Real Wedding: Larissa + Niall’s Vintage Inspired Backyard Wedding

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! I had such a great time relaxing with my husband’s family in Milwaukee and playing some Marco Polo in the pool with my nephew :) And to start the week of, I have a gorgeous vintage inspired backyard wedding all the way from Australia! The bride is stunning and love her gorgeous dress + hairpiece – and wait until you see the bridal party! A perfect backyard wedding to start the week off :)

vintage wedding dress

My husband Niall + I went to high school together in Perth, Western Australia and briefly dated as 12 year olds but lost touch after graduating, each on our own journeys studying and travelling. We crossed paths again almost a decade ago, and ended up getting together at a mutual school friend’s wedding. After searching around for the dream location for our own wedding and being disappointedby a lack of unique and personalised venues (not to mention the steep venue hire fees) we decided to draw on the poignant Wizard of Oz adage that, “there’s no place like home”, especially as this was so true to how we felt when we found one another again after years of exploring other worlds. We therefore decided to hold our wedding ceremony and reception in our own home and garden and to design and organize every detail of the day ourselves. This also involved a major garden renovation that took several months, with help from some lovely family members and friends, but the effort waswell worth it as we now regularly enjoy a cup of tea or a beer together in our beautiful garden.

birdcage veil

vintage backyard wedding
backyard wedding
backyard wedding streamers
We particularly like the fashion of the 1920s and decided to use this as the inspiration for our bridal party attire. We didn’t want it to look like a costume party, so asked everyone to only add a 20s flair and to put their own touch on their individual outfits rather than going for uniformity. The bridal party met on a few occasions to see how the outfits were coming together, which was sometimes difficult to coordinate as four of our bridal party live overseas and interstate, but we managed to email many photos back and forth which helped (thank God for iPhones!).

vintage bridal party
vintage inspired wedding gown
Niall had his three-piece suit made by a bespoke tailor on a trip we took to Hong Kong. It was an exciting experience dealing with the language differences but they were incredible tailors and Niall especially loves owning a beautiful suit that has his name stitched into it. I bought my Lisa Brown dress from Atlas Clothing in Perth and added the rhinestone belt to create a drop waist. A wonderful milliner – Fiona from Fiona Dixon Designs – generously spent a lot of time meeting with me and making my beloved 20s headpiece/veil, which now sits on display in our home on an antique hat block.

backyard wedding

Niall and I both love antiques for the stories and history that they hold; rustic food and good wine, as well as outdoor festivals and long dinner parties. We wanted to involve all of these things in our day and to keep the design relatively simple yet eclectic and bespoke. I came up with the idea of using individual antique china plates (antique stores and eBay) for our 65 guests to dine from, which I have been told was a great talking point for people. My gorgeous friend, Kim, also came up with some fabulous ideas and made a few handmade items for the day that gave it that extra intimate touch we were after. In the days leading up to the wedding, there were many hours spent up ridiculously large ladders hanging decorations (the chandelier was particularly interesting), fixing wobbly chairs, and cleaning stains off antique crockery but it finally all came together on the day.

backyard wedding

cake topper green bouquet

backyard wedding reception

A fabulous local restaurant West End Deli catered the reception. We asked Justin Peters and his team to allow us to ‘graze’ on rustic dishes for a few slow hours, like a long summer dinner, and people still talk about the delicious peasant-inspired food they put together for us in our kitchen.

backyard wedding reception

Our extremely talented photographers, Jemma and Sarah from Paper + Lace Photography, did an amazing job bringing to life the day’s personal, vintage style and capturing every special moment. They have been an absolute pleasure to deal with.

It’s been really nice reflecting back on our wedding day to write this blurb as, four months on, it’s rewarding to take stock of all the work that we invested which, even if at times a little overwhelming, made the day so enjoyable and allowed us to honour what we hold dear, particularly each other.
Thanks so much Larissa + Niall for sharing your beautiful day with us! And thanks to Paper + Lace Photography for letting me share your gorgeous photos! Paper + Lace are located in Perth, Australia and available for travel worldwide – check out more of this wedding here on their blog.

Also, Larissa + Neil have started their own business, handpicked harvest, to help other couples with styling their vintage wedding and/or other event!
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Comments

  1. I adore the big group shots & their color scheme is just perfect.
    The doilies around the mason jars are a pretty touch, as well.

  2. amazing.
    my type of look!
    thank you for sharing such beautiful images.
    xo

  3. I absolutely love the vintage 1920’s feel of the bridal party and all those lovely details

  4. Gorgeous bridal party!!! Love backyard weddings! Thanks!!

  5. What a chic bride! I love the overall look and the dessert tables especially.

  6. Wow, those dresses are stunning!! LOVE!!

  7. Kiana Washington on:

    OMG! Love the dresses!!!!

  8. As soon as you posted this, I’ve been searching for this BEAUTIFUL dress to purchase for my own wedding! No luck yet…does anyone have any ideas of where to buy this dress? I know they’re in Australia….

    thanks for the inspiration!!!

  9. This is what I found in regards to the dress

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2054732&id=94221921558

    The one on the right is very similar to her wedding dress. That might be at least a starter point to getting closer to finding it for purchase somewhere.

  10. GAH!! Her DRESS! I know everyone else has already lost it over this dress…but it’s sooo different and unique! Love it! Daring, but she pulls off that much back!

    Sidenote: Those rooster plates blew my mind-hole.

  11. Larissa O'Flaherty on:

    Hi Jen – Thank you so much for featuring our wedding :) It’s an honour to be listed with such great company! And thanks to everyone for their lovely comments.

    Carey – The dress is the ‘Poppy dress’ from Lisa Brown’s catalogue but not the one with the frill at the front. The colour is a sort of ivory-light silver (sorry can’t remember exact colour she termed it).It is 100% silk but I think she’s made a few versions since in other fabrics for a more casual style. I believe she is still making the dress so I suggest emailing her through her website and perhaps add the link to this blog so she can make sure it’s the same dress. Her website is: http://www.lisa-brown.com.au/
    The dress only comes in one ‘free’ size (was so comfortable) and the ties that I left hanging down at the front can also be wrapped around the waist for more of a Grecian look.The only alteration I made was to cut off the excess of the halter neck tie and sow on an antique broach for a more formal look.

    Hope that helps :)
    Larissa

  12. Maureen (Larissa's aunt in UK) on:

    You were beautiful in your fabulous wedding dress Larissa and didnt Niall look so smart?? I see that a lot of work has gone into the build up to the big day and everyone looked so smart and chic!
    I was so sorry not to have been able to share it with you in person

  13. coolest bridal party attire ever. i love how unique this wedding is.

  14. What a beautiful wedding! I am so in love with her bouquet!

  15. Larissa- thank you so much for the help! I’m in the states so I’m going to try to email her to see if it would be possible to mail me the dress In less than 2 weeks (yikes)!! Thank you sor the inspiration! You make such a beautiful bride!! Congratulations and happy days!
    Carey

  16. Lovely wedding….great to see you featuring Australians!

  17. wooo Perth represent :D i love that i know now that a wedding this beautiful can be created in my home town :)

  18. I love the 20’s look! Where can I find 20’s wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses? Not necessarily to be antique, just want the look. Anyone?

  19. Hello Larisa,

    You look absolutely beautiful in your wedding! The dress is also gorgeous. Would the dress be too big for someone who’s a size 0 (you looked about that size as well) ? I really like it but I’m worried that it may just be too big for me (plus I’m only 5’2!) I’d like to ask where you also purchased the belt? THANK YOU!

  20. Larissa O'Flaherty on:

    Hi Julianne
    Thanks for the compliment! I’m an Australian Size 8 but I think the dress could still work for you if you had a belt as the free size has a natural slouch to it. I purchased the belt from a small boutique in Perth who bought it overseas so I’m sorry I can’t provide you with any helpful details there. I’m almost 5’7 and had pretty tall high heels on – however, I would think that if you contacted Lisa Brown and asked if she could do a Made to Measure order to your height it could definitely work.The front of the dress is shorter than the back so if you bought it as is, it would have more of a train at the back than how I wore it, which could also look nice, and if you wore high heels the front would probably be ok as is. You could also tie the halter neck a little higher as I wore it relatively low. Hope that helps :)
    Larissa

  21. Hi Larissa,

    I just received the dress today! Thank you so much for your help and inspirations. I did have a few questions. I have a cream colored dress and was wondering if you wore any type of garment under the dress? It’s a tad bit see-through. Also, how did you press the dress to eliminate the wrinkles? Thank you again for answering all of our questions! You have been a life saver!

    Carey

  22. Thanks so much, Larissa! The info you’ve provided is really helpful! You just looked so effortlessly beautiful, and since this is was what I am aiming for, hopefully the dress would look nice on me as well. =)

  23. Larissa (the bride) on:

    Hi Carey – my silver/ivory dress wasn’t see through but I wore skin coloured underwear nevertheless. I used a friend’s handheld steamer to eliminate the wrinkles, which you could ask a good drycleaner to do – makes a big difference to the look of the fabric. I hope you have a fabulous day:)
    Larissa

  24. I can’t see any pictures with this story? Have they been removed?

  25. this is perfect!!!!

  26. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous – all of it!!! Larissa, I am also in Perth – can I use your backyard? :)

    Just wondering where you purchased your belt from?

  27. Hi Jen – thanks for the lovely comments!

    In case you’re interested, as a result of all the lovely feedback we’ve had to our wedding, my husband and I are in the final stages of opening a small business in vintage/bespoke event hire and styling in Perth. We collected many special rustic, antique pieces for our wedding, which we have since expanded on.

    The name of the business is: her handpicked harvest. For more info, we’re setting up a webpage http://www.herhandpickedharvest.com.au

    BELT – I’m sorry but I can’t remember the name of the shop I purchased the belt. It’s one of the row of clothes stores opposite the New Norcia Cafe on Scarborough Rd in Mount Hawthorn (next time I drive by I’ll write the name down).

    All the best for your day :)

    regards
    Larissa

  28. Thanks Larissa! Much appreciated. Can’t wait for your website to be up and running, as our wedding is in April – perhaps perfect timing!

    Thanks
    Jen

  29. Hi Jen – website/business will be up in the next few weeks so please email if you any interest/queries as will definitely be in full swing by April. regards Larissa

  30. I agree, Larissa looks gorgeous! The designer of the dress is Lisa Brown from Australia. She also has her famous Poppy V-Frill dress that has featured in many weddings. Find her at lisa-brown.com.au

  31. For Carey Winfield and Larissa the Bride,
    I hope its not to late and one of you will see this,
    I too am IN LOVE with the dress and also live in the states.
    Carey, how did you go about getting the dress?
    I am having a hard time finding the exact one.

    Larissa….great style…just pure brilliance!

    Many Blessings
    Mia

  32. I have been looking very hard for a vintage inspired, flower girl dress. I absolutely love what your girls are wearing!! Any suggestions? or websites I can look on?

  33. What an amazing wedding! I love that they were not afraid
    to let their personalities show!!

  34. DRESS FOR SALE!
    Hi all, I fell in love with this dress for my Sept 2011 wedding, but our venue changed, as did our theme and this dress no longer fits what I was looking for. I would LOVE to keep it, but in these times I just can’t.
    The dress is brand new, with the tags on it. The lovely designer sent it to me direct from Australia when I inquired about it from this same blog.
    Please contact me if you think it is the dress for you!
    DRESS INFO:
    exact same dress in the pictures above
    1 size only
    color: light grey-silver-ish
    new- with tags still on
    Please contact me at : WHEREISMISSMIA@LIVE.COM

  35. OMG What a stunning wedding!…I’m actually wondering where the gorgeous little page-boy outfit came from… He is so adorable!!!
    -xxx-

  36. Absolutely LOVE every bit about this Wedding. We had exactly the same image for our wedding: 1920 Vintage Wedding and Individual outfits that really embraced our bridesmaids & Groomsmen’s personalities and styles. When I googled the theme, and these photos came up, I almost jumped out of my skin… Someone who had the same vision. The wedding is stunning – Congrats from another Aussie.

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