Ellie & Jake had the car packed on Tuesday morning last week (29th June) ready to travel the 390 km to Townsville from their home in Mackay. It was finally the week of their wedding, the months of planning and anticipation about to roll out the biggest day of their lives. It was then that the press conference came on the TV stating that Townsville was to go into a 3 day lockdown the next day following a positive case of COVID. With a range of emotions, from disbelief to despair flooding their minds Ellie & Jake had to deal with the fact that they had no idea nor control over what was going to happen on their wedding day. Townsville had been spared the dreadful circumstances that southern parts of Australia had suffered since the arrival of COVID which only made it harder to accept that this could happen. How could their timing be so unlucky? And how do they make rational decisions in the face of the swirling emotions and ridiculously short timeframe?
With A Little Help From Your Friends
Ellie & Jake met in 2018 at the Towerhill Races, a small country horse racing event held once a year in the middle of no-where. Jake had agreed to be part of a fund raising ‘Bachelor Auction’ held that day in which a mutual friend of theirs took it upon herself to ‘buy’ Jake for Ellie and what a grand idea that turned out to be!
Jake’s first impression of Ellie was that she was drop dead gorgeous and way out of his league. Ellie’s first impression of Jake was that he seemed like a nice bloke and she loved his smile. The unmistakable attraction led to many hours of driving, Jake skipping an engagement party early on to go on a first date with Ellie. They lived three hours from each other so dates were weeks in between, on that particular weekend they ended up spending the whole weekend together. It was a done deal, geographical distance has no chance in the face of love. It was in May 2020 that Jake proposed to a resounding YES!
Anything Is Possible
With Ellie hailing from South Australia and Jake from a cattle station in North West QLD, Townsville was the perfect location for them to marry. Never could they have imagined that they would be faced with the unthinkable plight of having to decide how to deal with a COVID lockdown in a part of the world that had been untouched by lockdowns to that point. But faced with that they were and with Ellie’s extended family knowing that they could not risk being trapped out of South Australia, Ellie & Jake made the decision to relocate their wedding to Jake’s family property Bogunda, 80km south of Hughenden and exchange their vows with only immediate family in attendance.
Jake’s parents, Benn & Robyn also had the car packed for the 460 km trip to Townsville, they certainly were not prepared for hosting a wedding barely days later! But with dogged team work from family and the community around Bogunda, it all came together perfectly. The Brown family took it on with the determination and commitment that it required, whipping the garden into shape, creating a Ceremony site and setting up a Reception venue that any couple would love to have. It was really amazing as you will see from the photos!
Oh yeah, and just because they needed more pressure, Bogunda’s weather forecast for Saturday was threatening rain which was ridiculously unusual for this time of year.
Ellie & Jake booked the celebrant three days out, booked the hair dresser the day before, Jake’s sister Hannah and Ellie made the bouquets and the button holes the day before, Ellie’s mum Kerry made the cake and Ellie’s sister Abbie was forthwith the makeup artist.
When I arrived at Bogunda on wedding morn there was Robyn, calmly going about her business of putting together a fantastic meal as well as overseeing and working towards creating the evening in it’s entirity. It is quite incredible what women in the bush are capable of.
Ellie notes ‘It definitely made us a stronger couple than before and we couldn’t have done this if we didn’t have each other. Also… despite the whirlwind, we were totally calm!’
Two of Ellie’s bridesmaids were in lockdown in Brisbane though nothing was going to stop them from donning the frocks and sending a heartfelt message of love to their Bride & Groom. The other bridal party attendants, Ellie’s sister Abbie, Jake’s brother Lindsay and cousins Rylie & Jackson ensured that their bride & groom were suitably honoured and taken care of, also gauranteeing the bridal shoot had a hearty dose of frolic and foolery!
A last minute surprise from the South Australia grandparents to make an appearance made the day extra special, family is very important to the n
Thick & Thin
Marriage for Ellie & Jake means love, support and respect for each other through thick and thin. ‘It is a commitment that we both choose to take completely and undoubtedly for the rest of our lives. We knew we were meant to be together and nothing was going to stand in our way.’
Benn acknowledged in his speech that if Ellie & Jake can deal with life’s curve balls with the same calm intention that was applied to the crazy, unthinkable week leading up to their wedding day then they are in for one hell of a great partnership.
Standing up at the alter staring into each other’s eyes with huge smiles on their faces, you would never have known the four days of intense emotion and upheaval that these two had faced. They are a special pair and it is a complete privilege to share their story and slideshow, I know their life together will be like their wedding day… a combination of challenges and triumphs and they will ride the waves with class.