Kayla & Brendan by Anchor & Hope Photography

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship … Brendan and I went to high school together but didn’t really know each other at all. 

When we went off to university we both ended up living on res together, but it wasn’t until our second year at college (and after working a harvest together at our local grain receival site) that we started spending time with each other and eventually started dating.  We’re now both primary school teachers, and I have a side business doing event stationery which came in handy for the wedding.

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 really wanted the venue to be the star of the show. I grew up in Dookie, and both of us have a big involvement with the local football/netball club, so Dookie is like a second home for us. It was really important that our wedding was held somewhere significant, so when the owner of The Quarry said we could use it as our venue we were thrilled.  The vision was to have an open-air soiree, under the beautiful starry skies of Dookie, surrounded by the huge quarry walls which would be lit from top to bottom. Everything else was very simple- a few strings of fairy lights across the space, some purple foliage cut from the gardens of some helpful locals, and white wire furniture that looked stunning in contrast to the rich red rock walls. No marquee, so we were really relying on the weather gods and they delivered! We were going for a really laid back feel with our catering as well- roaming canapes with a bit of a Spanish theme and huge dishes of paella, cooked in front of the guests. We were seriously impressed with both of our caterers, as were the rest of our guests.

Tell us about your main outfits: I found my dress not long after we’d become engaged in a boutique in Geelong.  I wanted something very simple that I could add some statement earrings to. I ended up finding a pair of gold earrings that reminded me of the quarry walls! Brendan’s suit was from a local menswear shop in Shepparton- again we wanted something simple and classic. The bridesmaid dresses were a little harder to find as 2 out of 3 bridesmaids were pregnant! I just wanted something that would go with our minimal theme and we ended up finding the beautiful plum dresses from Elka which looked stunning, particularly with the bouquets. I loved the look of my beautiful bridesmaids! 

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day? We had most of our portraits taken up on top of Mount Major. The drive up was fairly entertaining, with the beautiful old Ford Galaxie’s dragging along the bitumen because we were too heavy in the back! We weren’t sure what condition the car was going to be in by the top. It was quite a hazy afternoon and the lighting was incredible, making for some amazing photos on top of the mountain.

It was also really special when we drove in to the quarry and saw all of our loved ones waiting for us to arrive to the reception.  We had many hands on deck setting everything up and to drive in and see that it had all come together and everyone was enjoying themselves was so lovely.

Later in the night we switched off most of the lighting and had our first dance under a couple of strings of festoon lights, surrounded by the quarry walls that were lit from top to bottom.  It was a full moon that night- we had planned our wedding date around the full moon because we were set on the idea of having something under the night sky.  Unfortunately it was an overcast evening so we only caught glimpses of the moon but it was such a bright and still night.  It was really magical!  The flood lighting that was used to light the quarry walls also allowed for lots of silhouette photos taken by our guests.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together? Our wedding day was incredible and was definitely an enjoyable experience because of the people around us. The lead up to the wedding was a dream- we had so many family members at our beck and call. The importance of a good team to help with all the jobs was key! Even on the wedding day, knowing that if something little popped up we had people everywhere who would sort things out or do little jobs here and there. It meant that we were able to just soak up the atmosphere of the day and not worry about a thing.  And remembering that it is just one day- everything doesn’t have to be perfect!  I tried to make sure I didn’t get too caught up in details and tried to stay realistic about what was important and what wasn’t.  It was such a happy day for us both and I think that’s what will stay with us for years to come.

Ceremony location: St Mary’s Church, Dookie | Reception location: Dookie Quarry | Videographer: McQuilton Productions | Photographer: Anchor and Hope Photography | Entertainment: Braden Pullen | Styling: The Bride  | Hire: GV Party Hire & Events Matter | Flora: Petal Dance Floristry | Catering + Beverages: Pinchos Catering & Pimientos Paella | Cake: Bride’s Sister | Stationery: Quill and Co | Bride’s Dress: Embrace Bridal | Groom and Groomsmen: Identity Menswear | Ring/s: Blizzards Fine Jewellers | Shoes: Naturalizer | Earrings: Steviie | Makeup: Esaje Makeup | Fragrance:  Byredo – Mojave Ghost | Bridesmaids:  Elka Collective | Flowergirl: Threads and Wire