Backyard Wedding In Penrith
Matthew & Verity could not fathom spending so much on a wedding and decided to renovate for a Backyard Wedding.
We wanted it to be a special day, still with an aisle, great photos, but mainly we wanted a party. We cared mostly about the food, drinks and dance floor. When looking at venues, we then had to consider accommodation, transport and time in the day. Matthew decided a backyard wedding was a great idea and together they began renovating the house and yard to accommodate the event. It was a great excuse to landscape and together their family and friends all helped with building a back deck, a dance floor, raised garden beds etc. due to the DIY style, a vintage, country style was chosen, to create a relaxed feel.
Verity moved from Taree at the age of 18 to study Dance Education at the University of NSW, Sydney. Matthew at the time was in the 3rd year of his Greenskeeping Apprenticeship when they met at a party in his hometown of Blaxland in the lower Blue Mountains. It was love at first sight, with the two dating two weeks after meeting. The long distance between Kingsford and Blaxland made for many frustrating drives through Parramatta Road before Verity graduated and moved to Penrith to be closer. One year later Matthew bought their home in Jamisontown where they still live and were married at, 5 years later.
Verity woke up early to get ready to go to Penrith Lakes for the Miss Muddy event. While she was running around in the mud and foam carefree and with no idea, Matthew was busy picking up trolley loads of flowers from their local florist he had ordered the week before. At home, he cut the stems and organised them in over 20 vases and hid them in one of the spare rooms. Verity came home from her morning activities to quickly turn around and get ready for the Rosehill Races they had organised to attend with their friends.
While in the bathroom washing copious amounts of mud off, Matthew was moving the vases from the room, into an aisle in their lounge room. Verity, too busy to notice anything while in a rush to get ready walked in to see Matthew in his suit, standing at the end of the flower aisle, tossing a ring box between his hands, obviously nervous. Shocked, Verity’s hands went to her mouth while he walked toward her and dropped to one knee. Not getting anything out, but a jumble of ‘will you marry me’ amongst his own tears, he opened the box, to which the ring was no longer nestled in the slot, but tossed to the side, and had to fish around to get it and slip it on her finger. A beautiful ring designed by Matthew with his jeweller friend Douglas Ely, unique, deco, blue diamond, white gold. This was the beginning of their DIY, home wedding.
Our advice on relationships is, to be honest with each other. Everyone makes mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. But with honesty, it’s easier to understand and accept situations and together move forward as a strong couple. I also think it’s really important to laugh at yourself and don’t stress on the little things!
The lead up to the wedding was catastrophic! It rained three weeks straight which turned the lawn into the mud. Changes were made 5 days before the wedding to hire a marquee and raised flooring to keep the guests out of the mud. The lawn had to be covered after a year of careful growing, in plastic festival matting and the ceremony had to be moved up onto the dance floor!
We had mix-match white chairs with wooden trestle tables for dinner. We had wine barrels around with umbrellas and hay bails as our tiered bar. With baby breath flowers, we also used copper baskets to hang greenery from our trees under our marquee and to add to the wedding arch Verity’s father made. It was all very family orientated and was mirrored by all children present at the wedding and cartwheeling the night away under the stars!
There were many tears and stressful days, but the best part was standing next to Matthew and seeing the smiles on all our families faces and realising that nothing really mattered, they were our closest family and friends and we would have the best time no matter what was changed or not able to be achieved! In the end, we had perfect weather! Our friends wore cowboy boots and a flower girl cried down the aisle and Matthew may have said “awful wife” instead of ‘lawful wife,’ but it was so intimate and fun. We partied into the very early morning, thanks to an endless grazing table of goodness, and amazing understanding neighbours!
Verity is a DIY queen, always buying and selling on Gumtree and eBay. She bought 20 baskets to turn into hanging greenery chandeliers and created her own lolly buffet. She made a wedding sign for the front lawn and a large dance floor out of used pallets and marine ply. All our suppliers were fantastic and we could not rave about them enough. It was also a great way to meet and support the local businesses of Penrith.
Having to choose a gown 12 months out was really daunting. Due to having the wedding at our house and having to organise everything from the salt and pepper shakers to the toilet paper, I was not yet sure on what type of dress I wanted, let alone what part of the yard we would be married at! I was tossing up on a long sleeve, definitely loved lace, but also the cost was unimaginable to me. I simply did not want to spend thousands on a dress for one day. I ended up purchasing my dress second hand online and using a local seamstress to make minor adjustments as I was only ready to choose 3 months out!
I was so pleased with my dress because I was able to wear what I wanted and could enjoy myself completely. I loved purchasing it second hand and had great conversations with the first owner about her wedding in Brisbane! She was just lovely and so excited that someone else would be able to wear the dress she loved too. Looking back, I realised I was able to feel really relaxed about the dress, especially when taking photos as I ended up getting it wet in a creek, grass and twigs caught in it and by the morning, a nice dirt rim around the train! I bought a veil online for $10 and after the ceremony, let the nieces run around with it on, under the arch pretending to marry one another!
We really wouldn’t change anything! We could have hoped for better weather in the lead-up, and doing it all yourself did become stressful, but we loved it all. My only thought would be that we rushed our formal family photos and missed some with Godparents and special friends.
It is the most special day, but is everything you think you need necessary? I would say keep it simple, that way it is intimate and about you and your marriage, not a huge expense that will be over once the venue kicks you out! We had our photos taken before the wedding so that we could move straight from ceremony to reception without leaving which worked a treat! We didn’t miss anything and had longer to see those people that had travelled long distances to see us.
Guests: 72 adults, 11 children.
Wedding Feature: BWedding
Dress: Frankie by Made With Love Bridal
Makeup: Insignia Hair and Day Spa, Jamisontown
Hair: Insignia Hair and Day Spa, Jamisontown
Rings: York Jewellers Penrith by Douglas Ely
Grooms suit: Peter Jackson
Photographer: Rocky Zhang from Dreamlife Photography & Video Sydney
Food: Back Galley Cafe and Catering, Camden
Flowers: Petals and Leaves, Penrith
Ceremony/Reception venue: Our own backyard, Jamisontown
Marquee/flooring hire: Penrith Party Hire
Furniture: Vintage Patina Sydney
Wine Barrels: Penrith Wine Barrel Hire
Lights: Festoon Lighting Sydney
Celebrant: Oliver Thomson