Upon arriving at Gabbinbar Homestead, Stephanie instantly knew that ‘The Woods’ was the place she wanted to host her summer wedding ceremony. Her boho themed pinterest board was brimming with ethereal, earthly and exquisite styling ideas and Stephanie just knew ‘The Woods’ was the perfect location to bring her vision to life.
The couple had only recently experienced the heartbreaking disappointment of cancelling an international destination wedding in Bali due to COVID so they knew that they needed a venue that could support them throughout the planning process.
‘There’s something absolutely magical about dreaming of your wedding day, and then actually living it. It was the most amazing day from start to finish, we are still both in disbelief that it was real life, OUR LIFE! We were planning this wedding right off the back of losing almost everything to our previously planned (and fully paid for) international wedding. Gabbinbar were so understanding of our situation, not only financially but with supporting me as well. I came to Gabbinbar as a completely broken bride to be, and they really took care of us.’
Right from the earliest planning stages with the Gabbinbar Homestead team Stephanie and Cameron prioritised selecting key vendors that they felt comfortable with. With budget constraints in place they set about curating their dream wedding team and prioritising which elements were essential to their day and which they felt they could forego.
‘I learnt very quickly to choose vendors/suppliers who I could really work with as a person. There were a few companies who I loved their work, but when I made contact I wasn't left feeling like they were 'the one', or I felt uncomfortable asking too many questions. It's an overwhelming task and planning can get very confusing and messy in your head. I ended up going with people who I vibed best and felt like I could really work with. Of course I loved their work as well, 100%. You're going to be spending a lot of time communicating with these people, and you want to feel respected and understood even if you go back and forth 10 times on a decision. My vendors were truly the most caring people and I felt that throughout the whole journey. It brought such a special aspect to the day.’
Stephanie focussed her styling and wedding palette around dusty hues and earthy tones to complement, rather than compete with, the natural beauty of Gabbinbar Homestead. Her florist Toowoomba White Weddings cleverly fused pampas grass, spindally greens and natives florals with more traditional floral elements such as roses and peonies.
For the ceremony styling Stephanie, and her stylist Berry Vintage Hire, chose a cane plume circular arbour in ‘The Woods’ which created an ethereal statement backdrop. The arbour was then accented with an abundance of rustic logs, pillar candles and lanterns which perfectly created the boho styling that Stephanie loved.
Stephanie was overwhelmed with emotion when she walked down the aisle of ‘The Woods’ towards Cameron.
‘ Firstly, I cannot speak highly enough of Daniel, Renee and the team at Berry Vintage who styled and supplied the decorations for our entire ceremony. I stumbled upon their website in the very early days of planning and fell in love with the items and scenes they create. As soon as I saw it I knew immediately that the cane plume arbor was what I had to get married in front of. My dream arbor, it's truly beautiful. Other than the arbor I actually had no idea what my ceremony set up was going to look like. I knew there was a pack that they had put together for me with some logs, candles and accessories but I had no clue what the final set up would look like. I trusted them entirely with creating something amazing. I had full faith it would be perfect! I actually didn't see the set up until I was actually walking down the aisle and I was immediately teary when I saw it all. It could not have been more perfect, it was so much more than I imagined. It was breathtaking.’
After the ceremony guests then moved to the garden party, and enjoyed a stunning summer’s evening in the estate accompanied by award-winning canapes and drinks. As the sun started to set guests entered The Conservatory for the reception and formalities.
‘The food was catered by Gabbinbar, and I can't tell you the number of guests who have told me it was the best meal they have ever had. The food was incredible. I was really amazed how Gabbinbar catered for every food allergy and dietary requirement for our guests, not just in the dinner service but they made sure those people with requirements had their own trays of canapés throughout the garden party and were so well taken care of. I myself am vegetarian and had a huge array of delicious options. For dinner we chose two proteins per plate, the lamb and chicken. It looked like it was straight out of a magazine!’
Stephanie and her florist, Tamara from Toowoomba White Weddings, chose to style The Conservatory with verdant greenery, white chiffon and pillar candles to create a breathtaking vista.
‘I wasn't super decisive on my overall theme, I changed my mind a million times with my stylist Tamara from Toowoomba White Weddings, she was so understanding and helped me with the final decision of whites, lots of greenery and some pops of blush and rust throughout the bouquets. We kept things to a minimal because Gabbinbar's venue really speaks for itself and we wanted to enjoy it's natural beauty. I didn't really know exactly what the florals for the bridesmaids were going to look like because I had sent so many inspo photos that I ended up just trusting that Tamara knew the vibe I was going for. Oh my gosh she did not disappoint. I was so overwhelmed in the best way when I saw our florals, they were incredible. She delivered exactly what my idea of the perfect bouquets and reception would have looked like.’
Including some DIY elements in the celebration Stephanie choose personalised wine glasses for her family and bridal party with decals from etsy. Groomsmen had stainless steel beer mugs personalised from Giftware Direct. Stephanie also crafted, stained and painted the ‘Mr & Mrs’ wooden signs which hung at the back of their chairs for the reception.
Steph chose to wear the Freja Gown by Lovers Society paired beautifully with handcrafted earrings by Indigo Jade. The finishing touch to Stephanie’s bridal look was the custom made pearl denim jacket from Miss Poppy which she wore in the evening with ‘Mrs Cole’ embellished on the back. She chose to allow her bridesmaids to make the final choices for their attire on the day of the wedding.
‘My bridesmaids dresses were a rather funny story, we actually had two dresses, champagne gold and rust. Both colours went with my theme so I let the girls choose on the day whichever dresses they all felt most comfortable in. They chose the rust-colored dresses from The Iconic, and they were stunning. I'm very happy with their decision! The girls all wore earrings from Ayla and Oak, they were so perfect with the rust dresses, I asked all the girls to choose the style they wanted so they were all different. The fourth member of my bridal party was my Bridesman, he wore the same attire as the groomsmen, just with a slightly different buttonhole floral design.
The MJ bale suits worn by the grooms and groomsmen continued the neutral and earthy aesthetic. Cam decided that he and his groomsmen would get ready offsite and arrived just before the ceremony to capture some stunning images in The Library.
‘The men's attire was from MJ Bale. I worked for a long period of time with James from the Chermside, Brisbane store. He was a gem! It was quite difficult because we had to make decisions without really trying things on as we don't have the store in our home town. Everything was really ordering online and hoping we loved it! The men all wore The Robertson Jackets, the Cornelis white button up shirt, the McQueen Chinos in the colour Bark, and the brown leather shoes were from ASOS. They all wore their brown leather RM Williams belts as well.’
Because of the upset caused by Covid, Stephanie and Cameron had to focus on ‘cutting the bells and whistles’. This meant deciding where to spend money was carefully considered. Stephanie was thankful for the decision to splurge on her celebrant and MC, and only in hindsight, realised the important role he played in setting the tone and cohesive flow for their wedding day.
‘We ended up splurging on our celebrant/MC, Married by Jake. Our budget was quite low for a celebrant and we were not going to have an MC at all to save on costs, however after researching for endless hours and speaking with Gabbinbar (who highly recommended Jake), we decided to make some cuts to allocate more money for this service. We had a phone appointment with Jake, and from that point forward I knew this would be our celebrant. It wasn't until a few weeks, maybe even a month or two later, we decided we needed Jake as our MC as well. I can tell you, it was the BEST decision we made. I was very naive about just how much of an impact the celebrant or MC would have on our day. Jake's presence was incredible, he brought a vibe that was so 'us' to the day and I can't imagine the day without him.’
Photography and videography were also important to Stephanie and she is looking forward to reliving the special ‘moments in time’ from her wedding in the years to come. Stephanie is lucky enough to call professional photographer Sarah Conlan a friend so it was a no-brainer to ask her to capture the magic of her special day. Stephanie then chose the team from Galeforce Weddings to film all the beautiful moments and they did an amazing job.
‘My childhood friend Sarah is an amazing photographer who we get photos with often. Sarah had previously photographed my maternity photos and my baby girl as well, we are very comfortable with Sarah and know how amazing her work is. We jumped at the idea to ask Sarah if we could book her as our wedding photographer and to invite her as a guest to our wedding. It was so special to be able to have her there on our day. Cam is extremely uncomfortable in front of a camera so to have someone who he was also completely comfortable with was so great. Our photos are more than I had hoped for. They are INCREDIBLE! Our Videography was a surprise gift from Cam's Dad and Stepmum, it was such a beautiful surprise for us. Galeforce Weddings & Events were amazing on the day, they made it such a fun time and made us feel so comfortable. Our video is so, so amazing. It's something so special to have and I can't wait to look back on this each year with our family. ‘
Enjoying the last fleeting moments of their night with a walk through the night garden together before departing, Steph and Cam’s expectations were exceeded as they enjoyed a truly unforgettable day celebrating with family and friends.
‘To see the people closest to us having such an amazing time and thoroughly enjoying themselves meant the world to me. Having our little daughter Alice with us on the day was incredible and something i'll never forget, such a special day to have her be a part of.
Honestly, I was so blown away with Gabbinbar Homestead from the minute I got there and I felt like this constantly throughout the day. I was surprised that a business could be so caring, so understanding, so helpful, so attentive, so onto every little detail. It was unreal. You can't train people/staff to be how the Gabbinbar staff were - you can tell these staff members were selected so carefully because of their ability to make this exactly what it was. This stands out in my mind as the biggest sort of surprise, I didn't know a place, staff or an experience like this was even a possibility. I feel like I could talk about it all day because more than anything I want people to know just how truly amazing this whole experience was. I know first hand how overwhelming it can be choosing a venue and a team to work with, and this exceeded every expectation.’
Planning: Gabbinbar Homestead Planning Team Photographer: Sarah Conlan Lifestyle Photographer Videographer: Galeforce Weddings & Events Hair: The Hair Artist Collective Make up: Jessica Peacock Make Up Artist Ceremony stylist: Berry Vintage Florist and Reception Stylist: Toowoomba White Weddings and Event Hire Celebrant & MC: Married by Jake DJ: G&M Event Group Stationary: Pastime Paradise Mount Isa
Steph and Cam’s has also been featured on Boho Weddings.