Real Wedding – Alex & Oliver, Hesse VIC
Real Wedding – Alex & Oliver, Hesse VIC
Real Wedding – Alex & Oliver, Hesse VIC
Real Wedding – Alex & Oliver, Hesse VIC

Real Wedding – Alex & Oliver, Hesse VIC

As soon as childhood sweethearts Alex and Oliver laid eyes on Barunah Plains, they knew this heritage homestead was the perfect backdrop for their dream day. The stunningly sprawling, lush grounds allowed for the stylish soiree to look the part, while the ability for guests to stay on-site meant that the party vibes never let up.

To complement the striking surroundings, Alex and Oliver chose a muted pastel palette underpinned by crisp modern white, lit with soft festoon and fairy lights. Making use of Barunah’s varied locations made for a classically European feast of long tables, while the ceremony was a whimsical, romance-filled dream of soft cream florals.

Photography superstar Elsa Campbell has captured this dream day to perfection, from the fun-filled moments to the underpinned emotion of the sweet significance of the day. For two gorgeous souls who have grown up together, the sun-drenched, simply magical portrait shots capture their electric love beautifully.

Scroll on for a dream day dopamine hit!


The meeting.

We met 13 years ago in high school; I was 15 and Oliver was 17 years old. Our family homes were down the road from each other so we would hang after school all the time.

I was adamant that we were just friends, but Oliver persisted, and after six months, I came round to the fact that maybe I do like him more than a friend. We have been together ever since!


The one.

Alex: I don’t think there was an exact moment for me. As time went on, I always knew Oliver was going to be the one.

Oliver: I fell fast for Alex, and I was hopeful that it would last a long time as I knew early we were meant to be together.


The proposal.

Alex: We were down at the Mornington Peninsula, and Oliver wanted to go for a walk along the beach. I was reluctant as it was raining, and I had a lunch planned back in Melbourne later that day, and I didn’t want to be late. After some back and forth, I finally agreed to go for a quick walk. We walked along the Blairgowrie foreshore with our two dogs until we reached our favourite beach box, Oliver got down on one knee, and I couldn’t believe it.

The celebrations didn’t stop there. We had a beautiful lunch in Sorrento, and we were meeting my mum and dad at the bar next door. He seemed nervous, but I put it down to the proposal; little did I know that he had planned for 30 of our close friends and family to jump out and surprise me when we walked into the bar. We celebrated all night long; it was the perfect day!

Oliver: This was the most nervous day for me even though after 11 years, I knew there was only one answer. As I had organised all our friends to celebrate the surprise after the proposal, I was still nervous, but reflecting on the day, everything went exactly to plan.


Planning process.

As we were engaged just before Christmas, we gave ourselves a few months to celebrate our engagement and think about the type of wedding we wanted before deep diving into planning. After hosting our engagement party, we knew we wanted to host another big party with our friends and family.

We had a few non-negotiables for the venue; no curfew, the ability to have the reception under the stars and a beautiful garden for the ceremony, so it was a no-brainer that we needed to find a private property.

I had Barunah Plains on Instagram and didn’t realise the venue was in Victoria. When we arrived, we were absolutely blown away; we both knew straight away this was our wedding venue. It was a bonus that all our guests could also stay on the property to make it a wedding weekend!

I’m a planner, but when I looked at a DIY wedding to-do list, I was stressed! We decided to get the help of Ry from Her Moon and Stars, she is a genuine angel who helped me with every part of the process.

Selecting vendors was easy, there are SO many great suppliers in the Geelong area!


Style inspiration.

The heritage homestead and surrounding manicured gardens are a statement in itself, so we wanted every detail to complement these features. We decided to keep the styling classic and timeless, so our brief to Ry was Hamptons garden party.

In the summer, the homestead is covered in green ivy, so to contrast this, we decided on all details to be white with hints of muted pastels. My favourite element was the weaving whimsical aisle, it was filled with butterflies on the day.

We wanted to utilise every inch of the property because it is so beautiful, so we decided to have our ceremony on the croquet lawn, cocktail hour by the pool, reception in front of the homestead and after party in the woolshed. No one has had their reception in front of the homestead, so we were lucky to be the first!


The ceremony.

We didn’t have many expectations of the ceremony, but we knew we wanted it to be fun, full of love and reflect us as a couple. We were very lucky that our close friend and Oliver’s groomsman Josh is a celebrant. He has known us from the very beginning, so it made it very special to have him involved in our day. Josh had asked our close friends what made Oliver and I so special as a couple and read out everyone’s answers anonymously, it was very unexpected and our favourite part of the ceremony.


The outfits.

I had absolutely no idea what style I wanted, but I knew I wanted a modern grown. I went to a few stores with my Mum and bridesmaids and narrowed it down to three very different dresses. I thought I had made up my mind until I saw the Rentero Dress on Marquise Bridal’s Instagram. It hadn’t been available when I went there the week before, so I decided to go to try it on the next day with my Mum and instantly fell in love with it.

I didn’t tell my bridesmaids that I had picked another dress so I could see their faces when I surprised them on the day!

Throughout the fitting process, I worked with the talented Sean Rentero who designed the gown; he was a dream to work with and made each appointment so much fun.

I wore my Mum’s diamond bracelet that was passed down from her grandmother, and I had a bracelet that Oliver had given me 13 years ago wrapped around my bouquet.

My bridesmaids wore white Bec and Bridge dresses, and Oliver and his groomsmen wore black suits from Andre J Menswear.


Favourite moment.

I simply cannot choose one moment!

The feeling of walking down the aisle with my mum and dad and seeing Oliver standing at the end is a moment I’ll never forget.

Dancing with my bridesmaids, waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Saying our vows to each other was very special.

Dancing all night long with our family and friends


Meaning of marriage.

Alex: Spending the rest of your life with your best friend.

Oliver: Support, commitment and friendship that is long-lasting.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Hold On, We’re Coming Home by Drake

Signing: Sure Thing by Miguel

Recessional: Better by Khalid

Reception Entry: Lola’s Theme by The Shapeshifters

First Dance: Electricity by Dua Lipa


Funny stories (or near disasters).

No one tells you that you won’t sleep the night before because your mind is racing! I was devastated the morning of the wedding when I realised I had only had an hour’s sleep, but in the end, the adrenaline kicked in – phew! Thanks to my bridesmaids for keeping me calm and reassuring me that I wouldn’t fall asleep during the ceremony.

The festoon lighting was set up the day before, so we decided to turn the lights on to see how they looked and realised there wasn’t enough light across the tables. It was 9:30pm the night before the wedding, and I called our wedding planner Ry, she said to leave it with her and the next morning, we woke up to fairy lights being put up. We were so lucky to have such incredible suppliers!


Planning surprises.

How expensive everything is, especially if you need to bring in every supplier – 100% worth every cent.

How much is involved in planning a DIY wedding, but it is also so much fun to be able to pick each supplier and all styling elements to suit your vision.


Words of wisdom.

Enjoy every single moment of the day, there aren’t many times in life where you get to have all your friends and family together in one space, it’s very special.

Do what makes you both happy and don’t listen to anyone else; it’s your day!

Do not look at the weather because it will stress you out! Three weeks before, it said it was going to be 15 degrees and thunderstorms, and then on the day, it was 26 and sunny, we were very lucky.

I highly recommend having an after-party if you can; after the reception ended, we changed into our sneakers and walked up to the wool shed to continue the party.


If your phone’s album is filled with screenshots of Instagrammable linen-covered tables under a canopy of olive trees or festoon lighting dancing overhead, chances are you are already inspired to spend the majority of your wedding outside.  Yet there are a few considerations to be made in your planning process, namely: the weather. Whether (pun intended) you are planning your outdoor wedding for January or June, allow us to help you prepare for everything and anything when it comes to a wedding in the great outdoors.



Ceremony venue: The Croquet Lawn at Barunah Plains

Reception venue: The Homestead at Barunah Plains

Celebrant: Our good friend and one of Oliver’s groomsmen Josh Schille Marriages

Photography: Elsa Campbell Photography

Videography: Annette and Dani

Planning and Styling: Her Moon and Stars

Florist: Object Flora

Hair: Harlen Hair

Make-up: DMV Makeup Artistry

The dress: Marquise Bridal

Veil: Madame Tulle

Shoes: Billini

Rings: The Diamond Guys

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Bec and Bridge

Suits: Andre J Menswear

Bow ties: Andre J Menswear

Catering: Lady and the Fox Catering

Bar: Miss Fizz

Cake / Cake topper: Cakes by Pippy

Stationery / Signage: Blossie

Reception Entertainment (DJ): Divine Audio

Ceremony Entertainment: Sxint Prince

Napkins: Simply Seated

Furniture: Dann Event Hire

Umbrellas: Surf Coast Party Hire

Lighting: Unique Party Boutique

Audio Guest Book: At the Beep

Sign Stand Hire: Koah Designs

Honeymoon: Italy

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