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ANNA & BEN

Lets start at the beginning, when and how did you and your partner meet?
Ben and I met in late 2013. We grew up at opposite ends of the Barossa Valley, went to school just one town apart and had lots of mutual friends, yet somehow only met properly in our early 20’s. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed him before that though haha.

When we met I was sharing a wine at the local brewery with one of my best friends, Poppy, who had actually just started seeing one of Bens best friends. Ben and a group of his friends showed up and for whatever reason, Poppy told him to sit in the empty seat next to me. He was really nervous so I don’t think he would have had the courage to if she hadn’t suggested it! And the rest is history, we were pretty inseparable after that.

Anna and Ben

Tell us about the proposal ..
It happened in Barcelona in the summer time, 4 years after we first met. We’d planned a big trip around Europe and Barcelona was the first stop. On our first day there he suggested we go for a walk to Parc Guell, a famous garden there. I was Jet lagged and starving so I wasn’t exactly keen, but I knew how much he wanted to go there so I followed along. Now I know why he was so eager! We walked around these beautiful gardens for a while then he suggested we have a rest in the shade over looking this stunning view of Barcelona and before I knew it he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand!

Anna and Ben

The Dress! Tell us about your experience finding the dress .. How did you decide on the one?
That’s an easy one! The whole process was a breeze for me. I accidentally ended up at a bridal fair where Caleche had a stall and I saw a mannequin with this stunning dress on it and I knew I had to try it on. About a week later I went in with my bridesmaids and my Mum and tried on the dress I saw, and I also got everyone that came with me to pick out a dress that they thought would suit me and tried those on too. As it turns out, the one that my Mum chose was the one for me. It’s true what they say, Mum always knows best. She chose something classic, timeless and elegant. I only ended up trying on two dresses because I was so sure I wasn’t going to find anything I loved more.

It’s a funny thing, choosing a wedding dress. The one I ended up going with is almost the exact opposite of what I always imagined I would have, but when I tried it on it just felt so right! It really is true, when you know, you know!

Anna

Can you give us some details on your wedding location?
We got married at Gumbank Homestead, a property in the Adelaide Hills that my parents had bought the year before with plans to retire there. It was an absolutely perfect day so we were able to fulfil my dream of a garden wedding and got married on the lawn in front of the old house, just underneath a big cascading rose bush that trails off the balcony above (who needs an arbour?!). But I wasn’t stressed about the weather in the lead up – there’s a beautiful old barn on the property that would have been the perfect wet weather back up plan. The homestead is currently private, but we do have future plans to open it up to wedding ceremonies!

Ceremony
Gumbank Homestead

What was your favourite moment of the day?
Hmmm… Do I have to pick just one? Putting my dress on is definitely a highlight. My bridesmaids got dressed first and I was secretly watching our guests arrive from the balcony while they put their dresses on, which really built up the anticipation for me. I felt so special when I first put it on – it was so elegant. It all started to feel real at that moment!

My other favourite moments would have to be the night before and the morning of with my bridesmaids, my first kiss with my new husband, the petal toss as we walked back down the aisle and our one on one time with our photographer (Evan Bailey) at sunset – those photos are my most treasured. Oh, and the dance floor! We had a darn good dance floor.

Anna and bridesmaids

Hens Day! If you had one, please tell us all about it!
Did I ever?! My bridesmaids out did themselves. It started with a long lunch at Madame Hanoi with lots of bubbles and delicious food – and games! From there we continued on to drinks and 2KW where two of my bridesmaids disappeared without me realising, then I got driven to a ‘secret location’ which ended up being my maid of honours house where they had completely transformed her lounge room into an adult slumber party heaven with big platters, flowers, balloons, fairy lights and comfy cushions everywhere. We spent the night in our Pyjamas playing adult versions of party games like pass the parcel and it got pretty crazy haha. It was so much fun!

Anna and bridesmaids

Lastly, is there any advice or words of wisdom you have for future brides?
It’s going to sound a little cliché, but take it all in. Not just on the day, but the entire lead up. You may feel stressed at times, but do your best to enjoy these moments because you only do it once, and when it’s over you do miss the wedding planning! Take your time with planning if you can and have fun with it. The meetings with vendors, the dress shopping, the flower choosing, your hens day… be present in these moments.

Besides this my advice would be stay true to yourself – meaning plan the exact type of wedding you want to have. For us it was always going to be casual and fun with finger food, cocktails and lots of dancing and we had the best day because it was just so us.

Anna and Ben
Bridal party

Details
A lot of our vendors were actually close friends of ours! The bridesmaids and I had our make up done by my maid of honours sister, Lucy Koehler and another friend of ours (Katherine Daken) did our hair. My flowers were by a close friend of mine, Peri Schaefers. I’m a florist myself and she managed to absolutely blow me away, which is a true testament to her skill! We’re very lucky to have so many talented friends. The groom and groomsmen wore Country road Jeans and a shirt and open jacket from Alta Moda on Melbourne street and the bridesmaids of course had their custom made velvet Caleche dresses! All of our jewellery was by Jane Williams (J W Jewellery) – including my engagement ring, both of our wedding bands, my earrings and the bridesmaids earrings. Jane’s fantastic, I don’t think there’s anything she can’t do!

The styling was a bit of a collaboration between myself, my Mum and Annabelle Kerslake (editor and co-founder of Fête Press magazine). We used a few antique bits and pieces that my family own, teamed with hanging linen feature lights from Hygge Studio and wicker furniture from Modern Party Hire (both sourced by Annabelle). Picture lots of blush pink and burgundy velvet cushions and throws, crystal champagne coupes, scattered pillar candles and festoon globes and lots of little lounge nooks for people to relax and chat in.

There are just two more special mentions I would like to make (sorry I’ve gone on for so long!) One goes to John and the team at Tabel Catering – they were absolutely fantastic! From the food to the service (especially the bar tender) they were flawless. The other goes to our photographer – Evan Bailey. My goodness am I glad I found him. He felt like a guest at our wedding, a friend who we had known for years, and somehow at the same time managed to snap the most incredible photos. I could not recommend him more!

Anna and Ben
Ceremony
Anna and Ben
Anna and Ben
Reception
Anna and Ben

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