This weeks real wedding story features the wedding tale of Sophie and Cameron Brown, who were married in an enchanting wedding ceremony and reception by the lake at Cave Hill Creek, in regional Victoria. Check out their heart warming love story for some wedding tips and advice for those bride-to-be’s!
What do you do for work?
Cam and I run our own company, COGS. Our company provides integrated facility services for venues across Australia.
Tell us a little about the proposal and the lead up to the wedding?
Cam was in Qatar in the Middle East (about an hour from Dubai) for work and had been travelling back and forth to Australia. Prior to the wedding, he had been away for about 6 weeks and I was really missing him. By best friend lives in Dubai and I didn’t realise that during that time he had gone to Dubai to choose my engagement ring with her help.
He called me a few weeks before coming home and told me he wanted to plan a romantic weekend away in Daylesford on his return. I thought that was unusual for Cam so I was a bit suspicious! When he arrived home, we headed up to Daylesford for the weekend and settled into to the cosy retreat we had booked. We decided to share a bottle of wine before heading out to dinner and after a few glasses of wine I (rather boldly) said that I had a feeling he was going to propose to me that weekend! To his credit, he didn’t bat an eyelid and basically told me that I was totally of the mark and he was sorry to disappoint me. We went off to dinner (I was a bit sulky as he had me totally convinced) and arrived at the Lake House, which was beautiful. He had arranged for the table to be covered in rose petals and for champagne to be served on our arrival – but he had been so convincing earlier that he wasn’t going to propose so I didn’t think too much of it. Anyway, he did propose – despite my earlier attempt to predict it!
The lead up to the wedding was crazy. We were flat out at work and expanding our business into QLD and NSW. I was really reliant on our awesome wedding planner/stylist Jess (details below). She was amazing. She is a friend from Adelaide with her own business (details below) and she really went above and beyond to help. Very early in the piece she understood what I wanted and completely took it beyond my expectations. She even went to a blue gum farm to source all of the blue gum that went into the feature pieces in the rafters. She hired a truck in Adelaide, loaded everything up (including all of the furniture, decorations etc and blue gum!) and drove to Beaufort in Victoria (where our wedding was held).
What was the inspiration behind your wedding theme / vibe?
We wanted a relaxed vibe – bringing in natural beauty but with some personal touches. I was originally looking for a barn for the venue, but struggled to find something to fit our guests and manage the accommodation needs. In the end we chose a place that Cam suggested – a place that he had been to on school camp! When I first visited I fell in love with the location – it was perfect..set on a lake in the middle of the bush, with a great outdoor pavilion. The wedding ceremony also had a whole bunch of dorms and they had just launched a glamping section too with lots of gorgeous outdoor tents with beds, carpet etc. It meant that our guests were able to stay the night after the wedding and we had a big cook up breakfast the next day.
Favourite detail and/or moment of the day (besides becoming husband and wife of course! or Wife and Wife, or Husband and Husband!)
We loved it all! But our guests especially loved the interactive flipbook photobooth. We had a friend arrange this for us – it was a photobooth type set up, where the guests had props (signs etc that we’d made) and had 10 seconds to be photographed in the booth. The photos were then converted into a flipbook (like the old ones you had as a kid which showed a moving scene as you flip the pages). I designed the flipbook covers and they printed them prior to the wedding in preparation for the actual book contents, which were printed on the spot. This was lots of fun!
Did you undertake any DIY projects, if so what?
Lots! We really wanted to add our own personal touches. We created the giant (9ft) C & S sign by sketching the letters out on big planks of wood and having a very handy friend jigsaw all of the letters out. He then built a stand so that they would sit out. We wrapped them with solar fairy lights I bought online from Korea (!) so they would light up at night. It looked really beautiful lit up at night on the water and our photographer got some great shots.
I designed the Save the Dates, invitations and thank you’s and then got them properly printed (letter press for invites and laser cutting for thank you’s). I also designed a few other bits – including the confetti bags, which had the order of service on the back and the names of the bridal party, parents and other family unable to attend. They were printed on standard brown paper bags (the school lunch kind).
We had a lemonade stand set up with drinks during the ceremony. I designed a bunch of stamps to go on the cards around the neck of the bottles saying things like “To have and to hold”, “Cheers to love” etc. I uploaded the designs to Vistaprint and received the stamps really quickly. I also did the same with some stickers we used to seal the envelopes.
Any family or religious traditions incorporated into your day?
No particular traditions incorporated, other than writing our own vows.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage to us is a confirmation of our partnership together. We’re not only soul mates but we’re also best friends and business partners. Our wedding was really a celebration of all of those things, shared with family and friends.
Talk to us about your dress, where is it from? how long did it take to find etc etc
The dress and veil were both from Mariana Hardwick. I think it was maybe the third dress I had tried on. I wasn’t super fussy.. I liked it and just decided then and there to get it! Received excellent, personalised service from the whole team there. I added the belt to give it a bit of a feature. I received lots of comments on the belt, which was an Etsy purchase and a bargain at about $150.
Any funny stories in the lead up to or on the day?
The Best Man is a bit of a joker and decided it would be funny to pretend to drop the ring in the water when handing it to Cam during the ceremony (we were married on a deck on the lake). For full effect, he had even brought a heavy coin with him which he dropped into the water and made a loud plonk as it fell in. The whole crowd gasped. Cam’s grandma was so eager for us to get married that she was yanking on her own ring to give to us as a stand-in. I didn’t really know what was going on but all was quickly reveal.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
With our work volume, we couldn’t have managing it without the help of our great stylist/planner. She thought of so many things that I just didn’t think about, and she styled everything for us to our taste and wishes. Was a big relief!
Photos – Ben McGee Photography
Bridal gown – Mariana Hardwick
Veil – Mariana Hardwick
Flowers – Flower Jar
Rings – Purchased in Dubai at the Gold and Diamond Park
Jewellery/Accessories – Belt from Etsy at LucyBridalBoutique
Bridesmaids dresses –Zimmermann
Grooms suit – Messer and Opie
Grooms Shoes – Aquila
Groomsmen suits – Messer and Opie
Bow ties / ties – Country Road
Ceremony – Cave Hill Creek
Reception – Cave Hill Creek
Catering – Tracey Jolly at Charlton Catering
Cake – The Turret
Cake topper – Etsy, MeliMariStudio
Reception Stylist/Decorations: Jess Ruggiero at Eccola
Stationery designer – Bride’s own designs
Thank You Cards – Classic Wedding Invitations
Hair and Make up – Eryn Humphries, Shivaya Weddings
Music (singer and DJ) – Elijah Maddern
Celebrant – Kennece Coombe
Transport – Done Privately
Guest Book – Etsy at TotallySalinda
Flip Book Photobooth – Rentertainment