Maggie & Jonesy
Have you met Mr and Mrs Jones? Maggie and Jonesy’s DIY Phillip Island farm wedding was a weekend-long celebration that can never be recreated, nor will it ever be forgotten, because it was so uniquely their own. With no plan B if the weather went sour, Maggie and Jonesy took a chance on building an outdoor wedding completely from scratch held on “rugged, naked canvas” farmland (with no farmhouse or facilities to speak of). The celebration included a bush chapel, a second-hand marquee and a dance floor under the stars. Their families and plenty of guests chipped in to help bring their barefoot wedding to life and the special moments of the day were captured by their good friend, photographer Trevor King.
Maggie delves into all the DIY details of the day for us…
Chris (also known as Jonesy) and I met backpacking 13 years ago. We first met one day when we literally bumped into each other at a hostel in San Diego. We hung out for a few days, said our goodbyes then a week later, by chance, we bumped into each other again at a market in Santa Monica. The rest is history.
Our wedding was held on our late friend Henry’s farm in Phillip Island, a 90-minute drive southeast of Melbourne. It was a barefoot weekend-long party, a celebration of all the things we love in life: each other, family, friends, food, music, champagne and barefoot dancing on a beachside farm. We didn’t have a theme; it was just a collaboration of both of our families coming together to help us create a weekend of absolute fun festivities. We wanted to try and use everything recycled or second hand. Both Chris and I didn’t want shiny new things that would go into landfill after our wedding. We started the process by collecting and scouting for things months and months in advance. All our vases were old pickle jars and we spent months perfecting a home-brew cider that was served in the old jars. All we knew we wanted was a big white marquee, a tonne of fairy lights and a giant dance floor under the stars.
I wanted a beautiful floaty dress that I would be able to have fun in, eat lots of cake and most importantly could dance the night away in. I have a few Rachel Gilbert gowns in my wardrobe and they are such a beautiful cut. Whenever I wore one of her gowns I felt fantastic, so that’s where I started my hunt, and it was the first and only dress I tried on.
Chris had been given his grandfather’s wedding suit years ago and it was his all-time favourite – it would be at least 60 yrs old. His grandfather wore this very suit at his own wedding in 1950. It is a vintage Pierre Cardin suit in houndstooth grey, it’s a classic style that fit Jonesy like a glove. For the wedding, we had the pants tailored to a slim Swedish style fit.
We arrived at the wedding in my dad’s two old vintage Mercedes-Benz cars.
Henry was a friend of ours who owned a glorious 100 acres of farmland overlooking Phillip Island. It was a rugged, naked canvas that we could build our dream wedding celebration on. The paddocks still had livestock roaming on the day. We wanted our friends and family to be able to spend the whole weekend at the farm. Both of our families arrived two days early to start to build the wedding. We built everything from scratch, including the bar, dance floor, lights, and we set up camping areas. Our best friends have an old pop-up caravan that they decorated as our “honeymoon suite” that we camped in in the lead up to and on the wedding night.
We built our bush chapel on the hilltop of the farm. We used hay bales for the guests’ seats and covered them with old fabric I got from the op-shop. Our ceremony was by far my favourite part of the whole day. Jonesy’s dad was his best man, I had my brother and two sisters as my bridal posse, and our beautiful celebrant married us standing in bare feet, just like the two of us.
We had our best friend read our favourite passage from ‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac and we asked Chris’ grandmother if she wanted to get up and give us some words of wisdom. I walked down the aisle to ‘By My Side’ by INXS. This is our song.
My mum gave Jonesy her antique aquamarine engagement ring to give to me.
Vikki Clark, our celebrant, is not only a long time friend of mine but a renowned Melbourne artist. Vikki stood barefoot with us and made it such a beautiful special ceremony and was so happy to take out any parts that we didn’t feel comfortable with.
One of the many highlights of the day was getting hitched then riding our bicycles around the farm without a care in the world. It was amazing to soak in the surroundings, just the two of us, straight after the ceremony.
Our friend is a DJ so we spent an entire road trip from Melbourne to Byron Bay choosing our playlist. It was 500 of our all-time favourite songs. We danced late into the night to ‘Me and Mrs Jones’ by Billy Paul. Our first dance was off the cuff, non-rehearsed and loads of fun. We still giggle when we have to slow dance.
We made absolutely everything for the wedding. We bought a second-hand marquee from a young couple with no instructions on how to erect it, so that was quite an expedition! We made all our decorations, brought all our own party lights and made giant flower arrangements. We bought all the old trestle tables from an old book factory and borrowed wine barrels from a friend.
Satsuki Japanese in Malvern made all our starters, including sushi and gyoza. The neighbouring farmer provided a beautiful spit roast with fresh salads. We asked my “aunties” if they would like to make us special desserts for sweets, so about eight of them all made their specialities, from chocolate mousse, lamingtons, lemon tart and tiramisu. The table was a warm feasting plate of deliciousness, followed by gorgeous cheese and coffee platters afterwards. Our cake was a surprise given to us by my mum’s best friends, it was a beautiful sunflower cake.
I bought all the flowers from the wholesale market in South Melbourne and made our own arrangements.
Trevor King is an old friend of mine that normally doesn’t shoot weddings. We were very lucky that he was in Australia at the time and agreed to shoot for us. He travels the world shooting fashion and lifestyle. He is an amazing photographer an all-round absolute legend.
Our friends gave us some feedback before the wedding – sounds crazy but make sure you grab each other and spend as much time as you can together throughout the day. Our friends had told us the day they got married the wedding had finished and they had barely seen each other all day. We took this advice, and held hands and didn’t let go. THE BEST advice given.