It was fate that brought Samme and Ben together. Samme, who had decided to change her career path to become a web developer, caught Ben’s eye at her first job. The pair sat side by side, bonding over after-work drinks at the local pub, until a fateful summer day led them to decide they were something more than colleagues.  They tell  “Samme made the first move because Ben is a gentleman and didn’t want to scare Samme out of a tech career. For those not in the industry – it happens a lot – at one stage Samme was considering wearing a fake wedding ring. The first (and very smooth) move was made on the way to the local pub on the last day of work for the year. It involved pushing Ben off the path into trees and bushes along the way, which was very readily reciprocated by Ben because of #equality.”

The couple’s proposal story is equally as engaging because it all begins with Ben injuring his finger. He remembers “Just before we planned to get engaged, I had accidentally injured my finger and couldn’t drive for several weeks. Because of this and the fact that Sammy can’t drive a manual car, the ‘engagement spot’ had to be somewhere a bit closer to home. I picked a place in a nearby national park overlooking the river that they had walked past on one of their many walking adventures.

On the first attempt, Samme wouldn’t leave me alone at home so I couldn’t smuggle the ring into my pocket before we left for the hike. Nonetheless, we walked for 30 minutes, up and down the steep hills and into the national park. When we passed the ‘engagement spot’ Samme said “You know, this would have been a great spot to propose” to which I responded, “OMG that was the whole plan but you didn’t let me sneak in the ring!!!”

Two days later we decided to do the same walk but this time Samme let me get a few things sorted before we left. So we walked for 30 minutes again, up and down the steep hills and into the national park. When we approached the ‘engagement spot’, there were a bunch of people hanging around and chatting at that spot, to which I responded: “OMG foiled again!!!”

Again, a few days later we decided to do the same walk and again Samme let me get a few things sorted before they left except this time we also left at a non-busy time of the day. So we walked for 30 minutes again, up and down the steep hills and into the national park. Finally, when we approached the ‘engagement spot’, there was no one else about us and I had the ring. Then, perhaps not unbeknownst to Samme, I  got down on one knee and proposed to Samme. And she said YES!

Samme tells the story this way, “If you were to ask me, I would tell you the real story of how I  proposed many weeks earlier after Ben’s hand incident. Just a normal run-of-the-mill evening in January, chilling on the couch watching TV when I was finally allowed to sign Ben’s cast. I decided to draw Ben’s fingers onto the cast so that he had a full working hand again, complete with a one of a kind, handcrafted black diamond engagement ring. It was at least 10 carats. I then got down on one knee and proposed to the love of my life. Only to be shot down with a laugh and a NO!”

And after those two stories, I bet you can’t wait for their wedding and oh friends, is it a goodie. Beautiful photography by Fiona and Bobby Photography capturing the misty moody  of Samme and Ben’s country, Blue Mountains venue. Plenty of details that meant something (like the significance of wattle) and even a little fun (look out for the chocolate freckles). Settle in and get scrolling!

The flower for the day? Wattle. Samme and Ben chose wattle for their boutonnieres and bouquets (which they handmade themselves), as well as their wedding stationery. “Ben grew up in Cootamundra, home of Cootamundra wattle, and Samme grew up in Grafton, home of the Jacaranda Festival. Unfortunately, we couldn’t incorporate Jacarandas into the arrangements, but wattle was the key floral element.

Ben’s parents collected wattle from their farm and dried it in their shed, that was used throughout the floral arrangements. Ben and Samme also purchased dried wattle bouquets from Florals By Ellie on Etsy as they were unable to help collect the wattle themselves due to lockdown.

Two weeks before the wedding, Ben and Samme were able to visit Ben’s parents and the four of them drove around the farm picking foliage and also did a practice run of creating a floral archway after watching a How-To on Youtube. Ben’s best person, Michelle, along with co-conspirators Zack and Kyle, also did a run to the flower market the day before the wedding and may have also stopped along the side of the road on the way to Hartley Vale for additional foraging. The day before the wedding, Ben, Samme, and Ben’s parents had a lot of fun assembling the floral archway. Ben’s mum assembled the dried wattle button holes. And Michelle, Zack and Kyle arrived in time to help assemble the rest of the floral arrangements scattered throughout the venue, including the table centrepieces.”

Ben wore pieces from MJ Bale along with a pocket square and tie from OTAA. “The original plan was for him to wear a textured sage tie and pocket square from M.J. Bale, and the groom’s party to wear textured navy/chambray ties and pocket squares. However the best person “accidentally lost” the sage tie and pocket square, which was the right call to have made as to the wattle button holes popped against the navy/chambray.” On that day, Ben was gifted cufflinks and a tie clip of his late pop’s. It meant the world to him.”

Samme and her bridesmaids wore robes from All Things Nice as they dressed for the day.

Samme, found her beautiful, elegant Alexandra Grecco gown at Hope x Page “I was originally looking for a second-hand dress as I wanted to shop sustainably and had made a booking at The Barefaced Bride in Kurnell. I invited my amazing mother-in-law, Janine, to come with me who is based 4 hours away, so at the last minute also made a booking at Hope x Page in Gymea to make the most of the day.

I was apprehensive about wearing a white wedding dress as I am most comfortable in black (my wardrobe can attest to this) and wasn’t sure I would ever find a dress. Keeping an open mind and with encouragement from Janine and the lovely staff at Hope X Page – the first stop for the day – she pulled a variety of different dresses. Amazingly the very first dress I tried on (Laurel by Alexandra Grecco) – something I would normally never pick – just felt right. Some tears may have even been shed by Samme and Janine.

Both the Barefaced Bride and Hope x Page are amazing stores with super lovely staff who made the experience magical and such a special moment to share.”

The sweet country homestead of Collits Inn has all the charm these two were looking for. “Ben had to talk Samme into having a wedding, and in retrospect, Samme is very glad he did. Her only condition was that it was an all-inclusive venue as she didn’t want to get absorbed in all of the details (one full-time job is enough!) and turn into a bridezilla.

Having both grown up in regional NSW, we wanted an outdoor venue, and fortunately found Collits Inn that checked every single box – and was simply magical. Chris, Caitlin, Steve, and Cheryl are the most amazing, warm, and kind people you will meet and made the entire experience better than we could imagine.”

Samme chose “I will spend my whole life loving you” by Imaginary Futures and Kina Grannis to play as she walked down the aisle.

The couple wanted an intimate and heartfelt ceremony. They wrote their vows and chose A Ceremony By Design to officiate.  “We wanted our ceremony to be very much us. We wanted it to be casual and chill, warm and honest, and surrounded by our closest friends and family. We don’t like the spotlight so didn’t want too much pageantry (also feelings eww!), but it was important to us to be able to share our story.”

As two who do not love the camera, Samme and Ben adored working with their photography duo. “Fiona and Bobby are two incredibly talented, loving, and kind individuals and photographers. They make magic wherever they go and made us feel so supported and free to be ourselves. As we’ve mentioned, we hate the spotlight and hate being in front of the camera, but they were somehow able to create these incredible shots and capture such beautiful moments on the day that we are so grateful to have forever.

We were fortunate enough to not have to reschedule our wedding at all, but Fiona and Bobby were amazing through such a stressful time of covid anxiety and uncertainty. They guided us through the entire process, including helping us create our run sheet and just making the entire thing true to us and a breeze.”

Cake and sprinkles were a grand part of the reception. “We baked all of the cookies that were part of the wedding cake arrangement themselves. In total, we would’ve made over 100 cookies – a mix of brown butter chocolate chip sea salt cookies and heart-shaped sprinkle cookies.

We wanted to include a sprinkle of fun! The table numbers were chocolate freckles from Freckleberry, which were a hit with young and old and didn’t last long! We spelt our names out ‘Ben <3 Samme’ in chocolate freckle letters and our cake toppers (B <3 S) were also chocolate freckle letters. Bonbonniere were jars of chocolate freckle hearts. The cake was a Sprinkles Birthday cake (vanilla buttercream cake) from Vanilla Cupcakery. This was placed on the top of a three-tier wooden cake stand (from Etsy), and the two bottom tiers were stacked full of the homemade chocolate chip cookies and heart-shaped sprinkle cookies.”

The cosy reception was full of love, “Collits Inn is a magical venue – we love country NSW and love being at Ben’s parent’s farm, so being able to share a slice of that with the ones we love through Collits Inn was perfect. It was important to us for our family and friends to be able to bring their kids to be part of our special day – family is everything – and to see old and young get excited about the many animals at Collits Inn was great!

At the reception, when Ben’s dad, Peter, was giving his speech, we had a special guest speak up during one of his pauses. It was one of the sheep baa-ing very passionately outside the barn, which caused an eruption of laughter to occur. Even more so, when one of our youngest guests, Sebastian (almost 3) started baa-ing back!”

The newlyweds took to the dance floor (reluctantly!) to the sounds of “All The Small Things” by Blink 182, covered by Cloudsmiff. “The first dance was a moment we weren’t looking forward to – we don’t like the spotlight, but the photos were amazing!”

A big congratulations and all our gratitude to you Samme and Ben for working with us on sharing your wedding day. Thank you both and thank you to Fiona and Bobby Photography for sharing today’s beautiful imagery with us.