Isabella and Sam's wedding was elegant and simple in the best way. The couple arranged a ceremony in a country garden, against the backdrop of an autumn forest, and then invited guests to a reception in an authentic barn. We spoke to Isabella about the details of her dream celebration, as well as her love story with Sam.
How did you meet?
Sam and I went to high school together, he was two years above me, in the same grade as my brother. But we certainly didn’t pay much attention to one another back then. Post university, I flew to a ski resort called ‘Big White’ in Canada for a gap year and he was living in the same share house. We fought the feelings for a while – I was determined not to fly to the other side of the world only to end up with someone from high school! Eventually, we gave in.
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
I had envisioned a Slim Aarons-inspired wedding – ‘Beautiful people, in beautiful places, doing beautiful things!’ Running with this concept I knew that if our bridal party and guests looked and felt fabulous, enjoyed sensational food, and danced I would feel it was a success. I don’t believe anyone’s wedding turns out exactly like their Pinterest boards – but you end up creating something that’s authentic to you and your partner.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
Our wedding was held at Glenrock Gardens in Tenterfield, NSW. About five years ago, my parents bought a neighboring organic garlic farm there and we visited regularly. On one particular visit, we were invited to our neighbor’s place for an open garden, and I instantly fell in love with the stunning property. I called Sam and told him ‘I have found our wedding venue!’ to which he promptly replied ‘Issy, we’re not engaged yet.’ Needless to say, the vision was there from an early stage. It was lovely working with our neighbors and friends at Glenrock who did everything in their power to finish building the reception barn - down to the final hour before the ceremony started! It was a real race to the finish line with all hands on deck, but everything turned out beautifully and it was special to be the first married couple to experience their new reception venue.
How many guests did you have?
We had 90 guests. It was important to us to have a receiving line in the reception to ensure we welcomed each guest and thanked them for coming. Having 90 guests meant that we could get this done fairly quickly and easily.
Tell us about your outfits.
I visited the amazing Sam at ‘Bloom’ in Brisbane and fell in love with the Rose Gown by Marianna Hardwick. I knew I didn’t want to try on too many dresses as I struggle to make decisions when presented with too many choices! My only reservation about my gown was not being able to move about freely and dance, so at the last minute, I bought a reception dress from the Australian label Winona Australia and a blazer from Veronica Beard, and thankfully they were a perfect match. I borrowed my best friend and Maid of Honour’s veil and my shoes were by Sania D'mina. For accessories, I wore earrings by Kirstin Ash, The Last Line, and a Yves Saint Laurent handbag.
For the groom’s party, all the groomsmen wore black suits and Sam wore a black tuxedo. I insisted they each wear a self-tie bow tie, which I still don’t think they’re forgiven me for! My beautiful bridesmaids each wore different dresses from Cult Gaia, Sir The Label, Rachel Gilbert, and a custom gown from Brisbane-based designer Isabella Longginou.
Finally, our wedding rings were custom designed by Adam from AG Designer Jewellers in Brisbane’s Tattersall’s arcade. We have always had such a great experience with their team of jewelers.
What was your first dance song?
We spent some time trying to find the right song, as they all felt too serious which didn’t fit into Sam and my personality. Then one night while cooking dinner ‘Come and Get Your Love’ by Redbone came on and we both agreed it was the one!
What flowers did you choose for the bride's bouquet and why?
An extremely special element of our wedding was our flowers. My mother, Rose, started a small organic flower farm in Tenterfield, right next door to our wedding venue! Which meant that all the flowers in our wedding were homegrown and organic. We had a mix of dahlia, cosmos, garden roses, rosemary, and olive branches throughout the wedding but for the bouquets, we stuck to simply ‘Cafe au Lait’ dahlias. Our family and friends all gathered the day before our wedding (which was coincidentally also my birthday) to pick the flowers together. It is a really special memory that I look back on and treasure. As for the arrangements and arbor, we engaged the incredibly talented Sheridan and her team from Fiflàr Floral who outdid our expectations.
What was your wedding cake like? And where did you order it?
Sam and I decided on three wedding cakes – we chose a double-tiered Vanilla Bean Buttercream Cake which is both of our favorite, a single-tiered Caramel & Chocolate Ganache Cake which was Sam’s second choice, and finally a single-tiered Strawberries and Cream cake which was my second choice. We had a talented local, Sapphire from Tales & Tones Weddings, who is a French-trained pastry chef create these masterpieces. We recently found out that the day before the wedding while transporting the cakes to our venue, they all fell over due to the terribly bumpy road from the recent floods and Sapphire spent the whole night recreating each cake! What a gem she is!
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
We engaged a local caterer, Josh Telford who served the most incredible food – all of our guests commented on how amazing it was. Josh was such a relaxed and helpful vendor to work with and we had complete faith that he would pull it off, even though his stoves were still being installed on the day!
Florals: @fiflar_ & @tenterfieldcreekorganics