THE ONLY THING

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that wasn’t re­laxed about this in­ti­mate wed­ding was the cou­ple’s res­cue dog Gizmo, who let guests know he wasn’t happy on the side­lines. “He was so anx­ious that he couldn’t be with us up the front, he wouldn’t stop cry­ing,” says real es­tate agent Melissa, 29, whose mar­riage to fi­nance man­ager, Sam, 33, took place at The Es­tate in Tren­tham, Vic­to­ria. “Sam is from Tas­ma­nia and I grew up in the coun­try so we knew we wanted to get mar­ried out of the city,” says Melissa, who spent her child­hood in Co­bram Ba­rooga, Vic­to­ria. The cou­ple fell in love with the prop­erty, just over an hour north-west of Mel­bourne, the mo­ment they ar­rived. Meet­ing in 2012, Sam tracked Melissa down on Face­book to ask her out on a date. A few years later he made things of­fi­cial dur­ing a stroll along a Sun­shine Coast beach. “Sam was act­ing so strangely and in­sisted we go for a walk,” says Melissa. “Two min­utes in, he dropped ev­ery­thing, hopped down on both knees and asked me to marry him.” A sense of fun was the over­ar­ch­ing theme for the day, and the laid-back set­ting of The Es­tate proved the per­fect venue. An orig­i­nal 1902 house, the prop­erty has been re­stored by in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tor and owner Lynda Gar­dener. Not want­ing to de­tract from its beauty, styling was min­i­mal. “The fo­liage and flow­ers were fra­grant and wild — we didn’t want any­thing struc­tured.” The bride’s bou­quet had a sense of place, with the florist pick­ing lo­cal wild grasses to com­ple­ment glossy dark mag­no­lia leaves and pale David Austin roses. In keep­ing with the re­laxed theme, three-piece folk band Vel­vet Archers pro­vided a lively sound­track. “We kept the for­mal­i­ties to a min­i­mum to leave more time for lawn games and danc­ing!” says Melissa.

“THE LAID-BACK SET­TING OF THE ES­TATE PROVED THE PER­FECT VENUE.”

PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Marnie Hawson; 0418 575 775; marniehaw­son.com.au CATER­ING Pot and Pan; potand­pan.com.au VENUE The Es­tate, Tren­tham; 0416 032 111; theestate­tren­tham.com.au DRESS Karen Wil­lis Holmes; (02) 9519 3901; karen­willisholmes.com FLORIST Woot­ton and Ni­chols; woottt­to­nand­ni­cholls.com.au FUR­NI­TURE HIRE Pep­per Sprout Hire; pep­per­sprouthire.com.au

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