Nick and I were first introduced by our close mutual friend Mark. Mark had invited us both to a performance at a cafe in the northern suburbs. We’ll never forget that night because of the quirky band playing whose instruments included a saw, washboard, and a jug… and also it was the first time we met! I was watching the band when a tall, handsome man walked in. He distracted me from the music even before Mark said “There’s Nick”. Nick recounts that it was far past his usual bedtime for a worknight, but something inspired him to tag along. He sat next to me, and we found common ground straight away, and chatted all night! That meeting was at the end of summer but it wasn’t until the start of Autumn that we went on our first real date – a trip to Lake Mountain, in search of snow. We spent the entire day together, talking effortlessly and just being ourselves.
Six months later, Nick was unsure as to whether he should accept a posting to Seattle, because of what it might mean for our relationship. I did not hesitate though because it seemed like a completely natural decision. We realized we would be together forever because I promised to be in Seattle within 4 weeks of him leaving Melbourne – we couldn’t bear to be apart. Not more than a month later I had left my job, rented my house, obtained a visa, and landed in Seattle! Later in Seattle, one evening at the start of the northern summer, Nick took me out to dinner. It was the sort of restaurant where the men dine uncomfortably in black dinner jackets, soft piano rolls through the air, and a different glass of wine accompanies every course.(I knew that something was afoot). During the fourth and final course, Nick proposed. The first thing I said was ‘Oh no, don’t!’, to which Nick responded – ‘Well I can always take it back, I still have the receipt’. But of course I said yes!
My dress was by Kelsey Genna. My very good friend introduced me to Kelsey Genna’s designs online. Her dresses were beautiful and exactly my style. Prior to finding her, I went to a few bridal shops in Seattle and tried on dresses, only to come to the conclusion that the strapless, puffy dress was not for me. Kelsey is based in New Zealand and the dress came together through many emails and correspondence up to the day. I was able to make a few changes which I emailed through and I sent my measurements… When I reached Australia, I opened the package, 1 week before my wedding and the dress fit perfectly! The dress was even better than I imagined. The lace floral detail at the front was beautiful and the mini train at the back was so elegant. I also loved the cowl neck which was the perfect detail and gave the dress a glamorous, sexy feel.
My flowers were put together by my mum, who has an amazing knack for learning anything creative within hours and perfecting this art. She has taught herself everything from crotchet to sewing quilts. When I mentioned that I’d like bouquets made from green hyrangeas and carnations, she watched a few videos and put together gorgeous bouquets for my sisters and I. The flowers in my hair were self designed. I wanted field flowers and inserted them into my braid, whilst at the hairdressers and on the journey to the farm. The field flowers for the reception were arranged and organized by the Farm Cafe who did a wonderful job of styling in line with the theme of the day.
It was such a special moment when Nick and I first held hands and looked at each other under the oak tree during the ceremony. I had just walked through the tree branches and we were both so excited and happy throughout the whole ceremony. I was prepared for tears but none came as the joy was too overwhelming knowing this was the love of my life staring back at me.
As we are living overseas, the day was like a family and friend reunion to us as well. We wanted the whole day to reflect this. The ceremony included our parents, brothers and sisters – everyone had a role. Nick has 2 brothers and a sister and I have 3 sisters. Our closest friends were also part of the ceremony – either part of the filipino veil and cord tradition or reciting a reading.
Our photographer was Anna from Pixie Rouge Photography. We found Anna online from Seattle and had many emails with her before we arrived in Melbourne. We met the day before our ceremony for our rehearsal. She was so easy going and flexible. We really wanted to capture natural candid images of our guests and family instead of posed photos and she did that beautifully. I’m quite camera shy and actually did not even want any wedding shots, but Anna whisked us outside for 15mins and got some of the most stunning photos of Nick and I.
The venue was chosen because we both love the outdoors and being around nature. We had also had some dates in the area and had coffee and fed the animals together. We researched a bit online, looking at other outdoor or farm weddings, but it was very “us” and each decision was based on our taste and experiences.
There was a guestbook table set up with a polaroid camera, so guests could take photos of themselves and write a few words.
After the first dance, we had a Steve Martin banjo song that was so appropriate given the setting – we all ended up linking arms and twirling in circles – it was so much fun! The last song, Closing time, also got most people on the dance floor as we formed a big circle as a group and swayed away into the night.
Looking back on the day my advice for future brides and grooms is to remember that the most important thing is that you are marrying the love of your life in front of your family and closest friends. Be “present” during conversations with your guests. There may be a thousand things on your mind but it is the moments you will remember, not whether the cake was arranged properly (ok, so you might think about this, but no one else will, so you just have to let it go). I recommend getting candid photos taken as much as possible as they truly capture the essence of the day – and help to keep track of the days activities!
Ms Gingham says: This barn wedding at Collingwood children’s farm is such a beautiful representation of Susan and Nick. Thankyou for sharing your day with us and thanks to Anna from Pixie Rouge Photography for the stunning images!