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Maddy & Gerard

Although we know Tasmania truly shines during winter, there is no doubt that this island knows a thing or two about the beauty of Summer too. “We wanted a low key, no fuss wedding that celebrated just us. We didn’t want bells & whistles we wanted each other & nature,” explains Maddy. “We decided to elope, apart from recently welcoming our son into the world it was the best day of our lives & we have no regrets!” With just two guests, the help of Pop Up Weddings Tasmania to take care of every little detail and Astrid Simone Photography to capture all the magic, Maddy and Gerard wed in one of the most stunning locations in the country. It was a day that was just as they wanted – laidback, no fuss and completely about their own story.

It’s been a long time coming for these two, and we’re travelling back to 2006 with Maddy to get the story of how they met. “Gerard (Gez) & I first met in March 2006. He walked into my work office & I saw this young chap and I distinctively remember he spoke funny (he is a kiwi!). We grew fond of each other and became friends catching up all over Australia & near misses in Europe & randomly fell in love lifetimes later in late 2016! All of our friends & work colleagues couldn’t believe it! (Neither could we really!).”

Gerard popped the question “with our two children (my beautiful step- girls & little boy in my tummy!) in a National Park in front of a waterfall – it was magic!”

Maddy found her gown completely by chance! She says “I am passionate about sustainable fashion & I am not into spending unnecessary money on things that I won’t be able to wear again & again. I was literally packing up my life in Victoria ready to move back home to Tasmania & I was running errands with my mum in Bay Street in Port Melbourne. We literally randomly parked outside an op shop, and the wedding dress of my dreams was in the window! I said super casually to my mum, “that’s my wedding dress I just know it!”. We went inside, I tried it on, it fitted like a glove, $80 later my mum kindly gifted it to me! Ta-da! Done! The funny thing was we fell pregnant with our son & it cost more to alter to fit me than it did to originally purchase! The dress is vintage with bell sleeves & floral lace. Divine. I wore some of my oldest loved brown boots & made a floral crown with boho cream detailing. Being a National Park everything had to be faux – my bestie who was my “bridesmaid” so kindly gifted me the most amazing bouquet of surreal faux native flowers which literally smack my heart with happy emotion every time I open my front door as they’re sitting on the sideboard!”

Maddy and Gerard chose to say “I Do” on King Billie Track in Cradle Mountain National Park, just a short wander from their accommodation.

Maddy and Gerard were married by Tracey Bruce. “We asked our celebrant to keep it as short and sweet as possible with a side of vows. Mine turned out to be a novel (oops) but I had a lot to say about how wonderful my husband is and what our lives mean to me! So blessed.”

“My boho style & love for old loved items saw us being relaxed and comfy and ensured there was no waste afterwards!” notes the bride. “It was the most simple day that allowed us to relax & breathe & just be us, we were so grateful to just spend the time together.”

Maddy carried a bouquet by Seaholly Flowers, sharing “we were not allowed to take real flowers into the National Park. I was lucky enough to be gifted my bouquet from Seaholly Flowers – a divine collection of unstructured natives. I only like natives and I don’t like anything that looks too “done” so my brief really emphasised the “I just picked this, not perfect look”, I couldn’t be happier or grateful for this beauty of a bouquet!”

Of their photographer, the bride shares “I randomly picked Astrid from a list of links that our planner supplied us. Astrid was the second link I clicked on. I saw her signage, and her (then) first Cradle Mountain shoot & I was instantly captivated by her brilliance & beauty (& her photographs are amazing too!!). I was so excited and comforted weeks prior to the wedding knowing that our most beautiful moments would be remembered forever by the film. Astrid was a dream to work with. She made us feel incredible and didn’t at all break our love gaze to get the shot. She just got it. She actually did more than that. She has captured memories of my heart that will stand with me for the rest of time. I cannot wait to place these moments of joy on our walls.”

And after photos? There as an intimate dinner, jumping on the bed and a decadent jacuzzi!

A big congratulations to you both Maddy and Gerard! Thank you for sharing your day with us. Thank you to Astrid Simone Photography for sharing today’s beautiful celebration.

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Image via MONA

Whether you’re all over boring hens parties, a few are pregnant and can’t fathom another stripper or maybe you’re all just keen for an excuse to get your girl gang together for a trip away, Hobart is a great place and has something for everyone.

My ladies and I were lucky enough to find a long weekend last year where we could all make the trip to Hobart. If you follow this itinerary as a rough guide, I promise you can’t go wrong! If anything, your bellies will be full of delicious food, maybe some wine and if you’re anything like us, a whole lotta laughter!

Friday:

We all flew down on Friday morning and checked into our Air BnB. There are SO many great places in Hobart via Air BnB and it means you can find something big enough to all be together in one place. We stayed in Battery Point near the Salamanca Markets. This was a perfect spot as we were able to easily walk to some cute shops and the markets.

Images via Templo

Our first dinner was at Templo, where we did the Chef’s Menu. It was amazing and there was so much food. The space is small, but the atmosphere is great and you’ll be too busy chit chatting away to notice anyone else!!! The menu has changed a little since we were there, but every person raves about it afterwards!

Image via Templo

We then headed to a bar named Preachers, a little bit further down the road. There is a bus in the outdoor courtyard but it’s a fun place to finish off the night, you are on holidays after all!

Saturday:

After everyone has their first coffee of the day, it’s time to walk to the Salamanca markets. En route, we found a nice bakery Jackman & McRoss, where you can pick up a yummy croissant as you continue down to the market. At the market it’s packed on a Saturday morning. There’s everything from relish and jam’s to cheese and ugg boots! Warning: don’t fill up, lunch is coming…

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

We chose Stefano Lubiana Wines – Osteria restaurant for a late, boozy lunch. When you pull up, you’ll think you’ve teleported to somewhere in Italy. The architecture and design is cosy, inviting and honestly, it’s hard to believe you’re in Tasmania. It has a great view of the Derwent River and a great backdrop for any group shots you need to upload for insta!

Not only is there great food, but they also have a cellar door. So if you fall in love with any of the wine you drink, you can get some to take home. Or if you’re like us, drink it over the rest of the weekend!

Image via Stefano Lubiana Wines

Sunday:

A nice sleep-in was in order, but we had booked in advance and had our tickets to catch the ferry to MONA. Word of advice, ‘Posh Pit’ tickets are a must. They’re a little extra, but they serve canapés and champagne – there AND back! Ferries leave throughout the day and have a final service. Be sure not to get stuck and book to spend a good 4 hours there.

MONA is incredible. Whether you’re an avid art lover or simply appreciate it from a distance, if it’s not an exhibit you love, the architecture will surely capture your heart. There’s a more formal restaurant inside, but a more relaxed cafe in the grounds. We chose to have nibbles at the cafe after working our way through the museum. Before you know it, you’re back on the ferry ready to head home and get yourselves to dinner. Yep, time for more food!

We ate our last dinner together at Macq01 Hotel – the Old Wharf Restaurant. Completely different from everywhere else we’d been, it’s a more refined dining experience. There’s a great view out to the port and Salamanca Markets.

Seeing as it was the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, Sunday night was buzzing. So of course, we kicked on along the esplanade where the markets are held – for another tipple. There’s a heap of bars, pubs and clubs along there so find one that suits your mood!

Image via Old Wharf Restaurant

Monday:

Time to return home, a little tired but full of happiness.

For a small city, there’s SO much to do and see in Hobart. I couldn’t recommend gathering the girls and booking a trip more. However, if you’re keen for a getaway with just your significant other, everything in this itinerary would work just as well! From food to wine to art, there’s a bit of everything, for everyone.

Image via Astrid Simone Photography

An hour flight from Melbourne and you land right in the middle of what I consider one of the most beautiful places in Australia (okay I might be biased because I live here!) Tasmania. The Island State and home to amazing national parks, gorgeous beaches and some of the best food our country has to offer.
Not only that – but everything is only a short drive away. The variety we have in this Island state makes it the perfect spot for a Destination Wedding. Want a spectacular beach with beautiful sand and not a soul in sight? You’ll find our most popular is on the East Coast. A mossy green forest that looks like it’s home to fairies when there’s no one around. The Cradle Mountain National Park and Pumphouse Point in the Lake St Clair National Park are all of the above.

Image via Astrid Simone Photography

How about heritage buildings steeped in history and with spectacular views? Stanely is home to Highfield House and is full of history, heritage and has ‘The Nut’ in the background! And that’s just one option.

Lush farmlands with rolling green paddocks where the only noise is the birds in the trees? There’s lots of those all around the State!

An ultra modern city vibe with eclectic buildings and hardly any traffic? Hobart has that covered with so many to choose from including The Henry James Art Hotel and Mona.

How about a beautiful mountain to frame your ceremony that changes colour throughout the day? Eagles Nest Retreat at Sheffield has the perfect view of Mount Roland and that’s just the tip of the offerings. Beautiful wineries such as 3 Willows Winery, Devils Corner and Josef Chromy .

Or perhaps you would prefer a hidden cabin in the woods? Yep – we have those too.

Image via Kristy L Photography

When you pair all of these locations with beautiful cool climate wines, locally grown produce, amazing cheese (like Ashgrove or Wicked Cheese), hand made chocolates from Anvers, boutique brewers and distillers (Southern Wild Gin, Hellyers Whiskey Distillery & Lark Distillery) along with freshly caught seafood and you have… THE perfect match for your wedding day.

If you’ve been to Tasmania before, you will already know how great it is. If you’re yet to visit the Island State, one thing you’ll soon notice is how easy it is to get wherever you need to go. Forget sitting in traffic and driving along motorways that are just like moving carparks. We’re not in any hurry down south! You can take in the beautiful sights and make your way from one end of the State to the other in just a few hours.

This is also why Tasmania is the perfect option to stay on after your wedding for a little mini-moon. You can wave goodbye to your guests as they head back home and then hit the road around the State enjoying all we have to offer. Did I mention the food? The paddock to plate experience? The hidden boutique hotels everywhere? Our favourites include the incredible Picnic Island, The Boat House in Dover, Table House Farm and Twelve Acre Woods just to name a few.

Image via Kristy L Photography

How easy it is to hideaway in your own love bubble to celebrate your union, and best of all – you don’t need a passport to visit!

Ms Zebra Says: There’s so many fabulous places in Tasmania – you really can’t go wrong with a destination where you can wed in a beautiful place, and then as you wave goodbye to your guests, stay for an amazing honeymoon experience! 
About Pop Up Weddings Tasmania: They are the #1 Elopement and Boutique Wedding specialists in the State. We take care of all the details so you can relax, feel the love and enjoy your intimate day. At Pop Up Weddings Tasmania our promise is to bring your vision to life, while you soak up the atmosphere of the day you’ve always dreamed of. With over 20 years experience in the events and wedding industry, we have the knowledge and expertise so you can relax and know that every small detail is taken care of.