bowl of lemon sherbet lollies!”
The favors were one of the groom’s favourite parts of creating the day, remembering, “The things that we had the most fun with (besides selecting the playlist) was the bonbonneries. Being so close to Christmas, we wanted to give a gift to everyone with a few small, simple and beautiful items. My mum and Em’s bridesmaid Mads made them up on the morning of the wedding and they included:
– Toothpicks from Daneson Toothpicks picking some teeth at a wedding may seem a bit gross but Daneson toothpicks are amazing. They infuse their toothpicks with some incredible flavours like salted birch and single malt whiskey.
– A deck of cards from Theory 11 Cards . As most people do, we love to get a away for a weekend. When we do there’s a few essentials that we MUST take along: A good book, great food, a bottle of wine, a few beers and a deck of cards. A good deck of cards makes for a good game and Theory 11 make some of the best decks in the world!
– A beautiful tube of lip balm from Kiyoko, we wanted a product our guests might not have seen before and would instantly fall in love with. Kiyoko lip balm is exactly that.”
The monogram on the couple’s wedding stationery by Andy from South South West was literally up in lights at the reception. Adam explaining, “There where a few things we did to make it really us! From the invites (which were designed by my best man Andy Sargent from South South West) to a custom made neon sign of the monogram he designed for us.”
The stories didn’t stop when the photographer left, Emma remembering, “We organised transport home for everyone at the end of the night at both 11 and 12. At midnight I insisted I wasn’t ready to go and so the best man Andy slipped the driver some cash to come back at 1am. There was probably only a dozen of our friends left standing but getting them all home in one piece was hilarious. There was whisky swigging, singing to Bon Jovi (much to Alex’s disgust!), double-backs into town for accommodation passed and forgotten, and it ended in me jumping a fence in my wedding dress because I couldn’t find the latch.”
Congratulations on your marriage Emma and Alex! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Adam Gibson for sharing today’s wedding!