Real Wedding – Cherish & Matt, Trentham VIC
The fortuitous night Matt and Cherish met, they made a promise to marry one another if they were still single at 27. Flash forward seven years, and these two sweet souls celebrated their I Do’s in a vision of soft old-world opulence and classic New York chic underpinned by timeless romance.
A wedding party palette of cool earthy tones of deep chocolate and silky olive foregrounded mismatched bouquets in hues of muted peach, deep lilac and soft blush. Against the backdrop of the forest setting, the effect was striking.
At the garden party reception, the champagne was chilled, and the decor chic, with long tablescapes layered in crisp white. And, of course, at the centre of it all is our glowing bride and groom, captured to perfection by photographer Briars Atlas.
Scroll on to see it all unfold.
Matt and I met through friends, at birthday party, just over seven years ago. We agreed at the party if we both weren’t married by 27, we would marry each other. Matt proposed just before my 28th birthday.
I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to marry Matt, he was the opposite to me, and I liked that. We made big plans quickly into our relationship and it just felt right. I remember the first Christmas we spent together, going into the city on Christmas night and walking around Crown looking at all the lights and displays. In this moment I felt like I could have done that for the rest of my life.
Matt and I vowed the first night we really spoke to each other that if we were not married by 27, we would marry each other. Then just before I turned 28, on Christmas Eve, in front of my huge family, Matt saw an opportunity as I sat next to my best friend and older sister to drop down on one knee. He was so nervous, as you can imagine. All he said was, “I will always love you; will you marry me?”
The irony is on the night Matt proposed, after a few celebratory champagnes, my sister and I sat there taking it all in when she said, “I know you’ve always wanted an intimate wedding; I think you should look at this place in Trentham called The Estate.” We never spoke about it again, that was until I went to 10 different venues with a multitude of questions but never really felt like anything fit. I knew when I found my venue I would be able to envision it and see myself marrying the love of my life there.
We decided to go and look at The Estate having little to no expectations it would be the one. I remember pulling up to the unassuming driveway that came off somewhat of a busy road. I walked straight into the garden behind the house; it was winter, so the orchard trees were bare, and the grass was overgrown. However, it didn’t make a difference; the moment I arrived, I knew it was the place. It had an old-world charm to it. Set off the road; there was a peaceful tranquillity that illuminated all the secret areas of the house and garden. From the little pathway that took you from the front lawn to the secret garden, I could see what it would look like on a warm day in summer with the low-hanging fruit trees and beautiful herb garden. The Barn had a chapel-like vibe with high ceilings and hanging lights. It was perfect. I also knew immediately the amount of work I would need to do to bring my vision to life; essentially, when you hire The Estate, that’s it. You hire the shell, and it is up to you what you do with it.
Good food and good quality alcohol were a priority for Matt and me, and part of the reason I was leaning toward a DIY wedding. I also wanted control over how it ran. We went with a known caterer to The Estate, Gathered Catering, and started to think about what kind of drinks we wanted on the day. Serving Moet and Chandon was also a must for me.
After we had that sorted, I knew I needed some people to help with logistics. I reached out to a number of different wedding coordinators but really only spoke and connected to one. Jade and I clicked instantly, and I remember her soft-spoken voice on the phone and her calming presence; I felt like she brought the calmness I would need on the day.
We spoke about my vision for the day, and she understood not just the vibe I was going for but the feeling I wanted myself and my guests to have. Trying to describe that was no easy feat; safe to say with the help of some very important vendors we achieved that feeling.
Everyone involved in the wedding was able to achieve this. Sam from Gathered Catering (so down to earth) served up cold glasses of Moet and Chandon and grapefruit cocktails. Jade and Bek from Tremella used elements from the house as well as their own flare to create the most beautiful ceremony display and tablescape I could have imagined. A live band and saxophone performed under the fruit trees through dinner. I had my heart set on the wedding being shot in Super 8 film and Dean and Morgan brought that to life, and of course, the beautiful Oli Samson of Briars Atlas captured the whole thing on camera. I couldn’t have asked for a better team of people.
I knew I wanted a very intimate feeling with a relaxed canape hour that felt like all your best friends at the same garden party, sipping grapefruit gin and tonics in the sun, a romantic dinner under fairy lights and an after party that felt like you were in late high school going to your first house party with all your best friends.
I always loved the idea of an outdoor wedding under the stars; something about it felt so romantic. The European feeling of soft linens and different hues of ivory. I loved the imagery of roman bath houses with brushed gold bowls of grapes and figs. At the same time, one of my favourite movies of all time is My Best Friend’s Wedding with Julia Roberts. So, I wanted elements of New York glamour which I think we achieved with the saxophone at dinner and settings. The overarching theme for my husband and I, and one we hold close being the second youngest of a big family, was the 70’s influence. We had said from the start that whatever it looked like we knew we wanted it to be timeless. To be able to look back at the photos and super 8 footage and not know what era it was in. To be able to pass those memories on to our future children and, in a sense, not just be a ‘ trend’ at the time.
Short, sweet and very romantic. We wanted it to capture us without all the extras. It was important that we acknowledged all the significant people in our lives; our parents, Cherish’s aunt and our best friends standing beside us.
We both wanted our outfits to be timeless. For people to look back on photos and not know what era our wedding was in. Matt went with a dark brown three-piece suit with Doc Martens. It was a classic fit and perfect for the style of wedding. The dress I wore was simple yet elegant. I drew inspiration from several dresses and my dressmaker (Judith Palek) was talented enough to make it perfectly.
Our first look in the peaceful forest. This felt like the calm before the storm. To be able to share this moment together along with our wedding party felt very special. Seeing each other for the first time in that setting was a beautiful way to start the day.
Meaning of marriage.
Our parents have been married for 75 years collectively, so for us it was really important to honour the same tradition and commit ourselves and our lives to each other in the same way our families have. These days you don’t need to be married to be committed to your partner but for us there was something about the public promise entrenched in tradition that felt very right.
Aisle: The Wonder of You by Elvis Presley covered by The Villagers
Signing: Love You ‘Till The End by The Pogues
Recessional: You Make My Dreams Come True by Daryl Hall & John Oates
First Dance: Stand By Me by Tracey Chapman (live version)
Funny stories (or near disasters.
The car not starting in the morning.
Family arriving too early to the ceremony and nearly seeing me in my dress.
The amount of detail that goes into everything. I don’t think I would have ever known the extent of it unless we did it ourselves. One of the best decisions we made, other than finding the best vendors and coordinator for the day, was having escort cards instead of a sitting chart with personalised messages for each guest inside. We had a small wedding so knew everyone personally and were able to give them a sweet or funny message to let them know what we thought about them. Matt and my sister spent hours cutting them all out and sitting them inside the escort cards. At the time, I probably didn’t recognise the impact it was going to have, but everyone was coming up to us saying how special and considered it made them feel. I was surprised to know something so small would have such a unique and special touch.
Words of wisdom.
Start early! Brainstorm all your ideas, even if you never use them, and do your research. If you’re unable to visualise how it will come together, find someone who can!
Get a coordinator for the day – no matter what type of wedding you are having it is crucial to have coordination that is working with you and unaffiliated to the venue, other vendors etc, even if you can only afford a few hours to help run the day, it’s so worth it. We spent a lot of time looking at ‘real weddings’ and, embarrassingly, would even watch other couples’ wedding videos at the venue to see how they did things. That was one of the biggest sources of inspiration.
If you’ve always dreamed of your wedding looking or feeling a certain way, don’t settle! Wait until you get that feeling where you know it’s right.
For another old-world inspired, uniquely stunning affair, check our Chloe and Ben’s dream day, here on the blog.
CHERISH AND MATT’S SUPPLIERS
Ceremony and reception location: The Estate Trentham
Celebrant/Officiant: Charis White Celebrant
Photography: Briars Atlas
Videography: Dean Atherton Creative
Styling: Styling support and 0n-the-day coordination The Modern Romantic
Florist: Tremella Botanicals
Hair: Amy by South
Make-up: Steph Jones
The dress: Judith Palek
Veil: My sisters vail
Shoes: Loeffler Randal
Rings: Faith Jewels
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy
Suits and bow ties: MJ BALE
Catering and bar: Gathered Catering
Cake: The Bride’s sister
Stationery / Signage: One Mimosa Please
Entertainment: Little Wolf Entertainment
Honeymoon: Europe trip