There aren’t too many couples around whose wedding plans haven’t been touched by COVID, and Astrid and Gary are no exception. But they didn’t let the pandemic put a dampener on their day, folks, as these pics by one of our fave lens ladies, Jessica Mary Photography, are here to prove. But before that, there was a super-sweet proposal on Kangaroo Island that you def need to know about! “Sat above the dunes, watching the sunset over the ocean with a cool breeze, a glass of wine and awkwardly both wearing lilac jumpers, we talked about what a great team we make – through the many challenges life had thrown at us, our love never wavered,” Astrid tells us. “At this point, he surprised me on bended knee with the ring, which my grandfather gave my grandmother (Nonnie) as a gift in the 1950s.”
Cute, right? Fourteen months on, Jessica Mary Photography and videographer Lightwise Cinema documented the day, capturing pics and creating a wedding video that really are a little spesh, guys. With the bride wearing heavenly Karen Willis Holmes and the couple incorporating touching nods to loved ones who couldn’t be there, the day was a total standout.
THE VENUE “We knew we wanted a winter wedding, for many reasons. But most importantly, it was the hope that Gary’s sister, brother-in-law and nieces could make it from Fukuyama, Japan. This, in turn, meant the venue had to host the ceremony and reception inside in case of inclement weather. We tossed up venue after venue. There was a fabulous new natty wine venue just outside the city, but it was too rustic. Then we fell in love with a venue in the Adelaide Hills, only to be turned down because they only accept social media influencers. But this all led us to find Golding Wines – the most beautiful of venues, food, wine and experiences. The second we arrived, Amy (the venue manager) felt like an old friend. She brought a special kind of love to the role that meant we felt safe and at home with her. And did we laugh together! Even when we had to postpone, we were in hysterics via email. She’s one of a kind!”
FAVOURITE DETAILS “Gary’s handmade signs and the rose petals my mum grew and dried for confetti were lovely. The disposable cameras were a great idea, too. Our guests really let their hair down with those. Also having a short moment with just my parents before we left – it was rushed, but it was really special to just be with them in a grown-up setting, yet still feeling like their little girl.”
“Before we left for the ceremony, I [Gary] opened my gift from Astrid. It was a Japanese plate to break together and then mend with gold in the tradition of kintsugi. Because even when there are cracks and breaks, everything can be healed to be more beautiful than before. It perfectly summed up the journey of marriage – it may not always be smooth sailing but together we can always heal.
No dress code on the invites also meant an eclectic mix of style, which was brilliant.”
THE DRESS “My dress was from Adelaide Bridal Collective, made in Sydney by the insanely talented people at Karen Willis Holmes. It was a dream. The lace was so soft and the quirky sleeves gave it a modern style I couldn’t help but love. When I originally picked it up, it was a little tight. I’d had heart surgery in May and after 12 months, I could exercise, but then I lost too much [weight] and the week of the wedding the beautiful Kym at Kym Grace had to take the gown in, but it ended up fitting like a glove.”
MEMORABLE MOMENT “There was a moment, albeit short, where as we stood on the hill at sunset having photos and it felt as though the rest of the world dropped away. All I could hear were our heartbeats, and all I could see was Gary. It was as though for that moment, without rhyme or reason, nothing mattered in the world, but us. And then we drank bubbles from the bottle and partied on!”
TALK ABOUT TRADITION “I wanted to incorporate my deceased grandparents into the day as best I could. Our cake, from Heidelberg Cakes, was a replica of my grandparents’ cake from 1950, including the horseshoe topper from their cake. I paid respect to my other grandparents, who are Noongar (Aboriginal), by incorporating magpie feathers into my bouquet as they are my totem animal. We were lucky to have one join us as we were getting ready, both at ours and at Gary’s, then two walked in and joined us during the ceremony. I believe that was my grandparents visiting. I also had Gary’s late grandmother’s blue broach on my bouquet, next to a small silver heart carrying the ashes of our pooch, Ava. Ava played a significant role in our story.”
“We had a photo in front of us on the table of my [Gary] sister, brother-in-law and nieces, as well as the beautiful Japanese handkerchiefs and a wedding omamori charm my sister sent us. My grandpa sadly passed away between what would have been the original wedding day and the rescheduled event. My father handed me his watch for the day wrapped in the Japanese handkerchief. We also left a seat at the table for him.”
LITTLE LOL “After the day’s craziness mixed with the bubbles, I wisely pre-ordered breakfast to be delivered the following day on Uber Eats. I don’t remember doing it, but there was coffee included, so I was rather proud!”
WE’RE GLAD WE… “got married on a Thursday. It made the weekend extra long and special.”
A WORD OF ADVICE “Don’t compare to others, don’t sweat the small stuff and drink plenty of water.”
STANDOUT VENDORS “All of them. I know, people say that, but the people we had – WOW. I had heart surgery in May. Our florist Fleur de Lys and celebrant Weddings With Rosie checked in on me before and after. When we had to postpone, every single one of our suppliers was amazing. We rescheduled to a day that meant we didn’t lose any of them. I am so glad we did that. But I have to say, our photographer, Jessica Mary Photography – what a unique soul. She has the most gentle presence without being soft! Sam, our videographer from Lightwise Cinema, is also just a legend. Literally no other words. Hilariously charming, he put everyone at ease.”
If you’re feeling inspired by Astrid and Gary’s dream team, head on over to Jessica Mary Photography and Lightwise Cinema‘s directory listings to get in touch. And if you’re still searching for your dress, you cannot go past Karen Willis Holmes – trust us, they know their way around a wedding gown.
CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Jessica Mary Photography Cinematographer Lightwise Cinema Florist Fleur de Lys Stationery & Signage Designed by groom Printer Kwik Kopy Ceremony, Reception & Catering Golding Wines Cake Heidelberg Cakes Cookies Cookie Cartel Hire Items Modern Party Hire (chairs and napkins) Lighting Hire Caso Light N Sound Sound Hire & Entertainment DJ Mark Kamleh Celebrant Weddings With Rosie Rings Everett Brookes Transport Platinum Car Hire Dance lessons QuickSteps Dance Club Studio THE BRIDE Gown Karen Willis Holmes Bridal Boutique Adelaide Bridal Collective Veil Kym Grace Designs Robes Etsy Shoes Charlotte Mills via The White Collection Accessories The Wolf Gang (handbag) Hair Yen Ngo at Tonic One Six Makeup Tess Carbone at The Makeup Est THE GROOM Suit, Shirt & Shoes Peter Jackson Suspenders & Bow Tie Otaa Barber Adam Newman at The Mens Room