LAUREN & SAM
We would love to hear how your story began. Please share how you met and your proposal story.
Sam and I met in high school. We both grew up in Northern NSW, and we caught the same school bus. Sam finished school and moved up the coast and a year later I finished school and moved to Brisbane. We went to a few parties together and spent a lot of time driving up and down the highway. We eventually made it official and twelve years later we got engaged! It was never much of a priority for either of us. We wanted to get a puppy, buy a house, and move to the Gold Coast before doing anything wedding related.
We’d been together for so long it was highly unlikely Sam was going to be able to surprise me. If he’d planned a surprise holiday or romantic getaway, I would have 100% been on to him and he knew it! The proposal was the absolute best, we’d been for a walk that morning and had popped home to grab swimmers and towels as it was the first sunny beach day in weeks. We were at Currumbin up near the rocks and Sam had grabbed some shells to show me. On one of the “cool shells” was an engagement ring and he proposed. I was so surprised as it seemed like a normal Saturday. We swum for hours, drank champagne that Sam had snuck into the towels and then had one of our best friends swing past for more swims and champs. Sam had booked lunch for later which was heaven. We told our friends and family the next day so we could soak up the moment first.
Tell us about your wedding planning process following your engagement. Where did you start?
We didn’t want to have a super long engagement, so we decided to start planning a few months after we had got engaged. We originally wanted to get married at a restaurant, so we visited a few between Noosa and Byron, tasted a few menus and kicked off planning from there. We were keen to turn it around in around ten months.
What came first: the dress, the venue, the date or the budget?
The venue, the date, the dress! (and then the venue again!)
What were the most important elements of your wedding day? How did you choose what to prioritise?
Our two priorities were our guests and ourselves! Sam and I are huge foodies and spend so much of our time eating delicious food, cooking and enjoying wine and cocktails. We wanted our love of food to come across in our menu. We also wanted our guests to have so much fun, feel the love and to party with us. Making the day about us was important. It’s such a big day with a lot of build up and expense so we wanted to ensure we loved every moment of it. We made sure we stuck to what we love and didn’t do anything that didn’t feel right for us. We both had so much fun, felt the love and let loose at the end of the night. It was exactly what we wanted our wedding to be.
How did you personalise your wedding day?
We woke up and started the day together and had our Labradoodle, Woodi, at the ceremony. We didn’t have a bridal party or a cake and chose a coffee table book over a guest book which we knew we’d love to have out in our home.
What drew you to your venue?
We changed venue three weeks out from our wedding date which was unexpected and unfortunate. We were drawn to our original venue as we wanted a European feel and something unique. We hadn’t been to a wedding there and we loved the idea of jumping into the pool at the end of the night with our guests. When we had to change we were so lucky to find that EarthHouse was available. We’d seen weddings at the venue but hadn’t been before. We loved the rammed earth building, the view over the Northern Rivers and how romantic the space was. Fortunately, we were able to seamlessly move all our vendors across to EarthHouse and there was no interruption to our guests. It was all meant to be, and EarthHouse was incredible.
We know that many brides steer the ship when it comes to wedding planning. How did you involve your fiancé in the process, and what advice can you offer other couples to make the process more exciting for both of you?
Luckily Sam was just as keen to organise the wedding as I was so it was pretty equal. Sam has such an eye for food so he organised the catering. Sam worked with Joe from Joe Chef to craft the perfect menu to suit our guests tastes but also represent us and everything we love to eat. He also works in the beer industry so organised our beer, wine and cocktails.
We divided up a few of the not so fun jobs and Sam was tasked with the buses for our guests. The process was exciting as we have been to so many weddings together and always talk about what we loved and what we would do. It meant that when it came to our own wedding we were already on the same page.
How would you describe your wedding day aesthetic? Where did you find your inspiration?
Romantic and classic.
I knew when I started looking at inspiration that I needed to pick a vibe and stick with it. There is SO much incredible inspiration around and I knew that if I didn’t have a strong vision I would be easily swayed by trends. Instagram was my main source of inspiration, and I created a few saved boards of classic, romantic imagery. I also read a lot of interviews on AntiBride which was refreshing and continued to remind me that we could do what we wanted. I picked a couple of focus colours but ultimately wanted our venue to speak for itself and be something that we would look back on in years and not feel like we picked trends that ended up being overdone. I found For Love & Living through saving a few images on Instagram only to realise it was a planning service located where I live!
What was the highlight of your wedding day? Can you share your favourite moments from the day?
How did you remain present while letting go and enjoying the moment?
I thought I was prepared for how much of a whirlwind the day and ceremony would be, but it was so much more than I expected. By not having a bridal party Sam and I spent time getting photos together which was nice to step away, look over everyone during cocktail hour and soak it all in together. The entire day felt like it lasted an hour. It was busy and full on but so much fun! We just rolled with whatever was next and didn’t care too much about anything else except us.
You chose not to have a bridal party. How did you each spend the morning of your wedding?
We chose not to have a bridal party but booked a house for the weekend and invited some of our closest friends to stay. We all had dinner the night before and Sam and I stayed together rather than apart. We woke up on the day and did a Pilates class run by superstar Pilates instructor and one of my best friends, Bridie. I got ready with some of my oldest friends which was so relaxing and fun and Sam zipped off to get ready with his parents, siblings and best friend.
What advice would you offer other couples in the lead-up to their wedding day?
Get a planner and utilise the full services. The hiccups we had wouldn’t have happened if we’d done this. When issues did arise we just laughed them off together and tried not to let it get to us. Changing venue was something that could have been upsetting and a set back but we just took it as a sign and pushed on not dwelling on what had happened. We didn’t want to let anything leave bad vibes on the wedding day. At the end of the day the day was about us getting married, it didn’t matter where we were.
Also allocate specific people to use the disposable cameras to avoid hundreds of black (no flash) photos.
How would you describe your day in a few words?
A love-filled party.
How do you plan to celebrate your wedding anniversaries in the future?
Did you include any special traditions on your wedding day?
We kept the cork from one of our champagne bottles which we tied some of my bouquet silk ribbon to and will hang it on our Christmas tree as an ornament.
Did you write your own vows? If so, how did you start?
Can you share your top beauty tip or hack for pre-wedding skincare?
Consistency. I didn’t change much in the lead up but was more consistent with my water intake, good foods, naturopath skin herbs and gua sha.
Save vs. Splurge. In your opinion, what was worth the price tag and what wasn’t?
We had many friends tell us to not spend money on a lot of things but we made sure we spent and splurged on what was important to us and not what people had told us. We chose to save money by not having a cake (we’ve never eaten it at a wedding) and instead had Espresso Martinis. We didn’t do a welcome sign but did invest in a seating chart. Some would consider the table settings/linen napkins a ‘splurge’ but to us it was worth it. We wanted to set the scene of a beautiful dining table. We went without gold cutlery and crystal glassware to save costs and didn’t focus too much on our table flowers.
Unsolicited Wedding Advice: what’s your unpopular wedding opinion?
I wanted to be a chill bride and trust fully in everyone involved in the day but in hindsight I should have retained a bit more control to ensure little things weren’t missed. Once Tzari was involved from an on the day coordination perspective it was a dream! But prior to this I had been a little too relaxed with suppliers for fear of coming across like a bridezilla but remember, it’s your day and your money, you can be direct.
Tell us about your dream list of suppliers you worked with. How did you choose your team of experts?
I found most of our suppliers through other weddings via Instagram photos. All our suppliers were the best and so much fun! They were relaxed and our guests commented on how fun they all were. They felt like our friends and naturally a part of our wedding. Our celebrant, Charlie De Deyne, is one of our friends, best friends. Charlie was the celebrant for their wedding and we were so excited that she was keen to do ours. We both found the idea of a celebrant who didn’t know us a bit strange but Charlie was more perfect than we could have hoped for and made the ceremony exactly what we wanted. Romantic with bursts of laughter.
What advice would you offer other couples who are unsure whether they should invest in having an On the Day Coordinator at their wedding?
It is a must! The day is wild and so much more full on than you think it will be. On the day coordination is essential to ensuring you can have a relaxing and present day. I can’t imagine not having an on the day coordinator.
How did having an On the Day Coordinator help to put your mind at ease in the lead-up and on the day of your wedding?
An On the Day Coordinator was so much more than I expected! It was 100% worth it and I felt like Tzari went above and beyond, especially given our issues with our original venue. The time and care spent is so much more than just on the day and I highly recommend it. (But, do more than this, get a full planner with an on the day coordinator). Tzari was understanding and dealt with things that I didn’t want to have to think about on the day. I could share my little concerns and she handled it. She felt like a guest at the wedding!
- Hire & Styling - For Love & Living
- Coordinator - For Love & Living
- Celebrant – Charlie De Deyne
- Catering – Joe Chef
- Photography – Brendan Back
- Videography – Rolling Dawn Films
- Music – Danielle Guest
- Dresses – Kate Willa
- Hair & Make Up – Madi Wolfe
- Venue - EarthHouse
- Furniture - The Wedding Shed
- Lighting - Byron Audio