images by leah cruikshank photography weddings stanthorpe

images by leah cruikshank photography
wedding date 24 october 2020

"Our day was everything we could have hoped for! Although we were hoping for sunshine and a ceremony in the vineyard, we were so happy for Stanthorpe to be receiving much needed rain that I left it up to the venue to decide on the new ceremony location. The venue and the florist created a lovely little ceremony spot on the deck out of the rain and gave us the best of both worlds. 

We were so lucky that the rain disappeared for us to have photos and even a sneaky sunset. One of my photo memories is Leah (our photographer) telling us to whisper our favourite vegetable to each other to get us to laugh naturally - and Harry whispering “cauliflower” Our ceremony was our favourite part of the day. It was us - laughing and sharing our love story with our nearest and dearest. I was also amazed that I was able to hold back my tears during the ceremony. 

- I am known as a crier so for me this was a huge achievement! We were both sad to not have our Dad’s with us on our Wedding Say (my Dad passed 10 years ago and Harry’s Dad passed in March 2020) - we could barely get through our planned toast to our Dad’s but know that they both would have been proud of us. Harry’s sister was our MC and did an amazing job - basically made fun of Harry the entire evening which meant a lot of laughs. 

Our bridal party was wonderful and my sisters and mum were such a big help to me in the lead up and during the day. We were married on the 39th anniversary of my mum and dad’s wedding day - it rained for them too!" Zoe shares.

favourite moment. Laughing all day and all night with my husband, it was such a happy day for us. Our ceremony was my favourite because I finally got to be with my husband! 

groom’s favourite moment. Listening to Zoe read her vows and laughing with her all day. 

how did COVID affect your day? We reduced our guest list as people couldn’t come from interstate and overseas. We really considered what guests might touch and tried to minimise it/make sure there were sanitising wipes and hand sanitiser everywhere. I was also planning a rather elaborate display of cakes but when I realised you couldn’t serve what was displayed, I scaled back. 

how did you go about planning your day? We actually didn’t start booking our Wedding until 6 months out and happened to pick up a number of vendors that we originally wanted and wouldn’t usually be available on such short notice. All of them worked out because of Covid cancellations and postponements. We were really lucky!

favourite vendors. I can’t choose a favourite because everyone was so great at what they do, all the pieces fit together perfectly to make an amazing day. (I have written a bit about everyone because without each one our day would not have been what it was!) 

Celebrant: Laura Ryan Celebrant - She is amazing, and so friendly! I saw Laura on the channel 7 news at the Toowoomba Bridal expo and knew immediately that she would be marrying us. She has the best Scottish accent (my grandma was Scottish so this was special). Each time we met Laura it was like catching up with an old friend. She created the perfect ceremony for us and was there for anything we needed or any questions we had. 

Brides gown: I purchased way in advance, before we even booked the Wedding! It was from Brides of Toowoomba, by Madison James. My sister dragged me into the shop just to see if I liked anything, I found something that I knew wouldn’t go out of style and I loved the buttons all down the back; it was on sale so I bought it! 

Groom attire: Tarocash - Funny story about the suits - As all the guys were getting ready, Harry noticed that one of his groomsmen had a navy suit jacket rather than charcoal… the guy at the shop had measured the groomsman in the navy jacket for alterations but was then meant to order everything in charcoal and it would be altered as per what was measured on the navy jacket. The groomsmen all collected their own suits and we were none the wiser until they were getting dressed on the day! It was quite funny and one of the first things I noticed walking down the aisle. You can’t notice in photos but Tarocash replaced the jacket with the correct colour and replaced Harry’s pants which had been altered too short. All of these things made for funny moments on the day, sure we could have stressed about them… but they added to the funny moments! 

Photographer: Leah Cruikshank - Leah is a dream photographer. I contacted Leah in 2019 asking for dates she was available after she photographed my husband doing the worm at two previous weddings of friends. The following year, during peak Covid, I thought I would message and check if the date I really want is available and if so, the wedding is meant to be that day. I thought for sure it would be booked (and so did Leah at first) but it was free! I finally booked Leah! We were not disappointed. Leah became one of the gang and fit so easily with our family and friends to capture such beautiful photos which we will treasure forever. 

Video: Short Flix Media - I had seen Luke and Katrina’s work at a friend’s wedding and thought they seemed like the perfect videographers for us. I contacted them and they were booked but said the other wedding might need postponing due to covid - I didn’t book anyone else as I knew everything that was meant to be would just work out; and it did! Luke and Katrina captured our day so perfectly. The speed that they provided a sneak peek video is quite ridiculous! Luke said to me as he was leaving our wedding that he would have it to us the next day. And I said, please have a break we are not expecting it that quickly! But he still sent it the next day, just after lunch. It was incredible and we watched it over and over (while recovering from our big night). 

Rings: My Engagement ring was designed to be similar to the silver cubic zirconia one that Harry proposed with - he was worried I wouldn’t like anything he chose. I actually loved it and wanted something similar but couldn’t find anything so Michael Purdy made it (he was working at Central Jewellers Toowoomba at the time which doesn’t exist anymore). I then had him design and make my wedding band (Hogan’s Jewellers). Harry’s ring is from Michael Hill. 

Makeup: Tyneale Hahn Makeup Artist - My sister and I both started stalking Tyneale on Instagram separately without knowing (thankfully due to a Covid postponement she was available) and just like that we were booked in! I knew she was the Makeup Artist for me - known for her natural style. Meeting her at my trial was like meeting an old friend, so easy to talk to and made me feel immediately at ease. She is a prompt communicator and provided such detailed emails, I knew I was in good hands right from the beginning. Even though behind the scenes she was so busy, Tyneale never made it seem that way and always made herself available to chat. The way Tyneale handled covid made me feel so safe - I could tell how seriously she was taking the ever-evolving situation. The makeup was absolute perfection, I felt so beautiful and like myself (it lasted all day and night. I didn’t touch up at all!). I couldn’t believe it still looked so good 12 hours later! 

Hair: (Sarah Courtney) The Hair Artist Collective - Sarah styled my Sister’s Wedding almost 10 years ago and I always had it in the back on my mind that I would like her to do my hair. It was the right decision as Sarah made everything a breeze before and during the wedding! I had a trial only a week before the wedding and was able to give Sarah feedback on the day and she created the perfect hair for me! It felt like me and stayed in place all day and all night. My veil was so secure I couldn’t even be bothered to take it out - when would I ever get to wear a veil again! 

Florals: (Elliza Vichie) - Pure Heaven - Elliza is a wonderful florist. I was able to tell her what colours I wanted and left it up to her to create beautiful Bouquets and the Arbour Installation. I love flowers and Elliza showed me all the flowers that she was thinking of using and what would be available at the time. I couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out and pressed some of the flowers to make into keepsakes! 

Cake: I don’t make cakes anymore but I knew I still wanted to make my own Wedding Cake. The bottom tier was polystyrene because I knew the cake couldn’t be served - Covid. The decoration for the bottom tier is something I learned many years ago at a course. The top tier was orange chocolate mud cake and I added fresh flowers on the day. I also made chocolate orange and citrus coconut cakes and boxed slices of each cake for guests to take home so that they could still eat my cake. My sister stamped the inside of each box with a stamp my Dad had made for me when I was a teenager - because I was always crafting and making things - it says “A ZoĆ« Creation” 

Venue: Granite Belt Brewery - They make their own beer! We are often there having a beer on the deck in the sunshine and it was so local to where we were getting ready. I also used to work there as a teenager – we had several meaningful connections to this place. We had local wine from Ballandean Estate on our tab as well as Granite Belt Brewery beer - we wanted everyone to sample local goods as most of our guests weren’t from Stanthorpe. Everyone raved about the food and a lot of guests (including us) were able to stay onsite in their cabins. Dee (the owner) was wonderful at setting everything up and made sure the day and night ran smoothly. It was perfect to have the whole day at the same venue and for guests to be able to stay onsite as well. Stylist: I designed all my own signage, invite’s and did the decorations - which I kept simple. I couldn’t find envelopes the right size for my invites so made them myself (another one of my crazy ideas but it worked out!) Table decorations were just clusters of small vases (which I arranged the flowers in the night before the wedding) and styled with candles - I collected all the vases from op shops and IKEA. I also spent months drying petals with some flowers I grew myself for sustainable confetti… I made the confetti cones and then hand-monogrammed each cone because I clearly didn’t have enough other things to do..

keep sake items: When my older sister got married in 2012, she had a charm made to attach to her bouquet in honour of our Dad who had died suddenly the year before. I had the same charm on my bouquet so Dad was with me as I walked down the aisle. I also wore a blue garter that was from mum’s wedding 39 years earlier (made by her Aunty). Mum bought my wedding earrings as a gift to me (from a jeweller in Melbourne called Stephanie Browne). Music/band/DJ: David and Sarah Hume - This local duo I have known, for well over 15 years. They play at a lot of local events and are just the most lovely couple! I always knew I wanted them to play at the wedding. My sister Taryn sang our first dance song for us (a slow version of I wanna Dance with Somebody)

Makeup Artist + Submission @tynealehahnmakeupartist 
Photographer @leahcruikshank
Videography @shortflixmedia
Bridal Gown @bridesoftoowoomba @madison_james
Groom Wear @tarocash
Jeweller @hogansfamilyjewellers @michaelhillj