Wendy & Zac’s Rustic Outdoor Country Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,

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Wendy & Zac

Burnished leaves and streaming sunlight set the backdrop for Wendy and Zac’s wedding. Complete with smoke bombs, rustic reception styling and lush autumnal bouquets, this country wedding will convince you a chilly celebration is 100% worth it! Today’s wedding was captured by the talented Gold and Grit Photography.

The bride and groom officially met at school, but followed that up with a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Bendigo Show. Wendy remembers, ”We got along really well and there was one point during the evening when I noticed that he was looking at me a lot and I burst out with ‘stop staring at me, man’. Although it was lighthearted, he was surprised and went red in the face, I felt a bit bad. I asked my friend for his number shortly after and the rest is history.” As for the proposal, Zac’s plan went slightly awry. The bride tells, ”We were taking a walk through the Botanic Gardens and he asked me to find a good spot to sit. He got out his phone and propped it up, seemingly to take a photo. Then, all of a sudden, he was on one knee and had taken out a ring! I was a bit overwhelmed and started saying ‘No, no what are you doing?’ which quickly turned into a big ‘yes’. He had intended on filming the proposal but the phone was a bit off point and missed us completely! We had a good laugh at the time.”

Wendy took her time in sourcing her dream dress, and found the one at Designer Bridal House. She shares, ”I really wanted to enjoy the process of finding the dress so I did a lot of looking and trying on before deciding on the ‘Marnie’ gown. It was just so dreamy and had the most incredible fabric. I never thought I’d be a tulle kind of woman but here we are and I don’t regret it in the slightest! I wore my Mum’s veil paired with some really gorgeous floral hair pins I found on Etsy. As a little girl I would always ask her to show me her dress and veil because I loved them so much so it was really special to be able to wear it on my wedding day. I hope I have the chance to pass it down one day.” The groom wore a deep navy suit from Oxford with a burgundy shirt and navy tie.

Counting their first look as one of their favourite moments from the day, the newlyweds share of Gold and Grit Photography; ”I had been looking at her work online for a few months and it took us all of five seconds to decide she was the one. As well as creating a stunning shot, she’s got this amazing positive energy and brought all the fun with her on the day. We feel incredibly lucky to have had her photograph our wedding. Our first look was incredibly special to us and really set the day for us emotionally, our portrait session also as it was just a very intimate time in such a beautiful setting. Our friends and family might not agree but – for me – having a winter wedding was simply one of my favourite elements of the day. Although it was very cold, it was the perfect kind of day for coming together and feeling the warmth of not only the crackling fire but also the love.”

With sublime florals at every turn, we couldn’t wait to hear the details of these gorgeous seasonal blooms! Wendy tells, ”The flowers were something that I was crazy excited about. We had Zara from Wootton & Nicholls and she created something that really exceeded our expectations, taking everything I said and just making it better. I wanted everything to be romantic, wild and of course very autumnal to reflect the season. For us, the flowers were really just an extension of the outside and we wanted to take full advantage of what the season was already giving us. The hanging floral installation was glorious. I remember seeing it for the first time with everything lit up and just thinking, ‘Wow, is this really our wedding reception?”’

The weather cooperated for the couple’s outdoor ceremony. They remember, ”It was held in the gardens of The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Trentham Victoria, between two birch trees. I can honestly say that it was pretty magical. We wanted our ceremony to be heartfelt and sincere and Megan Thompson created a ceremony that was just that. Megan was incredible. So professional but also such a lovely person. We wrote our own vows and had originally planned to keep them a secret from each other until the day but both of us couldn’t hold it in and it turned out that we had written similar things!” The bride walked down the aisle with her father to ‘Your Song’ by Elton John, performed by Anna Oliphant Wright.

Providing a rustic backdrop for their intimate ceremony, Trentham was an easy choice for the bride and groom. They share, ”We had gone to The Cosmopolitan Hotel for dinner during the winter a year before our wedding and just fell in love with the charm and warmth of the place. The food is fantastic, the selection of wine is incredible and their wedding coordinator Fiona is just the best. The venue just had everything we needed – a beautiful open outdoor space for the ceremony where the season could fully shine and the old stables where our reception was held that was all sorts of cozy goodness. The place just exudes good times.”

Adding in loads of personal touches, the reception was sentimental. Wendy tells, ”For months I collected as many brass candlesticks as I could. We also made sure to have a guest book and loved the idea of using Polaroid pictures, in the end the book came out brilliantly and I know our guests had a lot of fun with it. I had a last minute idea to get some cat figurines for the cake as a nod to our fur babies who couldn’t be there. Zac and I also went out and picked a gorgeous scented candle that we had lit throughout the reception, so now whenever I smell it I’m taken back of that night. I wanted to do at least some DIY and put my fine art degree to good use so I made all of the place cards as well as the welcome sign and seating chart.”

The newlyweds had their first dance to ‘Street Car’ by Daniel Caesar. They share, ”It’s an amazing cover of Kanye West’s song. Zac and I are huge Kanye fans so it had the perfect sentiment for us. Each of our fathers were pretty nervous beforehand but came through with fantastic speeches as well as the rest of our bridal party who also gave amazing speeches. Zac’s best man Nathan introduced his speech with some of the verse from Kanye’s ‘Lift Yourself’. This was mostly received with looks of confusion from our guests, while we could not hold in our laughter!” And although they couldn’t pick a favourite, Wendy and Zac did want to add of Blackbird Cakes, ”She makes an incredibly delicious cake – ours was a two tier salted caramel and chocolate raspberry, it was a massive hit!”

Thank you to our gorgeous bride and groom for sharing your beautiful wedding day, and congratulations! Thank you also to Gold and Grit Photography for sharing your beautiful imagery.

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