Charlotte & Allan
Tassie, when it comes to weddings, you’re a bit of a show-off. The location boasts historic venues, drop-dead gorgeous locations and incredible stories. This Highfield House, Stanley wedding, on the North West Coast of Tasmania – captured by the ever talented Nina Hamilton – was filled with plenty of Tasmania’s best. It has blooming floral details, a sparkling gown and plenty of memorable stories waiting to unfold.
This marriage journey kicked off in Hobart. The happy couple sharing, “Like all good love stories we met at a bar in Hobart. Charlotte was chatting to one of Allan’s hockey mates who introduced us. The irony of our story is that we were both born and raised in Burnie which is a small coastal town on the North West Coast of Tassie; we had many mutual friends (which we found out during the courting process). It wasn’t until we both made the move to Hobart and had been living there for a few years that we crossed paths.”
As a carpenter, the groom loves to change his everyday look up occasionally with a suit. So he chose a classic black look from Les Lees Hobart.
The bride has a penchant for being sentimental. So everywhere she could, she included special details that honoured loved ones. “I am a really sentimental person, so there were a lot of special touches during the day. Starting with my wedding dress. My grandfather, who was German, passed away just before my sister’s wedding five years prior, he didn’t see any of his grandchildren wed but he was known for wearing red and blue checked shirts so we have all had a piece of the same shirt on our wedding day.
I chose to have it embroidered with the word liebe (the German word for ‘love’), then stitched into my gown. My grandmother gifted me a white handkerchief that was her mother’s the week before the wedding. I was named after both my great grandmothers so I thought it was a special touch.”
The bride-to-be had one prerequisite in mind for her wedding gown. She found her match at Karen Willis Holmes telling, “The biggest must for me when choosing a gown was it needed to have sleeves. I’ve always been self-conscious of my arms so wanted to hide them. I had a couple of trips to Melbourne with appointments at different boutiques but there was a dress in particular at Karen Willis Holmes that I couldn’t stop thinking about. The gown was ivory with sleeves and was fully embellished with the most amazing bead and sequin work.
I had dismissed it on my first appointment because I didn’t think it suited my curves, in particular, my bust, but after trying it on again with their amazing seamstress she pulled it in in all the right places and assured me once it was altered it would fit me really well. I found the experience quite overwhelming if I’m honest; like most girls, I have body image insecurities so it wasn’t until the very last fitting I felt confident.
I can’t recommend the ladies at Karen Willis Holmes in Armadale enough, they were really supportive and, with their knowledge and industry experience, they really helped me get over my insecurities. It was lovely to have quite a traditional bridal gown as far as the length and sleeves but also being quite modern because of the bead/sequin work.”
The beautiful and historic Highfield House was the setting for the day. Charlotte shares, “We wanted to have our reception in an old barn as there is something quite beautiful about a rustic, blank canvas. We had done a lot of research looking for the perfect barn around Tassie but we were drawn back to the North West Coast.
We had both our ceremony and reception at Highfield House in Stanley. Stanley is a quaint little fishing town at the base of the Nut which is the stump of an old volcano. A lot of our guests hadn’t visited Stanley so it was great to show this part of Tassie off. We hoped everyone would take a few days off and make a weekend of our nuptials which they did. Highfield House is situated up on a hill looking directly at the Nut, the ocean and the town. We had our ceremony with the Nut in the background, it was the perfect picture.”
Working with stylist Flocked Events was part of what made this day so easy for Charlotte and Allan. “We had amazing vendors working with us throughout the planning. It can be quite tricky planning a wedding when you aren’t living in the town where you will be married. It was lovely to be able to support local vendors on the North West Coast and if I’m honest I would say they all stood out, everyone was so helpful and really delivered everything we hoped for.
I would, however, say Flocked Events were worth their weight in gold, particularly during the week before our wedding. I came down with tonsillitis a fortnight before the wedding then the flu hit me, I was bedridden until the Thursday before the wedding, Flocked took care of all communication with other vendors so I could rest up.”
The stories began before the ceremony, much to everyone’s delight. “When I was walking down the aisle the wind caught my veil which of course went flying. It was caught by the knees of about four guys who had no idea what to do. I just yelled ‘can someone help me put that back in?’. My two uni friends came to the rescue. Although walking down the aisle, I wasn’t as graceful as I had played out in my head I would be in the lead-up, all I could do at that moment was laugh. The photos Nina took of this moment are great.” Charlotte walked with her father Bill to ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ by Haley Reinhart.
“As soon as my father and I made it to the end of the aisle to meet Allan I couldn’t help but give him a big hug and a kiss, I remember my cousin yelling out ‘you can’t do that yet’ but it’s such an emotional time, you have to do what feels right at the moment. There is a beautiful picture of this embrace with my dad giving Allan a pat on the back.”
Charlotte and Allan were marred by Karli Franks, remembering, “We wanted quite a traditional ceremony, this started with my father giving me away. Knowing that we would both be quite emotional on the day we also decided to go with traditional vows instead of writing them ourselves, we were worried we wouldn’t be able to get them out.
We had two readings. We wanted to include other friendship groups in our wedding day who weren’t in the bridal party; so I had a friend I went to uni college with read Carrie’s poem from ‘Sex in the City’. This was to add a bit of fun to the ceremony, the poem is also really beautiful. We also had a friend from Allan’s hockey team read ‘Love is Patient’ from Corinthians.”
Charlotte and Allan chose Murphy Bloom to style the florals for their day. “Keeping things classic, wedding trends come and go so we wanted to go quite traditional. I and the bridesmaids had long-stemmed white roses with a long white ribbon. Allan and the groomsmen had a single white rose for their buttonholes.
We were married in front of an oval arbour which was covered in dark green foliage and white roses. I love cottage garden flowers like hydrangeas, dahlias, gypsophila and roses so the barn was decked out with small arrangements as well as installations throughout. The bar installation was particularly beautiful with festoon lighting setting it off.”
The couple paid another tribute to their history and Charlotte’s grandfather as they signed the registry. “We also played ‘Edelweiss’ in German when we were signing our registry. I was very close to my grandfather so I really wanted to pay tribute to him on the day, this was a special moment for my family, I believe there were a couple of tears and reflection during the song which is what we wanted.”
Guests celebrated with coupes and Champagne and a little lavender! Tells the bride, “Stanley is known for flies especially in summer. Knowing this, my mum and I collected long stemmed lavender from one of our groomsmen’s gardens and made fly swats with three stems and white ribbon, they looked amazing and our guests really appreciated them while the flies were out.”
And those blooms that topped the bubbles? Carefully sourced by the bride herself. “I absolutely love flowers, we had drinks on the lawn straight after the ceremony and I thought it would be a nice idea to have Champagne saucers with edible flowers in them. I remember sitting on our bed two weeks before the wedding trying to find edible flowers having a meltdown when it was harder than I thought.
Allan laughed at me because he didn’t think it was a big deal (it was a big deal to me) I’m so glad we ended up finding some, all our guests thought it was a lovely touch. Lots of people commented on the attention to detail which is so nice to hear when you go to a lot of effort.”
The couple planned and executed so much of their day themselves, with the help of stylist Flocked Events, even down to the chairs! “We spent 12 months collecting antique chairs and a chaise lounge, both for the ceremony and for our cocktail reception. We were lucky enough to borrow some antique chairs from my parents and some that were left to me by my grandmother.”
A pair of studded Valentino shoes finished Charlotte’s look for the day. “Because the dress was such a statement, I borrowed a pair of my Mum’s diamond studs, I didn’t want anything too busy. I am a massive shoe lover so certainly wanted something special for our wedding day. So I treated myself to a pair of signature Maison Valentino gold stud heals which suited the ivory dress really well; I figured we will only get married once so why not. At half time during the reception and when we went on a photography adventure on the rocks with Nina, I changed into a pair of Gucci sneakers which I had had my eye on for ages, this was a great move for the dance floor.”
“I think my favourite part of planning was seeing it all coming together, once we locked one vendor in everything else started to fall into place,” remarks Charlotte. “You can get overwhelmed with ideas, it can get a bit messy in your head. I absolutely loved the day before the wedding seeing Flocked put our ideas together, when we were walking around the venue it was hard to believe our day was finally here.”
Photographer Nina is actually a cousin of the bride! “We were lucky enough to have my cousin Nina Hamilton photograph our wedding. We wanted more candid, natural shots, rather than too many posed, unnatural shots. Nina has an amazingly creative eye and captured the things that as the bride and groom you often miss out on seeing like quests arriving, shots of the town. Some of our favourite photographs don’t show our faces just a bride and groom silhouette with the amazing Nut in the background. We have had so many lovely comments about Nina’s work so it’s great to be able to recommend her to our friends.”
“I would have to say the flowers were one of my favourite parts of the day,” shares Charlotte. “My father’s family had owned a florist in Launceston for many years so I’d like to think my passion for flowers has stemmed from that (pardon the pun). We were lucky enough to work with Flocked Events who created some amazing floral installations in the barn – it’s hard when you entrust other people with your vision, you’re not quite sure when you’re communicating whether you are on the same page or not. I remember walking through the barn before our guests moved in and I was blown away, it was all exactly what we had envisioned, they couldn’t have done a better job if they tried.”
Charlotte and Allan had “classic elegance” in mind when it came to their styling. “Our styling was definitely classic/elegant. We went for classic white and green for the floral arrangements. The dress code was black tie. Although there were some formalities that were important to us, particularly during the ceremony, we felt our atmosphere was quite relaxed.”
“My aunty’s mother, who is like a grandmother to my siblings and I, wasn’t able to make it to our wedding as the location was a bit too far for her to travel. She had gifted a lot of family members a cake knife for their wedding cake, we were given ours a week before the wedding with a few tears, it was lovely to have a moment thinking of her when we cut our wedding cake.”
“Allan and I had gathered photographs from our siblings, parents and grandparents on their wedding day. We had them all framed and placed on a side table at the entry of the barn. We only had one grandparent with us on the day, my grandmother Janice, so it was lovely to have photographs of all of them with us on the day, it was particularly nice collecting the photos in the lead-up, there were lots we hadn’t seen before.”
And when there is an amazing sunset, it calls for sunset portraits of course!
The newlywed’s first dance was to an old favourite, played by their band The Pretty Things. “Allan and I both love Josh Pyke. He did a ‘Like a Version’ cover of ‘Endless Summer’ by The Jezabels the year we met which became our song. We had a band so they played this for us. This was one of our favourite moments during the day. It felt like there was no one else in the room.
After our slow bridal waltz, our band kindly played ‘Say a Little Prayer’ by Aretha Franklin at our request; they did an amazing job, all our guests really got into it. We found out later it was quite a challenging song to learn so we were really grateful they played it for us.”
And to finish off their story, we’re sharing the warmth-filled film of the day, captured by An Emma Rayner Production.
A big congratulations to you both Charlotte and Allan! It was such an honour to share your day. Our gratitude to Nina Hamilton for sharing today’s wedding imagery too.
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