THIS BRIDE SHARES HER TIPS FOR PLANNING A WEDDING IN THE MIDDLE OF PANDEMIC
We have something pretty special for you all today, not only in terms of breath-taking imagery, but also the backstory and journey of this gorgeous couple…not to mention the timeframe in which this stunning summer wedding was planned…calling all COVID brides, yes the wedding of your dreams is ABSOLUTELY possible to plan and perfectly execute in 3 months even if you’ve had to reschedule twice already!!!
Adrian and Bella were married beneath a towering 100-year-old Moreton Bag Fig Tree at Gabbinbar Homestead, an historic heritage listed estate on the Eastern Coast of Australia. With the inspiration coming from the groom’s hometown of Sicily (they originally had planned a 2-month honeymoon there) and with all overseas travel put on hold for a while they wanted to create a bespoke day that captured the allure and feel of a Sicilian Summer village celebration, and their day certainly did not disappoint. Spending hours dreaming and scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest Bella created her own inspiration boards but had to craft an individualised styling palette and vignette for her vendors to work with. Bella was clear in her vision and incorporated a customised arch arbor, citrus florals, olives leaves and wooden market crates to help capture their vibe. The reception styling, cake, dresses and signage all followed suit and theme with guests even receiving personalised take home gifts of Limoncello.
So please enjoy pouring yourself a tea (or a wine depending on the time of day) and enjoy having a read about their incredible day and the amazing team that helped bring their vision to life.
“We were a ‘COVID couple’ and we actually had our wedding cancelled TWICE before our big day (once due to lock down and then the second time because our original venue went into receivership). I was completely devastated and disheartened about the whole ‘dream wedding’ thing by the time I stumbled upon Gabbinbar.” She told us.
“I booked the viewing of the venue on a whim not thinking much would come from it seeing as I had at that point viewed over 30 wedding venues and nothing had seemed to fit us. But boy was I wrong! As soon as I stepped foot on the Gabbinbar grounds I knew it was the place for us. It just felt so magical and perfect that I started tearing up when I got there. Everything about Gabbinbar is a 10/10 experience – the grounds are immaculate, the service is incredible, the food was amazing. I couldn’t fault a single thing. We booked the next day after our viewing for their next available date (which was only 3 months away).”
“The theme of our wedding was ‘Sicilian Summer’. My now husband is Sicilian and originally for our honeymoon he was meant to be taking me to Sicily for 2 months. Unfortunately, due to COVID we weren’t able to go – so we thought why not create our own little piece of Sicily right here in Queensland. That was the inspiration around the citrus florals and olive leaf – and we did the market crates to sort of replicate that small town market feeling. We tried to carry this sort of aesthetic through everything, from our stationery and signage, florals, suits and dresses, reception styling and even our thank you gifts (which were all little individual limoncello bottles)”. Bella explained.
“The team at Gabbinbar were beyond helpful and accommodating and made organising everything extremely easy. Particularly, I love that they supplied me with a list of all their recommended local vendors, as it made finding people to help make my day perfect so easy. Saved me a lot of time doing hours and hours of research. And everyone they recommended was amazing.”
“When it came to designing my day with vendors, I had a very strong vision that I presented them with when I was booking them. I had spent quite a while building Pinterest boards and gathering ideas and inspiration for my day – so we used those as base boards for everything we did. I did have to lean on and trust my vendors and their talent/expertise a lot however as we didn’t have exact images that we could copy for styling or inspiration per say. The theme I had in my head and envisioned for the day was quite unique and unfortunately, I couldn’t find ANY images online that exactly encompassed the overall look, so I had to supply my vendors with pictures where I had just circled one section or element on the picture. So, it would be like “Combine the colours of this picture, with the shapes of this picture and the textures of this picture”. It was a lot, but it turned out perfectly and I love that my wedding was so different to anything I had seen.”
‘My dress was a custom design by Suzanne Spicer Couture. We based the design off a Vera Wang Bridal dress worn by a French influencer and added our own touches to it. I really wanted to go with a vintage/60s aesthetic, and I feel like the design we did fit that perfectly. My favourite part of my dress though was my veil – I modernised and adjusted the wedding veil my mother wore on her wedding day. It was so special and comforting to know that I had a little bit of her with me walking down the aisle. It was amazing to wear on the day, I couldn’t have felt more ‘me’ – which was exactly what I was going for.”
“We had a lot of DIY elements of our wedding (including our wedding arbour, styling elements & thank you favours). When it came to thinking up the ideas Pinterest was my best friend – I would spend HOURS scrolling and scrolling through pictures under different topics to come up with some of our ideas. When it came to constructing things or making things happen the biggest advice, I could give is ask people around you for help! You will be so surprised how many friends and loved ones are not only willing to help but have secret talents that assist in making your vision come to life.”
“By far my favourite and most unique thing we did was display all the past wedding dresses from both our families during the reception (i.e., have my mum, Adrian mum’s and our grandmothers’ dresses on display). We thought this was a beautiful way to incorporate a bit of family history into our special day, while also giving our mother figures a way to feel special and seen on our wedding day. Wedding dresses only get worn once, so it was also pretty cool to get all the old dresses out again for everyone to see and also compare to the dress that I choose on my day. We both hope that maybe we have started a tradition that our future children might want to continue on their wedding days too!”
“Prioritise all your wants and ideas early on, so you can book the things most important to you first – money goes a lot faster than you anticipate when planning a wedding and during the final stages you do have to start making compromises. Make sure you have all your non-negotiable booked and paid for early, so you don’t have to miss out on something you really had your heart set on.”
“Secondly trust your vendors – at the end of the day, these people are the professionals who have worked in the industry for years, so they know what they are talking about. I found openly collaborating with my vendors and asking for their input and advice when making decisions was very helpful and made for a better wedding. You are paying these people for a reason, so let them do their job and take the lead on a few things! You’ll actually be surprised at how much you love their suggestions.” She added.
“Lastly don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and get in there yourself – While I had amazing vendors who helped with some elements, I also did a lot of DIY-ing, research and idea suggesting myself. Which saved us money but also allowed our wedding to have a unique and personal touch to it. If you really love an idea, there is always a way to make it happen – whether that comes down to getting crafty yourself, discussing deals with your vendors or creating something a little outside of the box. Don’t be afraid!”
“Just ‘roll with the punches! Unfortunately, this is an incredibly uncertain time to be planning such a big event like a wedding and you have to go into the planning process completely aware that everything might suddenly change at the last minute… and you have to accept that (otherwise you are going to go through a lot of stress and heart break in the process). This is the world we live in and there is no way around it and no way to change it. That and ALWAYS read each vendors cancellation and refund policy!!! And don’t give up on our dream of a beautiful wedding – with COVID we were close a couple of times on calling quits on the whole idea of a ‘traditional wedding’ but were so glad in the end that we didn’t.”
Photography: Heart & Colour I Videographer: Sam Fregonese I Wedding Cake: Jillicious Cakes I Florist: Fluers by Starr I Hair: The Hair Artist Collective I Make-up: Finish Beauty I Music Entertainment: James Scott Music I Brides Dress: Suzanne Spicer Couture I Grooms Suit: Suit Supply I Venue: Gabbinbar Homestead I