Sydney based Sophie and Evan got married over Easter 2019 on Evans family property near Dubbo. We absolutely loved assisting them bring together a DIY, bohemian vibe to their gorgeous wedding. Having been together for 8years, lived all over the world and Sophie being Canadian there was definitely an international feel to this rural NSW wedding, hear how they pulled it off…
Tell us about where and when you got married…
We got married on Evans family farm, where he grew up and where his parents still live, near Dubbo in Maryvale, country NSW, on April 20th, 2019. We had the reception on a central hill on the property that has 360 views of the paddocks around the farm. The reception was then down by the farmhouse. We had 88 guests, including 11 in our bridal party!
Being from Canada, did you have lots of people travel from overseas?
Yes! We had lots of overseas travellers as most of my family lives between the UK and Canada and 22 people made the trip - I was absolutely blown away by the turn out! It was incredible to see how many people made the effort to come over and I have never felt more grateful for and loved by the people in my life.
What were your key “must-haves” for your wedding? What things were you more flexible and open about?
Our wedding mantra was "plenty to do, plenty to eat and plenty to drink!" It was really important to me that all my guests felt taken care of from start to finish. We had games, dress up, a buffet feast, an open bar and a raging dance floor. So my four pillars to get right were:
- Music (A live band in my books)
- A Critical Path (Since we were in a remote location where people were essentially stuck until the bus left in the evening! I thought about the flow a lot and what everyone would be doing at all times to make sure there wouldn't be a lull.)
I also wanted everyone to feel comfortable and free to enjoy the farm so it was important to have amenities like extra bathrooms, an "essentials" station, lots of places to sit, relax, chat, or dance - whatever the guests felt like.
We were completely flexible with things like the invites, the cake, hair and makeup etc. I tried to look back at my friend's weddings and think of what made no difference to my experience as a guest.
I wanted the decor to tell a story and feel thoughtful, but I didn't go for opulence and tried to let the farm's natural beauty be the hero, which helped me edit the extras. A modern yet rustic farm theme lent itself nicely to DIY decor as well, so I opted for a couple of key items to make it feel modern and premium-like beautiful, weighty gold cutlery, grey raw edge linen napkins and beautiful oversized black pendants from The White Place, mixed with mismatched mason jars, candles and old wine bottles, which we washed and filled with table water. I also had these beautiful large Turkish urns from TWP beside a handmade bar made from corrugated iron. We scavenged and repurposed a lot of farm junk, which was quite fun in the lead up to the wedding.
I personally love flowers though so that was my treat to myself. To maximise my flower budget I spent every penny on flowers at wholesale from a fantastic florist who went to the flower markets and delivered them to the farm. The bridal party and I then created all the arrangements ourselves the day before, which was really fun and a great memory to have with my girls!
We tossed up getting a videographer but opted out. That is probably the only thing I missed that I would splurge on looking back.
Wow, you had a very clear vision, which we love….. Where did you draw your inspiration from?
I drew my inspiration from many of my friend's weddings and from Pinterest. Pinterest is a magical tool for organisation and a constant stream of design and style ideas - at times too many! The only idea I had from the beginning was the tent. I had always loved tipi marquees so when we decided on the farm that was an easy decision.
You guys live in Sydney but got married in Maryvale, any advice on organizing a wedding remotely?
I tried to be really organised from the get-go, a lot of spreadsheets and scheduled in time to work on the wedding a little bit every weekend. We went up to the farm every two months or so for full "wedding weekends" as we did a lot of DIY building and design ourselves. It's also much easier to plan a wedding nowadays as everyone is online and you can find everything you need through google, Pinterest and word of mouth.
I did visit a couple of expos but I didn't find them very useful. My advice would be to ask your friends and family who they know in the wedding industry and you'd be surprised how many vendors you can lock down with solid recommendations behind them!!
Also, be patient during the planning phase, try not to get caught up in too many details that won't make a big difference on the day. Ask your vendors, they are all very creative people and have great advice to offer. Most importantly, remember that nothing can ruin your day really, because you are marrying someone you love and are surrounded by people you love and who love you
Great advice! Now can you tell us some of your stand out vendors that assisted in the lead-up?
Definitely, The White Place, Alex and her team really helped bring my vision to life, they were so thoughtful with the details and flexible with viewing times as I was only up in Orange for a couple of days here and there. They also helped with the finishing touches, which were not my forte!
I also loved our Tipi vendors, Matt from Matakata Tipi & Events. They were also extremely helpful and made the whole setup and takedown stress-free, even though they came all the way from Sydney!! The tent made me really happy on the night. It came together exactly as I had pictured in my head.
We were also very lucky to find Sam Riles, our photographer, through a friend who also used Sam’s services. She was so easy to work with, no fuss, made sure I got everything in my shot list, even when I wasn’t paying attention. I hardly knew she was there snapping away, which is exactly what Evan and I wanted - more candid, caught in the moment shots. I loved her final colouring too so I’d recommend her to anyone looking!
Lastly, I have to call out my florist, Jane from Floreat in Sydney, who nailed the brief and went above and beyond what was asked. She dropped the flowers off at the farm along with all the tools we needed and how-to guide for each floral element we had to create. We had a flower arranging lesson with her in Sydney with the bridal party as well, which was so much fun. I felt confident and at ease the day before the wedding even though it was a big job and I absolutely loved how they turned out.
Ah thanks, Sophie, we loved working with you guys too! What were your highlights and any regrets from the day?
As I'm sure many people must say, but for me, definitely that first look when I was walking down the aisle and saw Evan at the end, had my dad beside me, with all my closest friends and family in the aisles, I felt so very lucky. I also loved sitting at the head table with Evan and watching everyone enjoy their food, deep in conversation, laughter everywhere, some with old friends, some with new, and I could tell that everyone was enjoying themselves. That was a really happy moment for me.
There is a lot of pressure to look the most beautiful you've ever looked in your whole life and that caused a lot of stress and anxiety for me pre-wedding. Try to remind yourself that’s not what it’s about and on the day everyone makes you feel a million bucks so don't let it spoil the fun!!
Now you guys went on a honeymoon straight after your wedding, where did you go? Any advice for future couples planning on heading away?
We spent a week in the Maldives and then 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. It was incredible. The Maldives is exactly like you would imagine, a literal postcard. We had an overwater villa and took full advantage of the all-inclusive package. It was the ultimate destination for relaxation. Sri Lanka was one of the most beautiful countries I've ever been to, breathtaking landscape and genuinely friendly culture. We went the Monday after the Easter bombings in Colombo so the mood was definitely sombre but we felt very safe and were extremely well looked after at each place we stayed. I would go back in a heartbeat.
Thanks, Sophie, we wish you and Evan all the best in the future xx