Keely and Richard
This sweet vintage country wedding is utterly romantic from the get go. From the sweetest country church they married in, to the country hall that they danced the night away in. Photographer Sherise Fleming was there to capture their special day and I’m so honoured to be able to share it with you today!
Keely starts us off with the tale of how the newlyweds met. ” We met at a club on My (Keely’s) 20th birthday when I approached Richard at the bar to ask if he would get me a glass of water. Richard later told me that he had seen me a year earlier and was instantly attracted to me but was too shy to approach at that time. Our first date was a round of mini golf. ”
“The groomsmen wore different coloured braces and bow ties and Richard wore a vest he found in an op shop for $3. Richard bought the boys pocket watches which they also wore on the day.”
Keely designed her own dress and had it made by Heidi Andrews of Krome Butterfly (who also happened to be one of her bridesmaids). The floral arrangements were made by the bride’s cousin.
“Blackboards were made and used as table numbers and signs to direct guests to the ceremony in the chapel, we also used the blackboard theme for our invitations which were made by a friend of ours.”
Richard’s mother made each guest a fresh rosemary pin to wear during the ceremony as a nod to Richard’s Croatian background.
The ceremony was Pakenham Upper Community Church, Keely remarking, “Our ceremony was held in the Pakenham upper community church, a small chapel established in 1879 full of rustic charm and character. It was decorated with beautiful flowers and greenery around the doorway but it is such a charming chapel it didn’t need much else. I grew up in Pakenham Upper and always felt the chapel was a perfect wedding location. It cost us so little to hire both venues we ended up donating to the community church!”
Keely walked down the aisle to Pete Murray’s, Ten Ft. Tall . She remembers, “The day was just perfect! We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day and everything went according to plan, everyone had an amazing day. A highlight was the ceremony itself, it was very intimate, casual and full of laughter. We actually didn’t know if everyone would fit inside the chapel as it was very small but it was just the right size.”
“A funny moment was when the best man dropped fake rings during the ceremony which got a big laugh. One of my bridesmaids who was unable to attend the wedding due to giving birth the day before, was Skyped into the ceremony from her hospital bed so she could watch. My cousin stepped in last minute to replace her and we went shopping for her dress the day before the wedding. We were lucky they were still selling the same shoes.”
Celebrations continued at Pakenham Upper Community Hall. Keely noting, “The reception was held in the Pakenham Upper Hall across the road. Our amazing family and friends helped the us set up during the week leading up to the wedding. There was a lot to do from setting up tables/chairs and table settings to hanging fairy lights and candles and making large hessian curtains to hang up on the front entrance. Even the tables had to be made from scratch by my dad. All the hard work paid off because the hall went from being an empty room to being a beautiful elegant wedding venue within a matter of days.”
The couple had three delicious wedding cakes, Keely explaining, “Our wedding cake was actually three separate tiers and flavours arranged 2 weeks before the wedding as the original cake maker was unable to make the cake, so we had to find someone to make one last minute. It was completely different to the original design but turned out to be a big hit on the night. We made the cake decorations ourselves.”
“A lot of the wedding was DIY – in fact, that was one of the themes. All the blackboards were made from scratch, some of the candle holders were just jars covered with old book pages. The front entrance of the hall was created by making large curtains out of hessian and hay bales used for seating. There was a lot of thought and time put into the decorations and set up of the hall from the old books found in an op shop to the lanterns hanging off ribbons from the roof.”
Guests signed a Jenga game in lieu of a traditional guestbook. Each table was decorated by the couple – using old books from op shops and tea light candles.
Of their first dance, Keely remembers, “Our first dance was to “Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra. We choreographed it ourselves by learning dance moves off YouTube clips and rehearsing most nights for 4 months. I was a dancer for many years so was able to help Richard learn the moves. The first dance was one of our favourite highlights of the night and we had so much fun rehearsing it together and plan to do it every year on our anniversary (if we remember it). Richard turned out to be quite the dancer! ”
There was also plenty of Croatian dancing plus – the rakija (a Croatian alcohol) was made by one of the groomsmen and noted as a highlight of the wedding!
Congratulations Keely and Richard! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Sherise Fleming for sharing today’s wedding!