Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Our Invitations: “First comes love, then comes marriage..”

Back over HERE I talked about the idea for our invitations, based on the little sing-song rhyme from my childhood.

I knew I wanted to incorporate a couple sitting in a tree.
We wanted the invites to be unique, a little quirky and to have a casual feel. We wanted them to really set the tone for our relaxed wedding.

Luckily, we have a very talented friend (who also happened to be a groomsman), that offered to design our invitations for us.  In fact, he didn’t just offer to DESIGN, he offered to ILLUSTRATE!

I knew that working with friends could be tricky. And working with artists can be trickier. We had quite an idea of what we wanted, but then he is a creative soul with his own ideas. So we had to come up with something that made us both happy.  In the end, I think we did it! In fact, our invites make me really happy!

Here they are:
Here is the illustration which was the front of the invite. It is drawn entirely with lead pencil.
 If you cant see, it has writing on the branches:
"Adam and Jess sitting in a tree.. First comes love... Then comes marriage..."

All pieces together: Front with illustration, Back with details;  Information card; RSVP card;
Brown Kraft Paper Outer Envelope; Orange RSVP Envelope

This is the stamp we had made for stamping various places.
Putting the pieces together. See the stamp on the envelopes?

We tied the bundles up with twine..

And we attached little tags, on which we wrote people's names.
These tags only came in white... so I stained every one in coffee. I love the way they all look slightly imperfect.

Our guests loved our invites - we had so many compliments on them!!

I think part of what made them special is the casual vibe we tried to get across:
- we invited our guests to "Eat.. Drink.. Dance.. and Celebrate Love"
- our rsvp wording was  "yep, cant wait"or "nope cant come"
- we asked for 2 songs that would get each guest onto the dancefloor
And most of all, I think they really reflected us as a couple, and set the tone for the day!

I hope you like them...

Gimme some kinda sign girl!

Right, now that I’ve gotten your attention with a bit of Peter Andre..

I want to talk about signs. Wooden signs, hand-painted signs, blackboards, thank-you signs, directional signs, name tags, etc, etc. Don’t they seem to be taking over the wedding world?

I think it is because they make such a cool prop in photos.  
AND they are functional.. very handy if you get lost on the way to the ceremony, can't find the loo, momentarily forget who the bride & groom are... 
PLUS they are versatile: as demonstrated below, there are rustic ones, pretty ones, quirky ones, elegant ones, functional ones, etc. 

Top: Stacey Kane; Bragging Bags on etsy; Katie & Scottie
Bottom: Our hobby to your home  and Signs of vintage on etsy

Here is how I made some for our wedding (it’s not that hard… do you even need instructions?):

1. I found 2 x pieces of wood, relatively close in size. If you don’t have this lying around then just cut to size.
2. I started by writing what I wanted in chalk. This makes it easy to change if you need to. If you are fussy - or want elegant ones - you might need to create a stencil.. but i wanted rustic ones so I did it free-hand.
3. I quite liked the look with chalk, but was worried it would come off or smudge, so I painted over it with white paint and a thin brush.
4. I then grabbed a garden stake (buy them from a hardware store) to nail them to.
- At this point, I discovered I was using very hard wood that could not be nailed through. Uh-oh… had to call on husband to help out.
5. Husband drilled holes through my wood so that we could get the nails in.

The whole process took about an hour. And I made 3 of them.

TA-DA - here is a preview of how they looked on the day!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Alternative Wedding Cars - Our Kombi Van

I've just checked our photographer's blog - and spotted a pic from our wedding.  Hopefully this means our pro shot's aren't too far away!

The photo is of our wedding car, a fantastically restored 1960 Split Screen Kombi Van which we hired from from Kombis 4 U

Initially we weren't going to have wedding cars. My dad wanted to drive me to the wedding, just as he has driven me to every other major occasion over the course of my life. And the boys were just going to get a cab or something! 

When Adam spotted this Kombi one day at the beach though, he was sold! It is so very cool - and I love the buttery yellow colour of it!  I still went with dad as planned - but this was the transport for the boys! They loved it!!

I cant wait to see more pictures from our photographer, James Field!

If you are looking for an alternative to classic wedding cars in Adelaide, then why not try a Kombi Van!?

Midsummer Night Wedding in an Unearthly Garden

The other day I wrote about The Garden of Unearthly Delights and how I used to dream of a wedding in that setting.

It would be held entirely outdoors (from sunset onwards) and the assortment of lanterns would give it a magical, whimsical feel. Part carnival, part musical festival in feel, it would be arty, romantic and ever-so-relaxed.
Imagine groups gathered under old oak trees, watching others dance barefoot to the beat of the djembe.. while the bride & groom sneak away for kisses in the candlelight.

Here it is.. out of my mind and into pictures.

Links & Credits:
1 - Martha Stewart Hanging Lanterns from Flickr                    
2,4,& 10 - From Holly & Billy's Real Wedding      3 - Outdoor lanterns
5 - Kiss Me by Green Lemonade       6 - Vintage Caravan    7 - Bride (TBC)     

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Daydreaming of a Garden (of unearthly delights) Party

From SA Tourism
mikecogh via flickr
The Fringe Festival has just finished in Adelaide. I adore this time of year. It is when Adelaide really comes to life. There is an energy in the air and always something new to see - from comedy to cabaret, from burlesque to break-dance... even just the weird and wonderful characters that appear from the woodwork and make for great people-watching. 

My favourite part of the Adelaide Fringe is spending an evening in The Garden of Unearthly Delights. The weather is usually great and we spend long nights sitting among huge old trees strung with lights, sipping on wine and soaking up the atmosphere. For 30 nights, there is a carnival feel, everyone is in good spirits, the smell of the food and the sound of the various shows swirl in the air creating a terrific buzz.

It was this event that first prompted my love of a Garden Party. 
The first time I ever pictured my wedding, it was NOT a formal affair with me in a gown at a church, or with a tiered cake in a function centre.

Nope, it was:
- me and my (then) boyfriend, dancing barefoot on the grass, under a huge oak tree - surrounded by strings of bulb lights, fairy lights, coloured paper lanterns. 
- It was guests feasting on hot chargrilled corn on the cob and (of course) poffertjes
- We would have sat at big wooden picnic tables with bench seats. 
- There'd have been a cool little band playing under a rotunda. 
- Drinks would be served from a vintage caravan, carnival-style.
- And there would have been African drumming. Or fire twirling. Or at least a hula-hoop lady. 

Ahhh... If only I lived somewhere with a perfect climate (rain would have ruined it).. where money was no barrier (i know, it sounds low budget but outdoor events are expensive!).. and where people like parents wouldn't find this a totally ridiculous concept (I know it's nice to think it is only about what the couple wants, but i think weddings are also really an event for the families too)

Alas, this wedding wouldn't have been possible for me - but it was a brilliant daydream. What better Garden Party than one of the Unearthly variety?!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rustic Wedding Venues in Adelaide / South Australia – Part Three!!!

On I go with the list of Rustic Venues in SA. There are some more little beauties in this list. 
I thought I was doing well after Part One and Part Two, but it actually seems that I have plenty more up my sleeve. 
Here are another three venues that I think would be perfect for a Rustic Wedding or Event.

Pennys Hill, McLaren Vale:
Australiana at it's best! Penny's Hill is located in the gorgeous McLaren Vale region South of Adelaide. The site offers several function options, with the best wedding options probably being the 'Gedney Room' or the 'Stables' (complete with sawdust floor!) which hold 200 / 110 people respectively.. There is also a barn, but that only holds 12 people. 

The surrounding paddocks help set the scene and supply a very rustic backdrop. It is one of those places that you could hold the whole wedding.. ceremony in the paddock, pre-dinner drinks for your guests in the cellar door, followed by a reception in one of the function areas. You can even spend your wedding night in their on-site accommodation!

I've been to wine festivals out here and it is such a great feel, sitting around on hay bales and sipping on fantastic shiraz. Mmm.

K1 Winery:
Wowsers!!! Check this place out!
Another winery, this time located in Kuitpo. I think I am in love... Go explore for yourself here: K1 Winery
I can totally imagine a wedding held on that deck overlooking the lake. And imagine the photo opportunities on that stunning property. I think they'd offer a pretty good drop of wine too!

They have a person's name there for Function Enquries, so I know they do functions, but that is all I know for now. Tell me what you find out!


Pics from the venue's own website

Russell's Pizza, Willunga:
Moving away from wineries for a minute, I cant talk rustic venues without mentioning Russell's Pizza. I know a  pizza place sounds like an odd choice for a wedding venue - but nah-uh, this place is COOL and an institution for locals. 
I've actually been to a wedding here (as well as many dinners) which had such a laid back, relaxed feel, you couldnt help but have fun. And remember it! The venue totally contributed to that.

Russell's is a small stone cottage & out the back lies a large shed, along with outdoor areas - perfect for a function. A massive wood oven churns out delicious pizzas, topped with local gourmet ingredients.What could be more rustic than that?? If not for a wedding, at least get down there for dinner! 

I'm not sure these pics do it justice.  It is really, truly, very cool. And very workable as a space. 
In the shed:
by Melnq8

The pretty courtyard area outside the cottage.
Diana Mayfield

  Imagine serving this up to your guests, straight from the wood oven!?

On that note, I'm off to make some dinner!

You know what?  I'm not finished! I can think of AT LEAST 5 more rustic venues. There is going to have to be a part four...and five. How exciting! Stay tuned for more loveli-ness.

Monday, March 21, 2011

An oldie but a goodie.. Rustic LOVE at the ranch

There are some weddings that you look at and go "wow, that's pretty" or "nice ideas".. and then you move on. Then there are the weddings that stay with you, that inspire you, the ones that you refer back to over and over again. This wedding is one of the latter variety.
Ali & Ian got married at about the same time I got engaged. I was already planning my rustic garden party and I couldn't stop drooling over the perfection of theirs.

Maybe it is that their photographer (Tec Petaja) is super talented.

Or the fact that Ali is so damn gorgeous (almost makes me want to dye my hair red), plus seems like a super lovely girl going by her Weddingbee posts.

Maybe it's the pretty peachy colour scheme:

The perfect rustic venue.. (Devil's Thumb Ranch in Colarado)

Or the perfect, perfect wild flowers...

Or maybe it's the sweet-as-pie details:

...Whatever it is, it gives me true wedding envy. Even now, 18 months later, it is still right up there as one of my favourite rustic weddings. I hope it inspires another Rustic Bride out there too.

**All pics have come from Ali's own blog, but no doubt are the work of the talented Tec Petaja**

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rustic Wedding Venues in Adelaide / South Australia – Part two

Yesterday, I posted Part One of suggested Barn-Style and Rustic Wedding Venues in South Australia. If you didn’t see it, scroll down and have a read..
Today, I was going to list a few more, but thought I would first introduce you to the venue of MY Rustic Garden Party

Introducing… Glen Ewin Estate, Houghton, SA.

Located about 25 minutes from the CBD, Glen Ewin Estate really isn’t that far away..it’s just into the Adelaide Hills. But you enter the driveway and suddenly feel like you’ve been transported to a place far, far away.
The gardens are stunning. Did you hear me? STUN-NING. The venue is set in a valley, surrounded by rolling hills. There is a lake by which you can get married, there are gorgeous old stone buildings that look like they belong in the English country side, and there are endless opportunities for photos.

Ok.. the bit you are waiting for... There is a Barn! Well, they actually call it the Pulp Shed. But it is made of wood, is easily a hundred years old, and it used to be a Jam Factory. (In fact, I grew up eating Glen Ewin jam on toast every morning!).
pics courtesy of Glen Ewin

And at the risk of sounding like a Damoz Direct ad, there is MORE! One of the catering options is for a banquet, in the form of shared platters served in the middle of long tables. My dream of communal dining comes true! AND they allow you to BYO all beverages... which was quite a blessing given that my husband and I both work in beverage companies.

Hello ‘Dream Venue’! It was you I had been looking for.

Still not satisfied? Stay tuned… there will be a third installment of SA Rustic Wedding Venues soon (preferably with barns). I have a couple more up my sleeve! 

Recipe for a Rustic Wedding

  • An indoor/outdoor vibe
  • Hessian table runners (or even table cloths)
  • Use of wood cuttings and twigs as decoration
  • A bouquet of mixed flowers, preferably wild flowers, all tied up with string
  • Earthy colours
  • A random assortment of jam jars, vintage vases, tin cans to use in table settings. Fill with flowers or tealight candles.  
  • Handmade touches, like home-made jars of jam as favours; handwritten place cards; home-made cakes and desserts served buffet style.
  • Mismatched bridesmaids – and groomsmen
  • Galvanised buckets filled with flowers
  • Wooden crates
  • Hay bales as ceremony seating (wish I’d done this!)
  • Casual food: be it shared platters on a long banquet; a bbq or spit; or home-made dishes served buffet style. No alternate drop here thanks.

Feel free to add any other ingredients that take your fancy.


There isn’t one, that’s the point! You can gather all the things you love, throw them together, make it beautiful, make it you. I think that’s one of the reasons I love this theme for a wedding... you can’t really go wrong. Sometimes themes can be daunting and intimidating, trying to get everything to match or look perfect together. If its meant to look thrown together and non-matching, then great!

Have I missed any crucial ingredients?  Am I wrong? Have you seen ‘rustic’ go terribly wrong? Tell me!!

Me & You, Sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g

Something about these pictures (by Mark Brooke via Green Wedding Shoes)  just makes me giddy. I love them.

It's the light - which i imagine is not long before sunset. It's her bare-feet (and his sneakers) that add that relaxed, whimsical look. The green leaves against the dry grass. How at ease and in love the couple looks the day after their wedding. It's the slightly out of focus look that makes it all look dreamy. Aah, LOVE!

Anyway, these pics also jumped out at me because they tie in perfectly with my invitation idea.. which was 'Adam and Jess sitting in a tree'. Yup, remember the little tune from when you were a kid?

Adam and Jess, Sitting in a Tree
First comes love, then comes marriage, 
Then comes baby sitting in the carriage
(although lets ignore that last line for a few years!)

Somehow, I wanted this to be the theme of our invites. Cute. And given the 'tree-thing' it also ties into the rustic, woody, feel of everything.
Luckily, we had a very talented groomsmen volunteer to do our wedding invites for us.. I cant wait to show them to you! But that will have to wait til a little further down the track!  

Barn-Style Venues in South Australia - Part one

With rustic and barn style weddings becoming ever more popular, there are many brides to be on the search for unique venues offering that relaxed, rural, yesteryear look.
To assist, I thought I’d share what I came across in Adelaide, during my search for the perfect rustic garden party venue!

Longview Winery, Macclesfield:
An original dairy and hay shed from the 1920s, this place has the rustic, rugged, woody feel. Gorgeous!
Plus it is set in a glorious vineyard – perfect for your ceremony! See more here

 Golding Wines:
Still in the Adelaide Hills is Golding wines at Lobethal.
Their sandstone barn comfortably fits 150 people. It also features a lawned area and lovely courtyard space.. again with views over the vineyard.  I haven’t checked this place out in person but think a trip to the cellar door is needed. It looks so picturesque! Check it.

pic from Landscape SA

The Shores, West Beach:
You don’t necessarily have to venture out of the metro area for a barn-like venue. Centrally located, the Shores Function Centre at West Beach has a great woodsy, rustic feel.. and is so versatile it can fit up to 1800 people! They have several rooms available, from the main woolshed area through to the outdoor decking. I think you could make this work so that guests feel like they are in the country!
Have a look at their packages on this site

Al Ru Farm,
Located about 35 minutes north-east of Adelaide, this Barn is not so rustic in style, but is ever so pretty.
It seats about 80 people – or 120 cocktail style. It is set in amazing gardens!!
The actual website doesn't do it justice, so have a look at amaranthine wedding consultants instead. They have some pics and info. 

I'll be back with the second installment of this topic soon.. including the venue I went with. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My first (and only) Inspiration Board

Below is something I created not long after getting engaged. When i say 'created' I mean I whacked a few pics together in powerpoint at work one day. I guess it was my first inspiration board.. the first time I put all my ideas on one page and the colour scheme started to come about. And I never really bothered to create another one.
Part of the reason I never changed it is because if i added every new picture i fell in love with, then i'd be adding new pics every day!
And part of the reason is because my overall vision for our wedding stayed very close to this for the next 18 months. I still love these pics now!

I'm sorry, but i dont know the sources of most of these images anymore. 

One interesting fact: the venue at top left and bottom right is where the Rustic Garden Party eventually took place!

My Barn Obsession

I don’t know when my barn obsession first began.

It probably stems from the fact that I do have a love of all things “old”. Architecturally, I love a lofty ceiling. In my own home, I love the 100 year old floor boards that look worn, weathered and probably like they need a good sand and polish(!!). I love antiques. I love the country. I love the warmth of natural wood, and the way that it contributes to that indoor/outdoor feel. 

Beyond the ‘oldness’ and architecture, to me Barn events offer a charm and atmosphere like no other. Weddings I have seen in barns look relaxed, unique, intimate. And to me they just don’t even compare to a carpeted function centre with steel (or worse - plastic!) chairs and heavy drapes.

Where I live, it was never going to be realistic for me to have an entirely outdoor wedding.. so since I needed a venue, what better spot than a barn? And so my hunt began..

Sigh... if only I lived in Texas.

Beautiful Barn photographed by Clayton Austin . See the super-cool wedding here 

The planning began..

I don’t know if this is common for other brides.. but my wedding planning began long before I became engaged! This isn’t to say that I was one of those girls that started planning my wedding as a kid. In fact, I REALLY wasn’t like that. Nope, my wedding planning (ahem..obsession..) began around about the time that some of my friends were getting married. I suddenly started taking notice of weddings, considering what I liked, what I didn’t... and while helping one friend in particular, I started filing away some pictures for myself. For the future. Just in case!

Here are some of those pics. They are still filed away in my computer in a folder called “vibe”. And that’s pretty much what they are, the beginning of the general idea and feel of the day.
  •  It always had to be relaxed, fun and a little quirky. Nothing too formal or stuffy.
  •  It had to have an indoor/outdoor feel (the more outdoor the better).
  • There had to be gorgeous hand-made details to satisfy my love of craft and all things beautiful.
  • To satisfy our guests, the drinks would need to be plentiful, and the music rocking.
  • It had to be heartfelt. Meaningful. And reflect us as a couple. (sounds like a no-brainer I know… but when I started taking notice, I recognized so many weddings that aren’t/don’t)
  • Oh.. and there was always going to colour. 

Turned out these pics came in handy. About a year later, I was engaged… and was finally able to share these pics without seeming like a total nutter!

They have been on file for a couple of years now so I’m sorry I don’t have sources for them. If you know where they came from, please tell me. If I am in trouble and have t remove them.. please tell me!