LAUREN + LEE
Gabbinbar Homestead Toowoomba Wedding
I love when I get the chance to photograph a couple before their wedding day through an engagement portrait session, as I did with Lauren & Lee. Its a chance to get to know them better, discover their personalities, and the connection they share. Without a doubt Lauren & Lee are best friends as well as lovers. But most of all, they know how to have fun together. And any photo shoot that involves ice cream is definitely a winner! Check out their Mooloolaba Beach engagement photography session which was featured on the Sunshine Coast wedding inspiration blog, The Brides Tree.
Lauren & Lee met 9 years ago playing touch football, playing on the same team, which I think explains the beautiful connection they have, all built from teamwork on the footy field.
Even the proposal involved football. Lauren had returned home one Wednesday night from a game of touch football covered in dirt, with Lee proposing in the hallway. They met on a Wednesday night, so Lee wanted to propose on a Wednesday night in a manner in which they met, casual and a bit dirty. I love their proposal story, because it’s authentic to them, intimate and romantic. A little tip for guys proposing in the future – you don’t need to go planning some big proposal extravaganza so forget that trip to Paris.
The day of the engagement session it was overcast, and it appears it was setting the scene for the wedding day. It was a chilly winters day in Toowoomba, and following the ceremony we even had a little rain shower with fog rolling in for our bridal party location shoot around the Gabbinbar property. The magic the fog created for the photos made it feel like a mystic winter wonderland, along with Lauren’s absolutely stunning wedding gown from Ella Moda.
Lauren & Lee are two of the loveliest people you could meet. I had an absolute blast with the entire bridal party and the families, and wish them all the happiness in the future.
Lauren & Lee offer this piece of advice for couples getting married “Trust your instincts and do whatever you want to do because it’s your day! Pick your team wisely. If you are comfortable with them and feel good within the first 10 seconds of meeting them then lock them in. We only met one Celebrant, one Florist, one DJ and two Photographers and you just know immediately if they’re the one for you. You want the best team for your day!”.
Lauren & Lee’s top wedding priorities were venue, food, alcohol, photography, make up and Lauren’s dress. Lauren & Lee invested in the top priority items on their list and saving money on less important items. Lee’s wedding band cost $17 from eBay. The venue had a BYO option which meant we could choose the alcohol we wanted and doing BYO saved some money too.
Lauren & Lee also provided this advice for couples getting married in Toowoomba “We would strongly recommend any of our wedding suppliers, in particular the team at Gabbinbar Homestead! They are the best! We chose some Brisbane suppliers who travelled to Toowoomba. We found it was easier to meet with them in Brisbane and then pay a small travel fee for the wedding, rather than have to make several trips out to Toowoomba leading up to the wedding. Ensure as the bride you do a make up and hair trial and I put a priority on these services and I wanted to look the best I could on our day. The Powder Room in New Farm Brisbane are incredibly talented and worth every cent!”.
The day started with Lee and the groomsmen at Toowoomba’s City Golf Motel. I don’t know if it was planned, but the boys were in Room 13 and it was the 13 June.
Lee and the groomsmen are wearing suits from Roger David Indooroopilly Brisbane store. Black suits with silk detail down the lapels always looks classy.
Lauren and Lee chose Gabbinbar Homestead as their Toowoomba wedding venue. They told me “We are both from Brisbane but couldn’t find something which took our breath away. As soon as we drove up the driveway at Gabbinbar Homestead we knew it was the right one.”
Lauren & Lee gained a lot of their wedding inspiration from friend’s weddings, with their friend’s encouraging them to copy. They picked elements they loved and incorporated them into their special day. Then personalised it with things like the family photo board and displaying photos from their engagement session around the venue, which gave Gabbinbar a homely feel.
Lauren & Lee brought along lots of props such as a touch football, a cricket set, board games and borrowed lots of picnic blankets and rugs from friends to have a few games areas available whilst Lauren and Lee were on the photo shoot.
And you have to have an ironing photo!
Lauren’s stunning gown is from Ella Moda – the ruffled skirt and lace long sleeves really made this gown a one of a kind and I know Lauren must have felt like the most beautiful bride in the world in this little number.
Lauren’s silver shoes are from Nine West.
All the florals including the bouquets and buttonhole flowers are from Flowers by Forrest Toowoomba. The bouquets were made up of a selection of stunning Australian natives. Being large bouquets gave lots of impact and Lauren offers up this tip for bride-to-be’s “being Australian natives decreased the cost”.
I am known for wanting to hang a wedding gown in a tree. I know sometimes people think it’s odd to hang a beautiful gown in a tree of all places, but I guess that is the point – doing something unexpected and creative, rather than just hanging the dress on the door or wardrobe like thousands of other bridal gowns. I find sometimes rooms can be cluttered, and to just photograph a dress that costs thousands of dollars in a pokey room to be a disservice to the bride and the dressmaker who has spent hours creating the gown. All good reason for taking the chance to create a grand photo of the bridal gown. And because I like to give options, I had to give Lauren two options – the rustic shed and the tree. You can’t deny the gown looks amazing in both.
Again another series of photos that break with tradition. Gabbinbar Homestead has timeless character and charm and beautiful grounds, so would be a shame to not take advantage of them for other photos, like using the front steps of the homestead for the bridesmaids to open their gift from the bride.
The buttonholes were also Australian natives.
It’s time for Lauren to get ready to be the bride. I love photographing this moment of the day! It’s usually the moment when all the months of planning come together and the bride realises the actual day has arrived and it’s time to marry the man of her dreams. The Bride’s Retreat Room at Gabbinbar with the oversized gold-framed mirror and antique Chaise lounge makes for some beautiful photos.
A beautiful sentiment of giving gifts to the bridesmaids and groomsmen as a thank you and to remember the day, as well as letters from the bride to the groom, and the groom to the bride, make for great candid photo opportunities like this moment between Lauren and her bridesmaids.
I love including the bride’s mum in the preparation photos, even if traditionally its the bridesmaids job. A girl’s mum is a big part of her life and while Dad’s get the honour of walking their daughters down the aisle, it’s important for mum to have an important role too on the big day and be included, and it’s highly likely it will even just evoke some beautiful natural moments.
The guests start arriving at Gabbinbar Homestead …
Chris, the MC, going over the running of the evening events.
How gorgeous does Lauren today’s bride look in that magnificent bridal gown … that must mean it’s time for bridal portraits.
Gardens make for a pretty backdrop to the ceremony.
Samantha Townend is Lauren and Lee’s marriage celebrant. I had met Samantha before at a wedding industry event but it was my first time working with her, and she was an absolute pleasure to work with.
Lauren and her Dad walked down the aisle to ‘How Long Will I Love You’ by Ellie Goulding.
One of my favourite parts of the wedding day is the congratulations. It’s a time where everyone is relaxed and in high spirits, which makes for great candid photos of your guests. I especially love the enthusiastic huggers and usually the female guests doing the ‘omg check out your dress’ reactions.
Gabbinbar Homestead Toowoomba is a dream wedding venue as a photographer. Having all the elements I love – a rustic barn, lovely gardens, a grassy paddock and the elegant homestead – and then add misty rain and fog and it sure made for some magical wedding photos.
The reception room at Gabbinbar with long rectangular tables and French doors as the backdrop looking out over the gardens and high ceiling, makes it simply a stunning and elegant venue. The room was beautifully decorated with white linen and hessian table runners and Australian natives in mason jars.
The bonbonnieres were from Chocablock Chocolates, a Lindt chocolate bar wrapped with a personalised message from the couple.
For the menu holders, they used corks and string with the menus sticking up in between two rows of three corks.
The wedding cake is from Abbolou Cakes in Toowoomba.
Time to get this party started …
When I asked Lauren what were her favourite memories from her wedding day, she responded with “The entire day, night before and breakfast the following day was absolutely perfect. All of the speeches were incredible!” and the best funny moments “Too many to list. The bridal party entered with the Kenny Loggins song Footloose so there was lots of ridiculous dancing. The MC (family friend) had extremely witty telegrams such as one from Darren Lockyer (Lee’s hero), Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom (my favourite celebrity couple), Kath and Kim and the team from Kennard’s Hire (Lee’s employer). At the end of my speech I made reference to the song “Simply the Best” by Tina Turner and Jimmy Barnes. Our DJ took note of this and played it at the very end as Lee and I were saying our farewells to the guest. Everyone loved it and it just topped off the night. We finished on the biggest high thanks to DJ Ruby Tuesday from Decibels Entertainment.“
And a group portrait that break into crazy dancing … love these candid moments!
Lauren & the girls escape the reception into the Bride’s Treat room to remove the lace sleeves from her wedding gown, to get her ready to burn it up on the dance floor.
Then it was time for Lauren and Lee to do the Bridal Waltz to ‘This Magic Moment’ by The Drifters.
The garter toss song was ‘Business Time’ by Flight of the Conchords and Lauren’s Dad rushed in to stop Lee from pulling her garter off.
Photographer Deb Boots love stories | Celebrant Samantha Townend
Wedding Gown Ella Moda | Bride’s Shoes Nine West
Bridesmaids Dresses Joielle | Bridesmaids Belts Miss Shop Myer | Bridesmaids Shoes Betts Shoes & Payless Shoes
Groom & Groomsmen’s Suits Roger David
Wedding Planner & Stylist The Bride & Gabbinbar Homestead | Flowers Flowers by Forrest
Hair Stylist Lush Hair and Beauty | Makeup Artist The Powder Room
Wedding Cake Abbolou Cakes | Catering Gabbinbar Homestead
Bridal Accommodation Vacy Hall Toowoomba | Groom Accommodation City Motel Toowoomba
Wedding Stationary / Invitations Urban Weddings
DJ DJ Ruby Tuesday from Decibels Entertainment
Engagement Ring Wallace Bishop | Wedding Bands : Groom’s was from eBay and the Bride’s was from Hong Kong
Honeymoon : JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort and Spa – Thailand