A mountain hike, a car ride, and a breakfast-turned-lunch date were all it took for Annie and Tim to know that they had found something special in each other. While this may have made starting to date an easy decision for most people, they had to consider something unusual before committing to each other–the fact that they would have to be in a really long distance relationship. However, the oceans between Texas and Australia weren’t enough to separate these two, and their months of Skype dates and saving up for plane tickets most certainly paid off. I love the way they combined Southern traditions with favorite things about Australia at their wedding, and in turn, made their celebration completely unique to their amazing love story.
Hugs to our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Feather & Twine, for sharing this lovely day with us!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I lived and studied in Sydney, Australia for two years, but even though Tim and I had mutual friends and had been going to the same church the entire time I was there, we didn’t meet until six weeks before I left. Two of my friends invited me to go with them to the mountains, and we met up with some of their friends there, including Tim. I remember thinking he was really cute, but since I was moving home soon, I never imagined we would end up together. On the way home, my friend messed up the axle of the car, we ended up having to leave her car in the national park and ride home with the boys. The next day, Tim drove my two friends and I back to the park, so my friend could get her car towed and fixed. We spent the day together visiting little cafés and going to lookouts until the car was ready. Tim and I literally talked the entire way home, and he asked me to go to breakfast with him the next day so we could continue our conversation. After our first date, we became inseparable, and it took me all of two weeks to completely fall in love with him (which I kept to myself until after he told me he loved me three months later). A week before I moved home, Tim asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes, which was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We dated long distance for 18 months and did five overseas visits, thousands of Skype calls and millions of text messages. Long distance is definitely challenging, but when two people want it to work, they will make it happen, even if that means spending all of their money on airfare or waking up super early to call each other.
My wedding flowers were amazing! My heart melted every time I looked at my bouquet. It was full of blush roses, anemones, berries, and sprigs of greenery. I wanted something beautiful with a little bit of an earthy feel to it. My bridesmaids’ bouquets were smaller versions of mine without the anemones, and with some brighter pink roses to ensure the bouquets didn’t blend in with their dresses.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, a first look wasn’t even an option for us–we both really wanted the moment I walked down the aisle to be the first time we saw each other on the day. It was so special. I’ll never forget his face when he saw me coming down the aisle, and I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything.
Tim and I share a faith in God, and we wanted our ceremony to reflect this. We started the ceremony with a prayer and a worship song. One of our friends, a pastor from Australia, spoke about the foundations needed for a strong and lasting marriage, and he read from Corinthians in the Bible. My dad, who is a pastor in Texas, led us through our vows and married us, which was really special for me. Before we closed the ceremony, my dad prayed over us and our families stood by us, symbolizing their support in our lives and marriage.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Probably holding Tim’s hand during the ceremony while we were all singing a worship song together. I can’t explain how happy I felt–I was finally going to get to marry Tim, and I knew I was making the best decision of my life. Another great moment was during the cocktail hour when the bridal party drove five minutes away to a huge hayfield to take pictures, and we had so much fun. We ran around the field and were all laughing so hard. I am so glad we had that time with our best friends. Plus, the pictures turned out amazingly!
One of the elements that we really wanted our wedding to have was Southern hospitality. We wanted all of our Australian guests to experience how genuine, friendly, and fun Southerners are! The biggest way we incorporated the Southern traditions in the wedding was with our food. Tim and I LOVE Southern food, and for us, BBQ was a must–you can’t get more Southern than a good BBQ, and we had brisket, smoked chicken, sausage, potato salad, coleslaw, and beans. You can’t get BBQ like that anywhere in Sydney! We also did a pie bar to showcase Southern desserts. Our favors were homemade blackberry and fig jams that I made with my bridesmaids and a family friend. One fun element that we included was when we taught the bridal party a line dance at our rehearsal dinner, and we all performed it at the reception. Everyone joined in, and it was so much fun to see the two cultures come together.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding had a ridiculous amount of desserts. We love food and we wanted our guest to enjoy themselves! Our wedding cake was four layers–two layers of chocolate with raspberry filling, one layer of red velvet and cream cheese filling, and a layer of white cake with lemon filling, all covered in buttercream frosting. We also had a dessert table next to our cake table, which my sister and grandmother made most of the desserts for. They baked mini carrot cake cupcakes (my favorite), cookies in the shape of Australia, and milk and white chocolate covered pretzel sticks. A family friend also baked sweetie cookies for us and we brought over a suitcase full of Tim Tams (famous Australian cookies). At our dinner, we had a pie bar instead of cake, to add some Southern tradition to the day. This was one of my favorite things about the wedding because the pies were made from scratch by a local farm close to our venue, and most of the ingredients came straight from the farm itself. My mom and I had a blast going to the farm and taking home a ridiculous number of pies to taste. We chose seven flavors: coconut cream, apple, chocolate cream, lemon meringue, chocolate pecan, buttermilk, and strawberry cream.
Tell us all about the proposal! It was April 2nd and I hadn’t seen Tim since January 8th. I knew that he was coming to Texas to propose, but I expected him to come in March. He worked really hard to make sure I had no idea when he was coming, which was driving me crazy. He even gave his younger sister his phone so she could send me pre-recorded videos, pictures, and messages while he was flying overseas, because he knew that if I didn’t hear from him for a day, I would know he was coming. One of my best friends, Jamie, was getting married at my venue, Oakwind, in May, and asked me two weeks earlier to go to the venue and do a cake tasting with her because her fiancé had a meeting. I didn’t think a thing of this because I had been helping Jamie with lots of the details for her wedding. When we got to the venue, not only did we do a cake tasting, but we also went over almost every detail of her wedding. Little did I know, Jamie and Ann (the venue coordinator) were stalling for time because Tim’s flight had been canceled because of bad weather, and he miraculously got on a flight with another airline just in time. When we were finally done with the tasting, Jamie and I got into the car to drive back home when she started playing a CD from her car. I soon realized it was Tim’s voice coming through the car speakers. Tim had prerecorded himself telling me how much he loved me and how happy he was I was in his life. At the end of the recording, he said “If you want to continue on this journey with me, come and find me.” I jumped out of the car and ran all over the venue looking for Tim–it was about 9:00 at night and was raining. I ran into the barn, which was lit up with candles, lanterns, and fairy lights, and there he was. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife, and I said yes. Jamie and her fiancé, Joshua, came in and we all had champagne and cake together in the barn. It was absolutely perfect, and everyone was amazed they had pulled it off because so many things went wrong! The barn Tim proposed to me in is the same barn where we had our reception. It made the venue even more special for us!
When did y’all get married? February 15, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150 for the ceremony, 100 for our private dinner
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. This was one of the most difficult things for me–I went to at least ten different bridal stores in Houston. My mom and I even drove all the way to Austin to try on what I thought were my dream dresses, but we still didn’t find the one. I couldn’t believe how picky I was, but I just had this idea of what I wanted in my head, and nothing was quite right. I was moving back to Australia in less than a month and I really wanted to find my dress before I left, so I was definitely praying! One morning, I woke up and decided to try again at a little bridal boutique just 20 minutes from where I live. When I walked into the boutique, the owner remembered me and said, “I think we have exactly what you were describing last time you were here–it just came in.” I tried on the dress, and honestly, all I felt was relief! It was perfect, and EXACTLY what I wanted.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided to say the traditional wedding vows, but we also wrote our own vows. I cried the entire time I wrote my vows–there is something so powerful about expressing your commitment for another person in words. I’m glad we did this because it made the ceremony especially personal for us. My favorite phrase from Tim’s vows was “Annie, I have fallen in love with you, and I make a commitment to myself to fall in love with you daily. I do not just say I do, but I choose to love you through everything.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose our songs together, which was a lot of fun. One of the best nights of my life was cuddling with Tim on the couch and looking for the perfect song for me to walk down the aisle to. We chose “Sun” by Sleeping At Last. Our families walked down the aisle to “Kingdom Come” by The Autumn Film, and up the aisle to “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors. Our first dance was to “I’ll Keep You Safe” by Sleeping At Last. We picked songs that we both loved that would help give the right “feel” to the day.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? The biggest way we did this was buying, borrowing, and doing a lot of the details ourselves. This means you have to plan more, but if you are on a tight budget, it’s definitely the way to go. My mom, grandmother, and I went to about twenty different resale and antique shops to get old tea cups and books for our afternoon tea tables. I also spray painted bird cages from my sister’s wedding for some of the tables. A friend who is a builder tracked down rustic doors and helped me build my photo booth, which looked amazing. Friends really helped us in huge ways.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I am so happy that we chose to invest in great photography and videography. At first, I wasn’t so sure because it took up so much of our budget, but looking back, it is worth it! The day goes by so quickly and I am so happy that we have beautiful pictures and an amazing video to help us remember everything. Tim and I have watched our wedding video again and again, and we love our photos.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I guess the biggest piece of advice I can give is don’t compare your wedding to other weddings. Use blogs, Pinterest, and social media as tools for ideas–they are so helpful, but at the same time, appreciate that your wedding is unique, and you don’t have to have a live band or a five-course dinner for it to be wonderful. If you keep the mindset that the day is going to be perfect because you’re marrying the person you love, you will set yourself up for a win. Also, focus on building a strong marriage with your future husband, and really take time to prepare for your life together. Tim and I read books together, went to pre-marriage counseling, and set up a budget before we got married, which helped us grow as a couple during the engagement and set us up for our marriage.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? So far, I am absolutely loving married life–it really is the best. Tim and I just moved to a cottage in the mountains of Sydney, Australia, and it’s absolutely perfect. There really is nothing like having your own place together. We are both working and studying and enjoying building a life together. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect person to do life with.
Photographer: Feather and Twine Photography / Videographer: LumaVista Productions / Venue and Catering: Oakwind Estates / Florist: The English Florist / Wedding Cake: Norma’s Cakes and Cookies / Pies: Froberg’s Farm / DJ: The DarKer Side DJ / Bride’s Gown: “Jasmine” by Wtoo / Bride’s Earrings: Valentino / Hair Stylist: Erica at Urban Eve / Makeup Artist: Lily Doyle / Bride’s Shoes: Antonio Melani / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Knife Pleated Maxi” in Peach by Victoria’s Secret / Groom’s Attire: SABA / Groomsmen’s Ties: Calvin Klein
Feather & Twine is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!