Every girl dreams of feeling like a princess on her wedding day, and for Katie, those dreams began at the age of 5 when she would spend hours playing with her teddies and imagining her perfect day. So when the time came to marry her 'prince charming' and step into her real-life fairytale, Katie brought a hint of magic to her and Cameron's planning journey in the form of Kirsty Perrett, the founder of Storybook & Co.
Owning and operating a wedding planning, coordination and styling business Kirsty has built her reputation around offering a highly personalised planning service. Focussing on curating an experience that is representative of the couples relationship and unique story, she cites that establishing an excellent client relationship and clearly understanding a couples goals is essential in the early stages of planning:
'I have wanted to create a brand and business that gave people an experience that was solely focussed around them, to be someone that listens intently to couples desires and curates a day around their love story and personalities. Our services are tailored to a couple's needs, from comprehensive wedding planning to partial planning and coordination and styling.’
When Katie contacted Kirsty she organised an initial consultation with the couple, and it wasn't long before they both knew that this was the start of something special:
'We usually love to meet with our clients before booking anything in as it just allows us to get a good feel for the couple, their story and to see if they are the right fit for us here at Storybook & Co. Typically, we love to get down to the details – it is about knowing what they envision when they think about their wedding day, what's important to them and what they see as their budget for the day.
I met with Cameron and Katie firstly via a Zoom chat, even though Katie had been chatting via email. She was incredibly impressed by our quick responses and how thorough we were with the questions around having a wedding planner on the day. It's funny, like many couples, both Katie and Cameron don't see or understand the value of employing a wedding planner until they experience it first-hand. However, we knew pretty quickly during our near two-hour-long zoom meeting filled with laughter, gin and fur baby chats, that it was a match made in heaven.'
Working closely with Katie and Cameron throughout the entire planning process Kirsty was instrumental in guiding the couple and offering experienced advice on everything from venue choice to dress shopping as well as bringing together a dream team on incredible vendors:
‘We looked at 12 venues together, with many more shortlisted. For example, Gabbinbar, whilst on their long list of venues – was put further down the list because of the location as Katie had never visited Toowoomba before and was unsure about the location.
After the site inspections and Katie and Cameron not finding their perfect fit, I suggested making a road trip to Toowoomba to check out Gabbinbar Homestead. It was the perfect fit for Cameron's old soul and Katie's princess dreams. Not to mention, they both LOVE food and good service, two of the top things the venue is renowned for.'
Carefully selecting and handpicking the right vendors was essential to achieve Katie's brief of fairytale elegance and romance with a princess-inspired gown, abundant florals and sophisticated styling choices:
'When we work with couples, we like to bring on people who fit the couples story, personalities and desires for the day. There is no point in bringing on someone who a) would clash with your client on the day or b) isn't aligned with your client's styling vision. Each of our vendors is handpicked for each event. Ensuring trusted vendors are involved provides an incredible service to our couples.
Laura from Laura Elizabeth Designs designed the couple's invitations which featured a colour palette of duck egg blues, pastel apricot hues and soft gold touches. Alongside a regal monogrammed gold emblem and envelope seal, the inside of the envelope included a stunning watercolour portrait of the homestead:
'Laura, the queen of design herself, created the beautiful invitation suite. I reached out to Laura to do the stationery as she does all things incredible and was a great fit for the day's brief. She also has amazing design experience and can pull together aspects that maybe haven't previously been thought of. Laura was incredible, and people couldn't stop commenting on Katie's invitations, about how elegant and regal they were!'
When it came to choosing the dream gown, Katie, who had chosen a dress, began to have doubts about whether it was indeed the 'one.' Together, Kirsty and Katie then went on to find something which perfectly captured how Katie wanted to look and feel in her gown on the day.
'Katie found a dress and was convinced she loved it when she went in and tried it on with her gals and Mum. However, over a short time period, looking back on the dress, she became doubtful and wasn't as excited about the dress as she could have been. So, I piped up and booked her an appointment with the fabulous ladies at White Lily Couture, where she tried on a few dresses, along with the ONE! Of course, there were many emotions for Katie, but we finally rang the bell with such success and walked out with Katie on a cloud nine high! It was the dream of dreams! The gown by Nicole Milano had a stunning ballgown silhouette to perfectly match her princess wedding dreams, with an organza skirt and a sweetheart off the shoulder neckline. The lace bodice fitted in perfectly with the old world charm of Gabbinbar (something that Cameron was drawn to being an old soul himself) and the glittered cathedral length veil tied the look together perfectly.'
An impressive selection of soft botanicals accented the day, including various roses, peonies, snapdragons, bluebells and textured foliage, plus the sweet blush silk ribbon wrapped around Katie's bouquet with the words 'That's Amore' written in calligraphy. The team from Emunah Events fashioned the florals with Kirsty providing the styling for the ceremony and reception spaces.
Elegant white plinths holding stunning floral arrangements in footed vases partnered with an abundance of pillar candles defined the ceremony space in the Gabbinbar pavilion. White Tiffany chairs seated guests, and asymmetrical statement floral arrangements were mounted on the pavilion's pillars to form an arbour in front of sheer white drapes.
'When you work with someone closely and talk daily for 18 months, you're bound to grow to adore those people, and there were so many good emotions and happy tears on their wedding day. However, my most memorable moment of Katie and Cameron's day would have to be watching Katie walk down the aisle to Cameron. To know it was finally happening for these two who had dreamt of this day for so long - not to mention that Katie looked incredible!
Katie's bridesmaids wore champagne gowns from Model Chic/Infinity the Label, all wrapped the same way to create a timeless look:
'Katie wanted to choose a gown that suited all of her bridesmaids, including one bridesmaid who had given birth only ten weeks before the wedding. There was a huge colour discussion and decision surrounding these gowns, though - do we go duty pink or the champagne colour? Champagne was the winner.'
Cameron, looking dapper, was dressed in a Gibson suit while the groomsmen's attire was from H&M. Eager to both personalise the favours provided to guests and honour his late grandmother Cameron made chilli-relish from scratch from the recipe she had passed down to the family.
After an evening spent in the gardens of the homestead, at sunset, guests transitioned into the conservatory for the reception where a romantic and dreamlike fairytale vista met them. Katie chose a glittering, overhead fairy light canopy further softened with warm candlelight placed on the round tables.
Timeless, white linen table cloths were accompanied by blush napkins, gold cutlery, brass candlesticks and colour accented tapered candles. The floral centrepieces adorning the tables were low-set arrangements in gold footed vases and elevated arrangements on gold symmetrical plinths. Not to be forgotten was the extravagant overhead floral hanging installation and the stunning three-tiered cake crafted by The Sweet Society Co, which sat on a bed of florals and was topped with a silhouette of the couple and their beloved furbabies.
After the formalities had concluded and the couple enjoyed their first dance together in the ballroom, Katie and Cameron stole a few moments outside to walk through the Gabbinbar night garden and take further portraits amongst the beautifully lit estate. At the end of the night as a parting gift to guests, the Emunah Event's team returned to bundle and create stunning mini floral arrangements for guests to take home as another memento of the evening.
‘Working alongside Gabbinbar on the day was something new for us, despite working within the venue before. We had never had our coordination needed before at Gabbinbar (because 'The Gabbinbar Experience' includes a wedding planning service and an on-the-day coordinator from the venue itself), but it was included in our original contract with Katie, and she wasn't having it any other way by then! We loved every bit of it. The Gabbinbar team were incredible to work alongside. We all knew what we needed to do, we all were on the same level with communication, and I hoped we made their jobs a little easier by having another team on hand to assist where we could. Overall – I can't wait to do it again soon!’
Wedding Planner, Coordinator + Stylist: Storybook & Co.
Venue: Gabbinbar Homestead
Photographer: Casey Jane Photography
Videographer: Alexei Malko Films Florals: Emunah Events Cake: The Sweet Society Co.
Wedding Dress: White Lily Couture Groom's Suit: Gibsons Clothing Invitations + Stationery: Laura Elizabeth Design Celebrant: The Lady Who Weds MUA: Erin Fedele MUA Hair: The Hair Artist Collective
Pianist: Maree Kilpatrick DJ: G&M Events Photobooth: In The Booth