A cinematic location set the scene for this Hollywood-worthy romance.
Walking into her magical wedding ceremony was like walking into a dream come true for Taylor. “I was one of those girls who had dreamt of my wedding for years – I definitely had Pinterest boards before I was even engaged,” she admits. “So, when it came to planning, I knew exactly what I wanted. It wasn’t so much a ‘style’ but the keywords I used with vendors were ‘modern, romantic, moody and candlelit’.” Perfection.
The gorgeous event was the culmination of careful planning and a stroke of good fortune, with the dance floor clearing just 48 hours before COVID-19 locked down Queensland venues. “Luck was on our side,” says Taylor, who serendipitously met her future groom on a night out with friends. “Michael is 6ft, 5in [196cm] and hard to miss,” says Taylor, but their match-up still took a little encouragement from a friend. “My girlfriend Eliza nudged me into him (like we were 16 again – awkward!) and I bounced off him, so embarrassed, and kept walking. Later that night, at a different bar, I put my drink down on a table only to see Michael standing opposite me!” This time Taylor took the initiative, struck up a conversation, and numbers were exchanged.
The pair were quickly smitten, but their fledgling love story was tested when Michael revealed he had been deployed to serve in Afghanistan and was leaving in eight months. “By the time August rolled around we were obviously committed to one another and head over heels in love,” says Taylor. “So, we navigated our very new relationship through a seven-month deployment with minimal contact while dealing with time-zone differences and the anxiety that comes with having a partner away in a high-risk job.”
Despite the stress, Taylor says it was “worth every moment,” with an engagement coming mid-way through when Michael used a flight to Rome (gifted as part of his two-week break) to meet up for a whirlwind European tour. Taylor arrived carrying what she thought was a birthday gift from Michael’s father, little knowing it contained her engagement ring! The couple’s first day in Rome presented the perfect proposal moment. “We went to watch the sunset from Gianicolo Hill – which looks over the entire city – and it was absolutely beautiful,” recalls Taylor. “We were sipping red wine and Michael got up to take a photo of me looking out to the view, and when I turned around, he was down on one knee.” Così romantico!
Back at home, the bride-to-be only had eyes for one wedding venue: the Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm and its spectacular Scenic Rim backdrop. “It is such a beautiful, unique venue … The open-air chapel is unlike anything I had ever seen before, and I loved that we didn’t need a wet-weather plan considering every aspect of the wedding was indoors,” says Taylor.
“It’s also not far from my parents, so it seemed like the perfect spot for us. I actually booked it without Michael seeing it as he was still deployed, but thankfully he trusted me wholeheartedly.”
Adorned with lavish floral installations, the chapel served the couple and their elegant colour palette well for a breathtaking and bespoke ceremony. “We incorporated some amazing suggestions from our celebrant,” says Taylor. “Instead of reading poems or bible verses, we had a friend each tell a fun story about us as individuals and as a couple. It made the ceremony more personal to our relationship and made sure everyone was really engaged the whole way through.” The pair also found a beautiful way to include their mothers in the ceremonial duties. “We had our mums present our rings as a token of their blessing – my mum gave Michael my wedding band, and Michael’s mum gave me his wedding band.”
The newlyweds then celebrated by the glow of candlelight as good food and wine flowed. The reception was everything they had envisaged – the romantic mood overlaid with a whole lotta love from the couple’s 70 strong guest list. Taylor’s fond memories of the day are intertwined with gratitude for the team who helped pull it together. “We were truly so lucky that every single one of our suppliers exceeded all of our expectations,” she says. “Our videographer Jess and photographer Bayleigh have given us memories we will cherish forever. Our amazing florist Nicola from Moon Bloom & Co. along with Ashleigh from The Other Bridesmaid made our wedding more beautiful than I ever could’ve imagined – and designer Ella Moda seriously made all of my wedding dress dreams come true.”
But even with a crystal-clear vision and a dream team on board, organising a wedding can be stressful, and Taylor is honest about planning during the start of a pandemic. “I let anxiety and stress really weigh on my emotions in the lead-up,” she says. “Looking back now, everything went to plan and our day was absolutely perfect, and I regret not allowing myself to feel excited and relax in those weeks before.” Her heartfelt advice to other brides? “Don’t stress about the things you can’t change.”
Taylor also has a top tip when it comes to budget: “Splurge on your non-negotiables, like a videographer and photographer, and don’t feel guilty about it,” she says. “They are the memories you’ll have to remember a day that seriously goes by so fast.”
Although their planned Bali mini-moon and European honeymoon are currently on hold, the newlyweds already have an incredible ride to reflect on. “We were engaged within a year of meeting and married within two,” says Taylor. “We’ve travelled to so many of our dream international destinations and in general are just absolutely head over heels – and honestly, we can’t believe how lucky we were to meet each other and for everything to be so truly perfect.” And with their “commitment to unconditionally love each other through all of life’s changes”, this is a couple ready for whatever the next exciting chapter holds.
Venue: Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm // Photographer: Bayleigh Vedelago // Videographer: Stories by Jess // Stylist: The Other Bridesmaid // Dress: Ella Moda Bridal Couture // Bridesmaid’s dresses & shoes: Zara and Famous Footwear // Groom’s suit and shoes: Mr A Taylor and yd. // Groomsmen’s suits and shoes: Politix and ASOS // Makeup: Taylor Lordan and Erin Bigg // Hair: Paula Maree Hair // Florist: Moon Bloom & Co. // Celebrant: Paul Voge // Furniture hire: Hampton Event Hire // DJ: Cut a Rug // Cake: Marina Machado // Pre-ceremony accommodation: Herrmann House