Bride

Real Wedding: Amy & Josh

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When it comes to romantic weddings, high school sweethearts Amy Jackson and Josh Ballinger’s nuptials have us smitten.The dreamy gown, the golden late afternoon light, the historic and unique location.We could go on! And from the bride’s father making crates and wooden signage and her mum sewing 100+ metres of bunting using vintage fabrics to the groom laboriously wrapping old bottles in twine for centrepieces, this magical day really was an absolute labour of love.

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Date: April 5 2014

The Couple: Amy Jackson and Josh Ballinger

Location: Jimbour Station

No. of Guests: 80

Theme: Rustic Elegance

First Dance Song: Northern Wind – City & Colour

Budget: $20, 000

Photography: White Images

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How did you meet? 

Josh and I are high school sweethearts and celebrated our 10th anniversary the week of our wedding.

Tell us about the proposal…

I woke up early to pack for the highly anticipated road trip with friends to the Roma Races. It was also Josh’s birthday. He insisted that I go back to bed because he wanted to make me breakfast. I didn’t protest because I still needed to wrap his gift.

In he walked, carrying pancakes and a ceramic jewellery tree with little handmade cards hanging from the branches. The cards were numbered 1, 2, 3. I was instructed to turn the cards over one at a time. They read – “This is my favourite part of the day. I wake up next to you smiling because I know it’s another day I get to spend with my soulmate. All I want for my birthday is for you to say yes! So, will you marry me? I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with my best friend by my side!”

I was speechless, crying uncontrollably and incredibly grateful that he had proposed in the comfort of our home. There was no fancy destination, no fancy Champagne or expensive view; it was just the two of us. Perfect!

Why did you choose Jimbour Station for your wedding? 

Jimbour Station was the first venue we visited and we were absolutely blown away by the grandeur and elegance of the historical home. It was a hidden gem. Immediately, the gardens appealed to our desire for an outdoor ceremony and the hangar was a rustic canvas that could be transformed for the reception. The photo opportunities on site are limitless and by not having to travel to an additional location we could spend more time with our guests.

What did you do for your hens and bucks? 

I love surprises so had only one request for my girlfriends – no penis shaped straws. Instead I was treated to a relaxing weekend retreat at Mt Tamborine where we did everything from a cooking class to a treetops high ropes challenge. The highlight was everyone receiving their own vintage-inspired aprons mum had made. Each package was lovingly wrapped and accompanied with a poem she had written called ‘Don’t Cut the Apron Strings’. Happy tears galore.

Josh went on a fishing trip with his best mates to Fraser Island. The weeklong recovery and lack of fish caught indicates beers and antics took precedence.

DIY Details

Our wedding was an absolute labour of love! So many of our friends and family contributed, but my vision came to life through the tireless work of my amazing parents who made everything happen. My dad, aka jack-of-all-trades, made the crates for the ceremony backdrop and cake display, the wooden signage; the gorgeous stand for the seating tags was also his handiwork. He then turned his hand to metal work, sanding back old horseshoes and painting for the horseshoe toss. I have him to thank for sourcing the old ladder that was used as a hanging display above the bridal table.

Mum hadn’t owned a sewing machine since I was a baby so I was completely unaware of her talents. She sewed the 100+ metres of bunting using vintage handkerchiefs, tablecloths and curtains from thrift stores. Large and small cushions were made for the picnic rugs for guests to lounge on. I saw paper flowers in a store that I liked. Mum found a clip on YouTube and cut up her old medical encyclopaedia. If people had looked closely, they sure would have been in for a laugh.

Josh was responsible for making the giant Jenga. It was much loved by our guests. He also helped with the very time consuming task of wrapping old bottles with twine for the centerpieces; Grandma’s crochet flowers were an extra special touch. He has certainly honed his cutting and gluing skills; the paper heart aisle ensured that.

Key Styling Inspiration 

Our styling reflected our country life, but by combining a variety of textures – hessian, lace and paper – we still had an elegant day.

Pinterest and Etsy are absolute goldmines when it comes to finding cute, homemade touches. However, there is still something to be said for sitting down with a bridal magazine and ripping out pages you like. I think the search is half the fun.

What gifts did you give your guests? 

Friends are the family you choose and we wanted to give our guests lots of little things to thank them for not only celebrating our day but for shaping our lives. At the ceremony there was a vintage dresser set up with handkerchiefs for people to take for their happy tears. To entertain guests “Our Story,” a book compiled by our best friend Samantha, had a timeline of special milestones and answers to questions submitted by our family and friends. It was funny, yet endearing. Josh and I were delighted in reading it the next day.

At the reception, cute glass jars of strawberry jam and tomato relish were available for people to take. However, the absolute hit for our guests was the ‘Biccie Bar’ complete with 10 varieties of family favourite biscuits. The full day of baking was worth it to see guests grabbing a tote bag and filling to the brim. Most were consumed before people even left.

What was the funniest moment of the day? 

Josh says – When my friends found the scissor lift we had used to hang decorations and came past the open hangar doors with it at full extension. The dance floor went wild.

Amy says – When my self-proclaimed ‘funniest friend’ surprised us with a song she had written to the tune of April Sun in Cuba. Our best man played the guitar while Alex sang hilarious lyrics telling our story. No one was safe in the crowd as she walked through singling people out.

What was the most special memory of the day? 

Josh says – Our photographers were getting a final few shots of Amy as the sun was setting behind her. Emily lifted Amy’s veil and ran. All I could think was ‘WOW!’ She looked breathtaking.

Amy says – Our DJ played Daryl Braithwaite ‘The Horses’ as the final song of the night. Josh and I were engulfed by a small huddle of friends, which expanded to include all our guests swaying along. Here Josh and I were, surrounded by our nearest and dearest, dancing without a care in the world. After 10 years together, we finally have a ‘song’ and it makes us smile every time we hear it.

Special thanks to…

Marie-Claire, my pen pal of 17 years, whom I had never met for making the trek from Paris to attend our wedding in country Queensland. Indescribable!

Samantha – for studying to be a celebrant whilst abroad in Canada so you could marry us, compiling the much-treasured “Our Story” and being my go-to-girl the week prior to the wedding.

Kristen – for designing invitations, jam labels, paper hearts, cover design for “Our Story”, signage, videoing our day and finally caving to my requests to go into business so everyone else can share in your creativity. You’re my go to girl!

To our amazing vendors who made the planning and day run like a dream, we love you all and would do it all again with you by our side.

What advice would you give other brides-to-be? 

There are so many trends out there and it can be overwhelming trying to choose. Stick to what you know, be true to your personality as a couple because the little touches will say so much more than the flashy, expensive items.


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Credits
Ceremony: Jimbour Station
Reception: Jimbour Station
Gown: Elizabeth de Varga
Bridesmaid Attire: Forever New
Groom's Suit: Spurling Bridal & B.Ties
Groomsmen Attire: Spurling Bridal & B.Ties
Decorator: DIY by bride and family/friends, Bunting: Home Baked Bunting, Tote Bags: Piccolo & Popi
Flowers: Dalby Florist
Hair: Helen's Hair & Beauty
Makeup: Mink Makeup Artistry
Caterer: Pips 'n' Cherries
Stationery: Design meets Paper
Photographer: White Images
Engagement Ring: My Diamonds
Bride's Wedding Ring: Diamond's International
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