There is nothing we love more than ending our week with a tale of family. And for Brianna and Michael, from involving their daughter in their ceremony, to having their siblings by their side, this was a day that was less about them as an island, and more about the bonds that not only tie them together and their community.
Captured by K3 Photography on NSW’s Central Coast, it was, as the bride so aptly put it, a “rustic farmhouse fairytale”. From the bouquets of stunning Australian natives to the endless handmade details, this is a wedding packed with all the heart and soul we need to kick off the weekend.
Let’s set the scene with the story of how Brianna and Michael first laid eyes on one another. Tells the bride “Well, there is some debate, but very un-romantically it was either at a pub or a club in Sydney through mutual friends. We were immediately attracted to each other and loved each other’s company but both of us were in other relationships. We remained really good friends and 4 years after this, we finally got together and knew that this was it for us.”
And it was during a trip to the snow, the setting one most loved for these two, that Michael decided was right to pop the question. “Michael and I are avid snow goers,” explains Brianna “And on one of our trips to the snow, we got there before the lifts opened for first tracks. I was waiting inside the bistro with a coffee with our then one-year-old daughter. I get a phone call from Michael all excited saying “come outside NOW!” I passed Dylan off to my mum who was acting babysitter and ran outside thinking positively that there must be brumbies outside for me to see! I race up a hill and around a large rock to find Michael in the snow, on his knees wearing a tuxedo, his snowboard boots and goggles (it was really windy), holding a ring. Pretty sure I swore but was immediately filled with excitement, surprise, joy and lots of love and of course said yes straight away.”
Brianna found her Stella York gown at Brides to Be Central Coast. “It was sheer long-sleeved atop with lace detail, buttons all down the back, and a long train. It was covered in lace and delicate beading.”
“Our venue was an all in one,” tells Brianna of the couple’s venue The Hillview Yarramalong Valley. “A gorgeous heritage-listed property that housed us for the weekend and held both the ceremony and reception. The ceremony area was like a fairytale garden, you walk through an arbour, around a dam, under large fairy-lit pair trees, around a corner and find yourself in a hidden, tree-covered fairy glade lined with chopped wooden bench seats, sandstone pathway and old vintage doors at the end. The reception was held atop the hill in a large vintage style barn with incredible valley views.”
Brianna walked down the aisle with both her father and her stepfather, to a very special song. She explains “I was given away by both my father and my stepfather on either side. The song we chose was “grow old with you” by Adam Sandler. I have stage fright when it comes to singing and Michael is always encouraging me to sing, so I secretly went to a friend’s studio and recorded myself singing our song and walked down the aisle to myself singing to Michael instead.”
Says Brianna “The entire day is one large special story, but I guess what comes to mind isn’t so much of a story, but a moment. I remember Michaels face watching me come down the aisle, the smile I couldn’t wipe from mine and the way we laughed, smiled and held in our tears during our ceremony. It was all priceless, and I couldn’t change or single out a thing.” Michael adding “I remember you turning the corner and coming down the aisle with your Dads and just feeling overwhelmed with how beautiful you were.”
The family was such a focal point for the day for these two, who included family every step of the way. “We made sure that all of our close family members had a role in the wedding” notes Brianna. “Our daughter was the flower girl along with her two cousins, her other cousin was a ring bearer, bearing the rings that were beautifully designed and made by her mum. My three brothers were a bridesman, the MC and a witness. Michael’s sister was a bridesmaid, her husband was the other witness and their two eldest children did readings in the ceremony.”
The couple were lucky enough to be married by the bride’s stepmother, Essential Elements. “We’re both very easy going people and wanted the ceremony to be relaxed, funny, and carefree. My step mum was our celebrant and easy to say she nailed it on the head. There were laughter, tears and toddlers running around us. We danced our way up the aisle together as husband and wife to “I believe in a thing called love” by The Darkness. Of course, belting it out along the way.”
The first kiss remains Brianna’s favourite moment of the day. “We practised it for weeks and nailed it on the day! Of course, it had to be a twirl into Michael who then dipped me with my leg raised for a kiss.”
The Wildflower Place styled the lush floral arrangements for the day. “All natives, Australia has the most wonderful flora and I couldn’t have anything else. The tables for the reception were topped with gum leaves picked from the property. The bouquets were full of paper daisies, kangaroo paws, proteas, flowering gums, gum nuts and banksias.”
“Kathy was amazing, ” raves Brianna of the couple’s choice of photographer. “She is so friendly and keeps you at ease. Honestly, she also happens to own an invisibility cloak, because I don’t recall seeing her AT ALL during the ceremony. She was able to capture moments and feelings throughout the whole day that make our photos so special.”
The bride’s favourite part of wedding planning? “Day 1. The engagement is done and now it’s game time. I set up a folder, printed some categorized cover pages (who needs to buy a fancy wedding planner) and set to the task. Lucky for us Michael and I were so on par and decisive with everything, all the major parts were planned and deposits paid for by the first month.”
This was a day truly filled with handmade touches, shares Brianna. “The venue was a full D.I.Y venue. So we arranged the flowers, caterer, cake, music and decorations. The invitations and menus I designed myself and had printed as well as the table seating and welcome signs, I painted and wrote them myself. I guess we really did pretty much everything.”
And once the darkness had settled in, it was time for the first dance. “We found each other in the dark” by City and Colour was our first dance song” remembers the bride. ” Michael LOVES to dance (as do I) and he especially loves to twirl me round and round. Needless to say, we practised in the living room for a while, me wearing my shoes and a sheet pegged around my legs.“
A big congratulations to the newlyweds. Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding day story with us. thanks also go to K3 Photography for sharing today’s beautiful images.