family; life's greatest blessing. a group that dreams, laughs, plays and loves together. those whom you can always count on. always present not only in the good times. the most precious gift.
The only word that comes close to describing this wedding is EPIC!
Where do I start?
Somehow between farming and running a business, these two managed to keep not one but two HUGE secrets.
Invites had gone out to over 200 of their family and friends to join them in celebration of their engagement with a progressive dinner style party kicking off from their property at Nandi.
First stop was 'Quambi House' for a couple of drinks. (If you haven't been to 'Quambi House' you need to do yourself a favour; this beautifully restored Dalby home now welcomes visitors for mouth watering meals at 'Urban Paddock' Cafe and offers must-have fashion and homewares at 'Milli & Robe'). With 'Quambi House' owned and operated by Steve's sisters and their families this didn't ring any alarm bells and their surprise was going to plan with guests enjoying their surroundings and awaiting eagerly for the next location to be announced.
Location number 2 happened to be just across the road; St Josephs Catholic Church.
SURPRISE #1 - Steve and Bridget were getting married.
The applause and cheers of the crowd turned into singing and dancing as they followed the strategically placed speakers playing 'Going to the Chapel' to where Steve and his groomsmen where waiting.
For anyone that knows Bridget, you will know that she has the ability to light up a room with her smile, her energy and happiness are infectious and she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. As a bride; she was absolutely breathtaking. True to her down-to-earth and casual nature, she chose a simple yet stunning dress and flat sandals complimenting her natural beauty.
Led by a collection of nieces and nephews in a beautiful chaos, and a very security conscious ring bearer, Bridget's father beamed with pride as he walked her down the aisle.
They entered the church Steve and Bridget and after an emotional and humorous exchanging of vows and rings, they emerged beaming with happiness as husband and wife.
For the final location guests headed back to where it had all began to reveal that their backyard had been transformed into a stunning and magnificently styled garden reception.
As I set off with the bridal party for some photos, the threat of heavy rain that we had so far managed to hold off was fast becoming a reality with the sky getting darker and darker. Fortunately we managed to avoid any rain but in it's place came a wind that would blow a dog off the chain or a veil off a bride!
We were spoilt for locations as we made our way around the farm and there was never a dull moment with the very entertaining groomsmen and bridesmaids. These two soaked it all up as they stood on top of the dam as the sun began to set and the splashes of golden and pink hues replaced the browns and greens of farming land they call home. It was pretty damn special.
Before heading back to their guests Steve and Bridget had a surprise for Steve's Dad; the revival of his very first ute.
The whole bridal party loaded up and drove into the reception and the reaction was priceless.
With Steve's three brother-in-laws sharing the role of Master of Ceremonies, there was never a doubt that the celebrations would be highly entertaining, absolutely hilarious and involve costume changes.
The drinks flowed, dinner was delicious and speeches were heartfelt and filled the marquee with constant laughter.
Before the formalities came to an end, everyone was invited outside for SURPRISE #3 - a fireworks spectacular!
How many surprises can one wedding have I hear you ask, just one more and this one totally trumps the rest.
For the biggest and final reveal, one of the MC trio played a game of 'Who am I?' with the mothers of the bride and groom.
* I may be a boy or a girl
* I was up the front at the church today
* I am the youngest guest here
As this was all happening, I was sitting in front of the bridal table where tears were flowing down Bridget's face and Steve held her tightly as their final secret was revealed - they we're having a baby.
Yep, SURPRISE #4 is hard to top!
Over 200 of their nearest and dearest cheered, clapped, whistled and baby McVeigh had their very first standing ovation. I get goosebumps every time I relive this moment.
As they took to the dance floor, I can only imagine the relief and elation these two felt at this moment.
With each wedding I have the priviledge of photographing, an overwhelming theme emerges throughout the day and night. For Bridget and Steve it was family. These two come from strong family units and this was evident in so many ways. It started with choosing their venue, a place Steve has called home, a place that has hosted countless family weddings and celebrations throughout the years and where they will now continue to create precious memories with their own family.
Everyone from nieces, nephews and grandparents played a part in their 'big day'. No one was left out with Bridget and family making a detour on their way to the church to the local nursing home to tell her grandmother in person about her wedding and present her with her very own corsage.
To be able to pull off a surprise wedding is no easy feat. Yet, together with their immediate families and closest friends they managed to keep it on the down low and it was a huge success.
Congratulations Steve and Bridget. With a strong foundation of family and friendship, your life together is destined to be filled with an abundance of love, laughter and success (and babies). Such exciting times ahead with Baby McVeigh on the way.
Thank you for the opportunity to capture this very special time in your lives.