HOW WE MET: We met in high school, when I was 15 and Blake was 17. We went to different schools but his best friend went to mine. We met at a party but didn’t start dating until after about 10 months later. We intentionally kept bumping into each other all year until he finally asked me to “be his girl”.
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: Blake was working a fly-in-fly-out job and he had just secured his dream job back home, so he wanted to take me out to dinner to celebrate. He booked my favourite restaurant (Sirromet Winery) where we had a beautiful dinner. Afterwards we went out into the courtyard and sat together for a while (I think he was nervous)! On the way back to the car he said “before we go I need to ask you something” and before I could even blink he was down on one knee in the middle of the courtyard and asked me to marry him. He presented me with the most beautiful custom-made cushion cut diamond ring I had ever seen! We had been together almost 7 years by then so it was a very welcomed and long-awaited proposal, but the timing was perfect.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: Becoming a family and having your best friend by your side, no matter what.
WEDDING LOCATION: Yandina Station, QLD – a working cattle station and function venue near Coolum on the Sunshine Coast. We never wanted a traditional wedding in a church or building as its simply not us. We just wanted to throw a day party that was really unique, with our closest friends and family and a relaxed feel. We are both outdoor people so we initially decided on a country/property themed wedding. A friend referred me to Yandina Station and as soon as we arrived at the venue we knew we had found the perfect location. The wedding venue we chose was what made our day so unique. We also loved the venue because we had exclusive use of the property for the entire weekend, which meant a lot to us. We wanted the experience to feel private and exclusive to us and our guests, and I really feel Yandina Station was perfect for this. The owners Sally and Neil recently built 3 stunning eco-style cabins on the property, so the bridal party and family could stay with us for the weekend. It made the whole experience so memorable.
THEME/STYLE: Country/Rustic inspired with a touch of glam.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Nick Evans Photography. He has a very unique style that is somewhat quirky, but he is able to capture emotions like I have never seen before. He also has an amazing eye for detail. Another reason we wanted to book him was because he does entire day coverage – he was there before the stylist had started setting up and he was the last person to leave! We decided against a videographer because of this and we don’t regret it one bit. He documented the day precisely and presented it to us as a slideshow to beautiful music. We both felt like we had just relived every single minute of our wedding day all over again. Both of us feel it was the best investment we made.
BRIDE’S DRESS: Rachel Gilbert Grace Gown, a simple fitted gown with a sweetheart neckline and loose but simple feathers from the mid-thigh to the floor. I purchased it online & didn’t change a thing, it was perfect and fit like a glove. I wanted a simple but chic look and the minute I laid eyes on it I knew it was for me. Being a girl with curves, I wanted to find something that flattered my shape, which is something Rachel Gilbert does perfectly. My hair accessories and belt were by Anna Campbell. My sisters (bridesmaids) and I spent a morning shopping to find something that would add a touch of sparkle so I felt like a “bride”. Again it was an easy decision because I fell in love at first sight. My jewellery was given to me at my bridal shower by my beautiful bridesmaids. They chose the samantha wills pieces to compliment the overall style of the day.
BRIDE’S SHOES: Tony Bianco. They were ivory strappy heels with a touch of sparkle, to tie in with my accessories.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Right from the outset I wanted to have printed bridesmaid dresses. My bridesmaids were my three sisters who are my world, so I wanted them to look and feel as beautiful as they are. I wanted them to stand out and be as bright and colourful as the day itself. They were above the knee with a fitted V neck style, an asymmetrical skirt in a pastel floral & navy print. I didn’t want anything too formal because our aim was to make the wedding as relaxed and informal as possible.
BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: Tony Bianco. I loved the colour and style
FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS: One page boy, my only nephew Kobi. We decided to mirror the groomsmen’s attire, so I had to search high and low to put it all together. Kobi wore a seed heritage white linen long-sleeved shirt, grey Country Road chinos, brown leather booties from Myer, navy suspenders from Bardot Kids and a custom navy bow tie purchased from Etsy.
WEDDING RINGS: Ashley Douglas Jewellers in Brisbane City (same designer as the engagement ring). I chose a split wedding band to sit either side of the engagement ring, with very small diamonds set in Platinum. Blake wanted something different to the traditional plain wedding band and decided on a 5 diamond inset band. The idea came from some bands he had seem online and Ashley completed the design and made an amazing piece of jewllery that Blake is proud to wear every day.
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: The groomsmens attire was formal with a rustic touch. We purchased dark grey suits from Tony Barlow (SI by Studio Italia) that were tailored to each groom and white Jeffrey Banks shirts to match my white dress. I purchased the navy suspenders from ebay and custom navy bow ties from Etsy. We wanted the suspenders so they would feel comfortable taking their jackets off (given it was during the day). To tie into the rustic theme we went with a brown suede leather bootie by Wayne Cooper. Each groomsmen was given a set of custom cuff links with their initials purchased from Cuff Links Empire
HAIR: Hair by Nicola – Nicola Daly. I wanted to have a chic and simple look so I went with a low but neatly curled bun and had my fringe curled and swept to the side.
MAKEUP: Minimal & natural done by Monique Seage Make Up Artist. She focused on contouring and highlighting with minimal eye colour so that my skin would glow, rather than a dark & heavy eye.
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: The stationery was sourced from Ruby Lane Designs on Etsy. Invitations, Menus, Place Cards, table numbers and favour tags were all done in the same theme using burlap, navy baker’s twine, kraft paper and pastel card. As the invitations were one of the first items I sourced, it really helped to set the scene for the theme of the whole wedding. I wanted to go with the rustic but chic look to suit the veune. I think that having it all synchronised really made a difference to the overall look of the day as everything tied in together so well. It was a small and inexpensive effort that make a huge impact, in my eyes.
FAVORS/BONBONNIERE: We had small honey pots that I covered in burlap and navy baker’s twine (to match the invites and menus). I attached a kraft card that said “honey, take me home!” on the front, and inside it was a small poem that said “it doesn’t matter where you go in life, it matters who you have walking beside you. Thank you for sharing our special day, B & B” and also detailing the blend of the honey. These were sourced from Kelly Beans We chose honey pots because we wanted something unique, and Blake absolutely LOVES honey and is so particular about it. We of course had to buy a sample pot of honey so Blake could taste it before we purchased the mini jars for our guests!
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: The bridal party flowers were sourced from the Flower Market Expresso because of the range of roses they had and were arranged by myself and the bridesmaids. We didn’t want them to look too “done” so we decided to make our own. The ceremony flowers were also sourced from here. We chose a combination of white and soft pink roses and freesias for the bridal party, because we wanted them to be simple. Our reception floral was done by Splash Events. I wanted our look to be bright and colourful to tie in with the bridesmaid dresses and menus. We went with a combination of soft pink and pastel roses, pink and orange ranunculas, pink carnations, bright coloured snapdragons and some blushing brides to tie back to the natural feel of the barn & setting. We wanted to really offset the natural timber surrounds of the dairy (barn) so the bright floral really achieved this (and of course added an element of glam).
VIDEOGRAPHY: We chose not to have one because we had seen the wonderful work of our Photographer and decided we didn’t need one. This enabled us to spend more money on a nice wedding album and styling/décor.
PREPARATION: Yandina Station has three gorgeous cabins on the property that we were able to stay in for the entire weekend. I stayed with my three sisters (my bridesmaids) the night before and we got ready there the next day. We had an early start on the wedding day, so we made oat jars the night before and enjoyed them with a little chapmagne punch to start the day. The night before was spent exchanging gifts and relaxing on the back deck overlooking the beautiful property and watching the cattle. I gave the girls handmade hessian bags personalised with their names, purchased from Etsy, which had their peep toe accessories inside. I also gave them a caramel scented glasshouse candle and navy & white striped nighties and slippers from Cotton On Body. The entire night before was spent laughing and crying, making memories just as special as the day that would follow.
CEREMONY DÉCOR: We used Splash Events for all of our décor hire. Upon the entry we had a white mirror as a welcome sign next to a wooden ledge of mismatched vases filled with white floral. The chairs used were owned by the station and we hired some long timber benches from Splash. Splash decorated the aisles with old milk urns. The fig tree where we stood to be married was draped in a lush ivory piece of natural fabric to act as an arch, that they had custom designed for our special day. We also had a crystal chandelier hanging from the tree in the middle of the arch to add a touch of glam to what was a raw and rustic environment. The chandelier also tied back to the styling of the reception.
RECEPTION DÉCOR: We had our reception in the old dairy with an adjoining silk-lined marquee. We used Splash Events to hire all of the chairs, linen, furniture, wishing well, vases and lighting for the reception. We really amped up the glam feel with chandeliers strung throughout as well as some lounges and white dry bars in the marquee. The entry to the dairy was fitted with a natural fabric curtain that again Splash had custom made for our wedding. The tables were long rectangular tables fitted with natural fabric table cloths and napkins and a wide burlap table runner. The centres of the tables were filled with bright floral placed in varying vessels including a few blue mason jars to accompany the washed navy framed table numbers and unique tealight holders. Each place setting was complete with a custom burlap printed name card, pot of honey and a menu. The menus were alternating pastel colours in the same style as the invites. Above the main area of the dairy we had two ladders strung from the ceiling that had cascading vine leaves. The marquee was fitted with a large crystal chandelier and varying furniture withfloral that matched the tables. We strung an exposed light globe bunting between the dairy and reception for additional lighting. Our cake table was an A-frame style wooden table fitted with mismatched crates, tree trunk pieces, and floral jars to match the tables. We had a cheese-wheel cake and accompaniments, shortbread, swiss chocolates, cupcakes and a three-tiered mudcake, which was all displayed in a “help-yourself” style. We didn’t want to have a bridal table, again to steer away from the traditional wedding and create more of a party feel. We sat at table with some of our closest friends. To differentiate our seats we had white chairs whereas the guests had natural timber. Nicole from Splash Events did an amazing job at taking my vision and running with it. I really wanted to achieve a sense of glam (but not too much) amongst the tin shed look that was our canvas, and she did this exceptionally.
WEDDING PLANNER: None. Sally and Rachael from Yandina Station were amazing and made the whole process very smooth & stress-free for us. They gave me plenty of tips and advice for planning, so we didn’t need one.
WEDDING STYLIST: Nicole Hopkins from Splash Events at Noosa. Originally I gave her a brief overview of what I was trying to achieve and from that she knew exactly what my vision was and she completely blew us away. She went above and beyond my expections by getting things custom-made and ordered in special pieces to suit our theme. I couldn’t have dreamt up what she created for us, it was perfect.
CAKE: We had a three-tiered mudcake (white chocolate, nutella and caramel) that we decorated on the morning of the wedding with white roses and freesias. It was displayed next to the buffet table on an old timber frame that we borrowed from Yandina Station. We also had cupcakes in four different flavours that were placed on a tree-trunk style tiered stand (purchased from etsy) & complete with baking pape-style wrappers to give it a homestyle bakery look. These were all made by Babycakes boutique.
WEDDING SONGS: Aisle Song: Forever by Ben Harper (thanks to The LANE) After ceremony: Kiss Me by Sixpence none the richer - my sister had sung this at our engagement party First Dance – Lucky by Colbie Cailat and Jason Mraz. Entry song – Beautiful day by U2.
ENTERTAINMENT: Benjam Band. We hired him as a solo but he has a trio as well. He fitted in perfectly. He cruised around before the ceremony interacting with guests while playing several instruments at a time. He played everything from Train to Maroon 5. I sent him a playlist but he was really good at judging the mood and changing between playing tracks and singing. We wanted a relaxed “Sunday session” type feel given it was daytime. He nailed it. Things got amped up a bit later as the sun started to set. The music really complimented the feel of the day and I highly recommend a singer as opposed to a DJ for daytime weddings.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: Before the ceremony we had a “champagne bar” for arrival drinks for our guests. Before the reception we had canapes and drinks brought out to the ceremony area whilst family photos were being taken.We had a sit down lunch which was a banquet style consisting of Beef, Lamb & Salmon and a variety of side dishes. These were all put down the centre of the tables so everyone could try a little bit of everything – it was a great idea & kept everyone happy! The drinks served were a mixture of Australian beer and wine. We also had a coffee cart set up outside the dairy. We are both coffee lovers so we wanted to have some delicious espresso coffee available for everyone. It was great and was actually cheaper than getting the venue to supply the tea and coffee – worth looking into if you have plenty of space.
TRANSPORT: Our guests were transported to and from Coolum by Noosa Hinterland Tours. As we were staying on the property my Dad just drove us to the back of the dairy so we could make a surprise entrance, not a formal “bridal car” entrance.
HONEYMOON: We travelled through Vietnam for 2 weeks. We had never been overseas and we wanted to really experience something different. Hanoi was out of this world, full of culture and beautiful architecture but our favourite place was Con Dao. It is an island off the south of Vietnam, extremely peaceful and secluded, with an “untouched” feel. The resort (Six Senses) was complete luxury and the service was first class. Not to mention the food! The Villa we stayed in overlooked the beach, had a private pool and was fitted so perfectly you could tell no expense was spared. A definite must-see!
GIFT REGISTRY: Wishing Well
CELEBRANT: Butterfly Ceremonies – Vanessa Linn. I went to school with her and as soon as I found out she had become a marriage celebrant my mind was made up. She is the youngest female celebrant in Australia and she is the most passionate and genuine person I have ever met. She made the whole process so easy and relaxed. You can just tell she loves what she does and I think that’s important.
READINGS: We wrote our own vows and had Blake’s sister do a reading. These were very personal to us.
ANY OTHER SPECIAL DETAILS: Just before we walked down the aisle my Dad handed me a handkerchief that my step-mom had hand crocheted for me for the wedding day. I have never received anything like that before, and it is something I will keep and cherish forever.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: A lot of inspiration came from knowing what we didn’t want. We drew inspiration from Yandina Station itself, anything and everything with a natural / rustic feel and the desire to create a relaxed, unique environment
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: My sister Kaitlyn, sang “If this is it” by Newton Faulkner in between speeches. She has an amazing voice and the song was perfect for the occasion. I still remember getting goosebumps.
ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS…I wish I had talked to someone who had already been married, and asked them for advice on what really mattered most on the day. You can get so caught up in the detail and wind up neglecting the important things.
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE…Choose a good photographer. You won’t need a videographer if you choose the right one, and you can then spend the money on something else!
BRITTANY & BLAKE'S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: Nick Evans Photography
BRIDE'S DRESS: Rachel Gilbert
BRIDE’S SHOES: Tony bianco
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Sheike
BRIDESMAIDS SHOES: Tony bianco
GROOMS FORMAL WEAR: Tony Barlow
WEDDING RINGS: Ashley Dougas Jeweller
HAIR: Hair by Nicola
MAKEUP: Monique Seage
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Etsy – Ruby Lane Moments
CAKE: Babycakes Boutique
CATERING: Yandina Station
WEDDING STYLIST: Splash Events
CELEBRANT: Butterfly Ceremonies
WEDDING VENUE: Yandina Station
HONEMOON DESTINATION: Vietnam – Six Senses Con Dao
ENTERTAINMENT: Benjam Band
TRANSPORT: Noosa Hinterland Tours