Real Wedding – Elyse & Gus, Barwon Heads VIC
After debating where to host their dream day, Elyse and Gus felt the call of the coast and were overjoyed to host their celebration at the beautiful Barwon Heads Golf Club.
The lush surrounds provided inspiration for their styling and they couldn’t resist a black-tie wedding, to give their day a Hamptons-style luxury feel. The gorgeous greenery of the course with the beauty of the beach views, provided the perfect backdrop for Elyse and Gus to declare their love and then party into the night with their nearest and dearest.
Capturing all the glamour of their day was Tribe favourite Jenna Fahey-White.
In Elyse’s words…
Gus and I met back in 2012 as some might say the old-fashioned way. It was a boozy night out in Melbourne at a pub and we met through some mutual friends. It’s pretty safe to say our dance moves caught each other’s eyes and from there we never looked back.
Elyse: I don’t know if I could single out a moment that defined Gus as the ‘one’ for me but I realised quickly into the relationship that we had something pretty special. I loved that he was my best friend that made me laugh every day, supported my dreams and my love for adventure. But if I really had to think of a moment, it would have to be the night he confessed his love for my puppy Raff, after a few drinks he confessed he wanted to adopt him, that was a pretty special and cute moment.
Gus: Similar to Elyse I don’t think there is a specific moment when I realised she was the ‘one’. But after being together for a year we decided to move in together while living in Melbourne, soon enough I found myself to be so comfortable around her that I knew that there was no one else I would rather spend the rest of my life with. She is my best friend and I couldn’t imagine life without her.
We were leaving for a trip overseas and it was safe to say I was pretty stressed out with flights the day before cancelled due to volcanic activity! Gus had picked me up from an appointment and was supposed to have the bags in the car ready to go straight to the airport. He told me when I got into the car that my Mum had lost the key to the back door of our house so we needed to run home to see if it was in the backyard. I was not in the best mood as I was stressed to get to the airport, so when we got to the house I ran inside to see the bags and a bottle of champagne on the bed. I thought this was a bit odd as they were supposed to be in the car! I walked back outside to see what was going on, when I found Gus standing in the backyard with our dog Raff. I had no idea what was going on, until Gus got down on one knee and started talking about our future together when it all hit me. I was tearing up, Gus was tearing up and our gorgeous dog Raff was running around barking. I was completely blown away and taken by complete surprise that when a limousine pulled into our driveway I had no idea what he was doing there. Once Gus had put the beautiful ring he designed on, he explained why the bags where still inside, he had organised for a private driver to take us to the airport with a bottle of champagne on ice in the back. The lost key was just a ploy to get me back home for the proposal.
Well after the proposal we had a beautiful two weeks away to really absorb the incredible moment and start the planning process! We both had always wanted our wedding to be a big party over a couple of days to really get the most out of celebrating our love with the people that mean the most to us, now it was trying to find a location and date to fit! We both had spent many weekends and incredible times down at our beach house in Port Fairy but soon realised the best time of year was the busiest for tourists, we also explored having a glamping wedding festival at Gus’s family property as it was such a sentimental place for Gus and I, but realised pretty quickly the enormity of organsing such a big event in a place that didn’t have many suppliers close by. After many discussions with our gorgeous neighbour Laura Harvey, she suggested looking over the beautiful places around Geelong. We had always had a special connection to Barwon Heads and spent many days on the beach and dreaming of one day buying our family home there so it only seemed right to use the gorgeous Barwon Heads Gold Club as the setting for our dream day. We really wanted the wedding to be more than just the day for those closest to us so Gus and I hired houses in Barwon Heads for three nights as gifts to our wedding party. It was a great way to spend some quality time with our best mates leading up to the day and allowed us to keep the party going the day after for the recovery. We also wanted to make the lead up on the day as casual as possible so Gus and his groomsmen spent the morning golfing and I had organised for a private Pilates session. This was the perfect way to get the day started!
Once we had locked in the stunning Barwon Heads Golf Club we really wanted the style to reflect the beauty and history of the building. We had always wanted the dress to be black tie, there really isn’t a better look than men in dinner suits! The venue’s surroundings speak for themselves with beautiful greenery of the golf course with the beach in the background. The club house is a heritage listed building that has an incredible Hamptons luxury feel to it. We really channeled that style and Laura did an incredible job pulling it all together on the day.
My dress was designed and made by the incredibly talented and gorgeous Luci Di Bella. I had gone to a few other places and had luck in finding dresses that suited but Luci Di Bella was the last place we went to and I completely fell in love with her classic designs and beautiful personality. I picked the Georgia dress but Luci was incredible in allowing me to alter elements of the orginal design to really capture the style I had always dreamed of; a classic, beautiful silhouette with a statement backless element. The final touch was using my mum’s hairpiece that she wore to my parents’ wedding, it was a beautiful way to have that ‘something borrowed’ for the day.
Elyse: Walking down the aisle to finally see Gus after hours of anticipation and excitement and seeing the grin and tears of happiness on his face. The dance floor at the reception was unbelievable, Dan from Rutherford was amazing playing the sax too, nobody left the dancefloor until the end of the night.
Gus: To see Elyse for the first time walking down the aisle is definitely my favourite moment of the day. The dance floor was another favourite, it’s not often you have a group of special people gathered together like you do on that day.
Meaning of marriage.
Two best friends spending the rest of their lives together, laughing, crying and travelling the world together.
Name your wedding soundtrack.
Aisle: Bella by Angus & Julia Stone.
Signing: Mango Tree by Angus & Julia Stone.
End of Ceremony: Move on Up by Curtis Mayfield.
Reception Entry: Born to be Alive by Patrick Hernandez.
First Dance: Just a Boy by Angus & Julia Stone.
Last song: Love is in the Air by John Paul Young.
Funny stories (or near disasters).
I know it might be hard to hear but really everything went to plan without any disasters…it was a miracle to us too! You could say a near disaster was Gus’ fear of dropping Elyse during our first dance…disaster averted.
The rollercoaster that we went through to find the perfect location and date was surprising and time consuming. Once we had decided on Barwon Heads and with our incredible team of suppliers it was a dream! A massive thanks to Laura Harvey and Georgia for styling and florals, Jenna as our photographer, Nathan from Moon & Back, Fudd our gorgeous celebrant, the Rutherford team and The Jukes group for the amazing entertainment all day/night, the Barwon Heads staff for their incredible hospitality and finally Mr B for putting on an incredible recovery the next day and kick starting day two of our celebrations.
Words of wisdom.
Enjoy every moment in the lead up and on the day. I took some time on the morning of the wedding to go for a walk and take it all in and found that really helpful to calm the nerves! Lastly, take some time as a couple to step back and take it all in, it’s a pretty incredible feeling to step back and watch the most important people in your lives celebrating you as a couple with so much love and joy.
Also if you are unsure on whether to have a videographer for the day, we couldn’t recommend it more highly. It summed up our day in a way that words could never do. Jenna our photographer and Nathan our videographer were instrumental in making our wedding something that we will forever cherish and we couldn’t thank either of them enough!
The beautiful Bellarine Peninsula provides many incredible backdrops for your day, be sure to check out Paris and Luke’s romantic barn wedding.
GUS AND ELYSE’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: Barwon Heads Golf Club
Celebrant/Officiant: Fiona Hellier
Photography: Jenna Fahey White
Videography: Moon and Back
Styling: Laura Harvey, Weddings of Desire
Florist: Georgia Ko, Weddings of Desire
The Dress: Luci Di Bella
Veil / head wear: Head piece was my mother’s from her wedding day
Shoes: Dolce Firme
Rings: Charles Rose
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Rodeo Drive
Groom’s suit: Wolf Kanat
Groom’s shoes: Aquila
Bow ties / ties: Declic
Catering: Barwon Heads Golf Club
Favours: Personalised stationery, Sketch & Etch
Cake / Cake topper: Cheese Stack, Annies Provedore
Stationery / Signage: Sketch & Etch
Entertainment: The Jukes 3-piece jazz band and Rutherford Entertainment DJ & Saxophonist
Transport: Family heirloom, Daimler
Décor: Hamptons Black Tie
Hire: Memphis Hire
Honeymoon: Buddymoon; Bali with the wedding party. Italy and Croatia in July
Other: Recovery Catering Mr B Coffee