Real Wedding – Riley & Casey, Red Hill VIC
For a theming treat that truly wows, look no further than Riley and Casey’s Red Hill celebration.
An event stylist and planner, Casey created an amazing alchemy of natural textures and clean contemporary lines in hues of deep forest green, dusky apricot and blush with accents of brass. Bold arcs of block colour softened with trailing florals contrasted strikingly against the natural bushland.
The bridal party enhanced the artistry, with the gents in textured taupe suits, striking the perfect balance against the crisp white simplicity of the stunning bridesmaids. And of course, topping it all off was gorgeous Casey, cutting a strikingly sleek silhouette in her Mariana Hardwick gown.
The resulting celebration was one that reflected Casey and Riley’s love of the natural landscape, the artistry it inspires, and most obviously; their sheer delight and love for one another!
Every intricate element was captured in dynamic detail by tribe fave, Georgia Verrells.
We met in the sixth grade. Riley was the new kid. I met Riley on the basketball court. It was boys vs. girls. Riley goes to slam-dunk. I go to defend. Riley comes down from the slam-dunk. Straight onto my face. Knocked out cold with a blood nose. Safe to say, I wasn’t that fond of the new kid.
Fast-forward ten years to St Kilda Festival, 2014. My best friend, Stef, (who went to high school with Riley) comes over with this tall, good looking man whose face looks familiar. This was the moment that we met again after a decade.
We went on many dates. And then three months had passed. Riley thought it was the right time to officially vet me. A camping trip was in order. The real test. Passing with flying colours at the camping expedition, Riley found the closest thing to a candleholder, a red beer cup, and proceeded to put a candle in it. He cooked dinner, lit the candle and asked me to be his girlfriend.
Precious moments, countries travelled, paths intertwined. Three years later, Riley takes me on a day of activities on a Sunday. A 15km hike; a picnic, a drive and a right turn down a dirt road. Turning down the dirt road, Riley says “We are going camping!”, I looked at him with annoyance, “It’s a Sunday, you could have told me, why are we camping in the middle of nowhere, communication would have been great, do you just have a tent in the back” – it went on.
Three minutes later, my face lights up in delight. We have arrived at the ultimate five-star camping experience, Glamping! Elated, I apologise, and we both explore the beautiful grounds!
Riley says, “I thought it would be nice to celebrate us, our three-year anniversary, your job resignation and just enjoy the outdoors!”. A few games of cards, some wine and before you know it, the sun is going down, and there it was. The same candle and red beer cup on the table from three years ago.
Riley exclaims, “so this all means something”. “Does it?” I say, my heart racing. Riley reaches for his pocket and pulls out a ring. My heart beats faster than ever. “Casey, I love you so much, will you marry me?”, in total shock, shaking, I give Riley the biggest hug and Riley says, “so is that a yes?”, “yes, of course!”!
The twenty-second of the second, twenty twenty we tied the knot.
Riley: The hardest thing was when Casey went away on the on holiday with her whole extended family to Hawaii. Those two weeks were hell. Our apartment was just a series of empty spaces making up an apartment. This short period away from Casey concreted in my heart that I was going to do everything in my power to avoid that again for even a night. Without her by my side life was noticeably emptier. But I knew she was the one from very early on.
Casey: When we had been dating for a few months, we were making the bed at Mum and Dad’s house and were talking about mowing lawns (Dad was mowing the lawns); during our conversation he said “one day we will have our own grass to mow” and I said “our grass” and he said “yes” with the most comforting smile. In that moment, I knew he would always be there for me. The way he looked at me, the safety I felt with him in that moment, I knew that no matter where life took us, I knew he was the one I wanted to share it all with.
We got engaged, and we wanted just to enjoy being engaged so, for the first year, I just cruised through looking at wedding ideas to truly picture what we wanted and what we didn’t!
Then one year out, I pressed the go button and planned the bulk of our wedding in two weeks: suppliers booked, design done, etc. I am lucky that I have a design background and have run large scale events, so I was able to plan, design and manage the whole thing which made the whole process very smooth!
We wanted our wedding to truly reflect our minimalist style but also to pay homage to the beautiful landscape we had spent a year creating on my family’s property! The native flora on the property was where we drew our inspiration from.
Modern but timeless! I thought I knew what I wanted. Long sleeve and flowy. I booked four appointments across Melbourne. It was the third dress that I tried on, but I hadn’t selected it; the lovely Freda from Marianna Hardwick thought it would suit me. I tried on the long sleeve and flowy kind, and it wasn’t for me.
As soon as I put on the off the shoulder, figure-hugging dress recommended by Freda, I knew it was the one. I just felt me in it, and that’s what I wanted.
It was harder finding the bridesmaid’s dresses than my wedding dress!
The hardest question. The whole 72 hours, from Friday night with my girls and my Mum to our recovery BBQ with the whole wedding party on the Sunday.
But, the raw emotion, love, laughter and warmth felt in our ceremony was a feeling I will never forget.
Meaning of marriage.
Riley: Understanding, commitment, love and unlimited sacrifice to see a smile on the others face.
Casey: We both value each other more than can be expressed in words with a deep trust, total admiration and purest of loves. We simply want the other one to be happy, and we both do everything in our power to see each other laugh, smile and feel total happiness each and every day.
Aisle: Can’t Help Falling in Love by Kina Grannis
Reception entry: Sangria by REMI (When we met again after ten years at a festival, REMI was playing on stage, and the night we said ‘I love you’ to each other we had been drinking sangria!)
First dance: A Good Night by John Legend (Literally explains the night we re-meet!)
Funny stories or near disasters.
February is meant to be hot; I had even checked the past five years on the date in the location, and it had never rained on that particular day! So I didn’t have a wet weather plan!
The five weekends leading up to our wedding, it pours, thunderstorms basically every weekend. The weather the week of the wedding was torrential non-stop rain! Our marquee went up in the pouring rain, mud absolutely everywhere.
But, come Friday afternoon it cleared and dried up, and the Saturday was a perfect 26 degrees with light wind, and the Sunday (recovery BBQ) was a balmy 30 degrees. Then it bucketed down on Monday at 9am! It would have been a complete disaster if it hadn’t stopped raining that hard! Goodbye heels, hello gumboots!
No matter how much planning, down to the finest detail, when you do a DIY wedding it is going to be one very intense week bumping in; building everything, coordinating suppliers, driving around all of Victoria pick up forks or napkins, glassware etc.! We were lucky enough to be on a family property and bump in on the Wednesday (in torrential rain) but every hour was a race to the finish!
Words of wisdom.
Enjoy the process and do it your way. Everyone has their two cents to add but go with what you want, go with your gut. It may be overwhelming if you aren’t used to coordinating events but trust that your suppliers will be incredibly helpful, there’s more than enough information on the internet to guide you and if you can, remember you get to do this once so have fun along the way!
Take a moment with your husband once the dancefloor is full! Stand back and just embrace each other and look at all your most loved family and friends celebrating. Give each other a big kiss and then get back in there!
Love reading Casey and Riley’s take on their incredible day, nightmare weather moments and all? We love when our couples share the ups AND downs of their planning, so we’ve compiled some of the sweetest bloopers here.
RILEY & CASEY’S VENDORS
Ceremony and reception venue: We got married on our family’s property at Red Hill Cheese. We had our ceremony and reception in the private orchard. We spent a year preparing the property for our wedding day, which included large excavations, planting hundreds of trees, plants and building!
Celebrant: Deanne Wild
Photography: Georgia Verrells
Florist: Poppy Culture
Hair: Carla Tedescoo from Alarah Studio
Make-up: Arielle Wray Beauty
The dress and veil: Marianna Hardwick
Shoes: Bared Footwear
Rings: Marc Gregory Jeweller. My rings were completely designed by my husband, Riley! He spent six months designing and getting it right with Steve. Riley considered over 40 diamonds finding the right one. The design took inspiration from his Mum’s engagement ring, he also took his Mum to all of the design meetings which I think is beautiful. This was also the jeweller that his Dad had his Mum’s ring made at.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Misha
Groomsmen’s suits: Instichu
Bar and cake: Provider
Stationery / Signage: Designed by the bride, by her business SANI.
Entertainment: Ocean Live Entertainment
Hire: Open Air Events
Honeymoon: We decided to go on a mini-moon straight after the wedding weekend to relax and recover before going on a big honeymoon! We went to Lake Crackenback in New South Wales to a serene cabin called Tinkersfield. It was incredibly beautiful! We were planning on going to Spain, Portugal and Morocco for a month for our honeymoon later on in the year but COVID-19 hit!