If ever there was a couple who truly adored the location of their wedding day, it would be Bri and Adam! Held along the Hawkesbury River, with the following reception at Cooks Shed, their elegant woodland wedding was romantic, elegant, and very, very fun (just wait for their first dance pictures!)

Bri says, “The Hawkesbury River itself is an amazing place and actually not too far from home for us! The Hawkesbury Valley is so underestimated – it is a perfect weekend getaway!!” Captured by the wildly talented team at Hungry Hearts Co and exquisitely filmed by Lovereel, Bri remembers their perfect day… 

We met around April 2007. I’d always heard about this popular, hot guy named ‘Woody’ and, finally, I met him at a backyard party on the central coast. There was definitely some attraction from the moment he arrived. We immediately realised we shared a lot in common, and nothing has been able to keep us apart since!

I searched high and low for dresses – hunting down brands Instagram, hashtags, and “Still White” for inspiration. I stumbled across an American brand Calla Blanche, saw the “Kayla” dress and had my heart set on it. It’s not a commonly stocked brand in NSW, but I did find it at Fashionably Yours at Wahroonga (they have some gorgeous fancy yet affordable dresses!). It wasn’t the dress that gave us the teary feels, however, once it was paired with my mum’s stunning veil and the matching overskirt, which I had never seen before, I just knew it would be perfect. The dress is actually inspired by Australian gum leaves and I knew I’d be getting married amongst those, so it all tied in beautifully.

We went the easy avenue for Adam’s wedding day attired and just wandered into David Jones on Pitt Street Mall and had the lovely staff find him the suit to fit his every wish, which ended up being by Joe Black.

I walked down the aisle to Angus & Julia Stone – “Draw Your Swords.” A not so known song by the duo but deeply emotional and an all-time favourite for us. On a side note, it was worth having a DJ (ours was DJ Jules of Newcastle) to give instructions for the ceremony to control the ceremony music as it was important to us it all flowed seamlessly.

Our cousin Gary Reilly from You May Kiss was our celebrant. He’s a legend and always keeps it light and not too drawn out. We did our own vows which had a fun but also serious side – much like us!. We both really mean what we said to each other, and then let Gary run with the rest.

We were very lucky to have had a family friend do the florals and my maid of honour set up the venue floral arrangements. We wanted to keep it simple with a slightly rustic Italian vibe with whites and olive leaves.

Our photographer Hungry Hearts Co has such a beautiful style of photography and they become real mates for your wedding! The series of photos when we leave the aisle was great. We were just so happy and relieved we got this wedding over the line in such a turbulent time, and in pure joy that after 13 years we were MARRIED.

To be honest, it wasn’t very enjoyable planning our day once COVID hit, but it was worth it in the end and we are glad and lucky to have had an outdoor ceremony and then sit down style dinner, so although we had to cut the guest list we were lucky to be able to go ahead at all. We ended up with a smaller, more intimate group of guests than we planned but looking back it would’ve been too chaotic if there were more. We didn’t do many of the traditional things like cutting cakes and our entries and dances were all really fun! Ultimately we had a weekend away with great food and wine for all, which is just what we love.

We dreamed of being married in Italy but we really wanted our family and friends to be able to come! So we had many things with an Italian twist like prosecco, limoncello, an Italian-inspired menu, Ferrero Rochers, olive leaves, and old Chianti bottles as decorations. Our simple yet beautiful cake was generously made by our cousin. We did the set up at the venue with the bridal party the day before but kept the venue styling minimal as it has its own style and we didn’t want to waste money on unnoticed things. Having amazing food and wine was definitely more important to us.

Our wedding was held at Cooks Shed in Sackville NSW, a farm to plate style restaurant and venue by chef Martin Boetz (formerly the chef at Long Grain!). Cooks Shed is a breathtaking spot and worth going for dinner or lunch! (Make sure you book ahead!). The food was definitely our favourite part of the day. I am so sad I didn’t save a menu as a keepsake, and we wish we ate more at our own wedding, but it included endless delicious canapes, lamb shoulder, ocean trout, salad and roast vegetables. The style of our wedding was dressy, centered around good views and good food and wine – things we love most.

As a little something extra, I had to share some hot stays at the Hawkesbury! Our bridal party stayed between Blueberry Hills on Comleroy which is a cute and welcoming BnB, Dido’s Place (Airbnb) which is modern and spacious and made for beautiful photos, and Colo Mudbrick Cabin (Airbnb) which is unique and peaceful on the side of a cliff with the Hawkesbury below!

We are far from a shy couple! We started our first dance with London Grammar’s cover of “Bittersweet Symphony” but with the help of DJ Jules we gave everyone a surprise and burst into a bit of a choreographed number to Mariah Carey’s banger “We Belong Together”.  We barely remembered the moves as we’d had a few Proseccos by this time but it was hilarious and had everyone singing the song for the week after!

Lovereel really did stand out as one of our favourite vendors. They are just so helpful and responsive, and non intrusive on the day. It is the number one thing we can both agree was worth every penny as we are both busy and forgetful individuals – we could hardly remember a thing from the day – so it is amazing to not only get your short film but all your raw footage as well. The grandparents who couldn’t make it have loved watching it back. Our wedding video is priceless.

We were given some solid advice to make sure we just took a moment to ourselves and take a look around and reflect on what we had created! We did this and stepped out at sunset for some photos and it really brought us some calm and gratefulness.

Our advice to other couples planning their day is to just get things booked in nice and early so you can have who or what you like, then closer to the date, make up a pretty detailed run sheet and send it to everyone. Make your expectations clear but let your friends and family help and your vendors run with things. You cannot do everything yourself and you can’t please everyone! Also – have someone ensure you actually take time to get photos and eat or fix your hair or lipstick!!

Thank you for sharing your gorgeous day Bri & Adam! And to Hungry Hearts Co and Lovereel for capturing it splendidly!