Priscilla & Hugh
There is something utterly charming about today’s elegant country chic wedding in Canberra. This was a wedding about soul, about love, about what matters most. For Priscilla and Hugh? Their day was all about the atmosphere. In their words “Our focus was on creating an atmosphere that was welcoming to everyone.”
And welcoming meant a first look so they could spend much of the day with their favourite people, it meant skipping a wedding party so they didn’t have to play favourites, it meant a beautifully personalised ceremony. And it meant inviting Lauren Campbell along to make sure the day was captured in its very element. This one celebrates the best of the autumn season in all its intimate stunning glory.
A mutual friend led these two to meet, the pair sharing “We met at a mutual friend’s 21st birthday party that both of us almost didn’t go to. We hit it off straight away with long conversations and later dancing at the romantic destination of Canberra’s Uni Pub. A few days later Hugh tracked down Priscilla’s number and gave her a call to ask her out for a coffee. Priscilla, on receiving Hugh’s awkward voicemail message, thought to herself, ‘Hugh? Hugh who? I don’t remember talking to a Hugh?’ Luckily, she gave him a shot anyway and the rest is history…”
A romantic getaway was just the opportunity Hugh needed to propose. “Hugh booked a weekend getaway to the south coast of NSW in September 2018. We arrived after dark so Priscilla had no idea where we were. After a very restless night, Hugh awoke early and, seeing the weather was nice, seized the moment. Somehow rousing Priscilla from bed before first light, he led her to the deck with a view out to the ocean and popped the question as the sun rose. Priscilla burst into tears but managed to pull herself together to say yes!”
The bride wore a gown from Allure Bridal at Brides Of Sydney. “I chose an Allure Bridal ballgown dress made from Mikado Silk. The dress was off-shoulder boat neck, and it was a beautiful soft silvery colour (Almond). When looking for a wedding dress, I had a rough idea that I didn’t want to wear a white dress. I wanted something that complimented my skin tone – something like a soft champagne colour or rose gold. In terms of style, I had no idea.
My mum and I drove to Sydney from Canberra to try on a few wedding dresses. We planned on visiting bridal three stores, and by the second bridal shop, I was already in decision fatigue and was happy to pull the trigger on flowy lace dress that I could customise.
Credit to mother, she said to follow through with our original plan, and we pressed on to the third bridal shop. We visited met Roselyn from Brides of Sydney, who was tremendous and got me to step out of my comfort zone. It was Roselyn who chose the ballgown, and when I put it on, I felt and looked amazing.”
Says Hugh “My favourite memory of the day is seeing Priscilla for the first time. She walked down the grand entrance staircase of Ovolo Nishi looking simply stunning! We had decided to hold a private reveal before the ceremony with just the two of us. Coming together, we shared a personal commitment of love before the public ceremony. Spending that moment together was so special and perfectly set the tone for the rest of the day to come.”
That beautiful blue suit Hugh chose, was designed by Morganson’s Finery. He shares “Anthony and the team did an amazing job helping me design the perfect suit, something classic with a modern twist and a nod to the country setting of the wedding. The suit was blue check with a subtle tweed, a floral tie from Peggy & Finn completed the look and tied into the reds and oranges of our flowers.”
If you have yet to tie the knot Priscilla offers up this advice. “Choose three things that you won’t compromise on and don’t get caught up with every detail being perfect for things that aren’t even that important to you.
Do all your planning ahead of time and then just enjoy yourselves and be in the moment. If something goes wrong on the day, you’ll be the only ones to know!”
These two have nothing but praise for their photographer, admitting “Lauren Campbell is an amazing photographer and produced some truly fantastic photos of our wedding, definitely the best either of us has ever looked in a photo!
We chose to have a private ‘reveal’ and portrait session before the ceremony and Lauren did a great job putting us at ease but also making us feel special. She was so easy going and fun to work with which perfectly fit with our personalities.”
The flowers on the day? Stunningly autumnal and created by West Row Botanica, says Priscilla. “We chose to have our wedding in March, mainly because Canberra is the most beautiful in Autumn. Our venue had beautifully landscaped gardens so we didn’t want to go over the top with flowers. When we met with Dave from West Row Botanica, we only had two criteria – 1) Native plants and greenery for the reception and 2) orange and red hues for the flowers. He went and created something incredible that was above and beyond.”
Priscilla and Hugh’s favourite part of wedding planning? “We loved looking for venues, imagining how our wedding might be at each new place we visited. Planning is hard, particularly as we didn’t use a wedding planner, but the reward of everything coming together on the day made it all worthwhile.”
Priscilla and Hugh chose the beautiful Poachers Pantry for their wedding day, Priscilla noting “We wanted the ceremony and reception to be held at the one location to simplify the day and keep the party going straight after the ceremony! With its gorgeous gardens, restaurant and large marquee for the reception, Poachers Pantry was the perfect spot. We were married on the homestead lawn under a huge elm tree whose leaves were just starting to turn yellow.”
Priscilla chose ‘Feel Love’ by Ben Harper for her walk down the aisle. “My dad walked me down the aisle in the Ghanaian Kente cloth.”
Susanna Jose Ceremonies officiated proceedings. “We wanted to capture some of our personality in the ceremony and include a few important friends and family to give readings or help in other ways. For readings, we chose ‘Friendship’ by Judy Bielicki and a reading Neil Gaiman’s wrote for his friend’s wedding. The theme of these readings and our whole ceremony was friendship, love, and the balance of our partnership.”
Guests gathered inside the onsite marquee for a sit-down dinner reception. The scene set by the couple themselves. “Hugh has a long-neglected background in design so he had a great time designing a monogram for the wedding and used it to create a custom cake topper, guest book, and assorted stationery. Priscilla even ordered matching monogrammed hoodies.
We also created a custom photo booth with polaroid cameras so guests could stick a photo into our guest book along with their message.”
Of their first dance, Priscilla and Hugh remember “We chose Childish Gambino’s amazing cover of ‘So Into You’, originally by Tamia (look it up on YouTube!). Becky from Kokoloco Dance Studio did a fantastic job teaching us basic dance steps and a routine in a few short weeks. We kept the first dance a secret from almost everyone and it was a great moment seeing everyone’s reaction.”
And then? “After our first dance, everyone got onto the dancefloor and boogied to some Ghanaian music.”
A big congratulations to you both Priscilla and Hugh! Thank you for sharing your story with us. Thank you also to Lauren Campbell for today’s stunning images!
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