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Wedspiration > Real Weddings > REAL WEDDING: Anisse + Paddy – The Barn at Leeston
Real Weddings
REAL WEDDING: Anisse + Paddy – The Barn at Leeston
After the pandemic forced this pair to cut their guest list by 100, they thought “stuff it” and went all out with oysters, cocktails, a champagne tower, flowers (and more flowers), and a five-piece band. The result? A seriously epic event.
NSW barn wedding
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Words by Karina Lowndes
date
2 December 2021
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What a success this day was. Held at The Barn at Leeston just outside Goulburn, NSW it was ‘extra’ without being over-the-top and most importantly, reflected all the things Anisse and Paddy love including live music, incredible food and wine, and their friends and family.

They included cocktails, oysters, a champagne tower and Berroca in the bathrooms (smart), as well as a five-piece band, homemade wedding favours and a personalised place card for each of their 50 guests. There was also a coffee van and recovery party the next day (also smart).

Every detail was considered and with an A-list team of vendors including celebrant Marry Us Gary, stylists Pia & Jade, hire company South Coast Party Hire, musicians Baker Boys Band and photographer Mitch Pohl (who also shot this real wedding) it made for one heck of good time. Check it out.

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How did you and Paddy meet? We have known each other for 15 years but only dated three years before tying the knot!

In 2006, Paddy moved to boarding school in Goulburn and I was a local girl in the year below. Although our school days differed our paths did overlap – we were in the same sporting house, Paddy was mates with my sister and we had lots of mutual friends.

In 2017, work (and fate) brought us both to Canberra, and we coincidentally lived across the road from each other! Naturally we ran into each other often and had some strong persuasion from a mutual friend and bridesmaid! Soon enough we realised how much we had in common (along with a cheeky DF kiss) and things rapidly flew to cloud nine!

The proposal: Paddy wanted to propose before any of our friends or family members ever mentioned it to him, it was the ultimate surprise! He designed the ring himself with no hints and then stored it in his hard hat (builder by trade) in the garage for four months. No hoo-ha went into the moment itself, other than it being my birthday – Paddy was more focussed on getting the ring perfect, getting through the chat with my Dad and me saying yes!

We were about to go out for dinner, when Paddy told me to go into the bedroom and open the door in a minute to another birthday surprise. I opened the door to Paddy – standing frozen, mouth open, no words (some things never change!), and holding the ring box. I asked him what he was holding then started crying and Paddy immediately yelled “Oh man I stuffed it! Close the door! Do it again!” – so I closed the door and opened it for a second time to him on one knee!

The venue: I always dreamt of getting married in my hometown of Goulburn and the private farm, recently turned venue, was the first and only venue we looked at. We loved the gardens and country landscape – it felt elegant yet rustic, and had us saying “wow” yet not being overly flashy which we were after!

The vibe: Sentimental, romantic, and everything to reflect ‘us’ – Goulburn is where we went to school together, we are nostalgic and ‘home’ in country spaces, we bond over live music, incredible food and wine, tight friendships and families, and we love creating a magical atmosphere and having a ripper dance floor!

One day I summed the vibe up to my bridesmaids as ‘sentimental country romance with a sprinkle of glamour!’

We also had to make magic out of the mess – the pandemic meant our planning was riddled with ‘what ifs’ and resultantly our guest list had to be culled from 150 people to 50 people. This was incredibly tough on us however we are so glad we pushed ahead!

Building on this intimacy we went the extra mile on making those present feel the ridiculous love: personal vows, live music all day with each song we chose being incredibly special to us (Paddy’s sister and our brother in law performed Taylor Swift in the ceremony!); framed photos of both our parents on their wedding days on the signing of the registry table; each guest had a unique table card greeting them with a personal joke/memory and their nickname; and my Mum baked a bag of biscotti for each guest with a label tied to it saying “The silver lining of 2020!”.

Traditions: adopted, adapted or ditched? We attempted to ditch the wedding cake, however my Mum was extremely keen so we said she could do as she pleased as long as we didn’t have to do anything! Low and behold she herself baked us the most amazing wedding cake!

My Mum (the traditionalist!) surprised me on the morning and adopted the ‘something old, new, borrowed and blue’ tradition all in one lending me a blue sapphire ring which had been in our family for 100 years!

We ditched the tradition of only the groom speaking – we wrote and delivered our speech together! We also ditched the father/daughter, mother/son dance and the tossing of the bouquet – we just wanted to get everyone on the dance floor quick smart!

Hit or (near) miss: We may have had the first wedding in history to start 20 minutes early! As the ceremony was outside, weather was always going to be a variable and my Dad felt rain was due any minute so he and Gaz (celebrant) wrangled all the troops to push ahead 20 minutes ahead of schedule! We managed to have the ceremony, photos and canapés all outside as planned and as soon as we went inside the barn it poured rain the rest of the night!

I’ll always remember… Paddy dipping me when we had our first kiss as husband and wife! We had planned this although in the excitement of the day I had forgotten – so all of a sudden my head was nearly on the ground as I let Paddy take my whole body weight! My stomach flipped mid dip before remembering but fortunately to our guests we looked super impressive!

The outfit/s: We both wanted to wear Australian designed and made outfits and up-the-anti in formality. I went to half a dozen bridal stores by myself (my five bridesmaids weren’t impressed however I wanted a quick escape if need be haha) but ended up going with the first store I went to – Coral from Corston Couture was amazing and worked with me to design/synchronise my thoughts to create my dream bespoke dress! I also didn’t show or describe my dress to my bridesmaids until the day which was super exciting!

Paddy’s black tuxedo was taken care of by the amazing team at P. Johnson. He had a lot of fun going all out – his initials embroidered on the cuffs, choosing his jacket lining to be a deep burgundy and figuring out what a cummerbund is!

Our bridal party was black tie. The bridesmaids were given free reign between a dozen or so champagne coloured midi dresses! They all chose different styles and the plain silk coincidentally worked so well against my heavily textured dress!

Our guests were asked to dress ‘FABULOUSLY’ – similar to how we felt in our outfits, we wanted our guests to wear whatever they felt damn fabulous in!

Standout vendors: Hand-on-heart, all our vendors were amazing, especially with the impacts of the pandemic. However, our celebrant Gary (Marry Us Gary) was Superman – he made us feel at complete ease and like a long-lost mate of ours from the moment we met him. In the lead up, a few key people were hesitant of us choosing a celebrant over a priest and resultantly they were the ones in absolute awe of Gaz! He was the perfect balance of sentiment, humour and captured our love to a tee.

Pia & Jade were undoubtedly another highlight. As a like-minded perfectionist, Dany was the definition of ‘”I got this!” when it came to all our stationary, styling and florals. I will also never forget when deciding on my bouquet I showed Dany my dress and she politely told me my current bouquet thoughts were not at the same glamour level haha!

Also huge props to our amazing photographer Mitch Pohl and videographer Craig Holbrook – I have had so many random people tell me they have cried watching our wedding video!

And of course our five-piece band, Baker Boys, who lifted the barn roof!

Soundtrack: Aisle: ‘Strawberries’, by Caamp. Signing ‘Mine’, by Taylor Swift (Paddy’s sister and our brother-in-law performed their own acoustic rendition!). Recessional: ‘Steer’, by Missy Higgins. Entrance ‘Get Right’, by Jennifer Lopez. First Dance: ‘Carry You’, by Teskey Brothers.

Words of wedding wisdom: Remember why you are having a wedding – to marry the love of your life! And realistically you only need a celebrant and two witnesses to do this! Although our original wedding plans had to change dramatically and adapt to the pandemic, keeping this in mind kept us motivated, optimistic and not caught up in the ‘wedding hype’.

We also had some mantras that kept us both calm and collected if things ever became overwhelming. For example, I had a friend tell me that “weddings are fun, but marriage is even better!” and this really focused my energy to “us”.

Also, have a chapstick handy! We both got a bit wind-swept and wished we had one!

Budget: We hit bang our budget ($60k) – although that was our budget for the original 150 people not 50 people (lol)! Once we couldn’t have all our loved ones there we thought stuff it – ramped the band to a five piece, added in oysters and cocktails and a lot more florals, it was so worth it! This budget included everything – from the bridal party proposals, to Berocca in the bathrooms, to the coffee van and recovery party the following morning!

The future: Nothing changing! Marriage is what we already were – the ultimate team, embracing each other’s idiosyncrasies and being each other’s biggest fans! We just got to formalise it, celebrate our love and have precious memories!

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CREDITS: Photos Mitch Pohl // Video Craig Holbrook // Venue and catering The Barn at Leeston // Celebrant Marry Us Gary // Flowers, stationery and styling Pia & Jade // Bridal gown and veil Cortson Couture // Bride’s shoes Loeffler Randall // Accessories Azal Studio // Bridesmaid dresses Reformation and Shona Joy // Bridesmaid gifts Azal Studio and Go-To Skincare // Grooms suit P. Johnson // Groomsmen suits Oxford // Groomsmen gifts Happy Socks and Solid State // Bow ties The Tie Garden // Rings Bert Jewellery and Zantis Jewellers // Hair Danielle’s in Vogue Hair Studio // Makeup Ash Quinn Makeup // Music Baker Boys Band // Furniture hire Yes Events and South Coast Party Hire // Robes/PJs The Bridal Thread and Aimee-Cherie Intimates.

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