It wasn’t just the action on the track that got Leah and Sam’s hearts racing when they first met at the Adelaide Cup.
The pair met through mutual friends in the members area and got talking over Leah’s race tips.
“Towards the end of the day, we decided to place a small bet on one of my dad’s tips together. It was one of the last races for the day and it won and then the rest is history,” Leah, 35, says.
Sam, 30, popped the question on Christmas Eve 2016 and the Adelaide couple began planning their elegant romantic wedding.
The couple wanted to put a modern spin on tradition, and held their ceremony at St Laurence’s Catholic Church, North Adelaide, before the reception at Donatos Reception Centre.
The celebration was held in 35-degree heat on March 10, 2018, surrounded by 350 family and friends.
The couple treated their guests to a six-course meal and Leah even organised ballet flats to ensure all the ladies could keep on dancing.
“The venue was decorated with flowers and extra-large candelabras on the tables. Behind the bridal table were three beautiful hanging chandeliers among a large flower arrangement within the lights,” she says of the decor.
“Everyone ate, drank and danced the night away to our favourite tunes accompanied by bongos and saxophone. The best part of our day was that we were able to celebrate our marriage with all of our beautiful family and friends who were truly happy to be sharing it with us.”
Photos courtesy of Jackie Tran Photography.
Sam surprised me with an engagement ring designed by him and custom made by Everett Brooks. For our wedding bands we went back to Everett Brooks together,” Leah says.
Leah sourced her gorgeous gown from Jenny & Gerry’s Bridal Centre, owned by her sister-in-law and family. “My sister-in-law actually picked my dress for me before I even saw it. When I saw it, she was absolutely right, it was perfect. I added my own personal touches by making it sheer at the legs, adding an overskirt and beading to the bodice,” she says.
Romantic man Sam proposed to Leah on Christmas Eve. “Sam gave me a big box which held a Christmas bauble and a bottle of Si perfume (which means ‘yes’ in Italian). When I opened the box I was a little perplexed at the bauble as it was unusual for him to buy me something like that. Sam told me there were chocolates inside, so I believed him. When I opened the bauble, I saw a ring box. Inside was a beautiful diamond ring designed by him sparkling right at me,” Leah says. “I immediately froze, I felt like time stopped right at that moment. Sam nervously then asked me to marry him. It was such a beautiful surprise as I was not expecting it at all.”
Leah says having friends and family in the industry helped plan the big day and make the experience even more special. “My sister-in-law helped me find my dream dress and dressed me on the day. My brother designed my invitations and helped me with all the styling. A very special moment was when my mum (who has done so many brides and bridal parties hair over the years with Ninettes Hair City) finally got to do my hair on my wedding day,” she says.
Leah advises future brides not to sweat the small stuff. “We had so many mishaps on the day, which I thought we handled well. I was told by a friend, there will always be things that go wrong and to expect at least three things! (We had more!) So I was prepared and I told myself in the morning that what ever happens from now, the most important thing is we get married in front of our loved ones, nothing else matters anymore,” she says.
Bomboniere: Ambra Liqueurs, Giftables / Brides Accessories: Ashlee Lauren Designs, Jenny & Gerry's Bridal Centre / Brides Gown: Jenny & Gerry's Bridal Centre / Brides Shoes: Badgley Mischka, Eternal Bridal / Bridesmaid Shoes: Tony Bianco / Bridesmaids Accessories: Jenny & Gerry's Bridal Centre / Bridesmaids Dresses: Glamour Room / Cake: Cristarella Cakes / Celebrant: Father James Valladares / Ceremony Music: Pearl Music / Ceremony Venue: St Laurence's Catholic Church / Entertainment: Entertainment Adelaide / Flowergirl Dress: Tutu De Monde / Flowers: Flowers by Rita / Grooms Attire: Hugo Boss, Ignition for Men / Grooms Shoes: Ignition for Men / Groomsmen Attire: Gerry's Suit Hire / Groomsmen Shoes: Gerry's Suit Hire / Hair: Ninettes Hair City / Honeymoon: Maldives and Europe / Invitations: Giftables / Makeup: Ninettes Hair City / Pageboy Attire: Gerry's Suit Hire / Photobooth: Halo Booth / Photographer: Jackie Tran Photography / Reception Venue: Donato Reception Centre / Rings: EverettBrookes Jewellers / Transport: Jaguars with Grace, Exotic Cars / Venue Decor: Flowers by Rita, I Do Details, Giftables, Centered Elegance, Venue Productions, Entertainment Adelaide, Little Laser Co / Videographer: Dream Studio
Photos courtesy of Jackie Tran Photography.