It was panic stations at every corner in the lead up to Kat Heywood and Michael Iwan’s vineyard wedding inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The Melbourne couple, 32 and 27, had already faced many heartbreaking challenges together in the past, including the loss of Kat’s mum. As a result, they were built to handle anything that was thrown their way.
A DIY event became Kat’s only option as she quickly realised the cost of her dream wedding. “Not many people understood our vision [a vintage woodlands theme] – Michael included some of the time – but days, nights, weeks and months were spent researching, calling, emailing, visiting and creating,” sighs Kat.
“Six weeks to go, the venue was ‘fine’ but not ‘the one’ and now everyone’s gone mad wondering if it’s really going to happen,” she laughs. Thankfully, the Five Oaks Winery in Seville was discovered just in time for the big day – despite needing to start from scratch with the majority of her suppliers.
And the drama wasn’t over. The flowergirl dress was made the day before the wedding, there was a change of suits for the boys, a tough time with flowers during Valentine’s Day week and Kat forgetting to arrange her own transport to the venue!
“A DIY wedding is hard work,” says Kat. “But I love that it was real, unexpected and unpretentious, unique and personal. True love will always overcome life’s obstacles.”
“Never get married the week of Valentine’s Day,” laughs Kat. “We lost many florists close to the date. I was given Dina’s [of Dina’s Flower Passion] number by another florist who said that Dina had a studio at home and that she was certain she would not turn me down.”
Kat laid a special memory in honour of her late mother during the ceremony. “In my bouquet I carried a single white rose which I placed on a special reserved seat covered in butterflies for my mum – who I’m sure was there in spirit,” says Kat.
Kat said Five Oaks Vineyard were very accommodating when it came to creating her dream reception setting. “It was great to be able to work with the owners and for it to be about us more than about what was required of us,” she recalls.
“We pretty much made and sourced everything to do with our wedding on our own,” says Kat. “We went to demolition yards and used eBay for a lot of our special touches.”
Photos courtesy of Arrayah Loynd and Anita Mortas.