Rachael & Sam

Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat, with its dramatic but warm rock faces and enclosed outdoor space, provided a rustic spot for Rachael and Sam to be married. Keeping things relaxed and with their favourite people around to celebrate, this gorgeous wedding in the Australian bush was captured by Anny Andrade.

Rachael’s advice for people planning their own wedding is simple, ”Do exactly what you want, don’t let anybody tell you their opinion and be swayed by it. Don’t bother trying to please people!” Planning a relaxed and intimate wedding day was kept simple by the bride and groom doing exactly that! After meeting online (we met on an online dating site but tell everyone we met in a bar haha! Sam got blind drunk!), Sam proposed on a secluded beach in Hawaii.

The bride’s killer black gown suited the day beautifully, Rachael sharing, ”I didn’t want to go down the traditional route and wanted to find a dress that I felt confident in and that truly reflected my style. The groom wore chino shorts and a burgundy dicky bow – he wanted to be casual and comfortable in the height of summer. My mum made me a broach with a piece of her jewellery, a piece of my grandma’s and some charms special to me to be attached to the bouquet.”

Sitting outside amongst the bushland in Kangaroo Valley, the wedding guests awaited the ceremony. The bride remembers, ”It was just perfect…apart from being an hour late! We had vows that were so personal to us. Sam read vows such as ‘I promise to always fake tan you every Thursday evening. I promise to always rap and dance for you and to love you forever, ever.’ I said ‘I promise to always nag you. I promise that we will dip our toes in every ocean and smash every goal on our list’. Married By Todd is somewhat of a celebrity on the south coast. We felt an instant connection with him, he is so fun and we knew he would make our ceremony so special. Todd brought home our love story in the most hilarious way!’ My dad Neil walked me down the aisle to Brock Lette playing an acoustic version of ‘All I Want Is You’ by Barry Louis Polisar’s.”

Carrying the theme and being surrounded by native flora, the flowers for the day reflected their bush setting. Rachael tells, ”We chose Jessica from Wild & Free Floristry to create the most beautiful dried Australian native flowers – for the bouquets, table centres, archway and flower girl headband. They were absolutely sensational and we couldn’t believe how beautiful they were!”

Photographer Anny Andrade was the perfect choice for images that were natural and no fuss. The bride shares, ”Anny was cool, calm, relaxed and worked her ass off to get the most beautiful photos. We stressed that we did not want to spend ages having photos taken and she respected that and got so many candid photos from the day – exactly what we wanted!”

Venue hunting can be tricky, however Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat came up with the goods and ticked every box for Rachael and Sam! They remember, ”The bush retreat was just everything we could ever have dreamt of! Amazing views of the valley and a blank canvas for us to create the day that we wanted. Plus we were able to stay for two nights so all our closest family and friends (some had flown in from the UK) could spend some quality time together in the lead up and (the ridiculously hungover) aftermath of the wedding. There was beautiful cabins and glamping tents for our guests to stay.”

Having a blank canvas to style any way they could chose let the bride and groom get creative. They tell, ”Sam made the pallet boxes for our flower centrepieces and a card box made out of pallets. We had some signs made by the incredibly talented Kecia from Well Lettered – she also wrote our place names on gum leaves. We had a caravan bar – Meet Mabel – which served us our favourite drinks all day and night – our favourite dark and stormy and gin spritz!”

Creating an aussie party in the bush was only made possible in having their nearest and dearest to celebrate with. Rachael shares, ”Our family and friends travelled all the way from the UK, so we got to have a mini party the eve of our wedding at the venue. Speeches from Sam’s mum, the maid of honour Laura, Rach’s dad, Sam’s speech, Sam’s best man – the whole room was erupting into both laughter and tears and it was just wonderful. The food from the caterers at the Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat was absolutely sensational. We had canapes and champagne served at the gorgeous sunset deck, then dinner and gigantic cheese boards in the evening. Every detail of the wedding was special to us and we chose exactly what we wanted. For every guest we had handwritten a card telling each person exactly why we loved them, it took us months to do but was so worth it when we saw their reactions on the day. There is something incredibly special about writing down all the things you love about somebody’s personality who is incredibly close to you .”

Getting the dancefloor going was easy, with the bride and groom choosing ‘You Got The Love’ by Florence + The Machine. ”Brock Lette played an acoustic version of this and it was magical – when the song kicked in all our friends and family joined us on the dancefloor and it was one of the standout moments of the day.”

Thank you to our bride and groom for sharing your stunning day with us, and congratulations! Thank you also to Anny Andrade for your beautiful images!