Leanne & Russ

We will continue to champion Australian weddings, even when The Australia Issue is done and dusted, but it’s weddings like Leanne and Russ’s that remind us why we even started, A handmade wedding arch, plenty of Australian blooms, special four-legged guests and details that mean something. These are the details that make a wedding personal and makes today’s wedding, in beautiful Thredbo, a place that already means so much to Leanne and Russ, being where they met, truly personal. From the vintage cars that make a special appearance to the mementos of loved ones passed. The beautiful imagery that tells every story, captured today by images Steve of Glass Slipper Photography.

The very scene of the wedding was where these two first met, tells the bride. “Russ and I met in the romantic town of Thredbo. We met when I was a teenager and I always had my eye on him but it wasn’t until many years later that we finally had our first kiss.” Russ popped the question on a trip to a favourite spot. “Russ took me to a little spot on the South Coast called Erowal Bay where his family have a cabin and we have spent many relaxing weekends away there. it was just the two of us sitting by the water when he asked me to be his wife. I can’t remember if I said anything I was in shock!”

Leanne chose a stunning lace embellished gown by designer Gemy Maalouf. “This dress met all my needs as I am quite busty”. She explains, “I wanted something that was going to be sexy yet classy. My experience of buying a dress was great I loved trying them all on it but when I put this dress on and saw myself I knew it was the one! I was so comfortable all day.”

In keeping with all the rustic beauty of the day, the couple wed under a wooden arch, handmade by the groom himself!

Lake Crackenback Resort hosted the celebration, the area holding a very special meaning for Leanne and Russ. Leanne explains “We chose Lake Crackenback Resort as it’s nestled in the Thredbo Valley and has gorgeous views of the mountains. The area is very special to us we met there and lived there for many years. it is really beautiful has so much country charm and some great and unique backdrops perfect for our photos.”

The bride walked down the aisle with her brother in law and mother to a version of Ben E King’s “Stand By Me”  performed by Ben Whiting Music. She shares “I was already crying. My brother-in-law and mother walked me down the aisle after being driven to the ceremony in my father’s car who had passed a year and a half earlier. It was very emotional my dad not being there to walk his little girl down the aisle not just for me but my whole family but I feel we paid tribute to him through the day. I had a photo of my mum and dad on their wedding day attached to my bouquet.”

The couple’s dog Annie was a very special guest. “Our deaf little girl is a stumpy tail cattle dog and it was a must that she was a part of our day.”

The ceremony? Just as the pair had dreamt, Leanne remembering ” it was relaxed, emotional. apparently, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I wanted everyone to feel the love. Russ and I wrote our own vows touching on the fact I will still love him even when he has man flu and he will still love me even though I don’t know my maths timetables! Our vows were very personal and written specifically by us about us.”

The couple honoured the groom’s Ukrainian background during their ceremony, explains Leanne. “We included a traditional Ukrainian wrap over our wrists through the ceremony, as both Russ’s grandparents are no longer with us this was important to him to represent his family.”

Leanne worked with her friend Blooms By Jera to create stunning floral details full of Australian natives. She shares “My friend Jera who is a florist and I went to the flower markets and went wild! I chose a mix of Australian natives such as red waratahs, roses to ranunculus. Anything that was wild and whimsical I was drawn to.”

The groom’s grandfather’s car, gifted to Russ after his grandfather had passed, provided not just a photo opportunity for Leanne and Russ, but also a beautiful moment for the newlyweds to take some time out on a little drive to celebrate their nuptials.

Leanne and Russ could not have been happier with their photographer, remarking “He captured the day perfectly! He got all the little details and didn’t miss anything! He took us to an amazing location for the couple shoot which when we saw those photos wow did they blow our mind. He made us feel really comfortable, literally ran all day yet we didn’t even notice he was there. He has all the qualities of a superstar photographer and I couldn’t recommend him highly enough.”

Gum leaves were a feature of the reception, which welcomed guests for a sit-down dinner, tells the bride. “We had gum leaves for name cards. My friend is a graphic designer (Ash Leslie Art) hand wrote the names on each gum leaf.” Guests also took home personalised bottles of schnapps from Wild Brumby Distillery.

And then the partying truly began, with the first dance performed by Ben Whiting Music.  “We chose Roy Orbison’s “You Got It” sung by Ben Whiting. When I first heard him sing I started to cry and his voice sent shivers. This was one of my dad’s favourite songs and the lyrics are beautiful. It’s a fun love song. I also was happy to have chosen a song that reminded me of my dad, he may not have been there to dance with me however every time I hear that song I think of him and smile.”

A big thank you to you both Leanne & Russ! We loved sharing your beautiful day. Thank you also to Glass Slipper Photography for today’s beautiful images.