Real Wedding – James & Madeleine, Geelong VIC

Real Wedding – James & Madeleine, Geelong VIC


Long-time lovers, James and Madeleine tied the knot in the historic buildings of The Old Paper Mill site in Fyansford, Geelong. These stunning spaces needed little assistance in bringing wow-factor to the couples wedding day. Just a few fancy touches from their talented tribe made for a magical evening.

In a gorgeous gown, made by her mother-in-law, Madeleine danced the night away with her hubby and loved ones, before the party kicked on at the glamping village set up on their families property nearby. Photographer,  Georgia Verrells, was an integral part of this couples ‘I Do’ crew, and captured their day perfectly!

In Madeleine’s words…

The meeting.

We first met at a housewarming in 2009 through a mutual friend; my high school best friend, who then became one of James’ close friends at Queen’s College.

The ‘one’.

For me, embarrassingly after about our second date almost 9 years ago! I argue that I have a great read on people and loved so many of James’ qualities from the beginning. James apparently took a little longer to realise, and then even longer to propose to make sure he had his braces off.

The proposal.

James arranged a surprise hike at Werribee Gorge on Christmas Eve, my favourite day of the year. At the top of the walk overlooking the gorge, he asked me to marry him. I was completely surprised and had no idea it was coming. Of course, I answered ‘are you sure?’ when he asked but quickly put the ring on.

The process.

The Provenance Wines space and the Truffleduck Great Hall at The Old Papermill site in Fyansford were so close to James’ family home, and after seeing these two beautiful spaces, we knew it would be the perfect spot for our celebration.  Scott and Jen, owners of Provenance Wines, did a wonderful job of completing the renovation well in advance of our wedding. To both Truffleduck and Scott and Jen’s credit, the spaces were perfect on the day.

Style inspiration.

We took our inspiration from both these great spaces and only wanted to install small elements that would enhance and enliven these two great buildings. The raw beauty of the area was something we really wanted to express on the day.

The dress.

James’ mum is a dressmaker who was always hoping to make my dress. Therefore, no search was required. After what seemed like endless fabric shop visits and fittings, I couldn’t have been happier with the perfect dress Mandy had created.

Favorite moments.

Being able to pop away from the celebrations to have a moment to ourselves on the banks of the Barwon River, including James almost falling in and myself jumping from rock to rock in my wedding dress.

The meaning of marriage.

To us, our marriage formalises our commitment to one another. We have always been a strong team that supports one another, and we know that our marriage will continue to strengthen that bond.

Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Higher Ground – James Vincent McMorrow.  Performed by a String Duo from Rutherford Entertainment

Funny stories (or near disasters).

The lead-up and the day itself was fairly seamless. That, or we were just so excited to share the celebration with all our loved ones that we didn’t notice any mishaps along the way.

Planning surprises.
There were no surprises for us, but we kept the move back into Truffleduck’s Great Hall space for the after-party a surprise for all the guests. After our first dance, Rutherford Entertainment’s DJ Dan Martin broke out playing the saxophone, which made for an epic dance floor that was enjoyed well into the night. As was the ability for guests to stay at James’ family property in a glamping village set up by Swell Shelters. The post-wedding bonfire kept the fun and festivities going into the early hours of the morning.

Words of wisdom.
Take a moment or two on the day to step back and take it all in. It goes so quickly. We would also really encourage grooms to get involved in the day and get yourself a whiskey bar! Enjoy the moments when something minor goes wrong. It is always nice to have a few surprises to work through.



Boy oh boy, so many stunning celebrations, and we have another darling day to share in Patrick and Luci’s perfect party.



Ceremony venue / location: Truffleduck Site 3a, The Old Papermills Fyansford

Reception venue / location: Provenance Wines, The Old Papermills, Fyansford

Celebrant/Officiant: Marriages by Tessa Mudge. We were lucky enough to be married by our two close friends, the dynamic Tessa and Michael, who made the ceremony so unique, personal and intimate.

Photography: Georgia Verrells

Styling: Self-Styled

Florist: Charlie and Co (Ceremony arch, reception hanging), Kenney’s Flowers (bridal party). In addition to James’ mum making my dress, we were lucky to have my mum Julie and her team at Kenney’s flowers prepare all the bridal floral arrangements, ceremony seating florals and reception dining floral wreath runners.

Hair: Anna Penn

Make Up: Kathryn Deller

The Dress(es): Amanda Kelly (James’ Mum)

Veil / headwear: Amanda Kelly

Shoes: Wittner

Rings: Ellissi Jewellery

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy

Groomsmen’s suits: Oscar Hunt, Istitchu

Bow ties / ties: Neck & Tie Co

Catering: Truffleduck

Bar: Truffleduck

Cake / Cake topper: Love it Cakes (Cake), Charlie & Co (Cake Topper)

Stationery / Signage: Self-Styled

Entertainment: Rutherford Entertainment

Transport: Wedding Jaguars of Geelong

Hire: Memphis Hire

Honeymoon: Tadrai Island, Fiji

Other: Glamping Village: Swell Shelters

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