We're Fidel & Sarah, two alt-grunge-punk rebels who never outgrew the alternative 90's music scene and somehow became an acoustic wedding band. Daylesford & Macedon Ranges are frequent stops on our wedding schedule, so we thought it'd be nice if we took you on a musical tour through the area.
Buckle up in the back, and hand us that mixtape from the cassette pile . . .
Hit play below for a rockin' good soundtrack to this article.
Let's get started up the Calder Highway through the Macedon Ranges and Mount Macedon with fine tunes and good views.
The countryside here is lush pastures into rocky mountain outcrops. When I was a young musician, I used to drive up at the crack o'dawn with my band to busk at the Macedon Ranges farmers markets in Lancefield, Kyneton, Woodend and Riddells Creek.
Brrr! There are some frosty mornings around here! Once, just for old time's sake, Fidel and I busked at the Lancefield market to help them celebrate their anniversary. Here's a blurry cold snap of me freezing my banjo off.
Back when Fidel didn't take such steady photos! Note the fingerless gloves keeping me warm ;)
Good weather is definitely a possibility for weddings 'round these parts, but the dividing range likes to provide the occasional cold, foggy drizzle.
If you're having an outdoor wedding, a backup wet-weather option is definitely a smart move. Most venues will have a covered area, otherwise, you can line up an emergency marquee. Coz you know, if you plan it, you won't need it. Phew!
Fidel found an old pink wall somewhere along the way and insisted on a photo. Musicians are such posers!
Woodend & Hanging Rock
On down the road to Woodend - a quaint little country village that serves at the gateway to the sacred aboriginal rock formation known as Hanging Rock.
Hanging Rock has, in my opinion, some of the best devonshire tea in all the land. If they still have the scones with homemade raspberry jam on offer, you HAVE to order 'em. Don't you think more weddings should have scones? That could be a thing, right?
Of course, Hanging Rock is a gorgeous spot for weddings. And despite what internet images might suggest, it doesn't have to be all conservative and formal. You could elope picnic-style with scones, rocky backdrop and rockin' music. Or incorporate a Hanging Rock Llama Trek (totally a real thing) into your wedding day. We know some wedding vendors that'd give you a discount just for having llamas in your wedding photos! Smaller weddings work really well. Most of the weddings we perform at have a maximum of 60 guests, but many of them have way less. Take Susan & Shane's wedding for example - they had just TWELVE guests and it was amazing!
Susan & Shane opted for an informal, quirky ceremony followed by acoustic canapés featuring David Bowie and Ramones covers (by yours truly) and a gourmet catered lunch for their nearest and dearest.
At Susan & Shane's wedding with celebrant MarryMeDee. Photo by Woodend local Jess, of Brown Paper Parcel.
It seems all the cool, trendy Melbournites are moving up to Kyneton to raise their hatchlings. Along with them they've dragged a good dose of urban culture, good coffee and live music. Woop woop!
Funky wedding venues are popping up all over the shop, including farms, barns, restaurants and bars. You'll find them stretching out to Malmsbury and Taradale too. And in the great tradition of melbourne's northside hipsters, we predict that venues like the Thornbury Bowls Club and Kensington Bowls Club will soon be losing their wedding bookings to their northernest neighbour, the Kyneton Bowls Club.
I mean, would you just look at their sage green wall radiantly glowing in the morning sun?!
My best punk face for wall snaps
Fidel's just happy about the lawn bowls...
Don't overlook the tiny Macedon Ranges towns like Lyonville, Glenlyon and Trentham in your wedding research.
Trentham in particular has some lovely spots for weddings. You could elope at the base of the Trentham Falls - the largest single drop waterfall in Victoria. Or you could take an intimate party of family and friends to celebrate your wedding in a cute little barn chapel at The Estate Trentham or The Little Church at Spring Hill Peony Farm.
This here's Lana & Clem on their wedding day, whoopin' and cheering as we lead their guests in an epic ceremony singalong:
Lana & Clem's wedding at The Estate Trentham, photo by the lovely Lili of I Got You Babe
Daylesford & Hepburn Springs
Daylesford! Home of fancy lakes, rolling gardens, and the biggest and longest running rural LGBTI festival in Australia. Daylesford has been known as the gay capital, flying the rainbow flag for marriage equality, since freakin' forever.
We're proud supporters of lgbtqia+ marraiges and we've been lucky enough to perform wedding music for awesome same-sex, non-binary, love-is-love ceremonies all over the place, including the wedding of Teeg & Tai at the stroke of midnight for marriage equality. We led the crowd in our rowdy reinterpretation of 'I Fought The Law & I Won' as the clock struck midnight and they became one of the first same-sex couples to legally marry in Australia.
Skim too quickly over a town like Daylesford, or Hepburn Springs, and you can miss the cool stuff. Sure, on the surface it looks like fancypantz hotels, stuffy weddings in formal gardens and receptions with chair sashes (eww).
But don't think that the pretty areas aren't privy to some down & dirty, soul-grabbing rock'n'roll. I remember watching bands like Graveyard Train playing at the Old Hepburn Hotel. There's no reason you can't channel some of that gritty spirit into your wedding.
Or just as easily elope down by the springs in matching glittery jumpsuits, throw a hipster wedding in the park, or book out an airbnb for mini-festival wedding with a killer wedding band. See what we did there? ;)
This region is full of secret gardens perfect for a cheeky pop-up wedding with your new fav wedding band!
Macedon + Daylesford Wedding Legends
Macedon Ranges wedding photographer Pierre Curry is an absolute dream to work with!
If you're planning a wedding in the Macedon Ranges / Daylesford region, there are a few special local vendors you should most definitely know about:
Wedding photographer Pierre Curry and his lovely wife Lucie are based in the Macedon Ranges. They are two of the sweetest humans we know - down to earth, gentle, quirky and endlessly enjoyable. As a fellow introvert, Pierre seems to know just how to capture couples without forced poses or any of that nonsense. An absolute top bloke.
As is Lakshal Perera - photographer of awesome stuff, like your wedding. He also happens to rock a guitar down at the local Kyneton children's bookstore Squishy Minnie, which he runs with his darling wife Kristen. When we first met Lucky, we found ourselves sharing great honest truths with him. He's so endearing and disarming. Definitely in our good books!
We've also had the great pleasure of working alongside Woodend-based darling Jess of Brown Paper Parcel and gorgeous Lily of I Got You Babe, who is based in Brunswick but for some reason we seem to have the pleasure of running into at our weddings in Trentham! Both are exceptionally talented romantic, dreamy, moody photographers.
And on that note, The Estate Trentham is one of our beloved Macedon Ranges venues, run by Lynda Gardener. Perfect for intimate weddings of 60 guests or less. Less is awesome. And we looooooove ourselves a tiny weddings. The Little Church at Spring Hill Peony Farm also suits a smaller guest list.
Ballarat / Daylesford celebrant Anthony Cribbes is something of a legend around these parts. This bearded maniac runs something crazy like 17 kilometres a day, memorises his wedding scripts and rocks the mic like a wrestling superstar. Guaranteed fun times, especially if he and Fidel get started on sexy sax man rants and short-shorts. . .
And special mention goes to another not-exactly-local who's always at our weddings in the area - Marry Me Dee - the biggest babe in the celebrant world. Quirky, kooky, bold and full of smooshy lovejuice without the soppy rhetoric. Her weddings ALWAYS involve rockin' good music. We work very closely with Dee to create unbelievable musical ceremonies with singalongs and heavy metal readings and rockin' aisle dances. She's an absolute firecracker!
And remember, just like us, many melbourne-based wedding vendors are happy to travel for your country wedding.
Kickass Wedding Tunes
Like the songs on this article playlist? You might like our covers too. Check 'em out.