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Sandy & Sam

Sandy and Sam’s sweet Gum Gully  Farm wedding is such a beautiful day. From the country cottage style floral arrangements, to the utterly delicious looking cheese cake, the sunshine that guests enjoyed as they drank champagne and ate cheese and the dance floor that really didn’t stop. To me, a wedding is all about moments like this that are utterly sweet and filled with joy. The couple chose Deanne Kampe of Bonavita Photography to capture their wedding.

The couple met almost a decade ago, Sandy telling, “We met nine years ago through mutual friends at an Australia Day party and then again over Easter the same year. That is when we really started chatting and getting to know each other, and we’ve been together ever since.
The better ‘story’ is probably Sam’s proposal. We spent three months traveling though Europe & East Africa and in our second to last week, we were in Tanzania and spent 5 days climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. We were making our final ascent to the summit and both of us were suffering from altitude sickness, Sam feeling particularly ill. I noted the colour of his face at one point looked very similar to the forest green jacket he was wearing and wondered why he was still battling on and hadn’t turned back. We finally made it to the top and Sam got down on one knee to propose! We spent the next week soaking up our engagement and the beautiful weather in our own private villa in the Seychelles.”

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The bridal party spent their morning at Arnica Views, Sandy telling, “My bridesmaids, family and I all got ready at Arnica Views at the summit of Mount Dandenong. It’s in a beautiful garden setting, and when the power unexpectedly went out whilst in the midst of doing hair for seven ladies, they went straight into action and organised a generator to keep us powered up and on time!”

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Sandy chose a wedding gown from Raffaele Ciuca. “I am happy to say that I’m one of those Bride’s that loved, loved, loved my dress, and was lucky enough to have that ‘this is the one!!’ moment. After trying on many a dress and saying many times ‘hmm, that looks nice’, I put on yet another dress and then heard the shop assistant say ‘Oh my god, you’re smiling!’. And I was… ear to ear… I had definitely found the dress that made me happy!”

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Justine and Zoe from Justine O Makeup Artistry  styled the bride and bridesmaid’s hair and makeup. “Justine and Zoe were great with our hair & make up, all the girls were wrapt with their looks, and mine was exactly what I was after.”

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The bridesmaids wore dresses in shades of pink and purple from Weddington Way with flowers supplied by Sassafras Flower Design. Sandy explains, “Whilst the gorgeous flowers were supplied by Sassafras Flower Design, and Gum Gully Farm organised some large flower pieces and all the flowers outside on the verandah, it was my Aunty that put the bouquets together the afternoon before the wedding, and my mum that did all the table flowers for the reception inside the barn. This saved us a bit of cash and enabled some of our family members to get involved in the wedding, not to mention that I loved the end products, they were stunning!”

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The couple chose Gum Gully Farm  for their wedding festivities. “We had our ceremony, afternoon wine & cheese and reception all at Gum Gully Farm. Our ceremony was in their Sunken Garden which is a lovely green setting, followed by some drinks under the Kiwi vines. The afternoon saw us cutting our Cheese Tower and mingling with all our guests on the verandah of The Barn, followed by our reception inside The Barn. The whole venue has a very quaint and rustic feel and was perfect for the relaxed and fun day we wanted. Oh, and it also met my very informal criteria of no white table cloths!”

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Sandy chose Arithmetic by Brooke Fraser for the processional.

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Of her walk down the aisle, Sandy says, “It was a bit of a winding walk up to the Sunken Garden with my very proud Dad at my side, however when I got to the top and saw Sam I think I almost forgot everyone else existed. I’m completely embarrassed to say that when Sam stepped forward and took my hand and my dad stepped aside, I had forgotten he was there. I was so caught up in the moment that I left my poor dad hanging without a kiss from his last daughter to be married. It’s a good thing he loves me and doesn’t dwell on things, as after a few moments he quietly sat down and didn’t think twice about feeling sorry for himself!”

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Mark Doggett officiated the ceremony, the bride remarking, “Sam & I had an instant connection with Mark, our celebrant, and after our first meeting with him didn’t feel the need to look any further. He was very easy going and friendly, and we knew we could trust him to put everyone at ease during our ceremony and create the right environment for us. Mark provided us with ideas & guidance when it came to putting together our vows and and ultimately tailored the ceremony to what we wanted.”

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A fun stuffed animal made a very special appearance, Sandy explaining “We had someone very special to us be our Ring Bear…. yes, that’s right, Ring Bear! He has traveled the world with us; he’s been trekking on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, bike riding around Paris, on Safari in East Africa, and snow boarding in Austria to name just a few adventures. His name is Hungry Panda, and he looked very smashing in his bow tie!”

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Guests enjoyed champagne and cheese outside while the couple took their photos – the cheese coming from the couple’s “wedding cake”, a cheese wheel stack from Milk The Cow. Sandy telling, “We had a Cheese Tower as our cake, supplied by Milk the Cow, and cut this in the afternoon in between the ceremony and the reception. The staff then set out an array of accompaniments that we’d supplied. The cheese was so popular with our guests that a line quickly formed and everyone has since raved about our Cheese Tower. (Lucky the bride & groom got away with cutting into the line!).”

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Of their photographer, Sandy notes, “Deanne was great! We wanted to do a few things a little differently to the norm, and she listened to our requests and carried them out perfectly. We wanted to spend less time on posed photos and more time just enjoying the day. She kept us to our schedule, but still managed to get heaps of fantastic and very special shots of our family and just us. I thought she did a great job of organising the group shots; being energetic and friendly, but firm when she needed – we were on a schedule after all! 🙂 Both Sam & I were very comfortable with Deanne and she got some great natural pictures of us.”

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Yarra Valley Catering created a delicious feast for guests to enjoy.

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Of their first dance, Sandy notes “Neither of us dance formally, or could be bothered with lessons, so it was more of a slow rotating cuddle, with a kiss or two thrown in for good measure. Our song was Imagine by John Lennon which has a strong sentimental link with a family member who is no longer with us.”

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Boutique Wedding Band was one of the highlights of the reception, Sandy remembering “Our band was Boutique, led by the fabulous Rebecca Walker. Rebecca did a beautiful solo set during our wine & cheese afternoon, and I only wish I’d been able to enjoy it more! I loved the band’s sound, and had an absolute ball dancing the night away.”

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As an extra special bonus, First Look Productions captured Sandy and Sam’s wedding film today and I have it for you! Sandy notes, “First Look Productions did our videography, and produced an awesome six-minute feature film as a summary of our day. They were able to capture some very precious moments that we will treasure and very much enjoy re-watching and showing our children in the future!”


Congratulations Sandy and Sam! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Deanne Kampe of Bonavita Photography for sharing today’s wedding