How did you meet your partner? We first met when we were younger, as my best friend Kate’s older brother Josh, was one of Damien’s good friends. So we knew of each other but actually started hanging out when I was in Year 11 (2001) and we had started going out as a group.
How long have you been together? We have been together 13 years, we started dating in September 2003, I was 19 and Damien was 22.
Do you have a proposal story?
After an unsuccessful first attempt, Damien tried again 3 months later. He took me out for dinner at a restaurant in St Kilda, he was very fidgety and restless the entire night, but I didn’t think anything of it. When we arrived home, I opened the door to find a letter addressed to Caitlin. He had left the original letter at work, so he had enlisted his best mate to create a new one and place it under the door while we were at dinner. I took my time to open it, as I just thought it might be a thank you from a client, meanwhile, poor Damo was stressing out. I finally opened it to find a voucher that read “VOUCHER! Valid for one day only. To: Caitlin Malone. From: Damien Casey. Message: To be spent on a replacement engagement ring for the shitty one in my hand.” - I turned to find him down on one knee, with his “shitty” ring in hand. It was perfect! It was low key and a massive surprise, which was all I’d ever wanted and he made me laugh and cry all at once!
What was your wedding date? Saturday February 18th 2017
Ceremony + Reception
Location? Private Property, Jan Juc/Torquay, Victoria
What made you choose there? Damien’s family had the property for 35 years, so it was a big part of his life. It also allowed us to have a blank canvas and really create the bespoke wedding we wanted.
How was the weather on the day? The weather was great until right before the ceremony was about to take place, there was huge downpour. It lasted about 20 mins, then right when the ceremony was about to start, the sun came out and it was beautiful, although it was cold. The night was very cold though, as soon as the sun disappeared.
Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? It was the most suitable date for Damien’s brother and his family to come over from England, plus it worked for our caterer.
The Wedding Details
Theme? Damien and I LOVE Music Festivals and throughout our entire relationship, we have been to many, both in Australia and overseas, with Big Day Out always our favourite. So it made sense for us to create our own Big Day Out Wedding Festival. We wanted our guests to be able to “choose their own adventure”, having everything in one spot, and offering them everything they could possibly need/want to have an amazing and memorable time. We had multiple accommodation options for our guests - they could either stay on the property in our Glamping Village or they could set up their own BYO Camping or they could utilise the shuttle bus from multiple pick up/drop off points in Torquay, if they were hiring a house or staying at a hotel/resort.
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Damien and I both had a very clear idea of what we were wanting to do and we were lucky enough to stay true to this vision all the way through. Most of my inspiration came from Instagram and Pinterest. I also really enjoyed looking at “Real Wedding” blogs and getting ideas from people who had done it already.
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? We created a brand for our festival wedding and had everything a proper festival has, including Tickets and Wristbands to get in, our very own Merchandise Stand, with custom Stubby Holders, a BEST OF CD and T-shirts. We just really wanted to give our guests an experience/party that they would never forget, but we wanted it to be really relaxed and fun! I designed everything from our Wedding Logo, Save the Date/Wedding Invites, Signage, Styling, Bon Bons, etc. Damo was in charge of all the DIY building etc that needed to be done. This included making all the palette tables, log bench seats, building the signage, boys urinal, aisle door feature, running all the electrical needs for the site etc. The majority was DIY.
Bridesmaids – who/relationship?
Maid of Honour - Kate my best friend of 29 years was my maid of honour.
Bridesmaids - Bridie my youngest sister was my bridesmaid.
Groomsmen – who/relationship?
Best man - Boyd was best man, both Damien and I had known him for years.
Groomsmen - Joey and Matty were the groomsmen, Damien went to school with Matty and had met Joey through friends when he was at school.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
Caitlin looked stunning in our 'Abbey' bodice. She wore it with a skirt by Needle and Thread
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I decided I wanted something more relaxed and a bit boho, seeing as we were literally getting married in a paddock. I was hoping for a skirt and bodice combo of some kind. I found the skirt first, via Instagram, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. So I bought it online from Needle & Thread London straight away, it arrived and I loved it even more when I first tried it on. I knew I wanted the bodice to have boning, as I didn’t want to have to wear a bra, so I needed a designer that sold separates. Karen Willis Holmes was the perfect one stop shop, as they have a wide range of bodice and skirt combinations, which you can mix and match. I booked an appointment there, just to have a look and try a few on, I had no intention of purchasing one yet, then at the end of my hour appointment, I had ordered and paid the deposit on the perfect bodice. I remember leaving there with my Mum and two bridesmaids second guessing myself and saying “That was not supposed to happen that quickly”…but as they say; when you know, you know. I really enjoyed the process, as I did have a good idea of what I wanted and it ended up being really easy to find.
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? Mostly on Instagram, I follow KWH and often on other wedding blogs, pieces that I had seen and loved always seemed to be KWH, so it really was an easy decision…I didn’t look anywhere else.
How many gowns did you try? I tried 5 KWH bodices with my skirt.
Where did you purchase your gown from? Karen Willis Homes Armadale boutique, Melbourne.
What did you especially like about your gown? The boning was the best, it just made me feel so good about myself and held me in everywhere and allowed me to not wear a bra. The detail in the lace bodice was also stunning.
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Victor Bridesmaid
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I had earrings from Samantha Wills. The boys had socks from Happy Socks. I also had custom denim jackets made as a gift for my bridesmaids and I absolutely LOVE these. They were designed by my good friend Sarah Darby + One Of Kind Denim
What advice would you give brides organising their wedding? Try and get as much stuff done early, especially anything DIY, even if they are small jobs, as in that final week or two, time is not a luxury you have. If it’s possible, do a “First Look”, as it really does allow you ample time to party and makes it feel like the day doesn’t go by so fast. Let your suppliers, especially anyone creative (photographer, videographer, stylist, designer) do what they do best…don't stump their creativity by telling them how to do their job. You have chosen them for a reason, hopefully, it’s because you love what they’ve done previously, so put your trust in them! Obviously, if there’s anything that you really don’t want to go without, let them know that and discuss it with them prior to the day, so everyone’s happy. As a designer myself, trust me when I say you will get the best results if you allow them room to be creative. Choosing good suppliers that get your vision and will go above and beyond to make your vision come to life is key. You need to feel comfortable with them and build a relationship with them, then everyone is invested and the results will be truly amazing!
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Have a look on Instagram to see what it is that you like. When you go to try things on, listen to the stylists, as they may find something that will really suit you, that might be something you would never have picked off the rack. Try to have an open mind.
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. We are so happy we did a “First Look”, it was so nice to have that moment for just the two of us and it certainly calmed the nerves when it came to walking down the aisle. It also allowed us to enjoy some good quality time with the Bridal Party and we didn’t have to leave our guests after the ceremony, so we didn’t miss out on anything. All the speeches were a huge highlight for us, everyone spoke so well, especially our Best Man and Maid of Honour…there were lots of laughs and a few tears as well, it was a really good mix and we will never forget them! We also wrote and read our own vows to each other, this was something that was really important to us and we are so glad we did it, even though it was very nerve racking.
Something Old? My grandmother’s handkerchief
Something New? My dress
Something Borrowed? My mum’s wedding band
Something Blue? Blue underwear
Photographer - Michael Briggs Photography
Both Briggsy and One Heart Studios brought so much energy to the entire day and they made us all feel so relaxed, it was like we’d all been friends forever. Their chilled approach really worked for us and they obviously enjoyed themselves as they also camped on the property and were able to join in the festivities as well! Their passion and work are second to none and I would highly recommend them any day of the week.
Florist - Loose Leaf
Videographer - One Heart Studios
Music - HayBax
HayBax, our super talented duo, ensured guests were on the dance floor all night. With their amazing ability to read the crowd, they managed to keep everyone dancing for hours on end. They also learned two songs especially for our big day, making our night even more special.
First Dance - “You’re in my Heart” by Rod Stewart (acoustic version performed by Hay Bax)
MC - My sister Shannon and our good friend James
Celebrant - Megan Thompson - The Commitment Company
Megan was brilliant. She absolutely nailed it and we had so many people raving about how great her delivery was. Her story telling was so creative and engaging and we cannot thank her enough for making it such a heartfelt and lighthearted ceremony. It was also Megan’s idea to incorporate a Marriage Advice section into our ceremony as we really wanted it to be different and engaging. Instead of having your usual readings or poems, Megan suggested that we choose 6 people, or couples, who are married to stand up the front and surprise us with some of their own marriage advice. This was the best surprise for us on the day…there was such a great mix of heartfelt and funny that not only Damien and I, but everyone was laughing and crying along with us…it was just perfect!
Stationery - I did all the design myself. Caitlin Malone (Paradise Hunter)
Menu - Fred & Ginger Catering
Emma and all her incredible staff at Fred and Ginger Catering were unbelievable. They did all the catering and event planning and there was honestly nothing they couldn’t do. Their composure, reassurance and enthusiasm on the day and in the lead up was exceptional. And the food…it was honestly to die for. So many of our guests are still raving about the quality and the quantity of what they produced, especially from their pop up kitchen in the shed…amazing!
Cake - King Island Cheese Wheel Cake
Hair - Studio 2
Makeup - Lisa Cathcart Makeup
Wedding Bands - Diamond Prominence
Bell Tent Hire / Glamping Village - Twilight Glamping
Beth and Lee from Twilight Glamping made our Glamping Village come to life. They were so easy to deal with and put together a really bespoke wedding package for us, which allowed our guests to have a lot of choice, for all budgets. They took care of everything for us, including guests booking and paying directly through them, which allowed us to focus our time and energy on other parts of the wedding.
Custom Designed Denim Jackets - Sarah Darby Fashion Illustration + One Of A Kind Denim
Marquee / Teepee - Under Sky – Sperry Tent
Custom Cake Topper - Sketch and Etch Creative
Custom Ring Box - Sketch and Etch Creative
Custom Wristbands - Wholesale Wristbands Australia
Coffee Cart - Bonappuccino