Gold Coast Wedding: Jac and Mat’s Amazing Hinterland Marriage!:
Date: 31st October 2015
Location: A Private Property on Pocket Road, Numinbah Valley, Gold Coast Hinterland
One of the best things about being a wedding photographer in South East Queensland is the variety of venues you get to visit. Some are rural, some urban, and some are in between. Jac and Mat’s wedding location was very much the former! I like to think I know the Gold Coast hinterland pretty well, but the private property on which Jac and Mat got married took some finding! Jac’s directions simply stated: “Drive along Pocket Rd and stop when you see a cow shaped letter box….!” Oooooo Kaaaayy! As it happened it was surprisingly easy to find, and what a spot! I fell in love with it instantly – a beautifully undulating block of land with a copse of trees blocking the road and backed by gorgeous mountains. Add a lake, a beautiful wooden home and an awesome level area and gazebo (ideal for a wedding ceremony…), and you’d struggle to find anywhere more ideal for a country wedding!
Fast forward to the wedding day and the weather was perfect: clear, warm and sunny. The guys had been busy and had erected a marquee for their reception and had thrown up a mini city of tents for friends and family! And the gents toilets? Stacked bales of hay! The area was a hive of activity of decorating, tweaking and finalising, so to avoid being thrown up a ladder to hang lanterns, I headed to the house to photograph the girls getting ready!
The hair and make up guys worked their magic as Jac and her bridesmaids sipped champagne; and what a great job they did! The girls looked amazing, and judging by the relaxed atmosphere that prevailed, they did it effortlessly and without any stress or meltdowns!
I snap away furiously as the bridesmaids are getting their hair and make-up done, then for modesty reasons, I disappear to photograph the ‘still life’ aspects of the day – the perfume, flowers, shoes and (unless the boys are trustworthy!) the rings – as the bride hops into her dress.
Mat was far too laid back to get photos of the boys getting ready – plus he was far too busy decorating and fine tuning the reception marquee anyway! In order to make sure he didn’t miss out completely, I grabbed a few more photos of Jac by herself around the homestead and then headed to the ceremony area to grab some candid shots of the boys looking nervous (and drinking beer!) as the guests arrived and mingled. One of my personal favourite moments of the day was when Sonny – Jac and Mat’s beautifully natured fur baby – turned up in matching cuffs and ‘shirt’ and with a GoPro attached to his collar!
And all of a sudden it was action stations! Sarah Alexander (www.sarahmayalexander.com.au/) flawlessly officiated and kept the laid back feeling to the day. In another unique twist, the girls drove themselves in Jac’s elaborately decorated/vandalised car to the top of the paddock and walked down to the pagola together, smiling and laughing and truly loving the occasion. The look on Mat’s face when he saw his bride-to-be was priceless:)
This was the second wedding I have photographed with Sarah officiating and she always does a great job of keeping the ceremony about the couple. We heard how Jac and Mat met and how they share a mutual love of travel (when I emailed Jac a few weeks after the wedding to let her know her wedding photos were ready, she replied to say they were just boarding a cruise ship in the Caribbean and would be heading to Mexico after that! Jealous? Yeah!) The ceremony couldn’t have been more ‘Jac and Mat’ – informal, fun and full of love!
And then with a kiss, it was official! Australia’s newest (and happiest!) couple were now wed!
Following the ceremony, I always allow a good 10 – 15 minutes of spontaneous congratulations – we will often capture some of the best moments of the day at this point, with expressions of joy, tears and laughter. I follow this with a group shot and photos with the family; after all, when does everyone look this good?!
And then its the photographers favourite part of the day – the Bridal Party Photos! After the suspense and build up of the ceremony, this tends to be the most relaxed part of the day: friends having fun, having a drink, and allowing someone to capture it all. I generally mix in a handful of posed shots with some spontaneous, casual moments and just let the guys be themselves. Sonny joined us of course and we headed to the creek behind the pagoda for some posed shots before heading into one of the paddocks for some more casual photos.
This part of the day also allows the photographer to get a little creative and to have a bit of fun as well – and these guys were so much fun and laid back, it was a very easy half hour!
We left the guests to the canapes and drinks and headed back to the lake and homestead, grabbing a few fun shots in the tree house and on the jetty, then headed back to where it all began on the deck where a bottle of very old and very expensive rum materialised and the guys simply forgot I was there and enjoyed the afternoon.
At 6pm, I left the guys to enjoy their drinks and headed to the marquee area where I found the Mexican themed reception in very full swing! Being a self catering venue meant that all drinks were free pour, including the tequila! Happily it was an amazingly clear day so everyone relaxed outdoors on mats, plucking beers from a cooler and laughing harder than just about any wedding reception I’ve ever attended! As the sun dropped, the fires were lit and the party continued into the night.
The guys had done an amazing job with the decoration, adding personal touches like travel photos and hanging Day of the Dead memorabilia from the ceiling.
As dusk settled, the bridal party made their enthusiastic entrance carrying personalised bottles of champagne and dived straight into the party! I asked Mat if self catering had saved them any money. Nah, he reckoned, but it did mean people could drink more! Catering came from a Siguenos taco truck (www.siguenos.com.au) – an amazing idea (great food, no cooking, no clear up, no mess!) which allowed everyone to feast under the stars!
The speeches were very funny and very light hearted and revealed a lot about Mat’s dislike for clothing when drunk (sorry mate!), and I always say you can tell a lot about a couple from the speeches at their wedding. Every speech was warm and heartfelt and everyone was genuinely listening and contributing. This was clearly a fun reception!
And then to the first dance, which is rarely (ever?!) a newly wed’s favourite part of their wedding day! The guys did a decent job and soon the dance floor was packed and continued to be so far into the night. I bid my farewells and headed home under an amazing blanket of stars, sorry to be leaving and sure that there would be a lot of sore heads the next day! Congratulations guys; what an amazing day!
“We both just wanted to say thanks so much for Saturday, we had the best day and the whole getting photos taken was no where near as scary or stressful as we were expecting!” Jac
“Oh thank you so much, they arrived yesterday! I love all of them!! It was so good to see them all, I’m back at work this week now so it was a good way to spend my night last night haha”. Jac