Ricky and Bethany met singing at a church youth event in their teens. Ricky then chased Bethany for three years before they finally got together. Seven years later, he set up a treasure hunt that led back to a pier on the Mornington Peninsula where they used to hang out in the early days of their relationship. In that same spot, he asked her to be his wife.
Their reception was held in an old tomato farm shed. ‘It took us months to empty the shed space of tools and machinery, and to clean the soot, petrol, mud, poop and dust off the cement floor,’ Bethany said. ‘We could see it would be a beautiful blank canvas, but it needed a lot of work. Ricky’s mum cried sad tears when she first saw the state it was in! But Ricky and I had a real vision for the day and knew it would be amazing. We designed the space and Ricky built everything from scratch. We wanted to stay true to the feel of the shed so we kept elements like the old wire grid fence doors we found in the clean-up process.’
Everything at Bethany and Ricky’s wedding was handmade. ‘Ricky built the old doors we were married in front of, and made the beautiful pallet stage we stood on for the ceremony,’ said Bethany. ‘We both put together the hundreds of metres of bunting that hung over the courtyard and I even made the little wands that people waved at the ceremony. The reception space was designed and crafted by Ricky, from the bar and the walls to the food stalls and the mobile popcorn cart. We even created little lounge/sitting hubs for people to relax in.’
‘We both love night markets – the atmosphere, the food, the people, the lights,’ said the couple. ‘We wanted our wedding to feel like a bit of a wonderland, with the fun and exploration of a night market thrown in.’
The couple wanted the décor to be beautiful and fresh to juxtapose the dirty old shed the wedding was held in. They used white-washed pallets, thousands of lights, lots of flowers attached to pallets hanging from macramé pots and ribbon tied to rope in peach, orange, white and green tones as bunting. ‘We chose white because we love simplicity and we splashed peach, orange and green with it because they’re my favourite colours and we liked the way they clashed,’ Bethany said.
‘The whole night hung off the food and the concept of the night market,’ said Bethany. ‘We loved the idea of different foods for family and friends to explore. We wanted people to be like: “Have you tried the fish and chips yet?!” or “You HAVE to try the dumplings and the sliders…” and because Ricky, myself and half our guests have a paleo lifestyle, we organised each stall to have paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and soy-free options too. We had an Asian stall, a Moroccan stall, a Mexican stall, a fish and chip counter, grill bar, jelly station and a hot doughnut stand. My mum has been an amazing cook her whole life, so we wanted her to make her special pavs – which were a hit!’
‘I think the whole vibe of the wedding was an unexpected surprise for everyone,’ Bethany and Ricky said. ‘Having to walk down the dusty farm track to the beaten-up shed would have had people wondering what they were walking into, but when the roller door opened and they stepped inside it was like a whole different world.’
Photography: Adrian Tuazon | Event Planning + Styling: Couple’s own | Floral Styling: Donovan Floral Design | Location: Melbourne, Victoria | Ceremony Venue: Morning Star Estate | Reception Venue: An old tomato farm shed in Heatherton | Guest list: 170 guests | Celebrant: Bethany’s mother | Hire Items: Franklin Coffee Company + Peninsula Photobooths | Catering: Maude Street Catering | Cake: Cakes by Kate | Stationery: Handmade with the help of friend, Dani Gibson