Hayley & Tyson's Vintage Garden Party Wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015

The offbeat bride: Hayley, English Teacher

Her offbeat partner: Tyson, Jazz Guitarist

Location & date of wedding: Hayley's Auntie and Uncle's garden in Drysdale, Victoria, Australia on January 3rd, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We had been together for nine years when we were married. Our wedding was always going to be a celebration of our love and commitment to each other, but it was important to us that we also celebrated the love and support that our family and friends have brought into our lives.

We tried to include all of our guests in our wedding ceremony by passing our wedding rings around to be blessed by those present, and also by asking them to contribute to my bouquet, which turned out to be the most amazing, beautiful, touching thing I have ever experienced.

I ended up with everything from crucifix orchids (from plants that have been in a friend's family for four generations) to carnations (grafted from the same plant that Tyson's late mother's wedding bouquet was grown from) in every color of the rainbow. There were so many I couldn't carry them all, and had to have two bouquets, one to carry and one on the signing table!

My amazing flowergirl (who is 16) collected the flowers before I arrived and presented them to me when I walked through the archway with my Dad. I wore my grandmother's wedding dress! The top part of the dress was remade to fit me and I had french lace and cap sleeves added to suit my personal style.

We built our jazz band using favorite musicians Tyson has played with. Over the course of the reception, beginning with a pianist, then bringing in a double bass, then a saxophone, then finally a vocalist. We danced the night away, even when the hooks holding my train up broke and I had to McGuyver it with some ribbon I borrowed from a decorative vase!

Our biggest challenge: Keeping the guest list down. We COULD have had 150 guests, but it wouldn't have been the wedding we wanted. We had to be brutal. There were some people that I would have loved to have had at the reception, but simply couldn't due to space restrictions. We handled this by being honest and most people were really understanding and asked if they could come to watch the ceremony, which was fine.

My favorite moment: Holding the hands of the man I adore, looking into his eyes while listening to our handfasting reading and then looking out to see all of our family and friends so filled with joy and love.

Also, hearing my dad make the most beautiful speech when I know that he HATES speaking in public.

My offbeat advice: Make the people you love part of your special day! I wore my grandmother's dress, my friend drove me in his beautiful restored FB Holden, my loved ones built my bouquet.

Our musician friends played at our reception and at the ceremony, we married in my Auntie and Uncle's garden, my cousins organized the portaloo and PA setup… I could go on all day!

The more people you include in your day, the better! It gives you less to worry about and makes people feel special and included. Throw it open, share your love and you will be amazed with what comes back to you.

Some of our vendors:

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Click on the photo for some very elegant photos of Hayley and Tyson's super vintage garden party wedding!

  1. Beautiful! What an idea for the bouquet! And a lovely vintage dress. For those of us whose grandmothers did not leave such treasures behind, any suggestions out there on how to find/alter/wear the perfect vintage dress?

  2. Dearest Hayley and Tyson,
    what you both bought so beautifully to the wedding day is your love for each other and the love of your friends and family. (soppy but so true)
    I especially loved the bouquet as each person closest to you both could share a flower that may have special meaning for them.
    I also loved the website pre wedding and the pics of loved ones blowing bubbles. Your photos are gorgeous and offbeat and fun!!!!
    Fantastic and wish you only love
    ciao for now
    Lisa Sam Carina and Luca
    PS how cool were your Mum and Dad!!!

  3. what a lovely bouquet idea! that must have been such a sweet little surprise to finally see it together. absolutely love it, and the rest of the wedding too!

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