Nothing is quite as magical as a winter wedding at Gabbinbar Homestead. Rhys and Jessica discovered this when they invited their nearest and dearest to their celebrations last August. The lush winter gardens provided an enchanting backdrop for their ceremony and photos, bathed in the soft afternoon and evening light that the estate experiences during the cooler months. The Homestead also compliments a winter wedding; offering a warm, charming and inviting space to spend the night's festivities.
Embracing the beauty of the season Jessica and Rhys knew from the moment they stood beneath the towering Moreton Bay Fig of Governor’s Lawn that this was where they wanted to host their winter ceremony.
‘The historic fig tree creates a shaded, romantic atmosphere that immediately attracted us and also complimented the wedding style we wanted. We both knew that would be our ceremony location as soon as we stood on the lawn under the tree. It’s such a peaceful place.’
The couple had a vision to host a relaxed yet romantic and glamorous wedding. So, when planning, they made sure to incorporate a strong focus on both being involved so the wedding didn’t just feel like it was one persons ‘special day’. What came together was a beautiful, timeless and serene day which celebrated and spoke to their unique style as a couple.
‘By far the most important things to me were to make sure it felt like Rhys’s day as much as mine and for it to be as stress free as possible. I definitely think I achieved those two things. I was so calm on the day I couldn’t believe it and Rhys was incredibly happy with how everything turned out.’
While they admit planning a wedding during Covid presented its challenges, Jess and Rhys still found the process a ‘pure joy’ and were able to curate a wedding with everything one would expect from a glamorous wintertime event.
‘ I genuinely found it helpful having such lovely planners to deal with at Gabbinbar. The level of kindness, professionalism and knowledge that each team member had was a breath of fresh air and made the whole process pure joy. Also having the wedding planning team look after me during the planning process and on the day itself was more helpful than I can explain. An absolute must!!’
The ceremony at The Governor’s Lawn featured a custom circular arbor beautifully adorned with all-white florals and accented with greenery. In keeping with the classic, romantic theme Jess’s bouquet featured an abundance of white roses, peonies and cascading orchids.
‘I adored my arbour and florals. A cousin of mine made the arbor for us specially and with the floral arrangements, it beautifully achieved my vision. The florals made up most of the minimal styling and I was so happy with the result. Brittany from My Little Flower Shoppe is a talented gem!’
Alongside stunning styling for their ceremony it was important for Rhys and Jess to be able to include their beloved Sharpei fur babies Olive and Harry in their ceremony celebrations, looking back they have a few words of wisdom for couples wanting to do the same.
‘ Having our fur babies there was one of the most important aspects to us. We definitely don’t regret including them in the day. We would recommend hiring professionals to take care of your pets all day/night rather than asking a guest or trying to do it yourself. That way you can be rest assured knowing they are being looked after and their needs are met so they can have a great time.’
Jess’s sophisticated and showstopping gown, with its voluminous train and regal sleeves, was bespoke., As was the chic veil that she paired it with. Opting for long flowing bridal waves, she created a pop of colour with her red lipstick which beautifully contrasted against her neutral colour palette. Jess spent the morning making her preparations in the Bride's Retreat accompanied by her talented hair stylist Evalyn Parsons and make-up artist Kate Ellen.
‘I had a vision in my head of how I wanted my dress to look but struggled to find anything that achieved that look. The ladies at Curve Bridal Boutique helped me work out what I wanted. We customised a dress design by Alexa Lawrence to fit my vision. I also knew I didn’t want a traditional veil so I found a local Brisbane Milliner, Marilyn Van den Berg, whose style was just what I was after. She created an amazing visor for me which I just loved.’
The groom’s look also wasn’t without extra special customisation with Rhys wearing a striking all-black ensemble designed by Institchu tailors.
Additional styling touches were sprinkled throughout the day's celebrations and festivities such as oversized white ‘Mr & Mrs Balloons’, smoke flares in the fields, a string quartet, customised bridal shoes and a decadent wedding cake created by PepperBerry Cakes added an elevated elegance and personalisation to the day's proceedings.
‘Rhys and I have very different taste buds so for our wedding cake we had two different flavours. The base tier was whiskey and salted caramel for Rhys and the top tier was rosewater and pistachio for me, both were layered and frosted with buttercream. We chose Pepperberry Cakes for a few different reasons. Apart from being recommended by Gabbinbar, Eddie’s work looked amazing and promised to be the most delicious cake we’d ever eat. Which I can easily say it was!’
While guests dined on mouth watering tray-served canapes in the gardens, Jess and Rhys took the opportunity to walk the grounds and capture their forever memories with photographer Luke Middlemiss.
‘No one location at Gabbinbar stands out as all of our photos are amazing no matter where you look. The Gabbinbar grounds are stunning and create such a beautiful and varying backdrop.’
Spending the day photographing the magic of Rhys and Jessica’s incredible winter wedding at Gabbing Homestead was both a delight and honour. The couple had a strong focus around creating a relaxed, yet glamorous and romantic wedding and their day's preparation, ceremony and evening photos were tailored specifically to capture this vision. Capitalising on the soft light provided by the winter months the couple spent the afternoon moving throughout the estate enjoying their time together while allowing us to capture a blend of formal portraits and candid moments. Later in the evening after the formalities had concluded Rhys and Jess took the opportunity to steal some moments outside amongst the glow of the night garden. The combination of the softness of the light and the magic of golden hour in winter afforded an evening of exceptional photo opportunities and captures for the couples special day.
With an intimate reception featuring heartfelt speeches, live music and a first dance in front of the conservatory French doors Jess and Rhys reminisce about their favorite moments of their winter wedding.
‘ My favourite parts were listening to Rhys say his vows and our dance at the reception. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed performing our dance. Rhy’s two favorite parts of the day were the entire ceremony and getting to relax and mingle with our guests at the reception. Gabbinbar is simply the perfect place for a wedding. Nothing compares to the beauty and incredible service.’
Planning: Gabbinbar Homestead Photographer: Luke Middlemiss Photography Videographer: Sean Harman Celebrant: Jarrad Bayliss Dress: Curve Bridal Groom: Institchu Hair: Evalyn Parsons Make-up: Kate Ellen Florals: My Little Flower Shoppe Cake: Pepperberry Cakes Pet Minders: First Class Pet Wedding Assistants