Dave & Sandra’s Rustic Wedding In The Perth Hills

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,


Sandra of Elvi Design
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Dave and Sandra

Dave and I were friends long before we started dating. In fact, he interviewed me for a night-fill job at our local supermarket. We were both students at the time, I was studying fashion and Dave was studying teaching. A few years later we started dating and then we got married on our 6 year anniversary.

Dave was very much involved in planning our wedding. We were both raised in the Perth Hills so it was important to us that it was the setting of our big day. We love nothing more than the big trees we surround ourselves with everyday.

Being a bridal designer, my wedding dress was always going to be important. My Mum, Birgitta, made my outfit. We chose a really soft French lace with a delicate scollop and heavy silk satin to create a bodice and long skirt with a train for the ceremony. At the reception, I changed into a tea-length tulle skirt to dance the night away! The lace was enhanced by a belt that my Mum hand embroidered with a Finnish folk floral pattern and in the centre, we placed an heirloom brooch (that belonged to my grandmother, Elvi). The belt masked ‘the bodice and skirt join’. Birgitta also made the blue, soft georgette dresses for my bridesmaids.

On the day, I got ready with my bridesmaids at my Dad’s home. It was really relaxed. We had a breakfast with bubbles after having our hair and make-up done.

My Dad collects old Fords, so he was thrilled when I asked him if we could use them as our wedding cars.

After a very early visit to the make-up artist (Dave had a black eye after his bucks party, but that’s another story…), Dave spent the morning preparing at his parent’s home in the hills with his groomsmen before visiting the florist on the way to the church to have their buttonholes put on.

Our intimate ceremony was held in the beautiful chapel at Mazenod College in Lesmurdie which also happens to be where Dave went to high school. We had a number of special moments during our ceremony. Each of our Mums lit a candle and they also read prayers. We then asked our grandmothers to be our witnesses. You couldn’t wipe the smiles from their faces! It was so special.

Our ceremony was followed by photos and a picnic with our bridal party at St. Brigid’s College in Lesmurdie. It was so lush and green! It was really nice to spend some quality time with our bridal party before the madness of the reception.

Jess from The Butcher, The Baker, The Stylist and Creator styled our wedding. We worked with Jess to create a style that reflected us, it’s difficult to describe but I’d say ‘Scandinavian Folk with an Australiana Rustic Twist’. So our home in the hills was the inspiration behind our invitations, aussie native flower arrangements and rustic elements. We then used my Scandinavian background as inspiration for the folk prints that were seen on the cushions, table runners and that was embroidered on my belt. I think it’s really important to work with the venue’s decor to create the right look so we used gold and dark wood features to compliment the surroundings at Sandalford. The banquet style tables featured Australian native flowers in dark wooden boxes, Belgian linen, gold cutlery and brown paper accents. It worked perfectly with the existing gold and wood accents in the room to create a beautiful Australian rustic wedding style. Jess created individual stations for our guests.

My bridesmaids helped me with loads of DIY in the lead up to the big day. We made wooden boxes for the flowers, screen-printed table runners and cushions, baked traditional Finish gingerbread, made folk printed bunting for the aisle and as signage at the reception. We also made our own ceremony booklets, favour tags and menus.

There was a chill-out area with couches, a photo booth and the most incredible cake table. We wanted our family and friends to have a great time and enjoy themselves.

Our reception was a hoot, there was so much love in the room! We walked in to the theme song from Game of Thrones and it had everyone laughing from the very beginning. We enlisted the skills of our friends to do the MC duties and music. It was a great way to personalize the event because they knew us and our guests so well.

One of the highlights for us has to be surprising our guests with a bridal ‘Rumba’ to Lana Del Ray’s Young and Beautiful. We had been sneaking away to dance lessons for a few weeks before the wedding. It was a great way to get people on the dance floor and party the night away. It also set off a heap of tears!

We have the best memories from our special day and everything went to plan. Thankfully I wasn’t too stressed but people are right, this is going to be one of the busiest times in your life. Make sure you take time out for you and your future husband in the lead up to the wedding. Find time to do things that aren’t wedding related.

My piece of advice for other brides is to hire vendors you love and then let them do what they are good at (let them be creative!) and remember what’s important at the end of the day, you’re marrying the man you love and no matter what happens it’s going to be the best day!


 Ms Gingham says: I love all the native Australian florals together with the glam yet rustic styling. It works beautifully! Congratulations Sandra and Dave.

About Sandra: Coming from a family of designers, Sandra’s journey into fashion was a natural path to follow. The label itself is the namesake of her Finnish grandmother, Elvi, who passed her skills, knowledge and passion on to her daughter, Sandra’s mother Birgitta, who passed them on to her.  Sandra was just eight when she started hand sewing her own clothes for her dolls, and spent much her youth creating dancing costumes.


This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Ceremony Officiant
  • Fr Michael McMahon


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