Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat was the first and last wedding venue Lauren and Ash visited. “We didn’t need to look anywhere else. It was the only place we viewed in person and the incredible rock cathedral and the relaxed nature of the venue made the decision for us”, says Lauren, who wanted food, wine and fun to be their focus.
Hoorah Events was also on hand to help transform the reception space into something worthy of sharing the limelight with the natural bush-scapes outside. Check it all out below, along with our chat with Lauren.
Tell us about how you met and the proposal?
We met almost 10 years ago, walking past each other on a highway in Perth where we both lived at the time. I moved to Sydney with Ash not long after and Ash popped the question on Christmas morning in 2015.
He surprised me at home by waking me up and getting me to put a blindfold on and asked me a series of questions that finally lead to the final one of him asking me to marry him. Our dog Sami was in on the surprise and had a little card tied around her neck asking if I would marry her dad.
What sort of vibe were you aiming to create for the day?
We loved the idea of having a wedding that was a weekend away because we’ve really enjoyed going to weddings of friends that involved some kind of destination – and we also love vineyards. That was what we were initially searching for, however when we found Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat we were so taken with the venue we booked it straight away. We knew we wanted a relaxed day and for great food, wine and fun to be the focus.
What traditions did you involve during your big day?
We did things a little differently compared to what most couples do so we didn’t really have many traditional parts to our wedding. We had a ‘first look’ and photos together and with our bridal before the ceremony which was a choice based on us wanting to walk down the aisle together (which was amazing!). We also didn’t have a big gap between the ceremony and the reception. Ash’s uncle Jodi did a ‘welcome to country’ at the start of the ceremony to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land that we were getting married on and our guests found that very moving. It was really special.
What advice would you give to other couples leading up to their big day?
Don’t let the small stuff stress you out. We found that by going with our gut and making choices when we felt that they were right the FIRST time, rather than continuing to look and look and look at different options made things so much easier. You’ll just confuse yourselves and make the process unenjoyable!
And, don’t worry about what happens onto day, just enjoy your time with your bridal party and family in the lead up and delegate everything else. You’ve engaged the professionals to take care of everything for you, so let them do their job.
What does marriage mean to you?
To us, marriage to us is the ultimate commitment to being with each other forever and becoming that single unit. It was so wonderful to experience the lead up and the day together; it’s unexplainable until you do it!
What was your favourite moment on your wedding day?
When we saw each other for the first time before the ceremony. It was emotional and exciting!
My brother played the guitar and sang Bruce Springsteen – Secret Garden.
First dance song?
Keith Urban – Without You.
CREDITS: Photos Sophie Thompson // Flowers Bouquet of Dreams // Ceremony and reception Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat // Catering Caterina in Kangaroo Valley and Platter Wonderland // Cake The Healthy Chef // Styling Hoorah Events and Bouquet of Dreams // Stationery Soda Pop Agency // Bridal gown Rachel Gilbert via David Jones // Cape Sheike // Bridesmaid dresses S.E by Sant Elia // Bridesmaid gifts The Daily Edited // Groom and groomsmen suits M.J Bale // Groomsmen gifts Gallantoro and M.J Bale // Rings Matthew Ely // Makeup Sarah Marie Makeup // Music Western Sounds and Qynn Beardman // Celebrant Brenton Parry // Signage Neon Poodle.