Brad and Michelle
Brad and I first met 3 years ago at my daughter’s ballet class, when he was taking his son to the same class. Although we both noticed each other, the fact that we were both there with children made each of us believe the other was attached. For 9 months we admired each other from a distance and occasionally chatted to one another, but neither of us had the courage to ask if the other was single.
Finally in June 2009, not long after starting a profile on an internet dating site, I received an email from another member who I instantly recognised as the man from my daughter’s ballet class. I was completely gobsmacked, but also thrilled that he was actually interested! We hit it off immediately, and it wasn’t long before we knew that we had a future together.
In July 2010, we officially became engaged after the world’s most un-romantic proposal (not much chance of romance when you have 4 young kids between you!) and the wedding plans began immediately. Our biggest priority was involving all our children and making sure they had a fun time. As an experienced wedding photographer for Michelle-Leigh Photography I knew that kids and weddings don’t often mix, and we needed to choose a location that allowed them freedom to run and play, a flexible menu and possibly something to entertain them. We decided firstly that we would have a daytime ceremony so they wouldn’t spend the whole reception exhausted and chose Historic Tomago House for our venue. We had use of the whole house, it’s extensive grassy grounds, and the private chapel for our ceremony.
The ceremony was perfect. Inside, the chapel was so tiny that we decided to make it a private family only affair. The highlight was definitely my 7 year old daughter reading a special verse about our newly formed family.
While we waited for guests to gather in the main house for our entrance, our photographer Zoe Ambler from Michelle-Leigh Photography, took us for a wander around the grounds. They were wild and unkept, not manicured at all, and just perfect for the intimate, romantic feel we were going for. I have worked alongside Zoe a few times in the past and I have always liked her style and felt comfortable with her. She also agreed to let me edit my own wedding photos and design my album, so I was pretty thrilled with that!
Our guests assembled in the ballroom while they waited for our arrival. Most of them didn’t know the ceremony was over and we were married already, so the surprise on their faces was fabulous! It was amazing to walk into a room full of our closest friends and family, all cheering for us, shedding tears, hugging and kissing and showing their genuine joy over our nuptials. We have never felt so loved.
The old homestead lent itself perfectly to our vintage theme. We didn’t have to worry about any extra decorations other than fresh flowers and our antique platters, cups and saucers that we had been sourcing for months leading up to the wedding for the high tea. Finding the right clothing wasn’t so easy, so I had my dress made by a local designer Kyoko and my girl’s dresses were hand made in America by a dressmaker I found on Etsy. Brad’s outfit came from Roger David and the boys clothing I bought from various children’s boutique’s over several months of searching.
The Heights on Regent Street in Newcastle did our delicious catering, with some handmade chocolates from Coco in Sydney (instead of a cake) and a very special kids only dessert bar from Sweet Little Birdy.
All the kids that attended had a great time playing games with our entertainers from PixieLand Parties, while we danced all afternoon to the swinging sounds of our band Duelin’ Pianos (part of the The Big Ol’ Bus Band). The whole vibe of the day was joyful and relaxed and we could not have been happier with the way it turned out.
Photography by Michelle-Leigh Photography
Ms Gingham says: It’s true that kids just love any excuse for a party. Kids big and little for that matter! Thanks to Michelle and Brad for sharing their beautiful family wedding with us!
Michelle says: “I am a photographer for Michelle-Leigh Photography and I just got married to the most wonderful man on the 2nd of July 2011. It’s the second time around for us and we both have kids, so now we are a big, happy, crazy, blended family of six. Our wedding was a vintage style High Tea in an old homestead, with a very kid-friendly vibe.”