Luxe details, gold sequins and moody romantic tones – this gorgeous Canberra wedding focused simply on love and family. With experience in the wedding industry, Emma and Brent carefully put together a celebration built on what they loved, and what a day it turned out to be! All Grown Up Weddings was on hand to capture the magic!
Bride Emma remembers meeting Brent, sharing, ”I had moved to Canberra from Queensland and had been struggling to meet people and make friends so my housemate at the time suggested internet dating. Right from the first moment of contact we couldn’t get enough of each other and I was glued to my phone with a huge smile on my face as we messaged each other non-stop for over a week, our first date happened by chance when I had cooked too much dinner and Brent had no dinner so I invited him over. From that moment on we were inseparable and ended up moving in together after 6 weeks.”
Wearing a gorgeous, sparkling gown, Emma ended up with two dresses, but one that was a clear winner. She tells, ”I never wanted to go wedding dress shopping, it just wasn’t for me but my mum really wanted to have the experience of watching me try them on. I really struggled with the whole process and though I ended up coming home with a beautiful strapless dress, it wasn’t until about three months out from the wedding that I realised how wrong the dress felt for me. In the end it was my mum who found a photo of the dress online, it just felt more like me. I was lucky enough to have a contact at Elley Lane who was brave enough to take on the work and make the dream a reality. We had a suite at the hotel and I invited not only my bridesmaids but my close friends to spend the morning with me getting our hair and makeup done. The hair stylists were also my really good friends so it just felt right having all of my close friends with me and really helped the time to fly by.”
Statement flowers in jewel tones added romance and texture to the bridal party, in the form of gorgeous bouquets! Emma tells, ”When it came to flowers I couldn’t go past Peony n Pearl. I had previously met Fionna after working with her husband a few years prior, in those days she was just starting out but, in my years working in the industry I had watched her business grow as she followed her passion to develop a signature style unique to her. I am extremely laid back and honestly, other than telling her that I liked bold colours and greenery, I really left it up to Fionna to do her thing. I am glad I did because seeing everything on the day absolutely took my breath away.”
Kelly from All Grown Up Weddings snapped every special moment, with family, friends, and puppies. The bride shares, ”I am not the most photogenic person and have a reputation with my friends for ruining photos so I was actually so nervous at the thought of being in front of a camera for hours on end. I definitely dragged my feet making this decision but I somehow managed to book All Grown Up Weddings. I had admired her work for years and style always looked so beautifully natural but in a fun kind of way so I felt like, if anyone could make me look good it was her. Kelly was perfection. She got on board with our ‘wing it’ attitude and made us feel so comfortable. We knew we wanted to have a first look before the ceremony so that we could take everything in together, we trusted her expertise and she made it all happen. I was so nervous that I had ruined the photos and wouldn’t like myself in them but when I finally got to see them I cried I was so shocked. Kelly captured so many beautiful moments for us but what got me the most was seeing myself in a way I never had before, I looked beautiful. And the first look, seeing Brent for that first time, I don’t think I realised how hard it would be to be away from him on such an important day so being able to see him before the ceremony just made everything seem right. From that moment on I don’t think I stopped smiling.”
Unconcerned with wedding trends, Emma and Brent created their wedding day in Canberra’s city centre with simplicity. The bride remembers, ”We didn’t set out with a particular style in mind but having worked in weddings for a few years I seemed to gravitate towards a more non-traditional style. In my experience each wedding is always so beautiful and unique to the couple so I wasn’t too caught up on an idea of how it should be we just made each decision as it came up and it came together so naturally.”
A very special moment that stood out on the day for Emma was a surprise photo session. She tells, ”I am a dog lover so we have three crazy dogs at home but they are a big part of our family. Brent surprised me by organising for the dogs meet us for some quick photos. It was absolute chaos but it was perfection and one of the best surprises.”
Sweeping views and luxe details made The Howling Moon, Canberra Rex Hotel, an easy choice as reception venue. Emma explains, ”Brent is from Western Australia and I am from Queensland, we had friends and family all over the place so we weren’t so sure on where to have the wedding. We looked into a lot of options all around Australia but nothing felt quite right. At this point I had been working at the Canberra Rex Hotel for over three years and they were just finishing construction on a new rooftop bar. I already knew it was beautiful but when Brent came in to see me at work one day he took one look and the decision was made. The venue went above and beyond to make everything happen for us and, in the end it was fitting because I got married at my second home with my work family taking care of everything.”
Having so many favourite moments, Emma and Brent shared a few that came to mind. They remember, ”Having all of our family and friends together in one room was definitely the highlight, our people are scattered all over the country so there will likely never be another time in our lives that we will get to see them all at once. Everyone was there to celebrate and have a great time so it was just so fun and happy which was exactly what we wanted. I am also extremely close with my grandmother who lives in North Queensland so it meant the world to us to have her as a part of our day. My grandparents were married for 50 years before my grandfather passed away and I had always loved looking at pictures of their wedding day with my grandmother in her gorgeous dress with a long train. She still has that beautiful dress in storage so, on the day of the wedding she gave me a section of the fabric from her wedding dress to tie into my bouquet.”
Having a sneak peek at the ceremony location before the service didn’t prepare the newlyweds for the transformation that would occur after they were married. Emma tells, ”We had the ceremony upstairs at The Howling Moon, Canberra Rex Hotel then went downstairs to the Swan & King for cocktail hour while the venue and florist rearranged upstairs for the reception. It meant we didn’t get to see everything until ten minutes before everyone else. The space was just beautiful and seeing all of the details come together was breathtaking for us both, I couldn’t believe this was all for us.”
There’s no doubt having family and friends at their wedding was of paramount importance, creating many special memories for the bride and groom. Emma shares, ”I have three parents in my life that all played vital roles in my childhood and I wanted them all to have an important role in the day. My dad walked me down the aisle and my mum got to be the mother of the bride and my mum’s partner Sooty sang the song for our first dance. I grew up listening to Sooty sing and play the guitar and although she hadn’t played in years, we were lucky enough to have her sing ‘Make you Feel My Love’ by Bob Dylan.”
Thank you so much to our beautiful bride and groom for sharing your gorgeous wedding day with us, and congratulations! Thank you also to All Grown Up Weddings for your incredible photographs.
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- Makeup Artist
- Kellie Sue Baker