Hannah & Sam

Even with clothes soaked through from the rain, Hannah and Sam had a ball on their misty wedding day in the Blue Mountains. Elegant even while chilly, the bride and groom made the most of the sweeping countryside as the bride carried a bouquet of roses and ranunculus in rich berry tones. Ava Me Photography captured the day.

The newlyweds became a couple after Sam was knocked unconscious during a game at youth camp. Hannah remembers, ”When I found out I sent him a message to see if he was ok. Sam must have appreciated the gesture, as from that day onwards, we were constantly talking to each other!” The groom planned his proposal to include many favourites of the couple. Hannah shares, ”Sam picked me up in the morning, with a coffee from the coffee shop where we had our first date. We drove to one of our favourite lookouts, and Sam unpacked a picnic breakfast. After eating our croissants and drinking our coffees, Sam said that he had to get the camera out of the car to take some photos of the view. Once he had the camera, he snuck up behind me, and when I turned around, there he was on his knee, and with a tear in his eye, he asked me to be his wife.”

Elegant in a hand beaded bodice with A-line skirt, Hannah took a while to find her dream gown. She shares, ”I wasn’t very prepared when I went dress shopping. I had one place in mind that I really wanted to go, and ended up booking one other shop too. At the first shop, it was crowded, hustle bustle, and there were dresses in plastic bags EVERYWHERE. There were about 5 other brides trying on dresses in the limited dressing rooms, with only one big mirror for us to all stand in front of. I tried on about 9 dresses there, and wasn’t sold on any of them. By the time we left there, I was certain I wouldn’t find a dress that day, and didn’t know whether I would ever feel like I found ‘the dress’. The next shop we went to was InStyle Bridal. When we walked into the store, it was light and bright, it smelt beautiful, and the only person there was the owner, Katherine! She was very personal through the experience, and related to all the emotions that I went through, through the process. When I put the third dress on, and looked in the mirror, I knew it was the one! I cried, my mum cried, and my sisters and friend cried. Even Katherine had a little moment with us! The dress was designed by Jack Sullivan, I just couldn’t get over the beading on the bodice, it was perfect!” The groom wore a navy suit with R.M. Williams boots.

As the mist moved in and the guests sheltered in Chapel Hill Retreat, the bride and bridesmaids arrived with clear umbrellas. Hannah tells, ”I wanted our ceremony to reflect the two of us. We met at church and share a faith in Jesus, so we had a few readings from the Bible that we wanted to be part of our big day. Sam’s sister read 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 and my brother read Mark 10:6-9. Ben Sattler shared a message on three things that are important for a fruitful marriage; love, fun, and adventure. This message really reflects how Sam and I view life. My dad walked me down the aisle to ‘Turning Pages’ by Sleeping At Last.”

Adding a warm and romantic splash of colour, the flowers were lush with foliage, in dark pink and burgundy. The bride shares, ”The bouquets were big and full. I think I was going for something a bit moody, but also modern and elegant. Sam made a beautiful timber arbour which the florist then attached an arrangement to. We had some lanterns with arrangements on top of them, which sat next to the arbour. We also had standing arrangements and foliage on the guest tables and a hanging arrangement over the bridal table. The florist did a great job and really delivered what I was hoping for, and within my budget. My favourite detail of the day was the flowers! I put so much thought into what colours I wanted for the bouquets and what I wanted the ceremony and reception to look like. And the flowers were what made it elegant and bright. The florist knew a few details of what I wanted, and turned it into something beautiful.”

Also getting a soaking was photographer Joel from Ava Me Photography. The couple tell, ”Our photographer is an absolute legend. He is so much fun to be around and had a laugh with us and our bridal party at any chance. He got drenched in the rain to take beautiful photos for us, and didn’t bat an eyelid. He was always there at the right time to capture a special moment, and made special efforts to take photos of our families through the day. He would stop at nothing to make sure we got the photos that we wanted. And despite the less than perfect conditions, Joel captured perfect moments, and took absolutely beautiful photos for us to remember our day.”

Chapel Hill Retreat set in the Blue Mountains was a beautiful spot for the ceremony and reception. Hannah says, ”When I found it online, it ticked all the boxes, with big open fields, rolling hills and beautiful views, topped off with a gorgeous reception room with a great deck as the back up plan for an outdoor ceremony. We went to see this venue, and once we viewed it, we booked it in!” Remembering the inclimate conditions of the day, the bride remembers, ”We were in the rain and I didn’t even care that my dress was dragging through the wet grass. We got drenched and I stood in front of a gas heater for 45 minutes before the reception, attempting to dry my dress (and it was still wet the next day). We were keeping each other warm, and we were just wrapped up in the fact that we were now husband and wife. What a wonderful feeling!”

Special touches on the day included some DIY and ensuring family were in on every moment. Hannah shares, ”I really wanted stands on the tables with flower arrangements on them, so I bought some flower pot stands from Kmart, spray painted them gold, and found some black bowls that sat in the top of the stand to hold the arrangements! It worked perfectly! And turned out even better than I thought it would. A few of the things that were important to us, were that our family could relax and enjoy the day, and there was as little stress as possible. We both had a relaxed morning getting ready at our parents houses with our bridal parties in the morning, and thankfully had lots of time for special photos with our parents before heading to the ceremony. Some other important details were making sure that we took photos with our grandparents at the wedding.”

Surrounded by their family and friends, the newly married couple danced to ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, the Hailey Reinhart version. They share, ”We had hardly practiced dancing together, and we had not choreographed anything. Our friends played the music for us through the day, and a close friend Rachel sung this song for us. It was perfect. The words of the song say everything, and I can’t help but shed a tear every time I hear the song, re-living the beautiful moment of dancing together for the first time as husband and wife.”

Thank you to our beautiful bride and groom for sharing your magical day with us, and congratulations! Thank you also to Ava Me Photography for your gorgeous photos!