Real Wedding – Erin & Ash, Kangaroo Ground, VIC
Working in weddings gave Erin great insight when planning her own day. Her words of wisdom? Choose great vendors, seek as much advice from them as you need, and be true to what you want. And judging by the endless grins on the faces of these two newlyweds, the result was 100% fabulous fun, sweet emotions and zero stress.
Celebrant superstar Anthony Cribbes of The Altar Electric kicked off the party with a laid-back, laughter-filled ceremony set in the coolest location – around the heart-shaped swimming pool.
Post ceremony celebrations took place under a sweeping tipi marquee styled up with natural fibres and soft caramel couches, and of course, an expansive dance floor just waiting for the night to heat up.
Erin looked a shimmering, radiant stunner in her sequinned sheath by our favourite, Karen Willis Holmes. As they romp through the beautiful bushland surrounds, these stunning souls are clearly captivated with one another and so relaxed in front of the lens of photography legend and truly excellent human, Hailey from One Spoon Two Spoon.
Scroll on to see how a covid impacted wedding can be large-scale in magic and small-scale in stress!
We worked at the same company and met when we were on the same training course in 2013. We started dating a few months after first meeting.
I don’t think there was a specific moment where I was like, “oh yes – you are the one”.
New Years Eve 2018. Ash is an incredible home cook, and we decided to just stay in that year and chill out at home. Ash made this amazing meal; we opened a great bottle of wine and put on some of our favourite tunes. On the couch, at the end of the night, while having some bubbles to celebrate the New Year, he surprised me with the ring. To this day, Ash still maintains that he never actually asked me to marry him, as he never uttered the words.
We had always planned to have a long engagement so we could give our family and friends overseas plenty of notice. So, it felt like we had all the time in the world to plan (this was a false sense of security). We actually had planned our honeymoon before we planned the wedding!
We both knew we wanted something relaxed, not your traditional day, so finding the right venue was key. I knew The Altar Electric (TAE) was the place for us from the second I found their Instagram page. Ash was keen to see a few other venues before deciding, but he was sold on TAE the moment he walked in. Once this was locked in, in early 2020, we let our overseas people know the date, and all was looking great. Then Covid-19 happened, and I think the extended Melbourne lockdown just took the shine off trying to even think about the wedding.
The plan had originally been to have the ceremony at TAE and then head to a restaurant nearby for the reception. This had to change when TAE found out they wouldn’t be in their new space by April. The TAE team were great, though, and really worked with us to find a solution. We were fortunate that my parents have the most amazing garden, and when I asked Mum and Dad if they minded if we moved the wedding to their place, they graciously said yes. The next few months were filled with many working bees between my parents, Ash and I working in the gardens and getting the place ready.
We wanted something very simple and non-traditional. One of the reasons we loved TAE so much when we saw it was it is such an amazing space, full of colour but still felt intimate and gave a great party vibe. With the switch to my parent’s place, the impact of the Melbourne lockdown actually had a lot to do with our choices. Being separated from family and friends for so long really made us want something even more relaxed with a strong focus on great wine and tasty food!
I found the most inspiration from actually working at weddings! As a side gig, I work with Fat and Skinny catering, so I was able to get a bit of an inside view of some of the venues we were thinking about, along with helping me to refine down what I really wanted our day to be. I did look at a few different wedding blogs, and I think the articles and the real weddings that didn’t necessarily follow to traditional playbook made me really think about the choices and decisions we were making and that everything that was part of our day really aligned to our values and how we like to live our lives.
We had a pretty short ceremony as neither Ash nor I love being the centre of attention. What Anthony was able to create with a little bit of information from us was amazing, it was so personal, but the thing that stood out most for me was the humour and joy that Anthony bought to it. I was shaking like an absolute leaf through most of it!
I have been a huge fan of Karen Willis Holmes for a while, so I knew I needed to try her dresses first. Coming out of the long Melbourne lockdown, I was finding it hard to get excited about the wedding, so I felt the best way to try and turn that around was to start looking for a dress.
At my first appointment, I had my mum, sisters and godmother with me. I tried on a number of dresses, and I thought I found the one, but there was a dress that I had had my eye on for a while that wasn’t available to try on at my first appointment, and I was struggling to decide. The girls at Karen Willis Holmes were amazing and made a second appointment for me to come in and try the dress on.
I ended up going by myself to my second appointment, and the moment I tried the Cassie gown on, I knew it was the one. I’d always wanted a dress with long sleeves but also quite simple. This dress, while it has a lot of beading, really didn’t feel like it overwhelmed me. I felt like an elevated version of myself, and who doesn’t love sequins! I cannot speak more highly of the girls at Karen Willis Holmes in Melbourne, they gave me the confidence to shop alone, and it was clear how genuine each and every one of them are.
I absolutely advocate for going dress shopping alone. I loved having family with me at my first appointment but as someone who normally shops alone, I found it hard to listen to my voice.
Gosh, there are so many, but I would probably say it was the portrait session with Hailey after all the formalities were done. We took some champagne and went for a walk out the back of Mum and Dad’s place. Hailey had a little speaker with her and asked what our favourite band was. We boogied our way through the bush and into nearby paddocks, drinking champagne; it really felt like we were just hanging out with one of our closest mates. This gave us an opportunity to get a bit of quiet and enjoy each other’s company.
Meaning of marriage.
Sharing the same values, goals and dreams and then getting to live those out with your best friend.
Aisle: Angels by The xx
Signing: I Follow Rivers (Cover) by Husky/World of our Love by Client Liaison
We didn’t have a grand entrance or a first dance.
Funny stories or near disasters.
No disasters. There absolutely were hiccups and things that didn’t go exactly to plan, but none of that matters at the end of the day. I always kept telling myself that the wedding is just a day; it’s just signing some paperwork and having a party. The most important thing is the marriage.
You will think you have time, but the closer you get to the date the faster time seems to move.
Words of wisdom.
Ask for help. If you are stuck, speak to your vendors. They will undoubtedly know someone in the industry that will be able to help, and if you get the right team on your side, they just want what is best for you. Oh, and a big one for me is just because it’s a tradition doesn’t mean you have to do it; it is 100% your day.
Remember that this day is about celebrating the love between you and your partner, not about making other people happy or “doing it for the gram”. Find joy in the small quiet moments as the day will fly past.
Another glorious outdoor celebration is the intimate WA Elopement of Gemma and Toby. For small in size but big in heart, click here for a look at their day.
ERIN & ASH’S VENDORS
The team at The Altar Electric really helped in bringing together a lot of the team. I knew they worked with the best in the business, so when we needed a photographer and someone to help live stream our day (thanks again, Covid-19), they were able to connect us with Hailey at One Spoon Two Spoon and Andrew and Grace of Bottlebrush films. I cannot speak more highly of these beautiful humans. Instagram and google also were a big part of the process. In hindsight, utilising the right blogs may have taken out some of my stress!
Ceremony & reception venue: My parent’s backyard, Kangaroo Ground
Celebrant: Anthony Cribbes, The Altar Electric. This man has a way with words! If you want a ceremony packed with laughter and love, then look no further than Anthony and the team at The Altar Electric.
Photography: One Spoon Two Spoon. Where do I even begin? Hailey is just the most gorgeous human. She was able to make two very introverted people feel safe and that they could be themselves. She will capture the sweetest moments from your day that you didn’t get to see. Her work is truly beautiful.
Livestream: Bottlebrush Films. I don’t know where we would be if it weren’t for Andrew live streaming our day. Our family and friends overseas were able to still be a part of the day, and we were sent so many great pictures from all over the world of everyone tuning in. They also do the most fun looking wedding films!Florist: A very close family friend did all our flowers.
Hair: Polished Style. Justine is so easy to work with. She clearly loves what she does, and she will go above and beyond to ensure you and your crew look their best on the day.
Make-up: Emma Lucas Make-up. Emma was the makeup artist for my sister’s wedding a few years back, where I was a bridesmaid. When it came time for me to book someone for my day, Emma was my first thought. She is a beautiful soul who will put you at ease on your day.
The dress: I love the girls at Karen Willis Holmes Melbourne. They genuinely love what they do and really will go out of their way to ensure you find your dress.
Shoes: Morimoto. Meggan is a dream to work with. As someone who doesn’t wear heels that much anymore, she worked with me to find a style I found comfortable and, oh, the colour choices! These shoes were absolutely an investment and totally worth it!
Suits: Ash wore a suit he already had.
Catering: Fat and Skinny Catering. When our day was moved out to mum and dad’s place, I couldn’t imagine anyone else being part of our day. Not only is Naz just an absolute queen she also makes some of the tastiest food in town. I am still getting rave reviews from friends and family about the food.
Bar: We hired all of our glassware from Betta Event Hire, the daughter of a close friend ran the bar for us for a few hours, then it became self-serve, and she hit the dancefloor with us. Having our wedding at home meant we were also able to select all the drinks ourselves, which as two people that love wine was great!
Favours: We weren’t planning on doing favours but realising how chilly the night gets; a super talented girlfriend of mine whipped up a design that we had printed on stubby holders. We had these made by Soupcan who were great given the tight turnaround time.
Cake: The cake was made by my beautiful godmother
Entertainment: We did the music ourselves.
Hire: Twilight Glamping for the bar, furniture and Yurt – The Twilight glamping team are fabulous. They have the most beautiful hire items, and when we had a slight kerfuffle on the size of the space, they worked hard to find a quick solution.
Honeymoon: Given the Covid situation and state borders would close at the drop of a hat, we decided to make a road trip around Victoria and up into NSW. We stayed at some amazing places, and it was great to visit towns that had been hit hard by the bushfires and spend a bit of money in these small communities. Once borders open, we hope to take the original honeymoon we planned to Portugal.