A 1950s Inspired Woodland Wedding With a High Tea Reception
LARA HOTZ PHOTOGRAPHY
Morning, morning my lovelies and how are you this fine Monday? I confess, I am quite giddy with excitement about sharing today’s wedding with you, because this enchanting 1950s inspired woodland affair is simply my idea of perfection! Complete with gorgeous vintage fashion, a woodland setting, a high tea reception and romantic boat getaway – have you ever heard anything so dreamy? All captured by one of my absolute favourite photographers Lara Hotz, just wait until you see the photos!
Sonia & Jules had 2 ½ years to perfect their 1950s inspired daytime celebration – and it was time much needed with all of the DIY and personal details they had planned for their lucky guests! From stunning national park locations for the ceremony and reception, a vintage Cadillac cavalcade, and tasty DIY favours to the delicious alternative wedding cake, this wedding was part woodland, part 1950s and most importantly to the happy couple, ALL them!
From bride Sonia “I have to admit, the whole day went by in such a blur, but, it was just as I hoped it would be. I got my dream cars, I succeeded in making my own wedding dress, the bridal party looked wonderful, the guests got in on the theme (a few even threw on petticoats under their dresses!), the weather cleared to a beautifully sunny day, and for months to follow we were told how much fun everyone had.” See what I mean about perfect wedding?? I hope your pinning finger is ready!
Doesn’t it look just fabulous? Before we immerse ourselves in all of the wonderful details though a little bit about Sonia’s darling wedding dress, don’t you just love it? Well, incredibly, she designed and made it herself! “I started planning it when we first got engaged, 2.5 years before the wedding. I designed, designed, and redesigned it a number of times until I arrived at the right one. The fabric I happened across, it was absolute fate as it wasn’t what I originally intended to buy, but it called out to me.
The design is 1950’s style, tea length, with a lovely petticoat underneath (in addition to the total of 9 layers of tulle, the lining, and the overlay). The cap sleeves were accidental, but what I had originally wanted, I just didn’t think they’d work in that fabric until I made them. The lining of the bodice was very special to me as it was made from fabric discovered in my Nonna’s collection when my parents were cleaning her home after she was moved into care. Sadly she passed away a short time after I got engaged, so it was my way of having her with me on the day.” Talk about a DIY bride!
And keep an eye out for one of Sonia’s favourite moments from the day “The moment after we were pronounced husband and wife and kissed, the clouds suddenly parted and a ray of sunshine beamed right down onto us.” A sure sign, if ever I saw one, that Sonia’s Nonna was with her on her special day!
“My earrings and necklace were my something blue – sapphire in colour, and vintage in style.”
Isn’t Sonia’s vintage bridal look just perfection? “One of my best friends did my makeup – a simple and natural look finished with my cat eye liner and Dior red lipstick. My veil was purchased from Ava Vintage on Etsy – I was absolutely in love the moment I saw it. A vintage floral wreath with a most adorable bow on the back, and it complimented my gown perfectly. My hair was done by another good friend’s sister as my wedding gift. Victory rolls wouldn’t work with the veil, so it needed to be simple but elegant. It was more of a Gibson roll.”
Don’t the grooms, groomsmen and groomsladies look handsome? “Jules wore a blue suit from Jack London and a simple white shirt. This was topped off with brown brogues, belt, and an awesome bolo tie. The groomsmen were in grey suits with white shirts, and the grooms-ladies were in grey dresses. They all had brown shoes and belts.” I LOVE the idea of grooms-ladies!
“My dad walked me down the aisle, which was a truly lovely experience. We shared a little joke before we got started as I think we were both nervous! It is true what people say though; when you get there everything stops and just melts away. I vaguely remember people’s faces light up, but what stood out was Jules waiting for me, his eyes twinkling.”
“I had 4 bridesmaids – my 2 sisters, and my 2 best friends. They knew my dress choice would probably not be what they would pick, but they were absolutely great sports about it. I taunted them with pictures of big fluffy pink numbers for fun before landing on the quirky but perfect dresses I eventually chose. They were 1950s style (of course), sweetheart neckline and circle skirt, with a lovely bow tie for the waist. The fabric was a cotton print; green plant base, red, pink, yellow, and white flowers, and little birds all over – perfect for our woodland theme. They had nude wedges, so they didn’t sink into the grass, pearl jewelery, and yellow hair flowers to complement their dresses and flowers.”
“The Reception was held at The Audley Room. It was a lunchtime High Tea, which gave us the joy of enjoying the beautiful day and atmosphere. The Audley Room has these beautiful wood paneled walls and floorboards, so I wanted it to feel as if we were inside a forest. The Sisters decorated the hall with leafy garlands, a beautiful wreath, and lovely little ferns on the tables. The day before we’d come in and strung up white paper pompoms and placed various other woodlandy decorations on the tables, such as moss bunnies and little deer figurines. Tables were banquet style and had white shabby chic tiffany chairs. The place settings had a variety of T2 teacups, which worked with the décor and helped to give it this lovely airy feel.”
With Sonia being half Italian, and in keeping with their woodland theme, the couple created sweet little bottles of olive oil with sprigs of rosemary from the garden for their favours. “One guest reported the following day she used it to make a roast and it was delicious.”
“The Sisters created my bouquet – I love those girls so much! I’d seen their work and I knew that they would get it right, so I approached them WAY in advance with my idea. It was simple – I wanted to use Australian natives, and I had a special request of flannel flowers as I had always loved them. I showed the girls my dress, and the bridesmaid dresses when I’d purchased them. I trusted they would create a beautiful complement to my styling and I was not wrong! My bridesmaids had smaller versions of my bouquet, the groomsmen had beautiful flannel flower and magnolia leaf buttonholes, and the grooms-ladies had corsages to match the buttonholes.”
“Our cake was actually a cheese tower. I was determined to have one and felt it worked well given we were having high tea, which has so many sweet things already. It came from Formaggi Ocello, and was accented with dried muscatels, quince paste, and fresh figs from our garden. It was absolutely devoured – we have some great photos of guests diving onto it and taking their fill after it was arranged on boards for all to share. The layers were, from the bottom up: Maffra Cheddar – white waxed cheddar from Victoria, Delice des Cremiers – indulgent triple cream, cow milk from France, Blu di Moncenisio – round creamy blue, cow milk from Italy, Camembert – soft bloomy rind, cow milk from France, Holy Goat – organic goat cheese from Victoria. ” It looks absolutely scrummy!
If Sonia could change one thing….. “I would have had Jules listen to me about downloading the music playlist onto an ipod and test it, not his phone! Unfortunately the song we were meant to have our first dance to didn’t work….. but I had a backup song on my own phone that worked just as well!” It is so important to double check these things – and always have a backup!
Pearls of Wedding Wisdom from the Bride…..
“1. No one will know if anything goes wrong, so don’t act that it has and it will fly under the radar.
2. Somewhere in the craziness of the day make sure to take a moment together because once the ceremony is over you’ll barely even see each other as you make sure to talk to everyone in the room.
3. Don’t expect to eat. You’re far too busy. Have a decent meal before you leave the house.
4. This day is about you and the person you love. Only have the people with you who support and encourage this.
Also, HAVE FUN WITH IT! Make it about you and your partner, because that is what the day is all about. We were told many times over just how “us” our wedding was, and even though a lot of what we did was popular at the time it was the only time they’d seen it done to truly represent the couple as opposed to trying to have the picture perfect wedding.”
Tell us a little about your photographer…..
“The beautiful Lara Hotz was an obvious choice. She did our friend’s wedding and she captured it so beautifully that we thought we could only dream of having her. As I planned our day and shared it with my friend she mentioned the details to Lara who was so enthusiastic about it that she reached out to us! We knew she would do the best job, and we were so surprised that we would be able to afford her. Photography was one of those things we were not going to sacrifice quality on. Lara was an absolute delight to work with and we would recommend her to anyone and everyone, especially if you’re planning something a little different. She is so passionate about what she does and it is so obvious in the work that she produces. We look forward to having our photos printed out and displayed around our home for years to come.”
Wishing the happy couple, Sonia & Jules, every happiness! A huge thankyou to them and fabulous photographer Lara Hotz for allowing me to share this wonderful 1950s woodland wedding with you. If, like me, you can’t get enough of it, then you can see more here on Lara‘s blog, where you will also find more of Lara’s stunning photography and her stylish couple’s unforgettable weddings. No-one captures a special occasion or wedding quite like this lady, you can see more examples of her work right here on Chic Vintage Brides here, here and here. You can follow Lara on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well.
Photographer ~ Lara Hotz // Wedding Dress ~ Designed & Made by the Bride Sonia // Flower Crown & Veil ~ Vintage from Ava Vintage on Etsy // Bridal Shoes ~ Jeffrey Campbell on Modcloth // Flowers ~ The Sisters // Wedding Rings ~ Harestree on Etsy // Bridesmaids Dresses ~ Retrolicious on Modcloth and Fleet Collection // Grooms Suit ~ Tarocash // Grooms Shoes ~ Windsor Smith // Ties ~ Snake Gully via Ebay // Ceremony ~ Currawong Flat National Park, NSW // Reception ~ The Audley Room, NSW // Catering ~ Belinda Franks // Cheese Wedding Cake ~ Ocello // Celebrant ~ Ian Wooley // Transport ~ Cadillac Heaven