That braid. Those moody sunset shots. The groom in a kilt. Where do we start? Well, first of all, meet Ally and Doug who have been together for four years but good friends for a lot longer. “It was the kind of love that everyone else knew was there – except for us. There was a collective sigh of “at last!” when we finally got together one boozy Halloween”, explains Ally. We are oh so glad they did because this big day is right up our ‘ally’! A bunch of our faves were in attendance with Grew & Co providing the all-important rings, The Future Mrs on makeup and The Bridal Atelier taking care of the bride’s gown. Best of all, Damien Milan Photography was on hand to capture the love. Scroll down for a very good time…

THE VIBE “Our vibe for the wedding was a noisy vibrant autumn dinner party. We wanted guests to feel like they were having dinner with friends rather than being at a ceremony as such. We wanted people to feel comfortable and relaxed and a million miles away from Sydney, with outdoor fires and whiskey to stave off the cold. I also wanted a vintage eclectic feel. I wanted to have fun collecting pieces I loved, that I keep forever and remember as my ‘wedding decanter’ or ‘wedding candlesticks’.”

DIY “For me [Doug], my pride and joy was the arbour that I made from birch trees that I cut down myself. That practically makes me a lumberjack, right?! The trees were too close to the dam and needed to come down but the wood was too perfect to abandon. Ally sent me pics and with some muscle grease from my friends and father we hand-built the arbour under which we took our vows.”

THE DRESSThe Bridal Atelier was the first dress shop I went to – a bit of a classic, isn’t it? I found my dress almost right away. It wasn’t the first I tried, so, when I did pull it on the contrast certainly helped solidify the decision. It was a little out of my price range so back it went. After another few weeks of searching, I found that every dress just didn’t stack up to what my family had nicknamed “The Country Tablecloth” (since it had a farm-house, vintage feel). Ultimately, I decided that the comfort and confidence of a dress that felt like me was worth some sacrifices elsewhere in the budget.”

A TOUCH OF TRADITION “We tried to get as much Doug and Ally into the day as we could. That meant different things for both of us. For me [Doug], that meant drawing on my Scottish heritage. We had tartan, kilts with no underpants, scotch whiskey and traditional Scottish cèilidh dancing (think organised group dancing whilst drunk while a burly Scot yells directions in a booming accented voice). We also had my older brother read a traditional Scottish wedding vow to welcome Ally to the clan. My dad also read ‘telegrams’ from relatives overseas who couldn’t be there. Very vintage.”

LITTLE LOL “Last minute, and much to my surprise, Doug had decided to wear the most traditional accessory of the Scottish Highland attire – no underwear. Thankfully this didn’t (at least to my notice) have much of an effect on the ceremony or reception. But during our couple photos, the daring Damien and Anastasia took us up to a local hillside. No paths and no mown lawn. Instead, we battled lots of fields of very tall, waist height grasses and prickly shrubs. Damien and Anastasia did a brilliant job editing our photos because not one captured the concerned look on Doug’s face as he waded through the tall grass and got intimate with the local native shrubs.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “Spend some time thinking about the tiny personal details, the kind that don’t affect the wedding or your guests but which set the tone for your day. Pick the song you want to wake up to or which hankie you want to cry into. Choose who you want around you when you’re getting ready, what comfortable pjs you want to sleep in for the last time as a single person and which tea (or champagne) you want to drink on your first night as a married couple. These are the things that you’ll remember when you’re old and grey, not how smoothly the time sheet ran or if all the cutlery was straight on the table.”

STANDOUT VENDORS “Our photographers Damien and Anastasia made us feel like friends. Beyond arriving a whole day early to scout locations, they made us feel comfortable and confident. We are beyond grateful for the memories they’ve given us. My grandmother passed away not long after we were married. Damien and Anastasia took a close-up photo of my grandmother’s hand in mine, fresh new wedding band and all  and its indescribably precious to me.”

We like to do our bit over here at HM to make your wedding planning experience a breeze so we have rounded up contact details for The Future Mrs, The Bridal Atelier and Grew & Co. As for Damien Milan Photography…you better get in quick! His details can be found here as well as more real weddings he has shot. Check out Eliza and Alan’s Sydney wedding here if you just can’t get enough, but only after you are done here of course…

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Damien Milan Photography Cinematographer Thom Davies Florist Ivy Lane Collective Wedding Website Square Space Paper Invites Paperlust Venue Private Property Catering Rabbit and Co. Caterers Caravan Bar The Airstream Social Cake Friend Hire Items Your Event Solution, Your Event Tribe Entertainment Chris and Catherine Celebrant Treasured Moments Rings Grew and Co. Transport Robertson Bus Company BRIDE Dress Christos Costarellos via The Bridal Atelier Shoes J. Crew via The Iconic & Jaggar The Label Jacket Free People Earrings Cos Hair The Other Room Makeup Vic Anderson via The Future Mrs Bridesmaid Dresses Zimmermann Bridesmaids Shoes Zara GROOM Suit Suit Supply Kilt St Kilda Retail Kilt Accessories Kilt Society Groomsmen Suits ASOS