Sunday, 2 November 2014

An Aussie Farm Wedding - Mrs & Mrs Hooger-Smurf

Really!  Since the bride is known as Hoogs and the groom's family has always been called The Smurfs then as the MC suggested, we shall forever more refer to them as the Hooger-Smurfs (poor children).

The invitation requested that we attend their nuptials at Happy Valley, Matong, NSW.   Yep, for me (and Glenda) that means another happy trip home.   I'm not sure what we can use as an excuse for trips now, Sam has run out of children.  3 weddings in one year!!!!   That's 3 new outfits for everyone as we all went to each of them.

Never having been there before and having lived in Mexico (south of the border in VIC) for 30 yrs we had visions of turning up at a retirement village.  Well it does sound like that, doesn't it?  I can tell you that Happy Valley, the property,  indeed lived up to its name and there was much joy and celebration throughout the ceremony and the afternoon tea.

You know what they say "Location, Location, Location" well where else would a farmer playing hookey from the harvest get married.  Next to a wheat field, that's where.

We joked that the owner was going to bring the harvester around the bend and park in the paddock just behind the wedding and they would leave the wedding in it, harvesting a few acres on the way.

As usual on arrived guests were greeted and given a program.  Unusually,  we were in an open area and so an entrance was created.

This is Banjo, Sam's first grandchild handing out the programs on paddle pop sticks.

Kirsten the"glowing" greeter.

Ever practical, check out the benches.  All the seating was made by Nat's Dad, Rob.  There were 60 of these benches. Rob suggested that he would give them to Ash and Nat to rent out for other weddings.  Great thinking!

The Groomsmen patiently waiting for the girls.  Some things never change.

This really was a family affair.  Three of the Groomsmen are Sams' sons-in-law.  Jaxon, Scotty and Travis are married to her 3 daughters, Ashley's sisters.  The Best Man was Justin, Ash's best friend since they were in nappies (well almost). 

I loved the leather detail on the braces.  
You'll note the darker pants on this one, well this is Ashley, the Groom, waiting for his Bride.

Ash is a farmer through and through.  His Grandad gave him farming magazines when he was still a babe in the hospital and its been a love affair for the land ever since.  Such a hard worker.   That's my sister, Sam in the background, looking on proudly.   Plenty of stormy clouds in the background which were quite beautiful and full of colour.  

Check out Felix, he certainly had his swag on.
What i was really surprised about was that Reg and the other farm dogs were not seated obediently beside each of the Groomsmen.  How cool would that have been if the dogs had come down the aisle and Ash gave an almighty piecing whistle and a gruff "get in behind" and they just went and sat beside each Groomsman?  I mean really, where is your imagination Ash.  Oh, so you were busy with harvest.  Never mind, the girls arriving on the back of the old Ford was inspirational.

It may have been old and rusty but the engine purred.  

Well how else does one alight from ones carriage.  

How pretty were the flowers in their hair.
Of course this arrival was taking place behind the screen and closed door which we had all previously walked through on arrival.  No one saw them (except a me cheating and the "real" photographer).

The grand entrance on the arm of her Dad saw a beaming Nat in her grandmother's dress, proudly heading towards her soon to be husband.

I actually had tears in my eye throughout the ceremony but with the broadest of smiles like everyone else.  It was quite a crowd.  Both families, many people from the church and work colleagues.   Ash and Nat are so well loved and respected by everyone.  

Don't you just love her hair!!!

We had a bit of a scare early morning as it rained quite heavily throughout the district and the skies were full of rolling dark clouds.  Turns out that the morning drench was a dampener to the dust and as they were announced husband and wife the skies opened up blue and the sun poured down on them.   I looked at Mum and thought " jeepers, you are connected".  She was praying quietly in the car all the way there.  Not that we had any doubts.  I'm sure she wasn't the only one praying though.

Would you believe that while we they were signing the marriage register we were beautifully serenaded with full amplification in a paddock.  Behind the trees was Jodie's car with the bonnet up.  We thought she had problems with her car when we arrived but then realised her car battery was powering the amplifiers for the guitars, speakers and mikes.  Too Cool.

"Your Love Goes On" sung by Ben Romeo and Janna Seeley

The wedding party exiting for photos, driven by Ash and his new wife in the Hooger's old Ford.  Class Act.  The rust only adds to its beauty.   
Meanwhile on the other side of the trees we were enjoying punch and lots of homemade goodies.

Very simple but so on decor.

The children loved this huge swing

This is just brilliant.  These are made from old pot lids.  

Now we have only just reached the end of afternoon tea, so can i advise you all to go get a cup of coffee or tea because after a six hour trip home, i know I'm ready for one.

The reception was held back in Narrandera at the Pioneer Hall.  I use to disco roller-skate around this hall when i was a teenager and played basketball on the floorboards before the new sports centre was built.  Its a multi-purpose venue in a small town and its used for everything.  We even had several church camps here and we all bunked down in the outer buildings and ate meals together in the side annexe.  Well it certainly didn't look like this back then.

This was different.  The guest book was filled with little envelopes.  On each of the tables were cards and a tin of coloured pencils and you filled in your message and placed it in a little envelope.  They would have had a lovely time opening them all.  

At the entrance was a basket of "favours" and the idea was to complete the guest book activity and take some seeds to grow.  

On the other side of the entrance was something really cool and one i haven't seen at a wedding before.

Slices of wood were painted with chalkboard paint and little gold bags were filled with sweets and a homemade notepad for drawing.

How gorgeous does everything look.  It is what it is, a big tin shed but take the iron and give it some good ole vintage country flare and it is mightily changed to a really cool venue.

vintage books, simple arrangements and candles

A very welcome chill out zone at the other end of the hall from the live music.  

Lollies at the bar

Mum enjoying being placed at one of the front tables.  
I'd say for me the stand out decor feature was this arrangement of photos on the wall.

On the top line are the wedding photos of all the grandparents and then the parents with Ash and Nat in the middle.  Apart from my late father, they were all present and it was so lovely to see such nostalgia.  Nat's wedding dress was her grandmothers and it matched her figure and beautiful tumbling hair so perfectly. What an honour to be able to wear it

Isn't Mum's gown beautiful.  She was telling us this morning over breakfast that though she made all the bridesmaids dresses, her gown was bought for her.  She was able to buy it because it was a demo dress that no one else could wear - she had a 25 inch waist.  

Mum taking a trip down memory lane.  How Special!
This was the gown that Nat was wearing.  
Nat herself had changed into a lovely simple dress for the reception.

Cutting the cake which was a Mud Cake

From this point on it was a night a dancing, catching up with friends and mucking around at the photo booth with dressups and group shots.

These are Sam's children with their partners.  I love these people and i am so proud to be their Aunt.
Is that Ash yawning - anyone would think he'd had a hard day.  

Formalities over, it was braces, ties and shoes off and lots of foot stomping.  The cover band were so great and played all the favourites guaranteed to get you up on the floor.
OK, this is another cool thing I've not seen done before.  We all formed two lines and lit the sparklers at the same time.  Both Ash and Nat ran through as they left their reception.

Yet another great wedding in the country.    I believe that they will only have a few days for their honeymoon as the harvest waits for no one.

I've had so much fun at all of them and been so impressed with the interesting things they've done to make them unique.   If you want to catch up with Kirsten's Aussie Country wedding in Kyneton and Nicole's night wedding under the stars (both so unique) then click on their names.

Last thing.  Check out Mum.  She is 85 this month and getting more trendy each occasion thanks to Sam's shopping expertise.  She is now a resident guru on weddings if anyone want to ask her advice!  Mum is very proud that this is a size 16.

Can you see her fingernails are a dark purple to match her top.  

Her blue crystals look fab - trouble is we sent her home early and she struggled for some time to get them off.  They were too sharp to leave on.  She had to get my brother  in the back flat out of bed.  Doh!  I doubled them instead of letting them hang down in a single drop.  

I love her silver hair with white flashes.  Styled by moi.  
I'm officially tired now (its a new day) and so i hope you have enjoyed this post.

Thanks For Visiting Living In The Land Of Oz


  1. Thank you for such a fabulous post, and what a unique wedding, so many unusual ideas. Wish the bride and groom every happiness from Ireland, they have certainly got off to a good start, a real family affair and not a designer dress in sight, how refreshing.

  2. Absolutely love this post . You do get invited to the most awesome weddings

    1. I belong to an awesome family, what do you expect?

  3. Your families really do weddings so very well. Another beautiful wedding and great photos too. :) Now that you're out of weddings for trips home, maybe it might be chistenings soon. ;)

    1. I came home and found a Baptism invitation for two of my nephews children on the table. Its this month but im not sure if i will be able to go.

  4. What a stunning, warm and friendly wedding so unique to the bride and groom. Looks like lots of fun and years of fond memories. I love the sparklers idea. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

  5. On review i used the word "Cool" and "Unique" too much but i was too tired to think up a better way to describe this cool, unique wedding.

  6. Thank you Anne, did you check out the other two. They were also beautiful.


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