If there was one thing that was as important to Bree and James as their planned their wedding, it was “that it was uniquely us, we prioritized the things that were important to us, not our family or friends.”

Set in a beautiful ACT vineyard (the ceremony spot, hidden between the vines) Bree and James nailed their dream – a romantic, intimate (the couple only inviting their nearest and dearest) celebration. The mood was full of joy, the menu full of good food and good wine, just as they wanted.

The couple met on Tinder. “We scrolled. We swiped right.  We matched!” before they hit it off over coffee. They tell “We then met at Gloria Jeans (James’ choice as Brianan is a coffee snob) on a Saturday morning for our first date. James was quiet and the only way Brianan could get him talking was by asking questions about footy. James loved how interested Brianan was in the footy and naturally invited her for a second date at the Raiders vs Penrith game. Raiders lost to Penrith by 6 points and looking back now, Brianan finds it hilarious how cool, calm and collected James was during the game; clearly, he was trying hard to make a good impression!

Many more dates followed and we grew to share a mutual love of music, food, beer, Mooseheads and adventures before we eventually became Facebook official!”

James popped the question on Christmas morning, not least through a little prompting from Bree herself “We were heading to Cairns for Christmas with my family. On the flight I was annoying James, asking what he was going to do with the time and insisting a productive use of time would be to write me a love letter (which he did not).

On Christmas morning, surrounded by family, I was handed a love letter and a ring.”

Settle in for this story friends, because with the beautiful photography, captured by Natasha Maree Photography, you’ll want to get yourself onto this guest list just as much as we did.

James’ wedding day look? A chic black suit from Institchu. He explains  “I wanted to wear something classic. Bree and I searched for a lot of inspiration but we always came back to the classic, elegant black tuxedo with satin lapel.

I don’t wear suits and found the shopping process a little unnerving so I took a public servant mate who wears them daily to help with the task. We had a great experience, and the beers helped. The service was great and when the suit arrived it was perfect.”

“I found dress shopping challenging!” tells Bree, who ultimately found her beautiful lace gown at Angelic Inspirations. She tells ” I didn’t want a tan and struggled to find dresses that suited my fair complexion until I found my dress. The mocha lining was perfect, coupled with the lace and A-line shape I loved it. However, it was the beautiful work of my seamstress adding additional lace along the neckline to soften those beautiful butterfly sleeves; she truly made it better than what I dreamed of. I felt so comfortable and so “me”, which is what I wanted.” Bree finished her look with an antique brooch gifted to her by her grandmother for her “something old”.

“We choose Pialligo Estate for the day. The ceremony was held in the Olive Garden and the reception at The Fields Pavilion. We wanted the day to be easy and seamless so keeping the ceremony and reception at the same venue was important.

We also wanted it to be intimate which both locations provided. I (Bree) loved walking down the aisle in a small clearing where I was surrounded by our friends and family – it was such a warm feeling.”

The beautiful blooms, styled by Peony n Pearl were a focal point of the day, says Bree. “I wanted lots of foliage, purples and whites. I gave some Pinterest pictures to Fiona from Peony and Pearl and trusted her to make something beautiful, which she did. A surprise on the day was that she included an orchid, which is my Nan’s favourite flower and a surprising coincidence to feel as though she was included. We had a round arbour for the ceremony as a backdrop which was moved up to the reception to sit behind us; we didn’t have a bridal table so it made a focal point.”

Bree walked down the aisle alone to “Sanctuary” by Charles Esten, Lennon & Maisy Stella. “I walked myself down the aisle, I didn’t need any help making my way to marry James.”

The couple wanted their ceremony to feel as intimate as the rest of their day, they chose Aisle Meets Annie to make it happen. Bree sharing  “Annie our celebrant from AisleMeetsAnnie was amazing. We wanted it to reflect our story, be inclusive of our friends and family, including some laughs and tears. Annie from AisleMeetsAnnie knocked it out of the park!  Our family thought she was a close friend as they felt she had captured us and our story perfectly. I have never seen a ceremony that personal before and you could tell that she had put a lot of thought and effort to make it uniquely us.

She referenced some of her favourite shows, resulting in big belly laughs from James. She also included words from friends, which was advice and well wishes from our closest people. We played rock, paper, scissors to decide who had to say their vows first and had two very special ring bearers, our Dads! I felt that our ceremony was unique and special to us, plus our guests loved being involved.”

This advice from Bree? So golden! “Just because it’s what everyone else does, doesn’t mean you have to do it. Keep the guest list intimate; if you wouldn’t take them out to buy them dinner for their birthday then you don’t need to on YOUR wedding.”

Bree’s favourite part of the day? “I loved the time after the ceremony, getting to just be with James and enjoy the moment. We enjoyed some beverages and canapés whilst taking our photos which I think is why they turned out so beautiful (and Tash’s talent, of course!).”

Bree and James thought through everything for their day, to make sure it unfolded just the way they wanted it. The decision to ditch a wedding party, one they did not regret, telling  “This was a hard decision however we knew we would save money and it would have been challenging coordinating Bree’s party who would have been based all over Australia. Instead, Bree’s parents walked down the aisle together which was sort of like a wedding party and a special moment being able to include them in that way.

It was also so worth it after the ceremony when we had a few hours of just us, getting photos and enjoying the moment together (plus Tash, our photographer). In hindsight, not having a wedding party was one of the best decisions we made.”

These two have all the compliments for their photographer Natasha. “Tash from Natasha Maree Photography is amazing! We first met Tash for coffee 18 months ago and knew instantly that we were so excited to share our day with her. We had an engagement shoot first as we were both a bit nervous about having our photos taken and it was the best thing we did. She had so many tips and tricks to make natural, beautiful photos that reflected us.

On our wedding day, she felt like a friend. She pottered around getting snaps and catching intimate, special moments between our family and friends. She captured the story of our day perfectly. We get to re-live it every time we go through the album. I also loved that the photos aren’t posed!”

Guests were greeted at their places by a jar of homemade lemon butter. Bree explaining “Bree’s Mum made and jared lemon butter as our wedding favours. It was my Nan’s recipe that made it special. There were around 60 jars that all need small green bows tied on so one night before the wedding my family got together around the dining table to tie them whilst criticising each other skills; it’s a great memory.”

The vibe of the reception was important to Bree and James, so they planned and schemed to make sure they did everything they could to make it happen. “We went all out on the food and alcohol, which for us was a great investment!” explains Bree. “We wanted to reception to be a big party so focused on how we could remove formalities, streamline the ones we wanted to include and chose our seating layout carefully to enhance the opportunity for shenanigans. I feel this was achieved as many worms, swinging off banisters and shoulder rides were enjoyed.”

Even the cutting of the cake has a special story behind it, says Bree. “Funny story, we didn’t want to cut the cake. We told the caterers multiple times pre-wedding and during the wedding to just take it and serve it. On the day, the wedding planner and family kept asking us to cut the cake so we decided to do it just to appease them – turned into our favourite picture.”

“We chose James’ sister Emma as our MC. We asked her to announce housekeeping, a welcome speech and coordinate the formalities but asked her to primarily bring the party vibe. During the welcome speech, she made a hilarious anecdote about how she knew James always loved cheese but thought he might have taken it too far when he brought home Bree. Throughout the night she made jokes and brought so much fun; she was so crucial to helping to party vibe to thrive.

After dinner, our guests were so keen to party that they just got up and started dancing. We were asked to cut the cake (see above), but they suddenly formed a tunnel holding their arms up and wanting us to dance through – it was so random but so fun.”

The newlyweds took to the dance floor to “When The Right One Comes Along” by Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen from the TV show Nashville. “Nashville was one of the first shows we binged together when we met and this was a song that we both always loved” reminisces Bree.

A big congratulations to you both Bree and James. What an absolute delight it was to share your day. Thank you both and to Natasha Maree Photography for sharing today’s beautiful day with us.