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 and Donna Bennetts / 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 / Bridesmaid Dresses: Out with Evie / Bridesmaid Accessories: Myer / Hair & Makeup Artist: Evelyn, Rouge 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 / Wedding Cake: Sault Estate, Daylesford / Wedding Rings: MDT Design / Transport: London Taxi Weddings / Wedding Registry: Thankyou Gift Registry Services / Dance Lessons: The Secret Garden Of Dance
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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 / Wedding Cake: 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

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

Katie and Josh’s Handmade Queensland Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Katie & Josh

This gorgeous wedding from Katie and Josh is nothing but relaxed and everything warm, cosy and beautiful. The bride and groom arrived at the wedding early, walking with their guests to set up the ceremony. The guests arrived at the hall for the wedding and helped themselves to the couple’s favourite drinks as they listened to the newlyweds favourite tunes. It was a beautiful day and I am so happy I get to share it with you!

Katie tells the story of their relationship. “We met a party through mutual friends in our early twenties. I was driving home from work late one night after waitressing at a wedding and agreed to drive a mutual friend and his mates to a party. Josh was one of those friends, he jumped straight into the front seat and refused to get out of my car. We’ve been inseparable ever since.”

The photos are by Matt and Katie Photographers who have captured such a relaxed, photo-journalistic feeling to the day. Plus, they even shot the wedding on their wedding anniversary! (And really, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a wedding anniversary than to watch two people take the first step in that journey themselves!)

Katie wore a short white vintage inspired gown from Silver Sixpence with shoes from Miz Mooz .

Katie walked down to the ceremony with her parents. She recalls “Instead of an aisle, I walked through the park with my Mum and Dad to “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes. When we first met, Josh lived out of town and we both remember this song from one particular car trip around the time we fell in love and it has held special meaning since then.”


Katie and Josh chose Queens Park, Toowoomba for their ceremony. Katie says “We chose a spot under a large tree in the botanical gardens section of Queens Park. We loved that it felt private although it was in such an open and and informal environment. The afternoon sun filtered through the large trees, so we brought chairs and cold refreshments for guests.

Josh and his brothers hung up  white paper pom pom decorations in the tree, visible to guests arriving through the park and positioned two white chairs and a small table with white linen off to side for the signing. There was no formal layout, we simply wanted to be surrounded by friends are family. We chose not have a microphone as we wanted to keep it as casual and personal as possible.”

Katie had an little something old and something blue attached to her wedding dress. “The vintage bluebird brooch that held my engagement ring during the ceremony was worn by my mum Jeany on her wedding day in 1978. Mum attached the brooch to my dress as we got ready together with Josh’s mum before the ceremony. That moment meant a lot to me as I always wanted to wear that brooch as a little girl and mum would never let me touch it. It is now mine to pass down to my children.”

The floral arrangements were styled by the bride, her mum & her grandma.  The trio sourced flowers from Miller’s Fruit Barn Toowoomba.  Katie notes “My Grandma Jean made my bouquet using large, long stem bunches of white Baby’s Breath secured with different types of ribbon in colours featured throughout wedding’s theme. I wanted something big and white that would last all day but didn’t appear too formal.”

Of their photographers, Katie says, “Our aim for the day was to enjoy ourselves and trust that the photographers would capture exactly that. Matt and Katie were perfect for our wedding, as their dual documentary approach allowed them to be in two places at once, capturing the special moments of the day exactly as we saw them.

Their intuitive timing and eye for detail beautifully documented not only the guests and locations but the atmosphere created on the day. We were also happy to find two photographers that are in love with weddings almost as such as they are with photography, and each other for that matter. It also didn’t hurt that our wedding fell on their wedding anniversary, I can’t help but think that influenced their work on the day.”

Katie and Josh held their reception at Biddeston Hall, Biddeston, Katie explains “Guests arrived at the reception and were directed behind the hall where they found a long table set up under the shade of a large gum tree. The table was decorated with white linen and vases of white flowers and provided guests with a spread of all of our favorite cheeses, meats, olives and other deli goodies. Other platters were filled with varieties of cold and warm tartlets, topped up by an assistant of the on site chef who work busily nearby roasting meats for our dinner in large barbecues outside the hall.

The table was also set out with glasses and with the help of my father, guests helped themselves to ice buckets filled with champagne. It was important to Josh and I to spend this time after the ceremony with our guests instead of spending hours taking photos away from our loved ones. We joined them to celebrate as the sun set and our favorite songs played in the background.”

Katie says “Biddeston is approximately thirty minutes drive west of Toowoomba. This area is of no significance to us but was chosen for the reception for it’s surroundings and community hall. The venue is your typical Queensland country hall that hasn’t been renovated since our parents generation used to attend dances there. It’s a very old, slightly leaning building with lemon yellow weatherboard exterior and rusted sheet roof. Across the road from a dairy and surrounded by nothing but grass and gum trees it was the private and relaxed location we were looking for.

As it was very inexpensive and not governed by regulations so we were free to transform it into our own personal dinning hall for the night. The interior is white and light green with high ceilings, basic lighting, stage, kitchen and bar facilities. Old debutant photos line the walls and I’m sure the old bar fridges are the originals from a few decades ago. Most importantly it had solid timber floors and enough space to make the dance floor as big as we wished! The old style of the hall provided the starting point for the style of party we wanted to create.”

The intimate nature of the wedding lent itself to the handmade touches the couple designed. Katie recalls “Most of the details of the ceremony, reception and invitations were handmade. We even made some of the desserts, selected our favorite foods from delis, spent a year collecting our favorite wines, designed our own clothes and arranged the flowers ourselves. Doing almost everything ourselves for the wedding wasn’t just an attempt to cut costs but mostly to create an occasion that was unique to us.”

The couple had a loose schedule that fit the relaxed feel of their day. Katie says “As it got dark, everyone made their way inside the hall. Guests found their name on a seating board and were instructed to grab a drink and find their tables. Due to the casual nature of the wedding, our friends and family helped themselves to the bar that we stocked full of our favorite wines, beers, cider and soft drinks. As they arrived at their table, they were surprised with their custom name badges and were free to sit next to who ever they wish.”

Even the guestbook has a personal touch. Katie remarks “Carrying on with the personalized theme of the wedding, I designed a rubber stamp of the vintage typewriter to be used on all stationary for the wedding. The actual typewriter was also used to create all handcrafted menus, food labels for the finger food, dinner, desserts, wine lists, seating board and signage. Guests were invited to use the typewriter to type messages to the bride and groom during the reception at a writing desk set up with envelopes, flowers, a timber ‘thank you’ box hand crafted by Josh and custom stationary which read “Type us a message so we will remember this day when we are old and grey.”

I wore small pearl earrings given to me by my dad especially for the wedding and Josh wore cufflinks made of vintage typewriter keys in his initials given to him by his new bride.”

Katie remembers “After guests had settled into their table, Josh turned the music down and we made toasts to each other and everyone for helping us celebrate our wedding. Guests were then invited to take to the microphone for informal speeches, or ‘toasts’ as we described it. After a few toasts and a lot of laughs, the music was turned back on and the food was brought out.

We hired one chef to cook on the premisses and his two friends as waitstaff to provide each table with platters of barbecue roast meats, jugs of sauces and large bowls of salads. We designed the menu with the chef and preferred the food to be served by guests at their own table. This meant that they could remain in their seats, control their own portions and everyone ate at the same time.”

“Once all the tables were cleared of dinner, we dimmed the lights and introduced our own first dance. Guests joined us and everyone continued to dance the night away. We loved the informal structure of our reception. We set up the hall and planned the evening so that guests could sit back and relax without having to be concerned with what was happening next. We wanted them to feel as comfortable as possible, even decking out the women’s bathroom with chairs and a small table of cosmetics and other useful goodies.”

The first dance went off with a hitch though that remains one of Katie’s fondest memories of the day. “Controlling almost everything ourselves meant that Josh was in charge of dimming the lights and I was on the mic announcing that we were about to have our first dance. First the moment was hijacked by my new father in law, Josh’s dad, who invited both families to the stage for a spontaneous thirty minute speech. After it ended in a standing ovation Josh quickly retreated behind the curtain, accidentally turn off all the lights, leaving only the backlighting on behind the stage curtain. We did not plan this and sometimes it really pays to test the lighting the night before!”

“As I hit play on our chosen song, our first dance together as husband and wife started in the dark with Josh running from backstage and my face still numb from laughing with our family. It was crazy, unplanned and perfect. Plus the darkness turned out to be an added bonus at that moment as guests threw confetti and weren’t shy to join us on the dance floor.”

The evening ended with plenty of sweet treats, dancing and quiet, beautiful moments. Katie explains “Before the catering staff left, they positioned a tiered stand of sweets onto each table. We opted for this rather than a formal cake cutting ceremony we knew that most guests would be on their feet by this time. It worked out great as guests had a selection of bite sized desserts to choose from, they were sharing amongst themselves and even trading their favorites with other tables.

Taking a break from dancing my new husband and I sat at our table alone, enjoying a little moment tasting each dessert together. The reception was casual, fun but not quite traditional, with Josh and I being the last people to leave the hall in the early hours of the morning.”

Congratulations Katie and Josh! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Matt and Katie Photographers for sharing today’s photographs with us!

Photographer: Matt and Katie Photographers / Bride's Dress: Silver Sixpence / Bride's Reception Dress: Modcloth / Bride's Shoes: Miz Mooz / Flowers: Handmade with flowers from Miller's Fruit Barn Toowoomba / Ceremony Venue: Queens Park Botanical Gardens, Toowoomba / Reception Venue: Biddeston Hall, Biddeston / Groom's Attire: BMV, Bespoke Tailors