Melissa + Shane - The Log Cabin Ranch
Micro Weddings have been around for us at Elope Australia for over 5 years now. We love creating them and even more so when we can work at one of the most incredible venues in the Dandenong Ranges - The Log Cabin Ranch. Nestled in the hills on 10 acres, a school camp and conference centre turned perfect wedding venue.
I am sure you have worked it out by now that I co-own Elope Yarra Valley | Elope Australia with Sharne Perrett - Photographer and owner of Aria Photography. Together we now have 26 people working for our elopement brand (and growing).
Melissa and Shane were like many new age couples these days, they had two gorgeous kids but wanted to be married so a little micro wedding was the perfect way to celebrate their family uniting officially as one.
Melissa still wanted her moment to walk down the aisle, so their two adorable kids stole the show (as kids always do when they are added into a wedding party) ensuring their dad - Shane struggle to keep away the tears.
A couple of hand shakes from Melissa's dad's and it was time to exchange some heartfelt vows to one another. Twenty of their closest family and friends watching on as they relived the past 8 years of their lives with one another. For Shane, he knew he was 'on' when he first met Melissa at a night out with friends. It would be fair to say he was right and all roads lead to this day!
After all the formalities it was time to capture some gorgeous pics around the grounds whilst their family and friends were treated to drinks and a scrumptious grazing board under the festoon lights on the lawn. Our musician's Adam and Brendan from SBDuo echoing through the property as they played from ceremony through to reception. Colleen behind the bar (sometimes I find myself here too) ensuring everyone has a drink in hand to celebrate.
There is one thing that you are sure to experience when marrying at The Log Cabin Ranch and that is a little photo session with Fern the deer and Reece the donkey!
All elements of the day are organised by the elope Australia team. The flowers, the styling, the band, the cake are all taken care of so you literally just have to 'turn up to be married'. We are elopement specialists, it is what we do and when we see all the elements on the day come together it takes not only our couples breathe away but ours too.
This epic table scape was all designed by our incredibly talented stylist - Annie from Event Merchant Company. Melissa and Shane had no idea when they opened the barn doors to what they were going to be treated to. This wasn't a photo shoot you had seen on pinterest and saved to your mood board, it was their wedding. The stunning long table seated 20 of their guests to dine at for their intimate micro wedding celebration.
Tune in for more of this incredible micro wedding, to soak up the goodness of the day... all captured by our right hand man, Glen - Directors Edge
Kristina + Jake - Immerse Winery
Oh how I LOVE Immerse.... It is a complete one stop shop when it comes to finding the perfect wedding venue, what makes it even MORE awesome is the amazingly talented staff. It is a family run business and I feel so very fortunate to be one of their preferred suppliers. In the peak of wedding seasons I have found myself there twice a weekend at times. When you roll in the drive that many times in a month, you tend to feel like you have become part of the furniture!
Many of the couples I marry here including the gorgeously stunning Kristina and Jake, take up the opportunity to get ready on site. Kristina and Jake could both get ready on site in the same location. It makes taking photos a dream as no travel time is wasted on your day. The boys were on one side of the grounds whilst the ladies took over the bridal suite.
As the guests start to check in, you can't help but feel hype starting to build around the property. And when the time is right, everyone is ushered into the chapel for the ceremony to commence.
There are plenty of pre wedding shots to be had on site at Immerse and when the day was as perfect for Kristina and Jake it isn't any wonder that Sean from A Touch of Flash was snap happy capturing all the gold that was on offer. Sean is one of those guys who can get the bride tribe to be on point during photo time. Always finding the most inappropriate ways to get a giggle out of the girls. Never an awkward shot to be taken as everyone is always having such a great time! AND this shows through in the photos. Add Sean with Michael from Allure Productions and you have a bit of photo/video magic!
Kristina did a little private reveal to her dad. She popped out of the bridal suite and surprised him with a little tap on the shoulder. To say her gorgeous dad was blown away would be an understatement as he was completely lost for words. It was a gorgeous little moment in time which will be etched in their memory before we all made the short walk over to the chapel.
I am always like to arrive an hour early to your wedding. When at Immerse I catch up with the gents in the chapel first. More often than not I am whipping them into line over in their accommodation and then we quickly run through what we need to chat about, where to stand, who has the rings, a mini rehearsal and then the guests all start rolling through the double doors. I love leaving the guys out the front of the doors to welcome everyone, that way they have something to do but also don't look like shags on a rock out the front. IF for some un-be-known reason we are running late, there are no awkward walks of shame up and down the aisle as they are just waiting for me to return to walk them down when we are absolutely ready to go.
The girls get a rehearsal in the bridal suite. I often find myself on the little step to the spa bath running through where everyone will be standing. Involving everyone in those last minute instructions so it is all fresh in their minds. I have been known to be called a very good 'micro manager', but in good faith, I just want you to feel like no rock has been left unturned and have a few little gold nuggets with all the worrying left to me!
The staff at Immerse are right by your side the entire time. So when we all walk over to to the ceremony location, I quickly hoof it in front at the last turn of the corner, grab the gents, cue the music and that moment you have been dreaming about gets under way.
The floor to ceiling windows in the Immerse chapel provide the perfect backdrop (but that isn't something that any old photographer can shoot). There is a reason why there is a preferred supplier list. There are a handful of 'togs' (photographers) who can NAIL the shot making sure we can see the detail out the window and YOU the subject aren't under or over exposed. Trust me, you want to book someone AWESOME for this job, not just someone you found on the back of a chip wrapper.
Sean... NAILED it! Any wonder why he is award winning at his craft...
There are so many locations on site to head off for bridal party shots and then couple shots up on the hill on sunset. That golden light twinkling through the trees making it the perfect combination for a 'rippa' champagne spray!
When you think you are just about all smiled out, it is time for the party to get started and there is no better sound than live music. Adam and Brendan from Something Borrowed Duo are THE BEST little two piece band going around.
They were propped in the corner of the chapel playing whilst everyone arrived, kept playing as the girls entered and walked down the aisle AND continued on during photo hour whilst everyone enjoyed lawn games outside the cellar door.
Then when the meals were served, dancing shoes were primed, they ramped it up for all to tear up the D-floor.
You can see now why Immerse is a top pick when looking for a wedding venue.
I assure you, when you roll in the drive you will see why I fell in love with the place and you are about to, TOO!
Alex + Nick - Flowerdale Estate 2020
A snippet from their ceremony...
It was fair to say that Alex had an interesting first impression when she met Nick whilst working at Ashburton Pool. She can recall he was always hand-balling new membership sign ups and never really engaged in conversation, and for such a talkative person like Alex, Nick was not very appealing. Alex does remember one conversation where Nick expressed his hate for cats. Alex quickly decided that he was not her kind of human!
Luckily a mutual friend Todd, celebrated his birthday at the National in Richmond and for this next bit I am literally going to go on and quote Alex - "Nick had smuggled in a bottle of whiskey (Johnny walker red label, he is very clearly the classy type!). After discovering the bottle was Nick’s, forgetting who 'Nick' was, I tried to persuade the person minding it for him to just let me steal it, he would never know. After many failed attempts it was decided that asking Nick was the way forward. So, Nick comes over and says I can have some but only if I let him buy me a drink and we all know how the rest of the story goes: Girl lets boy buy her drink, boy doesn’t leave girl alone thinking he owns her attention for the rest of the night, girl amuses the idea, boy attempts to kiss girl 3 times (or more) unsuccessfully, girl gets tired of him embarrassing himself and gives in to boy."
When I arrived at Flowerdale for Nick and Alex's wedding it was obvious that it was going to be a 'SWEAT OUT!' (if that is even a word). The weather gods cooked up tropical weather, rain followed by the stickiest humid conditions I think I have ever officiated a wedding in.
All good for Nick, he spends most of his life living in Singapore, but for the rest of us, I can recall family members joking and heckling from the crowd that we were sitting in a human 'HOT HOUSE'. The marquee as much as it served a purpose for the rain to not fall on us mid ceremony, it also provided the best conditions for fainting guests!
So I do remember half way through the ceremony having to pause and offer everyone an 'add break' to get a quick drink from the refreshments station!
No one was going down under my watch.
It was all worth the wait. We regrouped and got them both married.
From the pics you get a feeling that the bigger bride tribe, the more fun to be had! With four Girls, four guys... there wasn't a dull moment when they headed off for a few shots before returning to the reception.
Flowerdale is such a fantastic venue. If you love a farm, laid back setting you are in the right place. There are numerous spots to get married on site - on the lawn (which always seems to be so luscious and green), under a huge oak tree or by the dam, they are ALL perfect!
Maria and her team look after every detail. I have, on many occasions been witness to Maria picking her own rose petals from the garden to add to the aisle. Her attention to detail suits me to a T.
Being one of their preferred suppliers is humbling as it truly is the most stunning property in Strath Creek. I love driving out to visit and being involved in all the hype on a wedding day. Check it out, I know you will LOVE it too!
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