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Set on 120 acres with spellbinding views of nearby rolling hills, there's little wonder that loved-up couples choose the Bower Estate for their big day, offering a blank canvas framed by nature's beauty. We sat down with For Love & Living couple, Tamara & Morgan, who shared their wedding journey with us, how purple influenced their styling choices and the little details that made their wedding day deeply personal and perfectly unique. 

We would love to hear how your story began. Please share how you met and your proposal story. 

We met through mutual friends in 2014 and instantly connected (bonding over books and career aspirations at a New Year’s Eve Party). Though we started as friends, things slowly aligned for us, and a year or so later, we started dating. Within a few months, we were living full-time together and haven’t been apart since! 

Over the years, we bought and renovated our first home (a 1950s cottage) and expanded our family by 3 with our dog Mando and our two cats, Murphy and Magic. Given that we were living like a married couple, marriage was always something we discussed openly. We knew we both wanted to and what that meant to us; the only thing we didn’t agree on was when! I wanted to be engaged yesterday, and Morgan was adamant about waiting for the perfect moment when I wouldn’t expect it (and when all of our renovations were complete). 

On a road trip to the Southern Highlands, when I thought we were just crashing at a motel for the night on the way, Morgan had planned the most beautiful proposal in the Byron Hinterlands. He woke me up an hour into our trip and asked me to put on a blindfold. We drove for a little longer until we pulled up at a property. He guided me up some stairs and onto a verandah, where I took my blindfold off and realised we were at the very first place we ever went away together. Morgan said he remembered in that first year of dating when we stayed there for two nights that it was the perfect place to propose, and that’s what he did! Once we had our moment with the most beautiful view of the valley (and a photographer hiding back in the house to capture it), the second surprise was both of our families arriving to celebrate with us into the evening with champagne, grazing boards and a home-cooked dinner (including my Opa’s special pepper sauce). It was PERFECT. So sentimental and better than I could have dreamed. Morgan’s business partners sent me sneaky photos afterwards of him planning for weeks in the office to make sure it all went right. So precious!


Tell us about your wedding planning process following your engagement. Where did you start?

The night we got engaged, I think I said something along the lines of “Let’s just enjoy this time in our lives and not put the pressure on for wedding planning,” and about 14 hours later, we arrived in Bowral, and we had already toured a wedding venue.

We spent a lot of time tossing up between something really intimate like an elopement with family, an interstate wedding in the Southern Highlands, or just an all-out celebration up in Brisbane. We settled on the latter for logistical reasons, and we’re so glad.


What came next: the dress, the date or the budget?

We locked in our photographer, videographer and florist next, as they were our top three non-negotiables. 


What were the most important elements of your wedding day? How did you choose what to prioritise?

Our first priorities were our guests and ourselves. We wanted the day to flow seamlessly and not feel regimented with ‘must-do’ activities. To keep this in mind, we told our photographer and videographer early on that we wanted to fly through our bridal party photos to leave as much time mingling with our guests as possible. We also knew the music and MC would set the vibe for the day. We made sure music was playing before guests arrived, during the whole cocktail hour and then changed the vibe from a live singer and guitarist to our DJ for the reception to signify that party time was beginning! Our MC, who is also my brother, absolutely nailed it! He did his own entrance to the marquee and handed out shots before we entered, which excited everyone and cut the tension before the speeches. His high energy made all the difference in keeping everyone engaged all night!

When it came to vendors, our photography, videography, and florist were the top three things that we absolutely didn’t want to skimp on. We knew they would be the most pricey elements of the day, but we wanted to get those things locked in on our date.


How did you personalise your wedding day?

We did a couple of things to make our day extra special! We wrote each and every one of our guests a handwritten note to open once they sat down at their table. It was such a nice way to thank them for being a part of our day, and we got so many compliments (and even some tears on the night!). 

We also didn’t like the idea of traditional favours. Most people don’t take them, and I just found it really tacky to give them something with our names or their names on it because it’s only going to end up in a drawer somewhere! In lieu of that, we included a little card in each envelope that explained we had donated to three different charities to honour the three people who had passed away and could not be there with us. Each charity was selected because it meant something to that person, so we loved being able to do this for them and also their families who were at the wedding. 

Another thing we did differently was ditch the bridal table! We always hated when the bridal party were separated from their partners at weddings, and we just didn’t like the formality of it. Instead, we did three long tables but made the centre one double wide so we could sit at the head of that table. It gave us the best vantage point of the whole space and all of our guests, which meant they could look at our reactions during speeches, and we could talk to more people than just our bridal party. Would highly recommend this layout; we have no regrets!


What drew you to your venue? 

We knew we wanted to get married outdoors. We got the feeling that Bower Estate would be our venue the second we drove through the gates. Not only were the staff lovely and communicative before we even locked anything in, everything about the venue aesthetically ticked the boxes for us. The ceremony space was framed by mountains and forest, and the cocktail/reception space sat right next to a ridge with its own waterfall. We also loved the fairy lights everywhere and knew it would be magical once the sun went down. It proved more beautiful than we could have ever imagined on the day! 


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?

I found the best way to include Morgan was to make vision boards and present him with only two options. For example, I would show two different flower vibes, two different stationary options, two different linen options and so on. That made it less overwhelming for someone not into the more creative side of things. We also had designated times (for us Monday evenings) to discuss all things wedding. We had it on our calendars and knew every Monday night over dinner, and we would tick off things like seating charts, accommodation, etc.


How would you describe your wedding day aesthetic? Where did you find your inspiration?

Romantic, Ethereal, Dramatic.  

The brief we landed on with Davina (which is kind of where I started in terms of the vision) was wild, overgrown gardens with heaps of drama which flowed into little moments throughout the whole venue to tie it all together. I really loved that undone, natural look and nothing too structured and predictable. Davina absolutely nailed it and made the whole space look like it had just grown right from the ground right in that very spot. I definitely centred the colour scheme around the colour purple. Everyone looked at me funny when I said that in the early stages, but we picked these stunning purple bridesmaids’ dresses from Aje, and I just LOVED that it wasn’t anything I’d seen before. I definitely used a lot of Pinterest and Instagram to get ideas about everything else, which was equally overwhelming as it was helpful. Would definitely trust your gut if you’re a creative person and try not to look any more after you’ve made decisions (though I was definitely guilty of this!). 


What was the highlight of your wedding day? Can you share your favourite moments from the day?

We both loved our ceremony and sharing our own vows! People say to just connect with your partner and pretend you’re the only two people there, but I disagree! Our beautiful celebrant Briony gave us a moment to look around and take in all the people who were there just for us, and we made a conscious effort to glance around before and after our vows to really take in the moment. 

Honestly, the whole night was so much fun, but a highlight was entering the marquee with our wedding party on an absolute high and then sitting down at our table. The candles were on, the sun had gone down, the canopy of fairy lights shined above us, and thanks to our INSANE florist Davina and the incredible team at FLL, the whole set-up was like something from a fairy wonderland! We looked around at our guests and whispered about how perfect the day was and how we never wanted it to end. 


How did you remain present while letting go and enjoying the moment?

It’s really weird because everyone tells you to enjoy every second because the day goes so fast, but honestly, the day never seemed to end for us! We kept looking at each other and just gushing about how beautiful everything was and how much fun we had! In the leadup, we took the approach that the marriage is about us, but the wedding (reception specifically) is for our guests. But it was almost like we just became a guest at our own wedding, completely letting go of any stress and just enjoying it like we would at any party. It was truly THE BEST day! Once the day has arrived, it’s too late to change anything, so you just have to accept that you’ve done everything you can and just cherish every moment. 


Did you have a bridal party? How did you each spend the morning of your wedding?

Morgan, his groomsmen and lots of the other guys attending the wedding (both family and friends) played 9 holes of golf in the morning before they got ready. It was a great way to ease the nerves of the day and give them something to do before getting ready! They didn’t need to leave as early as they flew to the venue via chopper.

My bridesmaids and I started at 6 am. My sister and two cousins jumped into my bed in the morning, and we all just lay there giggling like we were young. We started hair and makeup around 6:30-7 to make sure we had heaps of time and weren’t in any rush at all. My mum and sister grabbed coffees and pastries, my Dad made us french toast when he returned from golf, and we just took turns rotating through hair and makeup and chatting all morning. Missy from @missybridal was our hair stylist and Bronte from @makeupbybronte was our makeup artist and it was like having two extra girlfriends around. 

Missy went above and beyond in fixing my mum’s necklace to my bouquet with about 1000 pins, helping me into my dress and doing up so many little buttons, and walking around filming me on her phone and giving me pep talks during all my portraits… honestly such an angel! 

We all just gossiped and listened to music and before we knew it Lucy and Eddie had arrived to capture photos and videos before we left! 


What advice would you offer other couples in the lead-up to their wedding day?

I think getting stressed is inevitable (and maybe even a few tears). It’s such a special day, so it makes sense that there is a lot of emotion! 

The big thing for me was second-guessing myself. Between Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok (thanks to the algorithms that kept targeting me), it was so easy to get overwhelmed by choice and comparison. Whenever I decided on something, I’d spot a wedding feature and think, “Oh, maybe I should do that.” Or once I’d decided on my dress, I’d see another dress I thought I liked better. You just have to trust your gut, and once you’ve decided, just lock that away and stop looking! 


How would you describe your day in a few words?

Romantic, Abundance, Whimsical, Magic, Wonderland, Full-of-Love!


How do you plan to celebrate your wedding anniversaries in the future?

We’d love to be able to go away for a long weekend! We love a cosy winter holiday, just spending slow time together with nothing to do but enjoy each other's company. 

Can’t guarantee this will last forever, especially with kids in future, but we also try to do something special on the second of every month as we got married on the second. It doesn’t have to be something crazy…sometimes it’s just getting coffee out together before work, having a movie night at home, ordering our favourite takeout, or doing something out of the ordinary. It gives us something to look forward to every month and more regular prompts for quality time. 


Did you include any special traditions on your wedding day?

In terms of wedding traditions, my Dad walked me down the aisle, which was such a beautiful moment for us to share! We also did a ‘cutting of the cake’ right before our first dance, which we kept pretty informal and asked others to join us after a minute or so! I did wrap a pearl necklace that my mum wore on her wedding day around my bouquet, which was such a special touch. It not only looked beautiful, but it was such a great way to incorporate ‘something old,’ and I know it meant a lot to my mum. My sister has already said she is going to do the same when she gets married someday! 


Can you share your top beauty tip/hack for pre-wedding skincare?

I need to preface by saying there is nothing you MUST do for your wedding prep. There is a lot of pressure, especially on the bride, to have the perfect everything on your wedding day. It’s totally your choice, and you should consider whether these things are important to you before you go blowing money on it. 

I am lucky enough to have clear, unproblematic skin, but I met with my girlfriend at Skinfluence Clinic in Cleveland to discuss some of my goals. Again, she was really clear that I didn’t HAVE to do anything, which I think is so important. There are so many industries that use weddings as a cash grab for brides caught up in the whirlwind! I did end up opting for Fraxel and a number of BBL treatments (which was the best option for me specifically) to remove some of my pigmentation and freckles from the sun, which honestly was such a confidence booster for me! But again, that was right for my skin, goals and budget, and each bride will be different. If your skin is important to you, I’d definitely recommend engaging with a skin clinician at least six months out from your wedding to give them enough time to meet your goals. You don’t want to be doing anything drastic in the weeks leading up to the big day! 


Spend vs. Splurge. In your opinion, what was worth the price tag and what wasn’t?

I really do think this is different for everyone, depending on what’s important to you as a couple and where your budget sits. But for us:

Spend on flowers 1000%. We have zero regrets, and we still talk about it all the time. It wouldn’t have been the same vibe on a different scale, plus I gained a beautiful new friend in the process (shoutout to Davina!). 

We ditched charger plates on the tables, wedding favours and dessert in addition to cake. Another thing I thought about after the wedding was spending thousands on wedding shoes. I originally looked at a stunning pair of white satin Manolo Blahniks and then opted for a pair from The White Collection at the last minute. The price difference was HUGE, and I’m so thankful I did because my shoes were completely wrecked at the end of the night! 


Unsolicited Wedding Advice: what’s your unpopular wedding opinion?

Don’t ask for opinions from friends and family about wedding decisions! And that also goes for speaking about it too much, which leaves you open to unsolicited wedding advice where it’s not wanted! A: it spoils your ideas and ruins the surprise on the actual day, and B: you’ll only hear things that make you confused about your decisions. Ultimately it’s just about what you and your partner want, not everyone else!


What advice would you offer other couples who are unsure whether they should invest in having an On the Day Coordinator at their wedding?

If it’s within your budget to do so, I wouldn’t hesitate! Most wedding venues come with an ‘On-the-day coordinator,’ which, of course, is great, but their role covers the whole wedding, from the flow of the day to the catering to the weather contingencies etc. Having someone like the FLL team, whose sole purpose is to style and fluff the space to make it perfect, is honestly unreal. 

We dropped all the styling items off in labelled buckets the day before, and the team grabbed them with all the other styling bits we hired from the Hire Shop and worked their magic! I think the other thing that people don’t think about is that your styling and florals go hand in hand. If you’re opting for florals in your reception space, specifically on the tables, I would 1000% recommend finding a stylist and florist that have worked with each other before. I loved that FLL had worked with Davina from Fontana Floral many times, and I think that’s what made the space feel so cohesive. The candles complimented the florals, ribbons on the tables were tied into the floral design and the stationary design, and the florals weaved their way through the tablescapes so effortlessly. I think if it’s not done right, it could have looked really, really disconnected. 

I originally hesitated about engaging a stylist for the wedding because I already had such a clear vision of what I wanted for the day! But that’s what’s so great about the On the Day Coordination package because you can collate all your ideas ahead of time and just work with the team to bring it all together! It was honestly one of the best things we did. 


How did having an On the Day Coordinator help to put your mind at ease in the leadup and on the day of your wedding?

I am definitely a type-A control freak, and I was so worried about not being on-site to check everything before the wedding started. I even thought about getting ready there so I could run up and check everything (bridezilla much!?). But once we engaged FLL, I immediately felt at ease! The communication in the lead-up gave me a huge piece of mind that we were on the same page, and they even thought of things that I hadn’t thought of. I didn’t even think about it once on the day, and it was such a fun surprise seeing the space fully set up when we arrived at the reception!


Photographer: Lucie Blake Photography @lucieblakephotography 
Stationery & Signage: Peggy and Polly @peggyandpolly_