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DIY Australian Wedding

DIY Weddings

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Daily Pick

Clarence Chan Photography

Your wedding is one of the most important events in your life. It should be full of fun, laughter, and love; so should your photos. My goal is to capture beautiful moments by using a natural, artistic, and light photographic style. I’m passionate about story telling and I seek to document moments big and small—from the moment the bride walks down the aisle to laughter shared among friends—so that your photos will be cherished and shared for generations.

I have covered weddings across the United States and internationally and am a member of the esteemed Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) and Fearless Photographers.

In 2012, I married my inspirational, creative, and loving wife. When I’m not shooting a wedding and traveling, I’m often at home with my wife, playing with our rambunctious corgi.

Based in New York City and the Greater Washington D.C area. I also travel domestically and internationally.

Featured in: Washingtonian Bride & Groom, The Knot, Borrowed & Blue, Be Minked, District Weddings, Artfully Wed, Bridal Musings, Intimate Weddings, United with Love

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