Grace & Sam’s Relaxed Backyard Wedding
Grace and Sam brought all their loved ones to Grace’s family farm for a relaxed outdoor wedding in her childhood backyard. I asked them to share a few thoughts with me about their wedding and they wrote the most beautiful story detailing the lead-up and day of! So I’ll let them tell it themselves, in Grace’s words:
“Having the wedding at my family home was really special. When deciding on a location we were a little nervous about having the wedding on my parent’s property (outside Bingara, northern NSW) because many of our friends and family had to travel such a long way and we were concerned that there wouldn’t be enough accommodation. Somehow our little town supported the vast majority of our ~180 guests and the others ended up camping with us on the farm (which was so much fun).
We felt as if our wedding was a real community effort. We have such incredibly generous family and friends who pitched in in so many different ways. (Preparing food in the week leading up to the wedding, helping to lay fresh turf, carting long bamboo shoots from a family property in central QLD to create a beautiful light installation, transporting our wedding cake and flower bouquets from Sydney- the list goes on). We really do feel so lucky and so fortunate to have friends and family like ours.
I remember after we’d finished hanging the lights (a few nights before the wedding) we took the speakers down to the shed, put on some classic rock hits, laughed and danced. We were so excited! We managed to find a few straightish pine trees in the paddock opposite the house and used them to create the ceremony arbour. We fastened it with rope, then we decorated it with olive and banksia branches and a few protea flowers. It was perfect – it’s still standing in the backyard – although slightly more wonky than it was on the day.
We loved waking up on the morning of our wedding and having friends and family all around to help with all the last minute preparation – setting tables, preparing floral arrangements, setting up the benches for the ceremony and helping to settle our nerves. It really wouldn’t have worked without them all being there. We had the most beautifully presented, indulgent, delicious grazing table thanks to the mother of the groom and her sister – it’s something that our guests always mention when they speak about our wedding. “THE FOOD – THAT TABLE UNDER THE TREE!!!”
My bridesmaids, my mum and I all had our hair and makeup done at Lush Hair and Beauty Haven in Bingara. Skye and Cindy were incredible. I walked in looking completely dishevelled, chaotic and a nervous wreck. Walked out a glass of champagne down, a little less nervous and feeling a million bucks. The girls all looked stunning. The reveal was so much fun! Seeing Sammy before the ceremony made me feel instantly at ease, and allowed us a moment to spend alone, after which we took heaps of really beautiful photos with our lovely bridal party.
To me, one of the most special moments of the day was walking down the aisle with my wonderful parents. Nic’s photographs of this are hysterical!”
This was also my favourite moment of the day and one of my favourite photographs. I love the emotion on Grace’s and her parents’ faces as they walk down the aisle together arm in arm. Grace’s dad biting his lip trying to hold it together as tears well up in his eyes. Grace’s mum roaring with laughter as she can’t contain her excitement or her smile. And Grace, locking eyes with Sam, in a moment of overwhelming love and emotion. I love being able to freeze moments like these forever.
“After the ceremony, Nic took Sammy and me away for half an hour or so for our couple portraits. The previous day we’d sussed out a few places around the farm that capture the scenery and the light beautifully. Nic had a few tricks up her sleeve to help make us feel comfortable in front of the camera. We seemed to forget we were being photographed and were able to act pretty naturally, which was exactly what we were going for.
We had my younger brother Harry and Sammy’s older sister Hannah as joint MCs and they were fantastic! Absolutely nailed the vibe and kept the whole evening on track. We wish we had filmed the speeches! I just remember laughing and tearing up throughout each and every one. A lot of people seem to try to limit speeches at their reception, but I loved every moment and could have listened to my friends and family speak for hours and hours.
For music we hired the White Tree Band and they were sensational. We highly recommend them for any event. They also allowed my older brother Tom on stage to sing a few classic hits (which all my friends love him for). Sam and I also made it on stage at one point and made absolute fools of ourselves which was inevitable.
A huge thank you to Nic for capturing all these beautiful, special memories for us.”
– Grace & Sam
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