Samara & Lucinda

“I proposed to Lucinda first almost a year after we had moved to Canberra. She had always said she found hot air balloons magical, so I organised for us to have a private hot air balloon ride at dawn. I was so nervous I barely spoke to her the entire week leading up to it.”

If you’re a lover of stories (like us!) you’re going to need to settle in for the wedding of Samara and Lucinda because we have plenty. to. share. And thanks to Plum Photography we’ve got all the photos to go along with the story! This is a day that embraces its rustic country setting, there are wide open fields, a woolshed just the ticket for vows and there’s even that special country drizzle for a little added atmosphere. It’s just the kind of wedding (story and love-filled but of course!) that give us all the warmth on a cold winter afternoon.

So that proposal? Oh, we know you want to know the rest of the story! “When I finally asked, at the highest point of the balloon ride, gliding over Lake Burley Griffin as the sun rose, she didn’t say anything. She looked at me. Looked at the ring. Looked at me again. Looked at the guy flying the balloon. After what felt like the longest wait in my life, I had to prompt her into answering – then she started happy crying and said yes. Same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia eight days after I asked her.”

And proposal #2? It’s Lucinda’s turn! “Lucinda redesigned an escape room to propose to me. Going to escape rooms is one of our favourite date night activities and so I didn’t think anything of it when she unexpectedly told me we were going to the newest room at Escape Rooms Canberra with her family who was visiting from out of state. When there were five minutes left on the clock, we found a locked box with the clue ‘what year did we meet?’ – in sheer desperation, I tried ‘2012’ as the code…the box opened to reveal an engagement ring. When I said yes, not only did her family start cheering…but so did the entire staff from the escape room who’d gathered around the monitor outside to watch. I don’t even remember how we got out of the escape room at the end.”

And now you know how they became engaged, we’ve got to give you the tale of how these two came to be. Samara fills us in.  “I first saw Lucinda at a university course we were both taking at the University of New South Wales in 2012 – I noticed her because she was always late to class (it turned out she was coming over from the Paddington campus which was a 15-minute bus ride away). Although we never spoke, I kept noticing her around the campus.

Lucinda had not met me yet, because I wasn’t the kind of person to ask about a book when someone is reading it on a bus or to tell someone to be quiet in a class.

And then in September of 2012, we connected online via a blog Lucinda was writing…I didn’t even realise she was the same person at first! She thinks it’s the funniest thing ever that her wife accidentally stalked her for a few months before asking her on a date.”

The couple worked with local floral designer Flowers by Debbie on their rustic-inspired bouquets, telling “We wanted to keep our floral arrangements classic and beautiful, focusing on our eucalyptus green and white colour scheme. Baby’s breath was our featured flower; the bridesmaids and I carried bunches of baby’s breath and silver dollar gum tied with hessian twine, there were bunches of baby’s breath on every table, and Lucinda had sprigs of it in her hair and as a boutonniere. I also had a flower crown which had baby’s breath, white spray roses and tiny eucalyptus leaves.

There was greenery everywhere in our reception with scattered eucalyptus and silver dollar gum leaves across the tables and in the hay bales.

Our venue recommended a local florist in Gundaroo named Debbie, who works out of her farm just down the road from Bushfield Farm. Debbie was wonderful, she sourced her flowers from nearby bushland and trees on her property. She came out to Bushfield on the morning of our wedding to arrange the flowers personally so they were fresh.

We actually kept some baby’s breath from our wedding and dried it out so we could keep it forever.”

Samara and Lucinda worked with Mel Peach Makeup Artist and Missy’s Magic Styles on their hair and makeup, noting “It was important for us to use local, female-led businesses wherever possible and all our vendors were amazing throughout the entire wedding.

Mel Peach was our make-up artist and was amazing for our wedding day! She (and her lovely assistant) did four bridesmaids, two brides and two mothers of the brides – she even managed to squeeze in an aunt who wanted to join in the fun! From our first consultation through to the makeup trial and the big day itself, Mel was incredibly professional and made Lucinda and I feel so relaxed and beautiful. She went above and beyond to calm frayed nerves and made sure everyone left her chair with a smile.

Missy was our hair artist and she was so bubbly and fun. She came with gifts for all of us and kept everyone laughing…even when we realised it was raining at our venue! She is so talented and knew how to adapt on the fly to make sure everyone was looking stunning.”

Those pretty green bridesmaid gowns? Handmade! Samara explaining  “Lucinda’s wonderfully talented sister, Lily, and her mother made all the wedding party dresses by hand using a one-off art print fabric we found that matched our colour scheme and style. The dresses were 1950s inspired tea dresses (they had pockets!) from a pattern by Gertie for Butterick. Because it was still a bit chilly on our wedding day, they also made custom bolero jackets with a scalloped collar in forest green.”

Lucinda dressed in a tailored suit by Sumissura. “Lucinda always knew she wanted to get married in a suit and wanted something that fit well and she could wear again” explains Samara. “She had always been a big fan of Sumissura’s suits for women after finding them on Instagram and reached out to see if they could help. Lucinda didn’t want to wear a traditional grey or black suit…she wanted something that would compliment her fiery red hair and after Sumissura sent her some fabric samples, she picked a deep green. The suit was perfectly tailored to fit Lucinda and she paired it with a pair of River’s boots.”

There was no first look for these two but they were able to find comfort in being close to one another, say Samara. “It’s a tie between a photo where I’m coming down the stairs and Lucinda is hidden around the corner in the foreground. We got ready in the same house but hadn’t seen each other for an entire day before the wedding – we both missed each other so much! Cass got Lucinda into position and then asked me to come down the stairs, we got to hear each other’s voices for the first time and got so emotional because we’re always together so it was hard to be apart.”

Samara opted for a gown designed by Tania Olsen Designs. She shares “I’ve never been the kind of person who likes to wear dresses; I always imagined that I would get married in a suit or pantsuit. But once we started planning our wedding, I started getting the urge to try on a wedding dress…just to see if I liked it. When we were visiting Lucinda’s family in Wollongong, we happened to be walking past Ferrari Formal and decided to pop in. The staff there were so lovely and brought lots of different styles for me to try and when I tried on the Chantelle by Tania Olsen in vintage white, I knew I’d found my dress. I love the lace and cap sleeves.

The wonderful Kathryn from Kathryn Lemin Designs made a few alterations to make the dress fit like a glove and I paired the dress with pearl drop earrings which were a gift from my dad and a pair of River’s boots to fit with our rustic theme.”

The rustic nature of Bushfield Farm was just what Lucinda and Samara wanted for their day. “We had our ceremony and reception at the incredible Bushfield Farm in Gundaroo NSW. They’re a real working sheep farm that holds weddings in their shearing shed on the weekends.

We had looked at a few venues online when I found Bushfield Farm on Facebook and immediately knew it was perfect. By chance, they were at a wedding expo we were going to that weekend and so we had the chance to meet the wonderful Kylie who owns the farm with her husband Jim – she invited us to come to visit and within five minutes we knew we had to get married there. We picked our wedding date based on when we could get a booking at Bushfield.

From the rustic barn to the sweeping fields and dam, to the fire pit with the swinging grazing tables, Bushfield Farm is positively a country dream.

I cannot overstate how amazing Kylie and Jim are, they made us feel like family throughout the whole process and nothing was too much trouble. We were originally meant to get married outside in a meadow surrounded by trees, but on the morning of our wedding the skies opened up and it poured down; Kylie and Jim shifted everything inside and lit hundreds of candles to create a magical ceremony. They also stayed around during the reception and mingled with our guests…my Nana loved them! It helped the reception feel like a beautifully intimate gathering.”

Both brides walked down the aisle, Samara explaining “We walked down the aisle to Tom Petty’s ‘Wildflowers’ which is our song. We both wanted to have a moment walking down the aisle with our loved ones so Lucinda walked down first with her mum and then I followed with my mum and dad.”

The choice of celebrant was really important for the brides, who worked with Judy Aulich. Samara shares “We were married by Judy Aulich. Judy has been a huge advocate for marriage equality and was one the celebrants who married many same-sex couples when same-sex marriage was briefly legalised in the ACT for five days, so it was incredibly special to have her preside over our wedding.

We wanted the ceremony to be very intimate and fun, focusing on the story of our relationship. Before the ceremony, Judy had asked us to fill out a questionnaire about how we met, our first date, what we liked doing together and what we liked about each other. She spun our answers into a beautiful story which had most of the room crying by the end…including both of us!

This was what Judy asked us before the vows:

“Will, you, keep her as your favourite person, to laugh with her, go on adventures with her, support her through life’s tough moments, be proud of her, grow old with her, and find new reasons to love her every day?”

“We wrote our vows which involved promising to always support each other, but also promising to do silly things – like I promised to always do the washing, and Lucinda promised to kill any spiders that get into the house.”

Even the bunting Samara and Lucinda married under held special meaning. “One detail that was really special to us was the bunting which we got married under. It was from a friend who hadn’t been able to make it to our wedding – the lace is handmade and incredibly delicate, it had been passed down through her family for over 80 years.”

Samara shares “Honestly one of the best parts of the wedding was having my Nana there. She’s 94 and adores Lucinda and me – she’s wanted us to get married for so long and was so happy to be there. When we signed our marriage certificate and were heading back up the aisle, she was the first one on her feet wanting a hug! She’s such a delightful chatterbox and had half our guests crowding around her to listen to her stories…we like to joke that it was Nana’s party and we just happened to be getting married at it!”

The brides each donned special heirloom pieces for the day. “Lucinda wore her grandmother’s pearls around her wrist. Her grandmother sadly passed away a few years ago, so it was really special to have her memory so close on the day.

I had a small bracelet of my mother’s pinned to my bouquet. It was name bracelet that my grandmother fastened around her wrist the day she was born, so it’s been in the family for years and was a wonderful connection to my mum.”

These two will happily shout from the rooftops about their photographer. “Cass was the best photographer anyone could ask for” shares Samara. “She is an absolute ray of sunshine and just lights up the room whenever she walks in. She’s personable, professional and her work speaks for itself. She captures the little moments of candid joy and happiness that you feel on the day.

From wrangling family members for portraits to keeping Lucinda and I laughing until our sides hurt, to making us feel comfortable in front of the camera, Cass did it all. It was an incredibly long day but she was smiling the whole time and we couldn’t have asked for anyone better. Everyone who has seen our wedding photos has said you can just feel the love radiating from every image.

We also have to give a special shout out to Cass’s second shooter, Tracy from Tracy Lee Photography. She was wonderful and captured all the small details of the day. They were a fantastic team!”

“For a long time we thought we would need to go overseas to get married, and so to be able to get married at home, with so many loved ones, was wonderful. In particular, Lucinda has a very large family that was scattered all over the world and many of them came home just for our wedding so it was a family reunion.”

There was so much that these two handcrafted to personalise for their day. “We made strawberry and rosewater jam for the favours we gave to all our guests. We spent a weekend at Lucinda’s mum’s place with over 5kg of strawberries and had a great time…we even designed our own labels for the jars. I sewed some beanbags to make a lawn game to keep our guests entertained while we were off getting photographed. Lucinda’s mum made us bunting for us to hang around the barn and out amongst the trees near the fire pit and grazing table – she also made all the table cloths! We also made our own ‘bride’ signs to sit on the hay bales behind our table.”

“The incredible Lily, Lucinda’s sister, took it upon herself to make our stunning three-tier wedding cake. It was vanilla with swirls of the strawberry jam we’d made and covered in a cream cheese frosting which she’d dyed to create an ombre of our wedding colours. She spent hours baking and was putting it together at Bushfield Farm the day before our wedding.”

There is one final handmade touch we can’t keep out. “One silly thing we made ourselves was a pair of gumboots we nicknamed ‘the gumboots of shame’. We had warned our guests not to wear high heels so they didn’t trip over in the fields and joked we’d make people wear gumboots…so many people asked about them, we had to make a pair!”

Says Samara “Lucinda is an organiser supreme, so she loved every moment of wedding planning. Funnily enough, the first thing she wanted to do when we got engaged was going out and buy a binder so she could keep all the plans in one place.

Our favourite part was organising the set-up of the venue, we set it up with the help of our bridal party and family and it was such a joy to watch all our hard work come together in one day. We had spreadsheets and checklists for everyone to follow and finished so quickly we had time to have a drink together and just soak in the excitement of the upcoming wedding.”

“Being able to have speeches from my dad and Lucinda’s mum was lovely. Neither of them are big public speakers and it was so sweet to hear their well wishes for us…along with a few teasing jokes about wanting grandkids.”

Photos after dark remain a treasured memory for both brides. “We snuck out while dinner was wrapping up to go for a walk amongst the trees with our photographer. It was so nice to have some time alone and being able to bask in the feeling of being married after being together for seven years.”

The newlyweds chose two (!) first dances! Samara explaining “Our first song was “When I’m 64” by The Beatles, but our DJ warned us that it was a little short for a first dance and so we picked “September” by Earth, Wind, Fire because the first line of the song is “Do you remember, the 21st night of September” which was our wedding date!

It was a lot of fun to hold each other and sway throughout the first song, and then bust out some disco moves as soon as the next song started. The guests really weren’t expecting it and it got everyone dancing!”

A big congratulations to you both Samara and Lucinda! How wonderful it was to share your day! Thank you both and to Plum Photography for sharing today’s beauty!