WHAT WERE YOU LOOKING FOR IN YOUR DRESS?
"Honestly what I was initially thought I wanted in a dress was not at all what I ended up with! I love a sleeve so I was originally looking for a form-fitting, long-sleeve dress (in the middle of Summer – crazy I know!), although was open to trying everything and anything.
It was a huge day of dress shopping for me! I had a 6-month old baby and was about to head to Adelaide for a few months so wanted to get it all done in one day. I lost count of how many I tried, but being that I had little time I was VERY decisive with what I did and didn’t like. Really I didn’t find anything until I came to Samantha Wynne, which was number 5/6 for the day!
We were all getting dress-fatigue but stepping into your boutique was like a breath of fresh air! The one-on-one service and the fact we were the only people in there was really lovely. And then I saw ‘the one’, a beautiful French lace, embroidered princess-style gown – not at all what I thought I wanted!"
CAN YOU REMEMBER THE MOMENT YOU KNEW IT WAS THE DRESS?
"I remember my Mum and sister picked it out of the rack, and to be honest it was not at all something I would have picked for myself – but as I said, was happy to try everything on.
When I put it on, it just felt different to every dress I had tried before. The detail, the craftsmanship and the way it fit my body just felt amazing. It was so light to move in and comfortable and I could just imagine dancing the night away in it in the middle of Summer. As a marriage celebrant I have seen a lot of dresses in my time, so it was important to me that my dress was unique, and the fact I had never seen anything like it before was a big win!
When I left the changeroom and saw the faces of my mum, sister, friend and the tears of my mother-in-law, I knew it was the one!"
HOW DID YOU FIRST MEET?
"The very first time we met, was a very brief encounter we had at a New Year’s Eve house party back in 2008 when we were 17 (well he was technically still 16), where I actually thought he was very cute, but a little arrogant, with an impressive beard for a 16-year old!
A little down the track we really started to get to know one another and I realised I had him all wrong.
We were always drawn to one another but didn’t start dating officially until maybe a year after first meeting. 10 years later, a dog, a house, a couple of chickens, a baby and then a marriage later and here we are."
"I was seven months pregnant and were on a trip to Queensland for a bit of a baby-moon. The trip had to be postponed/shortened because I had the worst flu of my life and couldn’t lift my head of the pillow, let alone get on a plane.
When we eventually landed in Noosa, we drove straight to the little cute little secluded cottage we were staying. We were laying on the bed just talking about our plans for the rest of the afternoon. Then Jack turns over and starts saying some lovely words, that I honestly can’t remember as I realised what was happening and it all became quite a blur! He then pulled a box out of his pocket the most beautiful Champagne diamond ring, and asked me to marry him.
As it turns out, he had been saving for and planning the ring for quite some time! I’ve never been much of a jewellery person and didn’t know what I would want in an engagement ring, but Jack’s got an eye for these things and chose such a unique ring that is just so me. Of course, I said “yes” and we celebrated by calling our family and friends, a dinner at a pizzeria and by toasting some marshmallows on the wood fire in our cottage.
The rest of the trip was so wonderful, we basically just ate amazing food, drove around the countryside, swam and slept in until 11am each day…I remember it fondly as the last great sleep we ever had since Isla came into the world."
"Being a celebrant it was all about the ceremony for me, and having it reflect exactly who we are as a couple and a family. I wanted Isla to be involved, as it was as much about her as it was us!
She was at the perfect age, as she just started walking so ran her way down the aisle when she saw her Dad (I couldn’t see it from where I stood but I did hear a lot of “oooh’s” and “ahhh’s” from the crowd). In between stuffing her face with sultanas, she join us up at the alter and would go between myself and her dad. She had just learned to clap also so when everyone clapped after our vows she thought they were clapping for her, and would then clap back – it was hilarious and very, very cute. I always tell my couples that involving kids in ceremonies take the edge off the nerves as they are so entertaining, and Isla did just that, she certainly stole the show!
Other than that, sharing our vows in front of our family and friends was a pretty special moment that I will always remember."
"I really wanted a venue that I had never done a ceremony at before, and wanted an outdoor ceremony and reception out under the stars. I love a forest setting so was after something with lots of trees and greenery.
We also wanted a bit of a DIY venue for our reception where we could bring in our own food and booze. Jack is a brewer, so it was important we could have his beer on tap!
Araluen was one of the first venues we looked at, and we just kept coming back to it. It had such a beautiful hidden-forest area we chose for the ceremony that was just so green with a running stream behind, and a great deck area for the reception."
"Other than my dress of course, Isla’s matching custom little dress was just everything – it even came with a surprise matching French silk bib!
Jack’s getup also turned out amazing. I really wanted him in a dark, forest green suit to match the setting and he had his heart set on wearing his Grandad’s bolo tie. Suit Vault made him the most amazing custom three-piece with a scoop neck vest, and coupled with his R.M. Williams, it just looked *chef’s kiss*.
The florals by Freek Haus were also just incredible. She incorporated all the colours and styles perfectly and created the most beautiful flowing, romantic ceremony feature which was beyond anything I had dreamed.
We also bought in 40 huge white hydrangeas and a number of large ficus from my mother-in-law’s garden centre to decorate the marquee – it was such hard work that we did ourselves but it looked unbelievable!"
ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES
"When dress shopping, be open to all styles and just give everything a go! You will really be surprised with what you end up falling in love with.
When searching for vendors, make sure not only do you love their style but you vibe with them also – you’re going to spend a lot of time with these people! We were very lucky in that being in the wedding and F&B industry, almost all of our vendors were friends (or came very highly recommended) which made everything all the more special.
And for the big day, remember to slow down and appreciate every moment. It all goes so fast. Don’t waste your energy on sweating the small stuff. You’ve done all the hard work, now is the time to sit back, enjoy and have fun!"
BEST WEDDING SPEND
"A great photographer is a must – these are the memories you can share with your children and your children’s children!
Also a DJ who gets your vibe particularly if you aren’t the typical “wedding playlist” kind of people. Jack and I have an eclectic taste in music and our DJ Willy Slade just nailed it – as well as helping us with some tricky sound regulations in the lead up!
And of course, don’t skimp on a celebrant! Your ceremony is the very reason you are there so you need a great storyteller to do your story justice – which we definitely had in Brooke!"
Dress Samantha Wynne Suit Suit Vault Photographer Jess Wyld DJ Willy Slade Celebrant Brooke Lingard Makeup Artist Jacqui Bradfield Florist Freak Haus Furniture Hire Society & Heart Strings Hire & Style Catering Young George Lighting Power Audio Visual Gelato That Little Gelato Cart