When Pip was on a work trip at Tangalooma Island Resort. She was there filming for a TV show she was working with at the time, and Ben was in marketing for the resort (although he kept trying to convince Pip he was also a dolphin trainer) and he looked after Pip & the camera crew for a few days. The first thing we actually noticed about each other was the same - each others smile!
It was the night before Ben's birthday, and before we were going on a month long holiday throughout Europe. Ben came home from work ready to pop the question, little did he realise I had organised for our friend who was looking after our house and dog while we were away, to come over. Her and I were chatting for ages, looking at her Facebook page and getting good restaurant suggestions as she'd lived in a town we wanted to visit in France, and Ben was just pacing around the house. Once she had left, Ben suggested we go in to the back yard with a glass of wine to celebrate holidays and to throw the ball with the dog, and while I had my back turned he dropped down on one knee. I couldn't really believe it was all happening and was just so excited. Then I thoughts 'how on earth did he organise this and buy a ring without me knowing - I am usually across everything and can read him like a book!' The next morning we woke up so happy (Ben was probably just relieved), and then I threw a spanner in the works when we were trying to check in to our flight and realised that my passport had expired 6 months earlier. But a few hours, a fair few tears and some very lovely people at the passport office later.. I had a new passport and we still made our flight!!
We chose Gabbinbar Homestead in Toowoomba. We had seen a few photos of the place and it looked beautiful so thought we'd go for a visit. As soon as we drove through the front gates we were already in love with the place. The hospitality and professionalism of the staff was incredible from the first time we met them, and we knew that we wouldn't have to worry about a thing on the day of our wedding (even if it rained.. which it did!)
Our beautiful celebrant was Martine Waters. We were introduced to her through Ben's mum, who had worked with her before, and as soon as we had coffee with her felt like we had known her for years. She really understood what we wanted with the ceremony - which was of course to officiate our marriage, but to ultimately be a day that would be a celebration for all of our guests to thank them for the significant roles they have played for us both, and a time for them to celebrate all of the love and relationships they have in their lives.
We wanted something that was warm, genuine and relaxed, and to have an atmosphere where people could really enjoy themselves while catching up with the friends and family and meeting new people, listening and dancing to great music, enjoying a drinks and eating incredible food!
My dress was a custom design by Brisbane based Jennifer Gifford Designs. I tried on a few of Jennifer's dresses and loved them all, but started talking to her about piecing together a few of my favourite elements, and wanting a fabric that was unique. She went upstairs and brought down this embroidered tulle fabric with flowers and I was sold! Jennifer was so easy to work with, and really honest in helping me make decisions about the style that suited my personality and body shape the best, and would still be comfortable to wear for 10 hours!
The whole day for both of us absolutely surpassed all expectations. The rain and change of ceremony location at the Homestead meant that we couldn't have any preconceived ideas as to what the moment would feel or look like coming down the aisle or standing together - such a blessing. The rain coming down while we were all under the pavilion made the moment extra special and intimate. The fog that enveloped the grounds after the ceremony was also a wonderful surprise. We've got to give a shout out to my Grammy though - she had a champagne in her hand before we'd walked to the end of the aisle and was on the dance floor all night!
Always keep coming back to what the purpose of the day is about to avoid getting caught up in unnecessary planning and stress. Have numerous talks early on and decide what the three or so most important elements of the day are for both of you, and then don't fret over the other details. Ours were the overall feel of the day, the food, the music. When it comes to the day - don't over complicate it, just have fun! Be present, and when you're together during the day/night, take in the little details like watching your two families laugh together, flickering candles, good tunes. The day goes so fast but taking in all these little moments also made it feel like it was in slow motion. Also ask your celebrant to tell you to take a good look around and notice all of our guests during the ceremony - this was the best advice we got from some of our friends!
We felt incredibly lucky to have Adam there to capture the day so beautifully and naturally. He was such an easy person to be around, and by making everyone feel very comfortable he caught some truely priceless moments for us right until the end of the evening! (We also think he could be a ninja.. or have a secret clone.. Because looking back at these photos we can't believe it was just him there on the day!)
Wedding Creatives Involved
Wedding Planner: Gabbinbar Homestead
Celebrant: Martine Waters
Videographer: Matt Barwick Films & Jim Maloney
MC: Kellyn Morris
Gown: Jennifer Gifford
Makeup: Lily & Sabrina Walsh make up
Caterer: Gabbinbar Homestead
Band/DJ: Dan McGahan
Hair: Sally Adamson
Cake: Tays Cake Creations