Carmen and Garvin

It may seem a little odd to run a beautiful Winter solstice wedding in the first week of January – but not only am I thinking of our northern hemisphere readers today, but also those Australian winter weddings who are in the thick of planning. I’m not sure one can be anything but inspired when they spy Carmen’s beautiful lace sleeved wedding gown and the rich jewel tones of today’s wedding colour palette are cosy, warm and beautiful winter wedding inspiration. Luke Going Photography captured today’s gorgeous celebration in Queensland’s town of Maleny.

Carmen kicks off today’s wedding with the story of how she and Garvin came to be. “In 2004, we were both working during a ski season in Whistler, Canada. Whilst Garvin was singing karaoke (Scar Tissue, badly) in a small local haunt, Carmen accidentally took his seat. He came back and that was how we met. We spent the season together living on the ski slopes before Carmen had to return to Australia for university, and Garvin had to go back to London for work. After trips back and forth between hemispheres in the following few years, Garvin moved out to Australia in 2008.”

Silk Hair and Makeup, Noosa styled the bride and bridesmaid’s hair and makeup, Carmen telling, “Vicki is so talented and a dream to work with. She knew how to keep us all on track during the wedding morning and we were thrilled with the results!”

Carmen’s long sleeve lace wedding gown was found at Paddington Weddings, Brisbane. Her bridesmaids in shades of blue, green and navy gowns.

Garvin wore a traditional kilt made by Kinloch Anderson, Edinburgh, and his groomsmen clad themselves in kilts from Kilt Hire Australia Carmen explaining, “Garvin is British (Irish), and had his kilt (made of Ancient Hunter family tartan) fitted in Edinburgh. All of the groomsmen wore kilts, and the key floral additions to lapels and table napkins were the Bells of Ireland & Scottish Thistle. ”

Carmen and Garvin were married at Maleny Manor. Carmen telling, “We can never use enough positive superlatives to describe Maleny Manor. Each preparatory step was immaculately covered and we felt extremely supported through the entire process. Each detail was perfectly executed on the day – the staff members were outstanding, the food was delectable and the scenery was stunning.

We felt so at ease having their support and dedication to the day. We were married in their pavilion, and guests enjoyed canapes, cocktails and lawn games (when the rain subsided) before entering the main building for the reception. We loved having everything in the one location. Marlene, Kathryn and the team are so tremendous that we miss having an excuse to call them!”

Carmen walked down the aisle to Tracy Chapman – The Promise. “The sentiments of travel, waiting and finding your way back to someone felt very apt. Plus her voice is soul-soothing! “. Mondo Floral Designs created the floral arrangements for the day.

Ian Stevenson (07) 5472 8433 performed the ceremony.

The wedding was turned into a weekend event! Carmen remarking, “With an international crowd, most guests were well-acquainted by the wedding day as they had the chance to meet the night before. On Friday we held a dinner, drinks and trivia night at the Maleny Hotel to break the ice. The wedding took place during the British Lions’ Rugby tour in Australia. With a half-British guest list who would be missing the game that night, the gents were placated with a Buck’s night held the weekend before at the Lions/Wallabies game in Brisbane. If anyone was checking scores during the speeches, they must have done it secretly!”

Luke Going PhotographyLuke Going Photography

“We realized there were only so many photos of beaming grins, longing looks and down cast gazes we could manage – so we included animal masks in the group shots for some light relief.”

Of their photographer, Carmen tells, “Luke was incredible. He was with us for the entire day until the last guest left – which meant he captured a wonderful array of images (rather than being constrained to, say, a 5 hour package). He managed to feel like an old friend, who was very much at ease. We’d had a trial shoot for our engagement shots to meet Luke and for Garvin to get used to being in front of the lens. We can honestly say that each of his 1500+ images are impeccable… there is not a single one we could cull. We also had an additional shooter on the day (Ashley) who helped us capture both bride & groom getting dressed at separate locations, and also the guests playing lawn games whilst the bridal party was away taking group shots. If we had the right photography lexicon our praise could be more specific! All we know is the colour and composition of his photos are outstanding and the authenticity feels very evident.”

Yardparty, Brisbane provided the lawn games, which guests enjoyed despite the Winter cold. Carmen tells, “Due to the plummeting temperatures, we had a large basket filled with pashminas for each guest to wear and keep. A box of ‘Solemate’ heel protectors were also left out for the ladies to walk on the grass.”

“Place settings each had a bookmark made from an old book spine (Rebound Books, Melbourne). They were arbitrarily placed but the book titles created a lot of discussion.”

“The tables included random but meaningful numbers – such as: 365 – number of days we were engaged, and 1 – pair of underwear swallowed by Willow (our reprobate Labrador puppy). Also on the guest tables were a series of  blank books – What should we name our kids? What were you really thinking during our wedding vows? Where do you see us in 25 years? The results were hilarious and such a treasure to look back over. ”

The speeches were particularly amazing for the couple, with the story being told. “The three bridesmaids blew us away with an acapella/percussion rendition of ‘Advice for the Groom’ to the tune of “When I’m gone” (of the recent Pitch Perfect fame). The key line being “Answer your phone”. Amazing. Carmen, being a Speech Pathologist who uses sign language often with clients/colleagues, showed a per-recorded film of Peter Gabriel’s ‘The Book of Love’ in sign language for the groom. ” In The Booth provided the fun photo booth for the night.

In lieu of a traditional cake, Carmen and Gavin chose a stack of cheese wheels from Colin James Fine Foods, Maleny.

Carmen and Garvin chose The Pogues – ‘Love you ‘Till the End’ for their first dance. Carmen remembering, “A favourite Irish band for the Irish groom. This was always going to be one of the most nerve-wracking moments of the day. Despite full intentions of having dance lessons… it did not transpire. Our bridal party was urged to join us almost instantly!”

Graham Hobson Entertainment provided music for both the ceremony and reception keeping guests on the dance floor until the very last moment. Carmen explaining, “They were outstanding. Effortless to deal with from the initial phone call right through to the end of the night. Graham is the consummate professional and their performance was beautiful and seamless. They had all 104 guests up, filling the dance-floor for an elated ‘final’ dance circle that lasted about five songs. We didn’t want it to end.”

Carmen and Garvin;s wedding was captured in motion by Lumina Motion Pictures, Carmen noting, “We couldn’t imagine better people to have with us on the day as they felt like part of the family. Their footage is absolutely incredible and still makes us giddy after we watch it.”


Congratulations on your marriage Carmen and Gavin! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to . Luke Going Photography for sharing today’s beautiful photography with us!