A ceremony steeped in sentiment and personal history, Liberty and Tom wed in a pristine courtyard at the groom’s old school grounds in Geelong. Enclosed within timeworn brick walls covered in creeping greenery, it was a perfect beginning to the dreamlike celebration that ensued.
The reception was held at an old Papermill built in the 1870s with incredible high vaulted ceilings boasting aged wooden trusses and beautifully textured bluestone walls. The heritage surrounds were perfectly complemented with a soft floral palette of pale pinks and lilac, and the use of bone and oyster greys in the tableware.
A large dining hall revealed three long tables surrounded by 16 magnificent maple trees, each standing at five meters tall resembling an enchanted forest. The candles illuminating the tablescapes and the mood lighting thoughtfully positioned behind trees or beside walls created an ethereal atmosphere spilling of magic.
Capturing every detail of the spellbinding soiree was Lane recommended photographer, Chloe May.
Names / Liberty & Thomas
Wedding Date / 7th March 2020
Guest Numbers / 136
How We Met
We met through mutual friends eight years ago. Straight away there was a feeling of comfort with each other and it wasn’t long before our love story began.
Our Engagement Story
In 2018, we spent the year living and working in London. We took any opportunity to jump on a flight and travel around Europe, whether it was a one-night getaway or a two-week trip, we tried to make the most of our time. In the summer we planned a trip to Malta, which was followed by a tour along the Amalfi coast in Italy then ended with a week spent sailing the Dalmatian coast of Croatia with some friends from back home.
Whilst in Malta, we booked a day trip to The Blue Lagoon. Located on the Island of Comino, it is a popular tourist destination well known for its crystal clear waters and jagged cliffs. Whilst I was keen to spend my day bathing in the sun and swimming in the ocean, Tom was adamant about going for a walk up the cliffs to take some photos from different locations around the island. After some time, he convinced me to go along and we set off on a hike around the rocky island. Once we found a private space, Tom insisted on getting a photo together. He set his phone up on a rock and enabled the self-timer photo function. As I was getting ready for the photo, he dropped the knee. I was shocked! I didn’t give him an opportunity to say any of the words he had rehearsed, instead, I asked him multiple times, “What are you doing?”. As it turns out, he was recording the whole thing from his phone. We had a beautiful night celebrating with a bottle of champagne in the quiet seaside town we were staying in.
Marriage To Us Means
A partnership committed to working together, growing together, and supporting each other through the joys and hardships of life.
Site 3A The Papermills, Fyansford by Truffle Duck, a beautiful old Papermill, constructed in the 1870s. Situated on the Barwon River, the heritage building has now emerged as a unique site providing magnificent raw bluestone walls, high ceilings and large wooden trusses throughout. The venue provides a blank canvas that allows endless styling possibilities.
I started my wedding day with a gentle walk with my bridesmaids. I love being active and always knew that my day would start with a walk to relax my mind for a big day ahead. This was followed by a light breakfast before we began the day’s proceedings. We were busy with hair and make-up until the videographer and photographer arrived, which was approximately an hour before it was time to leave. The day flew by and before we knew it, we were rushing out the door to the ceremony. Tom was pretty focused on ensuring the day ran smoothly, so I knew being late wouldn’t be a great start to our marriage! My brother drove my Dad and I to the ceremony, it was lovely spending those last moments prior to marriage with them.
Event Aesthetic and Inspiration
We took inspiration from the venue when it came to creating the overall style of our reception. We wanted to decorate to enhance the raw stone and character of the building by using soft tones of pink and lilac, with the addition of bone and grey to balance the decor with the nature of the building. Inspired by timeless romance and elegance, the venue was surrounded with up-lights and scattered with candles throughout. The mirrored plinths and ghost chairs reflected the light of the candles, creating a romantic and enchanting mood.
Our venue was separated by two large sections. The room on entrance hosted fabric lounges and high bar tables where our guests enjoyed their canapés and drinks. This room later was transformed into our entertainment and dance floor which was done whilst we were seated in the dining hall. Our long, white marble bar featured a three-metre tall floral arrangement that swept from the floor, branching out over the top of the bar. Separating our lounge and dining hall was a soft grey curtain that hung from the archway to the floor. We achieved an element of surprise keeping the curtains closed until the guests were invited to take their seat prior to the entrance of the bridal party.
Our dining hall consisted of soft florals stretched along the centre of three long tables amongst natural marble centrepieces. Surrounding the guest tables we featured sixteen maple trees standing at five metres tall, spanning three metres wide. They provided a colour contrast that became a highlight of the space.
The design of the venue was an important element of our wedding as we knew that it could create such a special feel amongst our guests throughout the evening. We wanted the feel of emotion in the room by creating styling components that gave off a moody, romantic vibe. One word we would use to describe the aesthetic of our reception would be ‘magical’.
Our ceremony was held at The Geelong College Cloisters. Tom attended The Geelong College for both his primary and secondary education, which gave us access to the space. The immaculately maintained courtyard surrounded by the beautiful brick building set a stunning scene that didn’t require any additional floral arrangements. Simple, yet perfect.
Jayde from Events by Jayde, was our savior. We took our time to select a stylist who would suit our needs as we can be very particular about the finer details. Jayde was more than we imagined. She had all the contacts, ensuring our vision came to life. She provided so many beautiful styling ideas that suited perfectly with our own concept. Jayde also created the timeline of our day down to the minute, which guaranteed there were no hiccups along the way.
Chloe May Photography. I knew immediately that Chloe would be the perfect choice to capture our day. Chloe was a pleasure to work with. She gave us the direction we needed as she worked her magic behind the lens. The natural and raw beauty she captured in every image takes us back to the emotions of the day.
We loved working with the Lightbox Media team. They made us feel comfortable and relaxed throughout the day and worked in with our photographer, Chloe May, extremely well. We are so happy with the feature film they produced. It allows us to go back and relive all the special moments from the day.
Georgia Young Couture. The balance of my contemporary and minimalistic gown allowed it to be a statement without being too loud or intrusive. The asymmetry of the ‘CAPRI’ is perfectly balanced and I loved the knot strap feature in particular. The super-soft matte finish crepe fabric feels modern and clean, whilst the fullness and silhouette is timeless.
Manning Cartell ‘Diamonds in the Sky Heel’. Constructed from neutral-toned leather, supported with multiple rows of glistening diamonds and thin straps that wrap around the foot and ankle.
Hexie. The girls wore heavyweight satin slip dresses in pearl, each choosing their own design to suit their figure.
Tony Bianco. Black sandal heel featuring thin straps from the toe to the ankle.
Paul Bram. Bride – yellow gold fishtail band, featuring white diamonds supported by ultra-fine claws. Groom – a platinum band with a matte finish.
Both the groom and groomsmen wore a black Tuxedo from MJ Bale tailored to each individual. A white tuxedo shirt with black buttons, cufflinks and bow tie enhanced the elegance of the suit. The groom surprised his party with black RM Williams boots the morning of the wedding which they also wore.
Stationery / Invitations
We worked closely with Emma May to create our invitations, menu, and signage designs. We wanted a modern, yet elegant design with colors that transferred into our venue aesthetics. Our signage was produced by Merv Jennings Signs who we also used for our engagement party. We were so impressed with the engagement signs that we just had to use them again. The welcome sign was more than we imagined. It was the first thing you saw walking into the ceremony and reception and it set the tone for both venues.
Flowers & Bouquets
We left the flowers and bouquets up to our florist, Prunella. We had seen a lot of their work prior to our wedding and we felt comfortable placing all of our trust in them to deliver on the day. We provided the ladies with the color scheme, inspiration for the flower installation over the bar, as well as an estimate on the number of florals we would need on tables and to cover our signage. The remainder was in their hands and we were thrilled with their work.
The idea of using gorgeous maple trees surrounding our guest tables also came from our florist. The ladies sourced a company named Mt William Advanced Tree Nursery who delivered and installed the trees in the venue. Delivery and installation of the sixteen trees was certainly not an easy job but we were blown away with the beauty they brought to the space.
White chocolate round mud cake with buttercream icing and caramel filling made by Beat It Frost It. The cake was very popular with our guests when we served it the following day at recovery.
Food & Beverages
Truffle Duck served a range of 15 different canapés prior to seating, followed by a choice of two entrees and mains with roaming desserts later in the evening.
We had a selection of champagne, beer and wine served by the staff during dinner with the bar available throughout the night.
We were very impressed with the service and had nothing but fantastic reviews from the guests.
We had a honeymoon booked for May, which would have been perfect timing to get out of the cold season in Melbourne. Our trip started in Morocco, where we would visit the Sahara desert and enjoy the amazing food on offer, followed by two weeks traveling around Turkey ending on a week-long sail of the coast.
We were extremely lucky to have our wedding one week prior to the coronavirus restrictions but unfortunately due to the outbreak, our honeymoon was canceled.
We did not have a gift registry but we received some generous gifts and contributions towards our wishing well. We were lucky to receive a few vouchers for getaway opportunities, which we are extremely eager to use now that we missed our honeymoon.
Ceremony Bridal Entrance: An acoustic cover of ‘I want to hold your hand’, by The Beetles, played live by Matt Baird from Geelong Entertainment Services. Inspiration was drawn from the film, Across the Universe.
Reception entrance of the bride and groom: ‘Cheerleader’, by Omi.
First dance: An acoustic cover of Maroon 5’s, ‘Girls Like You’, by Matt Johnson.
We hired a local band named Test Pilot Molly from Geelong entertainment Services. Our only request to the lead singer, Matt, was the entrance song at our ceremony. Apart from this, we gave him and his band full control over the songs they played. He was great at reading the situation and set the mood perfectly as guests were entering the ceremony. Later at the reception, the band played two one hour sets after dinner. All 136 guests were up and on the dance floor. They played all the classics from the 1980s through to the early 2000s, it was great seeing everyone enjoying themselves and having a dance.
For those that are wondering…of course, we ended the night with ‘The Horses’, by Daryl Braithwaite. I mean, who doesn’t love that song!?
Tom and I wrote our vows together. We decided to do this as we wanted them to relate to each other and create our own take on the traditional vows.
Sources of Inspiration
The majority of our inspiration came from taking styling ideas from events posted on Instagram.
A Memorable Moment
The most memorable moment occurred after Tom and I finished our entrance to the dining hall. As I took my seat, Tom and his groomsmen stood up and walked to the front of the hall. I was extremely confused and my immediate thoughts were, “This is not part of our timeline, where are you all going?”. They lined up in formation with their backs to the guests. Suddenly ‘Accidentally In Love’ by Counting Crows started playing over the sound system. All five boys broke out in what was the most coordinated dance with Tom being the center of the show and his four groomsmen as back-up dancers. The whole room roared with cheers and laughter as Tom danced towards his new bride whilst miming the words to the song. I was so surprised that he was able to plan and successfully pull off such a great performance without me having any inkling of it.
One Thing I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Weddings Plans…
Trust your own instincts. There were often times I had ideas of what the day would look like and I would question myself and feel uneasy about decisions I had made. The day ran perfectly and our guests and vendors were blown away by the aesthetics and proceedings of the day. I look back now and wonder why I was often second-guessing myself.
If I could give other Brides-To-Be one Piece of Advice…
We knew there would be a lot of last-minute tasks to complete within the final two weeks prior to our wedding. Tom and I decided to have everything else ticked off approximately a month prior to our date so we could relax during the weeks leading into our big day. It was so refreshing feeling stress-free and taking time to enjoy ourselves as the day approached.
Photography / Chloe May
Bride’s Dress / Georgia Young Couture
Bride’s Shoes / Manning Cartell
Bridesmaid’s Dresses / Hexie
Bridesmaid’s Shoes / Tony Bianco
Grooms Formal Wear / MJ Bale
Wedding Rings / Paul Bram
Hair / Ash at My friend George
Makeup / Maddi Nichols
Stationery & Invitations / Emma May Studio
Florist / Prunella
Trees / Mt William Advanced Tree Nursery
Cake / Beat It Frost It
Catering / Truffle Duck
Wedding Stylist / Events By Jayde
Wedding Planner / Events By Jayde
Wedding Venue / The Geelong College Cloisters
Minister / Kevin Yelverton
Reception Venue / Site 3a, Papermills By Truffle Duck
Entertainment / Geelong Entertainment Services
Videographer / Lightbox Media
Signage / Merv Jennings Signs
Light and Sound / Pro Light and Sound
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