winter weddings are just as beautiful
I HAD A VISION
It all started with Snow Gums.
A friend had posted an image of said trees on her FB page and my brain went into overdrive.
Oh, man - how awesome it would be to do a shoot there.
Not just any shoot though. Not just a styled shoot. I do love a styled shoot - it generally means you can be as creative and as weird and as awkward as you like - 3 of my favourite things.
But it also means you normally rely on models. Don't get me wrong - every model I've worked with so far has been amazing to work with.
But for this - I really wanted a REAL couple, real emotions, real vows, real tears.
And so it began - this little spark of an idea - that soon snowballed into something soooo much bigger and soooo much better.
As a start, I contacted the lovely girls, Amy and Mel who are the brains and beauty behind Wedshed, (with whom I'm also a vendor) to run the idea past them. With a big thumbs up, and one FB shoutout later, I started to recruit the superstar team that ensued.
Our ethos was simple.
To prove that winter weddings can be just as kick-arse!
( and to blow away potential couples with skills we may not have had the chance to showcase previously!)
Fortunately a group of super talented vendors could see my vision and were keen to be a part of it.
So far so good.
The next step was to find a couple - a real couple - a couple who not only shared our vision, and fit into the dress I was desperate to use (my mother's 1971 handmade woollen crepe winter wedding dress) but who were also willing to give up full creative control to a bunch of strangers and maybe even actually want to get married - for reals!
So another little FB boosted shoutout later and we found the gorgeous Amie and Nick.
It felt like it was meant to be.
The dress fit, they were on board with all of our ideas, they were super cute and the idea of eloping suited them to a 't'.
People, we are having ourselves a real, bona fide, winter elopement.
We were so lucky that the whole team were all on the same page and although we were all keen to show off something a bit different (to what we are maybe normally asked to do from couples) we were also very aware that this was Amie and Nick’s actual wedding - so although they handed over the reigns completely - we still asked them for input into likes and dislikes and everyone worked around this beautifully.
Meet the team...
Design & Styling, Furniture & Props: Kate of Good Day Rentals
Florist: Marnie of Poppy’s Getting Married
Make-Up: Ashley Hopkins Makeup Artist
Hair: Janey Umback
Celebrant: Meg of Raise Your Glass Ceremonies
Musicians: Fidel and Sarah
Cake: Gina of Miss Ladybird Cakes
Catering: Mr Hall
Oh - and of course, little ol' me!
I won’t lie - it was a long, hard day. And I may have underestimated the impact of working in a foot of snow! BUT, it was so worth it. And with the whole team pitching in (including Mr T - my Hubby - who in Kate's words is a 'heavy lifting slash super helper' - 'he carried a very large arm chair through the snow on his head for actual miles. I think he is dead now, but look at the shots, totz worth it.' - true dat! ) - in all aspects, the day will not be forgotten any time soon. And what’s more - it exceeded all of Amie and Nick’s expectations (they’re words ;) )and they now have a wedding to remember for a lifetime.
aime + nick
'Having experienced so many amazing adventures together, just the two of us, we decided an elopement was the truest reflection of who we are as a couple.
There were two very personal features we knew we wanted to incorporate:
– We both wore our old leather boots that took us from the highlands of Scotland to Pompeii and beyond; they hold even more memories for us now. I’ll be framing my Doc’s when they finally give in!
– During our travels we fell in love with the song ‘Emmylou’ by First Aid Kit. The lyrics symbolise the most beautifully simple request between two people who respect and adore each other, saying I’ll be the June to your Johnny and the Emmylou to your Gram if all you’ll do is sing with me. It’s a nod to all the great loves, with that bittersweet overtone of classic 1970’s country music. We were a bit cheeky and asked the irrepressible Fidel & Sarah if they would learn Emmylou for us to walk down the aisle to. When they started playing our song, there in the snow, it was the most surreal moment'
Janey - hair
'Whether employed to style hair as I was on this occasion, or when applying makeup, I always ensure that my clients and I are in firm agreement on final looks before their wedding day.
With the theme of Game of Thrones firmly in mind, it was important that both Amie and Meg’s hairstyles reflect the overall mood of our shoot. Working as a collaborative team, it was decided that Amie’s curls should remain loose and natural for her wedding ceremony, which would tie in with the snowy outdoor scene.'
meg - celebrant
'It always blows my mind what awesome people can do when they come together and Amie and Nick’s secret elopement in the snow was no exception. Anna had a fantastic vision of the look and feel she was trying to achieve and our happy couple were absolutely up for the challenge. However we were all very conscious, myself especially, that at the end of the day this was still their wedding and needed to reflect who the two of them were. In chatting with both Nick and Amie, I got to understand their story and the adventures that they had had together. While I wanted to share a little of that in the ceremony, what was most important was letting their vows and the commitments that they wanted to make to each other tell most of the story. In writing their ceremony, I highlighted those few elements that made them Nick and Amie, covered off the legals of course but then really let the vows be the true centrepiece of the occasion and I’m delighted to say that they were thrilled with the end result.'
fidel & Sarah - live music
'Not many elopements feature live music, but there's no reason you can't drag a duo up a snowy mountain for that perfect serenade. Music sets the mood, takes the focus off pre-wedding nerves, and breathes life into those special moments. Amie & Nick had always dreamed of having a live folk band at their wedding. They emailed us saying “as every sickly loved-up couple does, we have ‘our’ song which is Emmylou by First Aid Kit. Is there any possibility of having some sort of rendition of this?” And we said hell-to-the-yeah. So they walked down the snow-covered aisle to the sweet acoustics of banjo, guitar and crisp harmonies echoing the lyrics they'd been singing to each other for years. Back at the reception, hearts and lungs warmed with rum, feasting, and a good ol' fashioned Johnny Cash singalong. And if it couldn't get any sweeter, these two lovebirds had their first dance to the nostalgic Oo De Lally song from the 1970's Robin Hood cartoon! In front of a cosy fire, surrounded by candles and gorgeous styling, an adorable ukulele and guitar duet saw them wrapped in each other's arms with souls lifted higher than kites. Weddings without music can be rather dull and lifeless. But Amie & Nick made great music choices, and it made their wedding day perfect. They said “You guys really did make our day even more special than we ever thought possible...you two are everything we imagined and more.'
marnie - floristry
'It took just one look at the location (scouted by Anna) to make me want to be involved in this photoshoot. Snow, boulders, snowgums, stark, wintery, wild and white - just beautiful. And then to be given free reign and creative control over the flowers, well I felt like a kid in a lolly shop! As a florist I like to be inspired by the seasons, nature and the landscape around me. I decided to create a bouquet with branches of magnolia, white japonica (just a hint of spring) contrasted with soft scented roses, sweetpeas and my favourite winter flower - hellebores. And then we found a real couple who wanted to wanted to elope! After meeting Amie and Nick I discovered that Amie loves natives so I scoured the market for a white king protea and surrounded it with wax flower, tetragona gum and (appropriately named) blushing bride to make a second bouquet just for her. All bound together with trailing silk pewter coloured ribbon to match the beaded details on Amies stunning vintage dress.'
kate - design & styling, furniture & props
'Our design and styling ethos is to do to the best, coolest, most fun melding of old and new. So when Anna wanted to do a Game of Thrones-esque snowy winter wedding, we popped our hand up like the over excited kids we truly are. Afterall, GOT is based in ye olde times but has found a very big and special place in modern life - totz a mix of old and new.
When thinking about how to bring this to life, we took cues from the locations - Lake Mountain (white snowy, twiggy trees) and Glenburn (lush green, farmy and cosy) and Anna's mum's precious 1971 vintage wedding dress.
Avoiding GOT cliches like dragons and swords and wolves (also lacking suppliers for these items!), we worked with the snowy, crisp whites and silvers of the ceremony location, bringing in blue (the Bride's favourite) and green to create a crisp palette unexpected for this type of wedding.
For the reception, we warmed things up with reds, burgundies and purples, with some brass, glass, stoneware, timber furniture and literal piles of branches and sticks, thrown in for warmth, while also keeping it all contemporary. Lighting it up with festoons and fairy lights made it the wonderland you see in these beautifully captured images.'