Real Wedding – Samantha and Damien, Swan Bay VIC
Real Wedding – Samantha and Damien, Swan Bay VIC
Real Wedding – Samantha and Damien, Swan Bay VIC
Real Wedding – Samantha and Damien, Swan Bay VIC

Real Wedding – Samantha and Damien, Swan Bay VIC


Sammy and Damien are not one to be squeezed into a box, and their wedding celebrations were no exception. From Sammy’s on point two-piece gown by Tribe faves One Day Bridal to their choice of Basils Farm as their venue, these two prioritised a party vibe with a fresh modern twist.

Sammy drew her planning inspiration from Instagram, sticking true to what she loved without becoming overwhelmed with choice. Basils Farm was an obvious choice of venue, offering the trifecta; incredible views for insta-perfect images, delectable drinks and food, and super flexible staff who were willing to shake things up to allow Sammy and Damien to realise their dream day vision.

An image of a cracking dance floor drew Sammy to her wedding DJ and from there, the party unfolded. We love that these two didn’t hold back from enjoying their celebrations, beginning the night before and carrying right through to the recovery the next day!

Superstar photographer Ali Bailey was there to capture these two in all their fun-filled, gorgeously genuine glory.

The meeting.

We met in Ballarat as he was playing football and I was playing netball for the same club (Redan). We met in the clubrooms after a match one night.


The ‘one’.

There was one night when we were still living in Ballarat and I had gone out for dinner at 5pm with my Mum and Aunty Dawn. Strawbs (Damien) called me an hour later to see where I was because he had been out walking Bruce (our dog). I said we were out for dinner and all was good.

Another hour went by and Mum, Dawn and I were obviously settling in with a few drinks when Strawbs called again asking what I was up to – I just responded I was still out with Mum and Dawn.

Time went on and we finally came home to find Strawbs and Bruce sitting outside our unit in Ballarat, in the cold, waiting for us. He didn’t want to say he was locked out because he didn’t want to interrupt us or make us go out of our way – so he sat, with Bruce, in the cold for like four hours waiting for me. And that’s when I (and Mum and Dawn) thought WHAT A GUY! Who does that? Strawbs.


The proposal.

We moved into our beautiful new home in Geelong in August and I went on a bit of a shopping frenzy (as I do). Strawbs still to this day says I have shares in Freedom Furniture! Anyway, I had decked out the inside interior and I really wanted to get an outdoor table, the weather was warming up, the boys had bought Strawbs a Webber for his birthday – so I thought it would be ideal. So, we went to Bunnings one Wednesday night and bought an outdoor setting. Strawbs spent the whole of Wednesday night setting it up which I thought was a bit odd as he isn’t overly handy – it took him about five hours!

Anyway I was so excited and the next day was going to be a very warm day so I said I wanted to eat dinner at our outdoor setting. He said no dramas, he’ll cook something on the Webber. On the way home from work that night I got my nails done which I never do but I was going to Wyche that weekend for the races.

I called him on the way home and I said I felt like a drink of prosecco to celebrate the weather and our outdoor setting and he was all for it – that was strange too. Anyway, I got home, the house was spotless (just the way I like it), romantic acoustic tunes playing, Webber on, outdoor setting all decked out, salad made, and Strawbs was super weird and quiet. I thought something was up.

We sat down for dinner and he put mine in front of me. He was standing next to me as I was eating which was also weird but then he asked me to check if Bruce’s collar was too tight. I kept eating and just put my hand to the side and said ‘yep all good’, until Strawbs said ‘Sammy you actually have to look!’

When I looked, there it was, a beautiful morganite ring on Brucey’s collar. Strawbs (and Bruce) then just stared at me for what felt like 10 mins.

Strawbs went onto to say ‘well?’ and I said “you actually haven’t asked me anything!’ and he then replied ‘well, will you?’ Ha ha, so romantic! And then that was it. I couldn’t eat my dinner. I got extremely drunk. Called my family. It was a great, memorable Thursday night and I’m glad it was done at our favourite place with Bruce.


Planning process.

Well, we were drunk for a week celebrating our engagement! We were so spoilt by friends and family who just wanted to visit and celebrate with us, so that was super special.

Then when all that calmed down, I got straight into business. I had no idea where to start or who to book so I started following Ivory Tribe as a base. We knew we had to get our venue locked in first then we could book everything else.

We were deciding between a marquee back home in the country or a Bellarine winery. The idea of having it at an already established venue was a bit more appealing as I didn’t want to have all those extra jobs that a marquee can bring as I can get quite stressed.

We looked at a few wineries on the Bellarine but Basils Farm stood out the most. It’s simple yet absolutely stunning and just a beautiful hidden little gem with a relaxed atmosphere which is what we wanted. Talla and all the staff at Basils were just so friendly and accommodating and made everything so easy for us. They allowed us to do some things that other wineries probably wouldn’t have which we were super grateful for.

Once we got that locked in it was time to lock in vendors. I literally stalked Ivory Tribe and any beautiful image I saw I researched the photographer and that’s how I found the amazing Ali Bailey. This was the same with our wedding singer Andrew Loadsman. I saw a picture of a pumping dance floor and I thought, that’s what I want. I clicked on the real wedding to see who their singer was and it was Andrew.

And then it all just flowed from there.


Style inspiration. 

I never really had a particular style I was just hoping it would all come together on the day. I would say I had more of a colour palette, which then changed. I started with natural and simple colours and just green and white flowers. But then once my invitations were finished I fell so in love with them. They were pink! So I thought I wanted to bring pops of colour in.

My dress, the bridesmaids and the boy’s colours were all quite neutral so we introduced pops of colour through our signage (which matched our invites) and flowers (pink and peaches).


The outfit. 

I went to Melbourne with my sister and mum and I didn’t really have a set style in mind. I had a few dresses saved on my phone but I didn’t know how they would look. Once I tried on a few, the store assistants were asking me ‘what are you looking for’? I found it easier to tell them what I didn’t want after I tried on some. I’m not a ‘long’ dress person and I never have been, so I was finding that part quite difficult.

I had a One Day Bridal two piece saved on my phone and that was my last stop for the day. As soon as I tried it on I just thought wow, if I can pull this off it will be the dress of my dreams! It was plain, simple yet super different. And that’s what I loved!


Favourite moments.

Ah so many! The whole weekend really, including the night before with the girls which was super fun (and a bit too wild) and the day after drinks!

From the actual wedding day, the moments that stand out the most were our vows and speeches. These are the two things I love the most about weddings and I have always loved listening to how others speak about each other and their relationship. We had so many comments about our vows and speeches and how honest and heartfelt they were. This meant a lot to us.

And clearly our dance floor was something else! The dancing started quite early on when it was still light but Loadsy had it happening all night!


Meaning of marriage.

Having a best friend for life that you can share absolutely everything with. The good times and the bad. You know you always have someone there to support you, love you and make you happy!


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle: Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers (live version played by Andrew Loadsman)

Reception entry: Levels by Avicii and Let My Love Open the Door by Peter Townsend

First dance: Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond


Funny stories or near disasters.

Disaster! My veil got caught on a fence as I was walking down the aisle! It was windy and it got caught so I just stood there smiling! All our guests were looking at me so beautifully just smiling and I just said ‘hi everyone!’

Luckily a friend came to rescue and grabbed it out of my hair and fence and gave it to one of my bridesmaids who later pinned it back in. My dad who was walking me down the aisle was super hopeless and thought he was helping but he was literally just patting my head like a puppy dog! This made the guests laugh though, I guess!


Planning surprises.

Just the decision making! Maybe that’s just because I’m a super indecisive person. Make sure you’re absolutely certain before you book!


Words of wisdom.

Try not to get too overwhelmed by all the amazing, beautiful, wedding images around you. Be as organised as you can early on so the week or two before your wedding you can just relax and really enjoy every moment – as the rest is now up to everyone else!



Has your dream date popped the question? The engagement hangover has worn off and you’re in a daze as to where to begin with your wedding planning? Pop over to our directory and start by booking some of the best vendors in the biz. 



Ceremony and reception venue: Basils Farm

Celebrant/Officiant: Weddings Weddings By Niki

Photography: Ali Bailey

Videography: Lightbox Media

Florist: Charlie and Co

Hair and make-up: Blondie

The dress and veil: Oneday Bridal

Shoes: Dolci Firme

Rings: Sammy’s– Gems and Jewels, Damien’s – Michael Hill

Bridesmaid’s dresses: By Johnny

Groomsmen’s suits and ties: Eddy Elias Geelong

Entertainment: Andrew Loadsman and Chris Varsamakis (DJ)

Bar and catering: Basil’s Farm

Décor: Neon Collective

Hire: Memphis Hire (festoon lights)

Honeymoon: Fiji


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