Tocal Homestead Hunter Valley Wedding – Jacqueline + Ben

September 13, 2021

Squeezing in a wedding during the pandemic is tough ask for anybody, yet the ever amazing Jacqueline & Ben, did just that. Being one of the lucky few to have a rockstar wedding, within the limits of a pandemic. And it wouldn’t have been possible, if not for some much needed help from the wedding experts at Tocal Homestead. Throw in some other Hunter Valley favs and this day was hard to forget. Scroll down and check it out…

THE DRESS – I went shopping with my mother back in March, we went to Belles and Beaux in Newcastle. The first dress I tried the shop lady asked, what I didn’t like about it so she could grasp and idea of what I was looking for. I couldn’t find a thing I didn’t like, I tried about 10 more on but went back to the first. I brought it that day. It was lucky I went shopping that day because not long after the COVID lockdown began and all bridal shops stopped business. I would’ve been rushing to get a dress by November.

THE VENUE – Tocal was the only venue we viewed. It was such a beautiful location, we could have the ceremony and reception in the one place, we wouldn’t have to travel to multiple locations for photos, and they could provide so many other things like the cake and our Kate night pretzels.

FAMILY TRADITIONS – My grandmother passed in 2017, she was a very catholic woman. I wore my rosary beads around my wrist. My cousin wore them around his neck on his wedding day. I think this will be a tradition for all her grandchildren.

THE LEADUP – Ben built the arbour we stood under during the ceremony. He planning to dismantle it and strap it to the roof of his sedan to transport it out to Tocal. Instead my sister Amy and her boyfriend (also named Ben) offered to load it on their Ute in one piece. They drove to Scone the day before the wedding, loading it up and hit the road. Unfortunately as soon as they left Scone and hit the 80 zone it flew off the back and dragged behind the ute. They loaded it back up in pieces and drove out to Tocal where I was setting other up decorations. They were freaking out the entire way thinking I was going to loose my mind and bridezilla out on them. I just laughed. The Ben’s worked together that afternoon and fixed it right up. You couldn’t even tell it had been broken. I think the strategically placing of florals my Hello Fleur probably helped.

PANDEMIC ADVICE – Due to COVID our guests were not allowed to dance. We were worried people would get bored quickly so we provided a crossword which had clues based around us and our relationship and a round of trivia which was ‘love/wedding’ themed. We didn’t know how this would be received by our guest but they seemed to enjoy it quiet a bit. And I loved watching Ben walk around the room with his new Alubra hat (give from one of his groomsmen) reading out all the questions in his teacher voice.

FAVOURITE MOMENTS – So many, I loved walking out of the homestead and down the aisle with my dad and seeing everyone’s happy faces. I had no idea my dad was holding back tears. Hanging out with people during the canapés. There was a small few that I couldn’t invite to the reception but they still came to the ceremony, I was very grateful for their efforts to be there. Ben’s speech that he just made up on the spot, it was perfect.

Ceremony & Reception: Tocal Homestead
Celebrant: Rach – Hunter Valley Celebrants
Bride Dress: Belles and Beaux
Hair & Makeup: White Hair and Makeup
​Groom & Groomsmen Suits: Rundle
Florals: Hello Fleur
​Music: Timeless Entertainment
Cake: Sprout Catering