Real Wedding – Rhi & Mitch, Sutherlands Creek VIC
After their friendship turned into love, Rhi and Mitch were excited to finally seal the deal in front of their nearest and dearest.
Wanting to remain true to themselves, they aimed to create a celebration that was down to earth but had a touch of classic country elegance. So where better place to wed than private property paradise, Austins & Co on the outskirts of Geelong.
Amazing views, a glamorous gown, two people in love, a dance floor that went wild and a Tribe of superstar suppliers made for the perfect wedding celebration. There to capture all the swoon-worthy moments was Stefani Driscoll.
In Rhi’s words…
We both went to school in Geelong and through mutual friends, became housemates whilst living/working in Melbourne. Mitch lived with two of his groomsmen and when one relocated to Brisbane for work, I took the spare room. One day the invisible housemate line was crossed and as they say, the rest is history. One of the very rare housemate love stories that actually worked out.
It was mostly comments made by family and friends that drove home the fact that you can fall in love with your best friend. I was so worried about ruining the friendship, but the bold move (yes, I made the move) paid off in the end. I think I was already in love by the time we finally became boyfriend and girlfriend (giggling writing that haha).
Mitch was so thoughtful when he proposed… we went down to my favourite place in the Otways, the Californian Redwood Plantation (Mitch grew up in the Otways). It’s the most incredible spot – I always thought we would get married there until I realised what a logistical nightmare it would be. I cluelessly smelt the trees, as I always do when driving down in the Otways, meanwhile he was planning what to say. A man of many words, he literally just said “babe, will you marry me?” whilst dropping to his knee. It was unpretentious, but super thoughtful – quintessentially Mitch. Afterwards, we went down to the mouth of the river and had a BBQ with some family.
We really wanted to be ourselves by remaining down to earth with a touch of classical, country elegance. We also wanted to compliment the venue, it’s such a rustic and sophisticated property with amazing views so wanted the venue to do the talking. We used olive branches down the length of three long tables, which allowed our florist to create an amazing floral installation behind the bar which was such a cool wow factor as you entered the marquee.
To me, my dress was elegant and classic. I originally wanted a fitted top and flowing silk skirt – thankfully I listened to a professional and got something entirely different. I was so happy with the end product and loved seeing the dress come to life one fitting at a time.
As most brides will say, I went shopping with an image in mind and came out with something entirely different. I think I went to about eight different bridal shops in both Geelong and Melbourne. I ended up choosing a custom Cappellazzo Couture dress. Sonia was so experienced in understanding what would suit my body shape and would make some amazing decisions that I didn’t feel comfortable making myself. Leave the experts to do what they do best.
For me, it was walking over the hill with my Dad as we began our walk down the aisle. It was so overwhelming, but an image I will never forget. I also loved standing atop of the hill with my Dad, watching my brother (my honourary bridesman) and my Mum walk down the aisle before my bridesmaids and me. For Mitch, it was my awkward wave at the beginning of the aisle. Looking back, it definitely broke the ice and made us both relaxed.
Meaning of marriage.
It is about committing to Mitch and me as a lifelong team, and. I think we make a bloody awesome team at that. It means I will always have someone to talk to, confide in and be silent with… for once. We get to share our wins and losses together and tackle each challenge as one.
Processional Entrance/Bridesmaids – You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me by John Mayer
Bride/Father of the Bride Entrance – You are my Sunshine by Kina Grannis
Signing Register – Better Together by Jack Johnson
Recessional – Paradise (Acoustic) by George Ezra
First Dance – Love Someone by Lukas Graham
Funny stories (or near disasters).
One of my bridesmaids played in the inaugural AFLW game for Geelong on the same night. She got ready with us then left for the game when we went to the venue, played in a full face of make-up and came to the wedding post game back in her bridesmaid dress with a little less make-up than when she left. Talk about dedicated to both commitments!
Honestly, we did have a few hiccups on the day but there was no use worrying about things you couldn’t control. Given it was so hot, we decided to keep a solid roof on the marquee to ensure it wasn’t a hot box, we brought in additional fans and took off the front marquee which originally covered our dancefloor, meaning we could have an open-outdoor dancefloor… and boy did it pay off! Thankfully we had some amazing suppliers who dealt with the weather extremely well. From our stylist, Laura from Weddings of Desire, who set up in the heat and gave us extra advice on the structural elements, to our florist who brought in an additional cool room to keep the flowers in optimal condition throughout the day, made life pretty easy.
We really wanted to show our appreciation to guests in our own way, so wrote personal odes on their place cards/menus. We loved doing this, but it took a whole week to complete and we were both on the tools.
Words of wisdom.
- Stay true to yourself and don’t get carried away with what you think other people want – it’s about celebrating you as a couple.
- Trust your suppliers – they’re experienced professionals and only want what’s best for you.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
We’ve unveiled all that Geelong has to offer as a dreamy wedding destination, to read all about it, head here.
RHI & MITCH’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception venue / location: Austins Wines
Celebrant/Officiant: Niki Currie from Weddings by Niki
Photography: Stefani Driscoll Photography
Videography: Love Soldier Weddings
Styling: Weddings of Desire
Florist: Georgia Ko Floral Design
Hair and Make-up: Blondie Salon
The Dress and Veil: Cappellazzo Couture
Shoes: Alias Mae
Rings: Kalfin Jewellery
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy
Groomsmen’s suits: Rhodes & Beckett
Bow ties / ties: ASOS
Marquee and Lighting: Hoppers Party Hire
Catering: Annie’s Kitchen
Wine: 6Ft6 and Austins
Cake / Cake topper: Instead of a traditional wedding cake we opted for a variety of ice creams and icy poles (yes, store bought) and some epic salted caramel donuts fromButter and Co.
Stationery / Signage: Le Jour Papier
Entertainment: Baker Boys Band
Transport: ABDA Buses
Hire: Furniture from Complete Function Hire
Honeymoon: Phuket, Thailand
Other: Seating Chart frame from The Small Things Co