Casey & Adam’s fairytale began as teenagers when they met in high school. They soon became best friends and grew to become high school sweethearts. From talking with Casey and watching their wedding video, I can tell that these two complement each other, focus on having fun, and above all, adore being the other’s partner in life. Adam designed a ring especially for Casey – her dream ring. The two planned an intimate wedding of their closest friends and family in an beautiful outdoor garden ceremony. Casey and Adam incorporated two very special “people” in their lives, their two dogs, into the ceremony and they served as their “best dogs.” Both were very well behaved while they watched their mom and dad happily exchange vows.
FILM Photography by Jodi McDonald Photography
We wanted our wedding to truly reflect us as a couple, as well as being a relaxed and intimate occasion. We had 55 of our closest friends and family join us in celebrating our marriage. We chose to have a first glance so we could enjoy cocktail hour mingling with our guests, and everyone sat at a big U-shaped table for the reception. As part of our family, our two puppies, Kiara and Kovu were naturally our “best dogs” and we definitely made the right decision in including them. They were so well behaved and actually fell asleep during our ceremony.
We ensured our day truly reflected us by making all planning decisions together and completing little DIY touches together. Our ceremony was an absolute highlight and we definitely wanted it to be the focus of the day. We chose a celebrant who truly personalised the ceremony and wrote it from scratch to ensure it reflected us as a couple. We did a ring warming ceremony, “sealing of the promise,” and an acknowledgement of same sex marriage rights (as unfortunately same-sex marriage still isn’t legal in Australia).
I wanted to incorporate my mum’s pearls, as they were the only thing she has kept from her wedding, so I wore her studs and wrapped her necklace around my bouquet. I also attached a priceless family heirloom to my bouquet, a brooch that has featured in all of Adam’s family’s weddings for generations. The boys wore grey suits, which Adam chose, as his father and grandfather both wore grey suits to their weddings, and as he explained, “suits redheads”.
We don’t have any Japanese heritage, but once we learnt of the meaning of the Senbazuru (1000 paper cranes) we knew we definitely wanted to do it. Tradition holds that senbazuru grants the couple an eternally happy marriage. The time and energy put into the thousand hand-folded origami cranes symbolises the patience, understanding, and trust necessary to sustain a happy marriage.
I absolutely loved seeing all of our two years of planning come to fruition, although the day seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. I loved having our close family and friends around us for our special day and the memorable interactions, including my dad getting teary walking me down the aisle and as he was saying his speech. Most of all, I loved taking a quiet moment away during the reception with my new husband, walking around the grounds, reflecting on the day.
Adam says his favourite moment was our ceremony. Being able to stand up and publicly declare his love in front of his closest friends and family meant the world to him. He says he got very nervous when I walked down the aisle as he wanted everything to be perfect, but once I was down there with him holding his hand his nerves eased and he was able to relax and enjoy the ceremony.
Advice For Others
When budgeting and planning in general, make sure you know what is a priority for the both of you. When you get into wedding planning it can be so easy to get caught up with all of the hype perpetrated by the wedding industry and friends and family who only mean well. You can begin to feel like you “need” everything, which will only blow your budget and won’t necessarily reflect you both as a couple in the best way. For us, our priority was having a memorable intimate and personalised celebration, so we spent our money on a personalised ceremony, great photography and videography, and gorgeous food from a hatted restaurant/caterer. I saved on DIYing most of the stationary and some of the decorations, as the venue already had so much natural beauty.
In terms of expectations of the big day, I can only say, something will go wrong. No matter how small, some aspect of your weeks/months/years of planning will go wrong. Do you know what? It won’t really matter. No one will notice and you won’t really care as you will be having too much fun! Try to have everything organised as well as possible though, so that when things go wrong it will be as close to perfect as possible. For me, this meant having a run sheet and a “set-up” sheet of how we were setting up the venue and decorations.