– As featured in and seen on the cover of Queensland Brides Spring/Summer 2019 –
With another member of our extended QB family tying the knot, we couldn’t wait to share their wedding with you. And boy, wasn’t it a truly incredible celebration? Showcasing both the captivating Tweed Valley hinterland and the beautiful northern NSW coastline on their special day, Lauren and Josh (our editor’s brother-in-law) threw one heck of a party! To tell their love story, we have to throw it back to 2016 when Lauren was invited to drinks at the Brunswick Hotel. “Michelle, my work- and housemate at the time, introduced me to some of her friends,” recalls Lauren. “I was still relatively new to the area and I was keen to meet new people.” Little did she know that she would meet the one, with Josh rocking up to the same get-together. “We were a little shy at the time and didn’t speak much, but he ended up asking Michelle for my number. The rest, as they say, is history.”
Thank heavens for good friends! Filling the next two years with fun and adventure, the two became engaged when Josh organised a super-sweet surprise. Usually happy to wake up early for a beach trip, Lauren took a little convincing to get out of bed one morning when Josh decided they should watch the sunrise together. It was well worth the effort, though, when the couple arrived at their favourite local beach. “We found a quiet spot of our own, put Ziggy Alberts on in the background and were watching the sun come up when Josh surprised me with a picnic basket,” Lauren remembers. “We sat and ate pancakes with strawberries, then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I will cherish that day forever.”
Both lovers of the beach, Lauren and Josh decided to pair a dreamy hinterland ceremony with a reception by the ocean when it came time to plan their perfect day. With much of the bride’s family living in her home state of New South Wales, they searched for a venue that would also suit Josh’s Gold Coast and Brisbane-based loved ones. “When we visited Summergrove Estate in the Tweed Valley, we knew it was the ceremony venue for us,” says Lauren. “It was absolutely breathtaking!” For their dream reception, Osteria Casuarina proved to be the perfect match. “Josh and I actually went on our first date there and we have always loved dining at Osteria.” Meant. To. Be.
Locking in their two venues, Lauren and Josh embraced their own style and planned a beautiful hinterland-meets-coast wedding with a romantic, slightly bohemian feel. “I was drawn to deep reds, gold, lace and lots of greenery,” says Lauren. Bringing together a dream team of vendors, the couple felt more than ready to say “I do” when their special day – the 26th of May 2019 – arrived. Getting ready with her gorgeous bridesmaids that morning, the bride looked truly stunning in her Wtoo by Watters lace gown when she met a handsome Josh at the altar. “I was a nervous wreck all morning,” laughs Lauren. “As soon as we stood there, holding hands, it felt like no one else was there.” Surrounded by 100 guests and those spellbinding Tweed Valley views, Lauren and Josh pledged their love for each other in Summergrove Estate’s old-world chapel. “We wanted to include our Christian beliefs in the ceremony and the chapel provided the perfect setting – especially with that view,” remembers Lauren. After the formalities, the two soaked up the golden afternoon sunshine in the venue’s lush grounds with their photographer and videographer. “They felt more like mates that we were hanging out with by the end of the day,” laughs Lauren.
Upping the romance even more, Lauren and Josh hopped into a Porsche and navigated their way through the rolling hinterland hills before joining their loved ones at Osteria. “We reflected on the ceremony and took a moment to say, ‘Wow… we did it!’,” shares Lauren. They then kicked off the festivities with drinks and gourmet antipasto platters in the venue’s elegant courtyard, while snapping a few more photos with their bridal party. “We went for a relaxed and interactive cocktail party-style gathering to help everyone mingle.” As night fell, the newlyweds joined friends and family once again after entering their reception through an enchanting sparkler tunnel – magical! Keeping the romantic atmosphere alive, a crowd-pleasing playlist of old classics and guests’ favourite tunes had everyone ready to party. “We asked everyone to suggest a song to play when they RSVP’d,” explains Lauren. “There was this really fun and vibrant feeling in the room like love was all around us.”
Also tugging at the heart-strings, speeches from the couple’s nearest and dearest were a highlight of the evening… Especially when Josh’s little nieces and nephews took to the mic! “They took turns expressing their love for their uncle and their delight in having me as their aunty,” remembers Lauren. “I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room!” After tucking into late-night pizzas (a hit with loved ones!) and sharing a beautiful first dance to Vance Joy’s I’m With You, Lauren and Josh treated their friends and family to a decadent doughnut tower. “I wanted to let our guests come up over the course of the night and choose their preferred flavour,” says Lauren. “So many of our loved ones commented on how great it looked – and not one doughnut was left behind!” Can you blame them? Finishing an utterly extraordinary day, one last surprise had the ‘big kids’ in high spirits (so to speak). “We revealed a hidden whisky bar at the end of the night,” says Lauren. “Everyone loved it!”
Filled with emotion and sprinkled with delightful touches, Lauren and Josh’s special day was one they’ll never forget. “With everyone’s busy schedules, it’s rare to bring all your friends and family under the one roof,” says Lauren. “Seeing all our guests so happy made the day so meaningful. It was honestly the best day of our lives!”
LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Photography: Figtree Wedding // Videography: Lovelane Films // Ceremony: Summergrove Estate // Reception: Osteria // Wedding dress: Wtoo by Watters from BellaDonna by Wendy Makin // Bridesmaids’ dresses: Esther & Co. // Shoes: Vizzano // Hair: Foxs Lane Styling // Makeup: The Luxe Beauty Co. // Accessories: Samantha Wills and Zoda // Suits: BESPOKED by Ian Chang and Bruno’s Suits // Rings: CTJ Jewellery and Diamontime Showcase Jewellers // Flowers: Arctic Fox Weddings // Cake: Krispy Kreme // Celebrant: Pastor David Quak // Entertainment: Tom Francis Events // Transport: Forever Kombis