Built in 1857, The Old Coach Stables is a unique, country wedding venue that stole bride Toni’s heart the moment she saw it. “I locked the venue in and started organising the deposit within 10 minutes of seeing the place!” she tells us.
Rather than following any set country theme, she just ran with whatever felt right – which in this instance was lots of food and wine and good music (and homemade cookies!).
Check out the entire day captured by Anthea and Lyndon.
Tell us about how you met and the proposal?
We’ve known each other for a few years prior to getting together… but the magic really started to happen New Years 2011/12. We were both in Wollongong celebrating NYE and I (Toni) made sure James was my first kiss of 2012. Worked out in my favour cause he’s been it ever since.
James proposed Easter 2016 at Lake Conjola. I was racing around trying to air the house out and James called me out to kitchen to look at some Easter chocolates a family friend had apparently got us. Instead of chocolate there was a box with cupcakes in there reading “Marry me?”. For some reason, I read it as “Merry Easter”.. don’t ask why. When I finally got my head around what was going on and with James asking “Well, will you?” I finally pulled the words together and said a big HELL YES!
What DIY projects did you accomplish for the wedding?
It wasn’t us but a few family members added a DIY touch to our day. Jenny (James’ mum) handmade ALL the cupcake and burger cookies and how AMAZING do they look?! (If you’re in Canberra be sure to check out her cafe – Daughters at Hall).
We also incorporated something a bit different into our ceremony by having a wine box ceremony. In this box we have a bottle of wine and two letters to one another. When times get tough or we are celebrating a momentous occasion we will open this box up, read each other’s letters and share the wine. The box was handmade by James’ granddad, Dar and is such a beautiful keepsake we will keep for the rest of our lives.
What was your theme/inspiration/vibe for your wedding?
We didn’t have a specific theme as such like country, elegant, Mexican or carnival but the overall vibe of the day was very us. It was relaxed, with lots of amazing food, HEAPS of beer and wine and AMAZING music. My inspiration for the day was us, I wanted the entire day from start to finish to reflect both James and I and I reckon I did a pretty great job….right, James?!
What traditions did you involve during your big day?
We had a few comments from guests that our wedding was the most untraditional wedding they’ve been to and we agree. Toni read her vows first and we cut the cake almost as soon as we arrived to the reception. We didn’t really want to follow tradition, we wanted to do ‘us’ and we feel the day was a true reflection of that.
What advice would you give to other couples leading up to their big day?
Enjoy every single moment because it is so true what they say, the day is over within a blink of an eye. Also, get some sleep in the lead up to the wedding and don’t forget to EAT!! Can’t have that dress not fitting you. You are running on so much adrenalin you don’t know when to sit down, take a breather and have something to eat.
And don’t forget to have some time between the two of you at some point during the day. Even if it’s for five minutes before the reception, sit down, take a deep breath, give each other a big cuddle and kiss and have a laugh with one another before the beautiful chaos starts all over again!
What does marriage mean to you?
Simple, being able to spend the rest of your life with the person you love the most. Creating memories together, crying together and most importantly laughing together (which I think we do quite well!).
What was your favourite moment on your wedding day?
Our photographers took us away from everyone to take photos of the two of us (who would have thought?!). Anyways, this hour was the most RELAXING moment of the entire day. We got to talk, just the two of us and it barely felt like Anthea and Lyndon were even there. We both can’t thank Anthea and Lyndon enough for everything they did for us on the day, they were truly the best!
Tell us any funny stories that surrounded your wedding?
Hmmm… that’s a hard one! There were so many laughs in the lead up to the wedding. The entire journey was a ride full of laughter. We shared many moments with our parents and friends in the lead up to the day it’s too hard to pinpoint one or two occasions – I guess that’s a good sign of things to come!
How did you find your venue and was the process difficult for you?
I (Toni) went on the hunt for a venue with my mum, Leonie and now mother in law, Jenny while James was interstate playing football. I wanted to get married in the country somewhere, always have!
A lady who worked with Jenny suggested The Old Coach Stables and to be totally honest I was super hesitant. It’s about 45-60mins out of Canberra and.. I’d never been to Gunning before so had no idea what to expect.
Those thoughts quickly disappeared as soon as I pulled up out the front. I locked the venue in and started organising the deposit within 10 minutes of seeing the place! James didn’t see the venue until six months after I’d booked it. Thank GOD he loved it just as much as I did.
I walked down the aisle to Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran and our signing song was All That Has Grown by Ben Harper. We both love a bit of rap music and really wanted to incorporate it into our day somehow. Saying that, we couldn’t really play Biggie or 50 Cent… could we?! So we compromised and our walk out song was Pop Thieves by Childish Gambino.
First dance song?
This was a hard one for us to choose so we went with something totally random – Magic by Cold Play. It had no significant meaning to us before we chose it, we both just liked the beat and lyrics. Now every time we hear it, it will take us back to that special moment and always have a place in our hearts… (aw!!).
CREDITS: Photos Anthea and Lyndon // Flowers Peony n Pearl // Ceremony, reception and catering The Old Coach Stables // Stationery Raisa Kross Illustrations // Bridal gown and veil Peter Trends Bridal via Annabels Bridal Boutique // Brides shoes Skin Footwear // Hairpiece Etsy // Accessories Mimco // Bridesmaid dresses Shona Joy // Groom and groomsmen suits and ties Oxford // Rings Briolette Jewellers // Hair Luxe Hair Studio // Makeup Sarah Wright // Music Hard Cover // Celebrant Mary-Ann O’Sullivan // Transport First Class Chauffeured Cars.