Lauren and Graham got married recently on a private property near Gympie. These two have the most incredibly magical way with words – we realised this pretty quickly from their excited instagram countdown posts pre-wedding. Post wedding, we couldn’t quite find the words to recap all that we had seen and felt and heard, so we thought – who better to ask than Lauren and Graham themselves?! Luckily, they were happy to share their memories of the day with us.
Hello. My name is Lauren. And recently I became a wife. It wasn’t a title I was familiar with nor one I took lightly, but it was a role I knew I would excel at because my now Husband, Graham, and I are each other’s version of perfect.
I’d learnt a lot about love over the years through family, friends, and colleagues. Each faction had their own disciplines and customs which allowed me to love unconditionally, observe love in many forms, and earn love through loyalty and commitment. But Graham taught me a version of love I had never experienced or could experience from anyone else. It has a depth, a rawness, and an honesty which makes it want to travel at warp speed around my heart and soul and radiate through my smile, my eyes and my chest. It enhanced my every emotion.
When I experienced this kind of love I knew it was forever. It was truly unconditional in every sense. I knew Graham was my every want and my reason for being…and this was well before he even proposed.
We’d known each other four years, dated for two, and married a year to the day that we got engaged. We knew how we felt, what we wanted, and didn’t need to waste time pondering.
The journey to preparing our day was underpinned by one rule: if we were not enjoying the planning process, pause and laugh, because the meaning and intent would otherwise be lost. It created a space where we could be creative, collaborative and calm. This extended right through to the day itself where expectant nerves were replaced by smiles, excitement and loads of love for one another. The focal point was us, our passion, and all that we celebrated.
The ceremony and reception were held on a dreamy family homestead in the Noosa Hinterland. The space allowed us to reflect simplicity, community, romance, frivolity, and a little bit of magic. We made quiet moments for us to be together, ate and drank ourselves satisfied with brilliant local produce, and threw in a surprise first dance to the Pirate of the Caribbean theme song for good measure. Family members each had a significant role and our friends were invited to experience a range of emotions alongside us as they presented themselves throughout the day.
For me, the most special and poignant moment was our first look. I walked through the middle of the old Queenslander and down the back steps to the town dam where Graham was proudly standing on the bank. I was able to be with him in quiet, timeless isolation – a front row ticket to read his every emotion and start the day’s events by tapping him on the shoulder.
Of course every bride wants to be beautiful, stunning in fact, and a vision that will be forever engrained in the minds of those who see you – especially your soon to be spouse. And while I felt beautiful inside and out, I knew he would gasp in awe and produce a wee tear no matter what form I presented myself in, because he loved me for me and nothing more. It allowed me to relax into the moment and have a little fun as I whispered ‘are you ready?’ before the official, yet playful, tap.
His reaction upon turning around was more than I had expected. It was completely sincere, full of elation, and absolute adoration. He was deliciously handsome and he made my heart explode with exultation and a deeper compassion than I had known. I gave him a pocket square made from the material of my gown and our initials stitched into the corner before we exchanged personal vows for the first time. Hands were clasped tightly, laughing and crying, and expressing our heartfelt promises for each other through the exchange of weighty and meaningful sentiments. I think we even had the photographers crying with us at one point! (which was equally as special).
The day produced more sincere moments than one could be prepared for. Tender interactions with family and the bridal party, excitement levels turned up to 11 getting ready with the Bridesmaids, my Dad as the celebrant, and being able to dance on the lawn to our own internal intimate love song as the sun set post the ceremony. Graham has made me the proudest, most committed, wife and I am his in every sense. We acknowledge the path that navigated us to our wedding, and now look forward to forever and the road ahead. I want for nothing more than to spend the rest of our day’s side-by-side, hand-in-hand, and stealing little kisses. Because Graham is the one who my heart and soul calls.
There I was, standing at the back of the most beautiful homestead overlooking the town dam. The weather was magnificent and I was dressed in my suit ready to see my wife-to-be. The anticipation was killing me. I was excited and nervous as we had planned this moment for a year and it couldn’t start soon enough. My body was tingling, sending shivers up my spine and all I could do now was wait. Minutes seemed like hours and I began to get lost in my thoughts.
I remember the first time I ever set eyes on Lauren. She had the most gorgeous smile and warmest welcome. Who knew four years later we would marry. It was an adventure beyond my wildest dreams and better than any romance novel ever written. We started dating and it felt right from the beginning. The laughs, excitement and adventures; it was non-stop and with each and every day that passed, our love for each other grew deeper and deeper. I was madly in love with her.
We travelled to Singapore, Vietnam, New Zealand and countless interstate trips, but no matter where we were I knew one thing was true; with Lauren by my side it was always fun, exciting, loving, and happiness just oozed through our veins. We couldn’t stand to be apart as we wanted to share in our achievements, lift each other if we felt down, and socialise with friends and families. As long as I was with Lauren, I was always HOME no matter the location.
Standing quietly on the dam I heard a noise behind me. Was this it? I tried to focus, but I couldn’t. What would she look like? What would I say? What was about to happen?
Only twelve months ago I asked Lauren to marry me, and it was one of the most beautiful and amazing moments in my life. She is everything I was looking for, so genuine, honest and loving, I found her, my soul mate. My heart was racing the night I proposed, but nothing like it was now. I could hear footsteps coming towards me. My eyes were starting to glisten as I thought of her and my breathing was deep and controlled. I just wanted to turn around. I felt a tear coming down my face.
My emotions were really kicking it up a notch and my hands began to fidget. This moment was a culmination of all the planning, trips to pick up suits and dresses, the countless nights emailing suppliers and contractors, the fun we had making invitations, seating plans, timings etc. I just remember Lauren saying that if we weren’t having fun then we would stop and pause because that was not the meaning of our wedding, that wasn’t us! Well it was excitement and laughs all the way. Not even a torrential downpour the week of our wedding was going to dampen our spirits.
My eyes began to well up, I had more tears. Damn this wasn’t supposed to happen – why was I so emotional? It was Lauren, everything I ever wanted, and everything I ever dreamt of was about to be right in front of me. I heard her voice whisper “are you ready”? I was and I took one last look at the sunlight reflecting off the dam. It was beautiful but nothing to what I was about to see. I breathed in deeply, “I am ready” I said.
I felt her hand tap me on my shoulder ever so gently, and I turned around.
Stunning. She were absolutely stunning. I took her in, I was in awe of her. She always looks amazing but today there was no words that could describe her. She took my breathe away! I had never seen someone so angelic, so gorgeous, so stunning. Tears slowly trickled down my face I couldn’t contain myself. My thoughts racing. My heart thumping. It was nothing like I have ever experienced. I pulled Lauren in slowly and my arms wrapped around her. I leant in and kissed her ever so sweetly. I held her close, I could feel her emotions running through her body. It was so beautiful and as if we were one. It was meant to be.
I kept taking her in as we both spoke our first words. I love you! It seemed like forever as we stood there in silence lost in each other’s eyes as we prepared to say our vows. I prayed that this moment would never end. Lauren commenced her vows, so softly spoken, but with genuine emotion behind each word. I was so touched and humbled by her. I listened intently. It was beautiful, sweet and most of all it was from the heart. She took my breath away again, I was the happiest man alive! Shivers ran through my body and tears flowed of joy. I kissed her ever so gently on her lips and I felt the warmth from our embrace. It was raw and emotional.
Lauren is the most loving, caring, compassionate, inspiring and the most extraordinary woman I have ever met. Our wedding day was truly magical and enjoyed by our friends and families. For me though, it was our first look that I cherish the most. I have never seen someone so stunning, heard so much heartfelt emotion and never did I ever think it would affect me so much. Who was I kidding – it was the reason we knew we were meant to be, the love, the emotion, the joy as our souls are entwined for eternity and commence life’s journey together. She is the love of my life, my wife, my everything.
A massive thank you to these two superstars for sharing their beautiful memories with the whole of the interwebs.
Lauren and Graham’s Dream Team:
Venue: Lauren’s Aunty Kim and Uncle George’s place at Cedar Pocket
Florist: Styled by Karinya Florist
Hair: Janelle Fletcher
Make-up: Jenna Turner
Lauren’s gown: Karen Willis Holmes
Bridesmaids gowns: Adriana Pappell, BHLDN, Ghost London, Nordstrom
Graham’s Suit: Hugo Boss
Groomsmen’s Suits: Ferrari Formalwear and Bridal
Vegan Cupcakes: Kandy K Sweets
Wedding Cake: Fay Andrews (Gympie)
Entertainment: Ash Howell (Ceremony), Mobydisc (Reception)
Catering: Journey Street Food
Tipis: The Tipi Hire Co.
Party Hire: Gympie Party World
Stationery: Lava Stationery