Ayla and Joe met while studying at Marcus Oldham College, Victoria in 2016. Ayla was studying Equine Business Management, while Joe studied Farm Business Management.

By the end of the year Ayla and Joe had completed their studies and moved to Gunnedah to build a life together.

The like-minded couple became engaged in December of 2019. Ayla, an equine enthusiast, often enjoyed riding, while Joe would describe himself as ‘not a horse person’. Ayla knew that something was up when Joe suggested an afternoon ride and didn’t balk when the time came to saddle the horses.

While the excitement of wedding planning was heavily overshadowed by the developing pandemic, Ayla and Joe set about planning the perfect day with a keen desire to engage as many of their favourite vendors as possible. The couple were fortunate with timing as many of their guests were able to attend without hindrance from the pandemic.

Ayla and Joe were married at Kumbogie Woolshed on 6 March, 2021. Annabelle Walsh, The Rural Celebrant, presided over the ceremony, described by Ayla as “by far the most fun and real celebrant we have ever come across”. Local florist, Tove from Stockholm Floristry, incorporated elements of the country into Ayla’s bouquet, including cotton and wheat from the couples’ farm. Emma from Hi Hilda event styling worked with Ayla to create the perfect day, “Our wedding day couldn’t have been any better if we tried,” says Ayla.

“The best decision we made for our day was planning a first reveal at Anzac park at midday, with our bridal party and family in attendance – this enabled us to start our party early, ensuring we could spend more time mingling with our guests and enjoying cocktails.”

This was particularly important, as many of the guests had travelled a great distance and restrictions had limited the frequency that family could visit throughout the previous year.

The couple presented guests with unique wedding favours, local honey from their own hive in their garden, “Redbank Cottage Apiary”. Kelly from Atelia Rose designed two gowns for the event. The first a whimsical design created for the ceremony, the second a two-piece fitted gown, donned prior to the reception as a surprise for the couple’s entrance.

“Our wedding was the best of a country rustic wedding, with elements of glamour. We ensured we used local and personable vendors to create an intimate and enjoyable atmosphere.”

location: Kumbogie Woolshed

wedding dress: Atelia Rose (custom designs)

groom & groomsmen attire: Rundle Tailoring

bridesmaid dresses: Sheike

hair: Blonde Republic

make up: Runway

celebrant: The Rural Celebrant

entertainment: The Hummingbird Collective

caterer: Relish Catering

flowers: Stockholm Florist

venue decor & styling: Hi Hilda

videographer: Elk Films

photographer: Lilly at Dawn

wedding night accommodation: Powerhouse Tamworth

{words: Meghan Learyphotography: Lilly at Dawn}