Backyard weddings

Even in her own words, Carly and Connor's Spring wedding was a labour of love.

In fact, Carly says she actually planned about a dozen weddings - from rooftop cocktail style to a country barn - in great detail before eventually turning her back on traditional and overwhelming affairs and opting for a personal and somewhat eclectic day instead.

And what a great choice it was. From the location to the outfits, music to photography, Carly and Connor's quirky taste - and unrelenting attention to detail - paid off in spades.

chinese themed weddings

After opting for a backyard ceremony, Connor began gardening in earnest a full 12 months before their big day sourcing second-hand pots and planter boxes and filling them with bright yellow marigolds. Carly traipsed through the two dollar shops in Richmond's "Little Vietnam" district for countless yellow and white paper lanterns and the pair spent hours creating blackboards with second hand frames and gold paint.

The week of the wedding Melbourne turned on the taps and Carly and Connor had to quickly scale back their paper decorations and hire a marquee, and while she said she was a little disappointed not to have her dream sunny backdrop, thoughts of the weather were quickly forgotten once the day was underway and the skies cleared briefly for her walk down the aisle to "Lay Lady Lay".

tea length wedding dress

When it came to matching a wedding dress to her eclectic theme, the traditional white gown wasn't going to fit. Carly set about finding the look she knew she wanted - a tea length dress. When she stepped inside Vintage Rose in Hampton Victoria, she knew she needn't go anywhere else and the girls not only made her silk organza dress, but helped design the distinctive headpiece as well.

Connor's sharp baby blue suit which was reminiscent of those worn by Jamie Oliver and Kate Moss' hubby Jamie Hince. Connor topped off the look with a velvet bow tie Carly found at a local flea market - and flashy black patent leather dancing shoes.

Following the ceremony, Carly and Connor's guests were entertained by the motley crew from the Melbourne Ukelele Club who were decked out in their best wedding gear - top hats, ripped jeans and all - and proceeded to thrash out tunes from the likes of Talking Heads and David Bowie.

ice cream trucks for weddings

The guests were further surprised when a traditional ice-cream truck pulled up out the front of the house for a welcome sugar fix before they were whisked out of the rain to the reception at the boutique Mountain Goat Brewery by a party bus named Netty.

With the weather having ruled out the usual wedding snap locations, photographer Ben Morgan took Carly and Connor to Little Vietnam in Richmond's Victoria Street where they were snapped inside dingy pubs, outside windows full of hanging ducks and in front of graffiti murals in little laneways. The results are unique, unrehearsed and unbelievably cool.

Although there was no official theme - apart from wanting to throw, in her own words "the best party ever" - the industrial warehouse vibe at the reception was enhanced with a distinctly Spanish mood. Glasses of celebratory Sangria were served alongside a dinner of tapas and paella followed by Portugese tarts, all of which were chosen to create a fun feel with guests encouraged to go back for seconds, and thirds, which many did.

temporary tattoos for weddings

As an ice-breaker, not that they needed one, Carly organised a temporary tattoo artist - Amazing Raymond - to join the reception for a couple of hours to ink the guests. A self-proclaimed tattoo totalitarian, the bride demanded Raymond only bring his gnarliest tattoos so that by the end of the night all guests were covered with skulls, bloody hearts, pin-up girls and moustaches You can imagine the giggles that got. Connor's Grandfather stole the show with a huge scorpion on his balding head, while the grandmothers both rocked cleavage tattoos.

Music is hugely important to Connor and Carly and it literally took months to narrow their beloved music collection down to seven hours of must-have tunes - at one point they had a playlist stretching for six days. In the end they settled on a first dance to "Hysterics" from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, followed by a wide-ranging set which swung from punk and pop to hip hop, rock and reggae masterfully mixed by DJ Matt who ensured the dance floor was packed with young and old.

Unwilling to accept the end of the party, Connor issued an impromptu invite at the reception urging guests to join he and his new bride for a post-wedding pub lunch the next day before the newlyweds jetted off to Thailand for a three-week break.

Now that it's all said and done, Carly says she never expected the cliché about your wedding day being the best day of your life to apply to her. She figured she'd be too nervous to enjoy it. She's happy to admit that she was wrong. The couple threw the party of a lifetime and the results far exceeded their expectations.

Wedding Photography by Benedict Morgan

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