Gabrielle & Pete
Sneaking in just days before restrictions tightened in Australia, Gabrielle and Pete were married outdoors in a fun and classic garden wedding. With family and friends flying in from overseas, the celebrations were even more memorable as the newlyweds partied the night away! Michael Briggs Photography captured the magic.
After being matched on Bumble, Gabrielle thought she had some solid reasons for it not working. She remembers, ”After seeing that Pete had the same first name, occupation and family nationality (Irish) as my Dad I joked that this could never work. A year passed and we ended up meeting in person at a mutual friends birthday where Pete reminded me of our previous matching. Pete says my eyes instantly lit up the room which led him to make a beeline for me, I say it was his blinding yellow t-shirt that actually lit up the room making him look like Big Bird. A perfect mix of lighthearted laughs and deeper conversations throughout that afternoon set the tone for our relationship which quickly and easily unfolded from there. Just four months later Pete moved in, followed by the proposal shortly after followed by the wedding day 16 months from our initial meeting that day. When you know you know!”
Back in the days when travel was easy, Pete proposed to Gabrielle in Ireland, his hometown. The bride shares, ”For my thirtieth birthday we travelled to Pete’s home village in northern Ireland where I met his family. One morning at 6.30am we walked along a road lined by arching green trees known as the Dark Hedges where he used to ride his bike as a kid. Pete got down on one knee – and I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough. We then celebrated our engagement love bubble throughout the Amalfi coast.”
The beginning of March was a very fortunate time to host an international wedding! The bride shares, ”The wedding was just days before Covid restrictions hit. We had family and friends attend who travelled from across the world which in retrospect are so much more grateful for now. Every guest now looks back at the wedding as essentially their last celebration/night out where the concern around Covid hadn’t taken over. The weather on the day was perfect however thunderstorms were predicted for exactly ceremony time 5pm. My heart was set on having an outdoor ceremony on the beautiful lawn so I was pretty disheartened as we counted down the hours and looked up at the moody sky. All of a sudden just 10 minutes before ceremony time our venue coordinators made the call that we are going to risk it and still have the outdoor ceremony. After a few precarious droplets in the middle of our ceremony the weather gods held out for us allowing us our picturesque ceremony location.”
Wearing a stunning, shimmering gown from Pnina Tornai, Gabrielle tells, ”My chosen dress was the only one where I walked out of the dressing room like BAM, here I am! Although I tried on many gorgeous dresses this was the one I couldn’t get out of my head. Pete hired his and his groomsmens suits from Formal Red Suit Hire. This was a cost effective way to wear a gorgeous suit. My sisters were my bridesmaids wearing their choice of black dress from Nookie, while Pete had three best men, two old friends from Ireland and the other from Melbourne.”
Held on the lawns of Flowerdale Estate, the garden ceremony was exactly what the bride and groom wanted. Gabrielle tells, ”Saying our personal vows to each other was the best feeling in the world. Stripping everything else back, that’s what it’s all about, saying the best things to the best person you know in front of your favourite people. Developing my vows was part of the reason I’ve now decided to become a marriage celebrant myself. There’s actually nothing better than declaring to the world why you’ve chosen this fantastic human to be yours. Our second favourite part was when my bridesmaid said her reading which was written by her and gave her perspective on ‘how do you know it’s love’ through watching our relationship unfold. Both mum and dad walked me down the aisle (as I felt like the mother of the bride traditionally isn’t as involved as she should be). We chose an acoustic version of ‘Simply the Best’ by Tina Turner sung by Just Me Plus One who has the most hauntingly beautiful voice I’ve heard. She also sung a version of Moon River within the ceremony as well which was a stand out.”
Capturing the fun moments as beautifully as the heartfelt moments, Michael Briggs Photography comes highly recommended! The bride shares, ”Briggsy is a legend. In addition to the incredible experience and talent he has, his personality packs a punch and really added to the energy levels of the day. After capturing the full day and night, just as Pete and I flopped down on our bed at midnight our phones lit up with 5 professionally edited pictures sent through by him allowing us to immediately post a stunning picture on our socials. That service was above and beyond what we expected. Every vendor of ours was incredible and genuinely did everything to make our day so special, especially Tango Films, Flowerdale Estate and Michael Briggs Photography.”
A big drawcard of wedding venue Flowerdale Estate was onsite accommodation for so many guests who had travelled so far. Gabrielle remembers, ”We knew it was the venue for us after visiting and meeting the friendly staff on site. The venue is stunning, not pretentious and even has farm animals running about. We especially loved that there was accommodation on site to fit the majority of our guests. This meant everyone could party the night away then wake up and share breakfast together while sharing stories from the wedding night.” And in sharing her favourite part of wedding planning, the bride happily tells, ”All of it! I’m the type who enjoyed digging into every detail and planning everything. So much so that shortly afterwards I signed up to become a marriage celebrant so I could continue to be a part of it all.”
Remembering family, the couple set up a space, sharing, ”We included a table in the reception with photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day which was special and inclusive. We also had a magician – Mr Marmalade as one of our guests who entertained everyone throughout the night within the crowd. Given the venue held the majority of our guests in onsite accommodation we prepped welcome packs to be placed on each bed filled with snacks and hangover kits.”
After feasting and speeches, the newly married couple had their first dance, with the help of the DJ crew at Melbourne Entertainment Company. They tell, ”We danced to ‘Someone Like You’ by Van Morrison. After flicking through many spotify searches for inspiration we were both unanimous it was the one for us. It was also nice that Van is a Northern Ireland artist.”
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