Real Wedding – Monique & Jacques, Raglan VIC
“I didn’t get married because I felt like it was something I had to do, but because I’d found the person I knew for certain I wanted in my life forever” – Monique
These beautiful words certainly tugged on our heart strings, and upon seeing the celebration of Monique and Jacques unfold, it did so even more.
With their venue providing a stunning and natural base, this sweet couple was conscious of not detracting from the country feel, and kept their styling relaxed and a little boho.
They had a bunch of talented friends help them with wedding planning along the way, and they still feel it was so special to have so many aspect of their wedding celebration reflect the amazing people in their lives.
Ultimately, the dream day of Monique and Jacques was full of love, laughter and epitomised them completely, and you can see in the candid captures by Elsa Campbell Photography this will be a celebration to always remember.
In Monique’s words…
Six years ago, we met unexpectedly on a night out with friends. Coincidentally we had shared mutual friends for many years and attended many of the same events but strangely had never actually crossed paths. We found that we had a pretty instant connection, caught up again not long after and the rest was history!
I don’t recall a specific ‘lightbulb’ moment. I just remember a consistent feeling of safety, clarity and calmness together from the beginning. I knew it was different because nothing ever felt forced. We were both just completely at ease in each-other’s company and forever having fun together.
We were on a group trip in our favourite country, Japan. J and I had split up from our friends for a few days to spend some time in the Gion district of Kyoto. We got up early on our last morning there for a walk through a cherry blossom park. No-one else was around which was a rare feat in cherry blossom season, making it all the more atmospheric. I walked ahead of J down a path and when I turned back to him, he was down on one knee. It was the most perfect morning, made all the more special by being able to announce it to our friends when we reunited two days later.
The venue provided us with a stunning, natural base which we were really conscious of not detracting from. I wanted the styling to have a relaxed, bohemian feel that still highlighted the native trees surrounding the venue with small pops of colour. We allowed ourselves 18 months to plan the wedding which gave me plenty of time to collect inspiration and fill our spare room with treasures I found along the way. We tried to put together what we could ourselves, such as drying pampas grass we had collected. My beautiful bridesmaids sent me countdown flowers each month leading up to the wedding too, which I kept the petals from and dried for confetti. We had some talented friends assist with all the stationery and signage. It was really special to have so many aspects of our wedding reflect the amazing people in our lives.
My Georgiana gown by & For Love was the most comfortable dress in the world! I had originally envisioned something entirely different but as goes for most brides, what I had picked out in photos was not necessarily what suited me. A wedding dress is unlike anything you’ve ever worn before and I discovered you need to go in with an open mind as different cuts, fabrics and styles sit so differently on each bride. One of my bridesmaids found my dress at the first store we visited and insisted I try it. It was only there a few days for a trunk show and it was clearly meant to be. I had seven people there in the room to help me and they all agreed it was “the one.”
In my eyes, everything about the day was perfect. The weather, the vibe, and the outpouring of love was all beyond anything I could have imagined. If I had to select a “moment”, it would be when J and I snuck off to sit on a deck that overlooked the lake and wedding venue. It was a quiet, uninterrupted moment in which we could just take a breath, enjoy each-other’s company and appreciate the day for what it was.
Meaning of marriage.
I didn’t get married because I felt like it was something I had to do, but because I’d found the person I knew for certain I wanted in my life forever. To us, the wedding itself was about having the opportunity to share and celebrate our relationship with everyone we love. Now, it’s about continuing to support, entertain and inspire each-other like we always have.
Flower Man: Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks
Aisle: The Book of Love by Peter Gabriel
Recessional: You’re my Best Friend by Queen
Reception entry: 1901 by Phoenix
First dance: For You by Northeast Party House
End of the night: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Funny stories (or near disasters).
Not really! We planned everything pretty meticulously, had guests staying on site to help out and it all ran so smoothly on the day. Any minor details that didn’t go 100% to plan just didn’t really matter at all in the scheme of things.
I think the fact that we allowed so much time to plan made us feel a little false sense of security. We booked all our vendors not long after the venue, put together a website and had our attire organised as early as we could. It was the later stages that caught us a bit off guard as there were many elements of the wedding planning that couldn’t be done early e.g. accommodation placements and seating charts couldn’t be done until RSVPs were in. We definitely had a quiet period in the planning and then closer to the wedding things got a bit hectic!
Words of wisdom.
Everyone says not to worry about pleasing others too much, but I think that this becomes inevitable as in reality the wedding isn’t just about you. We saw it as being about us and all the people who helped us get to where we are now. However, we were determined when planning to make sure we invested most in the things that mattered to us and forgot about anything that was going to be included purely for the sake of ‘tradition’ or doing it just because others have e.g. we didn’t have a cake because we don’t really eat it.
Set yourself a budget, know you’ll probably blow it … but allocate the most funds and energy to the things you really care about and won’t have any regrets over.
Planning your wedding will be a busy, expensive, overwhelming rollercoaster … but the process is absolutely worth the end result.
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MONIQUE & JACQUES’ TRIBE
Ceremony and reception: Cave Hill Creek, Raglan – The staff at the venue were phenomenal to work with. Planning a three-day wedding two hours from home had its overwhelming moments but these guys were so reassuring and attentive with every question and request I had.
Celebrant/Officiant: Anthony Cribbes – Anthony felt more like an old friend than a celebrant. He’s a master of ‘banning the boring’ from weddings and we were so comfortable working with him.
Photography: Elsa Campbell Photography – It is difficult to put into words what an amazing presence Elsa was on our wedding day. She’s a breath of fresh air who brought joy, calm and expertise to our day. We will forever be grateful we were recommended Elsa and had the opportunity to work with such an incredible talent!
Videography: My sister’s partner, Harrison
Hair: Kimberley Jones, Eve Salon
Make-up: Kimko Beauty
The Dress: & For Love from Soho Bride
Rings: Jewels in Life
Bridesmaid’s dresses: The Iconic
Groomsmen’s suits: Institchu
Bow ties / ties: Otaa
Catering and bar: Cave Hill Creek
Favors: Donation to Wildlife Victoria in lieu of favors
Stationery / Signage: Issy from Creative Harvest – She hand illustrated everything which made it all so special and unique!
Entertainment: Our friends, Chook (DJ) and Casey (guitar) – They both injected so much fun into the vibe of the day/night!
Décor: Assorted items from Kmart, Target, vintage markets, friends and more.
Hire: Nomad Styling
Honeymoon: Possibly a European adventure later in the year, TBC!