Gabe & Sophie – A Country Chic Wedding in the Hunter Valley

Gabe and Sophie shared a meaningful country-chic wedding day in the Hunter Valley. Their day was meaningful, and the party went well into the night.

Who are Gabe & Sophie?

We are both very adventurous and love to travel! Gabe works as an occupational therapist in the community disability sector, and Sophie manages programs in the sport and recreation industry. 

We are both very sporty, Gabe plays AFL and Sophie plays soccer. We are vegan and passionate about the environment and one day want to own all of the animals. Currently, we have two toy-spoodles, Teddy and Alice on Insta! They are like our children and mean the world to us. 

We are both very passionate about inclusion, equality and representation of the LGBTQI+ community. We are loving our new life in Brunswick, Victoria, and love how diverse and progressive Melbourne is. 

We have been together for five years and six months but married for eighteen months and met on Tinder- woohoo! We used to be embarrassed to tell people this, but we now own it. If it wasn’t for Tinder, we might still live in neighboring suburbs with the same postcode but never crossed paths! Our first date was at a Sushi Train where we (mostly Gabe) talked for hours. We both knew there was something special brewing. 

Tell us about the proposal.

We were traveling around the South Island of New Zealand. On February 14th, 2018, we decided to go on a bit of a tour of the Marlborough wine region. We arrived at Wither Hills vineyard with STUNNING views.

Actual quotes from approximately ten minutes before the proposal, while sitting in the car (context, we had been sharing Gabe’s small handbag all day, until this particular winery):

Sophie: “I might bring my bag in.”

Gabe: “Why?”

Sophie: “Uhhh, I need to change my tampon.”

Gabe: “Did you just want to pop it in my bag?”

Sophie: “Ummm, I might need to use deodorant too?”

Gabe: “Okay…” (weird looks exchanged)

Once we walked up to a small, private balcony overlooking the gorgeous landscape, a clueless/distracted Gabe took photos and spun around to find Sophie standing there holding a small apple and a beautiful ring on top. Cue hysterical crying/laughing from Gabe. Sophie had been carrying around the ring the entire holiday, just waiting for the right moment to pop the question. The “apple” has been an inside joke for many years. One night years ago, Sophie drunk texted Gabe what she thought was a love heart and it was, in fact, an apple. Three apple emojis to us means “I love you” #awwwwwww. 

Tell us about the DIY projects that helped your wedding come to life.

Sophie designed and printed all of the invitations, place cards, and table cities (instead of numbers, we picked our favourite cities that we have visited together). Sophie’s dad, Rob, built our gorgeous arbor from scratch with flowers provided by Newcastle Flower Studio. He also created the rustic stand to display table allocations. We re-used our dried engagement party flowers, old beer bottles (labels removed), and old tree stumps carved into shape for our table centerpieces. We also painted/stained the easels to display signs. 

And, the wedding day. We would love all the details.

We stayed together with our bridal party at the on-site accommodation in a cute cottage. Both were hardly sleeping the night before due to nerves and excitement! We woke up, and we’re stoked to see blue skies, no clouds, and no wind. The morning involved setting up the finishing touches at the venue. At that point, we were pretty relaxed- our bridal party cooked us a nice big brunch feast. They were all ready and playing Uno while we got ready. Our Mums (Christine- Sophie; Robyn- Gabe) enjoyed having their hair and makeup done with us too. Then it was our turn, and we morphed into robotic, quiet, stunned mullets? The nerves kicked in! Sophie hates talking in front of people and was, erm, shitting bricks at this point. 

Our dads drove us to the ceremony in Mustangs with our Mums, following the bridal party and Teddy in a limousine. We were both so nervous about talking in front of everyone and just how the overall day would go. But as soon as we got to the ceremony and saw everyone, we felt so comfortable and at ease. Our parents walked with each of us down the aisle (Sophie first, followed by Gabe). 

The ceremony was perfect, very us with lots of laughs, heartfelt moments and some happy tears. We had a ball having photos done with Erin and Erica Margan, who zoomed us around in a golf buggy to capture the best shots. Sophie especially doesn’t usually fancy her photo taken, but these wonderful ladies made us both feel so at ease the whole time. 

The reception was a blast! From the speeches, the small talk, the cake cutting, and the dancing, we had the best day of our lives. Gabe continually made sure Sophie was well hydrated by sending every man and his dog over with a fresh beer or bottle of wine, even though she was already double parked! 

Special shout out to the Margans, who stole us away around 9:30pm for some special shots beside the open fire pit by the pond and the barn doors. They honestly didn’t miss a moment and captured the whole day to perfection. 

The night went way too quickly, and we both have a vivid memory of being lifted up onto our best buddies shoulders while Daryl Braithwaite’s “The Horses” was playing, just before the lights came on to signal the end of the evening.

What are your favorite moments?

Standout moments/forever memories include:

  • Our vows to each other, and signing our certificate Dancing into our reception to the lyrics “I kissed a girl, and I liked it” by Katy Perry, to a cheering room.
  • Teddy walking down the aisle in his little bow tie and collar- SO CUTE.
  • Our parents’, Jacob, and Larissa’s speeches 
  • Gabe’s 93-year-old Nan, Gwen, dancing with Jacob to “The Story” (we got everyone up to join us after having our First Dance to the first 30 seconds of the song).
  • Gabe’s Dad Pete doing his own version of ‘The Nut Bush’ while everyone else was in sync.
  • We assumed the roles of “Danny and Sandy” during a Grease song and suddenly had the entire crowd surrounding us in the center of the dancefloor.
How did the night end?

Most wedding nights probably end with more intimate relations. However, once back at our accommodation, all the alcohol was simply too much for Gabe. Sophie found her somehow out of her wedding dress and in her pajamas, in bed, somewhat unresponsive. Sophie then attempted to shuffle Gabe over to one side of the bed and heard an interesting gurgling sound, and before anything could be done, Gabe had vomited all over her own shoulder and through the bed. Moments passed, the laundry was on, and the newlyweds relocated to a spare room to enjoy their first night as a married couple sleeping soundly in two separate single beds. 

Now you’re married, what does the commitment mean to you both?

We really didn’t realise how important or meaningful marriage was until the Australian Marriage Equality debate. To us, marriage is not only the legal union of two people (hearing that read out at a friend’s wedding for the first time rather than “man and woman” was incredible). But the declaration of love, trust, and devotion to the one person in the entire world that makes you the happiest and most content. 

DWH Recommended Vendor
Photography by Margan Photography

Cake Chanel Brazier
Catering & Venue
Bimbadgen Palmers Lane
Married by Meredith
Cake’n Around
Engagement Rings
Glamira, Angus & Coote
Georgie James
Florist, Cake Topper & Hair Piece
Newcastle Flower Studio
Gown Boutiques
Newcastle Bridal House, JJ’s House
Michelle Jackson Hairstylist, Loren Murnane Makeup
Photo Booth
The Photo Booth-less
Prop or Furniture Hire
Crab Apple Hire and Style
Peter Alexander, Lowes
Payless, Betts
Quick Fox Creative
Wedding Party Outfits
SK Menswear, KF Bridal
Wedding Rings
Angus & Coote

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