Timeless & Romantic Wedding Inspiration

Retro Weddings

A Retro & Colourful Woodland Wedding


Today’s wedding is so cute, it is impossible to be anything other than charmed by every detail when you see it. Retro and colourful, with the punchy green of the woodland ceremony setting and an abundance of vibrant native florals, followed by an intimate restaurant reception, it is just delightful! So have your pinning finger ready as Bride & Groom Caddy & Ernesto share every magical moment…..

A Retro & Colourful Woodland Wedding

Choosing Gembrook forest, just outside Melbourne Australia, for their intimate ceremony, proved perfect for the beautifully moody, and slightly damp, day with the trees providing some much needed cover for guests as they enjoyed cocktails under the canopies. Caddy explains “We knew that we wanted our wedding to have an earthy, botanical feel that utlised the natural environment so the Dandenong Ranges offered the perfect settling with the natural abundance of trees and forests and rolling green hills.” 

And if their day isn’t cute enough, just wait until you hear their love story – it could have come straight from the script of a Hollywood romcom! “We met back in 2012. We started writing to each other online for a couple of months and then finally met up for coffee. We talked for hours. We clicked instantly and found many similarities in each other. Such as how closely we held our friends and family and a shared love for old music, old things and the romance of yesteryear.” Caddy felt Ernesto was a real gentleman and fell in love with his old fashioned values. Ernesto was in awe of Caddy’s warmth and generosity and her ability to laugh at his jokes, and so it seemed their love was meant to be!

When it came to planning their big day, everything clicked in just the same way. Caddy explains, “Overall, we wanted our wedding to have great food, great music AND plenty of dancing! We just wanted our guests to have a ball and to get swept up in the fun and romance. We weren’t really keen on a big wedding and knew that we wanted something pretty simple and understated without much fuss.

Shortly after we got engaged, we visited The Independent, a fantastic little restaurant in Gembrook in the Dandenong Ranges and just fell in love with the space! Their food was also out of this world and we knew our family and friends would just fall in love with their menu, so we booked right away. When looking for the perfect place to host our ceremony, we wanted to find something that was close to our reception, preferably within walking distance so that our guests (and us!) could spend less time trapsing around the country side and more time celebrating!

Keeping the ceremony and reception venues close together also meant that we could give ourselves plenty of time to take photos but didn’t have to keep our guests waiting for too long. Luckily, we found the prettiest little tree filled park just a short five minute stroll from our reception venue. It couldn’t have been more perfect!”

Native Australian Blooms Bridal BouquetBride & Bridesmaids in Robes

“For my hair, I decided to go with a flower crown which, in keeping with the theme, I wanted to be unstructured and romantic so we used a mixture of the roses we had chosen and added some gyp for softness and native berries for texture.”

Bride Getting ReadyBride & Bridesmaids Getting ReadySweet Flower Girls with Flower CrownsBride in a Vintage Cadillac

“For our ceremony, we just had a simple wooden arbour with some unstructured floral arrangements, chairs for immediate family and a wedding sign welcoming our guests as they arrived.”

Flower Adorned Wedding Welcome Sign

“When planning our wedding we tried to work with as many local makers and suppliers as possible to give back to the local community. Melanie Pringle from Viva La Fleur was a local florist based in the Dandenong Ranges who specialised in weddings and was absolutely amazing to work with.

Melanie understood exactly what we were after from the get go and helped turn our vision into a reality. I have always loved natives and unstructured bouquets so I knew this would form the basis for the theme of our flowers. From there it was really a matter of choosing the perfect colours and best selection of blooms according to the season. Being summer, Mel and I decided to use Banksia and Firewheels for our natives and added some Dahlia’s and roses for some softer textures and a bit of  romance. I’ve always loved pinks, peaches and corals so these colours formed our colour palette. To highlight these colours, we used Carmine Classic, Yours Truly, Salmonie and Fandango roses’ and a peach Dahlia. For contrast we added lots of greenery and texture through native foliage’s like gum as well as some creamy white tones using achillia, gyp and queen Anne’s Lace to balance things out a little. Some soft reds were also added for vibrancy as well as some hypericum berries to add texture.”

Woodland Wedding Floral ArchNative Australian Wedding Floral ArchWoodland Wedding Ceremony Blankets

Ernesto: “When shopping around for a suit I wanted to find something that not only looked good, but was timeless and would last forever. I’m a practical man so I wanted to make sure that whatever I purchased, I would be able to wear again.

I decided to have my suit made by a tailor because I wanted to experience the feeling of having a custom made suit and going through the process of creating something that was perfectly suited to me. I settled on The Suit Shop in Melbourne because they walked me through the whole process of selecting a style, fabric and colour and helped make what could have been a really overwhelming process really fun and easy.”

Groom & Groomsmen in Navy SuitsVintage CadillacBride Arriving in a Vintage CadillacFlower GirlsGroom & GroomsmenBride & Mother Walking Down the AisleBridesmaids & Flower GirlAustralian Woodland Wedding CeremonyAustralian Woodland Wedding CeremonyAustralian Woodland Wedding CeremonyAustralian Woodland Wedding CeremonyRelaxed Woodland Wedding CeremonyRelaxed Woodland Wedding CeremonyWoodland Wedding Confetti TossBright & Beautiful Australian Woodland Wedding Bright & Beautiful Australian Woodland Wedding

“I’ve always loved vintage clothing and so there was really no doubt in my mind that my dress would either be vintage, or vintage inspired. I ended up finding a beautiful little 60’s wedding dress on Etsy which sadly, wasn’t quite right but became my muse. I loved it so much that I took it to my dressmaker, Linda Doble and asked her to re-create it for me with a few of our own little touches. I’m so happy with how it turned out. It’s simple, yet elegant and very me.”

Woodland Vintage Bride in a Short Wedding Dress

“Overall, we used 17 difference varieties of flowers and foliage’s throughout all of our floral arrangements and my bouquet ended up being so heavy that by the time our ceremony was over by arm was almost numb! Luckily, I had my new husband and bridemaids on hand to help share the load!”

Australian Native Bridal BouquetVintage Woodland Wedding PartyWedding Party with Vintage CadillacWedding Party with Vintage CadillacBride & Groom in a Vintage CadillacBride & Groom in a Vintage CadillacBride in a Vintage CadillacBride & Groom and their Vintage CadillacBlack & White Bride & Groom PhotosRetro Australian WeddingRomantic Australian Woodland WeddingRomantic Australian Woodland Wedding

“Because we had booked such a great space for our wedding reception, we didn’t need to do much to tizz things up. We arranged for some festoon lighting to be installed earlier in the day to add ambiance and aside from that, just asked our florist to place simple vases of flowers down the middle of our tables. Our place settings were also very simple, with a personalised thank you card, our wedding favour and a small bunch of rosemary.”

Restaurant Wedding Reception

“As our wedding had a natural theme with a big emphasis on flowers and trees, for favours we decided to give our guests a packet of seeds that they could take home with them and plant in their gardens.  We found a seller on Etsy called Megmichelle who offered printed seed packets for wedding favours which we were able to have custom printed with our names, wedding date and a personal message from us on the back. We had the seed packets printed in a Kraft stock to match our theme and filled them with a mixture of seeds for some of our favourite flowers including Zinnia, Pom Pom Dahlias, Shirley Poppys and French Marigolds. Our guests loved the idea and ever since the wedding we have been receiving photo updates of their flowers starting to sprout in their gardens. We can’t wait to see them all in bloom!”

Intimate Wedding Centerpiece

“We also created a small memorial area where we had a lit candle and a couple of pictures of Ernesto’s father who is sadly no longer with us. It was our way of honouring his memory and including him in our celebration.”

Wedding Wishing Well

“My mum has always loved cake decorating and has made wedding cakes for almost everyone in my extended family so it’s kind of a family tradition now! My sister in law Jade is also really into cake decorating so over the years mum has been showing Jade the ropes and they have since made lots of cakes together for different parties and events. With two capable ladies at our disposal, we were happy to leave our wedding cake in their hands and just found a couple of pictures of cakes we liked online to use as a guide.

Jade took charge of finding the perfect recipe and after a family cake tasting, we settled on a moist coconut cake with a passionfruit curd while mum took charge of designing the exterior decorations.  For the design, we wanted something simple, much like a naked cake but decided to use sugar flowers instead of fresh flowers. Mum hand formed each of the flowers that was placed on the cake and airbrushed them to add colour and texture. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful cake and we were just thrilled with how it turned out. It tasted absolutely delicious too!”

Flower Adorned Wedding CakeRelaxed Restaurant Wedding ReceptionWedding Wishing WellRelaxed Restaurant Wedding ReceptionRelaxed Restaurant Wedding Reception

“Sticking to our budget was important but at the same time we made sure that we did things our way and didn’t go without anything that we really wanted. Flowers and lighting was really important to me (Caddy) and for Ernesto it was more about the food and good music so we allowed ourselves the room to splurge on those things. It was also really important to us that none of our family and friends (and us!) had any jobs to do on, before or after the day. We wanted our venue and suppliers to handle everything so that everyone could just focus on having a good time – particularly our mums.”  

Relaxed Restaurant Wedding ReceptionWedding SpeechesWedding ToastCutting the Cake

Pearls of wedding wisdom from the bride…

“Keep things simple!”

Relaxed Restaurant Wedding First DanceRelaxed Restaurant Wedding First DanceRelaxed Restaurant Wedding Reception

Tell us a little bit about your photographer…

“I had the great pleasure of meeting Anna from Pixie Rouge Photography through an old job and had always admired Anna’s natural and quirky photography style so when it came time to select a photographer, Anna was the first person that came to mind. We really loved Anna’s use of natural light and her emphasis on capturing natural and candid moments. Also, somewhat knowing Anna was also nice because we knew she would slot in well with our guests and just feel like one of our friends following us around with a camera, opposed to being followed by the paparazzi!

We couldn’t be more pleased with how our photos turned out and Anna captured absolutely every part of our wedding perfectly. Anna’s joy and enthusiasm for capturing weddings absolutely shines through to her work.  Anna’s energy on the day was also so much fun!  She made us laugh and was so immersed in the process. We loved how excited Anna would get when we found the perfect location for a shot.

The colours in our photos are so vibrant and beautiful. We couldn’t believe how gorgeous all of our photos turned out and have received countless compliments from our family and friends.”

Romantic Australian WeddingRomantic Australian Wedding

Isn’t it completely charming?? So relaxed, yet perfect in every way, I am totally smitten with every part of Caddy & Ernesto’s big day! A huge congratulations to them both, and a big thankyou to their photographer Anna of Pixie Rouge Photography for capturing every moment and detail so perfectly, and for letting me share her gorgeous images with you. If you love these photographs and would like to see more of Anna’s work pop and take a peek at Jacqui & Matt’s rustic and fabulously fun day right here on Chic Vintage Brides, before heading over to her website pixierouge.com.au – and be sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook.




Contributors & Creditors

Photography – Pixie Rouge Photography // Location – Gembrook, Australia // Reception Venue – The Independent // Flowers – Viva La Fleur // Celebrant – Ben Stone // Hair + Make up – Kate McCleary Hair & Makeup // Wedding dress – Handmade by Linda Doble Dressmaker // Transport – Caddyman Cadillac // Favours –  Megmichelle // Groom’s Attire – The Suit Shop