Inseparable since they were in their teens, Monique and Joel chose to celebrate their 11 year romance at Mewburn Park Homestead, a heritage VIC wedding venue. “We heard about the venue from a friend. We went and checked it out and loved it immediately. Julia and Adam were amazing to work with. So laid back, welcoming and friendly!” says Monique, who kept the entire celebration low-key with an intimate ceremony and an open-air, cocktail-style reception. The casual seating areas, lush gardens and heritage listed stables added to the ambience too, adding just enough ‘fancy’ to round off the perfect party.
Tell us about how you met and the proposal?
Joel and I met at a high school deb party. I was 15 at the time and Joel was 17. We hooked up and it sounds cliché but we were just instantly in love with each other. We have been inseparable ever since. We went through high school, Joel’s electrical apprenticeship, my nursing studies at uni, overseas travel, then building our first home.
On holidays every year we would always go to Lakes Entrance, out on the boat and spend time with family. We always loved going there. We went out on the water one day and pulled up to a secluded beach and had some lunch… then I turned around and Joel was down on one knee! I had had no idea at all. It was so special.
What sort of vibe were you aiming to bring to your wedding?
We wanted our wedding to be a big celebration of our love, but also wanted to maintain intimacy and closeness during our ceremony. We chose short and sweet but very heartfelt readings for our ceremony, nothing too traditional and said our own vows. Then we had a cocktail-style, open-air reception with lounges and bar tables/stools to create a casual, relaxed feel. Mewburn Park provided us with the perfect balance between rustic and modern that we were looking for.
What advice would you give to other couples leading up to their big day?
Invest in a wedding planner/coordinator. We currently live in Mooloolaba QLD, so planning a wedding in Maffra and being so far away isn’t an easy task on your own… plus we also moved house three times in less than 12 months!! Crazy! So we were very lucky that Katie from Pollen & Patina was so amazing to work with and pretty much did everything for us and made sure everything was the way we wanted it. She coordinated the entire day so no one had to worry about a thing. It took all the stress away and we were able to enjoy every moment… which brings me to the second piece of advice, which is to just have fun!
With 140 guests I knew I wasn’t going to be able to speak properly with everyone, so I let people come to me and tried to take everything in! The day goes so fast, it’s like you blink and it’s over. But hit that dance floor and grab a champagne because (hopefully) you only get married once!
What does marriage mean to you?
Joel and I have been together for almost 11 years now, so being “married” doesn’t change much for us. But we believe it’s important to always have each others backs, no matter what. To support each other through the tough times and celebrate with each other during the good times. It’s important to continue to respect each other, be honest and love life together.
What was your favourite moment on your wedding day?
Everything haha! Seeing Joel for the first time when I was walking down the aisle. He was crying, then I started crying. It was very emotional and special.
Sam Smith – Latch (acoustic).
First dance song?
Ed Sheeran – Perfect.
CREDITS: Photos Sherise Fleming // Videographer Ethan St Ellen // Flowers and styling Pollen & Patina // Ceremony and reception Mewburn Park Homestead // Catering Duarts Catering // Stationery Bethany Eden Art // Favours Soupcan Stubby Holders // Bridal gown and veil Grace Loves Lace // Brides shoes Billini Shoes // Accessories The Silver Shop // Bridesmaid dresses Show Me Your Mumu // Bridesmaid gifts Von Treskow, Marc Jacobs, Plum Pretty Sugar and Frank Body // Groom and groomsmen suits Roger David // Rings Michael Hill // Hair Olivia Laws // Makeup Elle James and Kayla Cowell // Music Gaffer Tape Picassos // Celebrant Peace and Love Ceremonies.