Madeleine & Patrick’s Mornington Peninsula Garden Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Madeleine & Patrick

When it comes to weddings, the very best thing is they can be whatever you want to them to be. For Madeleine and Patrick, they’d dreamt of marrying on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, a place they’d spent much of their downtime, with a celebration that was summed up, by them, in four words “Rustic, Australiana, Casual, Easy going”.

And with a nod to Australiana (just the ticket for The Australia issue!), they kicked the day off with a celebration under the stunning dappled light of Iris Park Garden Weddings, the pair completely embodied their vision. They involved family and friends and they spent time to make sure everything as free-flowing as they wanted. Luckily for us, they invited Matt Elliott along for the ride, so we can share every moment of how they did it!

It was at work, over stories that these two met, Madeleine sharing “Patrick and I met almost nine years ago working at a bookshop in Melbourne. It was my first day, and I was extremely excited, and he told me that I should quell my excitement because it was not as good as I thought it would be. He had been working there for about three years and had turned rather cynical. I think it was only about six months later that I became his supervisor! He asked me out after a few weeks and we have been inseparable ever since!”

The bride wanted a light and easy gown, to reflect the vibe of the day, finding a Rembo Styling gown at Miss Bella Bridal. “Since we were having a summer wedding, I wanted to choose something light, feminine and comfortable. I am from Melbourne originally but am currently living in Canberra and so I only had a day to find and choose my dress with my Mum and some friends. Fortunately, the first store we visited (Miss Bella Bridal in Boronia) had the perfect dress! One of my best friends was running about 15 minutes late to the appointment, and by the time she arrived, I had already found the dress! The dress is by Rembo Styling and is chiffon with a hint of lace. I wanted as little fuss as possible.”

The bride added one very special accessory to her look. “I wore my Nanna’s engagement ring, which is very special to me. Patrick and I got married on the same date as my Nanna and Grandpa’s wedding day – 23 February.”

Madeleine and Patrick always knew they would marry in a garden, and it turns out the beautiful Iris Park Garden Weddings fit the bill! “Joan and Chris who own the venue are the most beautiful couple and were so kind and accommodating throughout the process. We always wanted to get married in a garden, and Joan and Chris spend so many hours tending to the venue to make sure it looks amazing on the day. The tree, in the centre, which we dubbed ‘the party tree’, reminded us of Hobbiton and Lord of the Rings which is one of our favourite movies.”

Madeleine walked down the aisle to a live serenade. “I walked into an instrumental piece called “Summer” by Paul Reade. My two best friends are musicians, and they helped me choose the piece, and I was lucky to have them play it when I walked down the aisle.”

Thee two were lucky enough to be married by a very close friend of Madeleine’s mother, tells the bride. “We wanted the ceremony to be intimate and a family affair. My Mum’s best friend, Karen, who is like my second Mum was the celebrant for our wedding. It was so beautiful for us both to be able to stand with her on the day. My two best friends, Frances and Michelle, played music. My brother, Jon, my best friend, Jess, and Pat’s sister, Claire did readings. Claire read the poem ‘O my Luve’s like a red, red rose’ by Robert Burns in tribute to Pat’s Scottish heritage (his Dad is Scottish, and of course wore a kilt!)”

Madeleine was beyond thrilled with the couple’s choice of photographer, telling  “I could not imagine the wedding without our photographer, Matt Elliott. He recognised straight away that I disliked having my photo taken, and just ran with it. From the moment he stepped into the house, he was so calm and relaxed, it was just amazing. I remember when he walked in, I jumped up to go to put my dress on for photos, but he just shrugged and said ‘chill in your pyjamas for a bit longer, we’ve got ages.’ I loved that the photos after the ceremony were not long and arduous and that Patrick and I did not have to hold ridiculous poses. He just told us and our wedding party to chat, and be normal, which was fantastic.”

Relaxed wedding days can often only come to life with plenty of help, Madeleine and Patrick enlisting plenty of talents of friends and family for their day. “We loved that our friends and family were so involved in the wedding day. My two friends, Frances and Michelle, played the music at the ceremony, my beautiful friend from New York flew in a few days earlier and made us the most incredible two-tiered wedding cake, my Mum’s best friend was the celebrant (Karen ran the ceremony, and we had an officiant Debra Pedretti do the official proceedings), our friend Sarah Fox was a hilarious MC, and my friend’s Mum, Lyn Box was one of the photographers. It was a team effort!”

Once the sun started to set, the guests congregated for the reception celebration, Madeleine and Patrick choosing Merricks General Wine Store. “Kerry and the team at Merricks were fabulous from the very start. We fell in love with the rustic decor and the beautiful large windows in the dining room that showcases all the natural light on a summer evening. Merricks has so much character and history, and we loved that we could have long tables for our sit down dinner where all our loved ones could eat together.”

The beautiful blooms on the day were styled by Naomi Rose Floral Design. Madeleine sharing “We went for burgundy, ivory, blush pink and cream as our colour palette, and Naomi Rose did an amazing job. This was offset by lovely native silver gum, which we wanted for our Australiana theme. I was just happy to let Naomi run with it – she’s the expert!”

  “I remember we were sitting down for dinner, and I looked down the long tables before us and saw all my closest friends and families eating, drinking, smiling and laughing together” remembers the bride. “We had friends and family come from New York and Washington, from Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, and many had never met before. Seeing everyone closest to us together in that one space was a really special moment. I remember nudging Patrick and saying ‘how amazing is this?’” 

A big congratulations Madeleine and Patrick! It was so lovely to share your stories today! Thanks also to Matt Elliott for sharing today’s images with us!

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!


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  • Ceremony Musicians
  • Frances and Michelle Walker
  • Wedding Cake
  • Coralie’s Cakes


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