“Sweet, simple, old-fashioned and homemade” – that was the brief for Emily and Darren’s Melbourne wedding and they totally nailed it, right down the the bride sewing her own dress (yes, really!).

Despite having to scramble to find a new hair and makeup artist after members of the original team caught COVID, the day went beautifully, say the couple, who had a first look moment under a flowering Jacaranda tree. “We exchanged handwritten letters and read them together, which was such a sweet start to the day and helped us feel a lot calmer before the ceremony.” 

Ready to take a look at the gorg photos by Analog Modern for all the feels of this simply perfect big day? Yeah you are!

THE VENUE “We wanted our reception to feel like a big family meal, so we researched small restaurants and cafes around Melbourne. Little Henri was the second cafe we visited during our search, and we loved the decor and location. Having the reception inside a cafe was ideal for us because it meant we didn’t have to worry much about Melbourne’s unpredictable weather.”

DIY “We did so many DIY projects! We wanted a biodegradable option for confetti, so the week before the wedding, our families spent hours punching tiny hearts and circles out of gum leaves. The confetti toss ended up being such a joyful memory for us. We also have the loveliest bunch of friends who put together the whole afternoon tea after the ceremony. They baked heaps of treats, arranged bunches of flowers and decorated the room with bunting that my sister sewed. For the reception, Darren’s brother Patrick made the most beautiful calligraphy place cards, and our favours were little jam jars that we added fabric and labels to.

FAVE DETAILSThe flowers. I knew I wanted them to be simple and earthy so I ordered them from Everbloome, which specialises in dried flowers. It was fun picking out the bunches and playing around with them so that they looked just how I wanted them. I also made the groomsmen’s boutonnieres from dried flowers, and we picked up flowers from a fruit and veggie store to decorate the afternoon tea room.”

THE DRESSI sewed my wedding dress! I love sewing and I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to have a crack at making my own dress. The hardest part was designing the dress and choosing the fabric – there were so many options! I knew I wanted a simple dress with no lace or beading, which made the sewing process much easier. As a finishing touch I embroidered our initials and wedding date on the inside of the dress.”

TALK ABOUT TRADITION It was important to us to incorporate our faith into our wedding. We had our ceremony at the beautiful old Chalmers Presbyterian Church in Hawthorn East. During the ceremony, Darren’s sister Tanya led some folk-style hymns, and we had friends and family read scripture and pray. Emily’s pastor, Nick, officiated the ceremony.”

WORD OF ADVICEAccept help when it is offered! We had so many friends and family members offering to help prepare for the wedding, and the extra hands made everything run so smoothly. Friends helped out in every way possible, including lending ladders, going to Officeworks, picking up the cake, and cleaning up after the ceremony.”

STANDOUT VENDOROur photographer Nathan from Analog Modern was an absolute legend. We came across Nathan’s work online and really liked the colours and style of his photos. The fact that he shot on film convinced us in the end, since we knew they would be unique, carefully considered and special. He used four different film cameras on the day, and it was so fun to see how the photos from each of the cameras turned out. We loved how he managed to capture so many photos that we didn’t realise were being taken. Nathan was also so kind and down-to-earth, which made us feel comfortable in front of the camera.”

Emily and Darren could not be more spot on about the epic talents of Nathan from Analog Modern, and we definitely recommend giving him a buzz if you want dreamy, old-school snaps like these. Hit him up over on our directory, stat!

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Analog Modern Florist Everbloome Stationery Hello Josie (invites) Printer Snap Printing, Officeworks Ceremony Chalmers Presbyterian Church Reception & Catering Little Henri Cake Snow White Bakery Wedding favours Hotel Products Direct (jam jars) Signage Paper and Script Design Celebrant Pastor Nick Coombs Rings Alexandra Dodds (bride), Salera’s (groom)  THE BRIDE Gown Custom made by bride, Silk World (fabric) Veil TARA Bridal Shoes Top End Earrings Alexandra Dodds Makeup Annabel Clare Makeup Bridesmaid dresses Olive Clothing, Marks & Spencer Bridesmaid shoes Betts, The Iconic Bridal bouquet lace Ofrenda THE GROOM Suit & Shirt Peter Jackson Tie James A’delin Shoes Julius Marlow Watch Massimo Dutti Barber Universal Barber Groomsmen suits Politix