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Real Wedding: Caitlin and Mark

HerCanberra Team

15 April 2017 

From taking a chance on a Tinder date to an intimate 85 person wedding, Caitlin and Mark’s day included board games, homemade touches and a special surprise.


The bridesmaids had an early start! Luckily, Kelli and Sarah grew up on a dairy and were no strangers to 5 am- my sister Alex and I were much more reluctant. We were very grateful for the mobile team at Sapphire Hair and Beauty, who met us at the homestead.

Being naturally gorgeous, Mark and the groomsmen didn’t need much to look good! They gathered together at our place in Kaleen, then Mark travelled to the ceremony in style in our friend’s vintage BMW.


I had my heart set on a tea length dress from the beginning. It was great to find something that wasn’t a puff of tulle!


Both were held at the beautiful Ginninderry Homestead. The ceremony was held amongst the autumn leaves in front of the homestead, and I walked down the aisle at 10 am (or a little after).

The morning was cool and overcast as the ceremony began, but the sun peeked through the clouds as we were pronounced man and wife and smiled on us all day as we enjoyed a brunch reception and lawn games at the reception centre on site.

We were certain that we wanted our wedding to be fun and the reception centre had the perfect space for lawn games! We also loved the garden – the autumn colours were spectacular and I loved the fact I could stay in the homestead the night before with my family and girlfriends and didn’t have to travel in the morning. Amelia and Pam from Ginninderry were also so welcoming and helpful.


The best part of the day was the special contributions that were made by our family and friends:

  • My sister, Alex created an amazing eight-page wedding program in the format of a newspaper complete with a classifieds section, comic and crossword!
  • My childhood friend Andi arranged and performed the ceremony music, plus a surprise song for Mark – one of his favourites, the funky ‘Never Too Much’ by Luthor Vandross.
  • Mark’s sister-in-law, Emma, plus her sister Sarah created delicious cakes. Guests had a choice of a hummingbird or white chocolate, which were served on a beautiful handcrafted and engraved wooden cake stand, created by Mark’s brother, Bob.
  • Mark’s friend and former housemate Dan did a superb job of being our emcee. He kept our day on track and had any little issues sorted before we knew of them.
  • Our friend Lars made sure that the groom arrived safely in his vintage BMW, then delighted the young and young at heart with joy rides later in the day.

Each of our parents brought the house down with heartfelt speeches although we’re still not sure that we needed to be enlightened about the location of Mark’s conception (exotic Nicosia in Cyprus, if you must know).

Mark and I love brunch! We met for brunch on our first date. Brunch was a big reason why we decided to host our wedding in the morning. Ginninderry put on a spread of brunch tidbits, including salmon pikelets, fresh fruit and croissants. A real feature of the day was the My Sweet Alice vintage coffee van, who helped us put on ‘coffee hour’ instead of a cocktail hour.

Mark and I play a lot of board games, so we were keen for games to be a real feature of our day. There was croquet, Giant Jenga, Finska and badminton to name a few. It was great to see our guests really getting into the games and getting to know each other. We were lucky to have had a glorious, sunny, Canberra Autumn day.

Many people commented that the day was relaxed, fun, and family-friendly – exactly what we hoped for!

Our guests were also very positive about the morning timeline. We loved that the day was all about fun, games and the love and contributions from our friends and family. Something that we’ve tried to keep in focus during this first year of marriage and want to continue in the many years to come!


We never completed an exact tally but we think we nailed it! Neither of us is particularly crafty so were very pleased to find some great stuff on Etsy. We feel these gave a great personal touch and saved us from hours of DIY.

We really loved the brunch theme and daytime reception. It was so nice to enjoy games, coffee and sunshine with our loved ones, then to be able to spend our first evening as husband and wife at Hotel Hotel, where we could reflect on the day and not just collapse in exhaustion.

It seems our guests were so satisfied with the My Sweet Alice coffee cart and Noah’s juices that they didn’t indulge much in the wine. We’re still trying to get through all of the leftovers!


I wish I had a video of Andi singing Mark’s surprise song.


We were lucky enough to have two – a ‘mini-moon’ in the Blue Mountains in the days after the wedding and then a great adventure to the USA in August.




PHOTOGRAPHY Wild Apple Photography

CELEBRANT Mary-Ann O’Sullivan

BRIDE’S DRESS Rita Mae, found at Annabel’s Bridal

HEADPIECE Handmade silk flowers from Etsy





BRIDE + BRIDESMAIDS HAIR AND MAKEUP Sapphire Makeup and Hair Creations Julie and Erin

RECEPTION STYLING Family and friends – special mention to Caitlin’s dad, Greg for his most precise lawn game setup!

FLOWERS Flowers by Alexandra Rogers

CARS Our friend

CATERER Ginninderry

CAKE Our sister-in-law Emma, and her sister Sarah

DJ Spotify

BAND Caitlin’s childhood friend, Andi, plus local muso, Amy Dunham

STATIONERY Etsy – The Sundae Creative


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