With a flawlessly executed proposal, impeccable floral styling, lovely summer garden breezes, and a golden hour portrait session that could easily grace the pages of Vogue, Adam and Stephanie's incredible wedding was, in a word, perfection.
On their 5th anniversary, Adam, fifty-seven stories high with breathtaking ocean views in the background, romantically asked Steph for her hand in marriage. Some careful planning on Adam's part meant that Steph, who had the sense that maybe something special was about to happen, didn't thwart the surprise!
'The proposal was just beautiful. Adam booked an apartment at the gold coast to celebrate our 5th anniversary for the weekend. Taylor, a best friend turned best man, and his wife Celeste surprised us that afternoon and, unbeknownst to me, were all a part of the proposal plan! Lucky for Adam, he had Taylor bring the engagement ring to the apartment. I say lucky because I absolutely patted down Adam's pockets moments before the proposal to see if there was a ring box in his back pocket. Sadly, there was not, and I thought, alas... not tonight. Our room was on the 57th floor, which made the view of the ocean just spectacular. It was a perfect 'fairy floss sky' sunset over a crystal blue ocean when Adam got down on one knee and asked me to marry him in front of our two best friends.'
Wanting a light summery garden wedding meant that Gabbinbar was placed at the top of their prospective venue list and was the only estate they viewed.
' Gabbinbar was the first and only wedding venue we looked at. We had intended on seeing multiple wedding venues that month, but after walking around the grounds of Gabbinbar, we asked for a date that same day. It was the first and arguably the easiest decision we made about the wedding.'
Essential to the vision for their wedding were summery vibes and enjoying extended time in the garden in the evening, something their time in Toowoomba easily delivered:
' February was the most incredible time to get married because the weather was absolutely spectacular. The wedding day was sunny and warm but not so hot that the boys struggled in their suits. This was mostly because such a lovely breeze passed through the gardens all day. And when the sun set, the temperature dropped enough for some of the girls to pinch their partner's jackets.'
Hosting their wedding on a Saturday, the couple from Brisbane rolled their celebrations into a wedding weekend. With the aid of their personalised Gabbinbar wedding website and the assistance of the wedding planning team they were able to efficiently plan and execute their dream destination wedding:
'We are both from Brisbane, so Toowoomba was a destination wedding. The drive from Brisbane is roughly an hour and a half which we thought was incredibly reasonable to ask our guests. We found the planning process absolutely incredible. I loved every second of it because it was made so easy for us. The wedding website was so helpful, and it made us feel so organised. I also loved how quick the response time was when asking questions.'
Equally important to any bride as 'where' am I going to get married is 'what' am I going to wear on my wedding day? Stephanie looked captivating in the 'Rose' gown by Mariana Hardwick, which she paired with divine, show-stopping heels from Billini shoes.
'I adored the whole wedding dress shopping process and went to about 6 different stores but found my dress at Bloom Bridal in Brisbane. I loved that the dress made me feel so incredibly confident. I wanted a dress that screamed 'Vogue' but also wanted to feel elegant and classy at the same time.
Because the dress had a large split down my right leg, I knew I wanted the shoes to be a standout. As soon as I tried the shoes on from Billini, I knew they were perfect, pointy, sparkly, ridiculous, perfect. The earrings were from a store online called Black and Bloom, which is where I bought all the bridesmaid's earrings from. I am a pearl girl through and through, and because the dress was pearl-less, I knew that I would have mostly pearl accessories. The pearl Veil was from Blooming Moda in the city.'
As far as her 'something old' for her day, Bespoke jewellery pieces honouring her grandmother beautifully completed her look and provided a meaningful and heartwarming touch to her wedding day wear:
'As for rings and bracelets, my maternal grandmother gave me two Mikado pearl brooches. I kept one on my bouquet and turned the other brooch into a pearl bracelet. To honour my paternal grandmother on the day, I had a pearl ring made, using the pearl from a set of earrings that she passed down to me. Unfortunately, many years ago, I lost one of the pearl earrings, which was absolutely devastating. But making it into the ring I wore on my wedding day made it all the more special.'
Stephanie's four bridesmaids and maid of honour wore beautiful dusty pink dresses from Sheike with matching necklines and structured bodice detailing. Her only prerequisite for them when choosing to be that ' they felt comfortable on the day, and feel beautiful in them.'
Adam and the groomsmen looked dapper in their black Tuxedos and black bow ties, which they sourced from Black Jacket Suiting in Bulimba:
'The boys loved their suit-fitting experience at Black Jacket Suiting as it was a private fitting where they could bring a few drinks and enjoy themselves.'
When working with her vendors, Steph embraced their experience and creativity. Giving them an overall colour palette to work with and an overarching brief of her theme, she then trusted them to bring her vision to life:
'Trust your vendors! These wonderful people are professionals and do this for a living. It's okay if you don't have a clear vision of what flowers/cake/ photos you want. Give your vendors a general theme, and let them do the rest! I could have never explained what particular flowers I wanted on the day, but boy was I in love with what showed up! Trust your vendors, they are the artists, and they will do you proud!
Festooning the conservatory space with fairy lights and adorning their reception tables with trailing greenery and elegant pillar candles, they personalised the homestead spaces with memorable photos of family weddings and occasions.
Another essential inclusion to their wedding day celebrations was their pet, beloved chocolate labrador Ralphy, with Adam and Steph finding a creative way to incorporate him into their celebrations:
'It would have been an absolute liability if we included our beautiful Ralphy on the day. So instead, I bought a toy figurine of a chocolate labrador and had Jill from Jillicious Cake Studio pop him on the wedding cake and make it out as if he had taken a nibble out of the cake. He had cake in his mouth and his paws - it was hilarious. The perfect way for us to include him without the stress of him physically being there. The cake turned out to be the item that I was the most blown away by on the day.'
I was so fortunate to work with this lovely couple. Steph and I coordinated everything with ease over email, and I was able to work from a few inspirational pictures she sent through to me. It was vital for her and Adam to have their dog Ralph represented somehow, so I subtly sat a mini Ralph figurine on the cake board underneath some beautiful fresh flowers. I added some cake crumbs and buttercream to his face for extra fun. The rest of the cake was a classic white semi-naked finish with a white drip. I completed the overall look with the beautiful blooms supplied by their florist- Ruby Lane. I’m happy to say I loved the result as much as they did! What a pleasure!
An important part of Adam and Steph's vision for their 'classy, garden party soiree' was the menu for their day, and that the experience was exceptional for all of their guests.
'The food was as you would expect, absolutely unbelievable. I was particularly impressed with the vegan/ vegetarian option. My friends who had vegetarian or vegan meals raved about how delicious and generous the portions were! When we asked about steak knives before the wedding, the response we got was; that the steak is so tender that butter knives are perfectly suitable....and they were not wrong!'
Capturing the magic of Stephanie and Adam's day perfectly, including the couple's most memorable moment , was the talented team from 'Rabbit & The Bear' photography and videography:
'Adams favourite part of the day was when I surprised everyone at the ceremony by speaking a passage in Italian, honouring his deceased grandparents. And consequently, my favourite part of the day was watching the faces of Adam's relatives when I started to speak in Italian. It was the greatest honour of my life.'
Having planned and executed their dream wedding experience, Stephanie has some sage advice for couples amid their planning process:
'I think it's imperative to enjoy the planning experience. How you choose to react to different stressors is entirely within your control. Take this time to work through these stressors and challenges with your fiance. Have moments to vent about family members or friends who may act selfishly and then move on. Ultimately this is the 'don't sweat the small stuff' piece of advice, but I absolutely believe in it. Sometimes, even though you think you are making a decision based on someone else's best interest, if it makes you less anxious, that is in YOUR best interest. There can be lots of elements that are out of your control when planning a wedding, and this is mostly to do with the behaviours of your guests or family. So take a deep breath, and rise above the chaos. I promise it will do nothing but benefit you in the future.'