Real Wedding – Sally & Darren, Princetown VIC
After a fifteen year courtship, Darren’s surprise proposal to Sally, was emotion-charged and filled with love. Their Princetown wedding evolved to become the picture-perfect reflection of them both – a DIY bohemian dream.
Sally, along with her family, lovingly created incredible touches that would not only provide a relaxed vibe, but also a visual feast everywhere you looked, and a mid-ceremony change due to gusty winds did not put this gorgeous couple out, in fact – it only enhanced the celebration and love they felt for one another.
Their day was filled with many magical moments, and captured by Sheree Dubois Photography.
In Sally’s words…
My sister, her boyfriend and myself all moved into a house together many years ago. Darren is my sister’s partners best mate. Lets just say he started calling around even when he knew Punk, his best mate, wasn’t going to be there.
It was our first night away from our children since our eldest was born – so it had been almost five years! I was sipping a glass of Grey Goose vodka when Darren said ‘Sally, I have something to ask you.’ I definitely didn’t see a proposal coming! I couldn’t stop crying to even answer him. I was completely shocked! We had been together for 15 years and had our two children, I thought we had decided that we were happy with that. I’m certainly glad he did though and you couldn’t stop me smiling for weeks.
The planning process.
Everything was either collected or created especially for the day. I love making and creating things and luckily for me my mum (Rose), sister (Prue) and cousin (Emma) do also. Without them it wouldn’t have been possible. So the challenge was set and my vision of our DIY wedding had begun. Many hours were spent rummaging through op shops which definitely paid off. Days were spent on our beautiful beaches foraging for driftwood, feathers and shells. My crocheting hook got a workout making blankets, cushions, pouffe covers and covers for bottles and jars. Over 80 dream catchers ranging from 15cm to 1.5m in diameter were made. Countless lace curtains were cut down for over 100m of rag bunting. I collected and grew lots of succulents for the wedding favors and decor. We built tipis, made signs, did all the save the dates and invitations and the list goes on and on.
It took most of the Friday to set it all up with the help of my beautiful and amazing family and my gorgeous bridesmaids, but it was loads of fun. Seeing it all come together was just so satisfying. It truly was a labour of love. I also have to say that all our vendors were absolutely amazing and went above and beyond what was required of them.
We knew right away that we wanted a more informal style of wedding, a relaxed atmosphere that reflected both Darren and myself. I’m a hippy love child at heart and Darren is a surfer/musician. So our DIY bohemian dream wedding was born. I had a very clear image in my head and it just grew from there. I built it around key pieces that I found – I do love my vintage macrame hanging table, peacock chairs and the day bed. It was important that everyone felt at ease, relaxed and comfortable. I wanted our day to be one of visual feasting and exploration, so our guests would find more unexpected detail the more they looked. It was important to have colour, texture, movement and to be eclectic.
I do just so love my dress! I saw a photo of it only a week after Darren and I became engaged and fell in love with it instantly. It was the fourth dress I tried on and while the other three dresses were beautiful, they just didn’t have ‘IT’! When I tried my dress on I cried (so did my mum, sister and cousin) and I knew it was the dress for me. So finding the dress of my dreams was very easy and I very much want to thank Pam and her staff at Dubois Boutique as they were amazing.
The whole day was so magical its hard to pinpoint just one moment. Of course walking down the aisle with my dad was such a proud moment, having my mum help me into my dress fills my heart with happiness and sharing the experience with our two boys was incredible.
However, it would have to be when Darren sang a love song he had written for me. Our wedding day was also Darren’s birthday and we had gifted him a Mini Maton guitar and presented this to him at the wedding, much to his surprise. So not only did he sing me a very beautiful and heartfelt song but he also played his new guitar. There was barely a dry eye in the place. The were even bro’s hugging bro’s and after the emotion had settled there were a few guys saying ‘bloody Webby, now the bar is set too high, how are we to live up to that?’. It is hard to top a beautiful love song, my heart was overflowing with love.
We had both written each other a letter which we then placed in a beautifully carved box, along with a good bottle of red wine, that isn’t to be opened until our 10th wedding anniversary, or earlier if an emergency arises!
Meaning of marriage.
Making a commitment and confessing your love to your special other in front of the people that are near and dear to you. Its like standing on the top of a mountain and yelling to the world that you love, respect and care for this person and that you want to be there through the good times and the bad, to inspire and support them, to let them know you are their rock, their safe place to call home.
For us this also just unified our family unit and that we are here to support and love each other through the rest of our lives and journey together, no matter where it takes us.
Walked down the aisle to Ben Harper’s Forever. We didn’t have any other set songs on our day, it was quite informal in that sense.
Funny stories or near disasters.
This one goes to our cheeky little son Harper, who was completely overwhelmed by the whole situation and was reduced to sobbing and tears from the get go. Halfway through the ceremony the skies opened up and we all just made it inside and without too much delay, continued on with the ceremony as if it was planned. All was going along nicely and then just after we had signed the marriage certificate Harper screams out at the top of his voice ‘DON’T GET MARRIED!’ Everyone broke into laughter, if only Harper realised he was just a bit too late, we had sealed the deal.
We also had to move everyone inside mid ceremony as the gusty winds had bought in the rain clouds and the skies opened up. Luckily everyone made it inside in time and the ceremony resumed without a hitch, almost as if it was all meant to be.
When deciding to go completely DIY I don’t think I really estimated how much work I would end up putting into it. There really is a lot to coordinate but with amazing family and friends anything is possible.
Words of wisdom.
Go with your heart and create something that reflects both you and your partner. If you are going to do any DIY then my advice is to start early. Give yourself plenty of time so that you can enjoy creating the beautiful things for your celebration. There is nothing worse than being rushed.
Just let your day unfold before you, don’t let any little hiccups ruin your day. Smile, laugh and love lots, its your time to shine.
SALLY AND DARREN’S TRIBE…
Ceremony and reception venue: Kangaroobie, Princetown
Photos: Sheree Dubois Photography
Cinematographer: PK Photography – Port Campbell & Colleen Hughson
Styling: Sally and her family and friends
Florist: Emma Hayden Floral Design (family)
Stationery: Save the date stamp – Nativebear and all other stationery by Prue Cashmore (family)
Catering: The Fat Cow Food Co
Cake and desserts: Kylie Treble – The Place of Wonder
Cake topper: Emma Hayden Floral Design (family)
Decorations, signage and wedding favours: The bride Sally and her family members Rose and Prue.
Ceremony seating: Hired from Sheree Dubois Photography
Large Teepee: Made by the bride Sally and her family members Rose and Prue.
Celebrant: Dianne Daffy
Rings: Bud Knackstedt – The Silversmith, Warrnambool
Transport: Popes Bus Lines
Bridal gown: Dubois Boutique
Flower crown: Emma Hayden Floral Design (family)
Accessories: American Indian Squash Blossom Necklace sourced from eBay
Hair: Kara – Red Studio
Makeup: Zel Botha – Focus On Beauty
Groom’s outfit: Pitstop Menswear
Groom’s shoes: Aquila