When Leazelle and Kurt came to plan their wedding, they had a vision in mind. “We wanted our day to feel less formal and more relaxed and fun.” The couple ditched what they didn’t like – like the first dance.  “We decided against a first dance – it didn’t feel very “us” and we wanted the formalities to end after lunch so we from that point we could relax and enjoy the afternoon and evening with our friends and family.” And the wedding party “We still included our nearest and dearest in our ceremony!” and instead, invited their favourite people to celebrate with them in a sunshine-filled lunchtime reception.  It was, as evidenced by the beautiful images snapped by Amy Allen Creative Co, the perfect way to spend an autumn day.

And it is this too, that forms so much of what Leazelle is able to pass on. “Don’t be afraid to not include certain wedding traditions that don’t feel right for you. I didn’t wear a veil, we didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen, we didn’t cut the cake together or have a first dance and it was all totally ok!”

After meeting in high school “I changed schools for years 11 and 12 and met Kurt at this new school. We don’t remember the actual moment we met and we did not start dating until year 12 so it took a while before we caught each other’s attention.” The couple spent the next eleven years together, before Kurt proposed, not that it was a surprise!

“The proposal was not a complete surprise. We had been together for 11 years at that point, so you can imagine we had numerous conversations over the years about when we wanted to get married. Once we felt ready we picked out the engagement ring with the intention of marrying the following year. Kurt proposed to me in May 2021 while we were on holiday in Cairns. We had gone out for dinner and were sitting on the esplanade watching the lunar eclipse.

He didn’t get down on one knee, thankfully because we were both against making a scene but it was very sweet and I cried. On the way to the esplanade, I was pooed on by a bird so I can definitely confirm that it brings good luck!”

Kurt wore neutral-toned pieces from  MJ Bale. “He wore the Stirling Decon Jacket and Stirling Trousers in the colour donkey, Copley white shirt and Cerletti tie in charcoal” explains Leazelle. “His shoes were the Hoy Leather Boots from Double Oak Mills which were bought from The Iconic. Kurt was styled entirely by me, not that I didn’t give him any choice! He was simply happy for me to make those decisions.” Kurt’s grandfather had sadly passed away earlier in the week, so Kurt wore his grandfather’s watch in tribute.

Leazelle wore a Karen Willis Holmes lace gown, pairing it with a hairband from Izoa and Jo Mercer heels. She tells “I found my dress very early in the wedding planning process. As I was browsing the internet for ideas I saw that KWH was having a warehouse sale starting the next day. I went by myself after work thinking I was just going to have a look. My dress was the third one I tried on. It was exactly the style I wanted and I loved the unique patterned lattice. I definitely had the “when you know, you know” moment.

The ladies there were very helpful and supportive. Not a traditional experience but it was honestly easier this way, as the people I would have wanted there – my mother, sister and best friend – all live 2-5 hours away. The hardest part was stashing the dress in the back of our closet and resisting the urge to get it out every time Kurt wasn’t around before I could take it to the seamstress and store it there.”

Leazelle walked down the aisle with her father – her mother joining them at the end of the aisle to give her away. For the song? “Our talented friend Kieren sang an acoustic guitar version of “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney, the cover version by Jem which I have loved since watching The O.C. as a teenager.”

The couple were married by Sue Curley, and in honour of Leazelle’s family, included a special Filipino tradition in their ceremony.  “We wanted our ceremony to be classic and relaxed. We included a Filipino ceremony tradition called Coins, Candle, Cord and Veil, as I am half Filipino from my mother’s side. This allowed us to include some of our nearest and dearest in the ceremony. We each had a godparent light our candles then we lit one candle together, symbolising a new promise to each other. We each had a sibling lay a veil over our shoulders, symbolising unity. We had friends place an infinity cord over their shoulders, symbolising everlasting love and finally a friend placed coins into Kurt’s hands which he then placed in my hands, symbolising prosperity. Our celebrant Sue Curley was a very calming presence. Although she had never seen a Candle, Cord and Veil ceremony before, she clearly did her research and executed it perfectly.

I loved surprising my Filipino family by including the Coins, Candle, Cord and Veil. I didn’t even tell my mum that we were going to do it!”

The country gardens of Outback Cellar Dubbo had the perfect laid-back beauty these two were after. Says the bride “Both our ceremony and reception were at Outback Cellar Dubbo which is one private property located 10 minutes out of town. It was the perfect space for an outdoor wedding and reception. We were married on the beautifully manicured lawn. We hired a marquee for the late lunch reception and as a rainy weather backup but really envisioned the reception out on the lawn amongst the garden, which worked out perfectly with the gorgeous weather we had that day. The venue also has accommodation – the old wine cellar which has been converted into a studio apartment and a cute country cottage that myself and Kurt stayed in over the weekend. We also got ready separately in each of the guesthouses. The property owners Mark and Tracey were so helpful, from allowing multiple visits to the property, lending us an arbour when our borrowed one clearly wasn’t working out, to helping clean up the next day.

The venue hire included just the venue itself, which allowed us complete freedom of choice over where we wanted the ceremony, the layout of the ceremony and reception, decoration, catering, drinks, and everything! As stressful as it was to have to organise every detail, it also made the day very personal to us and we are both proud of how the day turned out.”

The bride’s very favourite part? “Just the day itself, dedicated to us. We had been living like a married couple for so many years and we knew the wedding wasn’t going to change our relationship, but having the one day to celebrate our life together felt so special.”

Even the blooms were kept simple. “We did not need a lot of flowers as the venue itself had a stunning garden. I bought my bouquet and Kurt’s boutonniere from an online store based in Sydney called Flowerholic. It was a simple but beautiful dried flower arrangement that I now get to admire as decoration in our home.  We bought proteas from a flower stall that sets up every week on Cobra Street in Dubbo. We used the proteas to decorate the tables and the bar using old glass bottles that Kurt’s parents had in their garage.”

The celebration, at lunchtime, made the most of the beautiful Autumn day. “Our wedding started earlier than most, with our ceremony kicking off at 12.30 pm. We decided to do this for selfish reasons – to maximise the time celebrating and catching up with our friends and family! We were a bit worried about evening catering as we were not sure how many people were going to stay later, but the caterers were more than happy for us to keep the leftovers to serve buffet-style later on and Kurt’s mother and sister made a giant charcuterie board which was enough for the dedicated celebrators to stayed until the end.”

“Our bartenders, Ohana Coffee, a husband and wife duo, have their own coffee truck and brought their coffee machine along so that the designated drivers had a decent coffee or tea to get them through the celebrations. We bought all the alcohol and enjoyed picking out a mix of our favourite drinks as well as the typical crowd pleasers.

This was a day packed to the brim with handmade details explains Leazelle. “I made the welcome sign from an old mirror I bought off Facebook Marketplace and hand painted. Kurt’s father very cleverly made the bar out of old pallets.
My sister and I baked the cake and other desserts for the dessert table. I chose to do it because I like baking but also thought nobody really eats the wedding cake anyway. Turns out the whole cake and dessert table got demolished which I hope is a sign that it was good!

Kurt’s mother and younger sister helped set up and decorate the tables and also put together a charcuterie board for those who stayed later in the evening. I made the place cards using a simple stamp kit and we printed the menus. A fun element included on the day was a communal polaroid Instax camera. I bought a tonne of Instax film and my camera was passed between the guests at the reception. All of the film was used and now we have a collection of photos of our guests which are so fun to look through.

Our bartenders, a husband and wife duo, had their own coffee truck and brought their coffee machine along so that the designated drivers had a decent coffee or tea to get them through the celebrations. We liked that we weren’t locked into a standard drinks package as we would have been at other venues.”

Kurt’s favourite part of the day? “Other than the very moment I married my beautiful wife, my favourite part of the day was the evening celebrations. We had the most fun dancing the night away with our closest friends who made it to the end of the night with us. Cheers to them!”

Of course, a lunchtime wedding meant plenty of time for photos. “Our photographer was Amy Allen, who both Kurt and I went to school with but not kept in touch. I have followed her photography business on socials for years and she was the only photographer I had considered for our day. I was so relieved that she was available to do our wedding! Her style fit the vibe of our wedding perfectly. It was also so nice to reconnect with her.

Amy absolutely exceeded our expectations. Right off the bat, Amy was very helpful with everything from planning the timeline of the day to giving hair and makeup recommendations. She absolutely nailed our portraits and made us feel completely comfortable which really showed in the photographs. We had our portraits shot right after the ceremony and then again at sunset, and both times did not take long at all. She is an absolute pro at what she does!”

Congratulations Leazelle and Kurt! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us. Thank you also to Amy Allen Creative Co for sharing today’s beautiful story through her stunning images.