Sarah & Andrew by Briars Atlas

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

Sarah is someone I can only describe as a little bundle of joy. She has studied Fine Art (majoring in glass blowing), has done a Masters of Design and a Masters of Art Therapy.

She is currently working as an Art Therapist and Counsellor. Andrew is ‘Pure Joy!’. He is an Architect with a passion for photography and cycling. We are a very relaxed couple and have been together for over 12 years. 12 years is a long time so we’ll try and keep it short. We met young. We fell in love. We battled through long distance for years (Sydney-Melbourne / Valencia-Berlin). We came back together. We moved back to Sydney. We knew we were for each other and every year we are together this love story grows… 

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…

We always imagined our day to be filled with love, smiles, laughter and a few quirks. In very ‘us’ style, we had previously snuck into the James Turrell installation at the National Gallery of Australia (Within Without) and secretly signed our legal marriage papers with two of our favourite friends as witnesses. We knew that we wanted ‘Our Wedding Day’ to be just for us and part of this dream involved having Sarah’s aunt run a personal ceremony on the day rather than an official celebrant. Having already signed our marriage documents allowed us the opportunity to have complete flexibility and freedom on the day. We got married in the middle of a circle, surrounded by everyone we love. We wrote our own ceremony and exchanged vows that included personalised wishes from each member of our immediate families.

For the location, we found Riversdale – Bundanon Trust and instantaneously knew it was ‘our place’. The property has roots to Sarah’s childhood and her love of Australian art. Equally meaningful for Andrew, the building on the property is designed by one of Andrew’s favourite Australian architects, Glenn Murcutt. All the history and elements of the property aligned perfectly with our values and we knew we were ‘home’.

Drawing from the beautiful grounds of Riverdale, we wanted the styling to reflect and complement the incredible natural surroundings. We told Monica from Hoorah Events that we wanted raw, natural, relaxed, magical and free, with a touch of mid-century flare. She completely nailed it! The building on the property was the cornerstone for many of the styling decisions. The team at Hoorah Events worked tirelessly to translate the buildings simple, honest, raw palette of materials into the styling and palette on the day.

We were absolutely blown away by the florals and flowers! We took inspiration from the architecture, the landscape and loved the line and shapes of Japanese Ikebana arrangements. The incredible floral works provided by Gypsy Carmen blew all our expectations. Clare is an absolute goddess and the arrangements she created for us were so unique and sat in the setting of the property and building so naturally. We were due to have our full wedding outdoors under the stars but rain meant two days before we had to call in an emergency marquee to keep everyone dry. Clare was so kind and foraged some wild cuttings from the property the morning of our wedding to help decorate the marque on the day. This was all totally unplanned and meant the world to us. 

Tell us about your main outfits:

Ceremony Outfits: Andrew’s suit is from Belance Tailoring. Black wool with patch pockets to make it a little more casual. Shoes by Andrew McDonald Shoemaker and ring from the master of his craft NC-Austin. Sarah’s dress was made by a family friend and well-known dressmaker, Gloria Grady. Jewellery from dinosaur designs and ring from RUUSK. We decided for the reception that it would be fun to change into the outfits we signed our legal paperwork in. We knew things were going to get rowdy so we thought being in outfits that allowed us to feel as free as possible was the way to go. 

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

Up before sunrise to shoot some photos together and thinking about our day ahead. Light rain amazing light and fog made for a special morning together. Our photographer Oli captured some of our favourite photos of the day in the morning. This was something that Oli suggested and we were so happy that he did and that we got to spend this special time together before the rush of the day took over.

All the wild animals coming out to play. Kangaroos, echidnas, goannas and wombats to name a few. Many of our guests even got photos under the night sky sitting next to and patting wild wombats.

The moment our surprise entertainer – Gigi Fontaine – came out and gate crashed the MC duties. We had kept her a secret and no one at the wedding had any idea what was going on. Everyone’s jaw was literally on the ground wondering who this drunk Liza Minnelli wannabe was, while the bride and groom were in stitches. Luckily the audience realised what was going on and Gigi provided phenomenal comedic entertainment for the rest of the night.

Another favourite moment was spontaneously getting all the wedding guest onto the hill for a photo at the very end of the night. Our incredible photographer Oli, captured this moment perfectly and his images are something we will treasure forever. We had never been part of an end of wedding group photo before and the enormous smiles of everyone’s faces truly summarises the fun and magic of the night.

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

‘Grow old together, but stay young forever’ 

Photography: Briars Atlas | Ceremony and Reception location: Bundanon Trust | Celebrant: Aunty Prue |Bride’s gown: Gloria Grady Dressmaker | Grooms suit: Belance | Bride’s ring: RUUSK | Groom’s ring: NC Austin | Bride’s shoes: Kendall + Kylie | Groom’s shoes: Andrew McDonald Shoemaker | Bride’s earrings: Louise Olsen – Dinosaur Designs | Makeup: Teneille Sorgiovanni | Hair: Jodie Day | Fragrance: Le Labo Santal 33 | Bridesmaid’s jewellery: Louise Olsen – Dinosaur Designs | Entertainment: Mitch Tolnay (Acoustic), Vintage Stylus | Styling and Hire: Hoorah Events | Marquee: South Coast Party Hire | Flora: Gypsy Carmen | Catering: Garnish Creative Catering | Beverages: Capital Brewing Co. and Super Cellars Bomaderry | Cake: Friends and Family | MC: Gigi Fontaine | Transport: Berry bus Service