Married at Blacksmith, Lake Mulwala, New South Wales.
Real Wedding Inspiration
They paired back the speeches, went heavy on the Espresso Martinis, dodged the rain and spun the wheel of Covid fortune… hitting the jackpot. Their good luck meant they didn’t have to sacrifice numbers, there were no restrictions or border restraints and most importantly they could pack the dance floor.
Read on for more of this fun vibed wedding, as Bride Prue chats to The Wedding Society’s Sarah May Alexander.
How did you meet?
Dave was going to Santorini for his sister’s wedding. He had a 10 week old puppy, Sadie and no one to puppy sit. He was whining about it at work and one of his work colleagues sent me a picture of the puppy, with the simple text – “Will you puppy sit my friend’s dog?”
The answer was clearly, “Yes. When? Where? Now? Can I have her now?”
We stayed in touch after the trip, mainly for Sadie updates, then he asked me on a date.
I was 3 months pregnant, Dave organised a date night. No cute clothes fit so I threw on sloppy maternity cargo pants, pulled half-dirty hair back in a bun, shoved on some old converses and thought “I hope he doesn’t propose tonight!”
Dinner was at a restaurant on the beach. We sat by the window, with a beautiful view and fancier food than usual. Dave was on his phone a lot. To the point where he got in trouble! Dinner finished and Dave suggested going onto the beach to watch the sunset. As the sun went down Dave offered to stay, but I was too cold and wanted to go home. Turning around to walk back up the beach, a dog came running out onto the sand. In a double-take I thought “Is that Sadie? Is THAT Sadie? Sadie, what are you doing here?” Sadie had a red bow on her collar. Dave knelt down to get the ring from it and proposed. Turns out, throughout dinner he was on his phone to his brother to coordinate this surprise. And after the proposal his brother Erik awkwardly popped up from behind the beach path wall.
Dave’s pre-wedding shenanigans
Life drawing, mexican fiesta on Chapel Street then out for drinks and dancing.
Prue’s pre-wedding shenanigans
Virtual golf, pub dinner then onto St Kilda for more drinks and shots!
Casual with a little oomph! Everything was supposed to feel fun and effortless. We also aimed for personality over uniformity – showcasing the things we love – our friends, our family, tequila shots and good times!
The venue kind of inspired it all! The arch windows, the olive tree leaves, the lake backdrop, the colour of the sky as the sun sets, the colours in the outdoor table tops, the indoor creams.
We did a tequila shot 2 mins in! It was very casual and a lot of laughs. We had some fun inclusions that got everyone involved and personal vows that were perfectly us. However the shots were the tone setter. Everyone says the minute the shot came out they were like, “Oh yeah, this is a Dave and Prue party!”
It was one giant party! We had 5 groomsmen and 3 bridesmaids. A lot of tequila, espresso martinis. As two people with large groups of close friends, we had 110 of our closest friends there. And we got to celebrate our love and family at the same time.
I saw another celebrant do a gig there and fell in love. We booked it without even seeing it in person! Ultimately we were struggling to find somewhere that captured us. We needed the relaxed and casual feel that the Blacksmith gives outside – you could easily be in Bali outside, without it being too rustic or casual. The inside of the Blacksmith is jaw dropping!
It had the class we needed to bring together our personalities in one. We also wanted a wedding that felt a bit like a backyard party, which it was. A backyard party in a very luxe house! Plus, they do woodfired pizzas – as pizza lovers that was a no brainer!
We DIY little things – invitation design, shot glass design, setting up the shot glasses for the day. But largely we aimed to make maximum impact with minimal effort. The venue basically speaks for itself. Fill it with awesome people and you’re done, anything else is a bonus!
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
Splurge – videographer, photographer, adding espresso martinis to the bill.
Saved – paperless invites, not going overboard with dress, suits, and buying our own decor items – neon sign and arbour which we now rent out to other couples.
Did you give gifts?
Yes, we gave everyone a custom shot glass. We figured that was a great way to make the shots more purposeful and we love the idea of our friends doing shots and always thinking of us when they do!
Moment of the Day
Oh too many! I loved our first dance. We danced to “My Girl” by The Temptations and halfway through we broke out of the choreography and picked up our two daughters and we just danced with them in our arms for the rest of the song. It was pretty special.
What will you never forget?
The fact that it was a gorgeously sunny day and as we left the house for the ceremony, it started to rain. We had avoided any consideration of a wet weather plan and as it was time to do the ceremony it was blue skies everywhere except for the giant grey cloud above the venue – literally! As we made the call to push ahead with guests under raffia umbrellas, to walk the aisle in the rain, a rainbow shone above the lake.
In the speeches Dave was talking about his groomsman Craig who happened to be inside at the bar behind us. And as he was mentioned Craig started moonwalking in the background. It was hilarious!
Her favourite moment
When our babysitter came to collect our daughters at 8pm. I pulled the bow out of my hair as I walked back into the venue and it was party time!
His favourite moment
When Prue finished her speech with a song.
Any disasters or regrets?
No. But we are so thankful we did portraits and photos with our bridesmaids and groomsmen before the ceremony. The rain and early sunset would have made it impossible to do it after. We got photos in perfect sunlight with fresh hair and makeup! And once the ceremony was over we were straight into enjoying the reception with all our friends.
Dave was surprised by Prue singing to him in her speech. He says he was in the moment because he didn’t expect it,
Would you change a thing
Nope! Not a thing.
What was quintesentially you?
Tequila for one! And that was because we are both known for buying rounds of tequila for friends on nights out – even when our friends don’t want us to!!!! We both believe tequila is the ultimate party starter and it’s not going to be a good night without it. Otherwise, we cut the speeches to just one representative from our families and us. We wanted to keep speeches to a minimum, dancing to a maximum – especially with it being a cocktail wedding.
Special thanks to
Stand out stars on your day? Miranda Stokkel -OMG! She was amazing. The photos are that good we can’t even decide our favourites to display. Every time we look at them we notice something we didn’t see the time before. And guests all commented on how lovely and fun she was, which speaks volumes to the person she is and how much x-factor she brings to her role in a wedding.
Michael Ribbons our videographer was a gem too. He had so many creative ideas and was the ultimate hype man before, during and after. He even convinced Dave to get on the dancefloor when he was “casually” trying to avoid it.
We didn’t have a honeymoon. We stayed on in Yarrawonga for the rest of the week as a little family vacation.
Advice to other couples
What we did well was focus on the things that were important to us and do them well, rather than spread ourselves too thin. We were also really clear on what our vision was and used the venue as the biggest source of inspiration which meant things didn’t get too overwhelming. Also, if they have children, Organise someone to come and collect them at a point. It’s lovely to share the day as a family but there is an ongoing feeling of “Where are my kids? Who has them? Are they happy?” Assign roles to people during the event when the kids are there and when they go, party on!
Did Covid hinder your plans?
No. We actually spun the wheel of fortune and hit Jackpot with that. It is almost unbelievable!!!! We had 110 people, just over the NSW border. Most of the guests were Victorians but some had crossed 3 borderlines to get there. No restrictions on dancefloors or masks or anything. We were incredibly lucky!
Also a bit shoutout to our jeweller Kara from Kallure Jewellery. She was so amazing at creating a dream wedding set with a very tricky brief. She managed to make something so unique and beyond expectations. Her craft and ability to pick up on little things that make a huge impact was incredible. And she’s such a lovely person, sharing the journey with her was really special.
FRENDORS – Vendor Friends
Celebrant: Luke Bertucci
Wedding Dress: And for love from Soho Bride
Brides Shoes: Blue suede shoes from Witchery
Jewellery: Kallure Jewellery
Photographer: Miranda Stokkel
Videographer: Bow and ribbons studios
Hair: Hair Central Shepparton
Makeup: Makeup Design By Dee
Wedding Rings: Kallure
Florist: Wren Floralista
Reception: Blacksmith Mulwala
Ceremony Venue: Blacksmith Mulwala
Music / DJ / Lighting: Brendan Pullen
Bonboniere: Giftware Direct
Signage: Blaze Displays