Laura & Andy

I don’t know about you, but when I see a bouquet like Laura’s, I always stop in my tracks. And for Laura and Andy, who wanted a day that felt like “An intimate, informal, colourful, country BBQ with a bit of humour,” it was the icing on the wedding cake. Complete with beautiful photography by Underatreehouse, the most romantic of garden settings, a lace gown to die for and a story that weaves it way through it all, well, it’s a feature we just cannot wait to share!

It was in a pub that these two first locked eyes, in Laura’s words “We met in a pub in Newcastle in 2005. Our eyes met across the room when I walked in. Later that night my friend pinched Andy on the bum and said ‘come talk to us’. We started talking about music, which was a common interest that became the foundation for our relationship. We ended up starting a band, making and performing electronic dance music together under the name ‘Back Back Forward Punch’ for about 10 years.”

Just like the wedding, the proposal was low key, but romantic says Laura. “We’re a little non-traditional in this respect. After 10 years together we’d been talking about possibly getting married. It just happened that both of our families would be spending Christmas together in 2016, so we thought we’d surprise everyone on Christmas Day with a marriage announcement. After Christmas lunch, Andy made the announcement that we’d decided to get married. It wasn’t a complete surprise to everyone since we’d been together so long, but there were happy tears and it was a special moment. So I guess we kind of had a more significant ‘proposal’ to our immediate families rather than to each other.”

Laura found her beautiful long sleeve gown at Mariana Hardwick. “I was on the hunt for a bargain as I wasn’t keen on spending thousands for something I’d only wear once. The first day I went to scope out dresses in Melbourne, I headed out by myself to get a sense of what was out there. To my surprise, I ended up buying the dress that day! After looking through the sale racks at a few boutiques on Sydney Road, Brunswick, I walked into Mariana Hardwick. It just so happened that they had a sample sale on, so I picked up a gorgeous vintage-looking lace overlay, and later had a slip dress made to go under it by a local dressmaker.”

Located in the hills of the NSW central coast, sits Yarramalong and historic The Hillview just the ticket for Laura and Andy’s gorgeous garden day. “We had our ceremony on the front steps of the house, a garden party in the front garden afterwards, followed by dinner in a marquee also on the property grounds” tells Laura. “We stayed in the house at the Hillview, which has recently been renovated by the owner Jill. It’s a beautiful elegant space with a rustic charm and had everything we needed. The kitchen was particularly fabulous.”

The bride was played down the aisle by Clea Music. Laura tells “My cousin, musician ‘Clea’, played an acoustic version Jamiroquai’s ‘You give me something’. I walked down the ‘aisle’ (through the garden) with both my mum and dad.”

The Happy Celebrant led the official part of the day, Laura explaining “Our friend and marriage celebrant Simon, ‘The Happy Celebrant’, led the ceremony. He was wonderful at helping us create our vows, he also gave a special introduction that summed us up perfectly, and was more than happy to throw in a bit of theatrics at the end with a special nod to our shared love of the Simpsons.

Our ceremony was held in the front garden of the Hillview with the historic house as our backdrop.

In our vows, we wanted to convey a sense of our relationship and what it’s based on – so humour was particularly important. Our vows were full of little insights into some of the quirks and humour of our relationship; our little habits, our shared interests, and goals and promises for our married future.”

“My grandmother said a blessing during the ceremony, which has become a bit of a tradition with my cousins at their weddings” remembers the bride.

“We love the photographs of us under the white arbour at the Hillview” says Laura. “The white wood frames the shots beautifully, and from one angle the shadows of the arbour create a striped pattern across us. We didn’t plan any of the shots ahead of time, our photographer Chris just took us on a walk through the gardens after the ceremony and he shot us opportunistically. It was all very relaxed and natural. He’s a fantastic, very skilled photographer.”

The Wildflower Place created stunning floral arrangements of Australian natives. For Laura and Andy, Laura remembering “My flowers were my favourite detail. They were stunning. Jill at the Hillview recommended The Wildflower Place to us as I love Australian Natives. Nola at the Wildflower Place created a magical headpiece, bouquet, posies for the tables and cake topper all from seasonal Australian native flowers. I was beyond thrilled with what she created.”

Of their photographer, Laura explains “I found Chris through a Google search. I loved the non-posed nature of his photographs. When we met him before the wedding, we found him to be so friendly and warm. We just couldn’t wait to work with him.

He did an amazing job! He just snapped non-stopped from the time he arrived. He captured moments during the garden party that we missed, he was able to quickly adapt to conditions, and come up with ideas and direct us on the fly. We were so happy with the results. His photos told the story of the day so well. When I look back on the photos now, I can still feel the nerves, excitement and laughter we experienced.”

Even the cake was carefully planned to reflect the newlyweds! Lyrics to a favourite song handpainted “The cake was a ‘blackboard cake’ which had the lyrics from one of our songs written all over it. The song called ‘Big Time’ is a fun song about the feelings of being in love.
It was a way of making sure our music was part of the day, as it has been such an important part of our relationship.”

Guests celebrated the nuptials with a sit-down marquee reception, completely arranged by the newlyweds. “We decorated the marquee and set up the tables ourselves. It was a huge task and we couldn’t have done it without the help of family who came early to assist. In hindsight, it was probably a little too much for us to take-on on the day, and would have been nice to relax a bit more before the ceremony rather than be running around organising everything” tells Laura.

The bridge switched her look to party mode, donning a white BHLDN jumpsuit for the reception.

And the night was not without its own comic relief, says Laura. “We didn’t want our wedding to be too formal, so we originally opted out of having a bridal party or an MC, but Andy’s brother Stuart kept nudging us to let him MC. We didn’t think it’d be necessary, but we let him do it. He’s a bit of a comedian and a creative, so we had no idea what to expect. He did mention something about ‘skits’ involving Andy’s nephews though, so we knew where it might head.

On the day, Stu did a great job of directing the guests around the Hillview when needed and making housekeeping announcements. But he also ended up being the main entertainment of the night during dinner in the marquee. He devised some short skits based on one of our favourite shows – The Micallef Program and roped in our obliging friends and nephews to perform them. He had little comedy routines in between speeches and led a Laura and Andy trivia game with the guests. He had everyone in stitches, even if some of the jokes were so esoteric that only the bride and groom truly understood them. It was a real surprise for Andy and I, and it really made our day.”

A big congratulations to you both Laura and Andy! Thank you for sharing your stunning day with us. Thank you also to Underatreehouse for sharing for today’s beautiful imagery!