Clare & Ben
Country weddings will always have my heart, because not only is there good old fashioned country hospitality at hand, but there is something a little magical about saying your vows amongst the peppercorn trees. Clare and Ben did exactly that – choosing to marry at the bride’s family farm, the most stunning backdrop for their beautiful day.
Captured with beautiful photography by Sheri McMahon, it was a romantic ending to the couple’s story who first met on Tinder, Ben choosing a tropical holiday as the moment to pop the question. Clare shares “Ben and I had been talking about getting married someday. We were discussing one night how neither of us knew the first thing about diamonds or metals (for a wedding band) so we went to a jeweller to increase our knowledge. I tried on a ring I really liked and the jeweller was incredibly helpful – allowing photos of the ring and he also sized my finger. We told him that Ben would be back one day. Unknown to me, Ben returned the next day and ordered a ring.
Ben proposed on the second day of a cruise to Fiji. We were sitting on the balcony enjoying some bubbles (which I thought Ben had bought as a special treat) and listening to an awesome playlist when Ben proposed. We then had two weeks of our little secret before returning home to share the news with our families and friends.”
The bride visited Belles and Beaux Bridal for her beautiful wedding gown, noting “I had a Pinterest board of dresses I loved, however, had no idea what would suit my figure. I decided to look for dresses in Newcastle as I’d heard from multiple friends that there was an abundance of wedding shops. I visited two boutiques with my maid of honour Sarah and bridesmaid Lucy for support. I ended up buying the second dress I tried on (which was a very similar style to a lot of the dresses I had pinned on my board). The experience was a lot of fun, but with so many dresses I had to return 2 weeks later (with my mother) to decide. Lucy pointed out that there was one dress I kept referring to as “my dress” every time I talked about it, so the decision was made.
My dress was ivory with a fitted bodice with ivory details stitched over it and a flowing train. My veil was a simple finger length style. I loved the way the dress complimented my figure and was simple, but beautiful.”
Ben made sure to put his own stamp on the day, building plenty of pieces for the day – including the arbour the pair married under. “Ben is very practical! He and his Dad built our wedding arbour one afternoon as I had found one on Pinterest I liked. My sister’s in law decorated it with chiffon and flowers. We signed our wedding register on top of a giant tree stump that Dad had saved from the wood chipper after the council had chopped down some large trees next to the road” tells Clare.
Clare walked down the aisle with both of her parents to Pachebel’s Canon in D.
It was a dream of the bride’s to marry on the family farm. She explains “I’ve always wanted to get married at my parent’s farm. Neither Ben nor I are religious, however, I do have a spiritual connection to the farm. Mum and Dad are both recently retired and spent many hours on the garden to keep the water up to it (in what has been an incredibly dry period in NSW).”
“Family is really important to us, therefore we wanted them included throughout the day. We did so through acknowledgement of loved ones during our ceremony that have passed away. We also included a Rose Ceremony where we acknowledged the contribution our families have had on our relationship by giving our mothers a single stem rose each. We also displayed wedding portraits of our parents and Grandparents at the reception” shares Claire. “Another special detail was our musician at the ceremony, Allyn Smith, who played a cover of “Still into you”, a song that Ben and I instantly liked the first time we heard it.”
Sue Curley performed the official part of the day, the ceremony carefully planned by Clare and Ben to reflect their own values. Clare telling “We wanted it to be heartfelt, fun, personal and relatively quick! My year 4 teacher Allyn Smith played the guitar and sung which set the scene.
We spent time putting together a “script” for our celebrant (who had provided us with about 40 pages of examples to go through) which we felt conveyed our values and what our relationship means to us.
Our good friend Christina Edwards read “Friendship” by Judy Bielicki as our relationship is grounded in friendship. My eldest brother Owen Webb read a lovely reading that we found online which had no listed author but was about the meaning family, friends and community give to a relationship.”
Clare and Ben worked with floral designer The Meadow to create bright and native filled floral details for the day, the bride sharing “I love natives and I love colour. This is the only brief I gave my florist. Her talent is legendary in Dubbo and I trusted her artistic creativity explicitly. There were flowers in the bouquet I’d never seen before in my life. She also provided loose flowers for the reception and flowers to our cake designer to decorate our cake.”
Of their photographer, Clare tells “Sheri was amazing. Incredibly professional and experienced and a lot of fun – exactly what we needed! Sheri snapped some awesome candid shots, as well as designing stunning portraits. We gave her colour and an olive grove to work with and she showed us what a magician she is!”
“The whole day was amazing. There was no pressure on Ben and I or our families and bridal party. It was important that we could all relax and have a good time. Being organised and accepting that what will be will be, setting the tone for our day.”
Clare and Ben celebrated with their guests at Dubbo Golf Club, Clare tells “We wanted to have the reception in Dubbo as this made practical sense (due to the abundance of accommodation). We wanted a location in town for convenience, but not somewhere that everyone would think of as a wedding venue. Ben chose the Dubbo Golf Club as he had previously worked there and had always loved the views over the green from the function room.”
Celebrations continued with dancing, kicking off with the newlywed’s first dance. “We chose “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban. We both love this song and Ben hates dancing so we wanted something we could have fun dancing to. We also wanted to set the theme for the rest of the night by getting everyone onto the dance floor for a spin” tells Clare.
A big congratulations to Clare & Ben! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to the lovely Sheri McMahon Photography for sharing today’s wedding.
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