Frances & Cory’s Magical Pine Forest Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,

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Frances & Cory

There is something special about this magical pine forest wedding. Saying your vows among trees that have been steadily spreading their wings for years and years is enchanting and exactly what Frances and Corey did for their beautiful day. They wrote their own vows, had the bride’s father belt out a special song just for them (with the encore first!) and made brownies and cheese platters for dessert. James Thomson of All Grown Up Weddings was there to capture every moment.

Frances tells their story. “Cory is from California, and he came to Australia on exchange while at university. He met some of my school friends at university in Australia. Our group of friends have taken annual holidays to Bendalong (on the South Coast of NSW), and we met while down there.”

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The bride chose a gown from The Babushka Ballerina her bridesmaids wearing their own dresses in shades of lilac, burgundy, pink and navy.

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Frances and Cory chose Bilpin Resort for their wedding, noting, “We had our wedding at Bilpin Resort, and we were so happy with our choice of venue. Steve and Amanda were so lovely to work with, and the setting was just gorgeous. We had the ceremony in the pine forest on the property, in a clearing they have named ‘The Secret Circle’. Many of our guests commented that the setting felt magical – there was beautiful golden light slanting through the trees and a gorgeous carpet of pine needles beneath us.”

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The bride chose “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone for her walk down the aisle.

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Elaine Searle officiated the very personal ceremony. “We wrote our own vows, which made it feel extra special. As part of the ceremony, both of our families stood up and ‘formally’ welcomed each of us into our new family – this felt like a very special moment.”

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Of their photographer, Frances notes, “We chose to use All Grown Up Weddings because we had seen other work from this group of talented photographers, and we loved their style – natural photos full of warmth, humour and love. James was absolutely amazing, he made us feel so comfortable and he just knew exactly when to take the perfect shots so that we have beautifully natural photos that capture exactly how we (and our guests) felt on the day. His technical expertise also meant that every photo is a work of art. We couldn’t be happier with all the photos.”

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The bride’s mother arranged the bouquets.

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Guests enjoyed champagne before moving to the marquee for a sit down dinner.

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The bride created the backdrop to the head table, while her father attached special photos on a “photo wall”. Frances remembers, “I hand sketched and painted a canvas backdrop to hang behind us at the bridal table (with the words ‘Love Me Do’).”

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Guests enjoyed a sit down feast. “Bilpin Resort also arranged our catering, and our guests were full of praise for the amazing Brazilian churrasca-style menu they were served. It was cooked on site, and the smoky scent drifted over the property while we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks at dusk.”

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The bride’s father gave a particularly memorable speech. “My dad wrote a three-part song for us, which he sang at the reception. It started off with an encore (“just in case you feel like encouraging me NOT to sing the encore”) and by the end it had everyone crying with laughter. It included a stirring rendition of “Cory’s Combo”, a unique piece that my dad had compiled for the occasion, which was a combination of the American national anthem, the Australian national anthem, Waltzing Matilda, America the Beautiful, and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.”

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Of their first dance, Frances tells, “We danced to “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young, although I was so nervous dancing on our own that I made the bridal party get up and join us pretty quickly!”

Congratulations Frances and Cory! Thank you for sharing all the stories of your day with us! Thank you also to All Grown Up Weddings for sharing today’s wedding with us!


This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Wedding.

  • Bride's Jewellery
  • Bride's own
  • Groomsmen Attire
  • Various
  • Bridesmaid Dresses
  • Various
  • Flowers
  • Flower markets (arrangements by bride's mother)
  • Matt says:
    June 18, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Lovely! So was the pine forest at the Bilpin Resort?

    • Polka Dot Bride says:
      June 18, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Matt,

      it was! it’s a spot on the resort grounds called “The Secret Circle”.

  • Forest Wedding Ceremony Locations - Polka Dot Bride says:
    June 18, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    […] Photo by James Thomson, All Grown Up Weddings via Frances & Cory’s Magical Pine Forest Wedding. […]



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