Real Wedding – Paul & Charlie, Spring Hill VIC
Paul and Charlie gained all the inspiration they needed with just one glimpse of Camp David Farm. Its rolling, tree-lined hills overlooking the Macedon Ranges and five acres of beautifully manicured gardens provided a seamless and luxurious feel that they knew was a must-have for their love-filled day.
They went about everything in a very relaxed manner – using and trusting all of their vendors and their expertise to create absolute magic like the incredible plum, pink and wine toned arrangements by Raven and the Rose and the candid moments snapped by photography star Courtney Laura who oozes warmth and is so comforting to be around.
Paul donned a classic and chic black tux which complemented Charlie’s white strapless Mariana Hardwick number and with that thigh high slit – we are only slightly obsessed!
They were so focussed on simply having the best day ever, even if there was a whole town power outage and everything went pitch black for a minute or two, but there’s nothing a Hey Jack vibrant solo sax player belting out tunes can’t fix. It was an epic celebration, the kind you want to just relive over and over but don’t just take our word for it, have a scroll through yourselves!
We met at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Charlie a social work student and Paul an Agricultural Science. It was during a humble game of college mixed netball where Charlie was GD and Paul GA, there was a minor incident where Charlie’s netball skills got the better of Paul and knocked him to the ground, in embarrassment Charlie changed positions but heard Paul’s protests and disappointment about this. Charlie did some social media stalking (this was circa 2014 so my skills weren’t what they are now) and figured out Paul was single. Fast forward to an alcohol fuelled dance floor interaction at Wagga’s Romanos Hotel where Charlie made the first move and the rest is history.
I don’t believe for either of us it was one particular moment; there were so many sweet little moments. I loved when Paul would talk about his family and the farm, I just knew he was so loyal and passionate, he knew what he wanted for his life and was willing to take all the good and bad that came with that in order to uphold his family traditions. It was also those not so cute moments of life and stress and just being apart and so early on I knew I could feel so comforted and safe in his presence, that made it pretty bloody clear!
It was an absolute mammoth effort in the middle of our busiest farming period to get the crops stripped and COVID was going crazy all around us, but we pushed through. Paul worked insane hours to get it done so we could get to Newcastle where my family all lives for our family Christmas. I was just so overjoyed to be getting to Newcastle for Christmas, I had no idea Paul had some alternative plans. The moment we got there Paul dropped me and the dogs at my Mums place and he told me he had to rush out and get my Christmas present (I think I was cranky he hadn’t organised it and told him to learn to online shop when on the tractor), he was actually meeting my Dad for a beer and to ask for his blessing to ask me to marry him. He asked my Mum later that night and the next morning (Christmas day) we were up early walking the dogs, after the twelve hours they had spent in the car the day before, whilst walking the dogs along the foreshore it had started raining and I was wanting to rush home but Paul pulled me back to him and he was on one knee with a ring box and I just saw my stunning ring and yanked him off the ground for a big hug – I don’t actually know if either us said any words?
I am a bit of a stress head and we are both a bit time poor so I vowed to take a pretty relaxed approach to wedding planning, knowing that the absolute worst case scenario of nothing working out as expected would still be the best day of our lives because it means we got to marry each other and celebrate our love. I stalked Instagram and found our venue so quickly, everything else just fell into place. I made sure I was enjoying the process, every time I could feel myself becoming stressed I had a little break from wedding planning so I could realign with the love and joy I was putting into the plans.
Our venue was all the inspiration we needed, we truly loved the beautiful manicured gardens, it felt totally royal to us so we wanted to capture that luxurious feel, but we are pretty relaxed and cruisey so wanted it to look beautiful and luxurious but feel super chill and just like a big fun party!
I loved hearing real brides’ approach to wedding planning, that’s how I was able to enjoy the process because I had read a few horror stories of the stress and some amazing advice to enjoy every moment! I did love looking at real weddings as well as opposed to styled shoots, I felt it was more realistic and actually achievable for us and helped me to envisage our day coming together.
Our amazing celebrant was also my cousin, this was amazing as we felt super comfortable with her – although I will say, I just cannot recommend her highly enough because she took so much time to know all the little details of our love story and that set the tone of our ceremony. This was dumb luck – but the sun came out after a pretty miserable morning at just the most perfect time, I think we all felt that was super special and lucky. I also loved having all of our nieces and nephews involved in our ceremony as it truly meant all of our most important people were right there with us to make our marriage happen.
This was actually the hardest thing of the planning I feel. Paul’s was easy, he always wanted a crisp black tux and when we met Andrew from Eddie Elias he was a legend, the boys all loved him and he had a good range so it was simple. Mine was hard, I had tried on so many and adored about ten dresses, all completely different. In the end it came down to what I felt I wouldn’t be able to wear to another event, some of the dresses I could picture in another colour for special events but the dress I went with I felt super bridal/traditional but super sexy and myself as well.
Our speeches actually. We could sit and just listen to our most important people sharing their insights into our love, we could look around at all of our guests and it just felt so special. It was also an amazing opportunity for Paul and I to share with each other and with everyone just how grateful we were for each other and everyone in our lives.
Meaning of marriage.
For us it was really just a day to celebrate our lives up until now. We aren’t super traditional so had been living a stereotypically married life for the last few years, but it was an excuse to celebrate all of that with our loved ones and symbolise the next stage of our lives, sharing a last name and hopefully one day welcoming some children into our little pack to share that name also.
Aisle: Here comes the sun by The Beatles
Reception Entry: Gimme Some lovin’ by The Spencer Davis Ground
First Dance: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye
Funny stories or near disasters.
The weather was a near disaster; rainy and miserable but it came through. Our MC, groomsmen, Paul’s sister and niece and nephew were stuck in flooded Queensland and we had no idea if they would make it. Our MC was also under medical instruction not to fly because an ear drum issue but like troopers they all made it! We had faith the whole way that it was all going to work out and it did! We also had a power out during the later hours of the night – no lights, no music, no one really knew what to do, within seconds of the power out our sax player took over, we had the most amazing moment where he started playing and everyone was stamping their feet, clapping and singing along – a few minutes later Lori came up to me and explained it was the whole town power outage and by that time their generators had kicked in, but I think it was one of my favorite moments of the wedding, I still get goosebumps thinking about it and our friends and family still rave about that moment! We have a few very scratchy videos where you can’t really see anything, just hear our sax player and us roaring and singing together – THE BEST!
Words of wisdom.
I think ultimately, no matter what you put into your day or how stressed you are about the finer details it will be a good day purely because the love you and your partner have for each other sets the tone. I also made every effort to not sweat the small stuff and to enjoy every minute of planning so by the time my wedding day came I didn’t feel like it was gone in a flash because I felt like the process had started the minute we started planning and it was bloody fun. Also, something I heard a million times which was so true – if anything doesn’t go to plan on the day you are going to be one of the only people that realises that and if the brides stressed, it affects the mood of the day but if you go with the flow all of your guests will be at ease.
Everyone said to me after the day – I bet you’re glad all of that stress is over and I absolutely disagree and I want to do it all again tomorrow, can I?
Looking for some inspiration for some seriously stunning ceremony set ups? We’ve got you covered here.
PAUL & CHARLIE’S VENDORS
Ceremony & Reception venue: Camp David Farm – Lori from CDF took care of everything, nothing was a drama and everything was just beautiful. At no point was I stressed about anything to do with the aesthetics of the day as I 100% knew the venue alone would do the talking and everything else was a bonus. A big shout out to the amazing staff that come with CDF as it truly made it the most amazing day.
Celebrant/Officiant: Insignia Ceremonies – As mentioned above, worth her weight in gold! Arguably the most important part of the whole day and Amy made sure it was perfect, she was so organised and relaxed during the day. I was relieved after speaking with her the morning of as it just put me totally at ease.
Photography: Courtney.Laura.Photography – We met Courtney before our day for a little pre-wedding shoot which was so amazing, it meant we could meet her and just get used to being in front of the camera, Courtney captured the exact feeling of our day which I wasn’t sure would be possible. She got all the fun and relaxed moments without us and our bridal party feeling like we were off getting photos for half the night, she is totally professional and just comfortable to be around.
Videography: Mr John Kurt – John went with the flow on the day and in the lead up to our wedding, he was super chill and just our little teaser so soon after the wedding was the best! Cannot wait to see our full video!
Styling: Camp David Farm – once again Lori smashed it with this, with such minimal direction from me really just running with a few pointers and making our dreams come true!
Florist: Raven and the Rose – the colours were literally breathtaking! Our florals would have to be one of my favorite parts of the styling, our bouquets were so much more than what I had imagined!
Hair: Boss_hairandmakeup – Amanda smashed it! So amazing having the vendors that were with us the morning of the wedding have such fun chilled vibes! Amanda did the most amazing job (once again with very minimal direction)
Make Up: makeupbystephke – Another beautiful personality who made us all feel at ease and totally glam! She did such a beautiful job
Veil / headwear: Mariana Hardwick
Shoes: Dillards US
Rings: Karen J Russ from Gold ‘n’ Silvermine Jewellers – Karen is so clever, she just got exactly what we wanted and got it done!
Suits: Eddie Elias
Bow ties / ties: Eddie Elias Menswear
Catering: Charlton Catering, Tracey Jolly – Amazing, amazing delicious food and nothing was too much trouble – people have been raving about the food ever since!
Bar: Camp David Farm
Cake / Cake topper: homemade
Stationery / Signage: Fox and Hart
Entertainment: Hey Jack, we had KB on vocals and DJ – Amazing and our Sax player (who’s name I never got) absolutely made the d-floor
Transport: Littles Coaches
Décor & Hire: Elderberry Events (arranged by Camp David Farm)