I have changed my mind a thousand times on whether or not I would post my wedding on Husskie. The publication is not a personal blog, its focus is not on me. That being said – what better place to host my wedding story that my own platform! So here goes – here is a sneak peek inside the most incredible day of my entire life. A day so perfect that I just couldn’t help but share…
The date: December 29, 2017
The location: The bride’s home property in Riverside, Tasmania
The couple: Yelena Fairfax and Jonathon Feil
It had been my dream ever since I was a child that I would get married on my parents’ property at home in Tasmania, Australia. That being said, I wasn’t really thinking about the logistics of it all as an 8 year old. Not really taking into consideration that most of the property was on a downwards slope – meaning dining a large amount of people was going to be a challenge. But challenges are very much a part of my makeup. Challenges and stubbornness.
Engaged on December 21, 2016 – Jon and I decided that we would get married in December 2017. My Dad was suffering from Parkinson’s – and we wanted to fast track the event to ensure that he could enjoy the day to his full ability (as Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease – timing is pretty important). In February 2017, on a trip home to Tasmania – I began sourcing a location. We had decided a marquee was not a possible option due to hills and so had compromised thinking we would get married on the property and then do the reception at a venue. But I was not happy. The alternative venue was an absolutely stunning vineyard – but I was still dragging my feet.
The Save the Dates went out – and rather than putting an address, I simply put down the name of two areas near to Launceston, Tasmania. Vague and definitely a guaranteed confusion for those attending. Conversations back and forward with Mum – basically questioning why I just didn’t seem to be getting that excited by the wedding – and then it came out: “I don’t care if it’s not possible. I want to get married at home. I don’t want a marquee anyway. Why can we not just pay for the vineyard as a wet weather option (we’d already paid anyway!) – which would give us more flexibility with finding various “flat” locations?!” With a slightly apprehensive but very supportive Mum and a very excited fiancé who trusted that I could make it work – it was decided. We were doing this! Enter wedding excitement on heat.
Having the wedding at home was going to be HARD work. But I really didn’t care. It was going to be worth it just to get my dream wedding. This was happening! Being a very hands-on DIY (and slight control freak), I also made the decision I didn’t want a wedding planner. Obviously living in Sydney and trying to organise everything from afar added in a few extra obstacles. Try finding wait staff for a Christmas timing wedding in a town you haven’t lived in for many, many years – let’s just say that when I got a call 3 days before the wedding with bar staff, I literally could have kissed them.
But despite the obstacles, I could not have asked for better suppliers. From the most epic of food to a DJ that knew how to get the party started to a photographer – that you can just see the amazingness from the images running alongside this article.
The Day Before
The day before the wedding it was all stations go. Having spent hours in Officeworks designing menus and table plans, I was excited to start putting everything together. An army of family and friends arrived to the property – with each given different tasks from hanging fairy lights to setting up haybales to folding napkins… the works. Flowers were being done by my Dad’s close friend Allison (the absolute Queen of anything flower-related), with family Fairfax also helping with the flower styling. At 10pm the night before the wedding, my sister, bridesmaid Jess and I sat around the kitchen floor – Jess and Kirsten finishing off the final posies while I made my flower crown (did I mention I’m hands-on?!) Then it was off to bed…
While I’d love to say I’m not that bride running around in barefeet organising things right up until the last minute – sadly… I am that bride. Dragged off to the hair salon by my sister – sitting down in that chair felt like the first time I got to relax in WEEKS! And damn it felt good. My four bridesmaids were waiting there for me with champers and food at the ready. The team at Legana Hair and Beauty Salon were just so calming – and wow can they do hair! Nailing both the trial and the big day – my hair was exactly the same as the brief I’d given them. Loved it.
Then it was time to rush home for makeup. I feel slightly bad for my artist Adele Beechey as I had tears running down my face the entire time she did my makeup. Let’s just say that when you’ve organised a whole event that’s outside and you start to see raindrops on the pond located directly in front of you – things can become a little stressful. But she worked on through – and again, just absolutely hit the brief spot on. What a team I was lucky enough to have! And the rain? We just got a light fall for about 20 mins – with the sun deciding to finally come out just as it was time for me to take my place at the top of the “aisle”.
Looking from the window of my parents’ bedroom down to all the guests below – I could spot my super handsome husband-to-be fixing last minute things with the staff and tending to my 2-year-old niece. And then it was time. Time to grab my mum’s arm and walk down the aisle. This came with a mixture of both extreme happiness and devastating sadness. My father, always the adventuring man, had got lost in the Tasmanian wilderness two months prior – and had never been recovered. The night before he had gone missing – he had been so excited to be walking his daughter down through the flowers of HIS garden that he’d been practising his steps with a dear friend. But it wasn’t meant to be.
And so instead, I clung hold of my mother. A person that I love beyond words – to be taken down to a man that I love beyond words. And there he stood. Tears rolling down his face as his very excited partner made her way down to him.
The wedding service was a very personal affair. We had written our own vows, done our own reading, and had a poem about love that my Dad had written to my Mum instead of a sermon. It was a service full of emotion from soaring happiness to incredible sadness. It was perfect.
After listening to live music in the gardens by the very talented Luke Parry (of ex-Pop Stars fame), we moved on to the food and speeches. I knew the food was going to be good, but this was mouth-watering. Seriously Blue Cafe Bar, you are master chefs. (I’ve attached a copy of the menu below for those wanting to see). From perfect food to perfect speeches – it was then time to get the party started.
For my wedding – I’d always pictured it to be a bush doof. Think bare feet in the grass with lights and beats. I didn’t know my sister was also going to decide to last minute throw a bonfire into the mix – with Mum agreeing we could make a fire in the hollow of a large tree trunk she’d cut down for the wedding. AMAZING!
The first dance… From coming up with the moves in a small pocket of our dining room to having to perform in front of a large crowd in a big open space – somehow Jon and I managed to pull it off. What a man, right?! And then it was bush doof time. With DJ Matt Goss spinning those discs like no other right up until the time my family told him we’d better shut it down (we may have gone a little past what time I’d promised the neighbours) – it was time to love tunnel the party and drag ourselves out of there.
We headed back to our hotel room – and sat on the floor eating vegetarian pizza that Jonny had bought earlier in the day (guessing his pescetarian wife might come home a little hungry – NO MORE WEDDING DIET!) and a meat eater’s pizza for himself, reflecting on the day before crashing out on the bed.
And now, now we have the pics and memories to last us a lifetime.
Hope you have enjoyed my very long recount of the most magical day of my life.
The Finer Details
Bride’s dress: Karen Willis Holmes
Bridesmaid dresses: Stevie May
The fellas: Country Road pants and shirt, Uberstone from David Jones jackets, and The Iconic shoes
Wedding rings: Jasmine Fraser Fine Handmade Jewellery
Photographer: Alex Giles from Chris Young Photography
Catering: Blue Café Bar
DJ: DJ Matt Goss
Live music: Luke Parry
Hair: Legana Hair and Beauty Salon
Makeup: Adele Beechey
Location: Bride’s home in Launceston, Tasmania
All images: Chris Young Photography