Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:
Together, we have moved around quite a few times for Chris’ work – we don’t think this makes us unique in any way – however, we would say that when you live a slightly transient life you do develop a different relationship to other couples.
It takes a lot of trust in your partner (on Paige’s behalf) to place your career and lifestyle on hold and to follow someone else’s dream. Moving can also be isolating, and so you also become rather reliant on your partner – especially in the first few weeks when you are still making new friends and connections.
Chris: I grew up on the Gold Coast around a very supportive and large family who distilled a strong work ethic and compassionate approach to life in me. I was in the midst of becoming an Electrician when I decided to chase a dream of becoming a Defence Force Pilot. This meant leaving my friends and family behind as I moved to Canberra, to study at Duntroon. Fate (tinder) would have it that I would go on to meet Paige in Canberra, and we would create a family of our own.
Paige: I’m originally from the county (central NSW) and grew up with a very large and boisterous extended family who are all very close and deeply loving of one another.
What do we love?
- The outdoors; (Chris more-so than Paige) hiking, rock climbing, camping and taking our two Border Collies (Walter and Lou) out with us everywhere and anywhere.
- Downtime at our local café with a good coffee, newspaper or book in hand – and just soak in the weekend sun.
- But what we love MOST of all is our new baby Arthur who was born July of this year (he is taking up the majority of downtime – but is worth every second!)
Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details:
From the beginning, there was never any question as to when – our wedding was always going to be held in one of the colder months.
We both love winter, love getting all rugged up with a blanket and sitting by an open fire, red wine in hand.
But with one of us coming from the Gold Coast and the other from Central NSW we knew that majority of our guest would not share the same enthusiasm for the cold. Luckily for us, Canberra turns it on during the autumn months – with beautiful foliage falling everywhere you walk, deliciously warm sunny days, crisp mornings and chilly evening – a coat, cosy blanket or open fireplace still don’t go astray.
We wanted to bring that same feeling to our wedding – which we were able to do with the use of a rich colour palette of jewel tones and a good drenching of autumn florals and knitted blankets for our guests once the sun went down.
As for the location, that was also a no brainer for us. We knew that both families would have to travel, so we decided to stay close to Canberra as it was either a short plane or car ride for most. We also had a rather large guest list (170 people) so having the wedding close to the city meant that there was ample and accessible accommodation for all.
Once we had locked in Canberra as the decided destination, The Boat House was our immediate and only choice for the venue as we both already had a strong connection the place.
Situated on a very secluded part of the waterfront on Lake Burley Griffin, the deck of the Boat House is in our opinion one of the best places to drink in the views of Canberra. By night, the reflection of lights from the Kingston foreshore dance on the water and create a beautiful backdrop for the majority glass facade of the building. The venue itself is stunning but also houses a huge fireplace in the main room, and once we had shared our vision for the day with the owner, James – the first thing he said was ‘we will have that fireplace roaring’.
The staff were also second to none – we actually lost count of the number of compliments and comments from our guest as to how amazing and attentive the staff were.
As for some of our favourite details and styling, we didn’t really go overboard, the venue stands on its own for beauty, and as it was autumn all trees on sight were these different hues of orange and yellow which just added an extra layer to the over feel of the location.
One thing that Paige was very adamant about from the beginning was having her favourite florist Laurel & Lace dress the Boat House with florals. She was just beyond amazing and had a clear understanding of our vision. We had so much trust I her talent that we didn’t give her a lot of instruction – which ended up making it an extra nice surprise on the day, for the two of us.
Tell us about your main outfits:
Chris – I wanted a practical suit that I could wear again but would capture the special occasion as well. I found this great navy-blue suit from MJ Bale with black lapel. They had a matching suit that was all navy that we used for the groomsmen. MJ Bale was also very attentive with alterations as I had my little sister in my groom’s party, and she was determined to wear the same suit as well.
I added a few personal touches to my outfit to which all the groomsman followed suit, I had Chewbacca cufflinks as my nickname is chewy and also had matching socks for all the groom’s party to wear which were a natural green with cartoon bees on them as I’m a budding beekeeper.
Paige: I’m going to sound a bit basic right now, and say that I found my dress on Pinterest. I’m not an over the top person, so I didn’t want an over the top dress and came across a beautiful and simple dress whilst scrawling Pinterest one night. But after learning the dress didn’t have a stocklist in Australia, I was recommended to contact Naomi Peris a talented bridal designer here in Canberra to have a similar dress made.
As the dress was very simple and such a stark contrast the darker tones of the bridesmaid’s dresses I decided to add something to my outfit to tie it all together. This is where my headband came from. I made it about two months before the wedding (just as the final bridesmaid found her dress and the colours were all locked in) and ensured that there were all the jewel tones from the dresses in the piece. As I said, I’m not very over the top, so the headband was something I never thought that I would have worn on the day, but it ended up changing the look of the dress entirely, making the outfit not so simple after all.
As for my bridesmaids, I knew from the start they weren’t going to be in matching dresses as they are all so different. My maid of honour had just given birth, three of the girls are very tall, two were rather short, and one was my little 13-year-old cousin. Putting them all in the same outfit would have ultimately made someone uncomfortable. I ended up just finding a colour pallet and just told the girls to find a dress they loved in a colour that matched. To tie them all together they all wore rose gold shoes and coordinated jewellery.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day:
Chris: I will always remember the moment Paige walked down the aisle. The aisle, a boardwalk that passed me on my left and rounded a huge, beautiful willow tree and as Paige came into view, I swear the clouds parted and the sun was shining just over her shoulder and she looked angelic (more than what she always does). I just about started crying there let alone trying to get through what she had written for her vows.
I remember looking around once all the formalities had finished and it was like we were all one big family, the two sides of the wedding had moulded together as if they had always been great friends which led to a wonderful night of dancing and laughing. So many wonderful memories that I’ll cherish forever.
Paige: For me, it was just getting to see Chris. The week leading up to the wedding was such a whirlwind, with friends and family flying in, last-minute things to be done and then just the anticipation and nerves of the day. Seeing Chris just made everything ok – and I stopped worrying (worry – due to the fact that I am very camera shy and hate public speaking/ having any attention on me) everyone else disappeared and it was if it was just me and him (he also whispered – ‘you look beautiful, you’ll be fine’)
I also had two of my cousins sing as the bridal party came down the aisle, which was just beautiful – but also was very sentimental for me as their mother (my aunt) had sung at my parents’ wedding.
What I really loved was the ceremony itself – it was a touch longer than most, filled with beautifully sweet moments from our celebrant, Brett. As Brett was a good friend, the ceremony was everything us – and very personalised, he even threw in this cute little rhyme that was personal favourite of mine ‘they met on tinder, but their love grew tender, and now there is no return to sender’ it still puts a smile on my face when I think back.
We also could not be more in love with the photos from the day! Lauren Campbell, our photographer did such an incredible job, especially as Paige is allergic to having her photo taken. Our brief for Lauren was we wanted to get the portrait photos of the bridal party and ourselves done a quickly as possible so we could all go back to the reception and party – and then we just wanted beautiful candid photos of our guest throughout the night. We were blown away when the photos came back – and feel forever indebted to her for capturing our day so perfectly.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together:
Some great advice we got just before our wedding was on the day, no matter how short, take some time to step away from the reception together and reflect on the fact that all these people no matter how many are here for the two of you, and are here to celebrate the love that you two have for each other (and also just to take a breath because it’s a long day – that goes very quickly)
Since – we have shared that same advice with some of our friends that have been planning on getting married.
The other advice we would have for people planning a wedding – is to not stress over little things. You don’t need to lose sleep over something so small that only you will notice on the day. Only you care that the envelop for the invitations was slightly too dark, or just not quite right.
As for advice for people planning to spend the rest of their lives together – hmm, don’t take yourself too seriously?! Everyone has disagreements; you’ll have bad days, but it helps to reflect and what put you into the position of being upset. When you take a second or two, you can realise how trivial the disagreement is.
Also – always make your bed together in the morning! It sets you up for the day, and puts you in a better more productive mood, it makes you feel like you are killin’ it at being an adult and as a team.
Ceremony location, Catering + Beverages: The Boat House | Photographer: Lauren Campbell | Entertainment: Nick Rigby | Hire: Show Pony Events | Flora: Laurel & Lace | Cake: Forty-two Cakes | Christopher: M.J Bale | Paige: Custom Naomi Peris | Rings: Chris – Men’s Rings Online + Paige – Olive Ave | Shoes: Jo Mercer + R.M Williams | Headband: made by Paige + Earrings were her grandmother’s | Hair & Makeup: Blush Boutique | Groomsmen: M.J Bale | Bridesmaids: Shona Joy (1x Navy dress and 1x Burgundy dress), Hansen and Gretel (1x Navy dress and 1x Burgundy dress), Pasduchas (Green patterned dress), the dark green dress was made by an Aunt.