Real Wedding – India & Vaughan, Mount Martha VIC
From the moment they first met at Golden Plains, throwing their arms around each other as instructed by Neil Finn, India and Vaughan nailed the relaxed, happy vibes. So it was only fitting that their wedding be one festival-style celebration, complete with breathtaking wilderness views, the beginnings of a family dance-off tradition, fairy light festoons and lashings of style.
The upbeat tone began with a first-look photo moment as suggested by their photographer, the legendary Anchor and Hope. Then, celebrant superstar Megan Jordan elevated the emotions with her fun-filled ceremony, equal parts meaningful and light-hearted, under a captivating canopy of oak trees.
We can’t get enough of India’s look. The Taryn Camille gown from Karen Willis Holmes juxtaposes contemporary lines with timeless romance in a combo that was perfect for this relaxed glam bride. The bridesmaids in soft powder blue were the perfect accent against the lush greenery, foamy ivory, and muted peach florals.
This is one party we wish we were at! To check out every epic moment, scroll on.
We met at Golden Plains through mutual friends. But we had our eyes on each other for a while before that. My sister had pointed Vaughan out years prior as someone that would be perfect for me, but the timing wasn’t right. Then in 2017, the timing was right, Neil Finn was instructing us to throw our arms around each other, and the rest is history.
Funnily enough, we had attended the same primary school, lived down the road from each other and had all the same friends growing up, but we didn’t meet until our 20s.
Pretty instantly, we felt comfortable and happy around each other right from the start. But around six months in, we had our first weekend away. We talked about the big stuff and realized we wanted all the same things out of life. That’s when it felt like we had found our ‘the one’.
Vaughan recreated the night we met at Golden Plains! He used all our houseplants and fairy lights, Neil Finn was playing, and he popped the question.
I did a lot of research in the lead-up to the wedding and used real weddings, styled shoots and articles. I love the real wedding shots, more for an overall vibe and just to see how happy everyone looks. But when I was researching specific details, like outfits and finer details, I would read the articles and recommended suppliers.
We wanted it to be fun and relaxed, and we really wanted to dance. We had originally planned a beautiful wedding at Glasshaus, Richmond. But, when covid started to surge again, and density limits were reimposed, we decided to change to an outdoor venue so that we could still have everyone we loved there and have the dance floor we had been hoping for. We had six weeks to move it all. We did it all ourselves, but we pulled it off with the help of our loved ones, and we were over the moon with the outcome.
The outdoor DIY wedding turned out to be perfect for us. We love the outdoors and the countryside. It was our original plan in the early days of our engagement, and we love that we circled back to it in the end. The six-week planning process was frantic but really rewarding, and we love that we had our own stamp on our day. In the chaos of planning, we didn’t realize how perfect it was until the night; we had met at Golden Plains, Vaughan had created Golden Plains for the proposal, and now we had made our own little Golden Plains for our wedding day, with the dance floor under the festoon lights and tree canopies, and caravan to serve our alcohol.
We absolutely loved our ceremony. It was outdoors under these two beautiful oak canopies, with dappled sunlight. It was lovely and intimate, with all our guests knowing us and our love story well. This added to the relaxed and intimate ceremony we always wanted.
We had the beautiful Megan Jordan as our Celebrant, and she totally delivered on our request for a fun and relaxed ceremony. She really captured our love story and could turn us from teary to giggly in a moment. She fostered this inclusive and fun atmosphere with our guests; at one point, my mother even lovingly heckled me during my vows.
The ceremony ended perfectly; while Real Love Baby played, our guests ran toward us to hug us, cry with us, throw confetti at us and get the party started. Our reception followed immediately after in the same location to give us a seamless party.
I wore a Karen Willis Holmes dress from the bespoke range. I wore the Taryn/Camille, which I loved for the modern take on a traditional design, its big skirt with the split up the front was really fun, and I think suited our outdoor wedding well. I wore Mi Piaci shoes; I picked them for their elegant style with a fun chunky heel to match the dress with its modern take. But also, for practicality, I wanted to be comfortable. The jewellery I wore was by The Line of Sun, the two gum-nut-inspired pearl necklaces I wore were a gift from Vaughan the year before, and the bangle I wore was a favourite of mine for a long time. I wore pearl earrings by The Traveller Series. My engagement and wedding ring were made in India with the help of my now Sister-in-law, who lives in Mumbai. And the other ring I wore was a sapphire ring left to me by my grandmother, for my something blue.
Well, my type-A personality really had its moment when I was picking my outfit. I think I tried on every dress in Melbourne and even some in Sydney. I returned to Karen Willis Holmes about three times to try on the dress I finally picked. Vaughan and I have a joke that I spent more time shopping for my wedding dress than our first home!
Vaughan (being my perfect opposite) had already decided on a tux very early in the piece (which incidentally worked perfectly for his nickname, Tux, short for Tuxen). He wore a tuxedo by Formal Red in Richmond. He wore Aquila shoes and a pocket square to match my dress. He took time to learn how to tie a bowtie for that feeling of untying it for the dancing. In true form, he only tried on two tuxedos, the perfect antidote to me!
Oh gosh, we loved every moment. We had our first look on the grounds of the beautiful Beverly Hills Apartment Building in South Yarra. Our incredible photographer Cam Grove had recommended a first look, and we’re so glad he did. It was lovely to see each other for the first time in a more private setting; it really calmed our nerves and centred us prior to the big moment. It also meant we had more time to party after the ceremony.
The ceremony was a clear favourite for both of us. It was the perfect setting under the tree canopies. Having all our nearest and dearest there to witness our vows and signing was so special.
Meaning of marriage.
In this day and age, you don’t have to get married; you can still love each other and share your life together without the ceremony. For us, we felt that the choice to get married made it even more meaningful. We got married because we wanted to, because we wanted to make the commitment and stand up and tell the world we had found our person.
Aisle: Dandelion by Jealous of the Birds
Signing: Into My Arms by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Recessional: Real Love Baby, by Father John Misty
Reception entry: Day Dreaming, by Aretha Franklin
First dance: Sea of Love by Cat Power
Funny stories or near disasters.
Being a DIY outdoor wedding, there were definitely a few near misses – some furniture and decorations didn’t turn up. But the overall aesthetic and vibe were still there, so we didn’t sweat the small stuff.
Vaughan and I DIYed our first dance too. We picked the song, watched many wedding dance video’s on YouTube and choreographed it ourselves. There was just one problem; I had forgotten to mention how long and big my skirt and train were (even with the bustle). A few steps in, and we were stepping all over my dress. But in the moment, we didn’t care. It added to the atmosphere, we laughed at ourselves, and everyone else joined in. It really relaxed us and gave us a fun story. When it was over, everyone ran onto the dancefloor with us, and we had the best night dancing under the festoon lights and tree canopies.
Another funny moment included India’s Uncle/MC, Paul, jokingly challenging all other Uncles in attendance to an “Uncle dance-off” during his welcome speech. Now he did this on the fly and never expected anyone to take him up on the offer. Much to his shock, hours later, on the dance floor, Vaughan’s uncle Quentin took him up on the offer and literally threw his hat in the ring. What followed was an epic Uncle dance-off that I think will now be a tradition in the upcoming family and friend’s weddings.
Yes! You can be as organized and prepared as you should be, but life happens, and things that are out of your control interrupt your plans. But, if you pivot, you can end up with something even better than you had imagined.
Words of wisdom.
Go with the flow. We were devastated when our plans changed because we felt we had spent so long planning our original wedding and had all these expectations attached to it. But we were delighted with the outcome; it felt truer to us, outdoors under the tree canopies, we had unintentionally recreated the night we met.
Weddings are so much fun; we would do it all again in a heartbeat.
We’re seeing a lot more sweet sapphire accents in wedding theming – from soft cornflower blue to deep indigo, this is a style choice with endless possibility. See some of our favourite blue-toned real weddings on the blog, here.
INDIA & VAUGHAN’S VENDORS
I used a lot of Pinterest for styling inspiration. I followed as many wedding accounts on Instagram as I could; my favourites are @ivorytribe, @_anti_bride and @hellomaymagazine. Once I was looking for a specific detail, item or vendor, I would use the Ivory Tribe blogs to find links to websites where I could purchase that item or contact that vendor.
Ceremony & reception location: The Briars, Mount Martha – We picked this venue with six weeks’ notice. We picked it for the casual park vibe after we had to abandon our more formal wedding plans. Despite being a public park, it felt private. We got married under beautiful oak tree canopies, with gorgeous views of a vineyard, farmland and bushland. What more could you want?!
Celebrant: Megan Jordan – We couldn’t be happier with Megan. She was approachable, helpful, and lovely in the lead-up to the wedding. She helped us write our vows, which we are grateful for. The ceremony was true to us; it was meaningful and moving but peppered with fun moments and had a lovely and relaxed feel.
Photography: Anchor and Hope (Cam Grove). Cam is fantastic, he captured our day beautifully, and he really went above and beyond for us. He was the first vendor we booked and adapted with us through all the changes. He has provided us with the most beautiful product, and we couldn’t be happier with the way all the photos turned out. For two people that are not the most comfortable in front of the camera, he made us feel relaxed and got an amazing outcome. Not only is his photography exceptional, but he took time to know the bridal party and families, found the best way to get us all out of our shells, and fitted into our day perfectly; he really felt like one of our guests by the end.
Videography: Family – my cousin Jay is a VCA film graduate, he filmed our wedding for us. He’s very talented, and it was such a treat to have him capture our day.
Styling: DIY – India and her mother (Paula) styled the wedding. Once we moved venues, we decided we needed to do it all ourselves. We spent many hours styling and prepping each individual detail. Paula even had to leave India’s bridal morning early to race down and make sure it was all coming together. Most of the furniture and decorations (except for the tables and bentwood chairs from The Table Station) came from Paula’s living room. We also spent many hours on Facebook marketplace looking for items. The large urn that was the floral centrepiece was found at an antique store and was originally green. We stripped it back to give it that gorgeous stone colour. We made all the candle stick holders ourselves on some fun crafternoons. Nonie (Vaughan’s sister) sourced all the table linen and napkins from India, which were hand-dyed in the streets of India. The bridal morning was styled by India’s Aunt Fiona, who has a background in Visual Merchandising and Visual Art, she has styled her home beautifully, and it was the perfect setting for us to get ready.
Florist: Glasshaus Florist,
Hair & make-up: Hair styled and curled by Trish Sousa. Trish also did mine and my bridesmaids’ make-up. She did such a beautiful job. It was bridal but natural and lasted all day despite how many happy tears I shed. She was also lovely to work with, accommodating and helpful in the lead-up, and contributed to the fun and relaxed bridal morning perfectly.
Rings: We designed the engagement ring ourselves and had it made in India with the help of Vaughan’s sister (Nonie), who lives there. The wedding rings were also made in India.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: The forever talented mother of the bride, Paula, made the bridesmaid dresses. She designed and pattern made them herself. The silk was sourced from India, again with the help of Vaughan’s sister Nonie. It was dyed that perfect colour blue on the streets of Delhi, India.
Suits & bow ties: Formal Red
Catering: Essential Catering Melbourne
Bar: Valerie Caravan Bar. We loved Valerie; she added to the aesthetic of our DIY outdoor wedding perfectly. They were lovely to deal with in the lead-up; they were understanding regarding covid, answered all our questions and were fun to be around on the day.
Cake: Miss Ladybird Cakes –
Stationery / Signage: The invitations were also DIY. Aunt Fiona designed and drew a Japanese Anemone that was used for the invitations and signage. Vaughan and India designed the layout, and we had them printed by Peterkin Premium Paper & Printery. We used the Japanese Anemone on everything we could. We had it made into a wax seal stamp and stamped it onto the confetti cones, and used it for our signage on the day.
Entertainment: We had grand plans for a DJ when it was planned for the Glasshaus; however, when we pivoted to DIY, we also decided to DIY the music as well. India spent countless hours curating all the playlists. But we think it added a nice touch; we know all our guests well (obviously!) and knew what would get them on the dance floor. We don’t think there was a moment when no one was dancing.
Hire: We hired the tables and chairs from The Table Station. They were with us from the start and lovely with all the changes, allowing us to add last-minute things to the order right up until the last minute. The dance floor was hired from Gather Round.
Honeymoon: We travelled up to Palm Beach, Sydney, for a very relaxing and quiet honeymoon.