This morning folks we are whizzing all the way across to the other side of the world to take a look at the exquisite Australian wedding of Chloe and Gene.
I have to admit to a bit of a soft spot for Australian weddings. I’m not sure whether it’s their raw edged beauty, the Aussies’ ability to thrown a damn good party, the exotic florals or the amazing scenery. Whatever the ‘x-factor’ may be, I’m as pleased as punch to be sharing this epic wedding with you this morning.
Chloe, like so many Australian women, is a snazzy dresser; I fell in love with her glitzy t-bar wedding shoes and if you’re a sucker for lace then you will fall head over heels for her big day dress.
It’s patently obvious that these two are passionately in love with each other; there’s hand-holding, heartwarming smooching and smouldering caresses and lovelies I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Why not settle down with a cup of tea and have a look for yourselves…
We chose not to have a wedding party. We wanted to keep it simple and relaxed and fun. To make the wedding more personal we included all of our brothers and sisters in the important roles of the wedding. My second eldest sister Ellen and Gene’s youngest brother Toby were our witnesses on our marriage certificate.
We asked Julia my youngest sister to do a reading; a Native American wedding poem that we had fallen in love with. My brother Jake was the ring bearer and Gene’s second eldest brother Jesse played the song I walked down the aisle to.
One Giant Party
The whole idea to get married and actually have a wedding was for it to be just one giant party where we could invite all our friends and family and not have to be tight on the guest list. So to make that work for our budget we chose a venue that already had its own theme. We wanted that earthy, rustic, Australiana feel and The Boat House was perfect. They had quirky model ships, Australian style ornaments & Aboriginal paintings.
We bought some tiny white cut out box lanterns that my lovely sisters scattered around the place for me. The venue provided hundreds of tea lights and we bought fairy lights to wrap around the big willow tree. These ended up looking amazing in our ceremony photos during the day and even more amazing lighting up the tree at night. We also bought a couple of orange and green textured table runners, which we laid on the couple of tables we had.
All the credit for how amazing my bouquet, buttonholes and the flowers placed around the venue go to Bouquet Melbourne. I was a fairly relaxed bride much to the horror I’m sure of my aunties and mother.
Less than a week before the wedding I had a meeting with Bouquet Melbourne and Julia there was phenomenal. I showed her my dress and she already knew the venue as they supply flowers there weekly and she just worked her magic.
I adored my bouquet it complimented my dress and I loved the buttonholes with the little gum nuts. She created an Australian/organic feel with her ideas. The flowers that were scattered around the venue in varied sized jars were a perfect addition to match the theme and feel of the wedding and the venue. I am not a flower person but Julia really made my dress and the venue come to life with her and their team’s creations.
Our celebrant Tim Manger was full of energy and ideas right from the start. Once he got to know us he suggested a ribbon hand tying ceremony. Once we looked into that and how it was a less religious and more connected to the land sort of way of getting married we were very keen.
We were able to tie in some personal parts about Gene fishing and my family’s passion for the Collingwood football club, which had everyone in stitches. I loved the parts that were ‘will you promise to share in each others laughter’ and ‘Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes’ it was all very real, current and personal. Jesse, Gene’s brother played and sung ‘Crazy Love’ by Van Morrison on his ukulele as I walked down the aisle with my dad.
A Family Singalong
We were lucky to have such talented family and friends. We had both Gene’s brothers get up and sing, rap and play a set, a mixture of their own written songs and classic love songs as well as two of Gene’s mates who also did a set that got everyone dancing.
For the rest of the night Gene and I made a playlist on our ipod of feel good funky tunes that everyone was shaking his or her hips to. Our first dance was to Lee Fields “You’re the kind of girl”. It was Gene’s surprise and I loved it. It was going great until in typical Gene fashion his button got stuck on the lace of my dress and no one could unstick us!
A funny moment we will never forget.
A Culinary Feast
The Boat House provided a delicious spread of wood fired pizza, roasted potatoes, a tomato olive and chicken dish, succulent lamb, quinoa and hazelnut salad and a big green salad. It was how we wanted it. Basically a ton of delicious food on a table in the middle of the room where people just helped themselves and found a couch, ottoman or table to sit and eat.
This kept everyone up and about and mingling and most importantly dancing! The venue put on wandering desserts a chocolate fudge brownie with ice cream or a lemon meringue. We didn’t feel the need to do a cake.
Gene designed our invites and we got everyone to reply by SMS. I had my Aunty draw on a beautiful black board ‘Gene and Chloe’s wedding’ and we put that out the front of the venue.
The only other paper goods we used was to print all our photos we have had taken of us together since we met and on our travels around Australia and Japan and pegged them with little pegs onto some string hung across a caged wall which gave it a lovely personal touch.
If you don’t get a videographer see if you can slip a family member an incentive to do some videoing on your own camera. I was lucky in that my sister’s boyfriend and my mum videoed the ceremony and a lot of the reception with everyone dancing. We wet ourselves laughing at the footage and it is such an unreal feeling watching the ceremony again from a different angle.
When you’re up there everything goes so quickly! Don’t feel pressured to do anything, the day can be whatever you want to make it. Doing the photos first also was something I loved about the day. We didn’t feel pressured, we felt fresh and it was a lovely time to spend together just us. It helped me to feel in control and take in every moment when we were up there taking our vows.
We Got Lucky
Our photographer Lucky was a genius and made us feel so comfortable with him, he is such a genuine person. For our shots we decided to get some before the ceremony while we were still fresh and it also helped with nerves! We went for a walk around the block in Melbourne city and Lucky captured such an array of shots you would think we travelled all over Melbourne to get each one.
He managed to catch possibly every one of our friends and family at the reception. He was always there for those moments that make the night memorable for instance, when I was grooving with my grandfather, when one of our mates showed off his breakdancing moves or when my cousin’s little two year old took control of the microphone.
So who loves the idea of the ribbon hand-tying ceremony then? I do for one and I’m determined to get the boy to agree to this when we renew our vows. I’m also slightly smitten with The Boat House venue as well. Are any of you planning to get married by the water and will you be reflecting nautical elements in your wedding decor?
Congratulations Gene and Chloe, you’ve been the perfect addition to our Summer Scorcher week.
All my love Lolly xxx
P.S. Who else thinks that Chloe’s grandad is adorable?!