Holly and Cory | Amazing DIY wedding at Nedlands Yacht Club

Oh how I loved this wedding. I'll let Holly tell you a bit about it with the photos:

We didn’t hire a wedding planner as we decided early on that we wanted to have ‘creative control’ over such a personal day (and the whole budget thing too).  Luckily, Cory and I had a very similar vision from the outset of what we wanted; some traditional elements, nothing too formal, and something that felt like ‘us’.  Because Cory was studying fulltime and working crazy hours in the year leading up to the wedding, I took on a lot of the planning with the help of my Mum.  She was right on the same wavelength as us and she is really creative and arty so she totally embraced our ‘vision’ for the day and just ran with it.  

See slideshow above for a quick look at the day and the whole post below!

The amazing dress was by Justin Alexander.

Sonya Fitzgerald from Elite Monde hairstylists did our hair.  Sonya has been doing my hair for years and it was so much fun to have her there with us while we were getting ready.  She bawled when I came out with my dress on!  She’s just the sweetest.  My veil was my Mum’s original one that she wore on her wedding day (and was spiffed up by Joallie).

Elsie was just lovely and so bubbly and professional, and she made us look amazing!

Bouquets & buttonholes by Jappalin from Flowertalk. We almost weren’t going to have professional flowers done because they weren’t part of our original budget, but after seeing Jappalin’s work I chatted to her and she came up with some great ideas to keep things budget-friendly.  We did the flower arrangements for the reception ourselves.

My cute bow shoe clips and hair piece were made by Jo from Joallie www.facebook.com/JoallieP

Because we were doing the set up ourselves without professional help, we did a lot of preparation before the day to help things run smoothly.  We took photos of table set ups, wrote instructions, put things into labelled boxes… we tried to make it fool proof!  On the day the set up was done by my two brothers, my dad, my father-in-law, and Cory!  My Mum also did a lot of rushing around making sure everything was ‘just so’.  We are just so thankful for all the help and time that was given by everyone to get it all set up just perfectly (and everyone mucked in for the packing away!), it looked even better on the day than we could have ever imagined. Our ceremony was held at Greenplace Reserve in Mosman Park.We set up handmade picnic blankets and cushions in the shade under a big blossoming tree for our guests to sit on.  Holly’s Mum made metres and metres of paper love-heart bunting that hung from the trees and danced in the breeze, and looked so whimsical.

Cory’s ring is a square-edged Damascus steel band from Rohan’s Jewellery.  They have a great range of rings for guys who don’t normally wear rings or jewellery!   My ring was handmade by my Dad (a metallurgist by trade, not a jeweller!) and created out of titanium - the ‘best metal’ according to him.

Our transport for the day was my Dad’s Triumph Stag.  Dad drove me to the ceremony in it, receiving toots and waves all along the way, and then Cory and I went for a cruise after the ceremony.  It was so much fun to drive around in, and it was actually our favourite moment of the day.  Just the two of us, as husband and wife, cruising along the coast with the sun shining down on us.

Cory’s Aunt Lynne made all four gowns, and she did the most incredible job! She lives in the UK and all my bridesmaids currently live on opposite sides of the country/state to me and so it was a bit of a logistical nightmare getting the measurements and fittings done, but Lynne didn’t bat an eyelid.  You know a dress is well made when your maid of honour is doing commando rolls on the dancefloor at the end of the night and the dress stays completely intact. Fact.

Our reception was also outside, on the lawns of the Nedlands Yacht Club which is a small but excellent little venue right on the Swan River.  We set it up with garden furniture, picnic rugs, cushions, lawn games, lanterns, a dancefloor… and more! The croquet set was a nice way to acknowledge my late Grandfather who was a keen player – we borrowed the set from the club he used to play at.

We were able to watch the sky change colours as the sun set and the full moon came out, and then we partied under the stars, all with the city skyline as our backdrop – perfection!  The staff at the NYC were spectacular and so accommodating with all our ideas, and were very attentive with their service and (as necessitated by our budget) very affordable too.

We had the amazing Vincenzo from Il Paiolo for our caterer.  Anyone who has heard of him (or been to a party that he’s catered) will rave about his incredible food.  He cooks all the food on site in his portable wood fired oven, and uses seasonal, locally sourced produce as part of the Slow Food Australia movement.  Not only does it taste sublime but it’s more environmentally friendly too.  We had cocktail style reception which can make people think “Will I be hungry?” but there was certainly more than enough food.  His finger food is substantial!  And did I mention it’s delicious?

Instead of a guestbook we set up my Nana’s typewriter that she used to use in the fifties when she was a typist, and got people to type their messages of wisdom and advice to us as the newlyweds.  Reading through them afterwards was hilarious, especially as the night wore on and the typewriter became a bit of a sobriety test!

In a nod to the strong influence of our families, and the inspiring example that they have set for both of us (between both our folks they’ve been married over 70 years combined) we borrowed the idea that we’d seen at other weddings of having photos of our parents, grandparents and even great grandparents on their wedding days set up for people to admire.

 Our cake table was mind-blowing. Don’t you think that homemade cakes always taste the best?  We did too, so we didn’t have one big formal cake… we had a cake buffet!  It was amazing.  A ton of family and friends baked their favourite recipes for us, and as a result we had the most awesome spread including a range of chocolate cakes, carrot cake, caramel slice, trifle, fruit cake, ginger cake, pecan pie, rocky road, cupcakes, sponge, pavlova, melting moments and even a croquembouche!  There was SO. MUCH. CAKE. Not that we were complaining.

I’ve always grown up appreciating a bargain and the ability to be able to do something yourself, for cheap!  And we were on a budget (by wedding terms).  So we tried to do as much as we could ourselves for the wedding, and in particular we focused on borrowing, repurposing and upcycling anything and everything we could (which not only saved us money but ended up being eco-friendly too).  Some examples:

  • We made the love-heart bunting out of old books
  • the wooden boxes for flowers and the signage were created from packing crates
  • the chalkboards we made from scrap wood and painted by hand
  • the seating / lawn furniture was collected from verges and repainted
  • the cushions and picnic quilts were all sewn by hand and made with sale-priced fabrics
  • the photobooth was a home-made affair
  • the invitations were drawn by my (Holly’s) Mum and made by us
  • the lawn games were begged and borrowed
  • the vases were all old coffee jars
  • we did all the flowers for the reception ourselves
  • the food for after the ceremony was made by our mums, including little gingerbread hearts with our initials on them and cheesy savoury biscuits.  And my Mum made home-made mint and raspberry cordial, yummo!
  • I made pinwheels for the ceremony… I could go on and on and on!

Our wedding was filled with happiness and joy… it was also filled with homemade, recycled, borrowed, repurposed and budget-friendly things that made it personal, a little kooky and memorable!