A traditional white wedding was never on the cards for Liana and Matt. They wanted a wedding venue, where they could add plenty of colour and personality. Bride, Liana, shares how they designed their very own wedding festival at Maleny Retreat.
Making sure we had the wedding we wanted to have and not be tied down by the traditional wedding structure. We wanted the day to be filled with fun, happiness, colour and love and we wanted all our friends and family to leave having had a great time.
When we first got engaged we were both very overwhelmed with the whole wedding thing and initially planned an elopement to Iceland as it seemed like a less stressful option. It became clear that we wanted our family to be there (and they also really wanted to be there) and so our elopement turned into a small destination wedding and in the end the logistics of that became too difficult. So we decided to keep the date but do it back home.
The hardest part was knowing where to begin, it seemed like such a huge task, but once we got the ball rolling everything just started falling into place.
Our DIY Reception Venue
Our wedding was never going to be traditional and we didn’t want to be held back by the typical wedding structure, so a DIY wedding was very attractive to us. It meant more work, but it also meant we got the wedding we wanted. When we foundMaleny Retreat we loved that it was a one stop shop, no needing to move around to different locations. We loved that our friends and family could stay the night in the glamping tents.
Images by Brody Grogan Photography
Our ceremony was my favourite part of the day, and I will never forget that both Matt and I picked each of our closest friends in our raffle draw for our witnesses. We thought someone must of rigged it, but it was just a crazy coincidence.
Most Emotional Moment
Honestly the whole day was so emotional. We definitely needed a holiday after just to recover. The most emotional moment was probably when we read our personally written vows to each other. That was pretty special and I will never forget it.
Despite pestering Matt for months about getting engaged, the proposal came as a surprise. We were in New Zealand on a family holiday, and we had a night to ourselves in Auckland. We were staying at a fancy hotel and had dinner booked in at Sky Tower. We were getting ready for dinner in our hotel room and only had 5 minutes before we had to leave, typical me always running late was doing my hair in the bathroom.
I called from the bathroom that I was unsure if it looked okay, and Matt said to come out and show him. I came out to him on one knee with a ring. He asked, “Will you marry me?” Tears started forming in my eyes at the same time as I blurted out, “F**k off, you’re going to make me cry, and my make up is going to run, and we have to go or we will be late.” Matt asked, “Is that a yes?” and my response was, “Of course!”
We celebrated with a bottle of champagne at dinner, headed to the casino afterwards and managed to win the cost of the evening including our accommodation at three card poker. It was a pretty fantastic night.
Biggest splurge: Definitely my wedding dress. I am a very colourful person and knew a white dress wasn’t going to cut it. Vanessa at When Freddie Met Lilly helped me design my gorgeous pastel dress. It was absolutely stunning with all the hand-sewn embellishments on the bodice, it was super comfortable and made me feel amazing. When I was trying it on for alterations I included getting a sparkle layer of tulle added, which meant having to take the whole skirt apart, but it was worth it.
Best money-saving decision: Having cocktail style food. The Pizza Fusion woodfired pizza was a huge hit and quite affordable compared to sitdown style food options we looked at, plus it suited our wedding style much more and was delicious. Who doesn’t love pizza!
Bride’s dress: When Freddie Met Lilly
Accessories: Flower hair piece from Ginger Lily & Rose
Groom’s suit: When Freddie Met Lilly
Accessories: Custom tie made by my mum, cuff links from Etsy (wooden with embossed duck)
Shoes: Brown boots from Wild Rhino
DIY: Friends and I made a million colourful pom poms which were used as the basis for the decorating theme. I also made our wedding invitations (with the help of a graphic artist friend and my sisters and mum). I made the welcome sign which was also a timeline for the day. I got my graphic artist friend to design the Bar Menu sign, which I printed out. I made a signing board from a custom drawing of hubby and I in our wedding gear, that I got it printed on a canvas. I made the glitter bar for our guests to sparkle themselves up for the reception. I made our card box for wedding gifts, which was a white letterbox with decal stickers.
Honeymoon: Bedarra Island Resort
Number of guests: 75
Wedding budget: Approx $50,000
Actual cost of wedding: $62,000
The Dream Team
Photographer: Brody Grogan Photography | Venue: Maleny Retreat | Florist: Ginger Lily & Rose (No longer in operation. Try one of these!) | Beverage catering: The Vintage Bondwood Bar | Catering: Grazing table: Platters by Kiki | Woodfired pizza: Pizza Fusion | Doughnut van: Jam Factory | Gelato cart: Wheel and Spoon Gelato | Hair: Rolling Scissors | Makeup: Dewy Beauty | Furniture hire: Berry Vintage | Stage hire: Perry’s Hire |Styling: Berry Vintage and Pretty Bonito | Celebrant: Cassandra Bowles Celebrant | Entertainment: Ramjet | Photo booth: iShoot Photo Booth | Wedding night accommodation: Maleny Retreat
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