Shelley & Jamie | Albert River Wines

Shelley & Jamie

17th March 2018

Albert River Wines

THE VENUE

History in the making. A heritage venue that captures the grandeur of our colonial past is on offer at Albert River Wines.  The glorious setting with its sweeping drive, the colonnade verandah and undulating hills covered with vines will provide an immaculate setting for what is sure to create memorable moments.

Albert River Wines is conveniently located halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Photographed by Feather & Finch Photography | Written by the Bride

HOW WE MET

“Jamie, (an arborist), and I first met in 2014.  Our parents were actually neighbours for years, long before then though.  I had known his mum for a few years before hand while she was living in the same complex as my dad but had not paid any attention to the times when she proudly spoke of her son Jamie.  Jamie and I finally did meet in 2014 when I needed help with tree work at my house and my dad suggested I contact his neighbour’s son for help.  When Jamie turned up to help, we both felt an instant connection with each other, quickly prompting my dad to claim credit for setting us up!  And the rest, as they say, is history!”

THE PROPOSAL

“Jamie’s proposal to me was in April 2017.  The proposal itself was beautiful but the lead up to it didn’t quite go to plan for Jamie!  He had planned a sunrise hike to the top of Mt Warning, where we went for our first date.  Unfortunately when we arrived in the early hours of the morning, Mt Warning was closed off to the public due to some recent bad weather and flooding so Jamie had to quickly change his plan.  We drove around for over an hour after that with Jamie insisting we go on a hike somewhere, (much to my demur) and finally arrived at Purling Brook Falls in Springbrook – which also happened to be closed!  Jamie insisted we jump the gate and hike through to the waterfall anyway.  When we got to the waterfall, I looked at Jamie with amusement as he nervously fumbled around in his backpack for a good ten minutes or so before he got down on one knee with a beautiful ring and asked me to marry him!  Of course I said yes!”

WHY WE CHOSE ALBERT RIVER WINES

“Two years prior, while celebrating my birthday at the same venue with friends, we watched on as the team at Albert River Wines set up the most magical wedding reception on the vineyard deck for a lucky couple getting married that afternoon.  Jamie and I commented to each other at the time how beautiful it would be to have a wedding there.  When it came time to plan out our own wedding, Albert River Wines was the only venue for us.”


THE FUTURE

“Fast forward to today and married life is going great – we are expecting our first child in two months and we couldn’t be more excited for what the future may bring!  They always say “you will meet that special someone you are meant to grow old with just when you least expect it” and it’s absolutely true.  Each day is a blessing and I am so grateful that I get to ‘grow old’ with Jamie.”

THE LINE UP

Venue: Albert River Wines | Photographer: Feather & Finch Photography | Video: Anchored Cinema | Flowers: Moss & Stone | Wedding Cake: The Pastry Emporium | Styling: Sugar & Spice Events | Marriage Celebrant: Jake Smith | Gowns: The Bridal Company | Suits: Brunos Suits | Makeup: Moana Rose Makeup | Hair: The Beauty Lineup | Music: Scott Day-Vee duo featuring String & Bow

STAND OUT SUPPLIERS

“Kylie at Albert River Wines quickly proved herself to be one of the most genuinely caring and professional people I have ever had dealings with.  Her main objective when coordinating any wedding at Albert River Wines is always for the Bride and Groom to be happy and worry-free on their big day.  For us, this meant the world when planning and co-ordinating a stressful event like a wedding but for Kylie, there was never a problem with anything we asked from her.  Not one thing went wrong on our wedding day, (which I believe is rare), as Kylie was able to accommodate everything from the bridal party’s stay in the cottage, guest’s special dietary requirements, the ceremony and reception all while happily co-ordinating with our suppliers.  We are very grateful to Kylie and her team of professionals for making our wedding day perfect.”

“Our wedding would not have been the same without the professional expertise and visualization of planning a wedding from Decinda at Sugar & Spice Events.  After a disappointing start with another wedding planner, I decided to call Decinda for her help, mainly due to her glowing business reviews.  Those reviews did not let us down as Decinda pieced together the most perfect wedding day with her classic styling and industry know-how which had many of our guests commenting that it was the best wedding they had ever been to.  We honestly can’t praise Decinda enough for her hard work and effort in bringing our fairytale wedding to life.”

“If there is one piece of advice I could give to anyone who is planning a wedding, it is not to skimp on the wedding photographer as these photos they will soon become the precious memories of your most cherished day.  Ryan from Feather & Finch Photography lives and breathes weddings and it clearly shows in his photos.  From the first meeting we had with Ryan, he was very clear on his styling and methods of photography to ensure that we were all on the same page for our big day.  As a result, Ryan was able to capture the most romantic yet natural and real photos on our day and the whole process from start to finish seemed effortless.  We couldn’t recommend Ryan highly enough to anyone who is getting married.”

“The above suppliers stood out for us by going above and beyond for our big day.  We can’t recommend them highly enough to anyone planning a wedding!!”

Kylie Dittrich & Monique Sutherland of Albert River Wines would be delighted to assist you personally to create the wedding of your dreams.  To find out more, contact the girls on 5543 6622 or send your email enquiry to functions@albertriverwines.com.au  

Brent & Brooke | Coolibah Downs

Brent + Brooke

11th April 2019

Coolibah Downs

THE VENUE

Set in flowering lush gardens stretching across 10 private acres with picturesque views and a stone chapel, Coolibah Downs provided the perfect back-drop for Brent and Brooke’s wedding day.

Located a short 60 minute drive from Brisbane and a leisurely 10 minute drive from the centre of the Gold Coast.

HOW WE MET

Brent and I met through some mutual friends in early 2011. It was actually quite a funny memory because we both attended the same event one night and upon saying goodbye to our friends I got a fright because Brent slapped me on the butt and then waved to me as well! I didn’t have any idea who he was but later found out from another friend that we had gone to the same high school and actually shared some of the same history growing up as kids. Who would have thought! After numerous weekends spent together with our mutual friends we got to know each other more and here we are! I won’t ever forget his proposal on top of Tamborine Mountain at the Polish Restaurant with those amazing views in September 2016. It was such a surprise being in front of everyone and so beautiful, I remember feeling so overwhelmed with happiness I couldn’t stop crying! 

THE LINE UP

Venue: Coolibah Downs Private Estate | Video: Paradise Pictures | Dress: Bella Victoria | Suit: Peter Jackson | Hair: Style Creations  | Make up: Face It | Florist: Hello Flora | Cake: Milk and Honey Creative | Styling: A Little Bliss Events | Celebrant: Clarah Luxford | Entertainment: NikNat Entertainment

Photographer: Ethereal Photography

“Coolibah Downs was the venue for us because we really liked the value for money. We also are not fans of the alternate drop dinner option and wanted to ensure that our guests had a variety of delicious food to choose from as well as the menu being quite ‘classic’ in that it was just good homestyle food everyone will enjoy. That’s why when we saw the buffet roast menu it was a super quick decision! Who doesn’t like a good old roast dinner?! The stunning stone chapel and the white marquee were also an important factor in our venue decision because we wanted to have our ceremony in a place that didn’t involve last minute wet weather changes resulting in extra stress to everyone’s plans, and the fairy light marquee was just beautiful, especially when I saw pictures of how it could be styled with greenery.” Brent & Brooke.

ADVICE

My advice to planning couples is VIDEOGRAPHY and ENTERTAINMENT! I am so thankful for the beautiful video footage Kim from Paradise Pictures was able to put together of our special day. We have already watched it so many times and it is something we can continue to watch for the rest of our lives as our kids grow up. Photos are beautiful, but let’s be honest, apart from the couple of large prints you frame to go on the wall, how often will the album be pulled out again? This will never compare to being able to relive your day again through video. I believe entertainment is also such an important factor for a wedding – it is most likely the one thing all of your family and friends will remember the most when they go home because they will remember the fun they had and the enjoyment felt from the fun atmosphere! I am still hearing such great things from our guests about our Dj and entertainer NikNat. Do yourselves and your guests a favour and book a fantastic entertainer to create the sort of atmosphere everyone won’t forget and will leave thinking ‘dam, I had the best time!’ It is absolutely worth it!

Overall we were extremely happy with our venue and all of our chosen suppliers, they were all amazing in every way and really made our day special. The one thing that stood out to me and was a large contribution to why I selected them, was the awesome communication. I really appreciated their quick responses and the fact they were very accomodating to my many undecided requests at the time! 

Bel from Hello Flora was such a beautiful kind person and so accomodating with my flower requests. It was her kindness and expertise, as well as previous wedding photos that drew me in. I had a couple of visions in mind with my bouquets and pew ends and she managed to merge everything together and create something so stunning for me that I will never forget it. The flexed roses and pampas grass tied together with songbird silk were my absolute dream.

We chose Clarah Luxford as our celebrant because of her high level of professionalism in every way and her bubbly kind personality. I won’t forget the phone call she made to me before we agreed to book her and the first long discussion we had, it was like talking to a really good friend I hadn’t spoken to in ages. She was so easy to talk to and made everything so easy, I just knew it had to be her. The constant guidance from her with our vows along the way was fantastic and the way she helped organise our ceremony and calmed Brent’s nerves was greatly appreciated.

Hair and makeup was a hard choice for me as I was so undecided with what look I wanted to achieve. Picky was an understatement. I went with Jessica Kaye Makeup because after flicking through many of her Instagram photos I was in love with the way she highlighted the eyes and just her glam makeup style in general. It just so happened to be that she works quite closely with Candice at Style Creations which also after scanning many Instagram photos, I ended up booking for hair as well due to her amazing talent. These ladies are the absolute dream team, they made my bridesmaids and I feel like queens and their super fun bubbly personalities were exactly what we needed on the day!

I came across Trish from A Little Bliss Events at one of Coolibah Downs’ wedding open days. I immediately fell in love with her long brown wooden tables and gold candlesticks complimented with greenery. This was the ultimate look I was after and following our discussion involving a few small tweaks to the setup, i booked her for our day. My most favourite part of our reception setup had to be the hanging greenery installations! They looked incredible with the crystal chandeliers in the marquee! 

I didn’t actually book our wedding cake until 2 months before our day because I just could not make up my mind on what sort of dessert was going to be best, based on all the comments from people about a large portion of cake getting thrown out afterwards and don’t waste your money blah blah blah… But when I saw the list of absolutely delicious cake flavours and fillings that Grace from Milk and Honey Cake Creative has to offer, I knew she was the one to do it. I knew that none of our cake was going to be wasted because I could see Brent and I devouring it after our wedding! The variety of stunning designs and flavours Grace offers is just incredible, she has such a talent and is such a kind person to top it off.

 

Sophie & Isaac | Royston House

Isaac + Sophie

13th April 2019

Royston House | Innisplain

THE VENUE

I’ll be the first to admit I was hesitant about Royston House, it kept popping up in my research but I kept ignoring it. Isaac however, he knew, and he pushed for us to go and check it out. The moment we arrived at the bottom of the driveway I was sold. From the amazing scenery, tree lined driveway to the incredible hosting of Drew and each and every detail found in the house. There wasn’t much not to love. Drew was impeccable and we cannot speak highly enough of him. He not only made our wedding what it was but he impacted our lives with his enthusiasm, joy, work ethic and selflessness. Never have we meet or known anyone to be as thoughtful as Drew. No words can describe our gratefulness for him and the Royston House team. Our wedding would not have been the same without them.

HOW WE MET

Isaac and I met at a youth group 7 years ago, he was in grade 12 and I just out of school. We spent the next 3 years serving at the youth group together and on camps for teenagers. We became close friends (bonding over the Sherlock Holmes TV series), practical jokes and being in each other’s presence majority of the week. We were both incredibly friendly with one another and both secretly crushing! Things started to become more friendly than friends which eventually led to us umming and ahhing about whether or not to date, I was leaving to go on a 5 month mission trip to Africa and didn’t think it was the best timing, we said it wasn’t going to work, left it, decreased our contact time as we didn’t want to lead one another on but that only lasted a couple of weeks. We couldn’t keep away from each other and decided it was worth having what we wanted, despite the timing! Now, more than 4 years later we’re married!

THE PROPOSAL

Isaac and I are both extremely competitive, one of our favourite things to do throughout our entire relationship is to go on a picnic and play cards together, and it’s our quality time fix! November 16th 2018, Isaac picked me up at 2.30am and we drove to Burleigh Heads to watch the sunrise. That week he had shaved his beard and left a moustache, however when I got in the car that morning, the moustache was gone! (very suspicious) We arrived at Burleigh just in time for the sun coming up, we found a spot, set up the picnic, enjoyed some Turkish bread and hummus together, and then began to play cards! Unfortunately, we didn’t position ourselves very well and ended up behind another small hill which blocked the sunrise, but that didn’t matter! As we played cards, little be known to me Isaac had hidden a joker (always the winning card) in his pocket. As we played he placed the joker on to the pile and written on it was, ‘will you marry me?’ I looked at him, confused, “what?” and Isaac the confident, eloquent, public speaker and amazing communicator nervously spluttered out, “will you marry me?” at 100mph. (Later I found out he had put it in his hand, facing the wrong way, therefore he thought I had already seen it!)  I laughed, said yes and from there we celebrated! His greatest victory he says, is winning the game and winning the girl! Most of my family live in the UK so being so early in the morning we could face time them and share the news!

THE DETAILS

I’m a VERY detailed person. I’ve always dreamed about my wedding but when it came to it everything I had thought prior went out the window! The main goal was to always have a wedding that when we looked back on it, we wouldn’t regret any decisions. Classic, elegant and us. Being a sentimental person everything reflected what’s made us who we are today. I was extremely close to my granny, in fact, stones from one of her rings are what helped make up my engagement ring. Many details of the day were tributed to her, from the lavender illustrations on the invite, as her room always smelt of lavender, to the stocks in my bridal bouquet as they were her favourite. My little sister wore my grandmother’s necklace. We had ciders from Ireland and Bundaberg’s for the Australians. Blending two different cultures has been a beautiful mix. I wanted to make things fun and personal, we made our own invites, I personalised my own shoes, I brought a cheap pair from rubi and bedazzled the heel! 90% (photographer, videographer, jewellery, cake and flowers) of our vendors were not only friends but guests at our wedding, which we loved, we loved supporting our friends businesses. They are all so incredible at what they do and we honestly couldn’t think of any better vendors than them. Each and every one of them had an impact on our personal life’s, so why not have them share in all those intimate wedding details with us. I couldn’t speak more highly of either of them for who they are, their professionalism and talent.

OUR FUTURE

For us, we hold the future very loosely, we have hopes plans and dreams, travel is one, influence the other. Isaac is a pastor and I’m in education, we love to serve people and we know that wherever we are led that is what we will do! We hope to have a positive influence wherever we go and know that sooner rather than later we will achieve amazing things. We’re passionate about building communities and creating environments that positively influence others and empower them to be the best that they can be. We believe this is something that can be done anywhere, and hope one day to have the chance to move overseas and continue this work. I myself am originally from the UK with most of my family living back there so there will probably be the top of our list. As for kids, we both love and adore children. As giddy as we are now about them, we know we will wait a couple more years before beginning our family! Right now we are loving establishing a home together and falling more and more in love every day. Being married to your best friend makes every day an adventure and makes the future all that more exciting.

THE LINE UP

Venue: Royston House | Video: Michael Kelly Films | Jewellery: Ruby & Sage Bridal | Dress: Karen Willis Holmes Bridal | Suit: Politix | Hair: The Hair Chapel | Make up: Faces by GiGi | Florist: Gwen Floral Co. | Cake: Fig & Coconut | Catering: That BBQ Joint | Hire: Finders Co.

Photographer: Matthew Gillam Photography

Ashlee & Jesse | Spicers Hidden Vale

ASHLEE + JESSE

19th July 2018

SPICERS HIDDEN VALE

THE VENUE

We had spent a lot of time researching venues on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Byron Hinterland when I started researching Spicers Venues (Jesse’s sister and brother in law actually got married at Spicers Clovelly Estate which is how we found Hidden Vale). 

As soon as we stepped out of our car at Spicers Hidden Vale, we knew it was the place we wanted to get married. We love the country and the outdoors, and as soon as Jesse saw a fire pit he said “This is the one!” It was hilarious however we both just knew, it was ‘us’. 

I fell in love with the Figtree, the cute cottages and the infinity pool. Even the smell of the fresh country air was amazing. 

I also love their ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy using the produce from their own property, whilst also using local produce from the Grandchester area. 

Lina (our wedding coordinator) was so helpful and kind throughout the planning process and on the day, I could not believe how smoothly everything ran! Lina truly went above and beyond to ensure our day was as we imagined, we could not have done it without her. 

Spicers also ticked a lot of boxes for us in the fact they provided all of the furniture, cutlery and crockery, napkins, arbour etc. so these were all big ticket items we did not have to worry about organising for our day. We also loved the food and beverage packages provided. We opted for the banquet with lamb and pork which was amazing. All of our guests could not speak highly enough of the food and the amount that was there. It just kept coming and no one was left hungry! 

We loved the fact that our guests and ourselves could spend a few days at Hidden Vale before and after the wedding going exploring on the ATVs, relaxing by the fire and swimming in the pool. Not to mention the restaurant and food is absolutely divine! 

Our wedding at Spicers Hidden Vale was absolutely magical and was everything we had dreamed of, and more. 

HOW WE MET

We were both living in Darwin, NT, when I moved next door to Jesse. Our dogs, Hunter and Lola, actually became friends first as Lola would dig under the fence to come into my yard during the day to play with Hunter. I’d then return Lola to Jesse nearly every day after work. 

Shortly after, my housemates and I became friends with Jesse and his housemates, and we have been inseparable ever since 🙂 It is safe to say I fell in love with and married my best friend. 

THE PROPOSAL

We love camping, 4WD’ing and the outdoors. We were on Fraser Island in May 2017, and I was eager to climb to the top of Indian Head (the most eastern point of Fraser Island) for sunrise. 

We were having some pictures taken in front of the beautiful backdrop of Fraser Island, when Jesse got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was one of the happiest moments of my life and a huge surprise – so much so that I nearly tumbled backwards on the edge of the cliff! 

My advice is to start planning early, so you have plenty of time to really figure out a budget and have time to research to find the suppliers you truly want. Go out and listen to live music, attend wedding fairs, read wedding blogs and use social media (I actually found a lot of providers via Instagram!)

The biggest thing for us was finding the perfect venue, and everything else just seemed to fall into place after that. Once we knew where we were getting married and the atmosphere we wanted to create, we were then able to narrow down choices such as our outfits, flowers and music. 

Stay true to yourself and what you love, and you will not go wrong. 

OUR FUTURE

We have pretty much settled back into our normal lives after our honeymoon last year in the US. We would love to start a family in the future. I’d like 2 children, and Jesse would like 3, so we may have to compromise there haha). 

I would eventually like to move back to Hobart where I am from. We would also love to have a small slice of land so we can have a hobby farm with some chickens, cows and goats, and space for our family to grow. 

We are a pretty chilled out pair though, so we will see where our lives take us!

THE LINE UP

Venue  Spicers Hidden Vale  ||  Photographer Figtree Pictures ||  Flowers The Little Flower Market  ||  Dress Belladonna Bridal Brisbane || Suit YD Australia ||  Hair Harpier Beauty Hair Fashion  ||  Makeup Sarah Harrington Makeup and Hair  ||  Entertainment McGee Entertainment (Reece Freeman)

THE FLOWERS

The Little Flower Market made the most beautiful bouquets and really tailored them to suit us and our day. I loved the ‘native’  bouquets, particularly because our venue was so ‘Australian’. 

Katrina was so helpful with assisting in narrowing down the perfect bouquet for our day (even if I did change my mind a few times!) The colours worked so well with our theme (given it was a winter wedding and we opted for darker outfits for the groomsmen and bridesmaids) our bouquets really tied in and complimented them. 

ENTERTAINMENT

Reece Freeman was so versatile and efficient at each set up location and played everything we requested – his voice is incredible! 

I still remember walking down the aisle and listening to Reece singing Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling In Love” with tears streaming down my face. It was just perfect and so fitting for our wedding. 

Reece played great music during our reception, it was just loud enough to hear and not overpowering so you could still have a conversation with people. 

Later that evening we danced the night away to 80s and 90s hits, and Reece had everyone on the dance floor! 

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Figtree Pictures as you can see, captured the most amazing photos of our day and were so easy going and fun!  Dan and Emily were the perfect team, they made us feel so relaxed and comfortable all whilst maintaining their professionalism and having fun at the same time. I love the way they used the natural light and our stunning sunset to capture the most incredible shots of Jesse and I. We will admire and cherish these photos forever. 

HAIR & MAKEUP

Harpier/Sarah Harrington – Prue and Sarah were absolutely amazing at hair and makeup. They were so calm but fun to chat with while they did our hair and makeup – the perfect pair for calming my nerves. My bridesmaids, mum and myself were so impressed with the work they did – it was the best hair and makeup I could have asked for! They knew exactly what we wanted from pictures I had shown them, and executed it beautifully.

THE DRESS

Belladonna – After spending months searching for a dress, I was about ready to give up and walk down the aisle in a potato sack… I was at the point where I was so upset and thought I would never find the ‘perfect dress’, and time was quickly running out.

I came across Belladonna online and booked an appointment to head in. I continued to try on dresses that did not make me feel great, but they were the style that I had set in my head that I wanted to wear. With the help of the team at Belladonna (and my very persuasive future sister in law), they encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and try on some styles that I didn’t particularly think I would like. But as soon as I started trying these dresses on, I instantly felt better and knew we were finally heading down the right path.

I booked another appointment at Belladonna a few weeks later to try on some of my favourite dresses again from the previous fitting, and also found another that I had not seen previously (it was actually a corset and skirt combo! Again, not what I imagined for my wedding dress). 

I put the two on, and instantly I knew it was what I was going to be married in. I Face-timed with my mum (who lives in Hobart) and I knew from her reaction that I had to get it. 

It was so magical, the way the skirt flowed as I walked and danced, with the subtle glistening of the tiny diamonds and pearls of the bodice in the light. I feel it really complimented the style of our wedding. I felt the most beautiful in this dress that I ever have, and Jesse absolutely loved it. I’m so happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried on these dresses, otherwise I may not have had this absolutely stunning dress and memories. 

Luke & Emma | Spicers Peak Lodge

When it came to planning our day, we had entertained the idea of having a larger wedding which I think is great for those who chose to do so, but in the end for us we really just wanted to do the simple things really well and particularly once we found out we had a baby on the way we wanted it to be as easy and stress free as possible.

Photography by Studio Impressions

Luke + Emma

10th February 2019

How we met

Luke & I first crossed paths through mutual friends when I was still living in Brisbane. Having grown up in farming country NZ, I found that when I moved to the city in Australia I seemed to attract others who were also from farming backgrounds so we had a lot of friends in common, however we never really corresponded until I moved to the Sunshine Coast for work in 2017. The first time we caught up on the Sunshine Coast, we went for dinner & drinks on Ocean street, however I had no idea if it was meant to be a date or if Luke was just being friendly as I didn’t know many people in the area. Either way, we were making plans for a beach trip a few days later (still unsure if it was a date) which ended in a game of cul de sac cricket at his brothers house where I met most of his family. Can you imagine the pressure of being the only Kiwi in a game of backyard cricket with a bunch of Australians? I figured if I could make it through that game of cricket in tact, if it wasn’t initially meant to be a date it soon would be!

By July of 2018 we were starting to talk about our future and what we both wanted, the idea of eventually starting a family had come up a few times and I had arranged a weekend away at Spicers Peak for the two of us. Upon arrival I (semi jokingly) announced to Felicity “You had better butter Luke up, because he knows this is where I want to get married one day”. I then went into a spa treatment, meanwhile Felicity was offered a joy ride in the big shiny helicopter parked out on the front lawn. She tried her best to track Luke down and have him join them but it wasn’t to be as he had just minutes earlier disappeared off on the mountain bike! Needless to say he was a little devo when he found out what he had missed out on that afternoon so when the topic of a wedding came up again later that night, I suggested that if I got to have our wedding at Peak, Luke could have his helicopter ride.

When it came to the engagement, by this point it obviously wasn’t going to be a big surprise and Luke knew that I really wanted a green Australian sapphire. We wanted something a little different and unique to us, the colour green to me symbolises nature and the land, and Australia is known for producing beautiful green sapphires although you don’t see them about all that often. We decided that we would design the ring together, which for me made it all the more meaningful. We chose Adam Graham (A.G Designer Jeweller) to collaborate with, Adam had gone to school with Luke in Brisbane so it was nice to have the personal connection and I really loved his work. So we made a time with Adam to start sourcing the stones and discussing the design. We decided on a trilogy, with the centre stone being the green sapphire (symbolising Australia) I wanted an Asscher or Emerald cut with as few cuts as possible so I could really look into the stone (like looking into water) and the two outer stones were trillion diamonds (symbolising the North & South islands of NZ) which would bring the sparkle. Adam took some time to source some stones he thought would work and we would like, and once we found the one, the ring went into production. From this point it was up to Luke to go about the proposal however he saw fit!

The Proposal

We travelled to New Zealand on holiday to visit family later in the year and on a few days away just to ourselves, Luke got down on one knee and asked me on beautiful Totaranui Beach in the Abel Tasman. As much as part of me was expecting it as we had just spent a number of months having the ring designed and made, it still somehow took me by surprise. It was so nice to finally have our engagement be official and to see the ring that we had designed together.

The Location

The main reason Spicers Peak Lodge resinated so heavily with us is probably because we felt it was the perfect balance of country Australia meets Alpine New Zealand. As both of us were brought up on relatively remote farming properties (Luke from Warra near Dalby, QLD & myself from the West Coast of New Zealand’s south island) being out in the country on top of a mountain felt very at home for both of us. The architecture of the building itself at Peak Lodge is reminiscent of Alpine New Zealand which I really love, as well as the big stone fireplace and all of the exposed wood. Being an animal lover I am also a little obsessed with the cows, the Scottish Highlands especially.

We decided that for the wedding itself we would have immediate family only, and that later on down the track we would plan a party (maybe on our one year anniversary). We really just wanted our day to be a reflection of us and we wanted it to basically just be a fun day out!

Plus we knew the food would be fabulous also, and it was great having our families able to stay at the property also, making it feel like less of a day and more of a weekend away. The one big thing we definitely wanted was the helicopter, we both love choppers so being able to arrive in one and then go for a joy ride around the scenic rim for photo’s really made the day so much fun & exciting.

Wedding Dress

My dress was from Karen Willis Holmes, I tried this dress on before I knew I was pregnant and loved it and knew with the way the heavy fabric fell that it would be forgiving of my 18 week old bump so this was an easy choice!

Flowers

My florist was Terrianne from Mondo Floral Design who is simply amazing. I wanted my bouquet to be modern & architectural in design, I chose roses in quicksand, white & black with no foliage.

Carly Slade was our celebrant, she was perfect for us as we wanted someone polished and sophisticated who wouldn’t lay it all on too thick which made for a very relaxed and personal ceremony.

Our advice to couples planning their special day

The advice I would give to any couple planning a wedding or an elopement is to choose your vendors wisely and really make it a reflection of yourselves. There’s no right or wrong way to do things, some of the traditions can be fun but only if it fits with your own personality or style. I like the ‘keep it simple and do it well’ approach, rather that trying to be over the top with every element. Choose your venue first and let that lead the tone. At the end of the day, if you put people in a beautiful environment, feed and water them well, they will be happy! Choose your vendors wisely and trust them, they’re the professionals so let them take care of you. It will make the day so much easier. I was very lucky with all of mine, and I can’t recommend each & every one of them enough.

Our suppliers 

Wedding Venue Spicers Peak Lodge | Photographer – Studio Impression | Flowers – Mondo Floral Designs | Celebrant – Carly Slade | Bridal DressKaren Willis Holmes | Make up – Natalie Hunter | Hair – Evelyn Parsons | Rings: AG Designed Jewellery 

“I have always been a lover of photography, so choosing our photographer was a no brainer for me. We chose Marcus Bell of Studio Impressions to shoot our day, as his work is amazing. What I love about Marcus is that he has an amazing ability to bring the personality out in each of the wedding days that he shoots. He shoots beautiful and natural portraits, captures emotion like no other and always has so much drama in his landscape shots. When you spend more time with your photographer than basically anyone else on your wedding day, it’s also so important that you get along really well and Marcus was also so much fun!” Emma

Benjamin & Jennifer | Pethers

A love of design brought these two beautiful people together. Meeting 10 years ago in March, these lovebirds quickly fell into a natural friendship throughout their time at university. But alas, like two ships passing in the night, the perfect time never did quite arrive (no matter how much he did try).

Six long years later, after globe-trotting on their two separate journeys, the winds of change helped guide man and woman together.

 

Photography by Jess Marks for Jennifer & Benjamin

Jennifer & Benjamin

29th March 2019

How we met

Funnily enough, Ben and I met at Uni during one of our very first design classes together. The coincidence of sitting next to each other led to an instant friendship that lasted throughout the degree and beyond. We both dated other people throughout the years, and whilst there was definitely chemistry between us, timing never really worked out. It wasn’t until our mid-20s (just over 6 years later), after both separately traveling overseas, did the timing finally click. We chose to get married in March 2019 as it was 10 years to the month that we first met!

The Proposal – (December 2017)

Though we had talked about marriage, the proposal and the ring totally took me by surprise!

One afternoon Ben arrived at my work unannounced and thought it would be a great idea to have an early mark, as he had managed to get the afternoon off. Surprisingly, my colleagues encouraged me to go and enjoy the afternoon and we headed out (little did I know Ben had organised my annual leave for the rest of the week!). That’s where the surprises just kept rolling in – we arrived at our apartment with packed bags, we jumped in an Uber instead of driving to our destination, it looked like we were heading to the airport, and BAM, Ben whipped out my passport!

We were heading to my hometown in Wellington (New Zealand) where we spent a wonderful four days together. Ben had orchestrated catching up with friends and family, as well as a lot of lovely romantic surprises along the way. He proposed on the top of Mount Victoria (after a slightly sweaty hike) overlooking Wellington harbour. Looking back on it we were both so nervous neither of us remember exactly what he said – but it was an incredible surprise, very emotional and one of the most happiest days of my life.

Life for us after the wedding

After settling back into the normal day to day (after a whirlwind honeymoon adventure across Iceland and Norway), we’re now pretty keen to start a family of our own (in addition to our two fur babies). We’ve both managed to fall in love with our best friend, our wedding was everything we imagined it would be – and after 10 years of being each other’s lives we’re just excited to continue doing those everyday mundane things together. You would be surprised at how interesting Ben can make grocery shopping.

The Location

While all of the team were incredibly helpful and attentive, Shona from Pethers Rainforest Retreat really blew us away with her enthusiasm, thoughtfulness and genuine care – not only on our wedding day but during the entire process. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience! One thing I won’t forget is arriving onsite to Pethers the day before and seeing the entire team buzzing while making preparations – I felt completely at ease knowing they had everything under control. This honestly meant so much to us in the lead up to such a special day. 

The reception styling and atmosphere was really key for us. Ultimately this was one of the reasons that we chose Pethers as our venue (how could we say no to the incredible rainforest backdrop and that 8 metre canopy on the balcony!).

Pethers really ticked all our boxes (specifically onsite accommodation for guests, an intimate, private setting and the icing on the cake being the beautiful location and property!). Something we also really valued was the flexibility from Pethers during the planning process. Being a boutique venue, we well and truly felt that they had our best interests at heart and were super accommodating to each and every one of our suggestions and requests (no matter how big or small!). This I felt was absolutely priceless and beyond that of what many other, bigger venues could provide.

Wedding Dress

I actually loathed dress shopping. By the time I had gone to Babushka Ballerina, I had been to loads of places and felt totally overwhelmed by the process. I ended up booking in an appointment at Babushka Ballerina on my lunch break, during the week and met with Rhiahn for a consult. Rhiahn’s product knowledge and genuine care was incredible and eventually we found separates (from Divine Atelier & Love Found True) that I fell in love with!

Flowers 

Tanya from Sugared Style was also incredible. Locking in a florist was something we struggled with (I had originally planned to DIY all of our flowers, but decided against it as we got closer to the day, ha!), and by the time we met Tanya we didn’t have a lot of time left. Wow, even with a tight deadline Tanya blew us away. On the day of, Ben met Tanya during the morning setup and he knew the moment she stepped out that she hit the nail on the head. It really brought all of our styling ideas together.

Invitations, paper details & styling

While Ben’s a software designer and I’ve moved on from the design space – we have shared love for beautiful, minimal design – so designing our invitations and signage was a big thing for us! We also knew that we wanted minimal design elements (rose gold and white) to contrast with the stunning, natural and lush reception space at Pethers.

Our advice to couples planning their special day

Decide on your big ticket items first off and also what you couldn’t care less about. A wedding cake wasn’t a priority for us (instead opting for a 2 metre grazing table with cheese as well as His and Her’s cocktails after dinner!). Likewise, we ditched favours or bomboniere for guests and donated $5 for every person to our favourite charity. Something that stuck with us was that we wanted a smaller, more intimate wedding which enabled us to spend more per head for our guests – prioritising incredible food and alcohol (which Pethers again were brilliant with!).

Our suppliers 

Venue Pethers Rainforest Retreat | Photographer – Jess Marks Photography | Grazing Table – Guilty Pleasure Platters  |Lighting Installation – Brisbane Festoon Hire | FlowersSugared Style | Celebrant – Julie Weston Celebrant | Bridal Dress – Babushka Ballerina (Brisbane) | Groom & Groomsmen Suits – InStitchu (Brisbane) | Hair & Make up – Amber from Brush & Blush | Furniture hire – Hampton Event Hire & The One Day House | Signage – BM Crafts | Rings: Natalie Marie Jewellery | Bridesmaid Dresses – Sheike