Real Wedding – Emily & Max, Rubicon VIC
Real Wedding – Emily & Max, Rubicon VIC
Real Wedding – Emily & Max, Rubicon VIC
Real Wedding – Emily & Max, Rubicon VIC

Real Wedding – Emily & Max, Rubicon VIC


Emily and Max’s epic wedstival is all exuberant energy, effortlessly stunning style, and absolutely loaded up with laughs. We can get enough of this enticing blend of autumnal colours, never-ending grims and amped-up party vibes, captured to perfection by Daniel Milligan.

The non-negotiables for these two newlyweds included a dance floor without a volume limit or end time, so they chose to hold their sweet celebration on their family’s private property, surrounded by beautiful bushland. A warm colour palette of deep tangerine, rusts, sunflower golds and touches of burnt cream makes for a vibrant juxtaposition against the natural landscape, while the open-walled marquee allows for a seamless transition between spaces.

Emily embodies a natural, relaxed radiance in her simple yet impactful sheath silhouette by RC. Alongside her new husband in his muted coffee-hued suit and perfectly on-point bow tie by Otaa, they strike a laid-back luxe tone to perfection.

And when they snuck away for golden hour photos, it was pure magic. As Emily and Max put it, how good is celebrating love with everyone who loves you? The answer is written all over their faces – bliss.

Scroll on for every epic moment.

The meeting.

We met through mutual friends. One night we ended up on the crowded dance floor of an indie club in Melbourne – a quick chat, a Facebook friend invite accepted, and the rest is history!


The ‘one’.

Since the early months of the relationship, there’s always been this unexplainable comfort and happiness whenever we’re with each other. We also never get sick of one another and can make even the most mundane activities seem like fun when we’re together (hello, weekly Aldi grocery shop!).


The proposal.

We were away for a weekend at Max’s family beach house. After a bike ride where it poured with rain, we settled in, and Max asked me if I’d like to light the fire. I politely declined. Max asked again, this time with a little more desperation in his voice, signalling to the fire in the corner of the room. I walked over to open the door of the fire and spotted a large card with photos of us from the past ten+ years on the front – on the back, Max had written, “This is only the beginning…” I turned around, and there was Max on one knee holding a diamond ring that once belonged to my Nana. Magic!


Planning process.

We knew early on that my (Emily’s) Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Rubicon, Victoria, would be the dream location. It’s a stunning property and allowed us to have a full weekend ‘wedsitval’. Many moons ago, I was actually a wedding coordinator, so I knew the importance of getting onto planning early. It was really about locking in the big-ticket items that book out well in advance (marquee, photographer, celebrant, florist, caterer) first, and everything flowed from there. Starting early also meant it was an enjoyable process, and we weren’t running around like headless chooks just before the big day!


Style inspiration. 

We hadn’t thought too much about the look and feel of the wedding because the location kind of spoke for itself! We just knew we wanted a big party and to keep things fairly casual. In terms of colours and style, we wanted warm, earthy tones and a relaxed vibe that would complement the farm setting.

We were all about the real weddings! Everyone is so creative and has such helpful advice because they’ve lived and breathed their own wedding. I went to a pretty funny bridal expo with one of my bridesmaids – picture a small country town, probably only six suppliers and a celebrant who was still burning music to CDs! Don’t get me wrong, it was cute, but we probably needed to check out bigger expos!


The ceremony.

We picked a spot on my Aunt and Uncle’s farm that had the most breathtaking views of the Royston Ranges in the background. It was essentially in the middle of a paddock with a little mowed area just for us. The location meant the girls and I could walk straight from the farmhouse where we got ready to the ceremony, which was handy too! We asked Max’s brother, Jack, and a close friend, Pete, to say some words. Pete recited our love story to the tune of Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, which was an excellent and hilarious surprise.


The outfit. 

Max found his suit second-hand from the Amazing Mill Market in Geelong! What are the chances? A couple of alterations, and it was good to go. As for my wedding dress – it was a total cliché. I tried it on and burst into tears after two strangers in the shop complimented me. I think it was the realisation that I was actually getting married, too. I knew I wanted to be comfortable and wear something pretty simple/classic – it nailed the brief.


Favourite moments.

Spotting Max in tears up the end of the aisle was up there! The moment just before I walked down the aisle, I looked at my Mum and Dad and told them I loved them – that was one of those you’ll-never-forget-this-moment moments. Max’s favourite moment was drinking an Old Fashioned with his parents and groomsmen under the canopy of his parent’s caravan on the farm pre-ceremony.


Meaning of marriage.

Marriage is always having someone to dance with – out on the floor and through life’s ups and downs.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Come To Me by Marlon Williams
Reception entry: High Voltage by ACDC
First dance: Coming Home by Leon Bridges
Bride and groom + bridal party and Mum’s line dance (yes, we did a line dance!): Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealers Wheel


Funny stories or near disasters.

Our original glamping company (who shall remain nameless) pulled the pin on twenty glamping tents a week before the wedding. Chaos! It was a good lesson in crisis management and hustling to relocate nearly half our guests – but we got there!


Planning surprises.

The amount of emails back and forth with different suppliers – sometimes it felt like a full-time admin job, but it was worth it to have everything locked in ahead of the day.


Words of wisdom.

We found so much comfort in other couples saying the little details really don’t matter on the day – and it’s true! People are there to celebrate your love and be with you – as long as you show up, that’s really all that matters.

Finally, just think about what’s important and true to you as a couple before you start planning: is it about the best food? An outrageous party? A venue close to your heart? No finish time? This will help you narrow down a location that feels like the right fit for you. We wanted a big party and no one telling us to turn the music down and leave at midnight – the farm was the perfect way to achieve this.


Last words.

How good is celebrating love with everyone who loves you?



The ceremony is an impactful part of your day. From the magic moment where you make your promises to the laughter and bliss that is bound to flow throughout. So here’s some inspo to help you get the aesthetic atmosphere just right.



We jumped onto Ivory Tribe; signed up to Easy Weddings and Hello May emails; spoke with friends who had done a similar style wedding in the past, and spent many, many hours on Google.

Ceremony & reception venue: Emily’s Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Rubicon, Victoria

Celebrant: Mark Reed – (Max’s Uncle! He’s actually going to retire his celebrant’s license and only does family weddings, so we won’t link him).

Photography: Daniel Milligan – what a talented, warm and professional human. We’re so over the moon with the shots he captured, and he was such a good sport on the day of our wedding, too. He made us feel very comfortable, which is so important when choosing a photographer.

Videography: Two guys from Max’s work (an advertising agency) actually agreed to capture footage for us, and Max is going to do a DIY editing job.

Styling: We did our own styling!

Florist: Emily’s cousin, Holly, did our flowers. She actually wrapped up being a full-time florist a little while ago and only helps out friends and family now.

Hair: Natalie from Aerial Studio was a dream! Her attention to detail was incredible – and she did a beautiful job on everyone’s hair

Skincare: Having worked in beauty most of my (Emily) life, I wanted to make sure my skin shone on the big day. My routine leading up to the wedding was provided by an amazing local skincare brand, Angry Doctor.

Make-up: Cammi Tu is a true artistic talent and made everyone feel immediately at ease the moment they sat down in her makeup chair. Our faces looked fresh at 2am, and that’s a testament to her skills!

The dress: Emily’s wedding dress was from Raffaele Ciuca.

Veil: Amelie George Bridal. I loved how reasonably priced my veil was in addition to being great quality and nice and light.

Shoes: Comfort was key when it came to my wedding shoes, so I actually bought a pair from Easy Steps! They lasted on my feet until I went to bed at 2am – no regrets about opting for something comfortable!

Rings: Emily’s: Sarah & Sebastian

Max’s: Seb Brown

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Each of our bridesmaids picked their own style online from various retailers.

Suits: Each of the groomsmen pulled together their looks based on items they already owned.

Bow ties / ties: Otaa

Catering: Paella Pan Creative Catering. So delicious and fresh! We’d been to a previous wedding that they catered at and loved how much food was available, how good it was for dietaries and that people could pick and choose easily. It also kept guests warm and gave them energy to keep on dancing!

Bar: Goldie’s Events Services. We couldn’t fault the team at Goldie’s! They were kept very busy by our thirsty guests and took it all in their stride. Incredible service, friendly and boy, did they know how to make a tasty espresso martini!

Cake: We enlisted the help of our good friend Amelia. We knew we wanted a “cheese cake” and left the whole thing in her very capable hands. She nailed it. Plenty of incredible cheese, a beautiful spread of accompanying snacks, plus some cute cupcakes for the sweet tooths. Couldn’t recommend her highly enough!

Stationery / Signage: We designed and printed our own signs!

Entertainment: A friend of ours agreed to DJ later in the night (and lend us his mirror ball!), and we had a band called The Heelers to start. The Heelers really kicked the night off with a bang! Plenty of classic rock n’ roll hits and some fun surprises along the way!

Transport: Fallons Bus Company transported all our guests staying locally.

Décor: Betta Events Hire. We used them for our furniture and dance floor – they were great! The team was very reliable and competitive from a pricing point of view, too. My mum made some DIY tablecloths, and our florist dotted some candles and jars of flowers around; she also hung a garland of greenery under the marquee to really set the scene.

Hire: Smart Hire, Oakleigh. For the likes of porter-loos, a generator, a pie warmer, trestle tables etc. We really had to bring in everything: power, water… the works! We hired our marquee and glamping tents through Under Sky, who were really good! We were grateful they were willing to travel out to Rubicon, and their marquee looked so magical, all lit up alongside the Rubicon River that runs through the property.

Honeymoon: We’re heading off to Europe in August, and yes, we’re counting down the minutes!

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