C J Williams Photography is back with a handmade Australian wedding so gorgeous it'll send you running to the nearest craft store – if you are a DIY bride that is.
(Cue wedding planner Andri's super helpful post on figuring out if a DIY wedding is right for you.)
Ruhamah and Drew's wedding colour palette was an eclectic mix of gorgeous greens, peaches and pinks with sharp suits and polka dot ties for the boys and berry filled bouquets for the girls.
Ruhamah looked stunning in a romantic lace gown which she paired with an exquisite mantilla veil for the ceremony and a bohemian floral headpiece for the reception.
Their beautiful day was filled with sweet details including home grown jam jar ‘spread the love' favors, a beaded ‘something blue' bracelet for the bride and a fingerprint guest book.
From The Bride…
Drew and I met at the tender age of 17 at the party of a mutual friend. Drew charmed me with a Chuck Norris joke and as I left the party he told me he thought he would be seeing a lot more of me the future. We have been inseparable ever since.
Our wedding was almost entirely handmade. It was the handmade touches that were the best on the day and for Drew and I, worth every effort. Our wedding was made so special by all the people who helped us in the lead up and on the big day. Everything we did was a collaborative effort with a myriad of different loved ones!
Drew’s mum is a talented beader and she offered to make me a piece for the wedding. We came up with the design and she used mint green Swarovski crystal beads to create the beautiful bracelet.
Drew’s dad Chas was our gift courier on the day. In the morning he dropped off Drew’s gift to me, an antique wooden sea chest. It’s about 120 years old and was probably used to store sailors belongings during long journeys. He added a small plaque with our names and the date we were married engraved. Inside he had put the first present I ever gave him and other little goodies for the day. It couldn’t have been a more thoughtful or perfect gift for me.
I gave Drew a set of cufflinks with a line from our first reading (I carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings) engraved in them. I also gave him a St Christopher’s medal to pin on the inside of his jacket. Drew’s beloved Poppa, Les, has worn one around his neck for a very long time so it had a special meaning for him.
Mulberry on Swan was a magical setting for the day. Guests had pre dinner drinks in the wine rack and then entered the main room which has a large balcony that over looks the river. The staff at Mulberry were incredible! Every meeting we had was relaxed and they had so many practical, helpful suggestions. They were so happy to accommodate our ideas and nothing seemed like a hassle.
The Wedding Vendors
The way we chose vendors was the feel we got for people. If someone was friendly they normally got the nod. Our photographer Carly was amazing. She made us feel so relaxed, it was like having another friend around – exactly what you want on your wedding day. Our florist Tali was also amazing, we couldn’t have been happier with the sweet smelling bouquets or the reception arrangements! She did a wonderful job.
Decor & Details
We had family and friends collect jars for months prior to the wedding for our centrepieces. We also hunted for vintage vases in op-shops and in family cupboards.
After months of scouring blogs and wedding magazines most of the hard work happened in the month before the wedding. Drew and I spent many nights painting, glueing and sewing. During the creation of our menu/place cards I think we visited our local craft store 5 times in two days to pick up bits and pieces. We had so much fun making everything! (Well, maybe me more than Drew.)
My parent’s home is full of old treasures and my mum gave me two antique cake forks from her collection. We had the forks engraved with Mr and Mrs and used them to eat our wedding cake on the day. For our wishing well I used a vintage suitcase that originally belonged to my aunty as a child. I re-lined the suitcase with strips from an old atlas and created bunting from twine, hessian and peach coloured felt. I also made ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ bunting for the back of our chairs at the reception.
The jam was made from plums grown from a tree in my parent’s yard and an orchard in Bridgetown where Drew’s parents live. My mum made a huge batch of the jam and bottled it in sweet little hexagonal jars sourced from Ebay. Later two of my lovely friends helped me cut endless metres of floral fabric for the lids which Drew and I then finished with twine and recycled paper labels. The jam was probably one of our favourite elements of the decoration, so much hard work went into its creation and it was delicious too!
The Wedding Cake
A close family friend made our wedding cake. The cake toppers were two gorgeous little birds, one with a top hat and bow tie and the other with a veil. I bought these from a gorgeous seller on Etsy, who hand knits the birds. She went out of her way to ensure they reached me in time. During our whole wedding process I found people were so willing to help, Etsy was especially good for this.
We wanted something special to surprise our guests with during pre-dinner drinks and came across Aaron Smyth, a balloon artist. He creates the most detailed and hilarious balloon animals. Our guests raved about him and it was a really fun way to get people talking. We found matching Mr and Mrs penguins on our seats when we entered the reception, which was a lovely touch.
Ruhamah: For me the most special moment of our wedding day was walking down the aisle. Having my mum and dad walk me down the aisle was really special. I always cry at weddings so thought I would probably bawl, but I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. I could read the joy on Drew’s face and I just felt so ridiculously happy. We chose Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros for that moment and it matched the immense emotion we felt on the day.
Drew: My favourite part of the day was seeing Ruhamah walk down the aisle. All the build up and excitement had come to that moment. It was the most amazing feeling seeing Ruhamah in her wedding dress, looking absolutely breathtakingly beautiful…I’ll admit I may have even welled up a little.
Congratulations Ruhamah and Drew! Thanks for sharing your beautiful day with us and special thanks also to C J Williams Photography.
UK readers, don't forget Carly is going to be in the UK next summer and she wants to shoot lots of gorgeous British weddings so if you like her style be sure to get in touch before she's all booked up!