Hope you’re all gorging yourselves on chocolate!
Rebecca and Aaron, along with their gorgeous daughter Suzannah, married down under at Crams Farm by a dam in Midginbil, New South Wales, Australia. Equipped with a Magic Bus, a stunning backdrop and some wife carrying racing, their Love Fest wedding, spread over a weekend, was an amalgamation of rustic charm, good friends and festival fun!
“We called our wedding ‘Love Fest’ and wanted it to be a rustic, vintage kind of back to basics feel that was a bit like a festival. We don’t like stuffy weddings that don’t look after the guests at all and really wanted to make sure everyone had a great time. Our guests came from every corner of the globe to be with us and we wanted to spend more than a few exhausted hours at a reception with them. It was so great having it over a weekend as we had time for everyone and by the time the ceremony came around we were so relaxed and enjoyed it immensely. We wanted it to be about friends and family and celebration of these things. Having a 4 year old it was important to us that children would be invited and it just felt like a huge family gathering on a farm (but with heaps of booze and better food!).”
Vintage but in a soft way….
My normal hairdresser (Eva from Krop Hair) drove 2 hours to come and do our hair. She totally nailed my ‘vintage but in a soft way’ request and it was lovely to have someone I really trusted as the hair was one of the few things I felt was really important (don’t ask me why!)
An Etsy Vintage dress, pearls and memories…
I bought a vintage dress from Etsy and had a local seamstress make some alterations so that it would fit properly. I had previously started the process of having a dress made but it was getting very expensive and just didn’t feel like me. I love that my dress only cost a few hundred dollars so I felt like I could just enjoy it and have fun. It’s nice to know that it has been worn before and will be worn again too.
For my shoes I wore some cute heels from Irregular Choice (my favourite brand). They were from an earlier season so I had to scour the globe for the last pair but it was totally worth it. I do wish, however, that I had bought those little stiletto guards so as not to keep sinking into the ground at the ceremony! They didn’t last long at the reception though and I ended up barefoot for most of the evening.
My earrings were pearls from Western Australia, given to me by my parents a few years earlier. I also wore my grandmothers engagement ring on the other hand which was really special to me as she is no longer with us and I know would have loved to be in the middle of the party.
A Labour of Love….
The ceremony space was very low fuss but we had lots of fun decorating the barn. We used different coloured paper lanterns and strings of fairy lights on the roof and the guys also strung the fairy lights over trees outside. We lit a few trees up with spotlights which looked fantastic. My mother spent hours making bunting from leftover material she and I had laying around – what a labour of love! The table cloths were either already owned by us or bought at charity shops, as were all of the bits of crockery laid around the barn.
We collected jars from our friends over a few months and covered them in book pages for tea light holders. The vases were again just juice or coffee jars with a bit of twine tied around them. Most of the things we used were recycled and many have been used again at friends weddings since or donated to my daughters kindy. We hated how most weddings are completely expensive and disposable and wanted to do something different.
We also used hay bales for seating with floral sheets draped over them and they are really comfortable. Most people stood or danced most of the time anyway. By the end of the night everyone was sitting on logs around the bonfire and nearly everyone had gotten changed out of their fancy clothes into jeans or even pyjamas! It was great that everyone felt comfortable enough to do that.
One of my friends set up a really incredible children’s area with activities, books, toys and craft and that became a really hot place to be…. And not just for the kids! She even made wedding themed activity books for them, what a legend.
I get by with a little help from my friends….
My amazing friend did all of the flowers. We only live a block away from the flower markets so she picked up a lot of native Australian flowers from there and with the advice of a local florist put them together. I thought they were amazing and loved their rustic, Australian look but with such bright colours. She hid a few grapes in my daughter’s bouquet so she could have a little snack while having to stand still at the ceremony. She also decorated the ceremony and reception with flowers and made buttonholes too.
The flowers were one of my favourite parts of the wedding.
A Magic Bus and heaps of pies…
The ceremony was held at Crams Farm by a dam in Midginbil, NSW, Australia. It is a beautiful public space with Mount Warning in the background (a really famous landmark). Most of the guests arrived in the Magic Bus, a double decker bus painted in flowers inside and out after having had a tour of the local area. On their tour they stopped by the local famous Uki Pies shop where they ate all types of amazing pies – even camel! The PA didn’t work at the last minute so our friends pulled their campervan round to the side and played music out of that instead. It was one of those little problems that in the end totally made the day special.
We had a non-religious ceremony and kept it light with both meaningful and funny vows. Instead of any other traditions, we sealed three bottles of wine into a box to open on significant anniversaries. My daughter, Suzannah was our flowergirl and she loved being an important part of the day where Aaron properly became her Dad (although in our eyes he has been that for a long time). She even went to bed that night talking in her sleep about her sparkly eyes. We only had one bridesmaid and one brides man.
I walked down the aisle to Rainbow Country by Bob Marley because it is one of my favourite songs, always makes me feel happy, and I love the sentiment that ‘the road is rocky, but it sure feels good to me – and if I’m lucky, together we’ll always be’. Our recessional song was ‘Ring of Fire’ by Johnny Cash. Sometimes all three of us sing it in the shower and we thought it was funny.
After the ceremony everyone stayed for a fruit and champagne picnic by the dam before piling back into the Magic Bus to head to the reception which started as soon as we got there. We rode back in the bus too and I will always remember pulling up to the barn with the speakers blaring ‘The Final Countdown’. Love it!
A weekend long celebration…
The wedding went for an entire weekend and was held at Midginbil Hill, a huge cattle property that has school camps so it has a big homestead, a barn, a dormitory and a beautiful creek running through it. Rebecca went to school camp there when she was in primary school. On Friday night we had a casual BBQ as everyone arrived and settled in, followed by a help yourself breakfast on Saturday, then the ceremony and reception Saturday afternoon and evening and a big greasy breakfast to mop everything up on Sunday morning. Our friends and family volunteered and helped out with every aspect of this wedding, from collecting trucks, to decorating the barn, bringing food and cooking on the bbq.
The venue was so perfect for this. We had nearly 200 guests (about 50 of them were children) and everyone could spread out in a beautiful place where we could completely relax and have a great time, with no curfew!
A hidden gem in the middle of the countryside….
Savoir Fare Catering are local caterers, who are like a hidden gem in the middle of the countryside! Their food was exquisite and they knew exactly what needed to be done and made everything really easy and hassle free for us. We didn’t have a sit down meal but it was really important for us to feed everyone well so they had fruit at the ceremony, iceblocks when they arrived at the reception (it was a hot day after all), meat and antipasto platters, canapés, noodle boxes, cheese platters, cake and then they even made a big pot of chilli con carne that they left behind for everyone to tuck into very late at night. Le Ping is an award winning oyster shucker so he stood at a table and shucked oysters fresh for our guests which was a real novelty.
Wife Carrying Races….
Couples paired up and ran a course carrying their partner. The only rules were not to let them touch the ground. We had heats and then a final and it was the most ridiculous fun. Before it started we did a demonstration of the possible holds as we had seen them on youtube in the real, very serious wife carrying championships in Finland! We had numbered bibs for contestants and rosettes for couples that placed. I had a pair of rainbow frilly knickers made to wear under my dress to protect my modesty and it was a good thing I did! People ended up taking it more seriously than we expected and we ended up with a few minor injuries! We are now discussing making it an annual event with a party and a chance to contest the title.
Two amazing cakes….
My amazing friend made both of our wedding cakes. She did a more traditional orange and poppy seed tiered cake for me which tasted amazing (unfortunately rare for a wedding cake I’ve found) and then she made a secret ‘Tardis’ cake for Aaron that he didn’t see until the cutting of the cake. It was so amazing and we couldn’t cut it for ages because so many of our guests wanted their photos taken with it.
Wow, there are so many! Getting ready in the morning with the most important women in my life was a wonderful experience. I expected to feel really nervous but it was amazing to know I was about to marry the love of my life, with the support of everyone around me and it just felt right.
The morning of the ceremony, I asked my daughter if there was anything she wanted to say in a speech so she told me how she felt and I read it out at the reception. It was a real struggle to get through that without tears!
Aaron and his friends had been secretly rehearsing before the wedding and surprised me by playing a couple of songs at the reception! They did ‘Walk the Line’ by Johnny Cash, and Oh Jean by The Pretenders (he changed it to Oh Becky). It was hilarious and really touching that he had gone to so much trouble.
Any advice for couples planning their wedding day?
Just do it your way! And…. It is going to cost more than you expect, no matter how tight you try to make the budget. To save money, and your sanity, get your friends to help out. They love to be part of it and the day will feel entirely yours.
The Line UpPhotographer: Embellysh Photography Ceremony Venue: Crams Farm Reception Venue: Midginbil Hill Wedding Dress: Vintage Dress from Etsy Hair Stylist: Krop Hair Groom: Vintage Style Suit Bridesmaid Dresses: Cue Make-Up: Faces by Ainslie Catering: Savoir Fare
Thank you so much to Becky and Aaron for sharing your big day with us! May have to steal your idea to have wife carrying races!! It looked awesome!
Have a lovely long weekend peeps,
Festival Brides xx