Real Elopement – Lauren & Brook, Dromana VIC
On a lakeside jetty, on the stunning property of Tanglewood Estate, Lauren and Brook quietly, yet confidently swore to love each other for a lifetime in a magical elopement.
It was perfectly intimate, reflective of their own personalities and style as they gathered a Tribe of talent that helped them pull off something truly incredible.
Their heartfelt ceremony, beautifully crafted by Shannon Jeans was filled with emotion and love, and one of the most sensational surprises during the signing of their marriage certificates.
However, we will let bride Lauren, their imagery by Dan Brannan and their video by Rachel Mary do the rest of the talking, and we dare you not to shed a tear over the beauty of this celebration.
In Lauren’s words…
So….neither of us expected this to be the platform we would really truly find our happily ever after (but it was!) we met through dating app Bumble.
A few dates in, a friend had asked me how it was going and how I was feeling about him and it all etc… and the only answer I could give and how I truly felt (and still feel now) was that the only way to describe him was that ‘he feels like home..’ we have both since acknowledged that we knew from early on that we had connected and found a very strong foundation and feeling of fulfilment being together.
We spent, and still do spend, a lot of time talking through our hopes and dreams for our lives, for our future and our personal and family goals and values that we very clearly quickly realised we share and could easily acknowledge we had in common. Having both come out of prior marriages that had not been what was meant for us, we were both in a position to recognise exactly what it was that we wanted in a life partner and through one of these deep and meaningful conversations over dinner at home together, a few short months since meeting, the conversation turned from what if… to… why not?
It went from imagining and hoping that it could one day be that way together to realising we already knew what we had was what we were looking for and decided then and there not to wait!
A couple of weeks later we designed the perfect ring and the day after picking it up, again at home together, Brook proposed officially on bended knee.
We had a number of discussions in and around the options for creating our special day and quickly realised that for both of us with close family all spread out interstate and overseas that the logistics to have a big get-together and full scale event was logistically a tricky one, certainly looked to be an expensive one and something we had both been through before and in recognising where we were at with our lives and our desire to just quietly and confidently do life ‘together’, we decided to keep it between us and low key. However, it was important that what we did in our own personal celebration was special, it was reflective of our style and also something worthy of capturing and communicating with all of those nearest and dearest to us to share our day and personal moment in a way that hopefully translated the magic that we felt for each other and in that moment.
Pure relaxed romance. A little bit notebook-esque (unintentionally, but not regrettably) inspired by nature, a love of being outdoors in a place that wasn’t home but felt every bit like home whenever we were there in Tanglewood estate.
I knew I wanted to find something effortless and off the rack, something that was elegant but relaxed, just how we envisioned the whole experience. I tried on many off the rack dresses but it was when I saw someone wearing this particular Zimmerman dress at a Christmas party on Instagram I knew straight away that was the dress I wanted. I contacted the head office as I couldn’t find it anywhere and it was a prior season style but there was one left! It was a size too big but that worked out well as turned out by the time our wedding day was to come around I would be just on five months pregnant and the dress ended up fitting perfectly!
Our whole ceremony was extremely emotional, more so than I think either of us expected, but sharing in that and being in that moment together was truly special. A stand out moment was in the signing of our certificate, the very clever Shannon Jeans came up with a way to reveal the gender of our pending bub by using a coloured pen to sign her name which led to us finding out then and there that we were expecting a little girl together ahead in August and that was a truly special moment to share on top of our marriage.
Another favourite was the moment my daughter and now Brook’s step daughter, Olive joined us for photos afterwards and seeing her run towards us through the trees in her little dress to meet us out in the forest was pretty special and an overwhelming feeling of togetherness and family bond took hold.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage is a true partnership in life. A shared commitment to fulfilling your hopes dreams both those you seek together and those that burn individually internally with a constant ebb and flow of considered compromise. It is made up of encouragement and motivation for each other to be the best each individual can be, care and consideration for the true happiness of another person to equally lift each other to live the best life and achieve the best together for yourselves and your family in support of opportunity and also overcoming the tough times and inevitable life challenges you will face but in the confidence that whatever comes, you face together forever feeling supported.
Aisle: All Your Love by Dustin Tebbutt
Signing: Is That Alright? by Lady Gaga from the ‘A Star Is Born’ soundtrack. (Must admit – never expected to have a Lady Gaga song as part of our wedding, but upon hearing this one it took us by surprise!)
Funny stories (or near disasters).
We decided in all of our ‘lets do it differently’ we would opt for a sunrise wedding instead of the ever-popular sunset nuptials but only realised a week out that what we had arranged was going to be put back an hour again due to the end of daylight savings…! It was a very early start for everyone!
There was a funny moment also (luckily just after all the officiating took place) that the vow cards blew off Shannon’s clip board in the wind and into the lake. Our hero photographer, Dan Brannan quickly found a leaf scooper and fished them out again… Shannon, the true professional she is, assured us with the knowledge that if in doubt had it happened earlier – she had a spare set!
Words of wisdom.
To trust in your chosen suppliers and their experience and professional talents. If you have chosen those whose work you admire you will not be disappointed in what they bring to your day. Working with teams of suppliers that are familiar with your venue and working with each other takes a big element of uncertainly out of it as there is added confidence in their ability to work seamlessly together and with experience to get the best out of your location.
Oh how we love the beauty of an elopement, and Laura and Jarrod’s perfect Positano elopement has it all!
LAUREN & BROOK’S TRIBE
Ceremony venue / location: Tanglewood Estate – Owners Donna and Chris McEvoy could not have done more to accommodate our every dream. We got use of their stunning property and freedom to create beautiful features among their surrounds and use of their signature boat on the love-heart shaped lake. They graciously accepted our request to witness our ceremony and be that extra special part of our morning and we will forever be grateful for their generosity and support.
Celebrant/Officiant: Shannon Jeans – From the moment I met with Shannon to tell her my news (at the time a secret engagement) she was instantly a pillar of support, shared in our excitement and made every aspect of working through the necessities and formalities easy. She also made sure it was reflective of us as a couple and that we both equally contributed to our ceremony, to our story and spoken wording in a personal, relaxed and effortless way. The way she delivered what we shared with her was faultless, and humorous but professional and emotional all in one. She really has a special gift for her chosen vocation.
Photography: Daniel Brannan – We knew Dan was talented, and beyond that a down right awesome human to be around, but Dans’ photos still seriously blew us away. His eye for detail, for capturing and using light, his knowledge of the venue and of putting you at ease in a situation to get those special moments and ability to capture emotion is second to none. We wanted Dan to have a chance to experiment also with areas of the landscape he would want to photograph as well as any ideas he may have wanted to try, such as when he suggested using the drone over the lake which captured the most epic of images from overhead. We are forever grateful for his flexibility and creativity. He also had sneak peeks back to us what felt like almost instantly and we were able to relive our moment over and over again with such special memories captured. Could not have asked for more.
Videography: Rachael Mary – Having been captivated time and time again by the hauntingly romantic and ethereal effect from Rachael’s films, I knew we wanted some of her magic to share for ourselves to look back on our day and share with those that were not present. Between Dan and Rach working together to visually capture the elements of our elopement we were in the best hands and so appreciative of their experience and ability to work seamlessly together.
Styling and flowers: Poppy Culture – What an opportunity for our team to bring together our passion for flowers and styling whilst sharing in such a special occasion in being an in-house event. I tried very hard to stay out of most of the planning of the set up itself, only offering a guide for the look, feel and tones which I hoped to maybe achieve aesthetically but the detail and the delivery was purely up to our buyer and senior florist Stephanie Greenhalgh. My bouquet was created by our senior florist and head wedding bouquet specialist Lauren Walsh, every texture and bloom had room to shine and worked perfectly together. My favourite element would have to have been the boat.. I had seen some images on the cover of old Harper’s Baazar magazine that I gave over as reference for the heavily hydrangea-based coverage and what they produced made my heart skip a beat. I honestly felt what it must be that our own brides feel in that moment when they see their flowers, they see that special person waiting for them at the end of the aisle surrounded in such a stunning setting and that creation of pure beauty everywhere you set your eye and it was an amazing experience to feel immersed in that excitement and realisation that it was all for our special moment and it felt nothing short of this.
Hair and make-up: Sophie Knox – We are privileged to share our warehouse studio with that of Sophie Knox, residing upstairs at Weddings HQ. We see countless brides-to-be arrive fresh faced and full of excitement then returning again looking jaw droppingly stunning, relaxed, whilst radiating beauty and confidence. I wanted to experience that feeling for myself on this special day. I don’t usually steer away from a very basic makeup look and routine and not normally one to have my makeup done professionally for occasions but I had complete trust in Sophie and could not have wanted to share my morning and that special time of anticipation and excitement with anyone else. She made it fun, she made it special and she made me feel beautiful in my own skin. She is a dream to work with.
The dress: Zimmerman
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Rings: Temelli Jewellery
Groom’s suit and shoes: Calibre
Cake: Miss Ladybird Cakes – Gina is a master of her craft. I knew straight away although it was only ourselves and our vendors, that we still needed to celebrate such a special time with the cutting of a cake, and when also armed with the task to share (for those that were with us that did not yet know) the second gender reveal element of that morning. A simple but beautiful design of single tier textured butter cream finish with poppy seed scatter was something I had seen on Pinterest and just stuck with us for the idea of that elegant simplicity. Adorned with a small but specialised cluster of flowers and textures to tie back with our event styling made it all the more pretty but the best part about it was the flavour… how incredible it was to have a lemon, elderflower and champagne flavoured cake for brunch. It was delicious and beautiful all at once and we couldn’t recommend her and the team higher.
Honeymoon: Ubud, Bali