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A country wedding at Branell Homestead in Laidley Queensland
Branell Homestead wedding photography
Jessie & Chris were married at Branell Homestead, just a little shy of 4 years from their first official date at Paddington Station Coffee House in Rosalie.
From the first time you meet Jessie & Chris their passion for life and food, along with their friendship and love connection is blatantly obvious.
On Valentine’s Day in 2015, Chris organised a day of surprise events outlined in a website he created especially for the day. First, flowers were delivered to their home with a message “You are my best friend, you are my lover, you are my soul mate”. Followed up with dinner and watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the Moonlight Cinemas in New Farm Park. Following the movie, they went for a walk into the New Farm Park rose garden. As they were sitting, with views of Brisbane city, Chris shuffled onto one knee and recited those same words “You are my best friend, you are my lover, you are my soul mate”. Then asking Jessie if she would make him the happiest man alive and be his wife. Chris then used these same words in his vows at the wedding.
It seems the days of the traditional drunken bucks and hens parties are a thing of the past, thankfully, and more civilised pre-wedding gatherings are taking place. Jessie and the girls made flower crowns, played some hens party games and the obligatory drinks to get the party started at Mantra on Mary in Brisbane. Before heading out to Limes Hotel in the Valley for more drinks, food and fun! Chris and the boys escaped the city with a weekend away in Byron Bay at the iconic Butter Factory for a couple of days of sporting activities, including foot-golf (golf with a soccer ball), a brewery tour, good food and beverages.
Jessie & Chris chose Branell Homestead as their wedding venue. They wanted to be outdoors under the Queensland sky. With the idea of a relaxed vintage style wedding and with great views overlooking the Lockyer Valley fit perfectly, and it helped that Chris is from Toowoomba.
The couple’s wedding inspiration came from wedding blogs such as Hello May, wedding-related Instagram accounts and Etsy. Jessie tells me they specifically avoided Pinterest for inspiration.
With country DIY elements placed around the homestead, the Laidley homestead took on the homely country feel they were after. The advantage of having the Branell Homestead for three days meant the bridal party and families could settle in for an entire relaxed weekend of celebrations. Starting with a family BBQ on the night before the wedding, where the extended families could get acquainted and Jessie & Chris could spend more time with those that had travelled. The onsite cabins are modern and offer incredible views of the Lockyer Valley, perfect for a relaxing afternoon with a glass of wine to watch the sunset. The cabins are also far enough away from the main homestead to give the couple privacy on the wedding night.
Pretty much everything was DIY and made by Jessie & Chris. From the lace bunting, hessian table runners, polaroid camera photo booth, decorated jars for flowers and candles, ceremony decorations and flowers, decorated terracotta pots with succulents, and calligraphy name tags for the place cards and bonbonniere (the calligraphy was written by the Bride’s mother), a seating board, reception table decorations including the floral arrangements, and the the list goes on!
Jessie wore a bespoke gown with a hand beaded lace bodice and tulle skirt from When Freddie Met Lilly, along with a veil and Anna Campbell headpiece. For Jessie’s something old, she wore a handmade garter made by her mother from 100 year old lace she had inherited. Jessie also wore a 130 year old brooch with the words “best wishes” handed down through the groom’s family which was placed on the ribbon of bouquet.
In an outdoor garden ceremony on the lawn under the large tree with lace bunting hanging in the branches, Jessie walked down the aisle with her mum to John Mayer’s “Clarity” where Chris was waiting for her. Jessie & Chris tell me their favourite memory from their special day was exchanging their vows, as they wrote their own vows. But the funniest moment was when the Priest actually forgot to ask Jessie & Chris to have their first kiss as husband and wife, and had to be prompted! Well the priest did actually start the ceremony with a joke, along the lines of ‘we know there are plenty of nurses in the crowd, but is there a doctor in the house’, which got a few chuckles. With Jessie & Chris both being nurses and many of their work colleagues being nurses as guests, the joke was very appropriate.
One of the many great aspects of getting married at Branell Homestead, is the fact that you don’t need to leave the venue until the end of the wedding weekend. There are many locations around the property for a variety of wedding photos. Branell is perfectly set in its location in the Lockyer Valley to take in the afternoon sunset. And if you must leave the property, you don’t need to drive far.
The afternoon entertainment was music by the talented Andrew Morris, best known for his work with Bernard Fanning and The Wilson Pickers. What a treat for the music heads!
Jessie & Chris danced their first dance as husband and wife to Lior’s ‘This Old Love”. Then danced late into the night under the festoon lights which had been hung over the lawn area, celebrating with great music, cocktails, friends and family.
Jessie & Chris spent 10 days exploring the South Island of New Zealand road tripping around in a Jucy campervan, followed by a week relaxing in Aitutaki in the Cook Islands for their honeymoon.
When I asked Jessie & Chris what advice would you give future brides and grooms, their response was “Enjoy every minute as it goes quickly. Preparation is the key. Don’t stress too much, especially over the small stuff because at the end of the day as long as you marry the love of your life, the other stuff will fall into place. And it is worth getting a wedding planner!” and “Invest in wedding vendors that mean the most to you ie. Photography and videography, wedding dress, wedding planners etc.“
Full list of wedding vendors at the bottom of the page.
Brisbane Photographer : Deb Boots love stories
Ceremony & Reception Venue : Branell Homestead, Laidley | Priest : Father Paul McCormack
Bridal Gown : When Freddie Met Lilly | Bride’s Shoes : Novo | Bridesmaids Dresses : Two Birds
Groom’s Suit & Tie : Politix |Groomsmen’s Suits : Roger David
Groom’s Shoes : Julius Marlow | Groom’s Belt & Braces : Ben Sherman | Groom’s Shirt : MJ Bale
Groom/Groomsmen Accessories : Superman cufflinks, Happy Socks socks. Groomsmen- superhero cufflinks
Wedding Planner / Stylist : Main Event Weddings | Furniture Hire : Branell Homestead
Vintage Crockery : Elegant Vintage Hire | Homemade Recycled Timber Boxes, Seating Plan Stand & Vintage Books : Rustic Hall
Flowers : Toowoomba Flower Market | Hair Stylist : Sarah Courtney | Makeup Artist : Marley Hammond
Wedding Cake : Gillian Bell Cake | Catering : Cary’s Catering | Bar : Main Event Weddings
Grog : The Sunshine Coast Brewery & Fortitude Brewing Company
Wedding Stationary : Save the date magnets from Vistaprint | Wedding Invitations : Madisan Rose
Music – Ceremony : Signing the register – Bernard Fanning “Grow around you”
Music – Ceremony : Recessional – Angus and Julia Stone “All this love”
Music – Reception : Andrew Morris
Videgrapher : Danny Camara for Florido Wedding Films
Engagement Ring : Shiels | Wedding Bands : Both Michael Hill
Honeymoon : New Zealand and Aitutaki-Cook Islands