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!