Real Weddings

Bec + John: charms of the countryside

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Okay, we know this is Queensland Brides, but we absolutely love it when we hear from grooms – after all, who doesn’t love a man with a way with words? So when real groom John told us about his special day at Gabbinbar Homestead we couldn’t help but swoon a little bit. Romance fans, this one’s for you.

Growing up on their families’ beef cattle properties in Central and Western Queensland, John and Bec had a few things in common – including mutual friends. However, it wasn’t until they attended a friend’s funeral that they actually met. “We like to think we added a happy ending to a very sad occasion,” says John. Despite the distance between them geographically, the two noticed an emotional connection immediately and threw themselves into travelling across the state to be together. “Bec was working on one of her family’s cattle properties two hours south of Charters Towers in north Queensland, while I was on my family property five hours west of Townsville,” says John. “A six-hour drive to see each other became the norm. But it wasn’t long before the travelling got the better of us, and I convinced Bec to stay permanently.” What followed was a fairytale romance – and a romantic proposal.

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Originally planning to pop the question on a whirlwind trip to Zambia, John had to wait until they returned to Australia, thanks to a delay with the ring design. The new plan: propose on a dinner date back in Townsville. However, excitement got the better of him before the pair even got in the car! Sensing his nerves, Bec asked for the keys to drive. “As I gave her the keys my hand wouldn’t release. I was tossing up between giving them to Bec or asking her to marry me – I decided to do both. As soon as I released my grasp on the keys, I dropped to one knee and pulled out the ring.”

As if that wasn’t sweet enough, John had another surprise for Bec a bit later – an adorable cocker spaniel puppy named Chloe. How could a girl resist? A country girl at heart, Bec dreamed of a wedding at Toowoomba’s stunning countryside Gabbinbar Homestead and was quick to check availability. When only two dates were offered in 2016, she and John took the bull by the horns (a cattle reference seems fitting) and set the date for six months down the track. And boy, did it pay off.

When the big day – 30 January – arrived, John and his groomsmen found time for tenpin bowling and a trip to the barber, while Bec and her bridesmaids enjoyed plenty of pampering and shared a few heartfelt moments. “Bec’s sister, Jess, had given her small framed photos of their three grandparents who had passed away, which were placed on Bec’s bouquet – a very touching idea that she loved,” says John. “Before walking down the aisle Bec also shared a very special phone call with her grandfather, who sadly could not be there. All these very special elements added huge sentimental value to the big day.” Suited up, John was standing at the altar in the homestead’s timeless pavilion when the music started and he became a little emotional. “When the final bridesmaid finished her walk, all attention turned to Bec and her dad as they made their way down the aisle,” recalls John. “The whole time I was trying to catch my breath and stop shaking.” Bec walked down the aisle wearing a breathtaking Darb Bridal dress and tied the knot with her proud fiancé before family and friends. “When we exchanged our vows we were both in tears,” says John. “Having not heard each other’s vows until that moment made the ceremony all the more emotional and many of the guests were brought to tears as well.” Tissues and handkerchiefs all around! After saying “I do” the couple roamed the picturesque homestead for a photo session, while their 108 guests were treated to drinks and canapés in the manicured gardens. Draped with fairy lights and with views of the stars above, a clear marquee was the perfect place for John and Bec’s stylish reception.

Taking the party to the homestead’s conservatory, Bec and John then surprised guests with a magical fireworks display that lit up the see-through roof of the conservatory as they shared their first dance. “Seeing our guests’ faces light up was a very special moment – we’ll treasure it forever.” “Our day was absolutely magical and everything we dreamt it could be,” says John. “We wouldn’t change a thing.”

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Bride’s Little Black Book: Photography: Milque Photography + Films // Ceremony and reception: Gabbinbar Homestead // Celebrant: Sarah May Alexander // Wedding dress: Darb Bridal Couture // Shoes: Kate Spade // Bridesmaids’ dresses: Picasso // Hair: Twidale Hair and Makeup // Groom’s suit: Wil Valor // Groomsmen’s suits: Ferrari Formalwear // Rings: Laloma Townsville // Flowers, props and styling: Green and Bloom Flowers and AV Ideas // Cake: Vanilla Pod // Cars: Hope’s Classic Car Wedding & Formal Service // Entertainment: Graham Hobson // Planning & Styling: White + White Weddings


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