Wedding date: 01 July 2022 // Number of guests: 100
It was a celebration of grand proportions for Courtney and Aaron, who said I do at Brisbane’s iconic City Hall.
QB: All good love stories start somewhere; tell us how and when you met …
We met online in the typical modern fairy tale way. I saw this picture of a handsome man with an even more handsome cat on his shoulder, and I instantly wanted to get to know him better. After many late-night phone calls and hitting it off immediately, Aaron and I decided to wait a little while to meet. It was romantic, and after the first catch-up, we were inseparable.
QB: Tell us about your lives together
Dating, adventures, social events, and some chill time together sum up our current life. Once we took the big step and moved in together, our biggest challenge was to unite our pet cats, Alfie Charlie and Ellie. We were worried the cats would not get along, but our two boys are now best buddies. We love to spoil each other on special occasions and try new things together. My family adopted Aaron as one of their own, and I fell in love with his family. We share many common interests, and both long to have a happy, healthy family.
QB: What does marriage mean to you?
To me, it means everlasting love, a team, growing old with one another and experiencing life together, through good and bad and supporting, encouraging, and loving each other unconditionally.
QB: Make us laugh, make us cry: who proposed to who, and how?
One Christmas Eve morning, Aaron casually informed me that we had plans for the day. After driving to Marina Mirage, he had organised a helicopter to fly us to South Stradbroke Island. Arriving, we could see that there was a table with red roses and a beautiful chef-prepared lunch, and as soon as the helicopter left, Aaron dropped to one knee and said the most beautiful things before asking me to be his wife. He had spent months planning and designing the most spectacular engagement ring, which is beyond beautiful. It was the perfect day to get engaged as we saw our families over Christmas and celebrated this momentous occasion together.
QB: How and why did you choose your venue?
We wanted a beautiful, grand ballroom with a nostalgic feel to host our contemporary yet traditional wedding and reception. However, something grand with a sense of history took a lot of work for us to find on the Gold Coast. And so Aaron suggested Brisbane City Hall. As soon as I saw the pictures online, I fell in love. The search was over. When we went for a tour, it blew us away as it was the most stunning room and offered multiple spaces for the ceremony. And because City Hall is central to numerous botanic gardens, we had plenty of options for the garden photos that I wanted.
QB: What was the inspiration/ aesthetic style behind your wedding style and where did you gather your inspiration from?
As I realised while planning our wedding, I am a bit of a micro-manager. Hundreds of hours researching and planning for this wedding saw me put my heart, soul and mind into it. Inspiration came from many places, yet Instagram was a huge help with finding vendors, ideas and inspiration. It took me a while to choose a colour scheme as my favourite colour is pink, but I wanted a colour that would make my wedding dress pop more in photos. I fell in love with lilac, which perfectly complemented silver (my choice over gold!).
QB: What were your non-negotiables for the day (things you knew you had to have)?
Although I had always wanted to get married, I had never really thought much about the specifics of a wedding other than knowing the song to which I would do my Father-Daughter dance. Dad had played it my whole life, and it was truly a special and memorable moment on the day. I had also watched the father of the bride movie a million times with him, so I knew I would need a jazzy pair of sneakers for the reception. Having a giant princess dress was my non-negotiable. There is no other time in a girl’s life that she will ever get to wear something so spectacular, so I had to do it. I just wanted a wedding that would make people say, ‘wow!’
QB: Tell us about your musical choices for the day …
Creating my essential song playlist was a lot of work. It’s hard to find exactly the right song with the right tempo for the moment while also having meaningful lyrics. My Father-Daughter dance was Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle. I had known it would be this for my whole life. I wanted our first-dance song to be ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ by Phil Collins, however, Aaron wanted an Elton John song, so instead, we went with ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ (which ticked off the Disney song want!). What you walk down the aisle to is an essential element, as you want something that is emotional and has meaningful lyrics. I chose ‘From This Moment’ by Shania Twain, and it was the most emotional moment of the day for everyone. Some guests cried at this moment and later admitted they didn’t cry at their own wedding.
QB: Did you incorporate any traditions or perhaps do something a little different?
We did a sand ceremony to build on the traditional elements of a wedding. We used the sand from the beach where we were engaged and some lilac sand to represent the wedding. It ended up being very special and is a fabulous keepsake of an extraordinary moment in our lives.
QB: Was there a favourite/funny/most memorable moment of the day?
Some of our favourite and most memorable moments from the day were walking down the aisle, hearing each other’s vows, my Father-Daughter dance and my sisters’ speech. It rained on our wedding day, so my dress got very wet when we went to the park for photos, and unfortunately, because of the extra weight on the train, my bustle ended up breaking about 30 seconds into our fully choreographed first dance. At the time, I was devastated because it limited some of the dance moves, but hearing how everyone else saw the dance, I now believe that it made our first dance even more special because we had to work together to move around the massive train.
QB: Tell us about your dress choice …
With a location as spectacular as City Hall, we knew we needed a black-tie wedding. Bruno’s suits offered us a fantastic deal on everything the boys needed for their tuxedos, which meant we couldn’t say no to buying them. As for me, I fell in love with my dress the moment I saw it. When I put it on for the first time at Booming Moda, I knew it was the one. It was beyond elegant and had the most dramatic train. I bought a stunning tiara to match my dress and wore the pearl necklace Aaron had bought me for our second anniversary. The earrings I wore were designed by me and a gift from my grandmother. They were pearls with diamonds and pink sapphires, which matched my wedding band, which also has diamonds and pink sapphires. I am tall with large feet, so finding shoes was the most challenging part of my outfit. My dad bought me a pair of pink Nikes for the reception to honour the scene in his favourite movie, Father of the Bride. My mum found a stunning pair of shoes from Sophie Webster in my size that was the perfect final piece to my look.
QB: Were there any standout suppliers?
My sister is also getting married this year, and I wanted to find a celebrant that we both loved so he could marry us both to make it more memorable. Our celebrant ‘Hitched by Fabs’ stood out to me the second I saw his face on Instagram. His smile instantly told me he would be a lovely man, and I knew I wanted him to marry us. We drove up to meet him at a bridal expo, and he was perfect. He made the whole process so easy.
LM Images did a fantastic job capturing so many amazing photos. Even though rain interfered with some desired shots, they went above and beyond. Lynette was always just a phone call or text away to answer all my many, many questions before and after the wedding and the video of our day was truly magical.
Our stylist Erlinda from White Lace and Promises, delivered a spectacular wedding and made my vision come to life.
Lillian Sutton and her team did a fantastic job with all the hair and makeup. They are experts at what they do. I highly recommend their services.
Tahlia was my site coordinator at City Hall. She went the extra mile to make sure we were happy with everything. Even with the illegal protests happening outside City Hall and the rain, she ensured everything ran smoothly and was excellent at finding solutions to every problem.
QB: Do you have any words of wisdom to offer other couples (Other than don’t stress the small stuff and it’ll all be okay on the day?
All the planning and stress that goes into this one day is worth it. It will be the most magical day of your life. Things will go wrong. Items will not go to plan, but try your best to enjoy every moment and spend as much of the wedding with your husband as you can. The day will slip away very quickly, and you don’t want to have any regrets.
QB: Did you enjoy a honeymoon?
We went on a safari in South Africa for our honeymoon, where we had many amazing and close encounters with Africa’s wide variety of truly spectacular wildlife. Our lodge was set on a river full of hippos. We had regular visitors, including a tower of giraffes, a very timid antelope, some zebra and very cheeky monkeys on our deck. We watched the sun rise and set on safari while enjoying a drink together in the middle of the African bush, watching the most incredible animals in their natural habitat. Aaron fell in love with Africa, and we look forward to going again.
Photography & Videography: LM Images // Ceremony & reception venue Brisbane City Hall (Brisbane Room & Main Auditorium) // Celebrant: Hitched By Fabs // Bridal dress: Booming Moda // Bridesmaid gowns: Bridal Company // Suits: Bruno’s // Hair & Makeup: Lillian, Marlena & Abigael from The Makeup Chicks. // Wedding Rings: Marion Schweitzer // Flowers: Flair Floral // Cake: Sweet Society Co // Catering: Brisbane City Hall // Stylist: White Lace and Promises // Music: Baker Boys Band