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Wedspiration > Real Weddings > REAL WEDDING: Alyce + Myles – Tocal Homestead
Real Weddings
REAL WEDDING: Alyce + Myles – Tocal Homestead
When is it appropriate to mutilate a tree? The night before your wedding. Confused? We would hope so. Read on to find out how to ward off bad weather (and also to check out this gorgeous country barn wedding).
Words by Karina Lowndes
14 October 2016

In a desperate attempt to ward off wet weather, Alyce took a fork and stabbed it into the base of a nearby tree the  night before the wedding. And whad’ya know – it worked!

Regardless of whether or not you believe in superstitions, one thing is true – their outdoor ceremony (and later their reception) held at Tocal Homestead – a NSW barn venue in the  Hunter Valley – was picture perfect thanks to Alyce and Myles’ great vision, plus a rad team of vendors (and maybe a piece of cutlery). Not to mention completely laughter-filled, as you’ll soon see.

Before you go scrolling on down to sticky-beak at this stunner of a wedding captured by Ben Howland and with hire items from The Wedding Designer, may we suggest you have a read of Alyce’s awesome Q&A below – it’s full of solid advice and insights that we think are spot-on. Enjoy.

Tell us about how you met and the proposal

Myles and I met originally at Uni, but we didn’t start dating until after we had finished studying. We were going to catch up at his housewarming party, but I had a migraine so we caught up for dinner instead at a later date. I think he was a little confused of my intentions because towards the end of the dinner he actually asked “Is this a date?” Unfortunately, I had to be honest and said I didn’t think it was! However, I also said I had a great time and maybe we could go on a proper date another time. A very awkward but endearing conversation – needless to say I’m so glad he asked.

The night before Myles was going to propose, we actually heard from some friends who had called to say they had just become engaged. I was so excited I didn’t notice that Myles seemed a little under enthused. To make sure he didn’t steal their thunder he decided to put the proposal off for another week. The next night it was pouring rain and as we were sitting on the lounge room floor watching a movie and eating takeaway I actually said to Myles “This would be the perfect night to get engaged. What are we waiting for again?” I can only imagine what Myles thought about that comment.

What DIY projects did you do accomplish for the wedding?

Myles and I were happy to do quite a few DIY projects for our wedding. We wanted to be respectful of the financial contributions our parents had given us for the day so we saved money where possible by doing some things ourselves (often with help from our beautiful friends and family). These things included invitations, flowers, ceremony and reception decorations/styling, guest gifts and place cards.

What was your theme/inspiration/vibe for your wedding?

In both our relationship and our wedding, Myles and I tend to go for substance over style and are relatively low key. We wanted a wedding that felt classic, elegant and relaxed while focusing on the important things and maximising guest comfort. I loved the look of all the girls in white and boys in black for the bridal party and mainly green and grey foliage with metallic details for style elements, such as vintage candlesticks along the guest tables.

What traditions did you involve during your big day?

Despite leaving a lot of traditional elements out of our wedding by choice (e.g. cake) there were still a number of elements we valued enough to include such as my dad walking me down the aisle (met by my mum three quarters of the way down), lots of speeches and a first dance. Instead of traditional gifts, we asked our guests to bring a copy of their favourite book with a message inside. We love that we will be able to pass these books down through our family so they are enjoyed for many years to come.

What advice would you give to other couples leading up to their big day?

This is something Myles and I have spoken a lot about post wedding and our thoughts are somewhat similar. I would say don’t stress so much about getting around and spending time with every single guest on the night; wedding guests usually don’t have the expectation of spending a lot of quality time exclusively with the bride and groom. Myles said he would advise people to make a short list of key people to go and spend some time with and to be ok with the fact that you won’t get a lot of time with everyone else.

What does marriage mean to you?

In the (somewhat stressful) lead up to the wedding, I actually asked Myles ‘Why are we getting married again?”. I think when you are already living with your partner, plan to spend the rest of your lives together and have a mortgage that you could easily put the wedding funds towards this is a natural question. I remember Myles saying that we only get one life, so why not have a big party with all of our closest friends and family to celebrate the fact that we found each other and decided to experience it all together? People have been celebrating the big moments in life for hundreds of years and he wanted that for us too. I loved his reasoning and didn’t need any other convincing.

We both agree that marriage is about finding that person who you are committed to working things out with. It also helps that I think Myles is the most amazing person I’ve ever met and just want to share a life with him and all that it brings.

What was your favourite moment on your wedding day?

Our favourite moment of the day was listening to the brilliant speeches and our fabulous MC. We had three long tables and we were sitting in the middle section of the middle table, surrounded by our guests. I don’t think we will ever get so many of our closest friends and family in the one place again. So much joy and laughter and we will cherish the memories for a lifetime.

Any funny stories that surrounded your wedding?

It was absolutely pouring the night before our wedding and I was told by a friend that if I stabbed a fork in the base of the tree the night before the wedding it would ensure good weather on the day. We had planned to have an outside ceremony and I was desperate for things to go well so before bed I stole a fork from my sister’s kitchen and walked down the street till I found a suitable tree. As we drove towards Tocal for the ceremony, the drizzle started to clear, the clouds parted and we had sunshine for the rest of the day. I’m not saying it was the fork but what have you got to lose?

Ceremony song?

Babys (Live at AIR Studios) – Bon Iver.

First dance song?

You Are The Best Thing – Ray Lamontagne.

CREDITS: Photos Ben Howland //  Flowers DIY // Ceremony and reception Tocal Homestead, NSW //  Catering Sprout Catering // Chairs The Wedding Designer // Festoon Lights Event Haus // Bridal gown Melanie Ford via Bridal Couture // Bridesmaids dresses Sheike, Ellery, David Jones // Brides shoes Bardot // Earrings Lanvin // Groom and groomsmen suits M.J. Bale // Grooms shoes Aquila // Ties Dolce & Gabbana // Rings Robert Paul Jewelry // Hair Your Hair Studio // Makeup Ilona Kish Makeup // Music Twinsanity // Celebrant Matt Nichols // Transport Newcastle Limosines and Sexton Coaches.

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