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A week before their wedding I found myself sitting across from Beth & Ben over breakie. I couldn’t help a feeling of nostalgia wash over me as I reminisced of my husband Dave & I, a week out from our wedding. Loved up, excited, nervous, with an overall feeling of contentedness washing off of us, onto everyone around us.
They were at such ease with one another, yet stared adoringly at one another every few moments. Love. I just love it. It’s a breath taking reminder of why I do what I do.
Previous to our breakie I had spoken at lengths to Beth, who made the entire design process incredibly easy. She wanted the wedding to reflect them; Fun, colourful, quirky & romantic. Other than that, the details were up to me.
I saw their wedding quite quickly and clearly in my mind - I saw retro. I know Clare from Fleur & Threads personally and knew she would create something colourful, bold and quirky, so it was a case of making sure our visions met up flawlessly. She was opting for small bursts of tropical foliage, deep pinks, orange, burnt orange & purple - ‘colourful’ covered! With this I saw retro shapes, many shades of gold, endless candles, festive festoon lighting & the brides only other request, working in some hessian bursts! I hadn’t worked with hessian for ages, but decided if we were going to use it, we had to do it in a refreshing way and stay far away from the hessian runners of the past. I decided instead to throw wide pieces across the table, letting them work as a base to the glorious tablescapes that emerged.
For the ceremony, I wanted to maintain the retro vibes & gold hues but also wanted the set up to reflect the water side space the couple had had their hearts set on. I added our seaside pine arch, timber tea chest & shell chandeliers (which have massively retro vibes too, tick tick) to bring the look together.
I have to admit, I hung around & spied on the ceremony and let that glorious feeling of nostalgia wash all over me.
All photography is by the incredible Jimmy Raper, who perfectly captures the loved up vibe of Beth and Ben, and truly showcases how unique their special day was.
If you're interested in recreating this style for your own event or wedding, get in touch!
The morning of the wedding, I rolled up to Marli Brae, flowers packed high, fabric layered over brassware, bouquet boxed in, protected as if it were the crown jewels of England… I was met at the venue gate by Skae’s dad, a rare man whose excitement for the day and welcoming smile prompted me to tears. It had been such a long & beautiful journey and here was the man that raised this incredible bride.
Fast forward 20 mins and I’m on my way to deliver her bouquet. Something that I wouldn’t normally do as time is scarce on THE day, but I wanted to witness that special moment when a bride sees her bouquet for the first time. Of course it was magic & worth every second of sacred styling/installing time. To see such a soul on the morning of her wedding is something to behold. Very special - and I feel honoured to have gotten that moment.
The next time that I saw Skae was moments before she was set to wed Andy. It was from afar as I was working like a demon installing the french bohemia story that was her reception. Upon my instruction she didn’t dare look towards the reception space, ensuring it was a surprise. She was calm, something majestic about her, with an energy of radiance. Her dress was grandly ethereal & bohemian. This guided the design of the wedding. Her veil was sublime, timeless yet bountiful & endlessly cascaded over her shoulders, pooling on the pebbles at her feet along melting into her whimsical & detailed train. Her bouquet was the deep velvety red rose on top of the bohemian icy white ‘rockstar’ gown. Magenta, midnight red, winter pink, pops of white, finished with a single lavender dyed orchid. Perfection.
I missed the ceremony which is always my favourite part but heard endless tales of how they their faces were pressed together, supporting one another through such important moments. It was complete silence yet a breathtaking feeling of love permeated the room. The space was layered fabric, iron lace, intricately designed floral & branch installation combined with the bohemian tassle blush rug. Crushed buds & turn of the century luxe signing table & chair was the perfect backdrop for our star crossed lovers to whisper ‘I do…’.
The reception space Marli Brae has built was the perfect backdrop for Skae & Andy’s bohemian luxe love affair. A very french provincial feel with touches of rustic chic & ‘show stopping’ fire place, finished off with the timeless glamour of antique chandeliers. All I had to do was inject the cascading ethereal bohemian heart & presto, a jaw dropping setting for the biggest celebration of two lovers’ lives, surrounded by their all favourite people.
To create the look, we started with raw blush silk table runners, nipped & bunched in all the right places to create an incredible textured movement. This was the base of the styling stories. Up next was the bohemian brassware & pops of french inspired cut crystal styled on the silk, dancing around one another. A combination of outlandishly wild & unstructured floral arrangements & single stem blooms woven in through the styling with endless pillar & taper candles completed the tablescapes.
As always, the ceiling was desperate for some love & making sure we stuck to the vibe, we created fine greenery garlands that were woven, haphazardly among the chandeliers.
To finish off the room, I insisted we needed something seriously epic. We decided upon a wild branch & bloom installation that sat behind the couple, working as a gilded frame, to ensure the lovers felt special & the guests eyes were naturally drawn to them.
The food was to die for, delicious & visually a feast for the eyes. Of course how the food looks is just as important as how it tastes, as far as I’m concerned! ‘Violets & Vinegar’ are second to none, lead by the super loved up couple Matty & Cass, their obvious passion for each other translates into the something special that sets this catering duo apart.
Lastly I need to mention the photographer Ben Sowry. It’s not very often i come upon someone who is in the industry for the same reasons as me. The love. The story of the love. His genuine interest & understanding of each couple is magnificent to behold both on the day & in the breath taking images that follow. It’s truly been a magical experience & can’t wait for my chance to work with him again!
If you're interested in recreating this style for your own event or wedding, get in touch!
What I could tell about these two right from the beginning was that they were already deeply committed to each other. That this crazy, fun, epic wedding would be merely making it official. With two beautiful babies in tow at every meeting, they weren't there to muck around. Ashley being who she is - a leader, utterly determined, strong and beautiful and an absolutely brilliant mother - knew what she wanted. Angus being who he is - laid back, endearing, hilariously funny, inherently good, and again, an absolute brilliant father - was happy to go with the flow. I'm not going to lie, this was a great combination!
As a couple, I could feel where there energy's and qualities overlapped. They knew how to have fun. This was important in designing their day. They were both socially relaxed, both incredibly sentimental, and both loved & were loved deeply by their close knit family & friends. Spending a full two days at the property setting up meant I truly got to see how close knit this community of people were. It was difficult to see where the family stopped & the friends begun. They were always around, always helping, sandwiches being made, wine being poured, flower girls helping create anything flower related. Best men hung lights, fathers drilled much needed holes & screws into walls, mothers always making me feel part of the magic. It was very special. And as they deserved, as this bohemian backyard love fest took shape, it became the couple & all that loved them.
Initially everything was to set up outside, the crazy big lounge room only being used in case of rain. And of course the rain came. But hey, I love a challenge! As do the Coopers! The whole first 24 hours was spent gutting every room in the house, making way for the ceremony set up which would become the dance floor, the luxe and boozed up bar, the pallet wall flower installed photo booth and finally, the game of thrones inspired banquet table! Two tents set up on the lawn in the backyard were made into a Persian inspired she-sha lounge & grazing table & mood setting bohemian lounges were scattered around the garden for late night chats.
As it was a backyard wedding set in a gloriously lush & tropical backyard, I decided foliage & greenery would be unnecessary, instead spending the budget on bountiful blooms of pinks, whites & burgundy. Brass, gold & amber treasures styled every room, every surface, working together with the chandeliers, draped fabric & rattan basket pendants, ultimately setting the scene for the bohemian luxe backyard loved up extravaganza that took place.
The next day I went back & helped create bouquets from the flowers used for all that helped. I was sent home with more styling treasures then I got there with, two rings & a silver bangle (gifts from the bride & MOTG) and an endless supply of succulents that came from MOTG's mothers garden. I felt so much that this wedding made me a richer & more positive person, and if you could believe it, made me believe in the power of love & the concept of magic even more than I already did.
Finally the photography is by the ever talented Thomas Stewart who really brings out the love in the room.