LILLI + JAKE by Briars Atlas Photography
Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:
Lilli: We’ve been together for almost nine years. I’m a photographic artist and Jake is a guitarist, so we both share a love for art and music. Jake does all the cooking, Jake reckons that’s pretty unique. We spend a lot of time helping each other with our art projects, and we finally started collaborating on making some music videos recently which has been balls of fun. We’re a good team, best mates.
Jake: Nine years together and I still light up when I walk in the door and see her after work.
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 named our wedding ‘Boogiewed’ based on our favourite music festival ‘Boogie’, which happens every Easter in Tallarook in VIC. After some issues securing the same venue, we found a little gem ‘The Diggers Store’ run by the lovely Tina & Alex and their cat Woody, right near one of my favourite country towns, Castlemaine. It was originally established in 1857 which sold mining supplies to the local diggers of the gold-boom era, which is now a beautiful Bed & Breakfast and Old Store.
We tied the knot out the back of the old shop, under a 100-year-old grapevine in front of 58 of our favourite humans. After a beautifully intimate candle-lit dinner in the stable, a large stone building, with delicious morsels created by the wonderful people at Cookes Food, we wined and dined accompanied by some rather hilarious and emotional speeches, we headed into the bar, which had been converted into a 70’s themed disco. Dressing up in gold and providing gold props, wigs, tattoos and sparkles for our friends, we asked a close friend (legend Oli Sansom) to snap the night upon a bunch of old film cameras and expired film, and we drank & danced to old soul records with our mates until the wee hours. It was a bangin’ good party, one of the best days of our lives.
Petra from Pomp and Splendour created a beautiful floral artwork that hung from the balcony in the recording studio where we all ate dinner, making a beautiful backdrop whilst sipping wine. Petra is a friend and was a guest on the day.
Everyone spoke about how delicious the food and cocktails were on the day, Soph and her team at Cookes Food are the cream of the crop when it comes to caterers.
Alex and Tina from The Diggers Store were so generous with helping and assisting us in the lead up to the big day, and Tina made 5 of the most delicious wedding cakes for us. Friends still talk about that chocolate and brandy cake, filled with white chocolate buttercream frosting, tangy raspberry jam, & smothered with dark chocolate ganache, decorated with gold-dusted muscatel grapes and flowers. Jake and I ate nothing but the leftover cake and cheese for the next three days, whilst we came down from the immense loved-up-ness feelings of being surrounded by all our special people.
Our friend Todd Mayhew who was only just starting out a new career as a Celebrant was kind enough to marry us. He made the whole thing short & sweet & fun, just as we wanted.
Our friend Zowie Krista was an absolute legend as our wedding planner, she made all the things that needed to happen, happen, like locating a mixer when it was forgotten, lighting candles, playing music, making sure everyone was fed, and converting the bar to an incredible disco. She was a legend, we couldn’t have done it without her.
Jake’s band ‘The Moreland City Soul Revue’ was the highlight of the evening, playing old rockin’ tunes and soul music, there wasn’t a single person not dancing. Jake even jumped up to play a set and one of my girlfriends and I jumped on stage to sing a Joe Cocker song, but I was pretty drunk so I have no idea if I was in tune!
Last but not least, our dearest friend Oli Sansom (Briars Atlas) offered to document our wedding as a wedding present, which was the most precious & generous thing we could have taken from the day. A few weeks before the big day, we met with Oli and asked him to photograph the whole day on film. I’m a photographer, and for me, film has always had a magical nostalgic feeling to it. I wanted that feeling for our wedding photos, and I knew Oli was the only person who could do it. He asked us if we wanted digital back up, but I declined, as I trusted him 100%. The photographs were far beyond what we could have imagined, I’ve still never seen such raw, timeless and moving wedding pictures in my life. I will forever be indebted to this master. I love this guy so much, Oli is a true artist, an all-round bloody nice guy, and you would be one lucky soul to have him capture your wedding day. Trust me.
Tell us about your main outfits:
Suzanne Harward was so incredibly wonderful throughout the whole process. I was not looking around for wedding dresses at all, in fact, I didn’t want to try anything on! Suzanne designed a custom-gown using warm-toned silk and vintage golden threads that they pulled out of storage, creating a gown exactly as I wanted, a mix of 40s/50s classic style, with a vintage-inspired cap veil to go with it. It was such a beautiful experience and so special to have something made just for me to fit my body type. I was also inspired by jumpsuits from the 60s, and asked Ella Misso, a local designer, to make a gold jumpsuit for the party-end of the evening, it was totally hot! Jake looked devilishly handsome in his MJ Bale suit, we picked it out together. I think this was the first nice suit Jake has ever owned.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
I really enjoyed a walk with my little sister in the morning before the day kicked off, we did some yoga by the side of the road, I was feeling so relaxed. The dance floor was definitely the main hit, I don’t think our guests were expecting it to be such a fun and crazy party. After a chilled out, romantic candle-lit dinner, they were invited into the bar area, which now had a million spinning disco lights and tonnes of gold streamers coming from the ceiling, espresso martinis tinted with edible gold flakes and old fashioned whiskey & cokes, I think they sensed it was going to get pretty wild.
Instead of doing a first dance to Bruce Springsteen (I ended up chickening out), we changed into gold outfits, got up on the stage, and threw buckets of cut-up gold streamers onto all of our guests to kick off the 90’s RnB hour. I had spent many late nights pre-wedding, drinking red wine and cutting up tens of packets of gold streamers into squares for this very short-lived moment. It was worth it. We gave out boobie prizes for the best boogiewed outfits, which included a hobo outfit from the $2 shop, a bowling trophy, and a plastic gold crown with fake jewels for first prize. A golden cape was passed around the party throughout the night, followed by a game of limbo with a big stick that me and my bestie found in the backyard.
I remember seeing one of my girlfriends standing on the bar at one point, free-pouring glasses up to the top with straight whiskey to our guests with a cigarette in one hand (she doesn’t smoke). I heard a rumour that one of our guests pashed four other guests. Another rumour was that a friend ended up swinging around one of the poles of the building and demanding that one of our other friends spank her on the bottom (she’s married to one of the band members and he was on stage at the time). The last guest went to bed at 7 am. A window had been smashed. There were holes in the dance floor the next day. Gold glitter literally everywhere. It was pretty hectic.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
Enjoy the whole day from start to finish and try to stay up as late as possible to savour every moment! I only made it to 1 am and pulled a disappearing act on everyone (including my new husband) when I decided I couldn’t drink anymore whiskey and wanted to get into bed, which I regret now! The morning picnic the next day at the park was 95% hangover. The good kind though.
Ceremony + Reception Location: The Diggers Store | Videographer: Alastair Innes (She Takes Pictures, He Makes Films)| Photographer: Oli Sansom (Briars Atlas) | Celebrant: Todd Mayhew | Entertainment: Richie Twelfiftee and Moreland City Soul Revue | Styling: Lilli (bride) | Planner: Zowie Krista, friend | Hire: Kyenton Hire, Place Settings, Betty May Vintage Hire, Local Gatherings, Queen B Candles + Retro Print Revival | Flora: Pomp and Splendour | Catering + Beverages: Cookes Food | Cake: The Diggers Store | Bride’s gown: Suzanne Harward + a custom-made golden jumpsuit by Ella Misso | Groom’s suit: MJ Bale | Rings: Wedding bands by Kim Victoria, Engagement ring by Lang Antiques | Shoes: Modcloth | Jewellery: Vintage | Makeup: Dana Leviston | Hair: The Distinctive Dame | Fragrance: Byredo in Gypsy Water