Corey & Tanya’s eco-ethical surprise wedding / Camperdown Commons

Marriage ceremony

From the moment I met Tanya and Corey I felt an instant connection. We met at a small bar in Crows Nest (Small Bar in fact). I ordered a glass of rosé, Corey ordered an Aperol Spritz and Tanya skipped the drink and ordered a piece of cheesecake instead (this made me love her immediately). Within minutes we discovered that all three of us had gone to the same high-school, but all at different times. Corey may have overlapped me by a year or so (I was almost finished school when he was in year 7)! I was already 100% on board , so when they told me they were having a surprise wedding and that they were planning it with an eco-ethical approach (something that was very important to Tanya in particular) it was just the cherry on top. I had found my people!

I love surprise weddings for a variety of reasons. The obvious one is the pure fun of it – the secret plans and the look on everyone’s faces when you reveal the secret. The other reason I love them is because they are instantly more relaxed, both in the vibe on the day but also the planning and lead up. There just isn’t that pressure and no one else gets to have a say so you can do it completely your way. Tanya and Corey were simply planning a casual engagement party on a Sunday evening in April (wink, wink).

Welcome sign
Surprise wedding

Tanya is very environmentally aware (she carries a reusable straw and cutlery with her at all times) and early in the planning process she discovered the Mindfully Wed E-Guide – an e-book created by Less Stuff More Meaning all about being a conscious consumer in the wedding world (no mean feat), helping couples remain true to themselves and their values and step into their true consumer power. This resource was a huge help to Tanya and Corey. They knew they wanted to be responsible in the choices they made for their wedding and the guide helped them to do this. Tanya said “I came back to it a few times when I felt overwhelmed with options or unsure about what I want. It allowed me to focus on what matters, leave the unnecessary ideals that are not relevant to use, and most importantly, to remind me that I am not missing out by opting out of certain traditions.” Hallelujah!


For the venue Tanya and Corey couldn’t go past Acre Eatery at Camperdown Commons, a beautiful oasis in Sydney’s Inner West. Acre have a ‘no single use plastic’ policy, grow their own vegetables and use locally sourced meats. And at the end of the night they were happy to pack up all the leftover food and desserts for the guests to take home (instant wedding favours that your guests will actually use,or should I say, eat). And instead of florals, they rented pot plants with baskets from Green Features – no waste, less cost and it looked amazing!

Acre Eatery wedding at Camperdown Commons

For the ceremony I arrived and set up very discreetly and after all the guests had arrived, had a drink in their hand and had been mingling to the beautiful sounds of Georgia White I got their attention and introduced myself as the MC (Marriage Celebrant… get it?) ready to introduce the speeches. When I revealed that Tanya and Corey were in fact going to get hitched “right here, right now” the excitement was next level. Corey and his groomsmen came forward and then Tanya and her bridesmaids entered – Tanya with both her parents. We introduced all the wedding party, formally acknowledged Tanya and Corey’s parents (Corey’s mum had recently passed away, so this part was particularly emotional) and then got into the formalities.

When it came to choosing witnesses for their ceremony, Tanya and Corey couldn’t decide, so we decided to have a bit of fun and did a witness lottery. I had all the names of their guests in a bag and Tanya and Corey pulled out a name each. Amazingly the names were Corey’s step-father and one of Tanya’s best friends.

Bride signing marriage certificate

We all signed the paperwork on a nearby wine barrel and then Tanya and Corey ran off into the sunset with their photographer Joey Wills for a few quick shots (they’d done the majority of their photos before the ceremony). I was on such a high that when they told me to stay for a drink I couldn’t resist and before I left they presented me with a beautiful bottle of French Rosé (because they remembered I’d ordered one at our first meeting – so thoughtful) .

Bride and groom

This ceremony was joyous, heartwarming and truly soulful… and so much fun. 

Congratulations Corey and Tanya, and thanks for trusting me with such a special moment in your lives. x

Bride and groom


Andrea exceeded our expectations in so many ways! We were beyond happy with the ceremony she has written for us. It was clear she listened and created something that was very special and personal to us. The jokes were endless and the guests raved about how good the ceremony was. We were impressed by how professional Andrea was. We loved her approach and calmness. She was very easy to talk to and was full of amazing and original ideas. We cannot recommend her her highly enough and would love to work with her again in a heartbeat!


Venue: Acre Eatery at Camperdown Commons
Photography: Allume Wedding Photography
Celebrant: Andrea Calodolce Ceremonies
Tunes: Georgia White
Plant Styling: Green Features
Hair + Makeup: Sydney Mobile Makeup
Tanya wears: Shona Joy
Andrea wears: Mister Zimi