Venue: Bulong Estate / Number of Guests: 72 / Budget: $27,500 / Wedding Date: 23 March 2019
We are both massive music and festival lovers as are our friends. We wanted a wedding that was a party that we just happened to get married at. So we created the theme of a music festival we named ‘Ellery Dayze’ a play on our surname.
Meet the couple
Six years ago Kiara, a Project Manager, and Tristan, a Human Resources Manager, were co-workers on a construction site in Gladstone in Queensland. They shared a mutual friend Steph, and Tristan had a habit of showing up whenever he knew Steph was with Kiara. His big moment of 1:1 time with Kiara came, however, when Kiara sought out his help to open the rusted closed door of a container one day. “I pride myself on being an independent woman, but it just wouldn’t budge and Tristan couldn’t move it either! Eventually I got it open because I am stubborn but from that moment, we’ve been in one continual conversation.”
“Not long after, I booked some beachside glamping. Tristan invited himself along and from then we’ve been a couple. Somehow our relationship blossomed while we were both working 60-hour plus weeks on a construction site. I think we can attribute that to all the little gestures during that time. We had to catch a ferry to work, and there was a row of just two seats. Each morning, we would wait for each other on the newly titled ‘lust seat’ although it quickly became the ‘love seat’”
“The funniest thing is we worked out we’d spent 15 years of our childhoods living in Gladstone and had many mutual friends, but we’d never met,” says Tristan. “We think that meeting finally in our late 20s was serendipitous at the very least,” says Kiara.
“Tristan is a master creator of romantic events,” says Kiara. “He orchestrated every last detail. I didn’t have a clue!” Having set up a few days leave with Kiara’s boss, Tristan told his unexpecting bride-to-be to pack a bag for a couple of nights, and they headed in the direction of glamping accommodation (just like their
first weekend away) in Daylesford. After some wistful looking at the gorgeous Clifftop at Hepburn Villa, and then driving past, Tristan sneakily doubled back to surprise Kiara with the news he had booked them a room. “ I didn’t want her to think I was going to propose so I said nothing the first night, but the next day I booked us massages and the team at Clifftop helped me by setting up the room with candles, rose petals strewn up to the door, wine and two Go Pros. We got back to the villa and I flicked on a video on the TV. We’re pretty big Aussie hip hop fans and thought the marriage of Eso (from Bliss N Eso) and his wife was ideal. We’d always said we would love for our relationship to be as fun as theirs appeared. So I arranged for Eso to record a special message to Kiara. She watched it and finally realised what was happening.”
“He put in so much time and effort, He even got me the perfect Blue Sapphire ring one I’d pointed out three years earlier. Apparently, he’d taken notes back then and had it custom made,” says Kiara.
How did you choose your ceremony and reception venue?
“We wanted a wedding destination that would allow us to do as much as we wanted to ourselves. We looked at several wineries – we are both passionate wine lovers and enjoy good food – and when we met Monica at Bulong Estate we loved how flexible and supportive she was. The vistas were gorgeous and Monica was genuinely excited with our ideas. We knew we’d be able to do things our way – which wasn’t very traditional.”
What was your wedding theme?
“We are both massive music and festival lovers as are our friends. We wanted a wedding that was a party that we just happened to get married at. So we created the theme of a music festival we named ‘Ellery Dayze’ a play on our surname. It started as a joke, but it was a perfect expression of who we are and what we love.
A sign at the front gate welcomed people to ‘Ellery Dayze’ and I made backdrops for three sound stages, which were all outdoors among the vines. Along with three other music acts, we invited a surprise band – a ‘Daft Punk’ tribute band with full set up and we had DJ sets. We had it all – even stubby coolers for guests and wristbands – just like a music festival,” says Kiara.
A chill out area was set up with bean bags and couches with an emphasis on comfort. “Our ceremony was super-relaxed. We had chairs on one side and picnic rugs and huge cushions handmade by Kiara. The feel was modern boho with festoon lights, and cane peacock chairs for the formalities. It was all about what we wanted – not what we thought we should have or do. That was the theme – no rules, no traditions unless they made sense to us and we valued them.”
“Guests were treated to a grazing table, followed by a set menu from two food trucks (one for burgers and one Vietnamese) and a dessert bar and wedding cake. “People could just eat what they wanted when they wanted to – in between some serious dancing!
Is there a story behind your dress?
“I didn’t know what I wanted to wear so I tried on dozens of dresses and eventually had one custom made that was a little of each dress I liked. My whole design ethos was comfort and easy elegance. I wanted a dress I could dance in for hours,” says Kiara.
Kiara and Tristan had five attendants each. The women decided what style of dress they wanted in a ‘pinky-red’ colour spectrum. The guys wore a navy suit of their choosing. Tristan, although planning to wear a floral jacket and be the centre of attention, chose an eye catching pinky-red jacket.
Tell us about the special elements of your day.
Tristan wrote his own vows and included 15 references to music festivals in the copy. People were giggling as they caught on. Kiara wrote hers from the heart – unique and sentimental.
Tristan’s wedding band has a blue sapphire to mirror the beauty of Kiara’s engagement ring and connect the two pieces.
The DIY aspect of the wedding was present in every element of the day. Kiara made many of the props, all the bonbonniere (succulents in hessian bags), did the flowers, backdrops and neon sign, designed all the invitations and wedding website and did some of the baking for the dessert table.
What’s your best advice for planning the perfect wedding?
“Have a fixer – close buddies who are go-tos on the day and can deal with the bits and pieces you don’t need to know about on the day,” says Tristan.
“I loved having a sense of control and I love planning, so I took my spreadsheets to a whole new level making my own custom designs for planning, scheduling and budgeting,” says Kiara.
“They are so good”, says Tristan, “they should be available to everyone. We were stress-free on the day because it was planned so well.”
What were the highlights?
“Our families are a big part of our lives, so they were a big part of our day. Colleen Byrne, our aunt, was our celebrant and did an absolutely amazing job – it was really special having someone who knew us so well do the ceremony. Our mums were our witnesses and a cousin was an absolute legend with organising the set up on the day. It was perfect to have them all involved. More than two-thirds of our guests came from Gladstone to share our day, which was wonderful.”
The couple honeymooned on a private island in Indonesia and the Maldives via Singapore – a blissful time that was blistering hot! They now live in Brunswick.
“Kiara and Tristan had a very clear vision of what they wanted to achieve. And their guests were all on board enjoying the festival feel, the live music and the sense of fun that surrounded them. The whole event reflected what they are as a couple, lots of love and laughter. It was a first for me having multiple bands scheduled in different locations as well as furniture installation and multiple suppliers for the one event. But I loved helping Kiara and Tristan achieve their wedding day vision and I had a great time too.”
Monica Blanchfield, Bulong Estate Winery
Florist: Tesselaar Flower Market
Catering/Cake & kind: Ministry of Cakes
Celebrant: Colleen Byrne
Entertainment: Harlow and Hart , Taylor Piggott (Unplugged Entertainment), Discovery - Australia’s Daft Punk Tribute Band
Engagement Rings: Custom Jewellery Co
Wedding Bands: Her: Brilliant Earth, Him: GN Jewellers
Bridal gown designer : Look Book Bride
Earrings: Reigning Queen
Bridesmaid dresses: Mixed
Groom team: The Suit Concierge