Real Wedding – Elyse & Will, Trawool VIC
For an effervescent experience, equal parts impactful style and vivacious fun, look no further than Will and Elyse’s destination wedding. Harnessing the stunning surrounds of The Trawool Estate, this is a celebration that brings it all, captured under their styling theme of country meets city.
As a luxury event planner, city girl Elyse was truly in her element when planning her dream day to her farmer beau Will. Leaning into the perfect vista of rolling hills and lush bushland, and elegantly chic interiors of the venue, accents of colour add a bold modern sensibility framed around the Barbie pink and cornflower blue bridesmaid gowns.
We love Elyse’s choice of gown, a contemporary Jason Grech number designed to wear with full princess skirts for the ceremony, then pare back to a lace-detailed sheath design for the reception. The overall effect of this vibrantly out-of-the-box day is epic, unbridled fun combined with sweet, sassy vibes. Photographer John Warren more than met the brief, capturing the breathtaking views and darling details to perfection.
Scroll on to see it all unfold.
Will and I crossed paths at the Euroa Market one morning over the Easter weekend in 2022. I then slid into Will’s DMs, where we began chatting, and then, as they say – the rest is history!
There wasn’t a specific moment but just a feeling that we both experienced; we couldn’t imagine our future without each other. This was a feeling we both shared very early on, where life was that much more enjoyable because even the simplest things were spent with your person. From morning coffees in bed to dancing in the kitchen – both our hearts were now full.
Will surprised me with a picnic in a paddock on our property. He had set up the picnic blanket, cheese platter, champagne – the works! Will is a very thoughtful and chivalrous man, so this wasn’t completely out of character, but I did have an inkling this could be the moment. Once the cheese was eaten, the champagne drunk and the doughnuts devoured, it was time to pack up and return home – but still no proposal!? At this point, Will was toying with my emotions as he sensed I was onto him and would get on one knee and say he wanted to ask me something – only to ask if I wanted another drink.
Just before we got in the car to return to the house, Will pulled out a box tied in a ribbon, turned to me and asked me to marry him. I was over the moon and couldn’t say yes quickly enough. It was a very special moment that I will never forget!
Fortunately, I have been working as a luxury event manager for a decade, so the planning process was all on me. I loved the entire process, from selecting a colour palette (based on the colours of the bridesmaid dresses) to the look and feel of the space, from styling elements (napery, crockery, menus, signage) to suppliers. I’m a very organised person, so there were spreadsheets for budgeting, runsheets, etc – no element was missed. Throughout the process, I was very aware of ensuring Will had input and was across the running of the day – I didn’t want Will to be surprised on the day and not feel that we were both reflected across each touchpoint on the day.
As our wedding was 90 minutes out of Melbourne, all the guests travelled. Therefore, we ensured itineraries were placed in each guest’s room so they knew their movements over the course of the weekend. From times and location of breakfast through to complimentary mini bars for all guests onsite. We also arranged buses for those staying in neighbouring towns to ensure they could enjoy the event without the burden of deciding who was driving back to their hotel.
The inspiration for the style of our wedding was Country meets City. Will is a farmer, and I am a city girl who moved to the country for love. Therefore, the location was in the country with rolling paddocks and hills as the background, with a black-tie dress code for guests. It was a formal affair filled with so much love and happiness. We wanted a big celebration of our love, with family and friends.
Looking at real weddings is what most informed my decisions. Also, a number of blogs spoke to key trends for the coming wedding season. We wanted there to be a lot of colour so that it would pop against the contrast of the paddocks and hills.
Our ceremony was outdoors, which assisted in bringing to life the city meets country vibe. It was a rather casual yet traditional ceremony. A very special element of the ceremony was our wonderful celebrant, Lara Williams, who is one of Will’s sister’s best friends. It meant so much to have her on this journey with us, putting us at ease and making the ceremony so warm and fun.
For the bridesmaids, as I had my sister and sister-in-law, I wanted them both to be in different colours. Ultimately, it was about finding dresses that were formal, fun, and available in multiple colours while also being timeless. I didn’t want to look back and think their dresses had dated.
My custom wedding dress was designed by Melbourne designer Jason Grech. I’ve worn Jason’s designs over the years, and he also created my sister’s wedding dress. Given his history with my family, I knew he was the perfect person to create my special dress. I wanted to have two different moments on the day, so for the ceremony, Jason created a princess moment by placing a big skirt over my reception dress, which sat underneath. He also added ‘Dwyers’ on the veil to give it a personal touch. For the reception, I removed the skirt and revealed a fitted, fully embellished and textured dress, complete with a fishtail. I wanted to feel sexy and strong on the day, and Jason helped achieve this with the ultimate wedding dress.
There were many amazing moments over the course of the day, but a special one for us was when Will and I escaped the reception and visited our bridal suite. We were able to sit together for about 20 minutes and take in the day/evening. We both expressed what a magical day it had been and how everything had gone so smoothly. We both had the best weekend!
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage means getting to spend life with your person. To create a life where you both help each other to grow and nurture your relationship, getting to experience all life has to offer with your best friend.
Aisle: Happy Together by The Turtles
Signing: Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones and Lovely Day by Bill Withers.
Recessional: Ca Plane Pour Moi by Plastic Bertrand
First dance: Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
Funny stories or near disasters.
Surprisingly, nothing went wrong! We were waiting for something to go wrong, but it really was a magical, perfect weekend – corny, I know!
Probably how calm we both were on the day. People talk about nerves, etc, prior to the ceremony, but we were both excited and relaxed.
Words of wisdom.
Make sure you’re organised and plan ahead. Be prepared for everything, particularly wet weather options, and ensure your suppliers are across this. Ensure you brief your suppliers with things you want, i.e. give lots of images for reference – it’s your day, so make sure it all goes to how you want it to go.
When mid-wedding planning, it’s so easy to get swept up in social media, Pinterest boards and general daydreaming – after all, weddings are nothing if not gorgeous and joy-soaked! So, before you get yourself too overwhelmed, let us guide you through the common pitfalls of dream day planning, via our blog.
ELYSE & WILL’S VENDORS
Ceremony & reception venue: The Trawool Estate, Trawool. Jemma Hind was our Event Scientist, and she was amazing throughout the process. Not only lovely to deal with but very organised and efficient.
Celebrant: Lara Williams – given there was a personal relationship, she was always going to be phenomenal.
Photography: The master – John Warren. He has shot both of my sibling’s weddings, and I knew I wanted him on our day. Not only are his shots beautiful, but he is full of energy and gets you and your group excited for every aspect of the day.
Videography: Allure Productions – Michael and his team were fabulous! Very professional and just a lovely bunch of people to have with us on the day.
Florist: Florals By Miss Men – Dorey. I saw Dorey’s work at a family member’s wedding, and her work was breathtaking. She was fantastic to work with over the months leading up to the wedding, fully understanding and executing my brief to perfection to get the wow factor I was after at the reception.
Hair: Pearly Hairstylist. She was so lovely and beautifully created the looks for each of us, along with some family members.
Make-up: Ebony Maize – Lauren. Lauren is very professional and created looks for each of us, which perfectly suited the brief and inspiration images. She and Pearly both worked well together to ensure the day was seamless.
The dresses & veil: Jason Grech.
Rings: Siren Fine Jewellery.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Misha Collection.
Suits: Groom – M.J. Bale
Bow ties / ties: M.J. Bale
Catering & bar: The Trawool Estate
Cake: Cheese Tower, curated by Palma from Boccaccio Cellars, Balwyn.
Stationery / Signage: State of Elliott (menu and seating/welcome sign)
Entertainment: Garth Ploog and band
Transport: Seymour Buses
Honeymoon: Port Douglas