Ah, high school. That melting pot of education, hormones and unrequited crushes. Except on this occasion the crushes were reciprocated and after school was out, they blossomed into a big love for Emily and James.
The duo made the very clever decision to get hitched at Mindaribba House – a beautiful 100 acre Hunter Valley wedding venue with a white-walled barn, gorgeous accommodation and a river running along the property boundary.
We asked Emily a few questions about the big day.
Tell us how you met and how the proposal went down
James and I were good friends in high school, with the occasional crushes on each other that we never pursued. Our paths separated after we had left school. Years later, we caught up and we haven’t looked back since.
James proposed to me one night after cooking me a lovely dinner. He dressed up handsomely and took me for a walk on my parents property down to an arch which he had decorated with fairy lights where he kneeled down and asked me to be his wife… and of course I said yes!
What traditions did you include (or not include)?
We didn’t really have a very traditional wedding. Unlike most brides and grooms, we both stayed at the same house the night before our wedding, along with our bridesmaids and groomsmen having a night of games, drinks and food. We also didn’t go with the traditional ‘white’ wedding dress and veil.
We didn’t have a very traditional reception either. There was no official ‘bridal table’. It was a cocktail-style wedding where we encouraged everyone to mingle and talk and drink together and get the most out of the beautiful reception outdoor area.
What advice would you give to other couples?
Just relax and enjoy the whole day. Enjoy each moment and if something doesn’t go to plan on the day, laugh it off. Take plenty of photos, dance lots, and kiss often. Pack a little basket for in the bathroom for the guests to use. Aeroguard, some bobby pins, deodorant, hairspray, Panadol, hollywood tape etc. Invest in a good photographer, it’ll be worth it!
What does marriage mean to you both?
James: It means I can finally call my most favourite person my wife and I’m so happy I can spend the rest of my life with her.
Emily: It means officially being able to call James my husband. Waking up to the one you love everyday. Through thick and thin, knowing that they will be by your side.
Any funny moments you can recall from the day?
As a send-off we had arranged to do a “sparkler tunnel”. We had purchased 100cm sparklers and people lined up outside to form a tunnel with them. My father (brides father) then decided to light a bunch of them together which ended up forming a big fire ball that shot up (luckily not lighting the trees above him on fire). A few minor burns but lots of laughs.
Feels like home – Edwina Hayes
First dance song?
Kiss me – Jason Walker
CREDITS Venue Mindaribba Weddings // Photos Bless Photography // Bridal gown Maggie Sottero // Bride’s shoes Betts // Flowers A Mothers Niche // Bridesmaid’s dress Adriana Pappell // Groom’s and groomsmen’s suits Reuben F. Scarf // Groom’s shoes Betts // Cake Wild Rose Sweets & Styling // Hire The Wedding Designer // Celebrant Frank Wakewood // Hair Victoria Kate Hairdressing // Makeup Jenna Turner // Music D.Love // Stationary Lava Stationary
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