If you’re looking for some guidance on how to plan an unforgettable Hunter Valley wedding, take note of Qamrun and Liam’s beautiful day at Dark Horse Vineyard.
They didn’t want anything “too flashy” and this blank canvas wedding venue allowed them to create a celebration that reflected the way they approach life generally: not too seriously. That meant running with flowers that were already in season, writing their own light-hearted vows and including their beloved dog Ojo in as many aspects of the day as possible.
How did you and Liam meet? Like classic millennials, though Facebook. We had some mutual friends and the six pack Liam was flashing in his profile picture was probably the first thing that caught my eye. Lucky for Liam, he backed that up with a really kind and genuine nature. The rest is history!
The proposal: We were away for my birthday on the south coast, we had our dog Ojo with us and I was under the impression it was just a birthday get-away. The weather was rubbish all weekend but Liam pushed through and convinced me to go on a walk down to the beach. Still unsuspecting, he popped the question. It was simple but we wouldn’t change a thing.
Wedding venue: Dark Horse Vineyard. We wanted big yet understated features, big landscape/property and a bit of a blank canvas to make our own.
Wedding vibe: We went for seasonal simple – nothing too flashy or ‘themed’ so we kept to neutral colours, silky materials, classic tux and brought in the beautiful autumn vibes with warm tones and pops of fresh white.
Traditions: adopted, adapted or ditched? My Dad walked me down the aisle and we kept the father/daughter dance tradition – outside of that, we made it our own. Our vows were true to our personalities and relationship – not serious and a bit cheeky. Our mums warmed our rings during the ceremony which was special to us, and of course our old boy Ojo (the dog) was there with us barking at birds in the background. Our MCs were close friends of ours that kept that personal touch going. We’re not serious people and we really wanted our vibes to stay fun and lighthearted!
Hit or (near) miss: My maid of honour had to step down because her baby girl came earlier than expected! She still made the wedding thank god but that was a beautiful surprise we both didn’t see coming!
The outfit/s: I have been obsessed with Prea James gowns for years now and knew it would be a dress from her range. I ended up going with the Asta gown, I just loved the art deco hemming, the dreamy silk and the way it felt. When I tried it on my legs went jelly… that’s how you know!
For Liam, I’ve always loved a classic tux. So poor Liam got bossed around with his outfit, but he ended up loving it too. It was sharp, tied in great with the black barn and gave the touch of chic I was looking for.
Standout vendors: All of our vendors were absolute legends! We can’t fault a single of one them.
- Dark Horse is a beautiful venue, if you’re wanting a space to DIY and make your own, this is the place!
- Two Wild Hands is the most talented magical unicorn I’ve ever met. Her work literally made me cry. In a good way.
- Louise Antonjuk Makeup was also an angel, her natural dewy style was exactly what I was looking for and she nailed it with every single one of us. She’s a gun too! She had 10 faces to do and didn’t even break a sweat.
- Paige Cook Hair. Paige is an old friend of over 10 years. It was so special to have her do our hair on such a special day. She’s the absolute best!
- Our photographer James Simpson Photography, I think the pictures speak for themselves! We are so obsessed. My brief was candid, grainy and warm – he delivered beyond what we could ever have imagined!
- Videographer was Erive Films, a buddy of James’ so they work great together. I always knew the film was bound to impress!
- We used Nighthawk Diner to hire their old school “Queenie” outdoor bar. They were so easy to work with and a big hit for cocktail hour!
- LTZ was our band – the best performers we’ve ever seen! The pipes on Tannah and Luke rocked our world. They also kept the party going all night!
- Our celebrant Shaun Gagan was flawless in his work. We’ve been to many of his weddings and he is the best at what we does!
- Lastly, Sprout Catering. These guys are the masters… they know the game and they do it well. Food was important to us and we had a flood of compliments from the service and the food. Amazing prices as well!
Soundtrack: Aisle song: “Two Strong Hearts”, by Ainsley Wills (cover). Entrance song: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”, by Stevie Wonder. Father / daughter dance: “Days Like This” by Van Morrison. First dance: “Everywhere”, by Fleetwood Mac.
Budget: We budgeted for 50k, I’d say we ended up more in the 65k range.
Words of wedding wisdom: Allow time and budget for things to go wrong, because they do! But remember everything is fixable.
I’ll always remember… Looking around the room at the reception and seeing so much love and happiness in one place. It was the best feeling ever.
The future: We’ve been together for nine years now but it’s so new and fun to call each other husband and wife – so silly but it’s like a novelty at the moment.
We’re both really focused on our careers at the moment so we are looking forward to watching each other grow and succeed in that space for the short term.
CREDITS: Photos James Simpson // Video Erive Films // Venue Dark Horse Vineyard // Celebrant Shaun Gagan // Florist Two Wild Hands // Catering and cake Sprout Catering // Bridal gown Prea James // Bride’s shoes Gucci // Veil Hope x Page // Accessories Miss Poppy Design and Belle and Bloom // Bridesmaid dresses Shona Joy // Bridesmaids gifts Belle and Bloom and Mecca // Suits MJ Bale // Ties ASOS // Rings Sarah and Sebastian, Pinky Blinder and Brilliant Earth // Hair Paige Cook Hair // Makeup Louise Antonjuk // Music LTZ // Mobile bar Night Hawk Events // Favours donation to WWF // Robes/PJ’s Cotton On.
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