I always knew since my 30’s that my wedding day would be small and intimate with personal and creative touches.  I had fallen in love with anything vintage since my husband Graeme and I bought our old colonial style house in 2010 and a vintage inspired wedding seemed the obvious choice for both of us after Graeme proposed in April 2011.

Graeme and I wanted a relaxed, backyard wedding so it was important for us to find the right venue.  We also wanted to keep the wedding guest list to fewer than 40 people which made it far more intimate for us.  Unfortunately the nearest relative who owns a farm with heaps of backyard we could use was in New Zealandso that option was out of the window!  It was also important that the chosen venue would let us decorate it as we wanted.  Finding a lot of commercial venues around Sydney and NSW were reluctant to let us do this; we had to think outside the box.  Then it dawned on us to speak to a friend of ours who runs Willow Vale Mill in Laggan (about 40km West of Goulbourn).  Willow Vale Mill is a restaurant and B&B set in acres of countryside with a very rustic, backyard feel.  Imagine old world Tuscany meets NSW bush and you are on the right track!  The owner Graham Linney was delighted to host our wedding and we knew he would do a fantastic job with the food as we had sampled his amazing cooking many times before.  The whole process was very relaxed and as we were going for seasonal produce, we didn’t have to worry about the menu until a week before.  Willow Vale Mill was perfect for our vintage wedding.

With the venue organised, next on the list were dresses for me and my gorgeous bridesmaids.  I didn’t actually buy a vintage wedding dress but found a beautiful lace one that went perfectly with the vintage theme.  I was lucky that I found the perfect one fairly quickly in a bride shop up the road to my house.  I then had to find three bridesmaids dresses for my sister and two teenage stepdaughters.  I didn’t want them to wear matching dresses as I wanted different styles and colours.  I wanted apricot and cream David Austen roses for the décor so ended up buying my sister a gorgeous long dress in apricot which matched perfectly.  I then had a longer search on my hands to buy my stepdaughters a dress in a green colour to match the vintage paper I had used when making my handmade invitations.  We ended up buying two lovely short green dresses that were a close match.  They looked gorgeous next to my sisters apricot dress and although they were a different colour, style and length, they were similar with straps crossing at the back.  With the important dress search over, I was ready to move onto the décor.

I love any opportunity to get creative and any opportunity to add to my vintage collection, so I found this part of the planning process the most fun!  I knew I wanted a lolly buffet and a lemonade station so it was just a matter of sourcing the right things to set this up.   I spent several weeks collecting jam jars for the lemonade station and they looked adorable teamed with vintage stripy straws.  I already had a gorgeous old set of vintage weighing scales which I knew would look fabulous with the lolly buffet so I just needed the apothecary jars and scoops to complete the look.   I also made my own bunting which looked cute hanging above the lolly buffet.

I did a lot of research looking at websites such as Style Me Pretty and Green Wedding Shoes for inspiration for the rest of my décor.  I wanted a typewriter and scrabble letters on our guest book table and I also decided on a vintage photo booth for memorable photos.  I used moustaches, lips, glasses and bow ties made from card on long rods for the photo props and found a gorgeous old vintage photo frame which looked great set up with a mirror and stand and other photo props. We also had a vintage suitcase set up for cards ad presents.  In order to entertain the guests whilst my husband and I had photographs, we set up a game of Boules which seemed to be popular! Hanging above the lemonade station were mixed vintage frames hanging from ribbons next to a chandelier wrapped in flowers hanging from an olive tree.  I finished the look with hundreds of fairy lights which wrapped around the trees out the front, the downstairs of the mill and the second floor of the mill where we were having our evening wedding meal.  Unfortunately the temperature gets a little cold in March so we had to eat inside, but we took advantage of the huge roaring log fire upstairs and went for a candlelight dinner which created a gorgeous atmosphere.

For the evening meal itself I wanted an eclectic feel with the table setting so I used a mixture of assorted vintage china plates in different patterns and colours (some hired as I didn’t have enough time to build up my own collection before the wedding!).  I teamed them with mixed silver plated cutlery and crystal wine glasses.  To finish the table setting I put long white candles in a mixture of glass, crystal and silver candle holders.

The table centrepieces were very important to me as I really wanted something vintage that looked simple yet stunning.  I decided on a vintage teacup and saucer for each table with David Austen roses and Baby’s Breath inside each one.  I then draped a string of faux pearls across each teacup which gave them a touch of vintage glamour! To raise the teacups off the table I sat each one on a little lace doily on a stack of vintage books and named each table after a type of tea.  Using the typewriter I painstakingly typed out each table name and every guests name on a coffee stained tag and then tied the table name tag to the teacup with hessian string and the guests name tag was tied around the white napkin.  The effort of vintage crockery, cutlery, glasses, candles and teacups looked absolutely stunning.  I also displayed David Austen roses as well as Lilac’s in an assortment of crystal vases and silver teapots around the mill.  For the seating chart I used an old glass door off a vintage dresser.

Music also played an important part on the day for us and we were recommended to book a trio of classical musicians for the ceremony and a live jazz band called Ella’s Holidayfor the evening entertainment.  Both turned out to be wonderful!

I was delighted with our vintage wedding and couldn’t stop smiling all day!  It felt like a memorable day that was truly “us” and we were overjoyed to have our families and close friends there to share it with us.  Our wonderful and talented photographer Sally Goodall captured our wedding exactly as it was.  You can see plenty of pictures in Teacups and Roses photo gallery on our website.  After months of rain we were also blessed with the weather with perfect blue sky and sunshine.  I would not have changed a thing about our special day.

Venue:                            WillowVale Mill, Laggan NSW

Flowers:                         Country Bunches, Crookwell

Photographer:             Sally Goodall Photography

Styling and props:      Teacups and Roses