Chris Hazlett and Annabelle Hale
Meet the couple
Chris Hazlett is an editor/cameraman/producer for Parable Productions, who produce TV show ‘What’s Up Down Under’, a caravanning, campervan and lifestyle show. Annabelle Hale works as a freelance illustrator, teaches swing dancing and does disability support work. The couple met on Tinder. Annabelle was carefully reading through profiles and checking out photos before swiping on people – Chris was speed swiping!
Annabelle: Chris proposed to me on a road trip for our third anniversary, at the top of Mt Ainslie in Canberra.
Chris: I fumbled around a lot and eventually asked, “Will you marry me?” One of the rare moments when I couldn’t speak!
How did you choose your ceremony and reception venue?
I’ve always thought my parents’ farm would make a beautiful wedding venue, and I liked the idea of doing it somewhere that felt personal. I love my mum’s garden, so the idea of getting married under the wisteria, among the spring flowers was what I wanted. We were keen to do a nice wedding as cheaply as possible, so not having to spend money on a venue was also a big factor.
What was your wedding theme?
Annabelle: We didn’t really have a theme. Our main concern was keeping costs down, while still having a nice wedding. We wanted it to be fun, and not feel serious.
Chris: We just wanted to celebrate, relax and enjoy the moment with friends and family.
What made your wedding unique?
Annabelle: Our location at home because it’s a place of memories and family love. We thought a lot about wedding traditions, and what we wanted to include. We didn’t have groomsmen/bridesmaids – just my sister and Chris’ brother as maid of honour and best man. We had my main dance partner, Nial, do a reading by Neil Gaiman that summed up our thoughts about marriage. Our celebrant Sam was incredibly funny and set the tone for the day. He’d asked us questions about how we’d met and our relationship. Neither of us are religious, so we wanted our ceremony to feel light and fun. Also, I did my own hair/makeup – I guess that’s unique!
Chris: Our wedding just felt like us. It felt relaxed and everyone was laughing. The moment was perfect.
Is there a story behind your dress and headpiece?
I had seen a singer called Hetty Kate wearing a Gwendolynne design years ago, so I decided to look her up. Chris laughs because I’d been looking at very cheap dresses, and then when I remembered Gwendolynne, I ended up getting a fairly expensive dress! (expensive for us anyway).
Tell us about any other special elements of your day.
Annabelle: The way the house and garden are situated, the guests were able to roam around and explore. We only had finger food/platters, so people could move around and talk. We had two ‘funkopop’ figurines that look like us sitting on top of the wishing well. We travel with each others figurine and take photos of them in fun situations. We also had a polaroid camera for the guest book, so people could take lots of silly photos. That was a lot of fun to look through later.
Chris: We didn’t have a band. I chose to pick all the music for the event. I made three playlists, one pre-ceremony, one during photos and one for after the speeches. As the night went on, I added or removed songs where I saw fit. I nailed it.
What makes your marriage?
Annabelle: I think communication and respect for one another. We appreciate one another, and we show that love every day. We support each other in achieving our goals, and we want the same things out of life. That may not sound terribly romantic, but I think we have a really solid relationship, and it brings me joy every single day.
Chris: Just being ourselves. Boring answer I know, but that’s how I feel!
What’s your best advice for planning the perfect wedding?
Annabelle: Remember there’s no such thing as a perfect wedding, things will go wrong, and not every detail has to be perfect. Decide which elements of the wedding are important to you, and what you want to focus on.
If something’s not important to you, then don’t do it just because people might expect it. We didn’t have a wedding cake, because neither of us cared about it. Listen to people’s advice, but if it’s completely different to what you want to do, just nod, while making a mental note to ignore everything they say.
Chris: Do it as quick as possible! Before the stress builds up and is a mountain to get over.
What were the highlights?
Annabelle: Our first dance. I’m a swing dance teacher, and Chris also knows how to dance. In swing dancing we do something called a ‘steals’ dance for special occasions. People from the crowd jump in and dance with the people we’re celebrating. Most of my friends are dancers, and it felt really lovely to share that moment with them.
Chris: Seeing all my friends and family enjoying themselves at sunset.
Anything else you’d love to share?
Vegas wedding, fat Elvis. This was Chris’ ‘battle cry’. He said it every day after we got engaged, until we got married. For some reason I still decided to go through with it!
Number of Guests:110 / Budget: $15,000-$18,000 / Date: 12 October 2019 / Location: Break O’Day Road,Glenburn
Crazily enough, for the past three years, there is a property on the way to Flowerdale Estate that I would always pull over and take a photo of because it blows my mind how beautiful it is with its rolling green hills and a perfect old, dead tree. As I arrived at the address of Annabelle’s family home for her and Chris’ wedding,
I couldn’t believe I was turning up the driveway of that same “desktop background” property! Annabelle cutting some swing dance moves definitely evokes some ‘the sound of music’ vibes. We then settled in for the ceremony hilarity of the long-suffering Demons fanatic and stand-up comedian @sam_lavery_the_ celebrant. Epic day
– Rick Liston, Photographer