Eve & Tom by Gold and Grit Photography

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

Eve works in fundraising for a mental health charity & Tom is a product manager who works with tech start-ups. Our rescue dog, Taco, is a blue heeler cross husky – she is the sweetest girl but also a total handful.

We love camping, hiking, Meredith Music Festival and mid-century furniture. Our relationship has deep roots in nature, from hiking across snow capped mountain passes in Mt Aspiring National Park to ascending waterfalls in the Java rainforest, the experiences we remember most fondly all have a shade of green and a spirit of adventure.

Tom proposed in Yosemite, California – under one of the oldest trees in the world, a Sequoia named Grizzly Giant. We had taken the last shuttle into the forest in the evening and the sun was setting through the trees – but Eve was nervous about missing the last shuttle out and being in the forest at dark, with the wolves – so when Tom popped the question, Eve thought, this is really lovely but how soon can I mention the shuttle bus?!

We met on Tinder and our first date was at a Melbourne rooftop bar on a 42 degree evening – of course the lift was broken and we had to walk 8 flights of stairs – Eve said to Tom “I think this is the hottest date I’ve ever been on!” Eve ordered a beer and Tom was instantly attracted to her – we spent the evening doing a rooftop bar hop, the conversation flowed easily and there were some very romantic kisses surrounded by city lights.

Tom is always trying to make Eve laugh, whenever she’s in a mood Tom can turn it around and get a giggle out of her. Tom was attracted to Eve’s values, she has strong opinions and she really lives out her values – it’s what we hope will stand us in good stride for the future together – we agree on a lot of fundamental issues.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…

We choose to celebrate our love at Sokil Arts Eco Retreat in the Great Otway National Park surrounded by old gum trees and screeching cockatoos at a quirky Ukrainian scout camp. Two things we really wanted was to be surrounded by forest and to make a whole weekend of it – we had lots of family coming from New Zealand and wanted to spend some quality time together and were not interested in being kicked out of a venue at 11pm. So we rented the venue from Friday until Sunday and there was bunk bed accomodation for everyone.

A lot of the decisions behind the styling were from the perspective of sustainability – what do we already have that we can use? What does the venue already have that we can use? How can we source this second hand or rent so we don’t need to buy new, for single use? This culminated in a vintage look, we brought our own green couch and armchairs to set up an outdoor lounge room, which I loved. We also had a bio glitter station for the guests to get jazzed up for the evening, it was fun and gave it a bit of a festival vibe.

Eve bought her shoes first, and the colour scheme came from there – Marnie from Poppy’s Getting Married really nailed the brief, she exceeded our expectations, all day people were commenting on the amazing colours in the bouquet. She’s also a florist who sources local, in season and in reusable crates and vases which was important for us.

The bridal party wore vintage kimonos which were made from exquisite silk – Eve’s mum bought them for the bridal party to get ready in because she wanted to find something second hand and they were perfect. The weather was a bit cooler than expected so it worked perfectly to wear it in the evening as well and in the sunset photos the gold shines in the Australian bush setting.

Tell us about your main outfits:

Eve wanted to be comfortable and wear a natural fabric – so when she saw Hayes Bridal on Instagram there was no doubt it was exactly what she wanted. I loved working with Alice, she is a perfectionist – in fact, one of my favourite parts of preparing for the wedding was choosing to support small businesses run by women doing what they love, in particular, Alice my dressmaker, Stina our photographer, Jessie our celebrant and Marnie our florist – they’re all incredibly talented women.

Eve’s earrings By Nye were stunning as well – it was such a treat to choose them and they’ll be treasured – every special occasion when I put them on I know they’ll take me back to our day. Tom wore a suit from Brooks Brothers, he wanted something lightweight so chose linen – because you never know what the weather could have done, it could have been very hot but it turned out to be 18 and cloudy which was great for photos!

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

We invited Judy and Michael from the Wadda Wurrung Aboriginal corporation to perform a welcome to country and smoking ceremony – it was incredibly powerful to pay our respects to the Wadawurrung people of the lands our wedding was on and recognise the sacredness of such a beautiful place.

Our wedding day was at a very strange time, it was the week when rules were changing for COVID-19 and although Eve’s parents and a few cousins and aunts & uncles were able to come, due to changes in restrictions Eve’s brother, one of the bridesmaids and lots of other loved ones were not able to make it. The week leading up was difficult as every day we were receiving messages from people telling us they couldn’t make it – but on the day it made us so much more grateful for the people who were there – in particular Eve was grateful her parents were there and her dad was able to walk her down the aisle. We may have something low key back in New Zealand when things return to normal for the people who didn’t make it. Which means Eve can wear her dress again, so that’s a win!

The first song on the dance floor was a cover of sexual healing by eight hot brass band and it was so fun, it brought everyone together on the dance floor. Our friend Ben is a very talented cake maker and he made such an amazing cake – it was so beautiful and delicious – we’ll have to get him to make another one for our birthdays in December because we both really want to eat it again! It was really special to have friends involved in the wedding in this way.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

Eve worried a lot about little things when she was planning the wedding – when the week came about I realised that that’s not the stuff that matters – what matters is being around the people you love. It was painful finding out that my brother wouldn’t be there with me, but I didn’t let those feelings take over on the day. I was grateful for what we did have, that the wedding was able to go ahead – I know lot’s of other couples weren’t so lucky this year and have had to postpone.

So my advice would be – don’t sweat the small stuff, everything will come together eventually and you will have a lovely wedding – have fun – it really is the best day so enjoy and savour every moment.

Photography: Gold and Grit Photography | Ceremony and Reception location: Sokil | Celebrant: Jessie Belle | Bride’s gown: Hayes Bridal | Vintage Kimonos: Asia Gallery and Vintage Fabric Emporium Auckland | Groom’s suit: Brooks Brothers | Rings: Good Gold | Shoes: Nelson Made | Jewellery: By Nye | Makeup and Hair : Hair and Makeup by Jenna | Bridesmaid’s attire: Boohoo | Entertainment: Post Percy | Hire: One Big Day Event Hire | Flora: Poppys Getting Married | Catering and Beverages: Happy Campers Pizza | Cake: B.T Cakes | Eco Glitter: Glitoris