MEJ Masthead

Real weddings: Kelly and Michael

HerCanberra Team

Kelly and Michael’s intimate wedding on the lawns of Ivy & The Fox at Old Canberra House was full of thoughtful details and a boho twist. Here, the lovely bride takes us through the big day.

Getting ready


I was very fortunate as my mum actually rented an apartment at Hotel Hotel for myself, her, my bridesmaids and man of honour to stay at the night before the wedding, so that was incredible to wake up to. We had our hair and make up  done at Ainslie Hair Inn and were finished there by lunch time, so we spent the rest of the afternoon at the apartment relaxing, having some nibbles and drinks, getting excited and waiting for go time.

The dress


I found my dress in Sydney from the Bridal Atelier in Double Bay. It was by designer Theia Couture. I wanted to wear something I would never just be able to wear again and something people might not really expect me to wear as I feel like most people had me picked to wear something a bit more boho.  I saw this incredible dress on the mannequin of sequins and beads, it reminded me of a dress out of the great Gatsby, and I loved it!


The ceremony

We wanted to get married locally as we didn’t want to ask guests to travel. So we did a bit of research of places around Canberra to get married, spent a few weekends sussing them out and kept comparing them all to one of the first venues we looked at, Ivy & the Fox.


We were looking for a venue with beautiful gardens and one that could transform into a night time fairy garden with a big dance floor (very important) so we could have the ceremony and reception at the same location. We decided pretty early on that we wanted to have an intimate wedding with only close friends and family, with our final guest list reaching about 85 people.


The reception

Michael and I wanted our wedding to be comfy, fun and reflect us, our personality and style, so we pulled together all things we loved. My nan and I sewed a bunch of colourful, patterned fabric together for our wedding arch which Michael built. Decorations were pretty minimal with ♥’s & K & M’s cut out of different patterned & coloured cardboard and stuck into the ground to make the aisle.


We chose to have a cocktail reception to keep things relaxed and so people were able to mingle and do as they please. We had a bunch of lawn games to keep guests entertained while we had photos and had antipasti platters and nibbles during this time to tie guests over until the reception started.


The gardens were decorated with heaps of fairy lights, bunting and lanterns. I’m a big softie and cry at weddings all the time, so I collected a bunch of pretty old embroidered hankies for people to take for their happy tears.


The food

Food was also really important to us and a pretty big deciding factor as we both love good food and have big appetites. Plus there’s nothing worse than walking away from a beautiful wedding being super hungry!


Delicious food was a big must in addition to the feel/look of the place. One of my favourite things were our donut tower toppers which were these cute crochet bride and groom dolls made to look like us! The donut tower was also pretty cool.


The budget/tips

Initially we thought we would be able to do it all for between $20-25k. We definitely went over the budget but it wasn’t an outrageous blow out.  It was the little extras that all added up but they were 100 per cent worth it! It depends what you feel is important or a highlight of the day to where you allocate your money.


Flowers and a good photographer were my two big ones so I allowed that in my budget. So was good food and drinks. It’s so easy to get carried away and say “we need this and that” and go over budget, so it’s good to reassess and be realistic about what’s really going to make your day versus having something just because.


The little details

Photographer: John Benevante

Dress: Theia Couture

Bridesmaids’ dresses:  ASOS, David Jones, Modcloth and Etsy

Groom and groomsmen’s suits: Country Road pants, David Jones jacket. 

Bride’s hair: Ainslie Hair Inn

Bridesmaids’ hair: Ainslie Hair Inn

Makeup: Jessica Dorothy Makeup Artistry 

Flowers:  Laurel & Lace

Caterer: Ivy and the Fox

DJ: 3D Entertainment

Stationery: Etsy from Sweet Invitation Co

First dance song: Kiss Me – Sixpence none the richer

CelebrantSteven Murray


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