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Nat & Callum

Today, we’re inviting you to escape with us to the country. Where cocktails are flowing, where hugs are aplenty and where romance well and truly resides. Today, we share the beautiful South Australian boho-inspired wedding of Nat and Callum. And from the endless handmade details crafted by Nat herself, the beautiful photographs Tay Bassi Creative and the custom cocktails we’re dying for a glass of, this is a story that will warm every little cockle of your heart.

This wedding? This story? It turns out it’s been nine years in the making. “As I’m writing this, we met 9 years ago to the day (15/07/2011). As 20 and 21 year-olds, we were both finding our feet with the paths we were wanting to take in life. For Callum, this meant studying Engineering at Uni and for me (Nat), this meant travelling as much as my part-time job would allow. This particular night we just so happened to be at a mutual friend’s house at the same time and had a brief encounter. I was immediately drawn to Callum and specifically remember asking my friend later on in the evening once he had left ‘Who was the friend? He was cute!’. So I did what all people born in my era would do…looked him up on Facebook. Turns out he wasn’t like the rest of us millennials and had no interest in social media so didn’t have Facebook. I shrugged it off and didn’t think much more of it. A few weeks later, as fate would have it, I was out on a Saturday night with my girlfriends and bumped into Callum on the balcony of the club. I remember saying ‘hey, I know you…you’re so and so’s friend!’ (I’m sure it was a little less smooth than it sounded in my head..thanks alcohol) but nonetheless, it must have worked as we didn’t stop talking to each other for the rest of the night. From there, things just developed naturally and we started ‘officially’ dating a few months later.”

And on their fifth anniversary, Callum popped the big question, Nat’s version of the story goes like this.  “5 years to the day that we met (15/07/2016), Callum asked me to marry him while I was sitting on the couch (yes, really!). He had the ring for about 9 months prior but never found the right time or the right place to do it…so what better place than the couch!? But in all seriousness…in March 2016, at the age of 25, I went through one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I had a prophylactic double mastectomy. It was mentally, physically and emotionally draining and it took a lot to get back to my bubbly old self. Callum and I are both very transparent in our goals and aspirations in life so talking about engagement was just another thing we were going to do together. So I was very much aware of the fact he had the ring I was completely involved in the design and the buying process…it was just up to him to decide when.

We had both discussed getting engaged before my mastectomy but Callum decided the timing just didn’t feel right and in hindsight, I’m glad he waited until July 2016 as it allowed me to really enjoy the engagement and the wedding planning process rather than it being overshadowed by my mastectomy. It gave me a new spring of hope and something to look forward to after such a dark time. So as much as I give him a hard time about making me wait so long, the timing was in fact, perfect.”

Nat briefed her florist to keep the floral details relaxed and full of colour! “Besides the colour scheme, I only had two ‘must-haves’ in the flowers…dahlias and wild! I didn’t want neat little bouquets of flowers with how rustic and mix/match everything else was in the wedding, so I just asked the florist to make each bouquet and flower crown a little bit different from the last and she nailed the (very ambiguous) brief!”

Getting ready with their favourite people beside them is one of Nat and Callum’s favourite times of their day. “Getting ready was something we will always hold close to our hearts. Just like the wedding itself, we wanted the whole day to feel really relaxed and stress-free so we all just got ready in the house together! That’s right…Callum saw me getting ready! He saw me getting my hair and makeup done while he was plotting around the house having some lunch and some beers with the boys. The only part he didn’t see was when I hopped into my dress and that’s when we did the ‘first look’. But that early morning with my bridesmaids getting our hair and makeup done, finishing off some last-minute DIY’s, music blaring, drinks in hand and with the rest of the bridal party and family rocking up throughout the day is something I will always cherish.

We also had some of my family staying in the house with us (3 nights in the house was included as part of the wedding package) so we were just surrounded by loved ones all weekend..it was awesome! You always hear about these horror stories and the stressful ‘morning of’ so it was so fun to just see everyone relaxed and enjoying themselves before the reception had even started. I feel like this set the vibe for the entire wedding itself. ”

The groom had his suit made by Joseph Uzumcu. Nat shares “Callum got his suit made by Joseph Uzumcu. Callum had full control over what he wore, how he wore it, what colours he wore and what patterns he wore. We both wanted to feel amazing on our wedding day so we both just did what we wanted and hoped it would somehow come together on the day!”

The bride wore a gown from Fillyboo. She explains “I wore a Maternity Fillyboo dress…back-to-front!

The whole process of finding the right gown was a bit stressful, to be honest! I am a plus-size bride so I was dreading the process of having to find a dress after all of the horror stories I had heard. My Mum and I went to bridal shops in Adelaide and I purchased a designer gown before we had even picked our venue.

It’s not that I didn’t love the dress, which I still do! But once we had locked in our venue (Brooklyn Farm), I knew the original dress wasn’t going to feel right in the setting and I was just going to be uncomfortable in layers of tulle. I would describe my every-day style as casual boho so I knew what I was looking for but couldn’t quite find the right thing.

I wanted something lightweight, with sleeves (but not tight lace), flowy, ivory and with fine details but once again, not lace. I just so happened to see an Instagram photo of a maternity shoot and this mother-to-be was wearing exactly what I was envisioning but couldn’t seem to find! I did some investigating and found out the brand was Fillyboo. This was when Fillyboo was only known for their maternity dresses and I couldn’t find any examples of people wearing them for weddings. They also had a no-refund policy and I wasn’t even sure if their sizing would fit me. In the meantime (and in a panic when I couldn’t find anything else I liked), I had purchased my second dress from Spell intending to heavily modify it. When it arrived, it was completely the wrong colour and showcased my mastectomy scars in all their glory so I decided the hell with it, I was just going to order the Fillyboo dress and take my chances! When it arrived, I tried it on and thought it was pretty but also wasn’t 100% sold on it. These beautiful fabric-covered buttons were running down the front of the dress and I actually preferred the detail on the back of the dress, so decided to try it on back-to-front. And that was it! It was perfect!

I had to get it hemmed to match my height but that’s how my $350 wedding dress (I ended up buying it on a Black Friday special..hence the ‘the hell with it’ attitude) cost me over $3000+ because I couldn’t make up my darn mind. I am so happy with the dress I chose in the end and the way I felt. I just felt like ‘me’…but the nicest ‘me’ I had ever felt!”

Nat and Callum worked with photographer Tay to have a first look before the ceremony, and they couldn’t be more thrilled with the result. “Tay was incredible! I had been speaking to a different photographer before coming across Tay’s work but he had double booked! Of course, at the time I was beyond annoyed, but everything happens for a reason! I had seen Tay comment on a forum I was following and immediately was drawn to her work. I quickly emailed her for a price list and to see if she was available for our date and I remember having butterflies in my stomach after losing the original photographer I had planned to have. She got back to me the same night and I’m pretty sure I paid the deposit within a few days!

We didn’t meet with our photographer or videographer before booking them…it all just felt right so we just went with our gut and boy, did it pay off! Our photos and video are memories we can cherish for a lifetime. We met Tay for the first time when she took some photos of Callum and me as a little bit of an ‘engagement shoot’. She made us feel so at ease and had all the tricks to get the perfect shot.”

“We decided to get the majority of the ‘formal’ photos done before the ceremony so that we could fully embrace the afternoon/evening with our friends and family. We figured we had paid for this massive party so we may as well have enjoyed it as much as we could!”

The beautiful Brooklyn Farm played host to this celebration, says Nat “This was the easiest part for us! We knew we wanted somewhere we could stay, get ready and have both the ceremony and reception all in the one place and somewhere that was relatively untouched from the wedding scene.

I stumbled across the website for Brooklyn Farm on a forum and loved the whole vibe so much that I emailed them asking if they took bookings for weddings. Much to our delight, they did! We drove down to check out the venue and instantly fell in love.

The homestead was built to film the movie ‘The Boys Are Back’, but you could have sworn it had been there for a century! The owners at the time did such an amazing job of turning it from a movie set to a liveable house for their guests and boy did it not disappoint! The owners drove us around the property and showed us the endless locations we could have our ceremony and it was very much a blank canvas where we could bring in/decorate however we wanted. Within a couple of days, we had locked in a date and paid the deposit. Rather than looking at other venues, we figured ‘once you know, you know!’ You know?”

“The bridesmaids wore dresses from online retailers (Showpo, the Iconic and another random dress store from memory). They wore their shoes, accessories that I had gifted them to say thank you and of course the flower crowns from the florist. We went for an earthy colour scheme (burgundies, browns, apricots, blush, etc) and I do love a good floral print, so we mixed and matched the bridesmaids dresses to be within that colour scheme as well as have a mixture of lengths and textures. The bridesmaids chose how they wanted the hairstylist to style their hair and how they wanted the makeup artist to do their makeup as I wanted them to all feel comfortable on the day too. Some had a bold lip, some had a natural look, some hair up, some hair down, some had a tan, some didn’t. I loved the way each of the bridesmaids still looked like themselves on the day!

Nat walked down the aisle with her dad to Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’. “The entire wedding party (including Callum & the groomsmen) walked down the aisle too as we had already done a first look and all got ready in the house together.”

Callum’s favourite memory of the day? “When we were saying our vows and butterflies were flying around us. Just felt like our loved ones who couldn’t be with us were still there celebrating with us.”

Callum and Nat chose Amy Harrison to officiate their ceremony. “Our ceremony was beautiful all thanks to our amazing celebrant. She made everyone feel so at ease and kept everyone captivated with the way she delivered the ceremony and our story. Callum and I are not overly emotional people, yet we found ourselves both holding back tears when our celebrant talked about how hard we found 2016 both as individuals and as a couple and how far we had come to get to where we were today. It was personal, fun, emotional, serious, easy, happy and of course a little bit of legality thrown in there too…all the things you could want in a ceremony.

We only invited our very closest friends and family so it felt safe, comfortable and special to be sharing our vows in front of our nearest and dearest. Despite the endless locations we could have had our ceremony, we decided on a space just on the other side of the creek near the house. It had a stunning large tree that arched perfectly over the area we held our ceremony and set the scene beautifully.”

Sentimental touches? Oh, Nat and Callum added those too! “We made sure to have photos of loved ones that had passed so that we could feel like they were with us on the day. Rosemary has a special meaning to Callum’s family so we made sure to include that in the boutonnières and hints of it in the bouquets and flower arrangements.”

Every one of these creative touches? Handmade by Nat! “I DIY’d SO many details! Save the dates, invites, coat hangers, wedding favours, cocktails, decorations, the arbor, the macrame on the arbour (gosh, that took forever!)…even ALL our signage was all hand-drawn! I am a creative soul so when I envisioned my wedding, I always pictured a blank canvas where I could put my touch on everything. Luckily our venue was absolutely stunning so I didn’t have to go too over the top, but I loved every minute (and there were a lot of them) of my DIY projects.”

When planning their reception, Callum and Nat ditched the seating chart, citing “We wanted everyone to have fun so didn’t have arranged seating. There’s nothing I hate more than being in high heels with nowhere to sit so we ensured there were more chairs than there were people, but anyone could sit where they wanted and were free to roam as they pleased. We feel this is what made the night so fun and carefree. There was no pressure on our end to see every table and talk to every guest as everyone was mingling and dancing the night away!”

“I honestly loved doing the DIY stuff! ” shares the bride. “I would have ‘crafternoons’ with my family where we would each have a task and make all the fun stuff! I loved that everywhere you looked at the wedding, it was something personal and handmade. It just brought the extra touch of ‘us’ to the wedding.”

Callum and Nat chose to hire Cargo Catering Co to cater their reception, Nat certainly added these guys to her “raves”! “We loved loved LOVED our caterers! Given that our venue was in the middle of nowhere, we needed caterers that could bring everything to us. My Mum was the one who found Cargo Catering Co. and once again…without even trying their food, I booked on a gut feeling and it did not disappoint! Their food was OUTSTANDING and they catered to all our dietary requirements.

We had so many people tell us how much they enjoyed the food so not only was their service great but the food itself was to die for! They had also just released their ‘Speakeasy’ drinks van so I booked that too and not only did it look great, the staff were amazing! I don’t think there was a single moment in the night I had an empty glass. Their attention to detail was impeccable.”

“I know it sounds cliche, but seriously..just ENJOY the moment! ” advises Nat. “Everyone tells you the day goes quickly…and it does! But if you just try to be in the moment and soak everything in, it seems to last that little bit longer.”

These two made sure their favourite people were involved in every part of the day. Nat shares “We decided on having four bridesmaids and four groomsmen so we were limited on numbers. I had a very close friend who I still wanted to be a part of the wedding so we asked her to be our MC. She chose a dress that complimented the bridesmaid dresses and also had a flower crown to show she was part of the wedding. I loved that all my best friends were in my wedding in one way or another!”

Sunset, just with her new husband, remains one of Nat’s favourite moments of the wedding. “I have a handful of ‘favourite’ photos which I love all equally, but one photo that just brings me back to that exact moment in time was when we snuck off with just the photographer and videographer during sunset to the top of the hill to get some snaps. Callum and I are holding hands, looking away from the camera and you can see is the rolling hills, the stunning sunset, the tiny town of Myponga Beach and the sea. We were a few drinks down, having the best time ever and we just got to be in the moment, just the two of us, on the top of this stunning hill and got to breathe it all in for a moment.

Much to the horror of the owner of the property, her husband had taken us up in his farm ute (dust, tools and all!) to the top of the hill while Tay and Brady (the photographer and videographer) were holding on for their dear lives (and very expensive equipment) in the tray going up and down some pretty uneven ground. I was laughing and smiling the whole time at the little ‘adventure’ we were going on and assured the owner I didn’t care at all about the state of the ute! So just the memories alone behind that photo makes it one I love to look at.”

The newlyweds took to the dance floor to  ‘Unchained Melody’ by Nataly Dawn. Nat reminiscing “Callum closed his speech by saying ‘I’d like to finalise this speech by asking Nat, for my first wish as a husband, and ask if she’ll join me in my first dance’. I am the ‘talker’ of our relationship so everyone was surprised when Callum was the one doing the ‘thank you’ speech (this was my one request after planning 99% of the wedding, haha!) So when he finished off his speech with those words, I think you could hear even the manliest of men’s hearts exploding. We then walked to the dance floor (cough, some vintage rugs) and had our first dance to ‘Unchained Melody’ by Nataly Dawn. We chose this song as The Righteous Brothers’ version was my parent’s first dance song. I was 5 years old when they got married and will always remember them dancing to it. It’s also the song that’s on their ever-so-90s wedding video (cross-fades and all), so it just reminds me of love.”

And once the stars came out, it was time for dancing, and hiring Just Music Entertainment to DJ the wedding was a choice Nat certainly does not regret. She says “We weren’t going to get a DJ but decided in the last minute to get one. I’m SO glad we did because he read the room so well and was playing the best beats! Not something my Spotify playlist could have done that’s for sure!”

And one last part of this story comes from cinematographers Infinity Films who worked to capture the day in motion.

A big congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for sharing your stunning day with us! Thank you also to Tay Bassi Creative for sharing today’s beautiful photographs with us!

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    Sarah & Gerrard

    Sarah and Gerrard were both drawn to the idea of getting married in Tasmania. They both wanted their wedding to feel down to earth, warm and welcoming, and loved the sense of adventure that came with recruiting all their guests down for the occasion, who were all spread out down the east cost of Australia. The beauty, history and charm of their venue, Brickendon Estate, along with its farm animals, offered the perfect canvas for the couple to create a rustic/vintage style wedding. The pair tied the knot on March 7, 2020. The day was captured by Cassie Sullivan Weddings and Wonderlust Films. Below, Sarah shares their love story, how they planned an interstate wedding, and all the details behind their sentimental touches and inclusions. 

    Gerrard and I had begun chatting in July 2015 via a dating site called Plenty of Fish. We chatted for a number of weeks before we decided to meet in person. After a string of disappointing dating experiences I had really low expectations, so much so that I had actually cancelled our first scheduled meeting at short notice in favour of heading home after work to relax on the couch! Our meeting rescheduled for the following Sunday evening. At that time, the idea of going out on a grey, drizzly and cold Melbourne winter night after a draining day at work to make awkward small talk with a stranger that I may not have had connection with felt incredibly painful. I remember quite vividly complaining to my friend at work that if I was going to make the effort then he had “BETTER make me laugh!”

    Feeling bad, I didn’t want to cancel again and luckily, parking limits near to our meeting place gave me a good excuse to keep it short and sweet. Forgetting my coat and running late, I rushed from the car park across the road to a small intimate bar along Brunswick St in called Baxter’s, Gerrard’s suggested meeting place. As I walked up to the bar I saw a tall, lightly bearded guy patiently waiting outside in the cold. To my immediate relief at his composure and assumed sanity, it was Gerrard. Warm and friendly, he gave me a hug hello and opened the door for me to go inside.

    I immediately felt comfortable and enjoyed his company inside the dimly lit, ambient bar and had lost sight of time. When I realised that I only had 10 minutes left on my parking metre and had to leave in a rush, Gerrard called me out on it, saying something like, ”Suuuure you do! You planned for this didn’t you!” Deciding it was best to call it a night anyway, Gerrard, a gentlemen, walked me back to my car and hugged me goodbye.

    The next day at work, I wondered if I would hear back from him. I received a text that afternoon saying that he had really enjoyed meeting me the night before, and then admitted that he was almost about to cancel on me too as he wasn’t feeling up to the risk of a dud date but was really glad he didn’t.

    There were many elements that were important for us to have for our wedding day, in addition to the travel expenses we were required to spend having it in Tasmania (as we were both living up in Brisbane). I didn’t want the budget of our catering, musician, beverages, bus hire for the guests etc to be overridden by a dress that I knew I would only wear once, so I decided to let go of the idea of spending big on the “dream dress” I was tempted to buy and to see what I could find in a pre-loved one instead.

    My chosen wedding dress was created by Made with Love and I purchased it via the website Still White. Funnily enough, the first and only dress that I tried on was only in the next suburb from us and fit perfectly as the seller was a similar height to myself. Only cups needed to be inserted and a bustle added. Even more surreal, the seller and her husband were also married in Tasmania, at a venue that had been on our list to check out.

    My mum and bridesmaids (who included my sister) all live in Melbourne, so I had a close friend of mine (who I went to school with in Melbourne and was now also living in Brisbane) come along with me to try on the dress, video chatting with my mum and each of my bridesmaids separately so they could give me their verdict… They all loved it! It was a nice feeling to walk into the person’s house who I was purchasing the dress from to see her husband nursing their little baby girl on the couch. I fell in love with the idea of wearing a dress that already had a happy story woven into its fabric, and for me to weave mine in too, and to eventually pass it on.

    Gerrard had proposed to me with an engagement ring he had made that mirrored the shape of his mum’s wedding and eternity ring set, along with those two rings. I wore one of her rings, along with my grandma’s engagement ring on the day.

    Instead of getting a separate wedding ring made, we had decided to embellish the engagement ring that Gerrard had made for me so my engagement and wedding ring would be in one. During the design process I was only able to imagine what the design would look like with the extra jewels stuck on with Blu Tack, so as you can imagine, it was very difficult to visualise the final product.

    When the ring was ready to pick up, Gerrard was adamant that I was not allowed to see the final product until he put it on my finger at the ceremony, and so we did the same for his wedding ring. It was incredibly painful to wait that long to be able to see it, but it was nice to have that element of surprise on the day.

    My bridemaids were my sister and my two best friends Ash (maid of honour) and Celeste who I had been friends since prep in primary school. Gerrard had his brother Warrick as his best man and two long time friends Rohan and Katie as his groomsmen/lady.

    Gerrard and his groomsmen/lady purchased their attire from Peter Jackson who were very helpful in working with our ideas and pulling the look together. The pants and shirt almost fit Katie perfectly with some slight alterations, but she had to get the jacket significantly altered. We were thankful to have a friend who worked in fashion design that took care of the measurements for Katie so she could go and get it altered.

    The boys purchased their shoes from ASOS and I loved the richness of the brown against the navy blue pants, but poor Katie had to go on a bit of a mission as they didn’t have her size or a female shoe alternative. She ended up finding a men’s shoe in a similar colour that fitted her quite well.

    We were both very keen on the idea of suspenders, with a lighter coloured jacket to dark pants. As Gerrard had always had a thing for wearing happy socks, I was keen to integrate his humour and personality into the attire, and we went for a matching bow tie as well.

    I have always found the charm of live acoustic music during a wedding ceremony to feel incredibly moving, ambient and a facilitator for connection, and I felt quite strongly that this was something that we couldn’t compromise on for the day.

    I love peonies, dahlias, roses and natives but knew some of these wouldn’t have been available so I went for what was in season Tassie. After raiding Pinterest and sharing images with our talented florist Lacee from Flowers By Lace, using her expertise and eye for colour she created bouquets that were more beautiful than I had imagined them to be.

    Our flower girl Scarlet, daughter of my bridesmaid Celeste, has cerebral palsy and had been going through intensive early intervention to help support her growth and development, with one of her primary goals being able to communicate and gain the strength and ability to walk. I work in the area of disability and am passionate about helping others to reach their full potential and be the best they can be. I wanted to present Scar for the beautiful person that she is, away from any labels that can often distract away from a person’s capabilities, and I guess reflecting on this now, I wanted our ceremony to have soul and to reflect what inspires me every day in my work, people defying the odds and limitations to achieve their goals to the best of their capabilities.

    I had also felt inspired by the transformation Celeste (initially the least maternal one of our friendship group and now super mum) and her husband Dan had made since having Scar, going through the fear of the unknown to becoming Scar’s biggest advocates to help her live a full life with access to every opportunity available to her. I draw a lot of my inspiration from observing the way people thrive through challenging circumstances and make the most of it. We loved that such a special family moment was able to be witnessed and experienced by our guests on the day, and that we had the opportunity to provide the landscape.

    I walked down the aisle to ‘Hysteric’ by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The acoustic version of this song had been gently moving for me. While I never believed in the idea of needing someone to “complete” you to feel whole as a person, the lyrical sentiment “you suddenly complete me” I guess, really resonated for us, because life suddenly became much easier, and within myself I felt more like myself, accepted and balanced, after we got together. Our musician, Tony Mak, had learnt the song, among two others, especially for the wedding and did an incredible job of setting the tone for the ceremony.

    We both wrote our own vows and Gerrard, after teasing me for a long time about how he was going to make fun of me (we banter a lot), surprised me by writing the most beautiful, heart-felt vows that will be remembered forever. If I wasn’t so adrenalised by realising that I forgotten the bloody rings just before I went to walk down the aisle, I would have “ugly-cried” (Gerrard’s goal) for sure! I was on such a high though, wish we could relive that moment again and again!

    As soon as we first visited Brickendon Estate, we knew it was the venue for us. We had visited five venues beforehand and nothing really resonated like this one. We fell in love with the charm and the history of place (a world-heritage listed farm estate built by convicts and still owned by a family line), the farm animals and the dogs following us around while we checked out the venue, and also the beautiful historic cottages that we could use to accommodate our close family and bridal party. Even more importantly, we loved the warmth and the easy going, relaxed vibe that was immediately felt while Louise showed us around the venue. Louise’s daughter Eliza who supported us in the last few months leading up to the wedding and then on the day, went above and beyond to first help us navigate wedding planning via the web as we didn’t have the opportunity to see the venue again until the week before our wedding, and then was very patient and accommodating in helping us pull it altogether on the day. Our guests loved the adventure of travelling to Tasmania and spending time at this gorgeous venue and it provided the perfect backdrop for our wedding photos that we will cherish forever.

    Our wedding photographer was Cassie Sullivan. I found stumbled across Cassie’s photography on the web and I was drawn to the beauty, soul and honesty expressed in her images, which is how I wanted our day to be remembered. Cassie was highly professional and a pleasure to work with. She was so calm and chilled out on the day, the kind of person you want around when there is so much happening around you. She is an absolute artist and going through images of our wedding makes me feel like we are transported back into those moments, reliving it all over again.

    Our venue was a blank canvas and we had to coordinate hiring a lot of our equipment and purchasing the finer details. Being an engineer and highly creative, Gerrard used our wedding as an excuse to buy a CNC machine and designed and created all of our wedding signs. We assembled our own table decors, made our own wedding favours which were cooking spices (having a passion for cooking I couldn’t not do it!) with the help of a couple of our friends. We designed, with the assistance of Enklo Printing, most of our own stationery. We used left over jars from my best friend’s wedding, which were transported in the back of their car over to Tassie for the flowers and candles as part of our table décor.

    If the logistics were in our favour we would have tried to gather as many pre-loved items as possible to use as wedding décor, however due to shipping costs we had to purchase and gather a lot from discount stores and Kmart when we arrived in the week leading up to our wedding.

    I loved the idea of using fresh culinary herbs as table runners to further contribute to the rustic/farmhouse feel, so Lacee, working within our budget, organised herbs and natives that we could assemble during set up, along with some extra florals to use in our glass jars for colour and soft ambience. They all worked beautifully with the candlelight during the reception.

    It was important to us to honour the memory of Gerrard’s mum, each of my grandparents and other close relatives at our wedding. I grew up deeply inspired by the love and humour between my grandparents they were my role models in knowing when I had found the right relationship for myself. I had always imagined that they would have been there to celebrate my wedding with me and I was heart broken that my grandma had only just missed out, passing away from a fall three weeks before our wedding.

    The last six weeks of our wedding was a time that was a bit of a mind mess (for use of a politer word), meshed with grief and celebration while I travelled back and forth between Melbourne and Brisbane to spend time with Grandma, for her funeral, and for my Brisbane and Melbourne Hen’s celebrations.

    Only nine months into our relationship we had found out that Gerrard’s mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and a very short life expectancy, which motivated our move from Melbourne to their family farm in Brisbane, a move that was a significant leap so early in our relationship. My granddad passed away only a few short months after. We created a memorial section complemented with candlelight and florals, and included photos of Gerrard’s mum Lyn and my grandparents during our getting ready photography. A little surreal, we had my uncle pull out the day before our wedding and our bridal team accidentally set up a seat for him next to my mum (my grandma’s daughter). Deciding to keep the table setting as it was, I had a leftover picture of my grandparents and placed in the centre of the setting, next to mum and our bridal table. I knew that they weren’t going to miss being there with us.

    I also organised for a colleague to do a “photo shoot” of our dogs so that we could incorporate them into the day somehow. Our dogs would have definitely been apart of the bridal party otherwise.

    Tassie had really blown us away with its standout vendors, we were impressed by the friendliness, talent, generosity and professionalism by everyone we had on “our team”.

    Special mentions to Meg Culhane for being so helpful in the beginning with giving us pointers to assist with wedding planning and being so calm and organised on the day. Swinging Gate Vineyard for giving us a few helpful tips during our first trip to Tassie, and for going above and beyond in service with helping to supply us with plenty of wine, and to also Van Dieman Brewery for their flexibility and great service. To Tony Mak for doing such an amazing job with music. To Cassie Sullivan Weddings and Samuel Brooks from Wonderlust Films for being fun to hang out with, extremely talented in what they do, and to each give us a product that we will one day get to share with our own kids and grandkids (hopefully). To our DJ, DJ Dan, for being the nicest DJ ever in town, who had everyone up dancing and who rounded up our last few guests to ensure that they didn’t miss the bus. To Marlo from Matson Catering for being so super generous with her time and incredibly helpful through a lot of my overwhelm in organising the finer details. To Jess and Jess from Mint, Relax, Revive and Olivia Jones Makeup Artistry for being so calm and easy going on the day and helping to make the morning fun. To Melinda from Event Avenue for being incredibly patient with me and helpful in helping me to pull my ideas together for what to hire. To Flowers by Lace for her talent and friendly nature. And a massive thank you to Eliza from Brickendon Estate for being so supportive and flexible with helping us to pull it all together in the last few days leading up to the wedding.

    The whole process of wedding planning was incredibly stressful. For one, there was the challenge of planning a wedding remotely with all the guests travelling from three different states, and most of our bridal part lived in Melbourne (including my bridesmaids), and trying to work out the attire for our groomslady, who lived in Melbourne. I was also studying my final year at uni and running my own business so it was an enormous juggling act to try and manage it all, along with moving house. In the final six weeks of the wedding my grandma had a fall and fractured her hip, and then sadly passed away. There was also the looming COVID-19 pandemic, and I was worried about how that was going to impact our plans, especially when we had guests genuinely concerned about the availability of toilet paper during their visit (very, very fortunately, we made it JUST IN TIME!).

    Funnily enough, after all of these stressors, I was the most chilled out that I had been in the whole process on the day, and the day and the weather was perfect. It went better than we could have imagined, the only hiccup to reflect on was me realising that I had forgotten the rings just before I went to walk down the aisle. If we could go back and relive the day all over again, we would! It was absolutely the happiest day of our lives!

    For our first dance, we chose ‘I Am So in Love With You’ by Ball Park Music.

    I had often romancitised about the song I would dance to at my future wedding to, long before I had even met Gerrard, and often these fantasies involved smashing out a little dance number like Chubby Checker’s ‘Let’s Twist Again’.

    When he proposed it didn’t take me long to share many of my evolving ideas with him, which much to my disappointment but not to my surprise, he hated many of them (but was definitely not opposed to learning a dance). While there is a lot of music that we both enjoy together, there is a broad musical spectrum and Gerrard deviates towards the end that favours heavy metal and as I call it, “screamo” while I am at the other end, favouring softer folk and acoustics. While I had been working hard fine tuning our play list for our engagement party, Gerrard sent me a text to say he added this song that I hadn’t heard before by one of our mutual loves, a Brisbane band called Ball Park Music. We just didn’t have time to go into any great practice for a dance, so we went with this song, something that I think quite accurately reflects how we feel about each other.

    My advice to anyone who is as concerned about trying to make everyone feel happy as I had been in the planning process, I know how anxiety-provoking it can be! It’s a big lesson for personal growth however to learn how to take a step back and remember what’s the most important for you both and keep that as the central focus, because the day is about you guys celebrating your love in your way, with the people who love and care the most about you near (and far), question when that isn’t being honoured to regain perspective! Also, make sure you prioritise self-care to care for your mental wellbeing so that you can make the most of it and enjoy this exciting time together!

    Sarah and Gerrard’s wedding video by Wonderlust Films

    Ms Floral Says: Congratulations Sarah and Gerrard on your marriage, plus an absolutely gorgeous wedding in a stunning part of Tasmania! All your choices were so thoughtful, and I love that your special day really highlighted your personalities and what you love. You must look back on it with so much joy.

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    Brittany & Sara

    We talk a lot about making your wedding your own around these parts, and for Brittany and Sarah, making their wedding day reflect exactly who they are, was at the core of every plan they made. “Our favourite part of the wedding planning was bringing aspects of our personalities into the wedding. For example, we had a lot of dorky puns and daggy dance songs.” We’re so delighted to bring you this story, set in a rustic barn hidden in the Blue Mountains, Every detail accompanied with beautiful photos by Chris Gray Photomedia,

    It was a blistering hot day when these two met, and in their own words  “We met on an online dating app. Sara was Brittany’s first online date. Brittany was two weeks into her working holiday in Australia at the time. Sara arranged for them to meet at a small bar (Blacksheep) in Newtown, NSW. It was a 45-degree day and the bar’s air condition wasn’t functioning. Despite this, the date lasted 8 hours and the rest is history.”

    The majestic Sydney Harbour was chosen as the setting for Sara to pop the question, although it didn’t quite go the way she’d planned! “Sara arranged for a small yacht to take Brittany around Sydney Harbour for the day. She planned to pop the question mid sail but was too nervous. After the trip around the harbour, Sara bought some champagne and we sat, drinking out of plastic cups, and watched the sun go down over the harbour at Rushcutters Bay. As Sara was proposing, she was interrupted by a giant dog who wanted to be part of the action.

    Little did Sara know, Brittany was planning to propose the following week. Brittany created a Spotify playlist with all the songs that reminded her of Sara. She created a Lovebook filled with cartoon stick people versions of them called “You make it easy.” Brittany prepared a meal favourite, tacos, for Sara played the playlist while cooking and gave her the book to read. The last page of the book was a stick version of Brittany asking Sara to marry her, Brittany got on one knee and asked Sara to be her wife. Sara said yes!”

    “We used The Italian Job Catering Co for all of the food” note Sara & Brittany. “They created the most amazing grazing table filled with our favourite cheeses, meats and other delicious snacks. For the main meal, they cooked up fabulous wood-fired pizzas and delicious salads. The food was truly a big hit with our guests.”

    “Our celebrant, Colleen Wearne was also incredible” tell the brides of their decision to hire Colleen Wearne – Treasured Moments. “She created the most fabulous ceremony for us. She personalised every aspect of it and was truly so wonderful to work with. The ceremony that Colleen arranged really exceeded our expectations and there was not a dry eye in the place!”

    Meet the ring bearer! “Our dog Gus was the ring-bearer. He carried the rings on his bowtie that matched the bridesmen.”

    “Our ceremony was meant to be outside, but due to unforeseen rain, our ceremony was held indoors. This changed what we initially intended the vibe to be but truly changed it for the better. It became a more intimate setting for guests and the wedding party. We wanted our ceremony to be very “us” – our vows included a promise to each other that we would never turn down a cheese board and a bottle of red. We wanted the words to come from the heart-so we wrote our vows. We had two readings the first was “17” by Pablo Neruda and the second was an excerpt from Robert Fulghum’s “All I ever really need to know, I learned in Kindergarten”. We had a live musician playing while the wedding party and the brides walked down the aisle.”

    Seclusions was chosen by the brides for their big day. They tell “The staff at Seclusions truly went above and beyond all expectations to ensure that the day was truly special. Like with all weddings, there were a few little hiccups along the way. Malynda and her team re-directed, re-organised and re-designed things as necessary – sometimes at a moment’s notice. For example, due to the rain, Malynda moved our ceremony inside – she designed a new arbour and made the new inside venue look so incredible (in less than an hour!!). At the end of the night, we were greeted with a special note from the team, a bottle of bubbles and a roaring fire. This made for a magical ending to the most magnificent day.”

    “Chris Gray was our phenomenal photographer. He was brilliant, witty, kind, professional, and incredibly talented. He brought his assistant Annaliese Bakes to help capture every moment of our special day. He loved the fact that he doesn’t overly photo-shop images. He kept them natural and captured the essence of us, our wedding party and our wedding.”

     

    Creating a wedding that was truly theirs was so important to Brittany and Sara – their reception was not just dinner, but also gave a nod to their love of pub trivia! “While the wedding party were off getting photographs taken following the ceremony, we arranged trivia for the guests. We had guests pick a coloured band bracelet upon arrival and when trivia started, the teams were determined by the colour of their bands.

    Besides the fact that all of our loved ones were there to celebrate our best day by watching us become wives, trivia was an absolute hit. We asked our local pub trivia MC to come and run it. He used some fun facts and anecdotes from our lives to lead into general knowledge/pub trivia-style questions (unrelated to us). Trivia ‘forced’ guests to mingle in a setting where they may have not. By the end of the night, everyone made new friends and lifetime memories.”

    That cake? Another touch of handmade flavour! “Having our wedding cake designed and made by our friend Laura (as well as delicious brownies made by our friend Julie also available to our guests).”

    Advice for couples yet to tie the knot? These two share “The day is about celebrating the love you have for each other. At the end of the day you, as a couple, need to walk away saying that was the best day ever. Also, don’t take everything so seriously, things will turn out differently than you intend, just roll with it and wait for the rainbow after the rain.”

    One final touch you so need to know about these two! “We wanted to make sure that all guests had lined their stomachs before heading back to their hotels so we also had a cheese toastie station at the back of the dance floor. This was a very popular location towards the end of the evening and an absolute hit.”

    The first dance? It kicked off with the parents, Brittany & Sara remembering “The first dance started with Sara dancing with her mum and Brittany dancing with her dad. The song was “I loved her first.” Halfway through the song, the parents handed the brides to each other and they danced to “Conversations in the Dark” by John Legend. Both Sara and Brittany thought having their parents bring them together was a symbolic representation of joining the two families together.”

    A big congratulations to you both Brittany & Sara! Thank you for sharing our special day with us! Thank you also to Chris Gray Photomedia for sharing today’s images with us!

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    This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.