Emily & Matt

It is with great love that we share the country wedding of Emily and Matt today. A day that was all about country charm – wide open plains, a ceremony under the beautiful Australian sky and a reception within the walls of a classic corrugated iron shed. It celebrates everything Australian, and everything Emily and Matt – what a combination! “We wanted our day to be very relaxed,” explains our bride Emily. “A lot of the typical wedding traditions did not appeal to us. The style and theme was rustic and simple, lots of greenery and earthy colours.”

Oh, and you’ll be a big fan of Emily & Matt’s relaxed, mismatched bridesmaid style (hello The Bridesmaid Issue!) especially when you see their utter joy against the golden Queensland sunset!

It was a mutual love of cricket that led these together, the pair meeting as teenage cricket players! Emily sharing “We met playing cricket when we were about 13 or 14. Matt is from Sydney and was in the NSW junior boys teams, I was from Brisbane and in the QLD junior girls teams. We used to talk for months leading up to the National tournament on MSN, spend time in between games talking at nationals and then would talk for months after until it would fizzle off and start up again the next year. I (Emily) just thought he was the greatest thing ever, even at the age of 14. When we were about 24, Matt came up to visit and a few weeks later moved up to Brisbane.”

And these two? They were set for a beachside proposal, along with dog Sammy. “We had planned to take our Golden Retriever Sammy to Northshore Dog beach at Mudjimba like we usually did on the weekend. It was probably about 4:00 pm, and I remember Matt stalling and taking his time getting ready (I now realize this is because he wanted it done at sunset).

We did our usual loop, along the beach and around the river where you start to walk through the trees but can still see the water. I was walking in front, blabbering away about something pointless and looked up ahead and saw a huge picnic set up, with white pillows, blankets, champagne, cheese, fruit etc. I just remember saying “oh that’s so nice, look what someone has done” (not at all considering it was for me) Matt just said Em and I turned around and he was on one knee. He said he always pictured saying some long speech but was so nervous and teary he just said “I love you so much, will you marry me?”

For Emily. her bridesmaids enveloped her in love, and she loved every minute. She shares “I had four girls in my bridal party. Julia (MOH) is my cousin, she is two months younger than me so we grew up more like sisters. Anneka, Therese and Madi, three of my very close friends from high school.

There were so many times throughout the whole process of the wedding, little things my bridesmaids did where I sat back and thought, I have picked the most perfect combination of girls for my bridal party. They were honestly faultless. The hen’s party and the week leading up to the wedding, including the night before the wedding, was perfect and I can honestly say it was because of them. They could tell if I was feeling overwhelmed or nervous and they knew how to make me laugh. I am close with all of them but never get the chance to spend time with all of them together. Besides obviously marrying my best friend, this was one of my favourite parts of the whole wedding.”

The bride chose an off the shoulder lace gown by Grace Loves Lace. “For me, it was an easy choice. ” she notes, “When looking for dresses, I didn’t see many I liked. I’m not super girly and as weird as it sounds, I didn’t want anything too ‘weddingy’. Nothing over the top, I wanted to be comfortable and didn’t want to it to cost an arm and a leg. One of the few sites I looked at where I loved several of the designs was Grace Loves Lace. Their dresses are so nice, the nicest I had seen and had exactly what I was looking for.

I booked in at the Gold Coast shop to try a few on, with my mum and 3 of my bridesmaids came (one was overseas). I was dreading it a little bit, I don’t love being the centre of attention and wasn’t looking forward to everyone telling me which one they liked or didn’t like. But, it was amazing. The staff member who was with us for the day was so relaxed and was great at reading the room and mirroring my body language which was exactly what I needed. I had about five dresses I wanted to try on but had my mind set on two. After trying both several times, I was drawn more towards the “Florence” gown. It was flowy and very comfortable with light lace material and looked beachy and relaxed. My experience wasn’t at all what I thought it would be like and I actually really enjoyed it.”

The country charm of Yabbaloumba Retreat, and its isolation, was exactly what Emily and Matt wanted for their day. “Yabbaloumba Retreat was the first place we looked at and were sold instantly. It’s a farm about the back of Kenilworth on the Sunshine Coast and had everything we were looking for. A rustic beautiful barn for the reception, accommodation on site and an included camping package for guests which we loved as we hoped our wedding would be like one big party. The retreat has these amazing cabins where the bridesmaids stayed the Friday and night and got ready on the Saturday and a ceremony location right next to the reception shed. The staff from L&Lco Events were relaxed and easy-going which suited us perfectly and made us like the venue even more.

We questioned whether we can choose the very first venue we looked at, so booked into to look at another one in Brisbane the week later. Upon arriving we knew it wasn’t for us which made us lock in Yabbaloumba Retreat straight away. There is also no phone reception which we loved, it meant our guests would focus on talking to others and having fun which is exactly what happened. Most of our guests stayed on site too, either camped or stayed in the provided rooms which we were so happy about.”

Emily chose Vance Joy’s “I’m With You” to play as she walked down the aisle with her father.

Emily and Matt were married by celebrant Wendy Andrews, who also happened to be the bride’s aunt! Emily sharing  “It was very relaxed and quite quick which is exactly how we wanted it to be. My Aunt Wendy was our celebrant which made it feel so close and special. It was her first time running a ceremony and she was absolutely perfect. There were some sitting but most people were standing and it was under a wooden arbour in front of a lake. It was actually so so nice.

The ceremony was the part I was most nervous about and I actually really didn’t enjoy walking down the aisle. Having that many people staring at me is my worst nightmare, so much I actually forgot to look at Matt while I was walking down haha, I think I was looking at the floor!”


Emily shares “I had my moments with the wedding planning, moments of stress and feeling super overwhelmed but only briefly. Honestly, I think I enjoyed the wedding much more than the planning part which I feel would be quite common. I really enjoyed the DIY aspect and being able to create things myself and probably my favourite part was going to pick my dress with my mum and bridesmaids. We had a really nice lunch and just celebrated. I feel like I celebrated for a whole year actually, that was fun!”

“We loved the photos,” notes the bride, “it was so fun with all of the wedding party. We had champagne and were able to just hang out together after the huge morning we all had. Once they were done, it was so nice to just spend time with each other getting our photos taken.”

Emily and Matt worked with The Little Flower Market to create the floral arrangements for their day, telling  “The one thing we were focused on with flowers was cost. Yes, they look beautiful, but we couldn’t believe how expensive some of the quotes we received were.

The Little Flower Shop was the only place who asked us what our budget was which we really appreciated it. Once we told her, she then worked within that to create what we asked for. We wanted simple natives, a bit of colour for the bride and just greenery for the bridesmaids. What they created was honestly perfect, I couldn’t have hoped for anything better.”

Emily and Matt loved working with photographer Anita, citing the photo session by themselves as one of their favourite moments of the day. “Anita was unreal, so relaxed and kept everything really simple. We looked around for a few different people but none really stood out to us. Throughout the photos, Anita didn’t say much, just let us do our thing which is what we wanted. Looking at the photos, I am so glad she did because none are posed, the ones of the wedding party are so happy, with everyone laughing the whole time. There are ones of us dancing and just having the best time. It makes me so happy looking at them.”

Emily created much of the wedding decor herself. “I love drawing and anything art related so I designed all of the menus, place cards, welcome sign, bar sign, seating chart etc. My mum and aunty did a lot of DIY greenery and brought their jars with tealight candles/ fairy lights in them.”

Tells the bride “Something else that was special and I’m sure if you asked anyone about our wedding they would say they remember this the most… is how much Matt cried. Through his vows, through his speech, you name it he cried. And I’m not talking a tear, he couldn’t speak he was verging on sobbing. It just made the whole thing so genuine and real and beautiful (he will kill me for writing that haha).”

Oh, and Emily made sure she had her turn! “I made sure to include a speech from myself. Apparently, it’s not generally tradition for the wife to make a speech which I couldn’t understand. I wanted to tell everyone mine and Matt’s story from my perspective as well as all the things I love about him and to thank my bridesmaids who had all been amazing.”

The newlyweds knew a first dance wasn’t for them, instead, they invited everyone to dance together! “We didn’t have the first dance, this was one of those things which made me so nervous and uncomfortable thinking about” explains the bride. “Matt and I are generally quite silly, so thinking about us having to slow dance while everyone watches was not something we were excited for so decided not to have one.”

A big congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for sharing your special day with us. Thank you also to Fennel & Fern for sharing today’s golden images with us.