• Wendy Makin Experience

Real Wedding || Elise + Chris


Elise + Chris, Cowbell Creek, Austinville

We love a good high school sweethearts story. Makes us all warm and fuzzy especially on miserable winters days like we have in Brisbane today! Elise and Chris's Gold Coast hinterland wedding is a mix of modern meets tradition, just the way we like it. A wedding that's true to themselves, their love of food and travel and ensuring everyone has a good time! Hope you are both enjoying your honeymoon in Koh Samui. We aren't jealous at all*!

(*The last statement is a lie)


The Meet Cute


High school. Chris used to sit behind me in chemistry and history, and terrorise my friends to try to get my attention.



The Proposal


Chris had been patiently waiting for somewhere special to propose during our holiday in Germany. Unfortunately it being winter meant every site we tried to go to during the first week was closed. He seemed so unperturbed that nothing was open… and so NOT nervous that I assumed it wasn’t going to happen this holiday! Thankfully we stumbled across the most gorgeous waterfall in the black forest. Falling snow, icicles, squirrels scampering around, the works! Chris asked another couple to take a photo in front of the waterfall of us together. So we have an awesome shot of him proposing in the snow. You’d think that after 8 years together I wouldn’t be surprised when he got down on one knee… but I was! I bawled my eyes out.

The Dress

The beautiful Eva gown that I eventually chose was at the first store we tried, BellaDonna Bridal. I loved it, but felt like I had to visit a few more stores to be certain. My mind always kept going back to that dress, so a few weeks later I returned to seal the deal!

I loved the simple, classic cut of the Eva gown. The fabric hung so beautifully, and it had the tiniest bit of stretch which made it super comfortable on the day. The side split and the back of the dress were me favourite features.

The Venue

Cowbell Creek in Austinville was the first venue we visited. I’d done a fair bit of online research, but we knew the second we stepped onto the property that we didn’t need to look elsewhere. We had always wanted to get married outdoors, with the ceremony and reception in the same location. So when we saw the beautiful rolling hills of Cowbell Creek we fell in love.




The Wedding


We tried to be mindful not to follow tradition just for the sake of it. Planning a ‘first look’ with Chris before the ceremony seriously helped reduce my stress on the day. I would recommend it to anyone who is feeling a bit nervous about walking down the aisle, it was such an amazing moment!


One of our biggest focuses was that we wanted our friends and family to have a great time! Cowbell Creek had lawn games ranging from croquet to giant Jenga, which kept everyone occupied while we headed off to take photos. We both also LOVE our food, so we put a lot of thought and research into our caterers, 100 Mile Table. We were not disappointed, the food was absolutely incredible!

A final touch was our wedding cake. We chose a delicious Black Forest cake from Three Girls Skipping as a throwback to our engagement in the Schwarzwald.

Were there any funny stories from the day?


I vaguely remember my brother in law Justin tearing his belt into pieces with his teeth, in an attempt to prove a point (I’m still not sure what?!).

I still laugh thinking about my two Bridesmaids Claire and Bec dancing their hearts out for a solid two hours. We danced together until I was completely exhausted… then I left for a good 90 minutes and they were STILL going nuts when I got back.




What was your favourite part of the day?


How do I choose?!

I remember standing up on this gorgeous hilltop having our portraits taken. The photographers had bought along some music (I seriously need that playlist!) and I was looking out over the paddocks in the glowing sunset. I felt it all sink in... I’m married!

I also LOVED dancing at the end of the night. I was a sweaty mess by the end but it was so much fun, and my dress was surprisingly easy to break it down in haha.



At The End


I felt so ecstatic! I couldn’t believe how smoothly the day had gone, and how much fun I’d had! For some reason I’d convinced myself it would be out of this world stressful, and I’d anticipated a few meltdowns. But I felt so joyful and present. The first few days afterwards we were on such a high, it felt surreal.





Vendor List

Photographer/Videographer: Bulb Creative

Venue: Cowbell Creek

Celebrant: Ceremonies by Leisa

Gown: ' Eva' French Collection by Wendy Makin via BellaDonna Bridal

Florals: Eden the Flower Shop

Hair: Foxs Lane Styling

Makeup: Alana Van Der Vorst (my amazing SIL to be!)

Catering: 100 Mile Table

Cake: Three Girls Skipping

Rings: The French Door

Bridesmaids: Pilgrim

Bridal Party PJs: Posy Sleep Co


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Wendy Makin Bridal Designs, 179 Wellington Rd, East Brisbane, QLD, 4169 (07) 3823 0100

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