Rachel & Michael’s Intimate Mindaribba House Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Rachel & Michael

“We wanted our wedding to be a reflection of who we are as people; laid back, focused on family and friends and, most of all, a helluva party!”

If there is one point we try to get across in every single wedding we feature – whether it’s glam and decadent, low key and relaxed, whether the photography is light and bright or moody and dark – it is to be who you are. Be yourself, plan a day that is quintessentially yours. That’s exactly what Rachel and Michael did. And it’s because of this personalised factor, that we cannot wait to share every detail and moment captured by Jennifer Burch Photography.

The proposal, just like their wedding day, was filled with plenty of laughter! Rachel fills us in, “The proposal didn’t quite go to plan…which is fantastic as it makes for quite a funny story and suits us really well! About a year before we were married, Mike had planned to propose to me at the top of a lookout at Boomerang Beach, near to where we were staying in a holiday house with eight of our closest friends over New Years. They were all in on the proposal and had been asked to meet us at the beach with Champagne at 11am on Dec 30th 2016.

At 10am, Mike took me out to the base of this lookout and told me we’d be walking for about 45 minutes up to the lookout to see the view. Unfortunately, though he had driven to the wrong lookout and we reached the end of the path about 100 metres away and Mike’s face turned beetroot red as he realized we were in the wrong spot. I was laughing until he dropped down onto one knee and blurted out his proposal speech. I was so shocked! I said ‘yes’ and we cried and hugged and had a lovely moment until a couple of tourists came up and asked us to take their picture – ha!

Mike then spent the next 45 minutes driving me around to other lookout points for photos and was acting really weird to be honest, and I couldn’t figure out why! It all made sense when we arrived at the beach at 11am and our friends had set up a gazebo with Champagne and streamers and music to celebrate our engagement. It was so fun! Mike’s strange behaviour to kill time had all been because he took me to the wrong lookout and we would have therefore been an hour early to our engagement surprise party at the beach!”

Rachel wore a lace gown designed by Made With Love. She tells, “My gorgeous dress was chosen with my mum and we fell in love with it because it was different and looked like it was vintage (just like my ring). I loved the lace detail and the beautiful long train, and I thought it suited the beautiful venue we had chosen for our wedding which has lots of romanticism and old world charm about it. We chose the beautiful bridesmaids dresses (Zimmermann) as they too were very unique, but also the dark green colour suited the venue in the bush, and the girls looked beautiful in them!”

Rachel and Michael chose the leafy venue of Mindaribba House for their ceremony and reception. “I have to say, the venue was absolutely magical,” shares the bride. “It’s a stunning old home with beautiful pieces of furniture that add glamour and a sort of country richness to the four-bedroom house (where our bridal party loved staying over the weekend). Off the side of the house is a huge, white hall with a striking, large bridal table made of a ginormous log which brings the bush inside in a really classy way. We had our wedding ceremony under the trees to one side of the big white hall, and then our guests moved to the paved area by the pool to have some pre-dinner drinks and canapes.”

“I walked down the aisle to an acoustic piano version of ‘Heart Full of Love’ from Les Miserables,” remembers Rachel. “The musical has a special place in our family and Mike took me to see Les Mis on Broadway in NYC for my 30th birthday. I said that night that I would have it included in our wedding, so we were excited to incorporate an instrumental version of that beautiful song. My brother walked me down the aisle as our dad has passed away. We both cried happy tears and he did a wonderful job of keeping me calm and being there for me to give me away; very special.”

Under the dappled shade of a few verdant trees, Rachel and Michael said, “I do”. “Our ceremony, like the rest of our day, was designed to be fun and relaxed and void of anything stuffy or too traditional. We got married under the trees, chose a short and sweet ceremony outline and said vows to each other that we’d handpicked based on our relationship and what we wanted to honour in our marriage going forward. Two of our good friends read excerpts from a poem by James Dillet Freeman and Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Song Book’. Our mums were both tickled pink to be the witnesses on our marriage documents and we walked out hand-in-hand to an acoustic version of a Daft Punk song that had played on repeat the night we met; ‘One More Time’. We laughed and cried and it felt authentically ‘us’.”

Family and friends are so very important to these two. “We made sure that our immediate family were included where possible, with each of our parents playing a part in the day (with Mike’s dad and my mum getting ready with us respectively – which was special). We had a party the night before for family and bridal party to get to meet each other in a beautiful beer garden near the wedding venue. That meant that on the wedding day they were relaxed and mingling which was really lovely to see.”

The deep jewel-toned bouquets were styled by Jade McIntosh Flowers. Rachel explaining her vision, “I chose flowers that were mostly natives and hardy flowers in dark greens, maroons and plums. All of the tables and lapel flowers were designed to be slightly different – we didn’t want anything too matchy or cliched. The flowers that got the most comments were the amazing ones Jade McIntosh and her team put together for my hair – it was huge and dark and a real focal piece that I just adored.” Rachel’s bridesmaids added a black and white photo of her father to her bouquet so he was able to be with her on the day.

Of their photographer, Rachel says, “We chose our photographer for two important reasons: her work and her personality are both simply beautiful! We met Jen when I was a bridesmaid at a wedding the year before and she was fantastic at that wedding, and also at ours. She has really mastered the art of being very friendly and personal but also professional; she knew when to indulge us in our emotions but also when to call the shots and direct the group to capture the perfect shot. The artistic way she put our photo book together in a stunning leather-bound book was also superb.”

And during canapes, with the sun setting, one of the couple’s favourite memories occurred. “A lot of the guests chose to play cricket in the rustic pitch we’d prepared on the other side of the pool. One of our favourite memories (and photos) is when Mike and I came back from our photos and got to play cricket with an Aperol Spritz in hand before the wedding – that was so fun.”

Inside the hall, guests were seated for dinner at grand long tables, every detail, even the wine, carefully selected by the couple. “We had a big dinner party at our place six months before the wedding and invited the bridal party and their partners. So we had this huge feast and got everyone together and then ran a wine tasting (which is my husband’s profession) and the whole bridal party wrote notes and voted on which wines we should include in the wedding. It was a fantastically fun night!”

The speeches remain one of Rachel and Mike’s favourite memories. “We were conscious not to let them run too long but we wanted to include the stories from Mike, myself, Chris (our best man) and Dan (my brother). Each speech was funny but also heartwarming as everyone told their own versions of our story and why we were made for each other. It was truly a special experience and very meaningful and memorable for us. In fact, we took the speeches to our honeymoon and read them again to each other one night over a bottle of Champagne so that we could truly listen to them without all the people and cameras, etc.”

Although the first dance was choreographed, it didn’t quite go to plan explains Rachel. “Our first dance was to ‘Your Song’ by Elton John. We had a simple choreographed dance planned for the first minute or so of the song, but we hadn’t counted on how my train would get in the way of our dancing! So on the day, we had to improvise and just kind of shuffle around with my arms around Mike’s neck. It wasn’t ideal but we rolled with it and had fun regardless. We’re excited about the next wedding where they play ‘Your Song’ and we can whip out our rehearsed dance properly.”

A big congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for sharing your bespoke day with us. Thank you also to Jennifer Burch Photography for sharing today’s images.

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