Real Wedding – Kirsty & Richie, Merrimu VIC
Real Wedding – Kirsty & Richie, Merrimu VIC
Real Wedding – Kirsty & Richie, Merrimu VIC
Real Wedding – Kirsty & Richie, Merrimu VIC

Real Wedding – Kirsty & Richie, Merrimu VIC


When the bride nails neon pink accessories, and the groom works magic in a muted apricot suit, the wedding is bound to be a stylistic treat. Kirsty and Richie’s dream day is all this and more; add in an idyllic bushland location, the elevated festival feels and a decade’s worth of love, and you have one truly epic celebration.

Using their personal values as a guide, these two gorgeous souls made decisions to minimise their impact on the environment, choosing suppliers that do the same and sourcing decor detailing from pre-loved boutiques. This relaxed, soul-infused approach made for a day drenched in feel-good vibes and grounded in generosity.

With bridesmaids in perfectly mismatched fits and muted summer florals in warm, rusted tones accented with pops of magenta and strung with whimsical garlands, the stylist choices of this darling day feel modern and authentic, giving contemporary chic with a relaxed undertone.

As the sun begins to set on this sweet soiree, photographer legend Tony Evans captured the new Mr and Mrs to relaxed, candid perfection before re-entering the scene to amp up the dance floor and enjoy a fun-filled weekend with their gorgeous guests.

The meeting.

The first time we ever met was at our high school year nine social (cringe). We both went to same-sex schools, and so they’d organise dances between the two schools. Rich asked me to dance, and I said, “No, I just need to finish my Sprite” because I was terrified of boys.


The ‘one’.

Pretty early on, to be honest, we were very loved-up teenagers, but that also came with a lot of drama. We didn’t end up getting our act together until we were 24.


The proposal.

We spent an idyllic day together on the Mornington Peninsula, which was the kick-off to a month-long camping trip around Victoria. We had lunch and wine at Many Little in Redhill, did the hike to Bushranger’s Bay and swam in the rockpools, went out to Mexican for dinner and then walked along the Dromana pier, where Rich got down on one knee. Immediately after, someone set off fireworks (unplanned), and we drank champagne on the beach – it was pretty heavenly!


Planning process.

Rich is an interior designer, so he already has a very good eye for what looks good. We mainly used Instagram and Pinterest to look up inspiration imagery, but a lot of it just came together as we went along based on price points or knowing people who were happy to help us out. For instance, we found a surplus roll of brown paper that a printing business was getting rid of on FB marketplace, so we snapped it up cheaply and subbed it out for hired table linen. The florist is a close friend of ours, and she utilised heaps of eucalypt cuttings collected on-site to augment her own selection of flowers. My make-up artist was also a good friend. We were lucky to be able to call upon such talented friends!


Style inspiration. 

We didn’t have any particular style or aesthetic that we were going for. We just wanted to create a celebratory atmosphere where everyone could feel relaxed and have a good time. The setting of the venue helped steer the stylistic direction; a hidden modernist gem, apparently designed by Robin Boyd in the 70s but eventually finished in the 80s as a school camp. Beautiful natural materials amongst a bushland setting; It felt relaxed but with a bit of a festival feel as most guests were staying the night in shared dorm rooms. Guests being able to stay for the weekend was a big selling factor in the venue, and it was the first big decision we made.

We were also conscious of not being excessive with decorations and being mindful of our environmental impact. We were spending a significant amount of money, so where we put it had to align with our personal values. We were so stoked to have ASRC cater the food, and Rewine do all the wines and sparkling. We also sourced a lot of the decorations from second-hand stores and FB marketplace.


The ceremony.

Our ceremony was really unique to us and our loved ones. We didn’t have an official celebrant there on the day and instead had one of our best friends do the honours. He is very charming and funny and well-spoken, and he wrote the ceremony, and we heard it for the first time on the day along with everyone else.

It was incredibly funny and joyful, and having it done by someone who knows us both so well made it so special.


The look. 

My dress was by Tony Maticevski, and I got it from Bluebell Bridal in Melbourne. I was actually adamant that I wasn’t going to wear a white dress – I really wanted to wear a bright colour like green or pink, but it was so difficult to find anything I liked. Friends of mine who had been married recently told me to go to Bluebell as they have so many different styles to try, so I made an appointment and went with my mum. The dress I ended up choosing was not one I had pulled from the rack, but I had explained I wanted something non-traditional, modern and cool if possible! The dress I got fit that bill perfectly; I am still obsessed with it!

Rich had admired suits by P Johnson Tailors for years but never really had an excuse to splurge. When his vintage/second-hand outings kept coming up unfruitful, he eventually gave in and treated himself for his special day, and it’s something he can wear again and again and hopefully pass on one day. The colour of the suit is gorgeous and fit him perfectly!


Favourite moments.

For me, it’s a three-way tie. Getting ready as one big group – the entire wedding party running around, drinking champagne and getting pumped for the day.

The ceremony itself and hearing Pete’s speech, as well as each others’ vows for the first time and the insane moment when Rich surprised me with an epic rendition of Franki Valli’s Can’t Take My Eye’s Off You after we’d just finished our first dance.


Meaning of marriage.

Honestly, it’s just the continuation of our decade-long love story, something that makes us laugh when we call each other ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ and a great excuse for a party.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: As the World Falls Down by David Bowie

After the ceremony (I guess in a similar vein to reception entry as we didn’t do that): Fantasy by Mariah Carey

First dance: Under Control by The Strokes


Funny stories or near disasters.

Some of our very talented friends had put a little band together to play our first dance song live on the big day. After their last practice three days before the wedding, two of them tested positive for covid.

It was a tense few days in the lead-up after that, as Rich had also been at band practice (rehearsing his surprise!) with them. He was pretty stressed and testing himself frantically as we reconciled with the fact that if he was covid positive, the entire wedding would need to be cancelled. VERY luckily, that wasn’t the case!


Planning surprises.

Not really, to be honest. We were very relaxed about the whole thing and also didn’t have very set ideas on things we desperately wanted/didn’t want, so it was easier to make decisions, I think.

Both of us were equally involved in the planning process, which made it fun and exciting and not a chore. I think the guestlist was probably the most difficult or surprising thing for us as we invited 180 people, which, now thinking back on it, is crazy because they would never have fit in the venue!


Words of wisdom.

Do it together and enjoy it! It’s all a part of the process and something you will look back on as such an exciting and memorable time in your life.





Budget is often the dreaded word that dampens your dream day planning. But, it doesn’t have to be the case – we’ve summarised some simple ways you can save money on your wedding day, here on the blog.




It was really important to us that we spent our money with companies that aligned with our values when it came to sustainability and environmental impact.

We didn’t have to rely too much on reading blogs or magazines, as our starting point was always to research ethical, sustainable businesses and companies whose values aligned with our own. Once we had that jumping-off point, it was easier to narrow it down.

We had heard amazing things about Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) and had actually ordered a food box from them during quarantine which we really enjoyed. They do amazing work to create pathways to employment for people seeking asylum. Their menu is inspired by the cultures of the people they employ, delivering a global food experience with impact for your next event.
Rich and I are both vegetarian and so our entire wedding menu was vego/vegan. I cannot overstate how incredible the food and service were at our wedding – I would highly, highly recommend ASRC for anyone looking to cater their next event! (These guys recently went through a scary period of not knowing if they’d have enough funds and donations to continue the amazing work they do, so please support them!)

For our red, white and sparkling wine, we engaged Rewine. We stumbled on these guys via their stall at the Queen Vic Market. They sell a huge selection of wines that you can buy, and then you bring back the bottles to be refilled in-store.
These guys can supply wine to anyone without producing any waste – which is completely unique in the wine industry. They sell wines straight from the barrel, into special refillable bottles for takeaway, or serving straight into the glass without using a bottle at all. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits of no-waste, we LOVED that this meant we wouldn’t be left with hundreds of empty wine bottles to clean up the next day! We just returned the wine kegs and the bar back to the guys at Rewine, and that was it.

The wine was also absolutely delicious!

We also got all of our beers from Hawker’s Brewery, which have an awesome approach to minimising their environmental footprint ( The non-alcoholic beers we sourced from Sobah Beverages – an Australian Aboriginal and family-run company who make a range of premium non-alcoholic craft beers infused with native fruit and spices.

Our photographer Tony was actually someone we found through referrals and via the Hello May Magazine Instagram page. I remember when I first landed on his website, I really liked his relaxed style of shooting, and I forwarded his details to Rich with the note, “I like his style, and he says he does ‘ documentary style no awkward posed shots’, which is a vibe.”

Tony was AMAZING. Like, honestly, incredible. He rocked up and immediately started helping rearrange the furniture, carrying huge heavy wooden seats down to the lawn where the ceremony was going to be and just got so involved. He was incredibly funny and charming and made everyone feel so relaxed right from the get-go. To be honest, everyone was obsessed with him. 80% of the guests assumed he was one of our best friends and had no idea he was the photographer because he seemed so genuinely happy to be there; the other 20% were asking me for his details so they could book him for their next event.

The photos came out incredibly – we really didn’t want any super posed or serious shots, and he nailed it. The morning after the wedding, he had already texted me about 20 epic shots, and everyone was losing their minds over how amazing they were.

Book him! You will not regret it!!


Ceremony & reception venue: Camp Sunnystones in Merrimu, VIC

Officiant: Our best friend – Peter Sismanes

Photography: Tony Evans – all round LEGEND

Florist: Emma Lane Flowers 

Hair: Abbey Kick Hair

Make-up: Beth Wilson

The dress: Toni Maticevski from Bluebell Bridal

Shoes: Lana Wilkinson 

Rings: Logan Hollowell for Kirsty and Rich’s was his Great Grandfather-in-laws and was resized by Madeline Wright Jewellery

Bridesmaid’s dresses: all different/their own

Suits: all different/their own

Bow ties / ties: Rich’s tie is vintage.

Catering: Asylum Seeker Resource Centre 

Bar & wine: From Rewine 

Favours: Homemade by the groom’s mum!

Cake: Fantasy Cakes

Stationery / Signage: Homemade

Honeymoon: Italy

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