Katie and Michael’s Handmade Ewingsdale Hall Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,

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Katie & Michael

Sometimes a lot of pomp and ceremony just isn’t your thing. And it turns out, it isn’t Katie and Michael’s thing either. So they found a gorgeous country hall and set about hand-making every single thing for their wedding day. From bouquets to decor, ceremony backdrops to the tables; these two wanted their day to be unequivocally ‘them’ and absolutely heartfelt. Luckily for us, they invited photographer Ludo Petrik to join them – we can’t wait to share it all with you and capture their story!

After meeting through mutual friends (who knew these two were meant to be), Michael popped the question in a way that, just like their wedding, was well and truly reflective of the pair. Katie fills us in, “Michael proposed in a way that really sums up our relationship. He knew I wasn’t one that would want a fancy helicopter ride or sky-rise dinner. It was just like any other Friday afternoon, I got into the car when he picked me up from work, drove home and as we usually did on a summer evening we grabbed a glass of red and a beer, put our dog on a lead and went for a wander around the headland near our house. When we reached a spot around the headland where we often had picnics, he got down on one knee and popped the question. The rest is kind of a blur. I remember I couldn’t sleep that night because I was so excited, but Michael slept like a log. He’d been so nervous for the days in the lead-up, that he crashed out!”

The bride found her second-hand BHLDN gown online, telling, “I hated the idea of dress shopping. I’d been to some bridal stores when I’d been the bridesmaid for a couple of friends and, although I loved watching them find their dress, I could never picture myself doing the same. So I started searching online and fell in love with a BHLDN label dress – the ‘Roane’ gown. It was basically the first dress I found that I loved and I just kept coming back to it. As if it was meant to be, I found my exact size on Still White and bought it second hand from a lovely bride from W.A.”

A first look? Ripe for a good prank! Katie and her friend Marcel planned a special surprise for Michael. The (actual) bride shares, “As we decided to get our photos done before the ceremony, we had spoken about doing ‘the first look’. Little did Michael know, I had a little surprise in store for him! I had arranged with one of his closest friends, Marcel, to play a prank. On the morning of our wedding, he stood, back turned, anxiously waiting to get a glimpse of me in my wedding dress for the first time. However, when he turned around, instead of seeing me, he was greeted by his good friend, wearing an op shop wedding dress looking very ‘pretty’! Needless to say, his reaction was priceless and it really calmed his nerves.”

Choosing a first look before their ceremony, allowed these two maximum time with guests. “We did our photos before the ceremony, which allowed us to have the whole afternoon and evening with our guests. As we had 140 guests, it meant we weren’t stressing out trying to get around to everyone in limited time.”

The bride created the floral arrangements of Australian native flowers, sharing, “I did all the floral decorations including my bouquet myself (with the help of my sister and some close friends!)
On the Thursday before the wedding, we picked them up from a wholesale flower market and spent some of Friday putting them into vases and preparing them for the weekend.
I chose natives as I’ve always loved natives, and they also don’t wilt on hot days. For my bouquet, the main flower was the pink ice Protea, coupled with burgundy, cream and white flowers and silver dollar eucalypt.”

Katie and Michael loved working with photographer Ludo. “We chose Ludo Petrik Wedding Photography for our photos. We’d seen some of his work and just had to have him (plus he was really affordable – which is always a bonus!)
I love our photos, he really captured us, and every detail, perfectly. He was really easy to work with and just fit right in – I often forgot he was even there, which made for really natural, beautiful photographs.

Much of the decor for the day was made by the couple themselves, explains Katie. “I loved that Michael and I did everything as a team. We had a two-year engagement so there was no time pressure and it allowed us the time to really think about what we wanted.
I also loved getting into all the DIY details. I love being creative so I really enjoyed the process.”

Katie and Michael wanted their wedding to be relaxed, so they chose Ewingsdale Hall for their big day noting, “We had both our ceremony and reception at Ewingsdale Hall. We really wanted somewhere that would suit our boho theme, with lots of green space outside. This venue ticked all the boxes!”

This wedding was truly handmade; Katie and Michael making every detail with their family and friends. “Nearly everything about our wedding was DIY! Michael and my dad made all the tables and the bar from scratch, I sewed about 140m of lace bunting, made ‘boho’ cushion covers to toss across the Persian carpets, painted all the signs. All of the floral decorations in vases and on the arbour were done by my sister and I and a few close friends, and I made the doughnut wall myself. Michael and my dad even put the bamboo poles up and strung up the festoon lights themselves. It was a huge team effort and was such a reward to see all of the hard work come together to make an amazing setting!”

The bride walked down the aisle with both of her parents to ‘Lupin Intrigue’ by Asgier. “I had both my mum and my dad walk me down the aisle, and even my dog, Spike joined me part way, when he saw us coming!”

Katie and Michael actually married legally before their wedding day, so that their good friend Rachael could tie their knot on the day. Katie shares, “We wanted our ceremony to reflect who we were and what our relationship was. Because of this, we asked a good friend to be our ‘celebrant’ on the day. Rachel had known us both separately before we were a couple so she’d watched our relationship evolve. We knew she would write a ceremony that truly reflected our relationship – from someone who had watched it blossom from the beginning. As Rachel was not a certified celebrant, we decided to get the formalities out of the way by heading to our local courthouse a few days before the wedding to officially tie the knot. It was a beautiful short ceremony with just our immediate family, and a wonderful start to the celebrations to come. The ceremony we held at our wedding was lighthearted and full of love. Our vows were personalised and we didn’t share them with each other until that day. We wanted to keep it interesting so we even did ‘scissors, paper, rock’ to decide who read their vows first! Since we didn’t have a bridal party, I really wanted to include my sister in some way. So we asked Michael’s best mate and my sister to each look after a ring, and present it to us during the ceremony.

A beautiful vintage car transported the bride to the ceremony, and then the newlyweds away. Katie notes, “My dad also surprised me on the day with a vintage car to arrive in! I had decided just to arrive in our normal car (as you could park it out of sight) and just walk with my parents all the way to the ceremony, but he had arranged this beautiful old car that his friend owned to take us there. It was such a beautiful surprise.”

Once the ceremony concluded, the garden party began! Drinks and pizzas were served up under the summer sky thanks to Crusta Woodfired Pizza. “We went for a really relaxed feel. No sit-down dinner, just a constant flow of woodfired pizzas and antipasto platters (and lots of drinks of course!),” explains Katie. “It was a ‘bohemian’ theme with Persian rugs and brown leather ottomans for people to sit on, as well as a few scattered tables and chairs. It was outdoors and we were lucky enough to be blessed with perfect November weather, so everyone had a great time relaxing under the festoon lights on the grass, playing lawn games, surrounded by massive fig trees.

For a little magic (literally) for their guests, Katie and Michael hired Pete Booth Comedy Magic to roam among them with amazing magic tricks. “We decided to mix things up a little and had a ‘roaming magician’ entertaining the crowd throughout the afternoon. He was incredible and our guests couldn’t stop raving about it!

Katie and Michael made sure to take time away from the party and that time turned into one of the bride’s favourite parts of the day. She explains, “Michael and I snuck away from the party, sat together on the grass across the field, with a glass of Champagne and just took in the atmosphere and what we’d created. It was a beautiful moment for just the two of us to ‘take it all in’. We had worked really hard to create our wedding and it was such a reward to see it all come to life and have all of our family and friends there to enjoy it.”

The country hall charmed everyone’s socks off as these two danced on its historic floors for their first dance. “We chose ‘Blue Eyes’ by Cary Brothers. It was a song we both loved and had listened to together a lot. At first, we weren’t sure we wanted to do the first dance, but I’m glad we did – it was one moment where we just got to look at each other and take it all in,” remembers the bride.

Not only did Ludo Petrik capture stills of the day, but he also created this gorgeous film for the newlyweds.

A big congratulations to you both Katie and Michael! Thank you for sharing your bohemian day with us. Thank you also to Ludo Petrik for sharing today’s handmade wedding.

Credits

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.

  • Flowers
  • Bride
  • Wedding Cake
  • Suffolk Park Bakery

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