Real Wedding – Ami & Liam, Barwon Heads VIC
Real Wedding – Ami & Liam, Barwon Heads VIC
Real Wedding – Ami & Liam, Barwon Heads VIC
Real Wedding – Ami & Liam, Barwon Heads VIC

Real Wedding – Ami & Liam, Barwon Heads VIC


From very early on, Ami and Liam knew their chance encounter overseas was more than a summer fling. So when it came time to celebrate the next chapter in their story together, it was bound to be an incredible, emotion-filled, and perfectly personal party.

Setting their festivities on Liam’s family’s farm meant for boundless fun and a style theme that referenced the stunningly special surrounds. Sticking true to their adage of only enhancing, not disrupting, the natural beauty of the bushland made for a palette of soft sand, sweet beige and creamy vanilla accenting natural textures and minimalist tablescapes. We especially love the addition of bold produce as decorative elements, a gorgeous nod to this food-loving couple!

It was also an inspired choice to engage their favourite restaurant, Miznon, to cater for this stunning soiree. The perfect reminder that you can think outside the box and draw inspiration from your everyday life to create a perfect personal vision for your dream day.

Through the aesthetically awesome lens of photographer Kyra Boyer, the festivities roll out with breathtaking beauty. Scroll on to see every darling detail.

The meeting.

We met in 2014 in Niseko, Japan. We both ended up working in the same pub, Tamashii, and got to know each other quickly. Pretty lucky, really, given Ami had originally tried to get a job in another place but was suggested she try Tamashii across the street, as they always need people.


The ‘one’.

We were both pretty certain it was more than a summer fling early on. We left Niseko together and went to Tokyo before Ami went to a new job in Okinawa. Liam came down and visited shortly after, and we both knew for sure at that point.


The proposal.

13th Beach in Barwon Heads, just as the sun set. Liam was trying to keep it a secret and had the day planned so we would naturally arrive at the beach at sunset. This included knowing when to leave to go down the coast, how long to spend at lunch, how long to stop at the Airey’s pub on the way home etc.

We got to the beach, and with no one around, Liam dropped to one knee after pretending to set up his phone for a photo. The first person to know was a local walking his dogs who stopped to take photos for us after seeing it happen from a long way off.

Looking back, Ami definitely knew it was coming; she saw Liam trying a collared shirt on and then taking it off in the morning – oops! Yep, she definitely knew.


Planning process.

Because we had our wedding at Liam’s family farm and not at a venue, we had to plan everything ourselves. We got a recommendation for a wedding planner, Jacqui, and she was an enormous help. We made sure to lock in the big things first, to set the date, and then everything fell into place.

Also, we took full advantage of Facebook marketplace; you would be amazed at how much stuff people only need once and are happy to offload cheaply there. We spent many hours spent searching through posts.


Style inspiration. 

We just wanted people to have fun. We were always drawn to the idea of doing it on the farm, with no noise or licensing restrictions and everyone camping out with us. We hoped people would camp and party into the night with us, which around half our wedding did.

We wanted to really highlight the special location and honour that by keeping the palette neutral and reflective of the area. Our flowers were white and contained many “bunny tails” from the paddocks, table clothes, and butchers paper matched that, and we then let the natural background work its magic. We didn’t want to introduce anything that wasn’t going to accentuate what was already there.

We started to get an understanding of what we could do ourselves and what we needed to outsource. Further, we started to work out what areas we could do minimally (e.g., we made all our own table flower arrangements), which saved us money and meant we could allocate it to the food budget – we love food.


The ceremony.

With Ami being Jewish and half Japanese and Liam with his Irish background, we wanted to combine multiple religious ceremonies and styles into one. Overlooking the river in the background, on the highest point in the paddock, standing under a Chuppah held up by four of our closest, we gave our personal vows, wine drinking, smashing of the glass and one giant “Mazel Tov” later, we were married!


The look. 

Ami: Our wedding was in eight months, and I’d heard there were some delays with wedding dresses, so I scoured 30+ wedding dress websites, found one I loved which was different to what I always imagined, and luckily got an appointment the next day. It was the first of three I tried on, but I loved it and went with that one. I wanted a simple, minimal, but traditional type A-Line dress. I loved the flowers as they reminded me of my Japanese heritage.

For Liam, we went and looked at suits in Melbourne, but we found it quite overwhelming, and it lowered his enthusiasm for suit shopping. However, right before Christmas, Liam got a recommendation, gathered his groomsmen, and headed to Bridge Road. He tried on one suit right before Christmas and picked them up two weeks before our wedding. The guys all looked great as they matched, with Liam being the only one to wear a bow tie. He secretly just wanted to show off that he could tie his own (after a quick youtube refresher)!


 Favourite moments.

Liam: For me, there are two moments. The first was the giant “Mazel Tov” as I smashed the cup at our ceremony. Having so many friends and family cheer us on as we officially married was incredible. The second was actually the following day. I was trying to comprehend what had just transpired, and my cousin told me of this Japanese phrase “Ichi go, ichi e” – essentially, one time, one meeting, or simply put a once-in-a-lifetime event. But it was more than that; it was about embracing and treasuring the unique nature of the moment, and that phrase perfectly summed up how I felt about our day.

Ami: having all our family and friends in one place was truly special. Mine being from Sydney and Liam’s from Melbourne, many of them hadn’t met. Seeing people meet, enjoy each other’s company and seeing our world’s colliding was great. We are both big foodies; Miznon is our favourite restaurant in Melbourne and emphasised my Jewish background. Food was definitely a highlight, and we can’t wait to keep going back to Miznon for years to come.


Meaning of marriage.

It is cliché, but it is the unwavering commitment to someone. Like book one is finished, but the second book of the series is already well underway. Also, a green light for kids! We can’t wait to have a family.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Idan Raichel Project Mi’ma-amakim (Israel song we both love)

Signing: Ketchup Song by Las Ketchup

First dance: Here comes the sun by the Beatles


Funny stories or near disasters.

The lead-up to the day was stressful. As a fully outdoor wedding, a single marquee looked like it was going to have to shelter the wedding. It rained every day leading up to the day, and the wind was seriously strong. A couple of the glamping tents ripped, and the additional smaller marquee we got for our caterers was never put up as the wind was too strong. The morning of the wedding, the rain continued, and the wind was strong. We watched the radar carefully and thanked the lucky stars that we had decided early in the planning to start at 4pm in case it was a really hot day. Midday, the rain stopped, and the wind eased around 4pm.

Then, of course, is the story of how at 1:30pm, Liam had just showered, went into his room to get changed and moments later, declared to his groomsmen that he couldn’t find the rings. The house was turned upside down – no rings. Neighbours back in Melbourne were called to go look in the “secret spot” –  no rings. Turned out they just never made it in from the car a few days earlier and were up the road. Phew!


Planning surprises.

Just how much effort it takes to coordinate an entire day for multiple people. The seating chart took the longest as we tried to make sure everyone was sitting with people that they would have the most fun with. We put a lot of trust in the people working with us, and in the end, that was the best decision. We gave Miznon full flexibility to do their thing, and that resulted in just the most incredible catering we have ever seen.


Words of wisdom.

Trust your ideas and back yourselves in. So many people will give you advice on how something should be done, and that’s great to hear, and you should hear them out. But at the end of the day, it’s your wedding, and it should be a day that reflects the two of you.





When it comes to wedding planning, sorting out your stationery can be a big question mark. When to send save the dates? How late to print the seating chart? It can all be a big unknown – so our friends at Mila + May have put together a super-handy timeline here on the blog. Pour yourself a glass of bubbles and get out your diary!




Ceremony & reception venue: The Farm at Barwon Heads (Private property).

Celebrant: Anita Jenkins. So lovely and spoke beautifully.

Photography: Kyra Boyer. Ami’s dad was a wedding photographer for most of his life, so that was always going to be a challenging component. We searched through blogs, magazines and Instagram for weeks, making a list of everyone we liked. We had multiple Zoom calls with so many, but when we spoke to Kyra, we had such a good feeling about her. She had recently done a friend-of-a-friend’s wedding, and they raved about her, making us even happier when she said she was free for our date. So friendly, very fun to work with and somehow managed to get around taking photos without getting anyone to stiffen up. We were so nervous about having photos where everyone was posing, but she nailed the “natural” look, and we were so happy with how she captured our day. The next morning we had a dozen or so samples and woah, they blew us and everyone who was still there away. 10/10 recommend you get in touch, and if she’s free on your day, we say book her.

Videography: Bas from Love Soldier.

Wedding Planner: Jacqui Clark from Starbank Events. Jacqui Clark (Starbank Events) – just book her, even if you don’t think you need help with a wedding planner. I can’t even begin to explain how incredible she was and how much we called on her knowledge. She had contacts for everything, made suggestions, let us do things our way and made it clear that she was just there to make our lives easier, not take over. And boy, oh boy, did it make it easier. And even if you don’t need help with the planning side of things, on the day, we got to enjoy our wedding completely because Jacqui was running around sorting everything else out. Looking back, one of the best decisions we made.

Florist: Catherine Carr from Florallesque.

Hair & make-up: Cassandra de Bruin-Jackson (Bride), Kirra Reade from Gloss & Glow (Bridesmaids).

The dresses: Jenny Yu from The Bridal Curator (ceremony dress), Shona Joy (reception dress)

Veil: The Bridal Curator

Shoes: Bared heels, RM Williams boots for the groom

Rings: Rhys James

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Bec + Bridge

Suits: Lidis Tailors & Moda, Richmond

Bow ties: OTAA bow tie (untied)

Catering: Miznon. We ate at Miznon right as they first opened in Melbourne back in 2017, and we consider it our favourite restaurant. The staff are fantastic, the food beyond delicious, and the fun nature of the place easily convinced us that we would have them at our wedding (possibly our first wedding talk). We reached out and asked what they thought about catering for 100-150 people with no kitchen and limited mains power in a paddock in the middle of summer. A few days later, we met Afik (head chef and in charge of the Melbourne restaurant) down at the farm, and a few days later, they were locked in. Looking back, we’re not really sure what we locked in that day other than “This is going to be fun”. We sorted out a rough menu with them, but besides that, let them do what they have perfected over the years. The best part was that Afik was so cool, calm and collected, nothing phased him, and they put on an absolute show (especially the dessert table; that was literally a show). I highly, highly recommend Miznon to anyone wanting to do a sit-down dinner in a fun and interactive way; you won’t be disappointed.

Bar: Big Shot Café & Bar

Favours: Michael Milanese from Matcha Boy 

Cake: Judy O’Connor from Distinctive Flavours

Stationery / Signage: Katy Mane Design – Ami’s sister designed the menus and invitations. She is a graphic designer and illustrator. Printed by Papermarc.

Entertainment: DJ Ben Lawrence for music – The King of Chapel St and one of Liam’s closest friends, Penny Lane Photobooth, Casey O’Regan (live painting of ceremony).

Transport: Family friend Harry in his Rolls Royce drove Bride and family

Décor: Miznon for vegetables, table flowers DIY, everything else DIY by the bride

Hire: Twilight Glamping (glamping tents and marquee, lights and furniture). Right from the start, we knew we were going to have an outside wedding and bring everything to us. That meant our date would be set based on marquee availability, and Lee from Twilight Glamping was fantastic, locking in the Esperance triple pole straight away. Their level of commitment was incredible, getting the marquee and tents up in some pretty wild coastal weather and even coming back out twice (including the morning of) to fix a couple of tents that didn’t fare so well in the weather. Big thanks to Matt and Cal for making the installation happen and for the running repairs.

Bluebox (coolroom hire), Dress My Wedding for dining chairs and benches, Paddock Dreams event hire for toilets and showers

Honeymoon: Vietnam

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