Monique & Benjamin
There is such a kicked back and relaxed vibe to Monique & Benjamin’s rustic boho country wedding. Captured beautifully by Jackson Grant, the couple chose a country hall as the setting, filling it to the brim with sparkling lights, greenery and flowers to create a day that was carefully curated to reflect, as the groom says, the couple’s “heart and soul”.
Benjamin tells the story of how they came to be. “It was actually my dad (Arty) who wing-manned me early on. Arty was a youth worker in Monique’s high school growing up and later down the years Arty and Monique reconnected and then consequently myself and her got involved and as they say, the rest is history.”
The bride arranged the flowers herself, Benjamin telling “Monique organised all the flowers from a wholesaler and the day before gathered her bridesmaids to construct all the bouquets, table florals and boutonniere for the gentlemen. She chose flowers for the men to include features of orange to match the design of the grooms’ bow tie and groomsmen’s ties and for the ladies she selected natives to go with a homey and authentic feel on the day.”
The bride chose something a little different for her day – a lace dressing gown! Benjamin explains “She didn’t try on any dresses, instead she bought a French lace dressing gown from Etsy and asked my aunty in her Bridal shop to make a silk slip to wear under the dress for the day. Monique chose what she did because she never fell in love with anything else she saw and we have both loved throughout the process of planning a wedding, the option of making things to make the entire day more unique and personal to both who we are as people, and what we like.”
Benjamin tells “My favourite detail was everything that we put into the day that made it personal to us. Such as the home made apricot jam wedding favours and floral arbour hanging above us as we said yes, and bunches of leafy green branches hanging down over the length of the tables. Details that were rustic and unique to us and our day.”
Benjamin tells “Monique and her father walked down the aisle to Rend Collective, doing their version of 10,000 reasons.”
A close friend Gordon Kelly officiated the ceremony, the groom remarking “We wanted to make sure that we were honest about who we are on the day, to not hold back on our vows or feel feelings of embarrassment but to be transparent in our intimacy for each other and our promises to one another. It can feel a bit awkward being so honest and upfront with each other, especially in front of 100+ of your closest friends, but because of this I think and hope people felt a real honesty and authenticity for what they got to witness.
We left the reading up to a very close friend of ours with instruction to please share what he feels is relevant to our journey that we have been on and encouragement for where we are going.”
“We are both of Christian faith so we tried to stick to traditions that aligned themselves with that, such as a reading, personal vows, a prayer of dedication by an elderly couple that we had been being mentored by. We acknowledged God in as many aspects as we could, if not sticking to actual hard traditions.”
“The special details for us was ensuring that in every detail we put our heart and soul into what we wanted and attempting to ensure that everyone was comfortable and relaxed on the day. This included having a folky, down-to-earth sounding band that played songs in a really funky, easy-to-move-to way and even making decisions such as having harvest platters in the middle of each table to hopefully encourage the passing around of food and talking and laughter.”
Of wedding planning, Benjamin notes “I think the communication and discussion of such a broad range of topics and priorities was really hard at times, but in the end, it only brought us together, both literally but also as two people that now have a richer understanding of one another and what we want.”
Of their photographer, Benjamin tells “Jackson Grant was amazing. He was so much fun and relaxed and he went so well with us as a couple. He suggested ideas that were fine to be declined but we were up for anything and those crazy ideas made for my favourite photos because of their spontaneity and light-heartedness on such a memorable day. He was very creative and energetic, going to the lengths of climbing a tree to get what developed as a great angle.”
“We had such a great photographer that really made every shot personable and fun that it’s hard to choose only one but I would have to say the most fun shot was one where I got up on a football ground’s bench seat roof and looked down on my beloved who was sitting on the seat and looking into each other’s eyes and smiling. I think it represents us in a great light that shows that we both like to have a bit of fun and hang out together.”
Guests dined on a feast by Gather Food Events with accompanying music from Velvet Archers. The groom recalls “Gather Food Events; the catering, and the Velvet Archers; our entertainment, were both equally magnificent. Both food and music are such big focuses on such a big day and they both came through on the day in such memorable ways. The food was fantastic and they were so accommodating to each and everyone’s needs and I could honestly not ask for a better-suited band, for the feeling that we were looking for on the day. The positive feedback from all our guests really is the main thing you feel validated by and everyone was raving about both.”
“Our favourite story from the day was what I had planned in advance to surprise my bride. I had put together a band with some of my closest friends to interrupt our time plan for the day and perform a song that was special to us. We had been rehearsing in secret in my friend’s basement for the few previous months leading up to it. The vocals were terrible on the day but really that just added to the rawness and to surprise my bride was the best present I could think of to hold the day so fondly and memorably in our minds.”
Of their first dance the groom recalls “Our first dance started with Monique and her father and myself and my mother swaying to This Old Love by Lior. We danced for a moment and then came together.”
The couple chose Christian Benton to capture a film of their day.
Congratulations on your marriage Monique and Ben! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us! Thank you also to Jackson Grant for sharing today’s beautiful images.
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- Amy Fiedler
- Engagement Ring
- The Ring Maker