Lib Hutton, owner of lifestyle PR agency Project Hutton, and Will Carter, who she co-founded Monte Slippers with, met in Melbourne at the 16th birthday party for one of his future groomsmen. They dated for 14 years on-and-off, before he proposed on a beach in Noosa, Queensland. “We started going out when we were 14 and had breaks along the way, mainly due to travel and job opportunities—but we always seemed to come back to find each other!” Lib says.
The newly engaged couple decided to tie the knot at Lib’s family home “Nigretta,” which is near Hamilton. The property is on a river and surrounded by stunning gum trees, so the aesthetic was very natural. “We wanted a simple, classic, and elegant country wedding,” Lib explains. When it came to planning, the bride and her mother, Jen, took the reins. “I work in PR, so I love an event. I was in my element planning every detail. In the last two weeks, it felt like a full-time client and a very demanding one!”
They focused on great food, entertainment, and wine—all details were meant to enhance their guests’ experience. Local artist Clare Mackarness of Bear Artworks created an illustration of the church, house, and river, which they used throughout the wedding on invitations, table names, the seating charts, tambourines, and thank you cards.
Lib’s mother-in-law gifted her the book Vogue Weddings: Brides, Dresses, Designers for gown inspiration. “It’s a great starting point for any bride, and I loved reading the advice from the designers,” Lib says. She also tried to stay off Pinterest as she didn’t want to get caught up in the current trends and wanted something more classic and timeless.
Sydney designer Moira Hughes ended up working closely with Lib to create her silk dress. For her beauty look, her hairdresser, Nathan Jeffrey, didn’t try to reinvent things. “I always wear my hair up and wanted to stay true to my usual look, so I didn’t freak out any guests (or Will!),” Lib says. The groom wore a light blue, twill, double-breasted waistcoat by Angela Nicolades in Melbourne.
In a bluestone church in Hamilton, flower girls and bridesmaids walked down the aisle to “Canon D,” played by a string quartet. After the last bridesmaid, the doors were shut and reopened to a bagpiper. Then, Lib came in with her father. The ceremony was short; Will’s sisters read two passages and one hymn, and both mothers signed the registry. “It was emotional exchanging vows, although funny as I said ‘wife’ instead of ‘husband.’ Guests said it was a great blunder as it broke the ice and set the tone for the day,” the bride says. Once the newlyweds sealed everything with a kiss, the bride drove them off in a vintage Austin Healey to do a few laps around town before meeting everyone for photos.
Since it was a day time wedding, which is unusual in Australia, guests arrived at the property for the reception around 1:30 P.M.. “Surprisingly, I’m not a huge fan of flowers, so I wanted to keep the tables natural by using greenery only—it complemented the barren surroundings well and kept it casual,” Lib says.
As the newlyweds made their entrance, they did a choreographed dance, with everyone in their bridal party, to “Cherry, Cherry” by Neil Diamond. “We had more than 200 guests on the dance floor before the entrée,” Lib remembers. DJ Nick Rutherford from Rutherford Entertainment kicked things off on the inside-outside dance floor. Then the couple’ s friends from the band Bella Roscoe took the stage.
Attendees dined on a salmon entree and a steak main course, catered by Penny Farquharson, while both the fathers, the mothers, and the best man gave speeches. The happy couple then rounded it off by thanking everyone and led people to the dance floor to The Beatles’s cover of “Twist and Shout” and Tina Turner’s cover of “Simply the Best.” Buses whisked everyone away at midnight, so they could properly recover the next day.