Ellen & Sam

We’re all about embracing the joy of winter weddings around these parts, and for Ellen and Sam, the moodiest of seasons could not have been more beautiful for their art-deco inspired wedding day.

Set at the ever beautiful Gabbinbar Homestead, these two dreamt of a day that was “Art deco, wintry, formal but fun”. And I can say, this is a wedding that is everything I love about winter. From the sparkling fairy lights that adorned the trees, the warm glow of candlelight, the bride’s vintage (and oh so sentimental) warm fur wrap and the moody tones that were dotted throughout the day. Luckily for us, they enlisted the crew at Cloud Catcher Studio to capture their day and their beautiful images, and add plenty to a story so worth telling.

It was Tinder that led these together, in their words “It was back in 2013 when Tinder was new and sparkly. Ellen had carefully curated her 5 images and caption for her Tinder profile and Sam had a single picture of Ross Geller from Friends. You could say it was love at first sight…or something like that anyway.”

And beautiful New Zealand set the scene for Sam to pop the question, although, not quite as he had planned, explains Ellen. “We were on a trip to New Zealand and were staying at a bed and breakfast just outside of Nelson, called Marama. It had beautiful vineyards and was an excellent stargazing spot at night. Sam tried to coax me out of the room for some romantic stargazing and, little did I know, to pop the question. Sam forgot though that nothing gets between me and bed after 9 pm, especially when it’s cold. So instead he asked me to marry him when I was curled up ready for bed. In the end, it was more us anyway! Everyone was in on the plan (except me, of course) and Sam no longer had to sweat bullets from smuggling an engagement ring in his luggage.”

“Our wedding was reasonably formal,” tell Ellen and Sam of groom Sam’s look from Harrison’s Menswear. “So Sam wanted something quite classic without being a full tux. He settled with a tailored charcoal suit, classic white shirt and red paisley bowtie.”

Ellen’s beautiful wedding gown was a creation by Wendy Makin. “I’m not a big one for shopping, let alone knowing what looks good” she explains. “So I created a shortlist of designers I liked and took my mum, future mother in law and friend along to help me make the final decision. I ended up with a dress that was the exact opposite of what I thought I wanted at the beginning, form-fitting, lace and sleeveless. Goes to show that you really need to try things on!”

Ellen and Sam chose the beautiful (and historic) Gabbinbar Homestead for their wedding celebrations. The heritage style of the property just what these two were after. “We loved the heritage and history of the place and the idea of being able to have the ceremony and reception all in one beautiful location.”

Ellen, somewhat unexpectedly walked down the aisle with both of her parents, she explains “I walked down the aisle to “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Although the original intention was to have my Dad walk me down the aisle, Mum was holding my dress on the way down to the pavilion to keep it from getting dirty and by the time we got to the aisle, she realised she had no other way to get to her seat other than to walk with us. It ended up working well.”

Turns out, Ellen’s dad had more than the taking her down the aisle responsibility, tell the newlyweds. “Ellen’s dad is a priest so we asked him to officiate the ceremony. Although we had a religious wedding ceremony, we didn’t want it to feel too over the top. So we mixed religious elements with more modern readings, including an extract from “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and “An Uncommon Love” by Terah Cox.”

“Gabbinbar’s resident kookaburra, Sam, made an appearance during the ceremony which we took as a lucky sign given his namesake with the groom!” laugh Ellen and Sam.

“It’s hard to pick a favourite detail” note the newlyweds. “Everything came together so well. It was pretty great to walk down the aisle after the ceremony as a married couple to Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles though. There’s also nothing like that feeling once all the formalities are over and you can finally let your hair down, relax and enjoy the party with everyone!”

Meet Augie, a very special guest of the day. “Having our dog, Augie, involved was a pretty important detail for us” note Ellen and Sam, “We were lucky that Gabbinbar was super dog friendly and were happy for him to be a part of every aspect of the day (from getting ready right until the end of the night).”

Le Sans Souci styled the wintery floral arrangements for the day. “Our flowers were a range of classics, along with some Australian natives” says Ellen. “We asked our florist, Nadja, to pick flowers that were in season in deep burgundies, whites and dusty pinks along with some other flecks of colour.”

To brave the winter chill, Ellen donned a very special piece. “I was very kindly gifted my grandmother’s fur by my aunt. Although my grandmother died many years ago, it was nice to have something of hers included in the day.”

“Cloud Catcher was amazing” rave the newlyweds of their photography team. “We aren’t the type to take lots of photos or pose a lot and they got that and were able to work with us to get a range of candid and portraits we were totally stoked with. Also, it was pretty great to have photographers who were just as keen to hit the d-floor as us and the guests.”

There were plenty of handmade touches throughout the day – right down to the wedding favours! Ellen & Sam noting “Sam designed all the stationery (save the dates, wedding invitations, signage, menus etc). We also made our wedding favours – little jars of jam for each guest.”

A beautiful wedding cake by Jillicious, was one of Ellen and Sam’s standouts. They tell “All our vendors were so great it’s hard to pick just one. Our wedding cake from Jillicious Cakes was phenomenal though – so good in fact that we got another cake from Jill for Ellen’s birthday just a few months after the wedding.”

For the first dance, the couple chose “Real Love” by Lior, as a nod to Ellen’s love of the band. “Our first dance was to “Real Love” by Lior. Ellen has been a fan since the beginning and dragged Sam along to a fair few Lior shows. Rather than being one of those cliche love songs, the lyrics felt a bit more … real…”

And can we talk about this fairytale moment? It is what dreams are made of!

The biggest of congratulations to you both Ellen & Sam! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us. Thank you also to Cloud Catcher Studio for sharing today’s images!