I first spoke with Kaitlyn a few years ago when she asked me to photograph her Gabbinbar Homestead wedding in Toowoomba.
At the time, Kaitlyn and Myles were based in the UK and did all of their wedding planning remotely with the help of family in Australia.
When their day rolled around, it flowed effortlessly and we had some fantastic opportunities to create some beautiful wedding portraits on the grounds of Gabbinbar Homestead.
After their Gabbinbar Homestead wedding was over, it was featured on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings.
Here are some snippets about their proposal, wedding planning and the vision for their Gabbinbar Homestead wedding day (words by Kaitlyn taken from this post here).
I hope you enjoy! ♥
We went to New York for my birthday in December 2015. On retrospect, Myles had been acting very strangely leading up to the trip – working late nights, insisting that we have wifi in our hotel room, ensuring we had a safe to access in the hotel – often things he leaves to me to sort out!
The first night of our trip after a lovely dinner with friends Myles suggested going up to the top of the Empire Building as we had free night entry tickets.
So at 11pm in the freezing weather we made our way up.
I was too busy taking photos of the breath taking night view to not really notice Myles standing next to me saying lots of lovely things until suddenly he was on one knee!
Funnily enough midway through the proposal a very ignorant tourist came up to us asking US to take HIS photo!!
Needless to say he understood straight away and gladly offered to take pictures of us!
Suddenly all of Myle’s weird habits made sense. The safe was for ring insurance, wifi was for skyping our parents and the late nights at the office were spent designing my beautiful ring!
We spent the rest of holiday exploring New York in engaged bliss!!
Myles and I had been living in London for 12months when we got engaged.
Our favourite thing to do was go for afternoon walks in Kensington Gardens therefore we knew our vision would have to be something that emulated the beautiful English gardens.
We were lucky to find that in our wedding venue – an Australian Toowoomba based homestead set within beautiful gardens – to capture our vision.
We also wanted something very relaxed and a lot of fun for us and our guests as they were important things when planning our wedding.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
The first 6 months of our engagement were spent in London so we weren’t able to do a lot of planning.
We booked in our Gabbinbar Homestead Wedding, photographer and band all based on recommendations and viewings by our parents and my bridesmaids.
As soon as we moved back to Australia in July it was full steam ahead.
Thank goodness for my mum, aunt and bridesmaids who helped me pull off a mainly DIY wedding in 4 months!
With DIY there were many stressful moments (including tears!) but well worth the end result that was uniquely ours.
$30,000 AUS (approx. 15,000 pounds)
Gabbinbar Homestead. A beautiful Australian homestead set on 2 acres of private gardens that was ours for the whole day.
We had the ceremony here under a beautiful pavilion and the reception in a glass conservatory (again, another nod to England!) where we ate dinner under the stars.
THE WEDDING DRESS & ACCESSORIES
I am so fortunate to have a mum who is a dressmaker who painstakingly made my dress (amongst other things) by hand!
My wonderful aunt made my headpiece and veil and I decorated my shoes.
For my earrings my darling husband had my grandmother’s eternity ring made into beautiful diamond studs for my ‘something old’.
FINDING THE WEDDING DRESS
My mum came over to London after we got engaged and started to looked for ‘the one’.
After a couple of stores I found a beautiful, soft tulle gown by a Spanish designer, but by the time it was ordered, made, delivered to the London store and then shipped to Australia it wouldn’t arrive until 3 weeks before the wedding!
I was not comfortable taking that chance, so only after trying the dress on for 10mins my mum decided she would just replicate it herself!
The next week Mum and I travelled to Greece and found some GORGEOUS soft beaded tulle from the most wonderful tailor, perfect for our design.
Including the hand beading on the bodice it took Mum about 4 months to make my dress (she was still sewing the day before the wedding) but it fit me perfectly and the whole outfit was so unbelievable it surpassed my wildest wedding dress dreams.
Plus having my mum create it is such a special memory.
Myles was very keen to be involved in what he wore and probably spent more time than me deciding on his overall look!
His vision was Harvey Spektor from the TV show ‘Suits’ – simple, slick and smart.
‘The Black Label’ helped Myles create his bespoke suit – a beautiful navy wool 3 piece with tailored white shirt and paisley silk tie and matching pocket square.
His groomsmen wore matching suits but without the vest for something different.
THE READINGS & MUSIC
We had an Anglican religious wedding, but still wanted it to be modern.
We had traditional readings (Book of Solomon) and ceremony, but had modern music – ‘She’ by Elvis Costello was the processional song; ‘Hey Ho’ by The Lumineers for our recessional; and an acoustic cover of ‘Take on Me’ by Andrea Begley for the signing of the register.
My best friend and my sister were my 2 beautiful bridesmaids.
We again tried to find the perfect dress for them but nothing really met our expectations.
Luckily, mum and I bought yards of a wedge-wood blue silk chiffon in Greece on our holiday (the colour was to die for – I just had to have it!) so Mum made their dresses from that.
Very soft and simple as I didn’t want anything to overshadow the flowers and the rest of the stunning venue features that would be in our photos.
My aunt is AMAZING.
Not only did she make our cake (a feat in itself) but she, mum and my bridesmaids rallied together to create our bouquets and reception flowers.
By doing it ourselves we saved heaps of money and were able to spend it on certain flowers that I really wanted – peonies!!!!
We were also able to create more arrangements including 2 hanging chandelier pieces for our reception.
I knew I wanted a show stopper for my cake.
I had seen a celebrity with a cake hanging upside down from their reception chandelier and I thought hey I could do that!
So, after some sweet talking to my Aunt and some lengthy research we were able to pull off my magnificent ‘chandelier wedding cake’.
We suspended it from the ceiling in front of the reception French doors, and to top it off had fairy lights to illuminate it at night! Ahh perfection!!
We had to book our photographer from London so only had the internet to help.
Thankfully the gorgeous Leanne from Leanne James Photography was everything her portfolio promised and more.
She captured our day perfectly and made us all feel so relaxed and calm.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR
I really wanted to create a gorgeous atmosphere at our wedding that when our guests walked in they would say ‘wow’.
We were already halfway there with the gorgeous glass ceiling of our reception venue, and then just accentuated everything with lots of flowers, crystal and candles.
We kept the ‘English garden theme’ going with floral stationary, accentuated with the same blue as the bridesmaid dresses.
Everything was handmade by me or my mum which made it all the more satisfying when it all came together.
Myles and I both started new jobs a couple of weeks before our wedding so couldn’t take too much time off – we ended up have a magical weekend away at Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat.
There was limited phone reception which meant blissful silence for us to recuperate after the wedding!
I loved every single part of my wedding, but if I had to choose, my favourite would be that our family priest was able to conduct the ceremony.
He married my parents, baptised my sister and I, and presided over my grandparents funerals.
Having that familial link in our ceremony made it all the more special and memorable.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
Don’t worry about what others will think.
Everyone told us ‘it’s your day, do what you want’ but you always have that feeling that what if the guests don’t like the food?
What if there isn’t enough to drink?
I didn’t realise it until the wedding day, but if you are happy, everyone will be happy because they love you and only want the best for you.
Also, if you plan on doing a complete DIY wedding in 11 months whilst 7 of those months you’re out of the country, make sure you have help!
We couldn’t have pulled our day off without our family and friends!
Ceremony & Venue: Gabbinbar Homestead
Wedding Dress: Mother of the Bride
Cake & Décor: Bride’s Aunt & Mother
Priest: Arch Deacon Fred Ailwood
Groom’s Attire: The Black Label
Band: Radio Club Band
Toowoomba Wedding Photography: Leanne James Photography