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Wedspiration > Real Weddings > REAL WEDDING: Stevie + Matt – Fairlawn Estate
Real Weddings
REAL WEDDING: Stevie + Matt – Fairlawn Estate
Dogs, paddocks, a shared feast, secret vows and cocktail hour picnics – this rustic WA wedding is a celebration of everything we hold dear.
Stevie and Matt wedding Fairlawn Estate
Words by Karina Lowndes
28 October 2020

Stevie and Matt’s rustic WA wedding at Fairlawn Estate was full of countless, love-filled moments including their first look – something they were unsure about at first but which turned out to be one of their favourite memories.

As Stevie tells us, “…like many couples, we worried it would take away from the magic of seeing each other at the end of the aisle. But this could not be further from the truth! I still had butterflies and we both bawled happy tears.”

Stevie and Matt, congrats on getting married. First, could you tell us about how you met, any funny first date stories and a bit about the proposal?

We first met in high school in Darwin and ‘dated’ very briefly (two whole days) in Year 11. We both moved on and across the country and it wasn’t until nine years after high school, I randomly messaged Matt on Facebook to ask how he was and what was going on in his life. The rest, as they say, is history.

We started dating while living in separate states which meant our initial time together was always some kind of trip away. In fact, our second date was a week-long camping trip in WA which was a bit risky – if things didn’t work out and you didn’t like each other you would be stuck in the middle of the bush with a very long and awkward drive home! Not to mention there were no toilets so there was no hiding when you needed to go…

Matt proposed on a bush walk with our dog, Winston, at a spot that overlooked a waterfall with Perth’s city skyline in the background. I don’t quite remember everything he said and apparently everything he had meant to say flew out of his head but he managed to mumble some beautiful words and then pulled out the most perfect ring.

In a few sentences, how would you describe your wedding?

Better than we could ever have imagined and in hindsight, with the pandemic just around the corner, it was even more special to share so much time with our friends and family before restrictions and travel bans set in.

We were going for a ‘country luxe’ vibe and the Fairlawn Estate Homestead, paddocks and gardens were the perfect backdrop and made styling easy. We wanted to create a day that was personal, relaxed and felt like a big family dinner so opted for large banquet tables and shared food plates, which was the best decision!

We also took on many DIY tasks like the wooden food stands and signage that I think contributed to the overall rustic feel.

Fairlawn Estate wedding

Did you write your own vows? How did you find that experience?

We each wrote our own vows and kept these a surprise and we had a completely personalised ceremony with the help from our wonderful celebrant. It was very important to us to have a personalised ceremony that reflected us as a couple and acknowledged our most loved and influential people in our life.

After we shared our first kiss we even asked all of our guests to share a kiss or hug with those around them (little did we know a week or so later this would be against health advice).

What’s the best piece of advice you took on when planning your wedding?

To schedule in sunset photos. We had our photographer and videographer steal us away during dinner just as the sun was setting over the paddocks. It was the perfect opportunity to soak everything up. It made for some of our most favourite photos and we even got time to practice our first dance on the Estate’s incredible driveway.

Now that you’re married, what’s the best piece of advice you can give other couples in the middle of planning their own weddings? 

To hire the right vendors to help in the areas you can’t take on yourself; where possible and budget permitting. I am a very organised person so I knew I could do majority of the planning and styling myself but I can also stress out quite easily. I knew I wanted a wedding coordinator and stylist for the day so when it came around we could relax and know everything was in expert hands.

Chantelle from Events by the Bay was phenomenal and did exactly this, meaning we got to truly enjoy the whole day! Her styling was incredible and she went above and beyond, even making new pillows for our cocktail hour picnics to match our colour scheme.

Also, meet your vendors prior to the day if you can. We caught up for a drink or coffee with most of ours and it made it feel so much more personal when the day was finally here.

Were there any traditions you did not partake in or any specific to your family or religion that were special to you?

We definitely didn’t stick with many traditions. We chose not to separate the night before and had breakfast together the morning of before getting ready separately. We also had a first look and photos before the ceremony and I had both my parents walk me down the aisle. We also had our Grandmothers witness our wedding certificate and kept this a surprise for them, which was a pretty special moment.

Fairlawn Estate Wedding Stevie and Matt

Finish this sentence. The best (or most unique) thing we did at our wedding was…

Had a first look and all of our photos done prior to the ceremony! We ummed and ahh’d about this for a while because, like many couples, we worried it would take away from the magic of seeing each other at the end of the aisle. But this could not be further from the truth!

Not only do we adore the first-look photos we got, it was it an opportunity to spend some quiet time together and with our bridal party before the ceremony. It definitely didn’t change anything when it came time to walk down the aisle either; I still had butterflies and we both bawled happy tears. Not to mention we both got to spend so much more time with our guests after the ceremony and enjoy the cocktail hour, which was really important to us.

We also took dance lessons and choreographed our first dance! This ended up being one of our favourite parts of the night and it was a lot of fun in the lead up to the wedding!

WA photographer Wild Feather Creative
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