Churchill is unquestionably one of the most unique VIC wedding venues on offer. An iconic, deconsecrated church in the tiny town of Taradale, the creative and kind-hearted folk who run this joint also happen to be two of the region’s best florists (if you haven’t seen the work of Prunella, we highly recommend you check it out).
Here we chat seasonal blooms, what goes on behind-the-scenes at Churchill and why breaking the rules and letting go are key to pulling off the ultimate wedding celebration.
Tell us a bit about what you do.
At our venue Churchill, located in the beautiful Macedon Ranges, we create and manage events, down to the very last detail! We also create signature floral arrangements and installations for weddings and special events through our floral business, Prunella.
What would you say is the main advantage for couples who work with you?
We assist our Churchill couples across the entire event planning process, from sourcing local accommodation and transport to florals, event styling, music, food and drinks, photographers, celebrants and even the next day brunch!
It’s so important to us that our couples feel relaxed and stress free, so they can enjoy the beautifully fleeting experience of their wedding day. It’s such a wonderful moment watching it all come together and observing couples get lost in the magic.
Can you share some of the things that go on behind the scenes?
Alarm clocks that go off well before the sun is up, long hours up ladders, bad jokes, daggy music, bumping in, bumping out, rinse and repeat. Ha! We love every minute of it!
Do you think there are any preconceptions about the wedding industry?
It takes a lot of hard (largely invisible) work to make things appear effortless. In fact, the more ‘effortless’ an event feels, the more secret squirrel behind-the-scenes work has probably gone into it. Because the more meticulously organised an event is, the more relaxed it will feel, energetically, as it unfolds – which is the ultimate goal.
What are some of the main questions couples ask you? And what are the answers?
I suppose some of our favourite trusted advice we give couples, when contemplating their flowers (and particularly how to spread their floral budget), is that bigger is always better!
By that we mean, it’s better to have one or two spectacular arrangements to draw focus (plus an incredible bouquet) than to necessarily try for flowers ‘everywhere’. Statement arrangements serve as sculptural centrepieces or backdrops, lending a sense of drama and creating a memorable impression for guests.
Also, when couples seek guidance on what kinds of flowers will work for them, we always guide towards seasonality. Using fresh blooms when they are naturally occurring in abundance means they are at their very best and most beautiful.
Can you describe what sets your business apart?
We are right there with our couples for every step leading up to their wedding, as well as being there on the day. Also, for our Churchill couples, our local knowledge of the area and our little black book of the best local vendors and creatives means we can assist with every last detail and design a memorable, unique event with a trusted team.
What’s your next predicted wedding trend?
We’re seeing a real trend towards smaller intimate weddings and going all out on every aspect. Couples creating a really beautiful, layered experience in how they celebrate. A destination wedding (even if it’s only a few hours from home) allows for precious extended time spent with family and friends. It also gives guests permission to be emotionally present, being slightly (geographically) removed from the bustle of everyday life.
What would you love to see more couples do at weddings?
Break the rules! Do away with any traditions that do not necessarily serve them as a couple, or do not resonate with them on a personal level. We invite our brides and grooms (particularly at Churchill) to feel free to re-imagine any preconceived details of a wedding and instead create an event that truly reflects what they want – rather than worrying about what everyone else thinks and wants.
And finally, what the best piece of advice you can share with anyone planning their wedding?
Let go of control and allow yourself to enjoy the experience of your wedding day. It flies by so quickly – too quickly for you to be worrying about anything logistical. Choose a team of creatives and vendors that you truly trust, then relax and let them do what they do best.
Some of the most memorable moments are the spontaneous, the fleeting and the unplanned ones – rather than the perfect. Give yourself permission to get completely lost in those moments.