Barefoot Wedding by the Creek
Written by Lorraine Wright, Marriage Celebrant
In November 2020, I teamed up with photographer Amie Forbes and a collective of talented local wedding pros to create two Samford-inspired styled elopements. Here, in part 1, we bring you our Creekside Elopement. We hope this gives you some inspiration and new ideas for your elopement or micro-wedding.
The concept for this elopement shoot was to create something stunningly simple, yet brimming with romance. This one is for the lovers… a dreamy elopement for couples who simply seek each other; not a crowd.
“Elopements are the ‘new black’ in weddings,” says photographer, Amie Forbes. “When you choose to elope, you can really focus on the things that are truly meaningful to you, without all the trappings of a big wedding. How liberating is that?”
You may be looking to simplify your wedding plans, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for ordinary. Small and simple can be extraordinary.
Imagine just the two of you standing together, feeling connected and really present as you make your vows to each other. The intensity of that moment will live with you forever. This is at the heart of our creek-side elopement shoot in Samford; the beauty in simplicity.
This romantic set up would also lend itself to an intimate proposal with a definite WOW factor!
And because we love where we live and appreciate our local community, it was a joy to dip into the deep well of local talent and team up with some wonderful wedding professionals as our ‘co-creators’ on this shoot.
Amie Forbes explains, “I love shooting around our local region of Samford Valley and Highvale. You can really immerse yourself in nature, and I’m such a down-to-earth person – it suits my style of photography. I’m all about natural light and muted, earthy tones, and I like to bring a sense of playfulness to my shoots, so if bare feet are an option, I say go for it!”
We also wanted the shoot to feel and look entirely authentic, so I invited one of my gorgeous ‘real life’ couples, Sally and Dean (whose marriage I officiated in a scaled-back wedding during tight COVID restrictions) to be our models, and they jumped at the chance. I mean, we all talk about ‘wearing the dress again’, right? But who ever does, really? And this was a chance for them to have the fabulous wedding photo shoot they missed back in May.
We chose not to tell Dean and Sally every detail in advance, because we wanted the set up to elicit genuine emotion, and feel every bit as incredible as their actual wedding day.
The shoot began with ‘getting ready’ photos at my home in Samford Valley, with views of House Mountain.
Hair and makeup artist Ashley Sparks devised the look for our bride, 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 Dean, featuring locally grown Queen Anne Lace and colourful Cosmos from Woggoon Farm, and the result was elegant simplicity itself.
We chose a secluded creek-side location for our 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 feels cool and fresh; you’re surrounded by birdsong; and the river pebbles under foot make an amazing foreground for the images. It’s very Samford,” says Amie.
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 the bride and groom, and when he began to play, the effect was sublime.
As Sally walked barefoot across the river stones to meet Dean, the emotions were intensely real. The way they looked at each other was romance on toast. I think all of us watching on had a tear in our eye.
In another little surprise, I handed Dean and Sally cards printed with their very own marriage vows. There were huge smiles and more tears as the realisation dawned; they were about to reaffirm their promises to each other. Sally and Dean’s vows were the pinnacle of their emotion-charged wedding earlier in the year – written in secret and revealed to each other in that special moment, and I’ve got to say, those words were every bit as relevant and compelling, months on.
Image by Amie Forbes Photography
Next, they signed on each other’s backs – a cute trick for keeping things simple, and adding a perfect light note.
“I think my favourite images of the day were of Dean and Sally crossing the creek for their post-wedding picnic,” says Amie. “I loved capturing their connection. There were some gorgeous, intimate moments.”
The newlyweds’ gourmet picnic was expertly curated by our favourite local foodie and founder of Graze at Samford, Rebecca Worton. “Graze at Samford is all about sharing the awe-inspiring goodness of our region with anyone who craves fresh air, green spaces and fresh local produce in their life. We can create a heavenly grazing board or picnic to suit any food preferences, sourcing the very best local ingredients,” says Rebecca. “We also do boutique events and gifting experiences, such as these personalised boards engraved with your family name. What a perfect reminder of the romance of your special day. Or get creative with your message – who doesn’t love a play on words?”
“It wouldn’t be a proper celebration without a toast, would it?” says Yasmin Mays from Booze Box Co. “We’ve put together gift boxes with everything you need to make your favourite cocktails. Here, Sally and Dean are enjoying our French Martini – as delicious as it is pretty!” says Yasmin.
“We also do Margarita, and Lime and Basil Mojito gift boxes. Our gourmet cocktail syrups, lime products and even the wood for our handcrafted boxes are locally sourced,” says Yasmin’s business partner and hubby, Linden.
For the perfect end to the day, our newlyweds were spoilt with a fine dining experience (and a final, special surprise) 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.”
And that final surprise? 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.
Oh. My. Goodness! This was my personal favourite moment. We were spellbound listening to Stacey, and witnessing this experience for Dean and Sally. He only had eyes for his beautiful bride, and she for him, as she snuggled into those protective arms. No staging or prompting was needed; this was real – the culmination of a perfectly simple, romance-filled day.
As we drew to the end, Dean and Sally gushed, “Today felt like a dream.”
And in those few words, I think they summed up the #1 wedding goal for most couples.
A dream in the making.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this collection of images and gained some inspiration and ideas for your elopement or micro-wedding.
Please do get in touch if this sounds like your dream wedding! We’d love to help you bring it to life.
And, Roll Credits!
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