Karla & Andrew’s wedding day really does prove that less can indeed prove to be oh so much more. The couple focused on what was super important to them on the day, and on each other. The recipe for an exceptionally beautiful wedding day, and stunningly captured by Naturally Jek Photography. Karla’s story really does say it all, so without further ado, sit back and get lost in the couple’s love story and about their Soft Vintage Fairy Tale Wedding…
Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale. Both born and raised in a small rural town in Central Queensland, we knew of each other but not well enough to talk to. Andrew and I officially met at a local country pub on a night out, we both locked eyes as Andrew (literally) stumbled into the bar. He asked a friend what my name was, and we started chatting. We would often cross paths and lock eyes while doing jobs in town, giving the ‘butterfly’ feeling over and over.
We started seeing each other on the quiet. We would visit each other every chance we got. He would take me on adventures to the forest and go swimming in water holes and I would cook him meals because as they say – a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I have so many fond memories of spending a lot of time with his cattle; he showed me the love he has for his animals and I fell in love with him and his big heart. One day we eventually made it official, introducing me to his beautiful kids, Emilee and Will, and later welcoming our handsome son, Hudson.
After 8 years of being together with three children between us, we had the conversation and we both felt ready for marriage – the commitment was already there. We had the secret wedding package booked for over a year before the engagement took place; I would occasionally check the draw that the rings were in to know if today was the day (it felt like a long time but he got there eventually!) Andrew got down on one knee and proposed at our home on 13 March 2022.
I was stuck not having any luck finding ‘the’ dress, so I asked my sister Emma, for her fashion expertise (and I don’t regret it one bit!). As soon as she mentioned floral fabric I knew that was what I wanted. Emma suggested I contact the custom designer, Isabella Longginou, who provided the most pleasant experience.
We travelled 6 hours to the city on a few occasions to plan the style, choose the fabric, and complete fittings. I explained to Isabella that I wanted a floral dress; country but elegant in style. I sat next to her and we worked together while she sketched the dress, and within half an hour we had ‘the’ dress sorted. I was so thankful for my mum helping me with these big trips (actually, she probably drove more than I did!).
It was such a fun (and comfortable) dress. I remember galivanting around barefoot on the green fields while our photos were getting taken and the dress was so flowy, like a fairy tale really. It helped make the entire day feel like a dream.
Andrew looked so handsome! His entire outfit was purchased from Stewarts Department Store in Rockhampton. Although, his pocket square was made from my dress material, which Isabella kindly added to my order.
He chose the vintage green jacket because he thinks the colour suits him (and I’d have to agree!). I was really happy with his choice. It was hard to choose a colour that wouldn’t clash with my floral dress, but I wasn’t able to tell him it was a floral dress, so I’m glad the colour was perfect and an easy pick.
Our big day was held at The Old Dairy in Maleny. It was the most picturesque, luscious, and dreamy location. We prepped at our apartment at Altitude on Montville and had our ‘first look’ at the balcony. It was a really special (and untraditional) decision we are glad we made.
I loved the florals! I spoke to Jan from Branch & Blossom about the colour palette of our attire and we discussed the options. We shared inspo photos and in the end chose a mix between two wild organic bouquet concepts, which resulted in a stunning arrangement. We decided on large open roses in shades of toffee and cream accompanied by dried leaves and bunny grass, and I let her work her magic with the rest.
Jan and her team created the most divine hand-tied bouquet for me and a matching buttonhole for Andrew to compliment the bouquet. I also had two arrangements in the same florals to frame the ceremony platform, which tied in really well. We had the most perfect wild floral arrangements, complimenting each other beautifully.
We wanted our wedding to be intimate and carefree, so we opted not to have a wedding party. Although, we couldn’t go without having the little people in our lives as part of our big day. Three of our beautiful nieces Mathilda, Polly, and Dixie – our flower girls – sprinkled a path of white petals for me to walk down. Our brave son Hudson, walked proudly behind them bearing the rings. They all did a wonderful job in their roles, while looking absolutely adorable at the same time.
Two hours before the ceremony my awesome family desperately rang around looking for a car. Wheels to Weddings was called and they managed to organise a beautiful Rolls-Royce for me to turn up in. I wasn’t planning on having a wedding car, but I am so grateful that I did in the end.
Five minutes before heading to the ceremony the sole of my dad’s shoe fell off! We all panicked but he thought to ask the motel reception if they had any shoes – and they did! Thankfully some kind soul (who didn’t realise they were kind at the time) had left a pair of near-new dress shoes behind in their apartment… they were even the perfect fit!
As dad and I were being driven to the ceremony we drove past a road called Benecke Road (my maiden name) – it couldn’t have been more perfect!
We both love music, but finding ‘the’ song was difficult for us. We wanted something classic and something that related to us. Eventually, we decided on ‘Annie’s Song’ by John Denver.
It pays to have a recording artist as a brother. There was no way I could walk down the aisle to anyone else’s voice but Blake Benecke’s. As big sisters do, I told Blake he had to learn this song for our wedding. We are both so grateful for the time he put into learning the song. He played and sang flawlessly, doing John Denver proud.
Will from Call Me Will Music sang through until sunset, while everyone listened, mingled, ate, drank, and played. Straight after the ceremony while our family showered us in petals, he sang a favourite song of ours called ‘Here With Me’ by the Killers. Will is a talented musician who set the tone for everyone to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
The ceremony was led by Danielle from Your Story Celebrant, who was the organisation queen! Danielle organised our families and arranged the plan for the afternoon. She hosted the ceremony incredibly and it was nice to have such a modern, fresh, organised, and well-spoken celebrant to marry us. Both Andrew and I wrote our own vows, however, we left the readings to Danielle. We wanted a relaxed and straightforward ceremony, with a hint of tradition in it, and we certainly got what we wanted.
The ceremony was held at The Old Dairy in Maleny. It’s hard to find words to explain just how dreamy this venue is. I loved the elegant country vibe it gave. The lawn was well-manicured and it was such a huge area, all to ourselves.
We had about three hours at the ceremony, spending time around the beautifully built Bell Tower and the toasty stone fire pit. The kids ran around on the green rolling hills while the adults shared some celebratory beverages and nibbles, and enjoyed each other’s company. We were lucky enough to have relatives who lived nearby and who also know how to cook up a storm! We are so grateful for the work they did to put on an incredible spread because nothing says ‘I love you’ better than food that has taken the time to make and prepare.
The whole property presented a spectacular view, looking across at the picturesque Glass House Mountains. There were glowing views at the end of the day, which added to the dreamy feel. Host Andrea made us feel so welcome and she was just really pleasant to chat with. I feel like I am still coming down from cloud nine whenever I think about The Old Dairy.
By the end of the day, our vendors felt like part of the family. They were all so friendly, fresh, and dedicated to their job. After the wedding, our families commented on the friendliness of everyone involved and it cemented the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment in our day.
We wanted to include Andrew’s late father, Bill, in the day, so I framed a photo of them together and it sat next to the beautiful cake. I gifted Andrew a pin he wore on the day that had a photo of them together, as a special memory for him to keep.
It’s hard to think of just one favourite detail from the day but if I had to choose a couple, I think it would be my dress and the cake, with everything else coming as a close second.
We didn’t really have a first dance, although we did have a little waltz while getting our photos were taken (Andrew’s secret talent is old-time dancing).
We had the honour of having the lovely Jekka from Naturally Jek Photography capture our day.
Jekka was more than our photographer, she basically planned out the day and liaised with all of the vendors to ensure our day ran smoothly. Jekka made the experience feel so easy and fun. She documented our special day perfectly, going the extra mile by personalising each shot and contributing to the raw, real, and authentic feel we wanted. I cannot believe how quickly we got our images back. Reminiscing through the photos each day had me living in those moments for longer. Her positive vibe radiated throughout the entire day.
Karla: Live in the moment, appreciate each other and learn the art of compromise.
Andrew: Respect each other’s company and love hard.
We started off our love story sneakily and we have now taught our family how to be sneaky too! We will be forever thankful to the special people who contributed to our day. Thank you for your love and support. The day was completely intimate and relaxed, and just so much fun. Each little detail of the day created an elegant feel. They say less is more and in this case it really was.
In addition to photos, we had the day filmed by Ash from Jensen Creative. The raw emotion was captured wonderfully evocative of the happy family times.
Thank you to Karla & Andrew for sharing their glorious & intimate wedding day with us! And to Jekka from Naturally Jek Photography for these incredible images!