Real Wedding – Meg & Rhys, Denver VIC
Meg and Rhys have always loved out-of-town weddings, and the idea of a weekend getaway for their guests was exactly how they knew they wanted to celebrate their own marriage.
Embracing the great outdoors, their ceremony took place among the gorgeous natural surrounds of their venue and with groom, Rhys serenading his bride with a special song at their reception, this day was emotion-charged and filled with magic from start to finish.
Georgia Verrells was there to document this darling day.
In Meg’s words…
We met in October 2012 at a party through friends. Rhys was my brother’s new girlfriend’s friend (confusing, I know). We instantly had a connection and saw each other at parties pretty much every weekend and then it took off from there.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Rhys. I knew he was the one when I started to knock back other dates with guys to spend time with him. We also had so much in common but had never met before which made everything easy; we grew up in the same suburb, holidayed at the same place and went to school together but in separate year levels. It seemed too good to be true.
In October 2017, Rhys took me away glamping for a night and he proposed under the stars while singing a song he had written on his ukulele. It was so romantic! We were enjoying some champagne and an antipasto platter outside the tent when he sneakily grabbed his uke and starting signing. The song he wrote was about our last five years together and it ended with the words ‘Megs, I want to marry you’. I was sobbing so much and yelled ‘yes’.
We enjoyed being engaged for a month or two and then went full swing at booking a venue and all the main suppliers. We knew we wanted to knock these over early so then we could relax and start the final planning phase a few months’ out. We were lucky as Rhys’ best friend is a celebrant, Damon Hughes and he sent through a list of all his favourite suppliers which made the processes much easier. Once it was closer to the wedding then we starting organising the extra logistics which takes some time but it was very fun organising our own day as we had complete control over how we wanted it to be.
We always loved going to weddings out of town and making a weekend of it so we knew this as a starting point. We also love camping and the outdoors so we decided we wanted a bush style wedding.
Finding a dress was quite stressful because as a bride you always want it to be absolutely perfect. Sometimes you can put too much pressure on yourself but after trying several dresses on and failing I started to realise that I don’t need anything fancy, I just want a dress that’s very ‘me’ which ended up being more of a relaxed look. The most important thing for me too was to be comfortable and be able to dance (which I ended up spending my whole night doing!). After having not much luck looking around stores in Melbourne, I was referred to Carte Blanc Bride by a friend. I went to one of Anastasia’s (Carte Blanc Bride founder) trunk shows at a hotel in Melbourne and instantly fell in love with the French range she had. She stocks French designer dresses that are not available in any stores in Melbourne and they are just beautiful and also luckily very me. I tried on six dresses that day and ended up choosing the first one I tried on but honestly as soon as I put it on, I just knew it was the one.
Rhys surprising me by singing Frank Valli’s ‘Can’t take my eyes off you’ during the reception. I had no idea but it was absolutely amazing. All of our guests stood up clapping through the whole song, it was definitely something to remember.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage means celebrating your love out in the open and showing to each other that you are willing to work through the ups and downs of life together.
Aisle: Bloom by Paper Kites
Signing the registry: You Got It by Roy Orbison
Walking out of ceremony: Love Me Do by The Beatles
Reception entry: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
First dance: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen
Rhys sung: I Love You Baby by Frank Valli and Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley
Funny stories (or near disasters).
My 93-year-old Grandma being late! We ended up starting the ceremony without her there but what made the day even more special was when Rhys saw her about to sit down at the back (she can’t see or hear well) but proceeded to stop the ceremony so she could make her way to the front to be seated.
Lots! I think how early suppliers book out in advance is a challenge so get onto the big items first such as venue, celebrant, caterer and florist.
Words of wisdom.
Start early! You don’t want to be stressed as it can take a while for everything to come together. Also make sure to write your vows well before too (not the night before like me!). Don’t spend too much time on the seating chart or the run sheet, nothing goes to strictly to plan and everyone on the day will have a good time regardless of where they are sitting.
Enjoy every moment and try to have fun (even in the stressful planning phase) as it’s the best day of our life and once it’s over, you can’t get it back.
Explore the gorgeous regions and venues that Victoria has to offer – click here.
MEG & RHYS’ TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: The Burrow Event Space – This venue is absolutely beautiful, full of big tress with stunning views. Ally was amazing to work with, she guided us every step of the way and helped put us at ease.
Celebrant/Officiant: Damon Hughes – Damon was an incredible celebrant both in the lead up and on the day. He wrote an amazing ceremony that had everyone laughing one minute and in tears the next. He made the ceremony feel truly special and really set the tone for the day. He has to be the best celebrant out there!
Photography: Georgia Verrells – Georgia’s photos blew me away. She has a knack at capturing the perfect natural moments. She is also a great to work with and was very relaxed. She takes the shots in two seconds and you don’t even know she is there on the day. It’s just like having one of your best friends at your wedding!
Videography: Valley and Peak – Steven was lovely to work with, he was a relaxed, full of smiles and his videos are amazing. We loved ours!
Florist: Wootton and Nicholls – Zara is such a talent, we left the creative direction up to her and the flowers throughout our wedding were so beautiful. We have received so many comments on the stunning bouquets, arbour and reception arrangements.
Hair and make-up: Andrea Takagi – Andrea is a lovely person and knows how to make you look natural but beautiful at the same time.
The dress: Designer: Donatelle Godart – organised through Carte Blanc Bride – Anastasia from Carte Blanche Bride made the wedding dress process a breeze. She organises fittings, alterations and is an absolutely delight of a human (she is also your stylist too). I am so thankful I had her throughout the whole process and the French dresses she stocks are next level!
Veil / headwear: My Mum’s veil that she wore on her wedding day 50 years ago.
Shoes: Edward Miller
Rings: Holloway Diamonds – Debbie from Holloway Diamonds made the ring process so easy. She made suggestions and took the lead on our rings and we love them.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Mina & Katusha – Made by Megs’ Bridesmaid, Sarina Zammit – Sarina is a best friend of mine and offered to make the bridesmaid dresses which were absolutely stunning. The dresses were made from velvet which sparkled in the sun and they were truly special and not like anything you could buy off the rack.
Groomsmen’s suits: Bell and Barnett – Friendly team which made it a breeze for the boys to choose their suits.
Bow ties / ties: Declic
Catering: Spade to Blade – Gary is a local in Daylesford and has a very relaxed and easy-going manner which was great as it can be stressful planning weddings. We knew the food was all taken care of and WOW he didn’t disappoint. His food was absolutely delicious from the antipasto boards, to the canapes, to the ocean trout and the bite sized deserts. YUM.
Bar: Spade to Blade
Cake: Blackbird Cakes – Shaz was so friendly and makes yummy wedding cakes.
Stationery / Signage: More Studio – Matt’s design work was exactly what we were looking for. We gave him a few key points and he ran with it which really worked with our bush theme.
Entertainment: Baker Boys Band – I love having a wedding band that takes control of the night and knows all the hits to play. The Baker Boys service is very professional and easy to use and the musicians on the night had everyone up dancing.
Décor: The Burrows tables and chairs, Spade to Blade’s crockery, Wootton and Nicholls flowers
Hire: One Big Day Event Hire – provided vintage yellow couches with very professional service.