It was over chips that Carly knew Pete was a definite possibility for a date as she surfed an online website. “Pete hooked me with his opening line – ‘CC’s or Doritos?’ I knew if he was asking about corn chips he was a man after my own heart,” she tells. “After chatting for a while we quickly figured out we had actually gone to the same high school only a year apart and still had many mutual friends and acquaintances. We only had vague recollections of each other at school, but shared many memories of teachers and students which made for an easy first date.”

After Pete proposed at the top of Mount Warning, the couple decided on a beautiful country celebration for their wedding. With the talented Juddric Photography behind the camera, they enlisted the team of Foreva Events to bring their country wedding vision to life. “We had the location sorted first, and the other elements just fit into the surrounds; a rustic, yet elegant hinterland wedding. Above all, we wanted it to feel relaxed and fun,” tells the bride.

The bride worked with Bertossi Brides on her long sleeve lace wedding gown, telling, “With only three months from engagement to wedding, the dress was one of the first priorities. I went to a few bridal stores and was disappointed to hear I’d struggle to get a dress made in that time frame, and I’d have to settle for something off the rack. I tried on some dresses in these stores but nothing felt right. In my dreams, I loved the idea of a long, lace-sleeved dress, with a v-neck, fitted yet elegant.
I then walked into Paddington Weddings and instantly felt excited. Gill greeted us at the door, and when I told her I needed a dress in three months she said, ‘Sure! We can make that happen’. Her positivity was so refreshing! I tried on a few dresses and told Gill what I’d love in a gown. She pinned a few lace sleeves on and drew up a design which was exactly the dress I’d hoped for. Over the next couple of fittings, Anne and Gill and their team worked to create the dress of my dreams. Locally made in Brisbane, covered in Italian lace, and hand beaded by their mum. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever worn, and I felt beautiful, and comfortable in it all day.”

The bride walked down the aisle with her parents to John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” remembering “Its relaxed, love-filled lyrics suited the location and emotion of the occasion perfectly. My mum and dad both walked me down the aisle.”

Carly and Pete chose a family farm for their country wedding, the bride noting, “Both Ceremony and reception were held at my sister and brother in law’s property located in Mount Mee in QLD. When they first purchased the land many years ago, I commented that it would be the perfect location for a wedding. Little did I know at the time that wedding would be mine! We were married on the grass down by the creek, surrounded by ancient pine trees. The reception was up the hill, in a clear marquee on the grass by the house.
The driveway from the creek to the house is very steep, so it took a huge effort from the marquee company to install it, but they did a fantastic job, and it was just perfect.”

Paul Redfern performed the ceremony. “Our ceremony was conducted by our pastor Jimmy Smith-Cottrell and officiated by Paul Redfern. It was short and sweet, relaxed, with some good laughs thrown in. There were plenty of tears as I walked down the aisle, with even Pete tearing up. We had two Bible readings done by one of Pete’s groomsmen, Kendal,” tells Carly. The bride’s daughter led the bridesmaids down the aisle.

Carly notes, “I loved getting to let my creative side loose and see a dream come to fruition in such a short space of time. I often look at beautiful things on Pinterest or Instagram, but this was a once in a lifetime chance to create a beautiful occasion, for a beautiful reason, and to see it so perfectly executed on the day was amazing.
Also had to pinch myself that I was getting to do it all with my best mate.”

Carly remembers, “Pete was really sick! He came down with a bad flu a few days before the wedding, and despite every medication, we could throw at him, and his groomsman driving an hour away to buy Manuka honey the morning of the wedding, he still felt really unwell. He did so well to get through the day despite fevers and spent the next week really ill in bed. At one point during the ceremony, he felt like he was going to pass out!”

The newlyweds took advantage of the rural landscape for their photographs, noting of the photographer, “Judd was awesome, super chilled, laid back. Got some great shots and yet was never obtrusive in the ceremony. He fit in like one of the wedding guests and was never pushy or demanding, but simply captured the essence of the day. He stayed for the whole reception also, which was fantastic and meant we got some great shots of guests partying.”

Carly and Pete worked with Foreva Events to plan and style their day, “All of our vendors were wonderful, but I really appreciated Foreva Events. Being on a private property there were a lot of details that took some logistical organising and Eva and her team were fantastic. From the moment I met with Eva at the location, she quickly grasped my vision for the styling of the wedding and worked with me to get vendors to provide the necessary services. Their on-the-day coordination was priceless. From setting up to coordinating movement of guests up the crazy steep driveway to the reception, to making sure the bridal party were fed, and even holding a napkin so I didn’t spill taco sauce on my wedding dress – so great.”

Plenty of the details came from the hands of the bride and her family – the signage, the candle holders, the wishing well, the invitations. The bride purchased name stickers and placed them on the seating cards, her mother even sewing the grey napkins from tablecloths. Every space was filled with handmade details.

The couple enlisted friends to style the floral arrangements – a focal point of the reception, Carly explaining, “I knew I wanted relaxed bouquets, with lots of native flowers and proteas in burgundy, light pinks, whites and dusky green gum. I found a photo of something similar and asked our family friend Judy if she would do the floral arrangements for our wedding. Judy and her friend Jen had done flowers for my sister’s wedding many years ago and Judy was Pete’s preschool teacher, which made the flowers even more special. The flowers were exactly as I’d hoped, and the floral arrangement on the arbour was a highlight for me.

Our table runners were a mixture of various native gum leaves, made by our talented friend Kahla, who has a floral business ‘Flowers for Charlie’. She had never done such long-runners before, but totally nailed them!”

The wedding cake was a gift from a friend, Carly telling, “One of my beautiful friends offered to organise and pay for our wedding cake. She has a friend who was in the final 12 of Masterchef one year, who specialises in cakes. She created a stunning Turkish Delight cake for us, which was made with so much love and care from someone I’d never personally met – made me cry for the first time on the day!”

Something for Catering welcomed guests to the celebrations with a delicious sit-down feast says Carly. “The team of skilled chefs and hospitality staff love their food and provided such a delicious, exciting menu for our wedding. Above all they were flexible! With the reception venue being up such a steep driveway, they couldn’t bring their kitchen van up there. Rather than letting this be an obstacle, they adapted and used the house kitchen and bbq to create their wonderful meal for our 80 guests, leaving it all spotless at the end of the night. Masters of their craft!”

The first dance didn’t quite go as planned tell the bride. “We had planned to practice something for our first dance, but ran out of time! So our first dance was more of an awkward sway/shuffle with a spin thrown in for good measure, and plenty of giggles! We pretty quickly invited our bridal party up to dance with their own husbands/wives and the other guests followed. We danced to Michael Buble’s ‘Everything’.”

A big congratulations Carly and Pete! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us. Thank you also to Juddric Photography and Foreva Events for sharing today’s celebration.