Josh works at the MCG in event management and Naarah is a food technologist at Carman’s Fine Foods. Our friends would say that we are always laughing but we also have a good balance between spending time together, and being independent – we believe this is a big factor in a successful relationship.

Like a lot of couples, we have been to many weddings so we decided to take the bits that we loved from each of them to make our special day. As we have been together for 11 years we wanted more of a party/celebration than a traditional wedding. We had a few non-negotiables which included ceremony and reception being close to each other, only a handful of speeches (five – father of the groom on behalf of the families, bridesmaid, groomsman, bride and groom), eat and drink what we want (food truck and our own selections of beverages etc) and dancing very late into the night (eg: no curfew). 

To find a venue that could do all this was difficult but the Old Kerrie School and Kerrie Hall was absolutely perfect. We had 140 guests and we encouraged people to bring a tent / swag and camp in the school grounds, of which about 50 did. It was fantastic – like our own little festival. It was a huge DIY effort, which we had prepared for, but well worth it in the end. We had a few very creative brains in our bridal party who helped out setting up, especially with flowers, theming, disco balls, lights, smoke machines and lasers (for later).

Again, we wanted a more casual atmosphere than traditional wedding and our outfits reflected that. Naarah wore an off-the-shelf ‘ice blue’ dress from Rachel Gilbert. The bridesmaids chose their own dress as Naarah wanted them to wear something which suited their own style that they were comfortable in and would wear again.

The boys were keen on tweed jackets with basic green chinos and brown shoes.

The setting for the ceremony was an old basketball court at the back of the school and after some elbow grease from the groomsmen the day prior, it came up beautifully. It was an amazing setting and looked better than we could have imagined. Naarah’s dad also made the arbour so it had a nice personal touch too.

We also had two of our closest friends do most of the ceremony, and Nadine our celebrant stepped in for the legal part. Having Nick and Teagan do the majority of the ceremony was brilliant as it was the first time we had heard it, and as two of our closest friends they know us better than most. It made the whole thing really personal and we loved that. Not sure if it was an omen, but a kookaburra let out a really loud laugh just at the start which was very amusing.

If you are planning on doing a DIY wedding, please don’t underestimate how much works is required. In saying that, there will be plenty of times that you wish you just booked a package from a wedding venue but trust us, it is so worth it in the end. We had a brilliant day because it was our day and reflected our personalities, and that’s exactly what we wanted. The support we got from friends and families also ensured that the day ran smoothly – lots of people offer to assist and make sure you utilize them and don’t try to do it all yourself. 

The only other advice we would give is don’t sweat the small stuff. At one point we were in Officeworks debating the colour of the envelope for the invites and we just stopped and laughed – how many wedding invitations can you remember the colour of the envelope it came in? There is so much to do, so the less time you spend worrying about small, insignificant issues, the better off you will be.

Ceremony location: Old Kerrie School Reception location: Kerrie Hall
Photographer: Kyra Boyer. Celebrant: Nadine Mannering.
Entertainment: DJ Barry Sunset. and sunsetsounds.clubStyling: DIY
Flora: Sourced from Tesselaar Flowers and arranged by the bride and bridesmaids Planner: DIY Hire: The Table Station Cool Room
Food: Digging for Fire Cake: Dessert plates homemade by the mother of the groom (and delicious!) – Maree Eltringham

Main outfits: Bride – Rachel Gilbert. Bridesmaids: Various. Groom / Groomsmen: Noose and Monkey LondonRings: Paul Epshtein Jeweller Melbourne Shoes: Bride: Bared Footwear. Grooms shoes: Dom Bagnato.
Hair and makeup: Ashley Dyson, Kohl Studios.

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