Toowoomba Wedding: Gen and Regan’s Perfect Day!:
Date: 14th February 2016
Location: Vacy Hall and Gip’s Restaurant, Toowoomba
Being a Brisbane-based wedding photographer means that I can cover a lot of locations within a relatively short drive; Gold Coast weddings, Sunshine Coast weddings, Brisbane weddings and, as in Gen and Regan’s case; Toowoomba weddings. A lot of people assume that I have extra travel fees to photograph their wedding in Toowoomba (I don’t!) or assume that I won’t travel up the range (I will!), so I don’t get to head up as often as I’d like, but I do like the leafy streets, the cooler air and the beautiful venues they have up there. Just ask Gen and Regan, an awesome couple I photographed on Valentine’s Day this year!
I headed to the boys first and grabbed a few shots of the guys fine-tuning their wardrobe – tieing laces, tieing ties and fastening cufflinks. The boys were high spirited and excited and were loving the chance to dress up and to laugh at each other’s attempts at formal attire!! We did a few nice posed shots outside, then it was off to see how the girls were shaping up!
I drove fifteen minutes to the gorgeous Vacy Hall where Gen and the girls were relaxing, having had their hair and make-up done earlier in the day. I had never had the privilege of photographing inside Vacy Hall before, but wow! What a stunning location. The decor is amazing and elegant, and was an absolute treat for a wedding photographer like myself!
Gen was in an incredibly relaxed mood and played with her new-born daughter as her bridesmaids whirled and organised around her! The colour theme for the wedding was purple, and could be seen in the dresses, the boy’s ties and waistcoats, and Gen’s incredible hair! Awesome!
I find that allowing preparations to take their course works best for the pre-Wedding photos: too much stopping, starting and posing throws everyone off their balance and increases nervousness, so it’s much better to stand back and capture everything unfold. More often than not, any relaxation is kicked into touch the moment the dress is on and the bridesmaids are fastening the straps – suddenly everything becomes real as action time looms!
Save for one zip-based mishap, the girls were ready with plenty of time to spare so we grabbed some shots both inside Vacy Hall and on the deck outside, careful not to be seen as the ceremony was just across Russell Road in the garden of Gip’s Restaurant! Gen’s brother, David, came to check that things were running smoothly; the poor guy had the twin responsibilities/privileges of walking Gen down the aisle and being MC for the evening!
Gen and Regan had recently had a beautiful little girl (congratulations Guys!) so I was able to grab a few shots of Mum and daughter before heading across the road to the beautiful grounds of Gip’s Restaurant, built next to a gorgeous mansion dating from 1860, where the ceremony was due to start. And what a day it was for a wedding! Not a cloud in the sky and a balmy (for Toowoomba!) 33degrees! The congregation had gathered, the boys were attaching their coursages; all that we needed was our bride!
The garden set up was spectacular, and the amazing floral arrangements complimented the location. As 3 o’clock ticked past, Regan started to look nervous, checking his watch and looking over his shoulder to Vacy Hall! But her wedding day is one occasion a bride is allowed to be late, and at 3.05pm on Valentine’s Day, Gen arrived on David’s arm and walked down the aisle to marry the man of her dreams! The look on Regan’s face couldn’t have been better!
The rings fit perfectly, the signing went well, which just left the best bit …..
….The Kiss! Great work guys! And congratulations!
The guys spent half an hour relaxing with family and sharing canapes, we did a group shot (one of my favourite parts of any wedding) and grabbing some candid moments with the long lens, then it was glamour time, so we headed back to Vacy Hall for some bridal party photos.
We spent a short while outside making the most of the glorious light – I grabbed some sneaky shots of the girls chilling out as the boys were being photographed; I don’t think they stopped laughing all afternoon!
Me: “Hey Regan, wanna try to dip Gen?”
Regan: “Er, no…”
Me: “Go ooooonnnnn….!”
It is the interior of Vacy Hall where everything comes alive – the decor is old colonial and no detail is left out. I loved it: the furniture, props, four-poster beds. The time just went too fast!
After we ditched the congregation following the ceremony, they had stayed on the lawn for canapes and drinks (nice!) so after an hour or so of photographs, we went to join them. It was such a lovely way to mingle and catch up with friends; and each other! All too often the first time the bride and groom get to chat to each other on their wedding day is after the guests have all gone home and I openly advocate spending just 10 – 15 minutes without friends, family, photographers (!!) and just sit and chat as husband and wife!
Ten minutes before the reception is due to start, I always duck into the venue to grab some shots of the room looking its best before bread crumbs, wine and handbags get dispersed around the tables! And what a room this was! The James Taylor Room at the adjoining Clifford House takes some beating with its high arched windows and beautiful French doors. The decoration was elegant and purple, and the cake (which I got to taste at the end of the night!) was amazing!
Once the guests have entered, I always grab a portrait photograph of everyone there – it can be a mad dash but always worth it. And then the grand entrance! Ladies and Gentlemen, Australia’s newest couple!
It is always a good idea to let your photographer have a run sheet for your reception. It has never happened to me happily but you don’t want your photographer to be in the loo or photographing the exterior when the speeches start or the cake is being cut! Happily the reception was well masterminded by David and ran (pretty much) on time!
There were tears from Gen’s teenage daughters as they warmly welcomed Regan to the family, and luckily (for Regan) not too many embarrasing truths were rolled out during Cam, the best man’s, speech!
The cake cutting followed, and then the most nerve-racking moment for many couples: the first dance! But there were no nerves here, or if there were they didn’t show any and the dance floor was soon filled with guests for the remainder of the night.
And all too quickly the night came to a close. We headed out to the gardens for a few last minute photos, I congratulated the guys and then hopped in the car to roll down the range. Awesome day, awesome people, awesome venue! I hope to be back soon! Andy
“Thank you so much for being our photographer, you did an amazing job and everyone keeps asking me where we found you and commenting on how nice you were. Can’t wait to see all the photos ?? Thank you again you were amazing!” Gen