Kiralee & Dexy
We do love a wedding that is inclusive of culture and tradition, as well as plenty fo personality and for Kiralee and Dexy, that’s exactly how they celebrated their day.
In the gorgeous country venue of Gum Gully Farm, Kiralee and Dexy dressed in their finest – a ballgown for her and kilt for him, and wed in a rustic barn, The moments? Heartfelt. The details? Handmade and carefully woven throughout the day, to ensure every part of the day was filled with the love that these two share. The pair invited Tess Follett to capture their merry day of magic moments.
It was at a 1920s themed hens night that these two first laid eyes on one another, Kiralee sharing the tale. “One of the party games involved a scavenger hunt with a list of challenges. My cousin Eliesha decided she would be my wingman for the night so helped me to complete the “get a guy’s number” task. Dexy was behind the bar and we started chatting. He poured me a couple of drinks and I asked for his number. Liesh was standing next to me at the time and decided to reach across the bar, grab Dexy by the arm and write my name and number on the back of his hand. Dexy made the first move by sending a text at the end of his shift. I woke up to it the next morning and we spent the day texting each other back and forth. By the end of that day, we had a date lined up, a movie night at the bar where we met. ”
And the proposal? Equally, as romantic, Dexy proposing in the exact spot these two shared their first kiss “Dexy proposed to me the night after he graduated from studying. He had purchased the ring about a year earlier and had been carrying it around with him ever since. The night after his graduation we went out to celebrate with his classmates. Afterwards, he wanted to go for a walk through the gardens beside the Yarra River but my feet were killing me so we went back to the car. Dexy was driving and he headed in the opposite direction to home. He parked the car near one of our favourite bars and the place of our first date. As we got out of the car, Dexy started talking about how he had been giving me a gift each month he had been away to study and that he had one more to give to me. He walked me over to the spot we had our first kiss. By this point, I had a fair guess of what was happening so started shaking and tearing up. He very briefly got down on one knee and asked me “do you wanna get married?” by this point my tears were flowing and he put the ring on my finger. Not entirely sure I even said yes!”
The bride paired a classically shaped wedding gown with three pairs of amazing sparkly shoes, kicking it off with a pair from Irregular Choice. She tells “I had three pairs of shoes for the day, each one covered in some form of sparkles. My shoes for the ceremony were purple sparkly babydoll heels I bought from Irregular Choice, a store more suited to Harajuku than a wedding aisle. They were crazy but I loved them. I changed into silver sparkly jelly boots for photos, as we were on a farm and I knew it might be muddy. Lastly, I changed into my silver sparky Rollies to ensure I could dance the night away in comfort.”
Her dress? A beautiful MoriLee found at Always and Forever Bridal “The dress was one of the easiest decisions of the whole wedding. I chose a MoriLee A-line ball gown with a beaded back and buttons down the train. I found it in the fourth store I visited. The store was set out by style which made it really easy to head in the direction of the type of dress I had in mind. I never intended to go for a ball gown, I had pictured something a little softer, with a bit of sparkle and fun but nothing I tried on seemed like the one. I choose the Mori Lee gown to try on more as a bit of fun than a serious choice. I put it on and stood in front of the mirror and remember thinking “wow”, it was classic and timeless but still had the fun and sparkle that I really wanted. Then I discovered the pockets and I was sold!”
It was love at first sight for these two when they laid their eyes on Gum Gully Farm, tells Kiralee. “The venue was our first big decision, and it took months! We didn’t really know what we wanted so we visited everything from wineries, bars, event spaces, museums and school camps. A lot of the places we looked at felt very standard and impersonal or just not quite right. We stumbled across Gum Gully Farm from a couple of recommendations. Rustic was the last theme we had in mind but we thought we would check it out. The photos showed a beautiful setting and a number of animals on the property. We arrived and instantly felt comfortable. Colin was warm and welcoming, he asked us what we were looking for then gave us a tour of the property. Standing in their chapel while they had music playing was the first time we both got goosebumps over a venue. Colin then sat us down and really tried to get to know us. He asked us about our relationship and what the wedding meant to us. He was the first vendor we met who we could tell was doing what he did to make people happy, rather than just for the money. We knew it was the perfect fit. The mix of wood, nature, plants and animals, accommodating staff and a big dance floor, it was perfect.”
There was special handmade detail everywhere. “Dexy is into woodworking so he made our chalkboards for welcome and seating chart signs, the holders for our menus, aged the wood for the centrepieces and table numbers. I pressed flowers to go into the frames for the table numbers and he also made the tripod for our photo booth. My Nanna helped us to collect and hole punch a beautiful array of coloured leaves for our heart-shaped confetti. The venue didn’t allow paper confetti and we didn’t think rose petals suited the venue so this was perfect.”
For her walk down the aisle, Kiralee chose a new version of an old favourite, sharing “Choosing the right music was really hard. I wanted to have something meaningful to us but all of the songs that had significance in our relationship were either too upbeat, or the lyrics weren’t really appropriate to walk down the aisle to. I eventually stumbled across a beautiful acoustic cover of “I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)” and knew it was perfect. It was a song my grandma danced me around her kitchen to before I could even walk and also had the Scottish significance for my new family. As my mum and dad walked me down the aisle there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.”
Kiralee & Dexy had long had their hearts set on Wendy Bos officiating their ceremony, explaining “We wanted a simple yet meaningful ceremony, neither of us are particularly traditional so we wanted something that suited us. We met our celebrant Wendy at a friend’s wedding a few years earlier, she was the bride’s cousin and officiated their ceremony. We both knew straight away she was the only choice for us. Wendy created an incredibly personal ceremony. She wrote the story of our relationship, based on some questions we separately answered. This was more meaningful than readings for us. Everyone was either laughing, smiling, crying or a combination of all three at some point during the ceremony. We wrote our own vows, chose traditional wording for the exchanging of rings and a combination of both for the asking.”
“Making the decision on a photographer was the hardest decision we made” tells Kiralee, of the couple’s decision to choose Tess Follett to accompany them on their day. “Having the right photographer was the most important thing for me, more than the dress, venue or flowers. We met with so many different people, who either didn’t have the personality or the photos we had hoped for. We met Tess when we knew time was starting to get a bit tight. Her bubbly personality, beautiful shots and delivery of images was exactly what we wanted. I really wanted to receive some physical prints with our gallery as something tangible from the day. She delivered 100 of her favourite shots from the day, plus 1 in a frame, along with a USB of our high res images only a few weeks after the wedding, not to mention the sneak peek gallery of about 50 images just days after the ceremony. She was very easy to work with and let us have fun and just rolled with us. We couldn’t stop laughing which meant we got some really natural shots.”
The wedding day blooms were carefully styled by Petal Pop, tells the bride. “As much as I love beautiful bright florals we decided to keep our flowers very simple.
My brief to Ange from Petal Pop Flower truck was “fun, feminine, with a pop of colour”. We wanted to mix Australian natives with Scottish thistles, thrown in with baby’s breath and greenery. My bouquet was colourful and pretty and just made me happy. I also had a smaller version made in memory of my beloved Grandma. My bridesmaids carried baby’s breath with pops of pink and gum leaves. The boy’s buttonholes were thistles and sea holly with a touch of greenery to tie it all together.”
That beautiful tiered wedding cake? Made by Kiralee herself! “I have a hobby in cake making so made our wedding cake, a three-tiered cake covered in colourful sprinkles, buttercream and glitter. Dexy then made the neon outlined cake topper to finish it off. I also baked our favours (Scottish shortbreads and Australian Anzac biscuits) and my Step-mum helped me put together a dessert bar filled with slices, cookies and sweets.”
The reception festivities kicked off with a first dance, to bagpipes! “We hired a bagpipe player to play as guests were arriving and after the ceremony. We thought it would be fun to get him to play a couple of songs with the band before he left, so we incorporated him into our reception entrance. We danced our way into ACDC’s “Long way to the top” and invited everyone up onto the dance floor to rock out with us. Every single guest got out of their seats and joined us, singing and dancing along. They then followed this up with You’re the Voice, just to make sure everyone knew we were really here to party.”
“We hadn’t spent a lot of time on our speech in the lead up to the day” remembers Kiralee, sharing one of the funnier stories of the day. “We had both written down what we wanted to say but were so focused on getting all the other little details down that we didn’t get a chance to work on it together. So during the reception, we decided to take five minutes out to read over it together and just take a minute to ourselves. So we headed to the balcony for a minute of peace. Unfortunately being the bride and groom we were pretty popular, and ended up being caught up by multiple people wanting photos and to talk. My beautiful bridesmaid Lecinda came out to check on us about the time of the fourth interruption and saw we weren’t coping so she ended up playing guard, and shooing people away while holding her arms out in a bodyguard manner. It meant we got that minute to ourselves to just take it all in.”
Kiralee remembers “After speeches, we had our official first dance to Paolo Nutini’s “Pencil Full of Lead”. It is a super fun, upbeat song which we always enjoy dancing to together.”
And the dance floor kept up it’s partying vibe all night long, thanks to the couple’s band The White Tree. “We loved all of our vendors but the band nailed it” shares the bride. “They had everyone up on the dance floor by the first song and got the vibe we were going for. The venue also was incredible. The staff were so accommodating, nothing was too hard and they even managed to find Dexy’s sgain dubh he’d lost up in a field during photos.”
To capture a film of their day, the newlyweds chose Ryan Adams.
A big congratulations to you both Kiralee and Dexy! Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us today. Thank you also to Tess Follett for today’s beautiful imagery!
Polka Dot Dream Team...
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- Ceremony Officiant
- Wendy Bos