Real Wedding – Marian & Shervin, Otways VIC
Adventurous lovers, Marian and Shervin, said their “I do’s” under the tree’s of the Otways National Park. Their reception, spectacularly styled with bold coloured blooms and rustic touches, was held at the cute and quaint Dean’s Mash Community Cottage. This Baha’i love fest kicked on well into the night as guests glamped in style in their very own bell tents! Kat & Scout from It’s Beatiful Here were there to capture all the fun.
In Marian and Shervin’s words…
S: When I saw her covered in dirt, hair disheveled, shovel in hand, looking out across Santiago with a satisfied smile on her face.
M: Shervin is an incredible human, with a real sense of adventure. We once went hiking in New Zealand, totally under-prepared in sneakers, and layers of inadequate clothing for a hike up a glacier. Nevertheless, Shervins optimistic outlook, and general enthusiasm propelled me up the mountain. As I stood at the base of the peak, freezing, watching in admiration as he scaled the peak, with socks on hands for gloves, I had a feeling I would go far in life with this one.
We were on vacation in Chile, and after spending two weeks doing romantic-type activities liking skiing in the mountains, walking through cute coastal townships and dining in exquisite restaurants, we had one day left where we volunteered to help with the landscaping works for the Santiago Baha’i House of Worship. It’s a beautiful and unique building, nestled in the foothills of the Andes and overlooking the bustling city of Santiago. Our job was to dig a drainage ditch next to a bed of flowers. It may have been severe dehydration, but after digging for most of the day working side by side in the dirt, the time just seemed right. Shervin fashioned a ring out of a spare bit of chicken wire, and I (after checking that his stupid grin was not just due to heatstroke), accepted.
We wanted everyone to feel welcome and comfortable, a bit like a big family dinner. We had over 60 people staying on a friend’s property in Glamping Tents, a bonfire the night before, breakfast in the paddock the following day and a very relaxed approach to the weekend.
We really wanted our wedding to reflect our values, and for our guests to appreciate the aspects of life that we love. We had been to the Dean’ s Marsh Community Hall a year ago for a family friend’s birthday party and loved the genuine community feel of the venue. We’d visited a few other venues and found that although they were quite pretty, they didn’t reflect our personalities as well as we would like and did not allow the level of flexibility we needed. At Deans Marsh we felt like we were a part of the community and we were able to set things up just as we liked.
We love the Otways area for the mountain biking and beautiful outdoor spaces so having decided on the hall for our reception, we looked for a good outdoor spot for the ceremony. We found a perfect location in the national park nearby, and Parks Victoria were super helpful in securing us a permit to use the space.
I got my dress from Review, on a 45-minute shopping trip with a few friends. I had been shopping with my Mum too, and looked at the same one on the rack, so it was an easy choice when I actually tried it on. That’s the lesson, try them on. I think the shop assistants were a little surprised that we were looking for ‘the dress’ at closing time on a late night shopping night, but in the end it came together perfectly!
There are so many. There was one moment, before the reception kicked off where everyone was outside the hall having entrées by the fire and we had snuck in to have a look at the setup. We sat down for the first time that day and had a moment to let the decorations, the lights, the sounds and feelings wash over us. It wasn’t a typical wedding moment, but just a beautiful opportunity to pause and breathe it all in. It was also amazing to walk into the forest for the ceremony and look upon our nearest and dearest, with their smiling faces, dwarfed by the grandeur of the surrounding trees. It was very beautiful.
We are Baha’is. The Baha’i Faith is a religion whose foundation is the unity of mankind, so it fits well with an event like a wedding. A Baha’i wedding ceremony is very simple. We had a selection of inspiring poems, readings and songs from a range of sources in our ceremony. The only portion of the ceremony that is specifically Baha’i is the vows, where each person says “We will all verily abide by the will of God.” We also don’t drink alcohol, and some of our friends and family were initially a little unsure of how this would work. Turns out it works great! The dance floor was on fire and the next morning no one was nursing a hangover!
The meaning of marriage.
M: Coffee made every morning. And really good coffee.
S: Having to wake up five minutes earlier each day to make coffee.
Aisle song: What A Wonderful World by Louise Armstrong, played by Maz’s brother
Any funny stories/ near disasters.
There was nothing that went disastrously wrong and wasn’t laughed about later which is surprising given that it was organised across two days and three sites! We did have many guests under the age of three, and there was a pretty magical dance floor moment when they all converged. The toddler dance off that followed was pretty great, with stomping feet and rolling fists a plenty as the adults stepped back from the dancing and took their lead from the littlies.
It is possible to plan a wedding in under eight weeks! Thanks to Rubi from Inside the Knot.
Words of wisdom.
Do it quickly, it makes it very easy to be decisive!
M: We are really glad that we were able to involve friends and family in the day from helping with make up, to flowers, dessert and DJ sets! Rubi and I went to the flower market at 4am two days before the wedding and it was such a treat to pick out all of the beautiful blooms. It was magical to see them all come to life on the day and to have guests go home with bunches of flowers in hand.
S: I liked the arch. And the cheese platter.
M: Shervin made the arch.
MARIAN & SHERVIN’S TRIBE
Ceremony venue / location: Otways National Park
Reception venue / location: Deans Marsh Community Hall
Celebrant/Officiant: Morgan Wishney, Launceston Tasmania
Photography: Kat & Scout from Its Beautiful Here
Styling: Rubina Tiyu from Inside the Knot
Florist: Rubina Tiyu from Inside the Knot
Hair and Make Up: My friends Lou and Shelley
The Dress: Review Australia
Shoes: Jo Mercer
Rings: Black Finch, Northcote
Grooms suit: Godwin Charli
Grooms Shoes: 124 Shoes, Emporium Melbourne
Bow ties / ties: That Dapper Chap
Catering: Sacha Meier from Cater and Co
Favors: We mad cookies and packaged them in bags from Etsy.
Cake / Cake topper: Pola Held
Stationery / Signage: Rubina Tiyu from Inside the Knot
Entertainment: Shervin’s brother was the DJ
Transport: Our own cars
Sound hire: Warehouse Sound Systems, Collingwood
Flower crown: Rubina Tiyu from Inside the Knot
Other: Bell Tent Village by Twilight Glamping