Download a free venue comparison spreadsheet
Wedspiration > Real Weddings > REAL WEDDING: Amy + Chris – Mudgee hayshed
Real Weddings
REAL WEDDING: Amy + Chris – Mudgee hayshed
Four years after the day, one of our co-founders finally blogged their wedding. It was a long weekend country bonanza with a school bus-sized wine tour the day before, a wedding held in a transformed hayshed, finished up with a recovery session and many a Panadol.
Words by Amy Parfett
25 January 2019

Today’s wedding is a bit of an oldie. Four years old today, in fact. Happy wedding anniversary to me.

I (Amy, one of the co-founders of WedShed, here) figured it might be nice if we shared some of the team’s own experiences getting married on the blog. Because while Mel, our other co-founder, and I were already deep into the development of WedShed (we launched the site in March of 2015, just a couple of months after my wedding) the process of planning our own celebrations shaped what we wanted this platform to be. And that was a resource to help other like-minded people create a deeply personal day somewhere amazing.

So, I’ve decided to take a dose of our own medicine and answer our real wedding questionnaire. Here goes.

Tell us about how you and your partner met and the proposal?

Chris and I met in a pub we were both working at while studying at uni. Initial takeaway for me was that he was the tallest person I’d probably ever seen in real life. Takeaway for him was that I was wearing a low-cut top. Fortunately, we moved past these observations and after a couple of years of working joint-shifts, a sneaky kiss at a Christmas party and a steady build of chemistry, the timing was right and things became official.

The proposal happened in Tassie on a holiday. Chris had booked a really beautiful property that sat on its own peninsula. When we arrived he seemed keen – too keen – to go for a bushwalk (which is more my jam than his), so something told me to go along with it. I was perhaps also a little twigged because he’d zipped up one of his jacket pockets in front of me and not the other one (proposers, be careful – we ladies are pretty observant once we’ve been in a relationship for seven years).

Toward the end of the walk, we came upon a table that had flowers, champagne and a card ready, which he framed as a “belated birthday present”. I opened the card, turned around and he’d taken a knee. It was a surreal and incredibly happy moment, made all the more joyous by the champers that we quickly drank in the bush to celebrate.

How did you find your venue and what sort of vibe did you want to bring to it? 

We’ve long loved the Mudgee region of NSW so we were pretty lucky in knowing that was where we wanted to get married. We took a scouting trip and visited several different venues which, while lovely, weren’t quite the raw, blank canvas we were after.

On a drive down one country road, we spotted an enormous empty hayshed in the distance. So we wandered (some might call it trespassing, we definitely prefer wandered) onto the property, found the farm owner and consequently gave him the fright of his life – two randoms appearing out of nowhere while you’re tending to your garden isn’t fortunately commonplace. We explained that we’d love to get married in the outbuilding. As you’d expect, he was rather hesitant but let us go and take a closer look. It was instant love.

We left our contact details and asked if he’d have a think about it and let us know in a few days. Thankfully, he and his wife were up for it and they ended up being the most kind and generous people in helping us pull off a massive transformation of the 66 year-old structure. None of us could’ve foreseen how big a job it was going to be – we were so naive. But I think we did a pretty good job of respecting its history and bringing it back to life with bits and pieces of historic inventory from the farm (old carts, used fencing that we suspended and adorned with eucalypt leaves, skulls from the paddock, and more).

In terms of vibe, we just wanted to create a space that was relaxed but inspiring and fun for everyone that had taken the time to come out to Mudgee and celebrate with us.

cool country nsw wedding venue
cool country nsw wedding venue
cool country nsw wedding venue
cool country nsw wedding venue
cool country nsw wedding venue
cool country nsw wedding venue

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

Support local businesses where you can. For example, we opted for a local catering and hire company and asked the local Country Women’s Association to bake us a bunch of cakes and slices in lieu of one traditional wedding cake. And in the days in the lead-up, we organised for a local bus to take us wine-touring, which ends up being a decent trade for the wineries involved (think 80 excited drinkers ready to descend on the cellar door). A lot of regional towns rely on tourism and the service you’ll receive from these businesses will deliver more value than you anticipated because they can bring you local produce/connect you to the right people/are just generous by nature.

It’s so commonly said but it’s true so I’ll repeat it – don’t get too caught up in all the little things. No wedding is “perfect” – you’re more than likely to need to change some plans along the way. An event that typically has such a long lead-time will mirror  life: stuff happens and you just need to be ready to adapt. Know that when the day eventually arrives, it’ll all shrink into oblivion and you’ll have fun regardless of whatever is thrown at you.

I can also share some advice on what not to do too, and that’s leave your seating chart until the night before the wedding and your wedding speech until the morning of the day. Probably could’ve done without that extra bit of pressure. But for more comprehensive tried-and-tested guidance, check out this blog post that we wrote where we answered many of your questions.

Did you take on any DIY projects for the day?

Yes – and we roped in all our poor family and friends too who were incredibly generous in helping us out in the weeks and days leading up to the wedding  (sorry and thanks again, gang. Love you.).

All the bunting, signage, and decorations were done ourselves. We hand-sprayed horse shoes as favours after gurney-ing all the horse poo out of them (they came pre-used from a horse farm).

The worst DIY job was the bleaching and scrubbing of the cattle skulls. We sourced a good collection of them from the farm’s paddocks, put them in massive bins of bleach and watched hundreds of spiders, centipedes, weevils and bugs float to the surface like a death soup from hell.

We also collected all the vintage furniture, as well as all the cutlery, plates, port glasses and most of the styling items. This was great in one sense in that we could pass it on to friends that were getting married afterwards but also would’ve been easier to hire logistically (it meant several trips up to Mudgee to drop off a couch here, a couple of chairs there…).

What was your favourite moment on your wedding day?

The ceremony was definitely up there and remains one of the most memorable moments of my life. Nothing prepares you for how powerful that moment is when you’re standing in front of each other. It feels like all outside distractions just melt away. Chris and I had written our own vows and sharing them with each other in front of all our nearest and dearest was incredible.

My dad had passed away several years before the wedding and to honour him we made a toast of white port during the ceremony which was an emotional memory I’ll hold close.

Watching my bridesmaids do beer bongs off the back of big hay bales was a special moment. Don’t ask me where the beer bong came from because I couldn’t tell you.

country nsw wedding venue
country nsw wedding venue
country nsw wedding venue
country nsw wedding venue
country nsw wedding venue
country nsw wedding venue
country nsw wedding venue

Ceremony song?

‘Somersault’ – Zero 7.

First dance song?

‘You give me something’ – Jamiroquai.

CREDITS: Photos Mitch Pohl // Flowers and styling Wilderness Flowers // Ceremony and reception – Private Property called Wilgowrah // Catering Mudgee Catering Co // Stationery – DIY // Favours – DIY // Bridal gown Nightcap Clothing // Bride’s shoes Tony Bianco  // Groom and groomsmen outfits Uniqlo, William Teddington, Mrs Bow Tie // Groom’s shoes Calibre // Hair and makeup Georgia Hull // Music Press Club Band // Event hire Domayn Events // Celebrant Sophie Coombes

SEARCH: Looking for a country wedding venue yourself? Start the search here. 

PLAN: The $33 p/mo membership that will change your wedding: We Do Crew.

DO: More than 800 couples have loved this speech-writing workshop.

GIFTING: Gravy is the online wishing well that allows you to ask for money with zero awks.

Other real weddings
View all articles arrow right

Real Weddings

REAL WEDDING: Molly + Josh - Willow Farm Berry

This south coast wedding deserves a place on everyone's Pinterest. Keeping things fun-yet-still-fancy, this couple's stylish celebration at Willow Farm Berry was as sweet and heartwarming as their love story. Check it out.

Real Weddings

REAL WEDDING: Hannah + Nick - Mayfield Vineyard

Everything about this wedding was on point - the styling, the music, the venue. Even the weather. Prepare to be inspired (or perhaps a little jealous).  
country NSW wedding

Real Weddings

REAL WEDDING: Tiarne + Brandon – BoxGrove

Country weddings used to conjure up images of hessian table runners and guests dancing The Nutbush. Now, couples like Tiarne and Brandon are putting a more modern spin on things by bringing a bit of fancy to some of the most beautiful country NSW wedding venues.
Mudgee wedding

Real Weddings

REAL WEDDING: Casey + Matt – Skimstone Wines

Casey and Matt’s Mudgee wedding shone a light on everything that’s good about this popular winemaking region: breathtaking scenery, exceptionally good fermented grapes and unique venues that serve up good old country hospitality in spades. Mudgee, you have our heart.
Articles you might like
outdoor wedding


Planning An Outdoor Wedding? Read This.

What could be more romantic and magical than an open-air soiree with your loved ones? Outdoor weddings are hard to top – if the conditions are right. Read on to learn how to choose the location and timing of your alfresco wedding, along with a host of other top tips.


10 of the Best NSW South Coast Wedding Venues

When it comes to choosing an attractive location to tie the knot, it's hard to look past the NSW south coast. Along this renowned, 400km stretch of coastline you'll find pristine beaches, rolling farmland, world class rainforests and some of the most memorable Australian wedding venues. Here are 10 of the best. 
best wedding planning book


Get Wed: The Wedding Planning Book for Zero Regrets

If you’re looking the best wedding planning book on the market*, Get Wed is your tome. It’s more of a must-have tool for any couple wanting to know how to plan a wedding that says ‘this is us’ (*biased but well-researched opinion).


Australia’s Best Country Honeymoon Stays

Start saving – you’ll want to plan more than one trip after seeing these incredible country honeymoon airbnb’s from across Australia.
Looking for more ideas?
We’ve brought together advice, articles, and inspiration on our Wedspiration to help you find your feet.