I hope you’re settled in and comfortable, because this next wedding is quite a doozy — as evidenced by the brides describing their inspiration as “vintage rustic, barn bohemian, random eclectic, Grandma’s legacy, inner child eccentric.” To bring this amazing mix of worlds together, the brides (who run their own creative business) brought together some of New South Wales’ most talented folk, including The Ideas Library, Ra Ra Kitty, and photographer Lara Hotz. Let’s hear it from the brides:
From the brides, Nicole and Natalie: The style was “Nic-Nat Barn Eccentric.” We imagined a ‘non-eventish’ authentic style where rules don’t get in the way of abandon. We wanted the opposite of a soulless paint-by-numbers affair (chair bows, unexplained acts of frou-frou and weird science-gone-wrong lighting). We were dreaming of flaws – real and fuss-free. The barn itself was the hero, everything was conceived around her gorgeous bones. We envisioned something personal, celebrating love through humour and genuineness. We wanted a comfortable feel – not cut off from nature. We kept the barn doors open after the ceremony and had an open-sided marquee during dinner from where we watched the sunset over the river and could hear the goats and horses contributing their congratulations. The Garden Party between the ceremony and dinner was also outside with games (Giant Jenga, Giant Domino’s, Giant Pick-up Sticks, Croquet, Bochee), sangria and Pimms. The colour palette was based on our invitation design which we like to call “Colourdoscope.” We both enjoy the randomness of an open palette. The majority of colours inside the barn were neutral so as not to compete with the rustic canvas. Some adjectives that best describe the look of our wedding: Vintage Rustic, Barn Bohemian, Random Eclectic, Grandma’s legacy, Inner child eccentric.
We run a creative services business – ‘Pony and Bear’ – so for the wedding, we utilised our collective craftiness to create: Invitations (design and print); Menus (design and print); Personalised Name tags (design and print); Fans – hand-twined and painted handles with “We’re Your Biggest Fans” tags (design and print); Tambourines with “Shake What Your Mumma Gave You” tags (design and print), Family Lapel Brooches with Billy-Button and feathers; Wooden Rickshaw Sign reading “Mrs and Mrs” with oversized magazine heart-punches and cans; Brown paper confetti cones with magazine heart-punches filled with pom-poms and feathers; Handmade wooden fencepost signs for “The Lady Toot,” “Unisex Toot,” “Sangria,” “Pimm’s,” “Photobooth,” “Garden Games – Woot!”; Tea Ceremony with vintage milking stool, orange teapot/owl cosy, Nat’s Grandma’s teacup all on a doily base; Paper Doll-chain aisle runner; Rickshaw and driver’s hat; Handmade entrance photo garland with twine and wooden pegs; Glass jars with blackboard labels; Garden Games – Giant Jenga, Giant Dominos, Giant Pick-up Sticks, Croquet, Bocce.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? We had a lot going on in our lives in the year leading up to the wedding. Sometimes we managed to maintain our grace; sometimes we didn’t. Even though eggplant vs mushroom seems like a defining decision at the time – your loved ones will more likely remember the tragic interpretive dance you shared at 11.35pm over the mushroom deficit. What’s important is your relationship and your finesse under pressure. Don’t take yourselves too seriously. At the end of the day, all of the phone calls, late night crafting, list making, hauling and paper cuts were worth it because it’s all part of the bigger experience together. A couple that crafts together, lasts together! Every couple is different and I think our advice would be – don’t compare yourself or your wedding to other people’s because they’re not you. When all is said and done, it was sharing our love authentically that was the greatest gift to both ourselves and the people in our life. On the day, make it a priority to tell everyone how grateful you are to have them in your life, start a conga line, take a moment with your partner to make a mental bookmark, ditch the platitudes and speak from the heart, don’t not do anything, even if it terrifies you (public speaking!) and finally – eat something!
Prelude: “Happy,” Pharrell Williams
Processional: “Rise,” Eddie Vedder
Natalie’s Song to Nicole: “Something in the Way She Moves,” James Taylor
The flashmob? Nat sings in a choir called ‘Soulfood.’ There was about 35 choir members sitting among the guests and at the end of the ceremony, our celebrant Monty (also a choir member) started beat boxing and slowly, each person stood up and started singing Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody.”
First Dance: “At Last,” Etta James
Our soundscape was Funk/Soul/Jazz Vinyl. We both love artists like Stevie Wonder, Angie Stone, Erikah Badou and Ella Fitzgerald… the list is eternal. This music is evocative, sexy, grounded, raw, cell-tickling and was very much part of our expression and story. One of our favourite moments was sitting down at a table opposite our parents, seeing the afternoon sun strike through the moody clouds making everything greener and biting into a fresh woodfired pizza while Laura Mvula’s version of “Little Girl Blue” was playing.
Wedding Location: Richmond, NSW, Australia / Photographer: Lara Hotz / Creative Direction: Pony and Bear / Event Planning: The Ideas Library / Event Styling: Ra Ra Kitty and Pony and Bear / Venue: Sunnybrook Barn, Sydney Polo Club / Natalie’s Wedding Gown: Lover / Nicole’s Wedding Gown: Shona / Natalie’s Wedding Shoes: Sachi / Nicole’s Wedding Shoes: Shoes of Prey / Hair and Makeup: Petr Vackar / Wedding Caterer and Drinks: Dan The Man / Wedding Cake: Sharon Holley / Musicians: Elisha Keen, John Gnanasekaran, Antony Mutch, Danny May / DJ: Taline Kalaidjian / Flashmob: Soulfood / Celebrant: Sumant Monty Badami / Invitations and Stationery: Pony and Bear / Videographer: Light Noise Films