Real Wedding – Kellie & Tom, Woodend VIC
A backpacker and a bar, Kellie and Tom’s love story really is a dream, so it was only fitting that their wedding day celebration would follow suit.
Taking their day far from the city, the pair’s Woodend wedding embraced all that is beautiful about the great outdoors – they were all about fresh air, native florals and one easy location that meant all they had to do was sit back and enjoy as they let their day unfold.
They added so many special touches to their day, so read on for all the details and their day has been perfectly captured by photographer Tahnee Jade.
In Kellie’s words…
Tom and I met at work in 2009. He was backpacking through Australia with his best friends, who days earlier had put their resumes in at a bar I was working in. His friend had actually got the call for the job but Tom turned up instead! We connected instantly and when it was time for him to leave and continue with his travels I was devastated. A few hours into his journey to Sydney he messaged me and said he couldn’t stop thinking about me, and began making plans to come back alone and see where our relationship could go. A few weeks later we were on our first date!
It’s hard to explain how I knew Tom was the one… Tom and I were obsessed with each other from the start but our future was uncertain because we didn’t know if he’d be able to stay in the country. I just knew very early on I couldn’t see a future without this guy… And every day since I’ve felt the same way. We moved in together after only a few months so there’s been so many moments he’s proved he is absolutely ‘The One’ (the little things he does, the love and support he gives, the jokes we share), and really he’s just the best person in the world.
It was the last day of work before Christmas and Tom and I had planned to go out for dinner to celebrate his birthday the following day. I’d had a few drinks with colleagues and wasn’t sure why Tom was so insistant on going out (we were already going out the next day). We went to Chin Chin and after dinner he said he wanted to go for a walk along the river. There were a few signs something was up (he was a bit anxious all night and carrying a jacket on a 33 degree day!) so when we didn’t turn in the right direction along the water I should have been more suspicious. But it was such a beautiful evening and I was just enjoying our night out together so didn’t question it. He’d led me to the spot where we had our first date we stop and take a seat. I thought it was strange he was so annoyed by people walking past us and sitting near us but when we were finally alone he popped the question!
Native flowers and an outdoor setting – away from the city!
We wanted the day to be fun and relaxed – something reflective of Tom and I, and in a place that would also compliment our style. We also just wanted a party to celebrate with the people we love the most, so it was important to us to have everything in one location where we could spend as much time as possible with everyone without wasting time moving to different locations. After we found the right venue everything else came from those ideas and the things we love. (I’m a book nerd and work at a publishing company so we used pages from ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ – a nod to the local area – to make confetti cones. We really wanted our guests to have fun and embrace the beautiful scenery too so we incorporated lawn games and outdoor entertainment into the reception.
I didn’t do anything special or unusual. I knew I wanted something that was a bit different with a boho vibe, but I was open minded because I had no idea what might suit me. The first place I went to was awful and I thought I’d never step into a bridal store again. Thankfully, my mum had already made a booking at another boutique which was a much nicer experience but I was convinced nothing would ever look good on me. I felt like an impostor playing dress-ups in giant waves of tulle. But then in the third store… the one! I fell in love with the lace on my dress before I tried it on. I’ve always loved Rue de Seine dresses and there was something about the big leaf-shaped pattern and detail that reminded me of those gowns. I never thought I’d wear a backless (or even sleeveless) dress but it’s true – you know when it’s the one. I left the store that day wanting a third opinion but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The decision was made.
There were so many lovely moments… seeing Tom at the end of the aisle – and when he kissed me as soon as the celebrant started speaking! But getting our couple photos taken with our bridesmaid and best man after the ceremony was definitely the best part of the day. Although Tom and I can be a little shy in front of the camera (and our jaws were sore from smiling), we had so much fun and couldn’t stop giggling. We were all beaming and just having such an amazing time in a beautiful setting. Our photographer was incredible and made us feel so comfortable. The caterers and venue were amazing and found us in the forest to spoil us with some much needed drinks and nibbles. It can’t be easy balancing a tray of glasses in the bush! The winery dog, Gus even joined for us photos and definitely out-shined us.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage is a lifelong commitment to one another. Tom and I have been together for so long we were already honoring this virtue so marriage for us was a reinforcement of that commitment and a legal/public acknowledgement we are each other’s best person and ready to start the next phase of our life together. I also think there’s something beautiful about the sentiment and spirituality of the tradition.
Aisle: I’m with you by Vance Joy
Signing: Bloom by Paper Kites
Recessional: Only Love by Ben Howard
Reception entry: Chateau by Angus & Julia Stone
First dance: Latch by Sam Smith (acoustic) followed Swiftly by Finesse – Bruno Mars and Cardi B
Final songs: Don’t stop believin’ by Journey, Livin’ on a prayer by Bon Jovi and Wonderwall by Oasis
Funny stories (or near disasters).
In a rush to get to the venue my bridal party pushed me out the door and into the car. As the car pulled away I glanced over at my bridesmaid’s dress delicately hanging up in the backseat and asked, “where’s my dress?” My mum hit the brakes and almost turned the car around on two wheels. Our photographer had taken the dress for photos and no one thought to bring it. Luckily we hadn’t gotten far… It was raining so instead of getting out the car we frantically yelled out to the guys still in the house. Ash ran out to the rescue, dress in hand – uncovered and in the rain – before swiftly running back inside when he saw our looks of horror. Mortified shrieks followed him. The dress then reappeared, safely covered and delivered by another messenger.
Not that funny but I think a kookaburra found it amusing… We had an outdoor ceremony and in a beautiful moment of magic the sun broke through the clouds and the rain stopped as the music started. Our celebrant suggested we include a ring-warming ritual during our ceremony. It involved our parents, bestman and bridesmaid passing our rings to one another and ‘warming’ them with their love and blessings. We didn’t have a lot of time to rehearse this so we just had a quick run through in a park around the corner from our house two days before the wedding. Because we were in a park, we were all standing on the day but I hadn’t anticipated our parents would get up from their seats at the actual ceremony. It was a surreal moment, and as our loved ones hovered around us focussing their love into our rings, a kookaburra gatecrashed the scene and broke into echoing laughter. Strangely no one else seemed to notice!
Later when we were getting our couples photos I noticed a Kookaburra sitting in a tree above us. Our amazing photographer managed to get a snap of the beautiful bird. I suspect he may have been the culprit…
Timelines and seating charts are hard. And invitations take longer to choose than expected! Nothing else really surprised me but it’s amazing how many little things there to consider and there’s no end to how much detail (or expense) can be put into a wedding.
Words of wisdom.
Delegate anything that needs to be done on the day so you only have to worry about getting there on time. And if you’ve planned everything yourself – make sure someone(s) else know everything and have ALL the information on the day so you won’t be wondering if everything is going to plan!
Real Weddings are an amazing source of inspiration. If you’re planning your own perfect day – see our latest posts here, they’re ready to inspire and delight.
KELLIE & TOM’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: Mount Macedon Winery, Woodend
Celebrant/Officiant: Margie Fry
Photography: Tahnee Jade Photography – I knew Tahnee’s photos were beautiful but I didn’t anticipate how amazing she would be. She’s so warm and lovely but also super cool! She is a photo ninja that doesn’t stop and helped in so many ways on the day. We just love her and can’t thank her enough!
Styling: Hattie & The Bairn Tribe
Florist: Wooton & Nicholls – Zara is an amazing design queen! She makes flower dreams a reality – and one that’s even better than you can imagine. I don’t have enough good words!
Hair: Bridget Sophie Studio – Bridget turned a very vague vision into a reality at the first trial. Amazing
Make-up: Bridget Sophie Studio – Bridget is the best. She’s warm, funny and just an awesome person. It’s a bonus she happens to be the best make-up artist whose pretty great at doing hair too. I don’t think there’s anything she can’t do!
Veil / headwear: Flower crown by Wooton & Nicholls
Rings: Windfall Jewellery – These guys are the coolest jewellers in Melbourne
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Showpo
Catering: Greenleaf catering – The day would not have been the same without these guys – they truly went above and beyond. We still get so much great feedback about the food!
Bar: Mount Macedon Winery
Cake & dessert station / Cake topper: Beurre
Stationery / Signage: Bella & Boheme
Entertainment: Musicians – Angus Legg & Taylor Piggott and DJ – Scooter Stevens – The team at Unplugged were great and Angus and Taylor are the best! Scooter is a legend. He’s the nicest guy, so much fun and great to work with. I don’t think we could have navigated the awkward first dance jitters with anyone else!
Transport: The Party Express
Hire: One Big Day (Vintage couches, lawn games)