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From a surprise proposal in Italy to thoughtful, meticulous planning and an unforgettable weekend of love, laughs and champagne surrounded by family and friends in regional NSW, Alex and Sandy’s wedding journey had it all – romance, fun, a bit of quirk and countless feel-good moments. It was a dream come true for this happy couple, and we were so honoured to help bring their vision to life.

We chatted with lovely bride, Alex, about her whirlwind experience.

How did the proposal unfold?

I joined Sandy on his work trip to Europe. At the time, I had no expectation or inkling at all that this would be for more than just business purposes. Sandy had a cheeky and clever plan up his sleeve though, and it caught me completely off-guard – in the best way possible!

One evening while we were getting ready for dinner at our accommodation on the Amalfi Coast, Sandy suggested that we make a video of him dramatically popping a champagne bottle with our breathtaking ocean backdrop to send to loved ones back home. This wasn’t an unusual request as Sandy had long had this funny little habit. When I went inside to grab my phone for recording, however, I was shocked to see Sandy down on one knee with my gorgeous ring in a box. It is an amazing memory.

What drew you to Tamworth’s Goonoo Goonoo Station as a wedding venue?

Initially, neither of us were fixed on a particular location. We had some rough ideas that helped the decision-making process though, including onsite accommodation, having flexible use of different spaces, and finding somewhere that inspired and resonated with us.

In the end, it was an easy choice because Goonoo Goonoo is about 40 minutes from our farm, Gilay Estate, and really reaffirmed our passion for Agri-tourism. The venue has a stunning glasshouse restaurant, a pretty chapel, and immaculate grounds. It’s very special and ticked all the right boxes. We also loved that Goonoo Goonoo had that elusive mix of timeless countryside charm and modern heritage.

Given that we were asking our guests to take a 5-hour trip from Sydney for the wedding, it was essential for us that we provided them with a memorable weekend. Goonoo Goonoo had an inviting pool, lush gardens, a tennis court, quaint homestead, and a unique stone store – like we had just stepped into another world!

What was the inspiration behind the florals and styling chosen for your big day?

This was a journey of self-discovery and careful consideration. All our vendors, JMFS included, shared a common aesthetic that we were really drawn to – structured, clean, crisp, and classic. It soon became clear that we weren’t seeking a pop of colour or anything overly bold like that. Instead, Sandy and I found ourselves gravitating towards elegance and edginess but in a more understated and refined way. There was a deliberate lack of greenery and a similarly intentional array of freestanding ivory floral designs that extended to the height of the chapel. White flowers featured at our reception in Goonoo Goonoo’s wool store as well, with tulips and ranunculus enhancing the long tables and complementing our stone-coloured stationery, candle holders, and flutes. A dim glow and fairy lights also transformed the space.

What was the most memorable part of your wedding?

Challenging question! I think Sandy and I definitely made a point of creating memories from each little milestone across the weekend. That said, there were several standouts –

  • Hosting our wedding wine tasting with the bridal party
  • Designing and making the bridesmaids’ dresses with my best friends
  • Staycations at our venue
  • Creating road trip kits for our guests

Having bagpipers lead everyone to the terrace after our champagne celebration in the garden was also special. As Sandy and I headed off for our photos soon after this, I distinctly remember driving away in a golf buggy and seeing our family and friends sipping margaritas, laughing and hugging as the sun began to set in the background. A wave of emotion hit in that exact moment. We were both so happy, not only because the day had been exceptionally beautiful but because it was clear that our loved ones were feeling extremely happy too.

Photography: Joey Willis

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