Emma & Matt
With a British background, Emma and Matt wanted to show off the beauty of country Australia to their wedding guests. Their Dunkeld country wedding was the most beautiful way to invite their loved ones not only into their own private love story, but also their love story with the incredible country side. They chose Anthony Strong of Circular Ink to photograph their big day.
Emma tells the story of how she and Matt came to be. “Myself and Matt are both from the UK originally and traveled out to Australia separately 8-10 years ago. I moved to Melbourne for my job about 6 years ago and had to start all over again in terms of making friends/meeting people. During some of this time I had contemplated moving back to the UK however when I met Matt he helped me confirm that I wanted to stay/live in Australia. Matt and I met in a bar in Melbourne during the World Cup back in 2010.”
The groom chose his attire from Peter Jackson. He chose a patterned shirt, with blue waistcoat and tie. The finishing touch was a pale grey jacket.
Emma wore a gown from Raffaele Cuica, telling, “I have always loved the idea of having a lace dress, ivory or champagne (never a white one) with a high neck or cupped shoulders and a low back, however when I started to shop I realised that high necks were not suiting me at all. I also wanted to buy a dress that was in keeping with the style of the wedding and also the venue we chose. My second shopping visit I made an impulse purchase and brought a light pink dress, however when I got home I started to re-think my choice and decided to take it back.
On my third shopping visit I was in the middle of trying on another dress when another lady came out of her changing room. She looked fantastic and I immediately wanted to try this dress on. As soon as it was on I think both myself and Tanielle were in tears.
I went shopping with my Australian bridesmaid, Tanielle and her 1 year old daughter Pepa. Tanielle has been a big part of mine and Matt’s life since I met Matt. Tanielle and Matt have been very good friends for over 10 years now, they originally met in London when she was traveling the UK. We are extremely close and I would class her as my best friend over here so shopping with her was fantastic. She gave me some honest feedback and helped me in the decision making as I am quite indecisive. To have Pepa with us was also beautiful, Pepa was our flower girl on the day although she did not make it down the aisle.”
Amanda Stevens styled the hair and makeup for the bride and bridesmaids (with Emma’s good friend Evanna stepping in to assist the bridesmaids). She tells, “My makeup artist and hairdresser was so calm and lovely on the day, Amanda was able to help me at such short notice (1 month before the wedding day) and given the short notice and distance we were not able to have a trial beforehand. The trial was not needed – we all looked fantastic.”
The festivities were held at the one venue – Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, Emma remembers, “We were away on a camping holiday during Christmas 2013/2014 in the Grampians with our friends Alberto (MC), Tanielle (bridesmaid) and Pepa (flower girl). As we were driving to the accommodation Matt mentioned that we should stop off at the Royal Mail Hotel for lunch.
Matt is a huge FOODIE and wine lover, and has been to the Royal Mail hotel before. The reputation regarding the food and wine at the Royal Mail is extremely well known, and the chefs use harvest from their own organic kitchen garden. As I was looking up the hotel on the internet I noticed that they also host weddings so I was extremely excited to view the venue options.
Caroline (the events planner at the time) explained to us the various venue options and we were particularly interested to see the homestead and working woolshed. Driving up to the homestead we were blown away by Mt Sturgeon in the background and the odd Kangaroo jumping around on the land. I think we both knew then that we were going to love this place and then when we walked into the working woolshed it was confirmed, we were getting married here.
The whole feeling took me back to when I was a child, growing up in the country, I knew that my dad would love this place and this was extremely important to me that he felt comfortable on the day, given the distance and lack of family that were able to attend.
The ceremony took place on the lawns outside the homestead with Mt Sturgeon in the background and then the reception followed over in the woolshed. The hotel also provided a range of accommodation options for our guests, including little cottages onsite with self catering facilities. The bridal party and the groom stayed in the homestead for the entire weekend which was fantastic given that it was a long weekend, no transportation was needed for us and I enjoyed watching the venue transform on the day from my bedroom.”
For the processional, Emma notes, “We chose ‘The wedding song’ by Julia and Angus Stone – the words were perfect.”
Cee Blackwell married the couple, Emma noting, “We wanted to keep the ceremony relatively short and as neither of us or our families are religious we chose not to get married in a church.”
The White Tree kicked off the garden party style cocktail hour with live music and continued through the reception to make sure the dance floor was never empty.
Of their photographer, Emma tells, “This was a decision made by Matt, he wanted the responsibility of finding a really good/creative photographer and we were highly recommended Anthony Strong through a mutual friend, the event stylist. Anthony on the day was very patient with myself and I am not a lover of having my photograph taken. Everyone loved Anthony and we were so happy to have him part of our day.”
“My family and I are originally from the country back in south West England (Gloucestershire) therefore we wanted to go with a rustic, relaxed themed wedding in Melbourne as I felt this was very true to my upbringing and my family would feel very relaxed in the environment we chose.”
The reception celebrations continued in the wool shed, Emma noting, “Given that the wool shed barn was an empty space, a lot of imagination and creativity had to go into what I was hoping for it to look like on the day. Pinterest was fantastic for inspiration.”
Lettuce & Co styled the reception, Emma remembering, “Our hanging features above each table were a must for me, I had found a picture at the beginning of the wedding planning and I made it my mission to make sure that I had something quite spectacular as this. Robyn gave us the details of a local lighting retailer whom provided the lighting for inside and also outside the barn (a separate area for people to get some air). The florist (Pomp & Splendour) then created two hanging features that would corporate the particular lights that we had hired – Robyn and her husband hung them on the day with the florist and they looked amazing. ”
“All of the stationery ranging from the save the date cards to the table plan was designed and created by Matt given that he works within a creative role. Matt particularly wanted round edges on our invitations, save the dates and information packs for guests upon arrival so I spent the whole of 1 evening manually cutting them once he had printed them.
Our beautiful table place cards were my favourite, Matt printed these out individually, I cut them to shape and then Robyn our Wedding stylist and good friend tied them around each of the napkins with a little bit of string to add to the overall effect.”
The couple chose cheese wheels from South Melbourne Market in lieu of a traditional cake.
Emma remembers, “I think everyone came away with the feeling that the best man’s speech was fantastic – he had a standing ovation and had everyone in laughter. Aaron really emphasised (the stories) of Matt growing up and had supporting enlarged photos to show everyone. He has also lived with me and Matt in the past and knows us very well, his speech captured mine and Matt’s relationship 100% and I will never forget it.”
Pomp & Splendour created the floral arrangements, teaming up with stylist Lettuce & Co. The bride noting, “Our florist Petra was fantastic, she really captured the feel of the day that I wanted and my favourite part was to see the hanging features within the wool shed. Also our event stylist Robyn who is also a close friend, worked extremely hard and really gave me some inspiration and ideas of how we could make the reception look fantastic.”
Congratulations Emma and Matt! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Anthony Strong of Circular Ink for sharing today’s wedding!
Polka Dot Dream Team...
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- Makeup Artist
- Evanna Vanderham (Bridesmaids)
- Ceremony Officiant
- Cee Blackwell
- Wedding Cake
- South Melbourne Market