I’ve built my career as a portrait photographer in the Samford Valley region over the past decade. My passion for photography was born amongst these mountains as my own love story unfolded.
Over the years I’ve wondered why there aren’t more weddings in this beautiful valley many call home??
When covid took place in 2020, the wedding industry has been hit hard. Many couples postponed or downsized their wedding plans for various but understandable reasons. Celebrant Lorraine Wright, a good friend and highly recommended industry associate of mine, reached out to brainstorm ways we could help engaged couples navigate these uncertain times. We decided to design a Samford Valley based Elopement package, involving local talents and wedding professionals.
Immersed in nature embracing all Samford Valley has to offer, we pulled together a team of talented and reputable Samford Valley based wedding professionals to ease your wedding planning. Together we’ll bring your unique elopement ideas to life and offer our own creative flare and guidance to make your wedding plans and day run smoothly taking a weight off your shoulders, so you can focus on what really matters.
In November 2020, our team held our first elopement in Samford Valley.
Hair and makeup artist Ashley Sparks devised the look for our bride Sally, opting for simple, natural styling to complement Sally’s own strapless ivory lace gown (Jadore Australia) and vintage-inspired pillbox headpiece.
“My goal is always to help my brides feel their most beautiful self on their special day, and to radiate that self-confidence all day long,” says Ashley. “That means carefully considering which products and techniques to use, so the bride’s look will hold up beautifully till the end of the day.”
Chelsea and Madison from Wattle and Daisy in Samford created a soft, romantic bouquet for Sally and matching buttonhole for Groom Dean, featuring locally grown Queen Anne Lace and colourful Cosmos from Woggoon Farm, and the result was elegant simplicity itself.
On this occasion a secluded creek-side location was chosen for this elopement ceremony, where the branches of huge trees reach across from both banks of the river to form a cathedral-like roof. The air by the creek felt cool and fresh, the couple was surrounded by birdsong, and the river pebbles under foot gave this elopement a unique edge contributing to the overall in the moment feel the day brought to everyone involved.
Our approach encourages couples to focus on the aspects of the day that are most important to them, without all the trappings a big wedding may bring. After shooting large weddings for many years I’ve noticed some couples seem to feel a sense of disappointment when they don’t have the opportunity to really engage with the one they are marrying on their wedding day, because they are distracted by the days activities and interacting with all their guests.
Our elopement packages are very intimate and allow you the opportunity to really express yourself as a couple, avoiding social pressure and other unwanted expectations you may feel at a traditional wedding.
Music is incredibly important in creating the atmosphere for a ceremony, and we were thrilled to have up-and-coming classical guitarist, Clancy Anderson on board. Clancy’s music was one of our little surprises for Sally & Dean. (For a taste of Clancy’s talent, head over to You Tube for a listen.)
After Sally & Dean’s ceremony they casually and intimately took a stroll through the riverside forest for couple portraits. The newlyweds’ enjoyed a gourmet picnic expertly curated by Graze at Samford, and cocktails from Booze Box Co who provide cocktail gift boxes with everything you need to make your favourite cocktails.
For the perfect end to the day, Sally & Dean were spoilt with a fine dining experience at one of Brisbane’s most exciting restaurants, Pause at Samford. This restaurant is a true gem; the food is always superb, and the dining experience a joy. “Chef Rino crafts simple Mediterranean flavours with the highest quality, seasonal ingredients,” says Restaurant Manager, Luca Orion Marra. “Every food experience at Pause offers something to explore, and a reason to take a moment, to pause.”
A romantic ‘first dance’ for Dean and Sally on the restaurant balcony, with talented local musician Stacey Brown giving a soulful performance of “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. “I just love bringing music into people’s lives, especially at memorable moments like this,” says Stacey.
We hope you've enjoyed a sneak peak at Sally & Dean's elopement gallery. Feel free to get in touch via my contact form on my website to chat about your elopement or wedding ideas. We'd love to work with you and bring your special day to life!
Photographer | Amie Forbes, Amie Forbes Photography
Celebrant | Lorraine Wright, The Wright Celebrant
Hair and Makeup Artist | Ashley Sparks, Sparks Makeup Artistry
Grazing board and picnic styling | Rebecca Worton, Graze at Samford
Restaurant and First Dance location | Pause, Samford
Classical Guitarist | Clancy Anderson
Keyboard/vocals | Stacey B Music
Floral design | Wattle and Daisy
Local blooms | Woggoon Farm
Cocktail box | Booze Box Co
Models | Real-life couple, Sally and Dean Gollan