Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
We met by chance in the Meredith Music Festival amphitheatre in 2008. It was four o’clock in the morning and techno music was blaring out of the speakers but we both knew there was something special afoot.
Since then we’ve travelled, lived together, and more recently, uprooted ourselves to the bush. After being priced out of Melbourne, we decided to look further afield and started looking around Castlemaine. On a whim, we bought the first property we saw. Nestled in the heart of the Chewton Bushlands, we chose this six acre off-the-grid bush block with its house of mud (not a metaphor) for its rugged natural beauty and supreme sunsets.
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…
Having met at a music festival, and gone to plenty together, we wanted to have that kind of feel to the day. It needed to be a big ol’ party, not at all stuffy, with lots of good music and good food. And camping!
We looked around at a few venues and finally settled on having it at Harry’s Dad’s bush block in Clydedale, which is about 25 mins from our house in the Chewton Bushlands. At the time, his Dad’s property had an almost-complete house on it and no toilet. In many ways, we set ourselves quite a challenge but the venue was free, beautiful, and right near our new home, so we decided to go for it. Harry’s Dad and his partner Zokky put in so much work to bring it all together. The whole wedding was a team effort and we’re so grateful to have had everyone’s support.
We made most of the big ticket items for the day — signs, the bar, toilet, stage, little tables, you name it. We did this partially to save money but also to inject as much of our own style into everything. One big expense was the tipis, and we’re so glad did that, they really gave it that bit extra sparkle.
Tell us about your main outfits:
Ally: Once we decided to get married, getting the dress was my first priority. As someone who has particular tastes, and a small budget, I knew that going to a traditional bridal shop wouldn’t work for me. I began trawling Etsy, lo and behold, found the perfect dress straight away. I was pretty surprised. I had it shipped from Canada (it was originally made in Hong Kong in the 1960s) which was a bit of a nail biter, but thank jebus, it fit perfectly. After that, the wedding was on!
Harry: Much shorter story. We popped into Emporium in Melbourne and emerged with a suit about an hour later. Too easy.
There were so many! Here are some snippets:
- Getting ready together and having the chance to have some low key hangs before the event kicked off
- Walking into the ceremony to The Divinyls’ ‘I Touch Myself’ and seeing all our friends and family clapping, laughing and cheering us on
- Hearing each other’s vows for the first time (we wrote our own and kept them a secret)
- Hearing Harry’s dad read through Corinthians 13:4-13 and adding his own little asides throughout. At the final line, his voice cracked as he said, “‘the greatest of these is love’…and they’ve got it.”
- The marathon of hugs after the ceremony. We think we hugged about 40 people each in quick succession. Surreal!
- Finding out we had run out of booze straight after the ceremony and having to quickly find someone to do a run to the bottle shop! The weather was so gorgeous and warm, and we were a little late to the ceremony, so everyone must’ve got stuck in! It was an anxious moment but we got it sorted, thanks to some total legends.
- Our friends performing surprise renditions of our favourite songs on stage (‘This Guy’s In Love With You’, and ‘Golden Years’)
- Getting pissed and dancing with everyone. Loved it!
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
Do it! But don’t waste time worrying about the little stuff. Work out what’s essential to you both and focus on that. It’s more special that way.
If you can, use the networks you have. It’s so awesome to be surrounded by friends and family who want the event to be just as awesome as you do. Our talented photographers are mates of ours, which meant we weren’t too nervous and self-conscious in front of the camera, and we got some super lovely photographs. Our friends and family held important roles throughout the event, and we used local vendors where possible. It all adds to the magic of it.
Another bit of advice: make sure you gel with your celebrant. We went with Jenny Joy (Joyful Ceremonies, Castlemaine Wedding Collective), who was a wedding wizard. Jenny made our ceremony a loving, happy affair that really reflected who we are. She’s the best, 10/10.
Final tip! Get someone to manage the event on the day, so you can really enjoy it. This is so important. We were fortunate to have the support of Laura Noonan (Queen of Stems, Castlemaine Wedding Collective) who was a godsend. That woman was a miracle worker; she kept everything on track and made the day easy for both of us. All with a smile, too. Even if you have a small budget, set aside some funds for this — you won’t regret it.
It can get pretty hectic in the lead up to the big day. That’s okay. Remember to breathe and don’t forget to look after yourself and each other.
Photographer: Mavis Jean Photography | Ceremony & Reception location: Private property, Clydesdale, Victoria | Celebrant: Jenny Joy | Entertainment: Slim Dime; Susie Scurry & Sugar Fed Leopards | Styling & Flora: Laura Noonan | Catering: Ice Cream Social | Bride’s dress: Vintage | Groom’s attire: Daniel Hector | Rings: Dan Scurry | Bride’s shoes: Extraordinary Ordinary Day | Groom’s shoes: Topshop | Makeup: Julz Mayberry, Made You Blush | Hair: Follikel