The National Museum of Australia is one of the most iconic Australian wedding ceremony and reception venues. The Garden of Australian Dreams was where Sidi and Sam held their outdoor reception, and they danced under the stars after dinner. We had the privilege of filming and photographing Sidi and Sam’s summer wedding at the National Museum. As videographers and photographers, we couldn’t possibly ask for a more interesting wedding venue! It was an emotional ceremony as you’ll see in their wedding video below. The wedding vows that Sidi and Sam shared with each other were personal and heartfelt, here’s an excerpt:

“When I told you I was falling for you, I had no idea how far it would go. Thank you for being you, for your warmth of heart, your love, kindness and laughter. You’re my world, and I vow to always be devoted to you, and I offer myself completely to you, everything I am and everything I will be. I promise to tell you when that’s one McMuffin too many, and support you when you decide to eat it anyways along with mine … You have the most beautiful and kind soul, and I’m so proud to be walking beside you in this wonderful journey that is life” – part of Sam’s vows to Sidi

“Sam my love, thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for making the world more solid beneath my feet, and lifting my spirit higher in the air. I vow to be your family, and to be your partner in everything you do. I promise that you will carry no burden alone, and that together we will weather any storm … I believe that life is a series of choices, and Sam my great life changing love, I choose you. And I’ll choose you over and over again, without pause, without doubt, in a heartbeat, I vow to keep choosing you, and thank you for choosing me.” – part of Sidi’s vows to Sam

The museum is the ideal venue in Canberra with it’s incredible architecture, central location and sweeping views. Broadbean Catering are the masters behind the delicious food and outstanding service. They source local produce to create menus that reflect the season and support local farmers and suppliers. There are several other areas the museum offers for hire – the amphitheatre and lakeside deck, the friends lounge, the peninsula room, the bay window and hall. So you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to your wedding!

Thanks to AnGus from Fallow Rose Wedding Co for working with us and filming all the aerial footage.

Venue: National Museum of Australia

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A little earlier that day…
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Grazing in Gundaroo is such a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception venue in New South Wales, especially during autumn! As wedding photographers and videographers, we’re always on the lookout for beautiful natural landscapes and scenery. At Grazing we never need to look too far! The gardens are the perfect location to hold your wedding ceremony, and guests can wander over to the deck of the stone room for canapés and drinks. You don’t need to go anywhere that’s not within walking distance, which means you can make the most of the time you’ve got with your friends and family. Grazing is just half an hour out of Canberra, and it’s got a relaxed, country vibe. Did we mention the food? Because we’ve had some of the best meals there during a wedding reception. They grow a lot of produce in their own garden and source other ingredients locally, so if delicious food is a priority at your wedding then Grazing is the place to be!

Bec and Matt are a pair of engineers who met through work. They bumped into each other one night at King O Malleys in the city and the rest was history! They chose this fantastic group of people to work with for their wedding:

Celebrant: Karen Dahlstrom – Wonder Weddings
Dress: Bo and Luca
Suit: InStitchu
Hair: Infinite Hairstyling
Makeup: Tara Florence Artistry
Florist: Lilygrace Flowers
Stylist: Lilygrace Flowers
Caterer: Grazing
Cake: Sweet Bones
Music: Chicago Charles
Stationery: Couture Press (Etsy)

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4 weeks ago we had the privilege of having the dual role of both guests and photographers. We’ve known Natalie for a long time, and got to know Meketu over the last couple of years. At their wedding we met Meketu’s family from New Zealand. They stood and sang together as a family at the ceremony, and after every speech at the reception. Then they performed the best haka we’ve ever seen! I think it’s safe to say that we were all a bit emotional after the most heartfelt speeches and music.

The Māori love song Pokarekare Ana was our favourite one his family sang, and it goes something like this:

Pōkarekare ana, ngā wai o Waiapu
Whiti atu koe hine, marino ana e.

E hine e, hoki mai ra
Ka mate ahau i te aroha e.

Tuhituhi taku reta, tuku atu taku rīngi
Kia kite tō iwi, raru raru ana e.

E hine e, hoki mai ra
Ka mate ahau i te aroha e.

E kore te aroha, e maroke i te rā
Mākūkū tonu i aku roimata e.

E hine e, hoki mai ra
Ka mate ahau i te aroha e.

Whati whati taku pene, kua pau aku pepa
Ko taku aroha, mau tonu ana e.

Which translates to roughly this in English:

The waves are breaking, against the shores of Waiapu,
My heart is aching, for your return my love.

Oh my beloved girl, come back to me
I could die of love for you.

I have written you a letter, and enclosed with it my ring,
So your people could see it how much I’m troubled for you.

Oh my beloved girl, come back to me
I could die of love for you.

The sun’s hot sheen, won’t scorch my love,
Being kept evergreen, by the falling of my tears.

Oh my beloved girl, Come back to me
I could die of love for you.

My poor pen is broken, my paper is spent,
But my love for you endures, and remains forever more.

Styling: Pia and Jade
Transport: Horsepower Limousines
Dress: Nouveau Riche Bridal
Make up: Tara Florence Artistry
Hair: Erika from Kriss Kross Barber Salon
Venue: Ceremony – All Saints Church, Ainslie. Reception – EQ Cafe
Cake: Little Bird Custom Cakes
Bouquets: Laurel and Lace
Entertainment: Simon Anau

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One sunny Tuesday afternoon in autumn earlier this year, Dixie and Keaton said let’s do this together forever at Canberra’s Albert Hall. And what a night it was! We were all emotional during Dixie’s dad’s speech, then during the best man’s speech, and even more so when Keaton spoke! They all shared such heartfelt and genuine words about each other, and we feel privileged to have been part of their lives for that one day.

With his expertise in food and cooking, Keaton designed and prepped the food for their wedding. His passion for food was inspiring, and we look up to people like Keaton who work hard and strive to do their very best. There were lots of personal touches throughout the day like Dixie’s dad designing the stationery, and the cheese handmade by the bride and groom themselves!

Albert Hall is such a beautiful and grand old building, and a pretty unique wedding ceremony and reception venue. We’ve always loved the place, so we were thrilled when Dixie and Keaton asked us to photograph their wedding. Albert Hall was opened in 1928 as Canberra’s concert hall, theatre, exhibition space and a venue for lectures, balls and socials. The building in the heart of the national capital was Canberra’s unofficial town hall for its first 40 years. Next year Albert Hall will celebrate it’s 90th anniversary!

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Albert Hall
Celebrant: Aaron McDonnell – Ceremonies by Aaron
Dress: Annabel’s Bridal
Suit: Braddon Tailors
Hair and Makeup: Chrissy – Lindy Charm School for Girls
Florist: Adi Watters
Stylist: DIY, self styled
Caterer: Keaton Designed & Prepped Menu, Desserts by Tom Luxton (The One Food Van), Chef on the day – Alex O’Brien (Friend & Old Colleague of Keaton’s)
Cake: Aaron Beattie & Libby Dreyer (Keaton’s Colleague + His Partner)
Music: Robbie Plays Stride (Jazz Duo)
Stationery: Graphic Design – Steve Rolfe (Father of the Bride)
Printing: Counterfeit Copy
Special Mention for the Cheesemaker – Patrick Reubinson (Stroudover Cottage, Bemboka – Family friend who ran a ‘class’ with Dixie and Keaton to make the wedding cheese)

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**VIDEO IS COMING SOON!

No amount of anticipation or visualising could prepare me for the moment that I walked out from behind those tipis with my dad on my arm, to see 100 of our favourite people stand and turn towards me. Before I knew it I had my ugly crying face out for everyone to see. It was ok though, because it looked like they were ugly crying along with me.

Lyndon and I don’t really do things in halves – we go all out. We put everything we have into the things we care about. Sometimes that’s exhausting, but this time it was well worth the massive investment of time and energy. One of the things that we get the most enjoyment out of in life, is facilitating time and space for people to spend time with their friends and make new ones. Our friends and family shared their thoughts about our week long wedstival with us during the days before and after the wedding. One friend told us that their New Years resolution was to make more of an effort to catch up with people they cared about. Several people mentioned that they had been going through a bit of a rough time, and that being involved in our week long community gathering had reminded them that they were in fact important to many people.

We brought in 2017 by dancing in the rain with our favourite people. We celebrated Christmas by officially joining two families, and spent a whole week without watching tv and without phone reception. People drove across the country from Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland, and flew over from New Zealand. Some made new friends and others caught up with old friends. We bonded over food fights, watching movies together at our outdoor cinema under the stars, camping, and swimming in the ocean. It was so much more than a wedding, and it reminded us how important it is to spend quality time with the people we love. Here’s to 2017 and acknowledging the people who support, encourage and inspire us.

Being part of a little community of family and friends for that week made me realise how much we are missing that sense of community and connectedness in our everyday lives. Both of our extended families live interstate and overseas, as do many of our friends. The challenge now is how to recreate that feeling without the logistical nightmare of planning Christmas, a wedding and a holiday for 100+ people all in one week. I think we all just want to be part of something bigger than ourselves, to have meaning and purpose and relationships. To matter, to make a difference. Our wedding was about making a public commitment to love and support each other for the rest of our lives. It was also about bringing people together, and spending quality time on our relationships and friendships. We’re very privileged in that we’re able to document weddings for other people through photography and film, and to share their celebrations with them. Now we feel that we’ve learnt so much from being on the other side of the camera at our own wedding.

Here’s what we learnt:

  • You get out of it what you put in. Epic celebrations require time, money and lots of hard work! But it’s all worth it.
  • Things will go wrong. For example, you might be providing your own alcohol for your guests, and you’ve expertly calculated exactly how much you’ll need. Then you completely run out of beers by 7pm and your legendary friends make a trip into town to the bottle shop. But the alcohol shortage won’t *really* matter, because there will be far more important things happening – like making a life time commitment to another person
  • People really enjoy giving you their opinions about how your wedding should be. That’s ok, they’re just trying to help. But you need to focus on what’s most important to the two of you
  • Some decisions will be difficult, but you have to trust yourselves and know that you’re doing the right thing
  • Most people want to help out and be involved, give them things to do and clear instructions (beforehand if possible to take the pressure off you)
  • Unexpected and un-planned things will surprise you and become a highlight of the day. Like the rain, or oversized inflatable swans, your best friend’s secret song request, or your dad’s outrageous speech
  • Weddings are an emotional time for people, the highs and lows are intense and you can’t expect everyone to be rational all of the time (including yourselves).
  • There are so many small details that are literally not important at all. Zero. Like whether the fairy lights are on dimmer mode, flashing mode or continuously lit. Or whether the adults have mini cocktail umbrellas in their drinks. You may be laughing at us right now – but we’re total perfectionists, and it only seems obvious now in hindsight that these things were meaningless and totally irrelevant!

If you’re planning your wedding right now, feel free to read through our 10 part blog series here with tips and advice. We share honest and practical advice on how to choose your venue, celebrant, wedding photographer and videographer, advice on timing and run sheets, as well as a couple of guest articles from experts in the industry.

We’d really like to acknowledge all the people who worked with us to make our wedding happen. It wouldn’t have been the same without these people.

Our wedding vendors:

Photographer: Lauren Campbell
Cinematographer: Filmed by Fallow Rose Wedding Co and Zephyr Productions, edited by Anthea and Lyndon Film and Photography
Florist: Folklore & Co
Stylist: Vickie Torres (Lyndon’s mum)
Invitations: Minted website
Ceremony and reception venue: Corunna Farm
Catering: Mr Bold
Cake: Bodalla Bakery
Wedding favours: handmade with tea from Adore Tea
Games hire: Dream Hire Design
Beach chairs and umbrella hire: April’s Caravan
Tipi: Kata Lane
Lighting hire: Woodbrook
Signage: Allira’s Inklings
Entertainment: Creative Sound Concepts
Celebrant: Debra Summer
Wedding bands: made for each other in a workshop at KIN Gallery

BRIDES CREDITS
Bridal gown designer: Divine Atelier
Bridal Boutique: Babushka Ballerina
Flower crown: Folklore & Co
Hair and makeup: Tash Owers
Bridesmaid dresses: custom made tops by Smitten. Inc, ASOS skirts

GROOMS CREDITS
Jacket, shirt and pants: Politix
Tie: Melbourne Dapper
Shoes: Windsor Smith
Watch: Simple Watch Co
Groomsmen suits: ASOS

A couple of highlights from the day to get started:

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Approximately 12 hours earlier …

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