HOW WE MET: Adam and I both grew up in a small town in central Queensland. We actually went to the same school together but were in different years. In fact, Adam’s childhood neighbours were two of my closest friends (who later turned out to be our bridesmaids). While Adam and I always knew of eachother during our school years, our paths did not really cross until about 8 years later. We had both made the move to Brisbane and had run into each other at a local bar on a night out with our friends. Our chance meeting was thanks to one of my close friends who recognised Adam while he was walking past us that night. Now, what I have failed to mention is that Adam is actually an identical twin and it is often very difficult to tell them apart, especially if you have not seen them since high school. So when my friend was re-acquainting us, she had no idea which twin it was. She decided to take a gamble and was slightly embarassed when she unfortunately came up trumps. Thankfully, Adam did not hold it against her and we are all still great friends to this day.
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: Adam proposed on our first New Years Eve celebrations together. We hadn't made any formal plans for the evening so we decided to spend the night in. I had planned an intimate, romantic, candlelit dinner party for just us two. I showered our home in candles and we spent the night enjoying great food and wine, talking, dancing and enjoying each others company. Adam would later tell me that he could not believe how I had created the most perfect setting for him to propose – it had all fallen into place and he did not need to do a thing (except ask me to marry him, of course). As we reached the end of the new years countdown we shared our celebratory "new years kiss" and the next thing I knew, Adam was bended on one knee asking me to spend the rest of our lives together. It didn’t take any over-the-top grand guesture, ring in a cake or top of the Eiffel Tower moment for us to know we wanted to share the rest of our lives together. All we needed was the two of us together in our home where we had already created so many wonderful memories. It was honestly one of the most special moments of our lives and one that we will never forget.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: Happiness, laughter, joy, friendship, companionship, compromise, support, understanding, patience, loyalty and unconditional love - forever and always.
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WEDDING LOCATION: We were married on a beautiful Spring day at a property named Coorabella in the Byron Hinterland. We vividly recall the first day we visited Coorabella. We instantly fell in love with its eclectic charm and beauty. As a wedding venue, it depicted everything we had envisioned our day would be - beautiful scenery, warm and intimate surroundings, great food, delicious wine; it was like something from a fairytale. Our ceremony was held under the most captivating old fig tree at the entrance to the property. There are truly no words to describe its beauty. It was the perfect setting for two best friends to become husband and wife. Following the ceremony, our guests enjoyed relaxing by the European-style pool which overlooked the green rolling hills as the sun began to set. Our reception was then held on the sweeping verandahs that wrap around the amazing home on the property. We wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere that ultimately resembled an intimate dinner party shared amongst our closest family and friends.
THEME/STYLE: An intimate hinterland affair.
PHOTOGRAPHY: We were lucky enough to have the amazing Todd Hunter McGaw and his lovely wife, Alyda, photograph our wedding. Todd and Alyda had an ability to capture the most intimate and candid moments of our day. They did it in such a way that allows us to embrace the emotion and the memory of each of those moments every time we look back through our photos. It is like watching the day unfold in a series of beautifully captured images which demonstrate such real and raw emotion. Their work is incredible and truly inspiring. Not only are Todd and Alyda talented photographers with an eye for detail and a unique and innovative style, they are such down to earth, truly awesome people and we really enjoyed meeting and getting to know them.
BRIDE’S DRESS: My dress was designed by Margaret Williams of MXM Couture. Margaret was wonderful to work with and her vision and creativity helped me create something classic, chic and elegant. Ultimately, I wanted my dress to be someting that was true to my personal style, something I would feel comfortable in and could have a little fun with. I wanted it to feel like I had simply jumped out of bed one day, put on a beautiful dress and married the one I love. My dress was a soft nude colour with blush undertones finished with Italian tulle, gorgeous lace and beaded emellishments. It was the most beautiful dress to wear and was perfectly tailored to accentuate my body shape. I remember going to pick it up a few days before the wedding, it was the first time I had seen the dress all complete. I nervously tried it on and instantly fell in love with it. It was like everything had fallen into place and I could now get married!
BRIDE’S SHOES: Classic suede nude heels by Tony Bianco.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: The bridesmaids each wore floor length George Evening gowns in nude and blush tones with a beaded and embellished bodice. They were so flattering and all of the girls looked absolutely beautiful in them.
BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: The girls sourced their own shoes which were a suede strappy heel in nude/blush tones very similar to their dresses.
FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS: Our flowergirl wore a beautiful whimsical ivory tulle dress with handmade flower bodice which I purchased from a designer on Etsy. She looked like a little princess. Our pageboy was very dapper in black trousers and a white buttoned down shirt topped off with loafers and a little bow tie. So adorable.
JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES: For the girls, we wanted to keep things fairly simple and minimalistic to accentuate the beading and embellishments on our gowns. I wore soft pearl earrings and the bridesmaids wore Kate Spade jewelled earrings in matching tones to their gowns, which I had given them as a little thank-you gift. For the boys, Adam chose to wear cufflinks that were one of the very first gifts I ever bought for him. As a special touch, Adam asked his best man and twin-brother, Michael, to wear the cufflinks that he had worn on his wedding day and asked his other groomsman and brother, Stephen, to wear the cufflinks he had worn at Michael’s wedding where he and Adam were also groomsmen.
WEDDING RINGS: We each chose platinum-set wedding bands as it is one of the purest and strongest of metals, which we wanted to signify our love. My wedding ring is a classic diamond wedding band designed to complement the engagement ring that Adam had designed for me. Adam’s wedding band is very masculine and is a blend of both brushed and polished metals.
GROOM/GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Adam and his groomsmen each wore a classic two-piece Hugo Boss suit. Adam wore an ivory silk slimline tie while his groomsmen each more matching silk ties in slate grey. Very handsome indeed.
HAIR AND MAKE-UP: Julie Corbet. Ultimately, I wanted a very natural and classic approach to my hair and make-up. Most importantly, I just wanted to feel like myself and Julie was very understanding and was able to create exactly what I was looking for. We decided to focus on emphasising the eyes with glowing cheeks and a soft pink lip. My hair was worn in a top knot bun, very simple yet chic. I chose not to wear a veil, which surprised a number of people I think. The girls’ make-up was very similar to mine. However, each of their hairstyles were different and were chosen to complement their personal styles.
TYPE OF STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: With the help of the wonderful team at Ruby’s Tuesday Boutique Letterpress Studio, we created a classic and elegant letterpress invitation suite using an ivory cardstock and chocolate brown print. Our invitations were complemented with a botanical print envelope liner and finished with soft peach bakers twine to tie it all together. We had a fig tree illustrated as the main feature of the invitation, which symbolised the beautiful fig tree at Coorabella where we were to become husband and wife.
WEDDING FAVORS/BONBONNIERE: We created little take-home packs for our guests to enjoy and remind them our wedding and their stay in Byron Bay. Each included a small jar of relish which I made with the help of my grandma, delicious hazlenut chocolates, minature cookies and chocolate-coated coffee beans from the Byron Bay region, a cd of the special songs from our wedding day which our guests could listen to on their travels home, and a little note containing the story of how we met and fell in love, all wrapped in brown paper and raffia.
FLOWERS: Estelle, The French Petal, created our bouquets and buttonholes and all of the flower arrangements for both the ceremony and reception. She is so sweet and adorable, and an absolute gem. Flowers were such an important part of the styling for our wedding and we were so lucky that Estelle completely understood our vision. We wanted to focus on soft tones of whites, ivories and pastels in a variety of beautiful and fresh blooms. Estelle made the process so easy – we simply described the look and feel we wanted to achieve and she created it for us. We were blown away with her talent and her creative touches. One of the most exciting moments (and most brides can back me up here) was when Estelle told us that we were able to have the first peonies of the season in our arrangements, it was such a wonderful surprise and they were absolutely stunning.
CEREMONY & RECEPTION DECOR: We were so fortunate with our venue as it naturally created a warm, eclectic, intimate atmosphere. The property itself was amazing. It felt like you were taken away to a place with nothing but beautiful lush gardens, rolling hills and a home that was so charming with so many intricate details - from its stunning pressed tin ceilings, leadlight windows and old-world antiques to the amazing sweeping verandah complete with a disco mirror ball. It is unbelievable and no words can truly describe the feeling you get when you are there. In all honesty, from a styling perspective, we barely need to touch it. Our main focus was simply highlighting the natural beauty of the property with gorgeous florals, warm intimate lighting and beautiful, rich timber table settings with a few whimsical touches to demonstrate our personal style. For the ceremony, we lined the aisle with beautiful arrangements of white and ivory florals in rich timber planter boxes that my dad had made. It was a simple idea which really complemented the surroundings. For the reception, we created a long banquet table on the verandah of the house with beautiful rich timber teak tables and matching bentwood chairs. The seating arrangement was something that we felt quite strongly about as the banquet setting really made it feel like a big family dinner and enhanced the intimate nature of the evening. Our table settings were a culmination of gorgeous floral arrangements in a selection of small vintage cut-glass vases and glass jars wrapped in hessian and ribbon, and lots and lots of candles.
WEDDING CO-ORDINATOR: Maria Birch of Divinity Signature Events. Maria was such a wonderful help from the beginning. She was well aquainted with our wedding venue and knew exactly what was needed to create a beautiful wedding at Coorabella. She was also very knowledgeable and resourceful when it came to offering suggestions for suppliers in the area. On the day, she ensured everything ran smoothly which allowed us to simply relax and enjoy ourselves.
CAKE: Sally from Panache Cakes created a divine two-tiered caramel and rich chocolate mud cake finished with white chocolate ganache and soft pink florals. It was very elegant and simply to die for.
ENTERTAINMENT: Nik Conomos and the OzAllStars. They were absolutely wonderful throughout the entire day from creating an intimate and emotional atmosphere at our ceremony, entertaining our guests during cocktail hour by the pool, to having all of our guests having fun and up dancing at the reception.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: Leela and her team at Your Gourmet provided the catering for our wedding, which was simply divine. Food was a very important part of the experience for us and Leela was very understanding and was so great to work with. She was very knowledgable and experienced, shared our passion for food and really took the time to ensure that we were able to create the perfect menu for our day. Our menu was elegant and french-inspired to coincide with our dream French honeymoon romance to follow. Our guests were absolutely amazed by the quality of the food and service and our surprise midnight snack of baby wagyu beef burgers definately went down a treat. One of the great parts of holding your wedding at a non-traditional wedding venue is being able to select and supply your own beverages. We were able to have beautiful French champagne flowing for our guests to sip on and as Adam and I are both lovers of red wine, we were able to select two types of wine which were very special to us – one which was the wine we had on our very first date and the other which was a favourite we had grown to love during the time we had shared together.
TRANSPORT: All of our guests had planned to stay in Byron Bay so we organised buses to transport our them to and from Coorabella so they could relax and enjoy the wedding without having to concern themselves with transportation.
HONEYMOON: Adam and I shared a wonderful, romantic honeymoon in France. It was our first overseas holiday together which made it all the more special. We started in Paris and then spent the remainder of our holiday driving through the South of France visiting beautiful locations, sipping delicious wine and eating plenty of wonderful French food. On our way over, we stopped off for a couple of days in Abu Dhabi. You see, Adam is a mad Formula 1 fan and coincidentally, the Grand Prix was on in Abu Dhabi at the same time we were passing through. Adam’s brother joked in his wedding speech that I must be an amazing wife allowing Adam to convince me to go to the Formula 1 on our honeymoon. Truth is, I actually enjoy it nearly as much as Adam.
GIFT REGISTRY: We designed a honeymoon registry with online wedding registry Not Another Toaster. We created an online gift registry which was made up of all the activities and experiences we wanted to enjoy on our honeymoon as gifts for our guests to select from. We felt it allowed our guests to provide a more personalised gift by contributing to a particular part of our honeymoon. Then, when we sent out our thank you cards, we also included a photo of us on our honeymoon which reflected the particular activity or experience our guests had contributed to as part of our registry.
CELEBRANT: Brent Jones. He instantly put us at ease and made us feel comfortable. Brent provided such wonderful guidance and support in helping us create such an intimate and personal ceremony. It was truly a moving and emotional experience.
READINGS USED: Adam and I wrote our own vows. It was one of the hardest but most rewarding things we did in the lead up to our wedding. It was so difficult to reduce to words our feelings for one another and our promises to each other for our future together. Reading our vows was one of the most special and emotional parts of our whole day. We asked Deandra’s brother and his wife, and Adam’s sister and her husband to each do a reading together for our ceremony. Both couples had recently been married and we wanted both of our families to share readings that they had chosen for us which expressed the importance of marriage and what marriage meant to each of them.
ANY OTHER SPECIAL DETAILS: We had both our parents give us away. We wanted both of our families to have the opportunity to give us their blessing and it was a nice way to have everyone one involved in such a special moment of our day.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: The LANE and a number of other wedding blogs played such an important role in the planning and styling of our wedding. It provided so much inspiration and was the source of so many unique and wonderful ideas. We also found Pinterest to be a great source of inspiration and it was so useful to be able to create an electronic pinboard for collating and storing all of our ideas. Etsy is also a wonderful resource for finding those little details that will help transform your inspiration into reality.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: It is definately hard to choose just one moment – the entire day was such a memorable and emotional experience. It is a feeling that no words can really describe. A funny little memory we have is in fact after the wedding had finished and we had arrived back at our villa. We opened a bottle of champagne and stayed up reminiscing about each of our favourite little moments of the day. We were so happy, so in love, so excited and so full of life. We could not believe how everything had just come together so perfectly and that we were now officially husband and wife.
BEST ADVICE FOR PLANNING A WEDDING/TO BRIDES: Enjoy the journey, be open-minded, keep it personal, stay true to yourselves and don’t lose sight of the big picture. I think it is so easy to get caught up in the detail and forget the importance and true meaning of the day itself. Things will most certainly not going strictly according to plan and there will often be little bumps in the road. However, the best advice (and I know it is sometimes easier said than done) is to try and relax, stay positive, keep calm, have a glass of wine and take things as they come. Learn to lean on close family and friends (and your wedding co-ordinator) for much needed help and support. The biggest thing we have learned is that you do not have to do everything yourself. There are more than enough people who would love to lend a hand. Those countless weekends doing DIY projects and the like surrounded by our family and friends were so much fun have left us with such fond memories.
Congratulations to Deandra & Adam from The LANE! And a huge thank you to Todd & Alyda from Todd Hunter McGaw Photography for these beautiful images! You can view more of Todd's amazing work on his website & blog.
DEANDRA & ADAM'S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: Todd Hunter McGaw
BRIDE'S DRESS: MXM Couture
BRIDE’S SHOES: Tony Bianco
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: George Evening
GROOMS FORMAL WEAR: Hugo Boss
JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES: Kate Spade
HAIR AND MAKE-UP: Julie Corbet
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Ruby’s Tuesday Boutique Letterpress Studio
FLORIST: Estelle Montlouis - The French Petal
CAKE: Panache Cakes
CATERING: Your Gourmet
WEDDING CO-ORDINATOR: Maria Birch, Divinity Signature Events
WEDDING VENUE: Coorabella
HONEMOON DESTINATION: France and Abu Dhabi
GIFT REGISTRY: Not Another Toaster
CELEBRANT: Brent Jones