A chance encounter and lofty luck brought together West Enders Lauren and Julian Chapman.
HR Consultant Lauren met law student Julian at Loft’s former occupant Uber in 2008, introduced by mutual friends. The pair clicked instantly, but five months passed before they met again at Rumpus Room, this time exchanging numbers with the promise of seeing each other again.
“It progressed pretty naturally over the next few months,” said Lauren, describing how the pair spent more and more time with one another, love growing between them. Then the time came to propose. Julian planned to pop the question atop Mt Coot-tha after the couple’s ninth anniversary dinner at The Summit. “I’d been planning to propose to Lauren for several months and remember being so nervous as we drove up to the restaurant. I was hoping to find a quiet spot to pop the question at the lookout, but there were people everywhere, so I just had to go for it in front of everyone. I dropped to one knee and asked Lauren to marry me — thankfully she said ‘yes’ without too much hesitation!”
It was “the best surprise” for Lauren, who said “of course” as Julian presented her with an 18-carat white gold ring with a one carat diamond aside shining clusters, collaboratively designed by Goondiwindi’s The Diamond Hunter and Julian himself. “I was so happy that Lauren loved the ring, as it was my first foray into jewellery design.”
Sentimental about their perfect location with its link to the past, the pair launched into planning their wedding with the Loft team, welcoming 125 guests to the boutique space above the bustle of Boundary Street. Working with Loft’s green and earthy tones, nude, navy and emerald, they crafted a vintage autumn palate, emphasised by a Brandition foliage wall.
The groomsmen donned navy suits; the bridesmaids complementing the tone with blush skirts. Clutching a bouquet of baby’s breath from the Brisbane Flower Markets and greenery from the in-laws’ garden, the bride wore an embellished ivory gown with nude hints and a sweetheart neckline sewn by Vulture Street’s Brides Desire by Wendy Sullivan.
Celebrant Jessica Robinson put the pair’s nerves at ease, hitting “the perfect balance of sweet, serious and funny” before the newlyweds danced, twirled and laughed down Fish Lane and via various 4101 landmarks with photographer Kirsty McPhee of Wildflower Weddings.
The couple headed to the Maldives days after the wedding for their honeymoon. Seven nights in an overwater villa at the Shangri-La Villingili Resort was “pure bliss”, as they spent the days snorkelling through coral reefs, parasailing, scuba diving and exploring, unwinding from the rush leading up to the big day.
A relationship embedded in West End, Julian says the diversity, community spirit and constant goings on keep the area close to his heart. “The place has a real creative energy which you don’t find in other inner-city suburbs,” he said.
As for Lauren, her romance with West End began as a child visiting her grandparents, growing up on the banks of the Brisbane River, then attending Brisbane State High School. She can now add her wedding day to the list of milestones celebrated on the 4101 peninsula.
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