Real Wedding – Ruby & Peter, Bothwell TAS
High school sweethearts Ruby and Peter celebrated their I Do’s in a stunningly relaxed soiree overflowing with effortlessly elegant touches and genuine feels. As they put it, having all of their favourite people together in one place is such a rare and probably once-in-a-lifetime occurrence that it gave perfect perspective to their planning and celebrations.
Setting out to create a celebration that felt upbeat and ease-filled, where they could party with their guests well into the night, guided their decision-making and meant that the team of vendors they gathered around them were all on the same page.
Aesthetically, this day was all soft, rustic romance, sun-kissed natural surroundings and pops of summer-hued pastels. Hints of European vintage add a timeless tone, while gorgeous Tasmanian venue Ratho Farm provides a serenely exquisite setting. We especially love Ruby’s look, a beautiful blend of classic retro elegance with a fresh modern feel – and a perfectly on-point fringe!
Through the artful lens of photographer Georgia Verrells, this day is pure fun and loved-up emotion – scroll on to experience every darling detail.
We met in our final year of high school (grade ten in Tassie) when we were 16. We were both going to the same college the following year and met through a mutual friend in the summer before school. It was also around the same time that we discovered goon and live music!
There wasn’t a particular moment. I feel like our love for each other has grown over a long period and is still growing. I think we just knew in the small moments: walking into town holding hands, comfortable silences, lying in bed watching a movie with pepperoni pizza, dancing at a gig together. I guess our love grew organically, but it feels like we’ve felt that way about each other since the beginning.
On a trip up the West Coast of Tassie, we were staying in Stanley in a little Airbnb on the water. We went out for a fancy pub meal and sat outside watching a beautiful golden sunset before coming back to our accommodation with a bottle of red wine. It was pitch black outside. I was sitting out on the balcony overlooking the water, and Peter had ducked inside to grab something. When he came back out, he took the glass of wine out of my hand and pulled out a ring box. I was so shocked I couldn’t stop laughing – I think I said yes!
It was actually a lot more straightforward than we would have expected, being fairly indecisive people! I think it was because we had a very similar vision for the day. We both knew we wanted somewhere relaxed and informal where we could keep the reception party going long into the night. Ratho Farm was the first place we looked at, and we fell in love with it instantly. The farm and its surroundings are romantic and rustic, and the people who work there are so welcoming we couldn’t really imagine it anywhere else.
Reading articles and browsing wedding blogs of real weddings was undoubtedly the most helpful resource during our wedding planning process. We realised pretty quickly after reading a few different blogs that there were endless possibilities for how to plan a wedding day. We found a few of our vendors and outfit choices this way. Pinterest was also a very big help when trying to decide on colour schemes and styles.
After looking through wedding blogs and lots of Pinterest, we landed on the Italian garden-style wedding as the vibe we were going for. I sent Abigail (our florist) an inspo gallery full of wildflowers and pops of bright colour. I struggled for a long time to pick a coloured dress for the bridesmaids as I felt like that would influence our choice of flowers. I am so glad we went with black and pops of colour – our florals were the basis for the rest of our styling, which was fairly simple. We felt like Ratho Farm didn’t need a lot of styling – the backdrop of old farm buildings, beautiful old trees, etc., was enough on its own.
Rachael Calvert, our celebrant, is amazing at what she does! We met with Rachael several times before our wedding day, and by the time we got married, it felt like having a friend up there with us.
We lucked out with the Tassie weather on our wedding day; we were able to have our guests sitting out on the golf course and get married under a beautiful old tree as we imagined. Even though we were outdoors, our ceremony felt very intimate and special.
At our rehearsal with Rachael the night before the wedding, she suggested we try something different and have the groomsmen enter the ceremony by walking down the aisle as well! They walked to The Arctic Monkeys, and it added such a fun element to the ceremony and meant Peter didn’t have to nervously wait at the end of the aisle for too long! This was a really fun idea to break the ice. We were very lucky to then have one of the groomsmen, Tarik Stoneman, pick up the guitar and sing Toothpaste Kisses as the bridal aisle song.
Ruby: I actually found my dress a lot more quickly than expected! I went to a couple of bridal shops in Hobart with my bridesmaids and my mum and found it in the first bridal shop we looked in! I was choosing between two, and the assistant told me that if I went away for a week and couldn’t stop thinking about one of them, I’d know. Sure enough, I went back and tried it on a week later and just felt so much like myself but a little bit fancier in it.
It’s hard to pick just one moment as the day, and the lead-up to the day included so many special moments. Having all of our favourite people together in one place is such a rare and probably once-in-a-lifetime occurrence; it was so heartwarming looking back at everyone’s faces when standing at the head of the aisle and at the bridal table during our reception. We both agreed that hearing each other say our vows was our favourite moment and the most special part of the day.
Peter plays in a band, and music has been a big part of our relationship since we first met. We were very lucky to have Tarik Stoneman (the lead singer in Peter’s band and one of our best friends) play us down the aisle. We chose the song Toothpaste Kisses by The Maccabees because it’s a beautiful song but was also a favourite back in college days.
When we walked back down the aisle, we played M83’s Midnight City, which has meaning to us as it is a song Peter’s band covers at their gigs. We had been meaning to do dancing lessons in the lead-up to our wedding, but when time slipped away, we actually didn’t have a first dance planned. On the night, Rasputin by Boney M came on, and our guests demanded we do a first dance – an unlikely choice but one that we aren’t sad about!
Funny stories or near disasters.
We were waiting for a disaster to hit after being warned by everyone just to take the day as it comes, as something is bound to go wrong! We did have a few blunders in the lead-up to the wedding in terms of organising onsite accommodation for guests. An error on my part (Ruby) meant that we almost double-booked half of the rooms, but in the end, it all turned out ok! We had a busy few weeks in the month before the wedding as Peter runs a camping music festival that fell at the start of the month – in hindsight, a bit of a stressful decision making the wedding only weeks after, but it just meant that March was full of festivities!
I was surprised how quickly we chose most aspects of our wedding day! We’re both usually very indecisive people, but I think we just knew how we wanted the day to go and had a similar vision so that when it came down to the finer details, we found most decisions quite straightforward.
Words of wisdom.
Soak up all the love along the way! It’s such a special time in your lives that only comes around once! It isn’t just the actual day that I remember looking back – the love and excitement we experienced from our family and friends in the lead up were just as memorable, and it made us feel so special knowing that we have such a beautiful network surrounding us for the rest of our marriage.
Ruby and Peter were blessed with a dreamily sun filled day. But if you’re imagining yourself getting married in the great outdoors, under a blissful blue sky or cruising into your reception on a star lit dance floor, there are a few details you should probably consider before getting too far into your planning. We’ve got the low-down on dealing with the uncontrollable (weather!), here on the blog.
RUBY & PETER’S VENDORS
To find our vendors, we used Ivory Tribe, Hello May, Pinterest, Instagram and word of mouth – which is particularly handy in Tassie as the wedding community is quite small here – we had lots of helpful friends give us recommendations!
Ceremony & reception venue: Ratho Farm – Bothwell, Tasmania
Celebrant: Rachael Calvert. Rachael made us feel so comfortable from our very first meeting; she checked in with us throughout the lead-up to our wedding and gave us great advice on other aspects of our wedding, not only the ceremony! We feel very lucky to have had someone so kind and genuine marry us.
Photography & videography: Georgia Verrells. Georgia’s photos speak for themselves! We didn’t spend long choosing a wedding photographer at all because after seeing an ad for Georgia’s work in Hello May, we knew we really wanted her to take our photos! I love the way she sees things and documented our day in such a natural, candid style. I think you can tell from our photos we felt so comfortable with Georgia and felt like we could just be completely ourselves and forget that the camera was there. The colours, light, and emotions are all just as we remembered but captured in such a timeless way. We could also have Georgia down here as wedding coordinator as she assisted us a lot with our on-the-day timeline and doing extra things like offering up her beautiful Air BnB for bridal getting-ready photos and making sure the bridesmaid troupe had delicious coffee in the morning – also rounding up a certain group of people off the golf course so that they could be ready in time too!
We ummed and ahhed about whether or not to book a videographer in the lead-up to the wedding, as we thought we might save money and just stick with photos. Georgia very kindly brought down her Super 8 film camera by surprise, and we are so lucky she did! Our wedding film is one of our most treasured memories of the day. The grainy film is so beautiful, and it is so special to see some of our favourite moments of the day through someone else’s eyes.
Florist: Wildly Abigail. Abigail was such a lovely presence on our wedding day! Her florals were a highlight for us and for our guests- we had so many compliments on her flowers! She has such an artistic eye; it was amazing to have someone understand our vision so clearly and so quickly! Abigail came and delivered our flowers on the day and even stayed during the ceremony to help move the arbour into our reception area so that we could enjoy the florals throughout the evening! The next day, she came and created beautiful take-home bunches so that we could give them to our guests.
Hair: Drew Aleria Artistry
Make-up: Sophie McDermott
The dress: Luv Bridal
Shoes: Chaos & Harmony
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Country Road
Suits & bow ties / ties: MJ Bale
Catering: Pizziranis Cucina
Bar: Booze Bus
Cake: Our delicious cakes were made by the mother of the bride and mother of the groom (Brenda and Jenny!) There was a little kitchen at Ratho Farm accommodation where they were working away on the morning of the wedding to assemble the cakes!
Stationery / Signage: Lily Proctor. It was so special having our wedding invites designed and drawn by my talented sister, Lily! Her hand-drawn picture of Ratho Farm for our save the date invites is such a beautiful picture of Ratho Farm, and she did it before even seeing it in person!
Entertainment: Aisle song sung by our friend Tarik Stoneman and reception music by DJ Tim Stoneman. Again, we felt so lucky to have our friends doing the entertainment, and the dance floor did not disappoint!
Décor: Wildly Abigail/ DIY
Honeymoon: Europe! (We spent six weeks in Portugal, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Italy and Spain!)