Alethea & Matthew
There is an incredible ambiance to Alethea and Matthew’s Italian Country Inspired Barn Wedding. The couple wanted a relaxed wedding day, but they also wanted it to show their love of Italy – a place where their love story blossomed and built the foundation for their lives together. From choosing a Italian family style menu, to the rich golds and reds they used throughout their day I know you’ll agree that this is one wedding you wish you’d been a guest at! Carla Atley photographed it all so very beautifully.
Alethea tells the tale of how they came to be. “Matthew and I met when we were both in high school, we were just friends and it remained that way for about 7 years, until Matt decided to pluck up the courage to ask me on a date. Quite amazing set of circumstances happened after that actually, where to this day I think it was destiny for us both.
Before we rekindled our friendship, I had booked a one way ticket to Italy with the intention of studying theatre, teaching English and living in a small town. While dating Matt, he knew of my plans and a few weeks later came to me and said that his rugby Club had found a club in Italy for him to play for and that he was leaving that year too.
To cut a long story short, my dreams were fulfilled but instead of living alone, Matthew and I lived in Veneto, I taught English while he played rugby professionally. We lived in the most beautiful quaint town with only a 10 minute train ride to the heart of Venice. We were so lucky, and fell in love from that year onwards. We will never forget our time in Italy, and how it absolutely influenced our future together.”
Lost and Sound created the Italian rustic farm inspired wedding invitations.
Alethea had her wedding dress designed and made by Brides By Design. She tells, “I had been to many bridal stores and tried on the traditional white gowns which for me where not a true reflection of who I am and more importantly, they were heavy and far too uncomfortable for the type of evening I was going to experience on my wedding day. My bride’s dress is a couture design from Brides by Design, in North Perth.
It was part of the designer’s new collection at the time and very different from anything that I had ever seen. In fact, as soon as I saw it I knew that it was the one! Lynette the designer immediately said “you can see your eyes light up in this dress, this reflects your personality and you can see that as you are standing there in the dress” It was true, I felt so elegant and bridal even though it was not your traditional white gown. It fit like a glove and had a custom-made veil to match the lace. The experience was relaxing and easy going, and I wouldn’t change it for anything!”
Alethea and Mathew chose Alverstoke Barn, Brunswick for their wedding, remembering, “The venue was our dream place for our wedding! It oozed all the right types of relaxed, country, rustic, stunning and elegance that we could ever want! It was an all in one venue and for us that meant everything! We didn’t have to leave our venue to drive anywhere as it is vast and beautiful property with all the artistic corners and lush green trees and plants to hide amongst. The venue is a heritage farm and has a small cottage that used to work as a school for 11 children only. It truly gave our guests something to talk about and explore throughout the evening!”
Botanica Naturalis created the floral arrangements for the wedding, Alethea remembering, “Anna from Botanica Naturalis surprised me on the day with the most beautiful bouquet I had ever imagined for my wedding day. It was all the right colours textures, and included the olive leaf, basil and was the most amazing start to my wedding morning! But this lady did not stop with just the bouquets, but she had made the most amazing green foliage garlands I had ever seen! They really added to the feel of the wedding, rustic, Italian, and I could not recommend her and her team enough!”
The bride made a fun welcome sign for the wedding entrance, she even made the paper cones filled with red rose petals.
For her walk down the aisle, Alethea remembers, “We chose an acoustic version of Kymbra’s “Settle down” sung by our live duo band Fratello.”
Deb Livense officiated the ceremony, Alethea remembering, “I wanted the ceremony to feel relaxed and romantic, as well as sentimental. We had chosen a celebrant who we felt completely comfortable with, who laughed and joked with us and was very accommodating right up until the special day. She truly guided us to achieve all that we wanted for the ceremony. We had chosen to include a special blessing from our parents and before we were married we embraced one another, which was that sentimental moment we wanted.”
“The music we chose throughout the ceremony was important to us to. During the signing we had our band play “Is This Love” by Bob Marley and as we were leaving they struck up with “Happy”, by Pharrell Williams. It was such a fun tune to exit to! We loved every minute!”
Alethea’s bridesmaids wore different white dresses.
Of their photographer, Alethea notes, “Carla Atley was our choice from the start as I had really loved that she was a local Fremantle photographer and her photographs were beautiful and had the unique style Matt and I were looking for. She has a really relaxed personality and just goes with the flow. With Matthew and I being very inexperienced when it comes to posing together, she made us feel really comfortable and there was no pressure at all on the day. I trusted her completely and the result shows that she captured some beautiful moments that I will treasure forever.”
“A major part was to involve some of Matthew’s family’s half Welsh and half South African heritage. So of course, we had to serve biltong and Nanna’s Welsh home made birdie num-nums! We couldn’t forget the famous SA Protea flower which made a stunning appearance on our table arrangements.”
The reception was decorated in hues of brass, red, white and plenty of greenery. Alethea noting “I spent a good 10 months searching flea markets for brass and gold looking Moroccan vases for the centrepieces. I ended up buying 55 of them, all unique and different. To add to the gold colour theme I painted photo frames and home-made wood block gold numbered table signs”
Cake and delicious sweets created by Mrs S Bakery and Cakeworks Bunbury were a major feature at the wedding and provided the perfect stage to surprise the bride. She tells, “Apart from marrying my gorgeous husband, the best surprise on the day came from my mum. Months before the wedding I was searching for a company to make my dream wedding cake! It not only had to be a sponge filled with lemon curd and berries, but it had to be naked, full of fruit, and be driven 1.5hrs south of Perth to the venue.
Every vendor I tried, either the cake didn’t quite suit the brief or didn’t taste right, or was far too expensive. So, I gave up looking and settled on asking Mrs S to make me her double tiered carrot cake as my wedding cake (along with all the other delectable slices and full form cakes).
My sneaky mum obviously took it upon herself to find a baker in Bunbury who could deliver, and at the moment the bridal party and entered we went to cut the cake! It was the most amazing surprise to see the cake of my dreams sitting there beautifully decorated and looking absolutely delicious! I couldn’t believe my mum had surprised me, it was a truly special moment! I love surprises! ”
The wedding was catered by Il Paiolo who worked hard to meet the feeling and brief the bride and groom wanted for their day, Alethea explains, “We really loved our trip to Italy, and since my family is Italian we really wanted that warm, family vibe where our guests enjoy the most delicious Italian foods – in abundance. This was a major part as there is nothing worse than not enough food, especially for a big Italian family! (oh I had nightmares about not having enough). The way we solved dinner, was we decided on an entrée of seafood delights for each person, then for the main, it was shared platters of spit roasted pork and beef with side dishes of potatoes, pumpkin and runner beans in olive oil.
The idea of sharing food is exactly the feeling we were after, it was that sense that you were at Nonna’s house, a big Italian feast, passing food across the tables and going back for seconds! It was met with lip smacking sounds and not a hungry belly the entire night!
Vincenzo from Il Paiolo stood out to us because he was the man who was going to deliver the big Italian feast and boy did he deliver! The food was in abundance and was loved by everyone at the wedding. To this day family and friends are still raving about his pistachio lamb cutlets! We couldn’t have been happier with how the food turned out, and how incredibly gentle, kind and professional this man is. I would highly recommend him for any function big or small!”
Of their first dance, Alethea remembers, “Our first dance was an acoustic version of Latch, by Sam Smith. Our favourite song of the year. Matthew and I hadn’t planned on a choreographed dance but he told me he couldn’t wait to improvise! I thought it was funny, because after about one minute my mum, and Nonna, and other family members wrapped us up in colourful streamers! There was no dipping or twirling for us, because by the time our song was over everyone was one the dance floor to All Night long by Lionel Ritchie! ”
Congratulations Alethea and Matthew! Thank you for sharing the story of your wedding day! Thank you also to Carla Atley for sharing today’s wedding!
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.
- Bridesmaid Dresses
- Nicola the label
- Alverstoke Barn
- Ceremony Officiant
- Deb Livense
- Ceremony Musicians