Claire and Stewart
Tasmania never fails to make me take a deep breath- the landscape is beyond stunning and the weddings that come out of the Southern state? Beautiful, relaxed and an understated elegance. Such is the elegant Tasmanian wedding of Claire and Stewart, I know you’ll agree!
Stewart tells the story of how and Claire came to be. “12 ½ years ago at university, the future bride tried out her pick-up moves on her future husband at a local bar to limited success. We are married now, so it must have worked. (written by the groom, of course!).”
The wedding photographs of Claire & Stewart are by Jonathan Wherrett who has a magical way of creating the most elegant photographs that capture the beauty of the couple, but also of the amazing Tasmanian landscape.
Claire remarks “People often ask us why we chose Stanley to get married. With many accusing us of seeking payback for all the weddings we have had to travel to over the years, and consequently choosing a venue everyone had to travel to. However the actual reasons were because primarily, we wanted to use a venue with character, as we both love the history and diversity of Tasmania’s buildings. Secondly, we wanted a venue where we could take our own alcohol, as with the groom being a winemaker, we were quite particular about what wines we wanted. The benefit of the location, was that it was turned into a destination wedding, with everyone utilising the amazing B&B’s in Stanley and being able to see a wonderful part of Tasmania.”
Claire chose an incredible beaded gown from Gwendolynne with a custom dyed hair piece from Richard Nylon . Claire wore jeweled earrings from Samantha Wills, a Lovisa cuff and shoes from Inniu. She carried a bouquet by Beautiful Bloomin’ Florist .
Claire and Stewart married at Highfield House. Claire explains “Highfield House’s tiny non-denominational stone chapel was used for the 3.30pm ceremony and the grounds were used for the cocktail hour. The old stone and timber threshing barn was ‘glamified’ by family and friends the days prior and used for the reception. The nearby stables were used by the caterers.”
The bride’s mother and father walked Claire down the aisle to ‘Love Letter’ by Nick Cave. Claire remarks “Weeks before the wedding, I thought I would be nervous, however when the day came I was completely relaxed and really enjoyed the morning with my family. I didn’t think I would be able to look at Stew when it came time to walk down the aisle, but as soon as I walked into the chapel my eyes searched out his and they didn’t look away the entire ceremony. As soon as I got to Stew I had to give him a smooch.”
Claire recalls “The ceremony was my favourite part as we wrote our own vows and made sure they were intimate and heartfelt but had a few jokes thrown in for good measure. We had a lot of comments about our ceremony.”
The couple held an “Afternoon session” after the ceremony. Musicians Jacob Boot & Laura Mead entertained guests as they enjoyed celebratory drinks (homemade lemonade and punch made by Claire’s mother) and chatter on fabric covered hay bales.
Each bridesmaid chose their own dress. Claire explains “my sisters (Emma and Beck) wore Alannah Hill and my Matron of Honour (Lucy) wore Michelle Kim. Each Bridesmaid wore an Alannah Hill belt to coordinate.”
Of their photographer, Claire says “Jonathan Wherrett was fantastic, and just so easy to have around. He managed to capture the ‘story’ of our day. We actually changed our wedding date to accommodate Jonathan being able to take our photos.”
The majority of the wedding decor was handmade. A family friend made hessian table runners, the bride made embroidery fabric hoops, the flowers were a collaboration of family and friends, including Beautiful Bloomin’ Florist and placed in vintage glass jars sourced by the couple. The bride’s sister made the bunting.
Claire says “For table seating, we used photos of the guests, with their seat numbers on the back. The guests had to find their photographs (which were hanging from string weighted by sinkers, and attached with wooden pegs) to determine their seating location for the wedding.”
The favors were “Assorted Jams (Greengage, Blackberry, Raspberry, Brambleberry, Whiskey Marmalade, Plum, Apricot) made by my mother, in a mix-match of jars covered with calico and tied with an assortment of coloured wool. The name tags were handwritten by Stewart and contained a sprig of rosemary.” All stationery was painted and printed by the groom.
The wedding was catered by Olive Tree Catering and Claire and Stewart decided on not one but three wedding cakes made by Claire’s brother-in-law (of Andy’s Bakery) and decorated by friends. The cakes were decadent flavours – Chocolate brownie, Orange Cake with Coconut & Lime and Chocolate, Raspberry & Grand Marnier cake.
The lighting was arranged by the couple. From the festoon lights to the candle lanterns! Claire explains “The candle lanterns made from as assortment of large (and different) jam jars, tied with wire to make handles. They were then filled with sand and a candle was placed in each jar. They were then placed around the dance floor. For the festoon lights we bought coloured party lights and searched high and low for 60 plain old fashioned festoon lights. We had to replace each light and strung them up in the main reception area.”
The first dance was performed by DJ Dane Hunnerup who also looked after the ceremony music. Claire remembers “Our first dance was to Lanie Lane’s ‘Bang Bang’. It was unrehearsed, upbeat and fun!”
Claire says “I remember people saying before the wedding, to try and take time out to enjoy the day because it goes by so quickly. I remember taking that in and stopping and looking around at everyone who was there….. either having a laugh, on the dance floor or outside by the fire pit, and thinking how lucky we were to have these people in our lives and to be able to celebrate with us.”
Congratulations Claire and Stewart! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Jonathan Wherrett for today’s photographs!