Late last year I had the absolute pleasure of photographing the beautiful wedding of George & Fran. They were married on a beautiful August afternoon at the gorgeous Sirromet! Sirromet is one of my favourite Brisbane wedding venues to photograph at! There is so much variety all without leaving the venue! So here is George & Fran’s real life wedding story:
Bride’s Name: Fran
Groom’s Name: George
Date of Wedding: 25/08/2017
Number of Guests: 55
How did you meet?
We met in London at a bar called One New Change, which overlooked the Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral.
How long did you date?
We dated for 4 years before we got married, although we were engaged for 18 months of that.
How did he propose?
We were on holiday over Christmas in Fiji. Just before we left I slipped two discs in my back, so I was fairly immobile the entire holiday. But on our last day there, George suggested we go on a boat trip out to the islands. We took a boat out, which cruised passed the most stunning tropical islands. We stopped off at an island called Octopus Island where we spent the day snorkelling (George) and drinking cocktails (Fran). We were sat overlooking the ocean and George popped the question, I actually laughed at first as it came as quite a surprise!
What was your wedding date?
25th August 2017
Why did you choose this date? Any special reason?
As many of our family and friends were travelling over from the UK, we decided to get married in August – as it was school summer holidays over there. But we also didn’t want to get married when it was too hot! The long engagement also gave us plenty of time to plan around our busy work lives.
Where did you have your wedding?
Was there any special touches, vows, traditions or tributes that you included into your ceremony?
We wrote all of our ceremony, including personalised vows that we kept secret until the ceremony. Our border collie puppy (dog actually, but he’s our puppy) Murray was ringbearer. I also had my late grandmother’s head scarf tied around my bouquet as a tribute to her and as my something blue.
If you could pick one special moment from the day to remember what would it be?
The ceremony was super special for us. Our vows and our personalised ceremony were so special to us – we both cry every time we look back on the photos and videos of it. Cheesy but true! George also did a pretty epic speech! I had planned to do a video speech too, but just didn’t get around to it in time. So instead, I read it to him over a glass of champagne on our first night alone at home after the wedding. We also had a few dance lessons for our first dance, we tricked people into thinking we were doing a slow smoochy dance to John Legend’s All of Me, but pushed each other away a few seconds in and broke into a Rhumba and Cha Cha to the much faster Avicii’s Addicted to You. That was pretty cool!
Who designed your gown?
It was an Aire Barcelona lace gown.
Where was it purchased?
It was actually a sample from a bridal shop down in Sydney, I got a massive bargain by buying it like that – and doing a bit of what I do best – haggling!
What was your gown shopping experience like? Was this dress the first one you tried on? Did you try on hundreds, loved it, hated it?
I really enjoyed dress shopping! I tried on well over 20 dresses, I very nearly went for a more blingy diamante lace gown actually but it didn’t quite feel right, as I wanted something a bit more classic – lace wise – so I kept looking. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted in my head once I had tried a couple on though so it was just about finding something that fit those criteria. When I tried the Aire Barcelona gown on I actually cried a little bit! Again not really like me – but at least I knew it was ‘The One’. But the price tag wasn’t ideal – and I wouldn’t ever have got that budget passed George, so my bridesmaid and I set about googling to find it cheaper. In the end I got it for a third of the original price! I also did the same with the bridesmaid dresses too!
Where there any special details you included in your day? Did you borrow a piece of jewellery etc?
I wore my late Grandma’s pearls, my sister-in-law made my veil. We also printed ‘Did You Know’ cards for each of the tables at our reception – a few funny facts about each of us for guests to get to know our other half’s a bit better and just for a bit of fun!
As we were getting married at a vineyard and we both love wine and wine tasting, we arranged for guests to do some wine tasting at the cellar door before the ceremony, which worked out really well as our guests could enjoy the experience and get to know other guests – many of whom had never met before.
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?
My something old and borrowed was my Grandma’s pearls which I borrowed from my Mum for the day, my something new were my earrings and my something blue was my Grandma’s head scarf which I had wrapped around my bouquet.
Did you have any DIY elements to your day?
We did DIY a fair bit, George built our wedding website and designed all of stationary, wedding signs, place names etc. I made all of the place cards and table number out of corks collected by my family over in UK over the course of a year! My sister-in-law made my veil for me and we built our own cheese tower instead of having a wedding cake – which my sister decorated for us. We are still eating the cheese now!
If you could describe the overall theme of your wedding day what would it be?
Classic, vineyard wedding!
Gown: Aire Barcelona
Suits: Marks and Spencer’s
Bridesmaids: Alfred Sung, Dessi
Hair: Hollywood Brides
Makeup: Hollywood Brides
Ceremony: Sirromet Winery, The Laguna
Celebrant: Sue Skinner
Reception: Sirromet Winery, The Barrell Hall
Cake: DIY Cheese Tower
Flowers/Florist: The Lush Lily
How did you find your overall experience with the above vendors?
We had a great experience with all of the vendors, we had a few issues with some suppliers so had to switch hair and makeup and the photographer relatively last minute. But the end result was fantastic.
Do you have any advice for other brides?
Be organised with your planning – although George thought I was mad planning so far ahead – I’m super glad I did – it meant that in the weeks in the run up to the wedding, I had very little to do – so I could enjoy spending time with my friends and family who had travelled a long way to be here. I would also say don’t DIY everything! Particularly the things you have to do in the last few weeks / days – this will add stress that you don’t need. I’m really glad I delegated and paid suppliers to do some of those last minute jobs for me!
What made your wedding day so memorable?
Having so many friends and family over here that had all travelled so far to be there for our big day! Particularly my Dad who due to illness we weren’t sure whether he was going to be able to make it for a long time. But he did and I was so happy that he could walk me down the aisle!
What was the funniest memory from your wedding day?
Our celebrant made so many mistakes during the ceremony! Which was actually quite hilarious – particularly as she called George my wife!
What was the weather and location like on the day?
The weather had been really stormy the day before, so we were praying for the rain to go away – it was overcast in the morning but it actually cheered up just in time for your ceremony. The clouds just gave us the best sunset and light for the photos too! Sirromet Winery is a stunning venue! Having our ceremony on the Laguna overlooking the water was so beautiful – with the occasional duck floating past! The Barrell Hall was also spectacular – the lighting and the drama were just beautiful. Everyone commented on how beautiful the venue was.
If there was one thing that you would change from the day, what would it be and why?
I don’t think there’s anything I’d change to be honest! It was a real shame that some people close to us couldn’t make it over from the UK or New Zealand – so there were some family and close friends missing – but that would have happened wherever we got married – the nature of marrying someone from the other side of the world!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went on a little mini-moon a few weeks after the wedding – we stayed in the Sofitel, Broadbeach for a couple of days to relax. The main event comes in a few weeks when we go to Thailand just before Christmas! It was amazing!!
We were both over the moon with Nicole. We were so pleased that she could be our photographer. I got to know Nicole through the boudoir shoot she did of me as a present for my husband and I instantly felt at ease and actually felt like she’d been a close friend of mine for years. After a not so great experience with another company, we switched to Nicole relatively last minute and we are soooooo glad we did. Nicole and her assistant Meggie were an absolute pleasure to have around on the day and we are over the moon with the photos! Can’t wait to start printing them and getting them up in our home. Thank you for everything!
Thank you George and Fran for inviting us to be part of your wedding day!