Few spaces offer as much inspiration or creative freedom as Lithgow State Mine Heritage Park – a NSW industrial wedding venue littered with artefacts from days gone by. For Hayley and Aaron, a couple who love all things vintage and who were keen to create a personalised celebration, it was the perfect place to get hitched and party the night away to the awesome tunes spun by We Play Records.
Tell us about how you met and the proposal?
Aaron and I first met at Charles Sturt University Bathurst. We were both doing volunteer work during orientation week, 2010. I was an O-week coordinator and he was an O- week leader (this means I was his boss for the week!). We didn’t take much notice of each other that week but would occasionally see each other on a Thursday night at the Uni Bar. Eventually sparks flew one Thursday night and it went from there!
We lived together for three or so years before Aaron proposed. He picked me up from work on a Friday afternoon to head to my family home in Sydney… I thought it was a bit strange he didn’t have the dog with him! He told me to close my eyes and he ended up taking me to Rydges at Mt Panorama where he was too nervous and proposed in the kitchen of the hotel room! We stayed the night in Bathurst and went to my parents house the next day instead.
What DIY projects did you do accomplish for the wedding?
Everything we did for our wedding was DIY! All the centrepieces, decorations and furniture pieces for the reception we sourced and purchased ourselves. We had beautiful silver teapots and candelabras running down the tables and our florist filled them with beautiful flowers.
We had a crate stack (which we sanded and stained to just how we wanted them) full of things that are “us”- cricket balls for Aaron’s love of cricket, ribbons on reels to symbolise my love of sewing, some of our favourite pictures, and an old kerosene lantern that was my grandfathers.
We made all the signs for the venue, seating charts and menus and tags for the bonbonnieres (blankets for our guests to keep warm and to take home). We also made a giant scrabble game for cocktail hour but the rain washed it away!
Was there a theme or vibe were you aiming to create for the day?
Our theme was vintage glam. It was inspired by our everyday lives. We love a bit of vintage and a bit of glam! The venue was an old mining bathhouse kitted out with old machinery and artefacts from mining days so we drew a lot of inspiration from that. As of the vibe, we wanted the music to be pumping and for it to be a real party atmosphere.
What traditions did you include in your wedding?
We had the traditional church wedding. We have always driven past the Hoskins Memorial Church on our drives to Sydney and I had always envisioned myself getting married there! We also had the father-daughter dance after the first dance but decided against a garter or bouquet toss.
What advice would you give to other couples leading up to their big day?
I would give couples the advice to make your wedding day YOU. You are only planning to marry once, so make it a truly special day for you and your partner. We were able to create a wedding that was truly us by hiring a venue that was an empty space and turning it into us. Don’t be afraid to make it your own and do what you want to do.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage for us is a symbol to our family and friends that we want to be together! We have lived together for many years and this was a way for us to publicly declare our love for each other and make a commitment in front of those who mean the most to us!
What was your favourite moment on your wedding day?
Our favourite moment of the day was taking photos in the Blast Furnace Park at Lithgow. The rain was pelting down but we had such a good time exploring the old ruins and getting some magical shots. I remember telling our photographers not to publish any photos of my “resting bitch face” online but it turns out they are the best photos of them all!
How did you find your venue and was the process difficult for you?
Finding our wedding venue was fairly easy – living in a small country town we don’t have too many options. We knew we wanted to find a space that we could create our own. We already loved the church at Lithgow, so we did a Google search and was able to come across the State Mine!
Train- Marry Me.
First dance song?
Eric Clapton- Wonderful Tonight.
CREDITS: Photos Willow and Co // Flowers Floral Ink // Ceremony Hoskins Memorial Church Lithgow // Reception Lithgow State Mine and Heritage Park // Catering Bern The Chef // Prop hire Rustic Hire // Bridal gown Bridal Secrets // Cape Gibson Bespoke // Bridesmaid dresses Smik // Groom and groomsmen suits Institchu // Rings Michael Hill and Bevilles // Grooms shoes Florshem // Ties David Jones // Brides shoes Clarice Shoes // Prouds The Jewellers // Stationery Bespoke Letterpress // Hair Vunro // Makeup Nicole Abela // Music We Play Records and Don’t Call me Shirley // Celebrant Rev. Matt Trounce // Transport Tuf 57 Chevys.