Yaana & Tom’s Colourful Handmade Wedding

by | Bride, Inspired Weddings, New Zealand,


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Yaana & Tom

There is much to love about a colourful handmade wedding like Yaana and Tom’s. For a couple who love anything handmade, vintage and organic it makes sense that their wedding day was going to be completely reflective of that. Everything from the bride’s dress, to the food was created by the bride, groom, their family and friends. A wedding that turned into the most wonderful of community efforts all captured beautifully by Shot From The Heart.

On how they met, the pursuit was initiated by the bride’s cousin! Yaana remembers, “Tom had a little crush on my first cousin while she was trying to convince me that I should date Tom – always a good start to a relationship. I came over to Melbourne from NZ to visit the family, and the rest is history. After a year of emails, Skype sessions and many flights across the Tasman I made the big move over to Melbourne, and then a year after that we were engaged!”

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Yaana’s mother made her wedding dress (and the bridesmaid’s dresses!), the bride telling, “My super mum prepared some of the food, and sewed mine and the bridesmaid’s dresses, as well as being the wedding coördinator on the day!”

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The bride’s florist sister created the floral arrangements for the day and  another bridesmaid styled the bride’s makeup.

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bridesmaids in cream

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The groom and groomsmen contended with swarm of bees to set up the ceremony site, the bride telling, “The garden we got married in was not where we had originally planned. The first location fell through, so we spent days driving around where my parents live to find a garden, or anyone’s garden to use! We wanted to keep it as cheap as possible, and have somewhere private. After weeks of searching with no luck, we came across a small plot of land, which was part of the grounds of a large factory (strange, I know!). When we found it we got in touch with the owners and they said we could use it. I think they thought we were slightly weird, but it ended up being the perfect little glade for our garden wedding.”

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For her walk down the aisle, the bride chose “Nuvole Bianche by Ludovico Einaudi, played on the piano by my brother and the cello by a good friend of ours.”

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Yaana tells, “It was basically so perfect, that for days after, we would well up thinking about how much we loved the energy, the style, the wholesome feel and the amazing people we shared it with.”

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Afternoon tea was served BBQ style, the bride explaining, “One of Tom’s only requests for the wedding was to have a BBQ. To him BBQs are places of conversation, friendship and manly bonding. After many strenuous hours trying to figure out the logistics of this, we came up with a plan. We had two BBQs for our afternoon tea, with some friends manning it, and sizzling up a feast of delicious sausages and vegetables for the guests while filling the air with it’s smoky aroma. It was definitely worth the effort!”

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The afternoon tea was also the scene of the cake cutting – the couple choosing three cakes made by a friend.

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Of their photographers, Yaana notes, “The photographers were our good friends Karen and Ell Simons from Shot from the Heart Photography, based in Melbourne. We have always admired their ability to capture the smaller details and moments that could otherwise be lost in the whirl of a wedding. We loved the way they used natural light and surroundings to create hundreds of beautiful, clear images. They definitely had a knack at finding stunning photo locations, even though they were in a city they weren’t familiar with! Another perk was that they were such lovely company on the day. Their photos summed up our wedding and us perfectly! ”

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The newlyweds celebrated with guests at Coatesville Settlers Hall. Yaana telling, “We had the reception dinner at a community hall in the countryside that I had always adored!  We had friends and family play live music; my aunty and cousin whipped up some incredible ice creams for dessert and some friends and family prepared the food on the day. So it ended up being an “all hands on deck” experience!”

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“We are both people who love things vintage, colourful, organic, and homemade. I absolutely loved the hanging foliage in the hall that my sister created (with the help of the bridal party). We got the whole bridal party to the hall the night before and kitted it out in a few hours. I still can’t believe it actually worked! I have always loved the idea of bringing nature inside – with plants and flowers – so this was perfect for the look we were wanting, and adding to that were the little splashes of colour throughout the hall, of bright flowers in op shop vases.  I sewed the doilies together to create the garland down the aisle. I have always had an appreciation for beautiful crafts, especially textiles. Each doily in itself was a little piece of artwork.”

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Congratulations Yaana and Tom! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Shot From The Heart for sharing today’s wedding with us!


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.

  • Bride's Dress
  • Brides Mother
  • Bridesmaid Dresses
  • Brides Mother
  • Makeup Artist
  • Bridesmaid
  • Flowers
  • Arranged by bride's sister Chloe Melles
  • Ceremony Venue
  • Private property
  • Ceremony Musicians
  • Bride's brother and friend
  • Catering
  • Bride's Mother, family & friends
  • Dessert
  • Bride's Aunt & cousin


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