Kelly & Chris
Chris and I don’t have a great romantic love story for the way we met; we were just simply introduced by his cousin. We hit it off and about a month later after, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I then waited patiently for six years until Chris and I went out to dinner to a new restaurant in town to celebrate our anniversary.
Chris told me he wanted to propose but didn’t know what sort of ring I would like. I don’t blame him because over the years I had circled about every ring in the jewellery catalogues. I had always dreamed of having a Tiffany & Co. engagement ring so we decided to go ring shopping together while travelling through America with my family. Every time we saw a store we would sneak away from the family as we wanted to keep it a secret. Eventually we found the perfect ring at the Tiffany & Co store in the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. That night Chris asked my Dad for his blessing and to asked him to keep it a secret from my Mum and the rest of the family.
That didn’t last long though! As we walked into dinner that night Dad came over and said congratulations and hugged us both in front of everyone but Chris hadn’t officially proposed yet. We tried to brush it off but the rest of the family were onto us so the pressure was on. Chris kept me waiting and it wasn’t until the end of our trip while we spending Christmas Day in Whistler, Canada that Chris popped the question. It was a picture perfect white Christmas and after we had finished the gift exchange with the family, Chris took me upstairs to our room and asked me to marry him. Obviously I said yes!
Our ceremony and reception were held at the same venue, Henderson Park Farm Retreat. We chose this venue for the picturesque landscape, excellent facilities such as the marquee, on site accommodation and the relaxed atmosphere. We knew we didn’t want a traditional, formal wedding; what we did want was a relaxed and intimate ceremony and a big party afterwards to celebrate! After all, who doesn’t love a good party? Henderson Park was the first place we looked at and it ticked all our boxes.
Finding my dress was a lot easier than I expected. I saw a dress online that I loved but the designer was only in Sydney and Melbourne – and I was in Queensland! Before forking out money to travel and find the dress didn’t suit me, I decided to go to a local bridal store first to try on similar styles with my Mum. We went to Brides In Style in Rockhampton and the ladies there were so helpful and understanding. I tried on about five dresses and I honestly liked them all but one stood out and when the assistant added a belt around the waist, it was then that I knew it was ‘the dress’.
I called Chris’ mother and asked her come and see what she thought and the look on her face when she walked in confirmed it was the dress. The lace on my dress was quite modern looking which is what I loved about it but it also fitted in with our vintage theme as well. I didn’t wear a veil for a couple of reasons. For one, I wasn’t really into the traditional reasons behind wearing a veil and secondly I thought the back of my dress was too pretty to be covered up. Instead I had spray roses and baby’s breath flowers pinned into my hair which gave the effect of a small flower crown.
We held the ceremony on the lawn overlooking a creek with 90 of our family and closest friends. We had an ‘unplugged ceremony’ which of course means no phones/cameras or any other form of technology. We wanted our guests to be there in the moment with us and enjoy it. I walked down the aisle to a YouTube acoustic mash-up of ‘See You Again’, ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and ‘Sugar’. I heard the song on a random wedding video and loved it instantly and madly searched online until I found it.
We wrote our own vows; I mean we googled “vows” and copied the best bits and added our own personal touches. Even though they weren’t 100% our own words, they still meant a lot to us. Our celebrant, Married By Zac, also did an incredible job of writing us the perfect script for our ceremony. It was romantic. It was funny. It was short and sweet and exactly what we wanted right down to the joke about my love for Justin Bieber!
We used a timber door arbour decorated with a stunning flower garland by our amazing florist Jess Mauger Floral Design along the top as our archway for the ceremony. It blended in with the surroundings and was such a beautiful backdrop.
I used inspiration from the venue to choose the theme for our wedding. I like to describe it as ‘rustic vintage with a touch of glamour’ and being a spring wedding, I wanted colour and I wanted the wedding to be outdoors as much as possible. The colours I chose were ivory with peaches and corals and I used gold as a touch of glamour. I was lucky enough to stumble across a wedding planner /stylist, Lilly & Lotus. They made planning a breeze and took all the stress away on the day as they took care of setting up plus they have décor items available to hire so I was able to source all of the vintage décor such as the timber doors and timber bar from them.
I wanted to DIY as many decorations as possible but unfortunately I lack artistic skill but that didn’t stop me! We collected empty wine bottles and spray painted them gold for the table centre-pieces which were accompanied by a variety of smaller bottles and jars filled with flowers. Our florist provided roses in a mixture of ivory, apricot and coral and fillers such as baby’s breath while our stylist set up the arrangements. I dipped table numbers in glitter which added a sparkle to the table and around the room. Chris also handmade the love heart C + K sign that we used as a backdrop behind the bridal table and the Mr and Mrs chair signs that I also ‘glitterfied’. We also had signage designed by Hey-ya Creative Design. The signs looked amazing and added another personal touch.
Our cake was made by Nicky Svensen, Cake Design. It was a three-tiered cake with fondant icing. Flavours were white chocolate mud, caramel mud and dark chocolate mud. The design was simple anD elegant but the gold glitter on the bottom tier really made it stand out. Unfortunately Chris’ grandparents are no longer with us and we wanted to include them in our day so we had a little horse shoe charm from the top of their anniversary cake on top of our wedding cake.
I think the most fun we had on our wedding day was while we were having our photos taken with our bridal party. I chose to have three of my closest friends as my bridesmaids and Chris chose his three brothers as his groomsmen. We were so lucky that everyone got along so well together and we had an absolute ball. All our photos were taken around the Henderson Park property so we didn’t have to travel.
The drinks were flowing and listening to our closest friends and family laughing and having fun made our day. Our photographer Madelyn Holmes Photographics did an amazing job! She made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera; we hardly knew she there to take photos. I knew Maddy through friends and had always followed her work and once we got engaged I knew I wanted her to be our photographer and luckily for us she was available. We are over the moon with our photos; she caught all the special moments and the locations she chose were breathtaking. We are definitely going to treasure them forever.
Whilst we were having our photographs taken, our guests were left to have drinks at the outdoor timber bar and nibblies were provided by our caterer, Dunlop Catering. The florist dressed the bar with a greenery garland. I wanted to make sure the guests didn’t get bored while we were away so we set up lawn games and the DJ played music.
We held the reception dinner in the marquee. We decided to sit at a sweet heart bridal table because at the engagement party we barely spoke to each other and we didn’t want that to happen at the wedding, plus most of our bridal party have partners and we didn’t see the point of splitting them up. It was one of the best decisions we made because we were able to enjoy the intimate moments during the speeches together and actually sit down for five minutes while we ate our dinner to talk about how amazing the day was!
We set up the dance floor outside on the lawn under festoon lights and scattered little tables with hay bales around them for seats. It really helped achieve the relaxed, party atmosphere we wanted. After the delicious roast buffet dinner, we asked everyone to join us outside for our speeches and first dance.
Our first dance song was to Ellie Goulding – ‘How Long Will I Love You?’ Honestly one of the reasons we chose this song was because it’s a only about two minutes long and we weren’t too keen on everyone watching us dance but the lyrics are beautiful and it turned out to be one of the most memorable moments of the day.
After our first dance, everyone stayed out on the dance floor and partied the night away just like we wanted. I think having a DJ really helped achieve a party atmosphere. We gave the DJ a list of song suggestions but he played all kinds of music which appealed to all age groups and everyone loved it.
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Kelly and Chris; your theme of ivory and peach with a touch of glimmer gold looked so glamorous set against the rural Queensland landscape!