Winter 2022 | Page 79


[ Above left ] Sammi ’ s sons escorted her down the aisle . [ Above ] That look of love , captured by Lovers + Legends . [ Left ] Custom groom accessories . [ Below left ] A quick accessory change and Sammi was ready in the first of two equally stunning bridal looks .
“ As soon as we opened the bottle of Champagne , Darren popped the question ,” says Sammi . “ Later , he also got a call to say he was elected . So it was definitely a day to celebrate , even if it was at home .”
Their hunt for a venue proved yet another life-changing moment . On a tour of Braeside , Sammi made an off-hand comment about how she ’ d like to own something like it . Hours later , the couple were negotiating the purchase of a business , and what they hoped would be their own wedding venue . But the universe ( and Covid ) had other plans .
“ Our first wedding was cancelled two days before due to a lockdown ,” explains Sammi . “ We called the second one off early because of Omicron . By the third we were going ahead , no matter what . Little did we know the date we picked would be the day of the Queensland floods .” By then , the couple ’ s elegant new Braeside Pavilion was being built so they booked tipis and food trucks to create a festival feel on the estate grounds . “ Unfortunately we were impacted by the floods and the whole wedding needed to be moved , and new catering found , in 24 hours ,” says Sammi . With their dream day quickly becoming a nightmare , the couple called on The Island Gold Coast . “ We are eternally grateful to The Island ,” says Sammi . “ They allowed us to almost take over the hotel .”
With the festival reception now a sit-down feast in a ballroom , Sammi shelved her original mood boards . “ I was just happy we were still getting married ,” she says . Most vendors were able to “ roll with the punches ” and work their magic on the day , including photographers Lovers + Legends , the Braeside styling and floral team , and Wheel & Spoon who brought a crowdpleasing gelato cart . “ It still looked amazing ; I am so proud of my team , The Island , and the vendors that they managed to pull it off ,” says Sammi . She gives a special shout-out to Gareth Keenan Catering and In Season who catered with less than 24 hours notice . There was one non-negotiable the couple could include . “ Laughter in the ceremony ,” says Sammi . “ We both wanted the ceremony to be fun . Our celebrant was brilliant and , considering the day we ’ d had , she made us both relax the second it started .”
In a heart-warming twist on tradition , the couple tweaked the traditional ceremony processional . “ We had both our parents walk down the aisle before us , and I had my two boys walk me down ,” Sammi explains . “ Besides locking eyes with Darren , this was the most beautiful experience of the whole wedding . I wish I could relive it a thousand times .” queenslandbrides . com . au 79