Gus and I met through mutual friends up at Falls Creek opening weekend in 2008. We both went to boarding school in Melbourne & a mutual friend had been trying to introduce us for quite some time. I was living in Melbourne when we first met & Gus had just moved home to his family property about 20 minutes north of Wagga Wagga, NSW after a few months of working overseas. I had no idea where Wagga was when he mentioned that was where he lived. To me it seemed like hours away! We did the distance thing for a couple of years before I made the move to Wagga.
Gus & I have been together for just over six years now, it has flown by! When I first moved to NSW I lived in town with some great friends of his for a year before making the big move to his family property ‘Kooringal Stud’ - Gus is the fourth generation working on the farm. The beautiful two girls I lived in town with Ju Roche & Alex Petersen were alongside me in bridesmaid dresses. It was such a fun year with these girls, they are definitely best friends I’ll have forever.
In March 2014 Gus, myself and some friends of ours went up to Mooloolaba where his folks have a place. I woke up quite early (as you do in Queensland when the sun rises at 3am) & popped on my walking gear. Gus decided he’d come with me. We went for a walk along the boardwalk & on our way back I said lets sit down because I wanted to show him a few yoga stretches, before I knew it I turned around and Gus was on one knee proposing. Of course I said yes! It was such a fun trip with lots of friends from Wagga, it couldn’t have been more perfect!
Gus & I got married on Friday the 5th of December 2014 on Gus’s family property ‘Kooringal Stud’
We spoke about where we wanted to get married several months before getting engaged, you know just throwing the ideas out there. We loved the idea of getting married in the garden at Kooringal Stud & having an open air reception - Gus was on the farm from day dot 7 it meant the world to him & to me… well I couldn’t have thought of a more beautiful spot & I also thought it was such a special place. Thankfully Pen and Stu gave the green light for us to have our special day on the farm. Penny’s garden is always impeccable & the farm itself is so beautiful. Pen & Stu (Gus’s parents) along with his siblings put hours into making the place look incredible. Plenty of water, lots of pea straw & hours of gardening later the place looked 110%. My Mum also came across from Echuca, Victoria a few times to pop on the gardening gloves & help out. It was always good bonding time with all the fam!
Thankfully we had quite a bit of rain during the lead up to the wedding which helped make the grass nice and lush. The grass was growing so quick Stu even did a ‘quick’ mow the day before(taking about 2 hours) as the grass had grown so much in two days!
The day goes so quickly although it all was an incredibly special & happy day! It was so beautiful to see so many happy emotions amongst our parents, they all put in so much hard work to make our day come true & have been such amazing role models over the years. I was so excited to walk down the aisle with my Dad, holding onto his arm very tight. We had all our beautiful siblings involved in the day, my eldest brother Leigh had the honour of driving the Chevy, at one stage Leigh was about to take off to drive me to the ceremony and he couldn’t get it into gear, thankfully a few magic words it was good to go! I must admit the nerves started about there! My brother Simon & Gus’s sister Georgie did a reading which were both beautiful. Richie, Gus’s brother was also a driver making sure the 3 gorgeous bridesmaids arrived safely.
We absolutely loved getting married on the farm! We decided to have a nice, casual ceremony & a family friend Sascha Irvin was our gorgeous celebrant. She did the most amazing job & made the ceremony just perfect.
Gus & I took the risk & decided to have an open air reception, it’s something I had always dreamed of & we chose the 5th of December knowing it was a full moon. Sounds perfect right? Well the night before Wagga had the biggest hail storm – there sure were a few nerves about & I think the back up plan(of which was choosing one of the sheds on the farm) was ready to take place. Thankfully someone was looking well after us & we had the most sensational weather, about 35 degrees, no wind, no rutherglen bugs, you could see the stars & no rain! So many people asked how we did it! We are just thanking our lucky stars!
We had both our Dads speak along with Alex – my bridesmaid & Lach Gus’s groomsman, I also made a little speech & Gus finished with such an emotional speech. He spoke so well & spoke of his horse accident which happened in 2011 …I was so proud. There were plenty of tears amongst the guests, even the males had tears…all happy tears of course!
Our parents were amazing on the day, both our Dads Tim & Stu spoke so well & made us so proud. Our Mums looked stunning in navy and red! Our parents did the most incredible job making our day so special & the happiest days of our life!
The Wedding Details
Let’s say I spent many hours on pinterest…don’t most brides do that? (laugh) Along with that one of my beautiful girlfriends/bridesmaids Milly helped me out LOTS! There were plenty of pics sent through back & forth. She is so clever with styling so helped me out with the style of the wedding. She wrote all the table names with her funky writing, we hung these up amongst the old olive tree with little wooden pegs, a handmade touch I loved! Ju another of my bridesmaids helped me with the flower choices and the table place cards. She is a very talented artist & has a great eye for beautiful taste. She wrote all the name cards which were fun & handmade which was even more special!
We had so many gorgeous friends and family helping out during the lead up & the day. A few special ladies who are extremely clever with flowers organized the entrance flowers along with Gus’s Aunty Nar organizing all the table flowers. She travelled all the way to Sydney to collect the flowers from the flower markets.
Mum, Penny & I had collected brass & copper vases from all over the place. We used these for the table flowers & loved we were able to bring these into the style of the wedding, something a little different! I’d seen it on Instagram months prior to the wedding so thought it could look cool & something a little different/rustic.
A beautiful friend Georgie Meagher (Wildeslane) from Sydney put together the most amazing flower wall, Gus & I got married in front of it. It looked sensational & made the photos look so vibrant. It was a perfect touch to our garden ceremony!
1. Bridesmaids – who/relationship? I had three gorgeous bridesmaids – all of which kept me well entertained along the lead up journey. These three girls were so amazing & made my day even more special.
Alex Petersen & I lived together back in 2010-2011. She’s been an amazing friend since I moved to Wagga. One of the kindest & thoughtful people you’ll come across, she’s my sister I never had. Her one request was, no lilac dresses.. Julia Roche & I also lived together with Alex in 2010. Ju is a person who is extremely vibrant & always happy as you can see in every photo of her –she’s always laughing! Ju got married on Australia Day long weekend just over 12 months ago so thankfully she gave me plenty of few tips along the way. Ju was 7 months pregnant at the wedding & looked absolutely incredible! Milly Bray & I went to boarding school together in Melbourne. We have had so many fun times together & I was so excited she said yes to be one of my bridesmaids to walk ahead of me down the aisle! She’s such a beautiful friend, loves to have fun & always up for ‘chin wag’!
2. Groomsmen – who/relationship? Gus had three great mates alongside him on the big day…all three boys Gus grew up with. They’re great down to earth friends & all love a good laugh!
Lach Harris Andy Lamont & Luke Hulm
3. Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship?
Charlie Walsh was our very cute page boy – Gus is Charlie’s godfather & was so excited he started walking early! He certainly got plenty of attention on the day in his cute chino’s, shirt & delicious bow tie made by a great school friend Emily Revell – Huxby Haberdashery.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes?
I actually was visiting a friend in Wagga & we were talking about wedding dress shopping, she showed me a photograph of the bride and groom of a wedding she had recently been to. I loved the brides dress – it was definitely a style I thought would suit me. I didn’t actually choose the same dress although a very similar style.
Once I’d popped the dress on & Mum starting crying, that was a good sign it was the one…unless she didn’t like it? Just kidding!
How many gowns did you try?
Just the two at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES, the first dress I tried on I loved & it fit me perfectly! The ladies were so helpful! I tried on a few others from different wedding dress shops however nothing grabbed me like the Josie gown.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Armadale, Melbourne.
What did you especially like about your gown? I always wanted an open back & something fitted. I loved the style, the fit & of course the open back! The girls who helped me at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES also made me like the dress even more – they were so sweet & helpful! (I thought the process was meant to be difficult! It was far from it)
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? We found the dresses in Melbourne at Wayne Cooper – it was quiet a lucky find as the store was actually closing down.
Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? The boys suits came from Charles Tyrewhitt London.
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I didn’t want anything too flashy earring wise so I decided I’d get some costume diamond earrings for both myself & my bridesmaids. I put together a little gift for the gorgeous girls, of which in it was a fun bangle which they can have forever & they wore on the day.
Where did you get your shoes from? I didn’t want anything too bridey & needed a thicker heel being a farm wedding in the grass so I went for an open toe heel. I actually found them in Myer in Melbourne Central.
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? I wore a very simple & flowy veil which I had made from Melbourne Veils on High Street. They were so helpful.
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day.
We were so excited to use my beautiful Papa’s old Chevrolet. He’s had the car for years, when they were living on the farm it only ally made a few trips into town to go to bowls, as for now it only gets a run once a year to be registered. Dad put it on the back of a trailer & brought it across from Barooga NSW. I definitely had a tear seeing my Papa’s reaction when we drove in, being the only granddaughter I think it brought a tear to his eye. He’s such a role model I have always looked up to him so it was so nice to make him a part of our special day.
Something Old? My Nana gave me a gorgeous rose gold bracelet many years ago to keep. Her mother had given it to her when she was only 12 with her name Beverley engraved into it. It was so nice to wear something so special.
Something New? I didn’t have a particular ‘something new’ although my dress was!
Something Borrowed? One of my bridesmaids Juju gave me a gold ring to borrow for the day. It was perfect & loved wearing something of a great friend of mine.
Something Blue? I was so excited to wear Mums beautiful sapphire ring. Her parents gave it to her when she turned 21 after their trip from Hong Kong. Thankfully she hasn’t asked to have it back! Thanks Mum!
Florist – Scooter Flowers Wagga Wagga (Bouquets)
Table Flowers – Nar Lamont, Harefield
Flower Wall – Wildeslane - Georgie Meagher
Photographer – We had a mother/daughter combo taking our snaps on the big day Jenny Hartwig & Georgie Ross. They are great family friends of the Lamonts & we were so happy with the beautiful natural shots.
Videographer – Emma Dallinger – Albury.
Music – Jamie Way & Dale Allison & crew – Wagga.
First Dance – It’s kind of cliché living on a horse farm & choosing this song however we both loved Horses by Daryl Braithwaite. We had a few dancing lessons with some great friends of Gus’s parents – Neal & Julie Durnan. They’re beautiful dancers & so much fun, Julie & Neal always treated us with a G&T afterwards which was a nice treat! It was fun for me learn how to dance properly, as for Gus well he glided around! I’d be stepping on his toes & laughing, which made the bridal dance enjoyable having fun up in front of everyone.
MC – Jum Lamont, Gus’s brother did the most impressive & entertaining job as MC. Everyone referred to him as Pippa Middleton, he stole the show! He kept the whole crowd entertained & ran with a theme of the night being a ‘horse sale’ …being on a horse stud it was quite fitting. The bridal party entrances were something surely to be remembered & rather hilarious.. wooden ride on horses, jockey outfits & jockey whips..
Celebrant – Sascha Irvin, Wagga Wagga
Stationery – Chambers Whyte, Wagga Wagga
Menu – Nathan Gale Catering, Wagga Wagga
Cake - A great friend of ours Amy Fowler made our wedding cake. She is such a talented friend and has been baking cakes for friend’s weddings. The delicious cake didn’t last long, it was devoured in a matter of minutes!
Hair – Mink Hair and Beauty Wagga
Make up – Dusk Beauty Therapy Wagga- Rheanna Donellan
Wedding Bands – Kristopher Graydon – Wagga Wagga.
Extra features – Ushers pocket squares & Page boy bowtie - Huxby Haberdashery
Table Cards – Ju Roche
Event Hire – Duncan and Milton Jaeger from Jaegers Event hire were amazing. They did such a wonderful job & were so helpful with everything hire wise!