Maddison & Mitchell wanted a day that was laid back, and truly about them and their love story. And what better way to ditch the fuss than turn your engagement party into a wedding? These two turned their beautiful garden party engagement celebration into a wedding that blended beautiful family tradition, with all the casual laidback vibes (oh and an incredible floral print wedding gown!).

And it was, exactly as they wanted, with every detail captured beautifully by Amy Philp Photography. Shares Maddison “Our style was a real mixture, we had a garden wedding at a historic house with the antique furniture from inside set up outside like a lounge room. The vibe was cool opulence: 1920s velvet, tassels, leather chesterfields under large umbrellas. Fun, relaxed, and colourful.”

We met through a mutual friend at History Alive, a historical reenacting event, in 2018. Mitch was setting up his WWII reenacting camp and I was volunteering for the weekend. Our friend introduced us at the start of the event and by the end of the weekend we were pretty much together.

Mitch proposed on a Wednesday of all days. He had been off all day, he got up at 7 am on his day off and was out the door saying something about an urgent matter at work and we’re talking about a man that loves a sleep-in if he doesn’t have to be somewhere. When I called four hours later he said he was still at work…weird. I get home from work and he’s cooked one of our favourite meals but he can’t finish because he’s so nervous I said “I feel like you need to say something” and he said “Well turn around and I’ll tell you,” so I did and he asked me to marry him! I said “Yeah, alright”.

The “engagement party” kicked off in the gardens of Downs Club Toowoomba. Shares Maddison “We got married and had the reception at the Downs Club Toowoomba. We’re both history buffs and the club was established in 1889 so it had that feel that we were looking for. The garden is enclosed in trees strung with fairy lights so passers-by can’t see, giving a sense of privacy to an inner city venue. The club were super accommodating, you want their vintage furniture outside – no worries. Oh, there’s kids? All good we’ll organise a kid’s menu and entertainment. The bride and groom have their waiter so you never want for anything. The billiards room, the wine cellar and the entrance provide all amazing photo opportunities that are a little different from the usual sunny field and give that vintage feel.”

“Our whole family was there, they came from everywhere just to spend an evening with us for what they thought was an engagement party. The planning and execution of our wedding drew our families together, it was lovely to spend more time with everyone and participate in family wedding traditions.”

The incredible floral arrangement on the day was beautifully styled by Poppies for Willow.  “To be honest I didn’t know exactly what flowers I was going to have until I saw them on the day” remembers Maddison. “I had sent a photo of the type of arrangement and colours I like to our florist, Poppies for Willow, and let them do the rest. They were beautiful, exactly what I wanted to match my dress but stand out on their own. The pinks, peaches, white and greenery were just amazing.”

Maddison was lucky enough to wear two traditional, family heirlooms for the day. “My engagement ring is made Mitch’s great grandmother’s jewels, I wore my great great grandmother’s broach and my great great great grandmother’s bracelet; my grandmother came in while I was changing into my dress to give it to me which was really special ,which has been worn by every bride in my family on their wedding day since her. My grandparents included us in the new tradition and bought us our cake knife and server with our names and the date engraved.”

Maddison’s stunning floral print gown was a beauty from Ferrari Formal. “I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted to wear for our wedding. I knew that we were having a surprise wedding so I was going to have a costume change. By pure luck both my outfits were the first thing I tried on/saw. I took my mum shopping to have a snoop around some bridal stores and on the way we passed Sheike, where we found an ivory silky blouse with bell sleeves and ivory wide-leg, high-waisted pants, perfect for greeting everyone before I changed into my wedding dress.

Then whilst snooping in the wedding store I saw the pink dress and I was drawn to it instantly. I tried on five white wedding dresses and wasn’t feeling the vibe, none of them felt like me. Just before we left I asked to try the pink dress on and it was magic – it fit perfectly, had pockets, the colour was amazing and it just felt right.”

Mitch purchased the first suit he tried on. “The rule was that it had to be a sandy colour but other than that it was pretty much open game” explains Maddison. “Mitch chose to look dapper for our wedding, wearing a three piece suit from Connor. He had a pocket square made out of the extra material from the hem of my dress.”

“I think for us a special memory will be waiting for the ceremony to be announced, waiting around the corner out of sight and hearing the roaring cheer that went up. I think for us that really made it real that we were about to get married”.

“Once it was announced that it was a wedding, our guests kind of formed an aisle because we didn’t have one set out” explains Maddison. “My Dad walked me down the aisle to Taylor John Williams ‘The Mates of Soul’.”

The ceremony was as easygoing as the rest of the day and officiated by Lovebirds Civil Celebrant.  “We treated the ceremony like everything else in the event, very casually. We wanted to declare our love and live that moment but really have focus on the promises we were making, so we kept the ceremony short and sweet. Our vows were really special, think we understand each other to know what the other needs so our three promises to each other were really meaningful.”

“After we were announced as married, walking back down the aisle through the confetti was amazing. We were on a high having just got married and then the confetti in the air was beautiful.”

Shares Maddison “I loved the decoration and organising how everything was going to look. I guess we were really lucky because we chose the right vendors so we could trust them to take what we gave them and run with it, which left me to the fun stuff. I truly believe that without those two vendors, our wedding wouldn’t have been what it was.”

Maddison’s golden piece of advice for wedding planning? “Communicate! Communicate with each other, with those close to you, a planner, and whoever will listen. Planning a wedding is sometimes overwhelming and having someone to bounce ideas off is so important. Also, have a clear idea of what you’d like, vendors need to know and if you don’t know then how can they?”

“Amy was amazing! ” raves Maddison of the couple’s chosen photographer.  “I’m so glad we found her, she managed to get two camera-shy people comfortable in front of the camera and produce some beautiful photos. Her personality is so bubbly and infectious that it just puts you at ease and I think that shows in her work. I loved that she was willing to try different locations and types of shots.”

“I remember how happy we were to have something we had worked so hard on come to life” remembers Mitchell. “It was the way we wanted it – to be happy and we felt that it was the best way to show how we are as a couple.”

“We included photos of Mitch’s late dad and my late Nan around the wishing well, it was important for us to include them in our day.”

The day ended with plenty more celebration and dancing – and even an impromptu first dance!  “We hadn’t planned on having an official first dance, it wasn’t that sort of event and we didn’t want to interrupt the flow of the night by having a scheduled dance. Our first dance was sort of an accident once everyone hit the dance floor and it was to Love Shack by the B-52s – very romantic.”

The biggest congratulations to you both Maddison & Mitchell. Thank you for sharing your day and its stories with us, and thank you to Amy Philp Photography for today’s beautiful images,