Mark and I had been together for seven years before we got married. We were on holiday in the beautiful Flinders Ranges in the Australian Outback when he proposed. It didn’t take long for us to decide that our wedding should be outdoors, surrounded by the Australian landscape. Living in Adelaide, we’re lucky to have access to the enchanting Adelaide Hills, which encircle the city and make the perfect backdrop for a wedding.
We settled on Woodhouse, an old estate in the Adelaide Hills, for both the ceremony and reception. The old house was still intact and the upper floor was converted into dormitories, which made perfect accommodations for wedding guests who wished to party late into the night. Mark and I would have a room to stay in on the ground floor, allowing us some privacy from the other guests.
One of the first things I think any bride plans is her dress, and I decided early that I’d be making my own. I’ve had my Etsy shop, Jae Boutique, for a number of years and specialize in recreating vintage attire with a combination of my own designs and modified vintage patterns. I found pictures of 1950s dresses and gained inspiration for my own dress, elements such as a dropped waistline, a full circle skirt and an illusion lace overlay. I set about creating a pattern by combining some vintage Vogue patterns, making alterations and modifications as necessary. I put together a calico version to make sure the pattern worked.
Once the dress was made, I knew it would all come together. I completed my outfit with a pair of vintage gloves and a handmade belt. The belt was the final piece of the dress, and I made it just one day before the wedding!
Mark is in the building industry, which means he’s always using his hands and would probably never wear a wedding ring. I didn’t see the need for a wedding band either, as I absolutely loved my engagement ring from Lonestar Estates. We decided to get Mark a special ring for the day, which we purchased from Trashy Chic. With his tan suit, yellow and brown vintage paisley tie, and an orange disco ring, Mark was set to wed!
Since Mark had a vintage tie and I had a vintage brooch from Brees Vintage Revivals, we decided to adorn our guests with vintage ties and brooches in place of a traditional wedding favors; we even constructed a few ourselves! This created a fun, social start to the occasion, and made for some great conversation throughout the day.
For the ceremony, we really didn’t want to take away from the surrounding landscape, so we only had a few simple decorations. We adorned the altar in a ribbon of sheer fabric and put vases of flowers and antique silver candelabras on top. In front of the altar, we laid a vintage rug for the ceremony.
Our decorations were eclectically mixed, and our color scheme was loosely based on warm colors. We used paper as another theme, hanging paper lanterns from the roof, using vintage paper dolls to amuse guests during dinner, and covering the tables in paper for guests to draw and write notes on. We topped off the place-settings with mismatched vintage bottles and jars filled with native Australian and European flowers, which we arranged ourselves.
Our sister-in-law made our wedding cake and decorated it with leaves and flowers she found in the gardens at Woodhouse. For our cake toppers, we made cutouts from a print of a gorgeous vintage bride and groom. The food was a self-serve gourmet BBQ (how Aussie is that?), and our guests got to choose from an amazing selection.
Our wedding was truly a unique event. It was such a perfect blend of personal elements, a relaxed atmosphere, and a few formal traditions. Even now, months later, people are still telling us what a beautiful wedding it was.
All photographs by Lucy Spartalis.