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DIY Australian Wedding

DIY Australian Wedding

Sometimes weddings are so personal, we feel like we’re getting a private glimpse into a party among lifelong friends. Such is the case with this homespun DIY wedding for Katherine and Chris, one of the most beautiful young couples we’ve seen yet! Katherine took great pleasure in breaking the traditional wedding “mold,” opting instead for a laid-back ceremony and reception with decorations put together over nine months with the help of her husband and close friends. Make sure you check out every image captured by the superb Jen Regan of Anna Rose Photography.

diy australian wedding

From the bride, Katherine: It was really important to us that our wedding was as laid-back and fun as possible. Neither of us are “fancy” people, so a traditional formal wedding was never on the cards! I am somewhat obsessed with DIY, so everything I thought I could do myself, I did, with help from Chris, my bridesmaids and our families. I made our guestbook poster using an awesome Snellen eye chart font that I downloaded. The owner of my old workplace was throwing away a bunch of old paintings, which I scavenged. I spray painted the frames white and painted over the canvas with chalkboard paint from Bunnings to make the various signs for the reception.

diy australian weddingdiy australian wedding

For 9 months, friends and family collected glass jars which I decorated with hessian (burlap), lace and twine, and were used throughout the wedding as vases, table numbers, candle holders, etc. My bridesmaids and our friend Brittany helped me make the table numbers and the buntings in a frantic crafting morning on my maid of honours birthday (about two weeks before the wedding)!

diy australian wedding

When people asked the colourscheme of our wedding (which happened a lot!), I told them “black, white, grey, cream, tan and every pastel colour”! I found it way easier to style everything based on a theme, rather than a colour scheme. Apparently Walt Disney used to tell his illustrators “keep it cute”, and that kind of became our style mantra for the wedding.

diy australian weddingdiy australian wedding

Any advice for future brides? Don’t be afraid to do your own thing – but do be prepared for a lot of raised eyebrows! Some advice I wish I had followed: Don’t waste your energy worrying about other people will think. I heard of people (friends, in fact) saying things like “a wedding is supposed to be a WEDDING,” and that what we were planning didn’t measure up. People may try to tell you that a wedding needs to have x, y and z (big white dress, limo and roses maybe?) to be a “real wedding,” but that’s just not true! The opinions of you and your husband are the only ones that matter. You are the only people that will look back on your wedding day as a defining moment in your lives, so why waste your time worrying about the opinions of people for whom it is just another party? After many sleepless nights worrying about what people would say about our wedding, the day finally passed and I realised how little what they thought actually mattered!
My second piece of advice is try to accept as quickly as possible that your wedding probably won’t be the most original, amazing wedding that there has ever been. Perfection is unattainable, so save the heartache and plan for an imperfect wedding! Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from all the amazing wedding blogs out there. I don’t think I had a single original idea throughout the whole wedding process! But if you want to get philosophical about it, is an original idea even possible these days? An awesome quote that really helped me: “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to the soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” – Jim Jarmusch (film maker).

diy australian wedding

How did you pick your venue? Chris and I had our hearts set on a rustic-looking venue where we could have both the ceremony and reception outdoors. Falls Farm is heritage-listed and is one of the oldest homesteads in the Shire of Kalamunda. The cottage actually turns 100 years old this year. Although really dry at this time of year, ended up being perfect! The best part was that family and friends were able to stay at Greenways Bed and Breakfast, directly opposite, and I was able to stay there the night before the wedding and get ready there.

diy australian weddingdiy australian wedding

View all wedding photos

Wedding Songs:
Processional: An acoustic version of Hysteric by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Signing of the documents: First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes.
Recessional: You’ve Got the Love by Florence and the Machine.

Wedding vendors (Kalamunda, Western Australia):

Wedding Ceremony and Reception Venue: Falls Farm Homestead / Photographer: Jen Regan of Anna Rose Photography: Jen Regan of Anna Rose / Bridesmaids dresses: eBay, Portmans and Stella McCartney for Target / Bridesmaids’ belts: ribbon and shoe clips from LemonRing / Groomsmen’s pants: J. Crew / Groom’s pants and shirt: J. Crew / Groom’s Shoes: Florsheim / Bride’s Wedding Gown: Black Magick by Lover / Bride’s earrings: Pearl Story on etsy / Bride’s shoes: Tony Bianco / Bride’s clutch: The Traveling Cabinet on etsy / Makeup artist: Thiana Sperry /
Reception entertainment: Smile Booth from Push the Button PhotoBooths / Day-of Wedding Coordinator: Krystie Bennett / Caterer: Elegant Touch Catering / Wedding Cakes: Made by Bride’s aunts

View Comments (30)
  • their wedding was so beautiful…i love to hear that it was laid-back, because i really think there’s hardly a difference in the photos between a high-strung stressed out wedding and one where you just roll with the punches…except that the bride looks far more relaxed and like she is actually enjoying their wedding in the latter.

  • Thank you so much to this bride, her comments have made me realise that it doesn’t matter about the raised eyebrows that have been coming from my traditional ‘weddingy’ family and friends over the past few months. It has inspired me to book the photographer I really want, and not the photographer that everyone else wants.

    Thank you thank you thank you! x

  • What a beautiful wedding. I fell in love with the dress. But I don’t see the Black Magick collection anymore on the LOVER website. Does anyone know where I can find that dress online? I’d like to wear it for my wedding in september!! Thanks!

  • Camille, here’s some more information from the bride, Katherine, about the Black Magick dress:

    I wore the Black Magick dress made from antique French silk by Lover, an Australian designer. The dress actually came out in 2006 and I found it second hand on Etsy. I paid about twice the original retail value (although still much, much less than your average wedding dress!). When I saw it I nearly threw up because it was so amazing, so I knew it was worth the money!

  • This is such an exceptionally beautiful and personal wedding. It really resonated with me. I love the bride’s dress! I also love that you included a lot of the bride’s advice; it’s one of my favorite features about Ruffled.

  • I ADOOORE that this couple didn’t lock down and choose a color scheme, but rather just chose a theme or style and stuck with it. It truly paid off. I’m having so much trouble coming up with only a handful of colors like most people do…as an artist, I find the richness of combinations is limitless.

  • Katie, thank YOU for sharing your wedding! I have been looking at many wedding dresses online, but when I saw your I really fell in love and thought, that’s the one!! I might have to buy it tonight. One question- was it difficult to find a slip/bra that worked under the dress since the top is so low cut? Would be curious to hear your solution because it looks great on you! Thanks and congrats on your marriage!

  • Hey Camile! Yes it was very difficult! I bought a couple of different slips, but in the end I decided to just sew up the V a few inches (another DIY project, haha). The top of the dress is very sheer (especially at the back), and I couldn’t find anything to wear underneath that didn’t detract from the actual dress. Unfortunately this meant some nifty tape work in the place of a bra! But in the summer heat I was actually quite glad!
    I’m sure if you looked around you could find something to wear underneath.. Or you could make the slip a feature with something like this!


  • Katie thanks for writing back! ….I bought it!!! And I am so grateful to you and Ruffled, otherwise I never would have found it at all. I didn’t notice before that you had sewn the V, but I love the way it looks! Thanks for the etsy link, that’s GORgeous, wow. I’m sure I’ll sort out the undergarment dilemma somehow! But really, it’s awesome to get to exchange ideas with someone who actually wore this rare dress, so thanks again.

  • OH so lovely and charming. This is so beautiful and does have a personal feel. The brides advice is eloquent and priceless.

  • No worries, Camille! That’s what Ruffled’s all about 🙂 All the best for your wedding! I’m sure you will look fab in the dress! After all, it is the most amazing dress in the world!! XD

  • Thanks to the bride for your validating and encouraging words about wedding planning! My fiance and I often feel as if we are both fighting to have the small, unconventional wedding that we want so it’s always nice to hear from others who have gotten though it.

    Gorgeous pictures and a truly inspiring wedding!

  • Stunning! I live in the Shire of Kalamunda and this was so wonderful to see on an international blog!x

  • I really needed to hear this advice! Planning our own offbeat wedding and we were getting tired of the raised eyebrows.

    Stunning wedding, thank you so much for posting!

  • This dress is so beautuful!
    Does anyone know where I can find that dress online? I’d like to wear it for my wedding in July. 🙂
    Can anyone sell me one? 🙂

  • Oh I just love this wedding! Most especially because of the beautiful, heartfelt honesty from the gorgeous bride. It looks like it would’ve been a magical and fun-filled day! I’m thrilled to read they stayed true to themselves! Just amazing! All the best to them both x

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