Rustic Vintage Weddings
A Homespun & Heartfelt Country Wedding
Are you sitting down? You might want to because today’s wedding features a love story that could have come straight from the pages of a Hollywood script, and so many fabulous DIY details that you are not going to want to go anywhere! It all started with an online dating profile and a proposal planned 3 weeks after meeting…….
I’ll hand you over to beautiful bride Amelia, whose beaming smile shines from every photo, to tell you all about it…..“I saw his profile on an online dating site and created my own the very next day with the sole purpose of being asked on a date by him. Despite widespread telecommunication outages courtesy of an ex-cyclone weather event, Matt and I met for coffee – which turned into lunch when we couldn’t stop talking.
I’d already said to my Mum and Dad that this guy was ‘future husband’ material after just reading his dating profile; and the afternoon after meeting Matt, I remember saying to a friend ‘He could ask me to marry him tomorrow and I could say yes knowing we’d be happy.’
I found out a little while later that as I was driving out of the carpark after that first coffee-turned-lunch date, Matt said to himself, “Pleased to meet you Mrs Rutley.” It was a bit of a whirlwind for both of us.”
I know a lot of people say that they ‘knew’ straight away (me being one), but groom Matt proved it with his seriously romantic proposal! Don’t worry, that’s coming later! For now though, a few words from Amelia about their big day…..
“We really wanted our wedding to be a reflection of both of us and the people who have helped us as a couple along the way. Every decision that we made had that at the core. We were also starting a small business at the same time, so the budget was strict and we had to keep things in perspective. We recycled, re-used, borrowed, made or hired as much as possible to keep our environmental impact down and we sourced as much as we could locally.”
Now prepare yourself for goosebumps with the most romantic proposal story I have ever heard….“About three weeks after we met, Matt handed me two sealed envelopes. He said that I could pick one of the envelopes (it didn’t matter which one), that I would then keep hidden, and he would hide the other. He asked me not to open my envelope because it was important that I opened them together when the time was right.
A few months later, I travelled to Europe with a girlfriend for a month, and before I left, Matt gave me a little rose and white gold key that he had handmade, on a chain that belonged to his grandfather. He stressed to me that I had to promise to keep the key safe because it opened up something special.
An ENTIRE year after my European holiday – on our joint birthday – it was finally time to open the sealed envelopes. Inside the envelope that I had kept safe was a love letter, written by Matt three weeks after we met. Inside the second envelope was a blank page with little holes cut into it. When I put the blank page over the love letter, the words that came through were “Will you marry me?”
After I had cried and said yes, Matt took out a small wooden box with a silver padlock on it. I took the little key that I had been wearing for the last 12 months, and opened the padlock. Inside was the most beautiful blue sapphire and diamond engagement ring that Matthew had designed and handmade. “
“My bridesmaids were my sister and two of my aunties. The girls all chose their own looks with a ‘Sunday best’ brief in mind. We worked with a pallet of navy and pinks, blush, greys and ivory so the girls had lots of colours to choose from. I wasn’t too concerned with how they would all look together, but interestingly, my bridesmaids wanted to make sure they all complemented each other, so there were many Pinterest boards and text marathons.”
“My clever mum handmade my wedding dress. Her blood, sweat and tears (not even kidding) are stitched into that gown. We designed it together with a few sources of inspiration in mind: the stunning wedding dress worn by Grace Kelly and my own grandmother’s wedding gown from 50 years prior.
Mum made my gown so that the separate train was completley detachable – she wanted it to be glamorous for the church and photographs, and then I needed it to be practical for traipsing around the farm and dancing the night away. It also had pockets. POCKETS! It was a very special dress to wear; even more so because it was such a labour of love.”
“All of our flowers were DIY. Matt’s mum and I actually handpicked all the natives from a neighbouring flower farm (one VERY cold morning a few days before the wedding) and my mum and I drove down to Toowoomba Flower Market two days before the wedding to choose the other blooms. A handful of family and friends teamed up to arrange all of the bouquets and ceremony/reception flowers.
Because we could only use what was available at the markets and the flower farm, the bouquets and arrangements took on a life of their own. We worked with proteas and king proteas, roses, disbuds, carnations, lisianthus, easter daisies and baby’s breath.”
“One of our favourite moments from the day was our “First Look”. Just being Matt and I (and our photographer, Chloe, of course) it was a really special 30 minutes – and one of the things we absolutely recommend to friends getting married. The day (and weeks beforehand) is such a whirlwind that getting a few moments with your fiance really helps to keep you grounded and sane amongst the craziness.”
“We held our ceremony at St Mary’s Catholic Church in town and I asked both of my parents to walk me down the aisle.”
Aaaand, one of my favourite ideas….. “Instead of choosing a flowergirl, we made up a dozen posies of baby’s breath and about 10 minutes before the ceremony started, the priest invited all of the little girls in the congregation to be flowergirls. I’d asked two of my cousins to be the ‘flowergirl shepherds’ and so they organised the volunteers. We ended up with seven little flowergirls, all in mismatched pretty dresses, and they stole the show.”
“Matt bought his suit and shirt from Roger David. He’s a country boy so naturally he had a pair of boots on instead of dress shoes 🙂 Matt’s belt buckle belonged to his dad and for a bit of luck, he carried his late grandfather’s dice in his breastpocket.
We tried to ensure that all of our bridal party looked and felt like themselves on the day. So, the groomsmen all wore suits from their own closets, although I think there were some new shirts & bowties purchased. We tried to make it as easy as possible.”
“Very generously, Matt’s Mum and Dad offered to host our wedding reception at the family farm. It’s such a beautiful part of the world and we have always loved escaping to it for a few days to recharge. Looking at photos of the ‘reception shed’ still makes me all warm and fuzzy because it represents so much love from all of our friends and family.
Matt and his dad, together with the other menfolk, completely transformed a fully functioning shed filled with tractors and machinery into a country banquet hall. The boys set up chairs, tables, lighting, wine barrels and even graded a dance floor with a front end loader. Mum and her friends made 75 metres of bunting and 50 metres of table runners, Matt crafted fabric chandeliers for the big industrial lights, friends and family arranged bucketloads of flowers, set tables, marinated olives and made litres of tzatziki, tabouli and potato salad – all in the couple of days before the wedding!”
“We had recycled jars and bottles filled with flowers decorating the reception shed. A team of friends and family helped us put together all of the floral arrangements with an ‘unstructured, just-picked-from-the-garden’ kind of vibe. (Just a note to brides DIY-ing their wedding flowers, your carefully looked after fingernails and hands will get a thrashing, so wear gloves!) The best part about the wedding flowers? The day afterwards, we took most of the left over arrangements to the local nursing home.”
Pearls of wedding wisdom from the bride…
“Plan to have a really great marriage at the same time as planning a fabulous wedding! Use it as an opportunity to really communicate, nut things out, play to your strengths and have your partner’s back. We had about six relationship counselling sessions before our wedding – not because we were fighting or having problems, but because we wanted to make a great relationship even better.”
Tell us a little bit about your photographer…
“It was important to both of us that all of our vendors were people we actually clicked with and wanted to have around us on the day. The photographer in particular is witnessing some of your most special and vulnerable moments so choose someone you can be yourself in front of! After we had our first coffee with Chloe, Matt looked at me and said “So, Chloe’s got the job yeah?” – she was just such a delight to be around.
On the day, Chloe was an absolute gem – she was never obtrusive; she gave us time alone; I rarely got sick of smiling; her direction and organisation was never bossy or overbearing; and she got along with our guests and bridal party beautifully. Smiles all round :)”
A huge congratulations to the lovely Amelia & Matt and a big thankyou to them, and their photographer Chloe of White Images, for letting me share their love story as well as their wedding with you. If you love these photographs and would like to see more of Chloe’s wonderful work do pop and take a peek at this lush French bohemian wedding shoot and this elegant modern vintage marquee wedding right here on Chic Vintage Brides, or head over to her website whiteimages.com.au. And be sure to find and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
If you love Amelia & Matt’s relaxed rustic style and are looking for more inspiration for your own big day, then you might want to see this colourful country meets city celebration and the glamorous rustic affair of designer Anna Campbell is not to be missed – it is simply stunning! Or if you’re after something a little more seasonal then I think you will like this Autumn wedding inspiration shoot in cobalt & crimson, and this elegant inspiration board in a palette of serenity blue and neutrals is heavenly.
Contributors & Credits
Wedding Dress ~ Amelia & Her Mum // Bridal Shoes ~ Nine West // Hair & Makeup ~ Peekaboo Makeup // Floral Design ~ DIY // Flowers ~ Foraged and Toowoomba Flower Market // Groom’s Attire ~ Roger David // Ceremony Venue ~ St Mary’s Catholic Church // Reception Venue ~ Family Farm // Wedding Cake ~ DIY // Favours ~ DIY // Music ~ DIY (playlist) // Stationery ~ DIY // Caterer ~ Manumbar Meets Catering