Erin + Matt: Romantic garden ceremony


Not all relationships may experience love at first sight – it’s natural for it to blossom over time. As with Erin + Matt, taking things one step at a time can make the journey all the more worthwhile and enjoyable, as you learn more about the person you’re spending precious time with.

It’s the little things that make us fall head over heels – a simple gesture of affection, or a meal that someone has worked hard to make for us – it all builds up to an epiphany that you have found your ‘one’.

How and when did you meet?
At the beginning of 2013, I was doing a charity fundraiser called Five in Five, where I go on one date a week, for five weeks. A girlfriend, Kat, worked with this “good looking, fit, nerdy guy whom she thought I would get along well with. It took Kat three weeks to convince Matt to go on a date with me. He was date number four and it stayed that way.

When did you know you’d found ‘the one’?
For me, I was pretty smitten with Matt from very early on. On the way to our third date, I told my friend Shannon that we were going to get married. For Matt on the other hand, it was on the fifth date when I cooked him Mexican at my little apartment.

Tell us a little bit about the proposal.
Matt and I spent three and a half weeks in South East Asia at the beginning of 2015. Two of those days were climbing Mt Kinabalu, Borneo. We spent the first day climbing the mountain and had an early night. It was freezing climbing up to the summit in the dark, but I loved every bit. When we arrived at the peak, our guide ushered us to sit down to watch the sunrise.

As Matt was about to get out the ring, a huge rat ran past and I made a pretty swift exit down the mountain, as it began to rain. It poured and we were soaked when we arrived back to camp. On our way back to our cabin, Matt suggested that I check out the beautiful view. It was then he pulled a pair of socks out of his pocket, got down on one knee and popped the question. I spent the whole walk staring at the beautiful ring, surprised at what had happened earlier that day.

What led you to decide on your venue?
Our venue was my Godmother’s farm in Warragul. I had been there many times and I loved the different gardens and spaces. I knew that I wanted to get married there – she just had to say yes! Matt didn’t need any convincing, he wanted an outdoor wedding.

What was the inspiration behind your wedding theme?
I don’t think we had a clear vision from the beginning. However, I would say the theme of the day was a home-style garden wedding, with a personal touch. We wanted our wedding to be about us and our family and friends. Everything had a purpose and reason for being there.

What was your favourite detail from the day?
The best bit of our wedding was that we had so many of our family and friends contribute in some way. The venue, cake, desserts, furniture, vases, the artwork for the invitations, and even setting up.

Tell us about your dress.
My mother made my dress and it was such a special experience. I found the lace in March 2015 when my mum and I went to Tyler’s Fabrics to see what was there. When I saw the intricate pearl lace, I couldn’t resist and bought it right away. I was unsure of the exact design, but my mum is an amazing dressmaker and I knew it would be perfect. We pinned so many different dresses on Pinterest and were never set on one design; I wanted the capped sleeves from one; a bow from another. I ended up with a beautiful two piece, beaded lace dress with capped sleeves and a tulle skirt. The long skirt could be removed to reveal a short cocktail dress underneath.

Favourite moment from the day?
Our Celebrant Jon had the perfect touch – he was inclusive of everyone. We loved his relaxed approach and the narrative he told. We had many laughs during our ceremony and also some tears of joy. In the lead up to the wedding his honesty helped guide us with our vows. He acknowledged our parents and thanked them for their support, as well as paid respect to Matt’s father who passed away. We loved the fact that he encouraged us to celebrate with our family and friends before signing the marriage certificate.

The speeches were fabulous, full of humour and kind words. My dad welcomed Matt into the family giving him a vice that he had one joked about earlier on in our relationship. Matt wrote a heart felt letter to his father, which brought a tear to everyone. It was so lovely to hear Matt talking about how proud his father would have been.

Any family traditions incorporated into your day?
One thing that we wanted to do was make sure we included our mums in the ceremony. Matt and I both have strong relationships with them and we wanted them to have a role in the ceremony. Rather than having a groomsman give us the rings we asked our mums to look after them and then give them to us to give to each other.

Any funny stories from the day?
We were on tender hooks because, right up to the wedding, Matt’s best man’s wife was pregnant and ready to give birth at any moment. Given they were from Perth, he was unable to attend in person. Matt ensured Paul was there for every bit of the day, taking a laminated face around to include him in the photos.

Selfie sticks on the tables were our alternative to a photo booth. We asked people to post the photo on Instagram. Our guests loved it, even the oldies were involved and we now have our own record of our friends and family.

What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage doesn’t change our relationship and how much we care about each other. We just wanted to tell everyone how lucky we are to be together.

Any words of wisdom for couples planning their big day?
It is your day, so make it your own.


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