Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
James and I met in our early twenties when we were both figuring out what we wanted our lives to look like.
We moved in together straight away and marriage was pretty much a done deal from the get go! It’s always been a very natural and easy relationship. Our friendship groups merged seamlessly and we became a part of each others families and lives like it was always that way.
We believe the most important thing in life is those you share it with. Our happiness is doubled when shared with friends and family and we feel so lucky to have such genuine people in our lives.
We’ve done all the things you do in your twenties – parties, travel, career changes. James is an event organiser for boutique outdoor music festivals and I am a Steiner teacher. So the outdoors and connecting with nature is a big part of our lives.
We actually fossicked my engagement stone ourselves. On one of our trips up the East coast in our van. We collaborated with a jeweller who led us to a location and taught us how to fossick. I always wanted a green stone and James unearthed a perfect emerald that now sits in all its uncut beauty on my finger.
We’ve done a lot of travel. From taking our own tuktuk around Sri Lanka to camping in our van by glacial lakes in Norway. But after a couple of years we were ready to come home and create the life for ourselves that we had been dreaming of.
We now live a slower paced simple life amongst the gumtrees in the Yarra Valley Victoria. We love to grow our own vegetables and embrace each season for what it gives us, especially when it comes to winter time to forage mushrooms and eat risotto with a nice glass of wine in front of our fire.
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 have seen some of the most beautiful places in the world. But nowhere quite feels like home, and nothing comes close to the affinity we feel towards the Australian bush.
The Kinglake property holds a special place in our hearts. It has been in James’ family since his Great Grandfather bought the land and built a home in 1930. The original house was sadly lost in the Black Saturday fires. It was rebuilt to as it stands today, taking advantage of uninterrupted views down the mountain. Kinglake is where we feel most at peace, surrounded by gumtrees and overlooking bustling Melbourne far in the distance. So there was no question that this is where we would have our day!
We’re not fussy or fancy people so we always knew we wanted a laid back wedding. The natural setting and breath-taking views set the style for the wedding. We wanted it to be simple and natural. We went with an earthy colour pallet to compliment this. Really the only decorations we needed were some bunting and minimal flowers. We created our ceremony space in the forest next to the house and just utilized all the natural resources we had around us. I love that our flowers came from a grower just down the road.
James’ work and passion is in creating alternative outdoor events so for him organising our wedding was a piece of cake. Our guest list reached 160 people so this relaxed style suited us anyway as we didn’t have the space to seat that many people. Instead, we had a mix of tables, couches, and rugs laid out all over the grass. It really made the space feel comfortable and relaxed, just as we’d wanted.
Tell us about your main outfits:
It’s a very rare occasion that we dress up! So I always knew I would never wear a puffy dress and James would never rock a black tux. I always wanted something very simple for my dress and James wanted a very relaxed suit! Turns our these things are actually quite hard to find. I would randomly walk into wedding stores in our travels – Spain, The Netherlands, Austria. But none felt like me. And all far more than I would want to spend. Ironically as I sat in our van in Andorra only months from our wedding I came across exactly what I was looking for on Etsy from a lady in Byron Bay. I sent her my measurements and when we got home it slipped on like a glove. And only cost me $500! James’ clothing journey was much the same. Popping into stores here and there along the way with not much luck. We ended up finding his loose linen ensemble in a little store in Ubud Indonesia as we walked by after dinner one night. The vest was a little harder to find but eventually we settled on picking some material and getting one made by a local tailor near home.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
Our favourite part of the day hands down would be our ceremony. Over the weeks leading up to the wedding James and his mates cleared a space in the forest next door to the house. They built the arch out of parts of trees burnt out in the fires. It was a beautifully poetic place for new beginnings. The ceremony space was a surprise to guests, they were ushered with enchanting music through a trail in the woods to find James and his groomsmen waiting. We remember being so present during our ceremony. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other and were giggling, whispering and laughing the whole time. It was perfect.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
In our relationship communication has always been our core strength, I think being entirely honest with your partner is always important and allows for true growth and honest commitment between the two of you. Being honest with each other also requires you to always be honest with yourself too! One of James’ favourite things to say whenever there is a problem is that it’s not “Me vs You” but “Us Vs the Problem”. It’s important to throw away the impulse of the “need to be right”. We like to have a laugh at the saying “One Team, One Dream” but its honestly something we live by.
Photographer: Kyra Boyer | Celebrant: Jessie Belle | Entertainment: Lark Music | Hire: Open Air Events | Catering + Beverages: Cellar Door Roaming Bar & Vegilicious | Bride’s Dress: Fairtale | Groom & Groomsmen Outfit: Above the Clouds | Ring/s: True Enchantments | Makeup: Amy Kenny Makeup | Hair: Rhea Vine