Friday, 7 March 2014

An Australian Country Wedding

Weddings come in all shapes, forms and sizes especially in Oz where we are a mixing pot of immigrants from all nations.  Wedding here tend to be flavoured by the family of origin of either the bride or groom or both.   Imagine an Indian marrying an Italian,  a Russian marrying an Asian, a Greek marrying a New Zealander. The mind boggles at the endless combinations and the opportunities that arise for some pretty hilarious weddings. There has been some reality TV wedding shows of late and when you see what some people come up with as their "fairytale" wedding, it leaves me shaking my head.  But i guess it takes all kinds, right?

So what if both the bride and groom come from true blue country families with an Australian heritage going back several generations. What would be their image of a wedding be?  Well last weekend i went to what i consider to be a true Australian wedding.  The marriage of my niece, Kirsten and her beloved groom, Jaxon, now known as Mr and Mrs Durham.

I think the theme of this wedding was set by the location and the very relaxed no-fuss personalities of the wedding party.  Location, Location, Location, isn't that what they say?  The wedding took place on a farm about 30min out of Kyneton, 80km from Melbourne.  The home was owned by a Rachel & Paul, family members, and the old homestead and property was stunning.

A beautiful view of crops and vineyards in the background.

The heart shaped dam with a unique decorating feature. The cows on the bank add a nice touch. 

Hard to get an idea how big this place is but there is a family with 5 children living in it.   Jaxon, the groom, is currently building a new homestead that looks like something out of Vogue Living very near to here and so Ive bagged making this one into a home stay.  Wouldn't you love to wake up and have a cuppa looking out over that amazing view.  

I don't think there is a straight edge in this place.  It looks so so natural.

Not sure how comfortable this is but it certainly looked the part.  
Lovely Fire Place

Seriously, this is the children's playhouse, stone fireplace and all.  

So how do you decorate a place like this for a wedding.  Very simply!  The beauty is all around you and so you just add jars and vases of unstructured flower arrangements.

The aisle that the wedding party walked down was simply cut off pieces of wood about a foot high with jars of very natural looking arrangements at the end of each row of seats.

Refreshments were available while we waited.  It was a mild day (about 24 degrees) but we were in open sun and the cool drinks were very welcome.

Help, i don't know what this means.  Its something techy?

OK, introducing the boys

Jaxon, Ash, Dave and Scott
Jaxon (Groom) is in the moleskins and the groomsmen are in dark denim.  All wore boots, matching belts , blue and white checked shirts and of course the akubras.   Were you expecting suits, out here, seriously? These are real men, everyone of them. They work hard for a living, love their women and wouldn't be caught dead in a monkey suit.  Sorry my pictures are so bad, i wasn't really focused on doing them justice. The professionals (family friends) were doing a great job.

What do REAL men have for wedding cars?

Landcruisers of course.  Two blue and two white.  I was too busy chatting to pay attention when they were all together.  The reception was in The Barn at the bottom of the hill down a dirt track, so very practical.  My black car certainly didn't fair well on the dust front.

So, here come the girls.


Nicole (niece)

Tayla (Jaxon's sister)

Jodie (niece)

They each carried a bouquet of native flowers.  The dresses were specially made for the girls.  I loved the colour.  So lovely and cool .

The Bride and her Dad (Trev)

The dress had a lovely lacy bodice and a low back that you cant see in this pic.  Bad Bad photographer. I've tried lightening it a little so you can see something.  Trev normally does the marrying (he married us 20 years ago - its his fault) and i think he enjoyed proudly walking his beloved eldest daughter down the aisle. He's looking a little red and that's not my photography.  He was sunburnt working on the farm for the last week helping to get it ready for the big day.

Ralph who married them is a long term family friend that would have bounced Kirsten when she was in a nappy.   Such was the informal nature of the ceremony.  There were laughs aplenty and touching emotional moments as well.   This is such a lovely couple that are truly blessed to have found each other.
There were around 170 guests to accommodate for the reception.  Up until a week before The Barn was filled with machinery and farm equipment and had a dirt floor.  They must have worked hard.  Did i mention that this wedding took place at 11.30am?  While the wedding party had their professional photos taken (on the property somewhere but i believe the shearing shed might have been involved) we were served in a separate marquee platters of fruit, crackers, dips and cheese.  Love the serving platter  - thats one nice piece of wood (such a country girl).

Very original serving platters - oh, i just noticed the napkins matched the bridesmaids dresses.   
There was an outdoor bar under one of the gum trees with waiting staff.  Being surrounded by vineyards there was a selection of champagne and wines.  They also served beer and Echuca Port soft drinks (my favourite brand).

Catering (spit roasted meats, roasted vegetables and goumet salads) was done by Blake's BBQ Catering.  Truly amazing the standard of service managed in the middle of a farm out the back of beyond. They served homemade mango and berry icecream for a light desert before serving the delicious chocolate mud cake.

The Barn.

The happy couple - the wreath behind had been made by a friend for the occasion.  

Very simple - glass jars with wire hoops filled with flowers hanging from the roof.  

As you can see the dirt was replaced with a layer of compacted blue stone gravel.  White tablecloths with simple hessian runners and more flowers.  
The doors at the end was opened up when the wedding party came in and there was a lovely breeze blowing through.

A simple idea for a wedding gift for guests.  Where do they come up with these unique ideas?

Hubby looking happy - why wouldn't he be, hes looking at me!

Their first dance as a married couple under the gum tree.  
Taylor is a local singer from Kyneton and a friend of Jaxon.  He was awesomely good.  His version of John Legends "All of Me"  sung during the ceremony was magical. 

A photo with Grandma (Mum) before her car trip home.   Doesn't she look swish for a 84 year old.  Goodness, you cant see it but my sister took her to Hollywood Nails and her fingernails are dark sparkly blue to match the colour in her blouse and there was a split in the front of her navy wrap skirt. Very awesome Mum.  
Poor Jaxon and Kirsten endured hours of photos after their dance.  Of the 170 only a few were friends so with so there were many family combinations on both sides.  It went on for hours.  Kirsten was actually getting sunburnt. We left about 4pm as we had a house full of teenagers rampaging on consoles at home for Tom's 17th.  We missed the turn and had a meandering wander through the countryside which was very pleasant until we joined the freeway a bit further along.  Its a good day when you don't care if you get lost.

So, in closing let me say how very proud i am to be Kirsten's Aunt and how much i look forward to getting to know her husband.  My greatest wish is that she has her desired family as soon a possible.  She was born to be a mother and has been mothering everyone elses children for years.  As usual she is putting others first and leading a team of ladies on a mission trip to Sri Lanka in June, so babies must wait until she gets back.

Thanks for visiting Living In The Land of Oz


  1. What a beautiful wedding , I have been waiting all week for this post. Congratulations to the Happy couple. What beautiful surroundings just love it.

  2. What a great way to celebrate in their own style. I am sure it was a great occasion for all since there were so many family members there.


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