The best things in life are sweet

We are very excited to tell you about a local Laidley business who may come in handy for your wedding at Branell Homestead. Baked by Brooke creates delicious masterpieces, with each cake individually designed. One thing we admire is that all of the ingredients are locally sourced and the batter is made from scratch (not a packet mix in sight)! We have been lucky enough to steal a few moments with Brooke to find out more about her business. She has also offered some great tips when choosing your wedding cake, so grab a cuppa (or an ice cold drink in this weather!) and have a read below…

 

bakedbybrooke

Tell us a little about your business… Baked By Brooke is my home-based business, baking all things sweet, decadent and delicious! I truly enjoy turning the simplest of ingredients into something that makes you say “mmm, yum”, before you know the words have even come out of your mouth. My specialties are mudcakes and cupcakes, made using good old-fashioned recipes – some of which have been in my family for years. I bake with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and the eggs I use come from the happiest, most free-range chickens you will ever find, from a farm close by in Gatton.

When did you decide cakes were your passion? Baking is something I enjoyed from the time I was old enough to lick the beaters in my Mum’s kitchen! Growing up, there would always be home baked afternoon teas waiting for my siblings and I after school. Mum taught me how to bake in primary school and I’ve adored it ever since! I first tried making a decorative cake when I had no idea what to get my (now) husband for his birthday years ago. He is a photographer, so I made him a cake in the shape of a camera. My “trial” cake worked so well that he got his cake a week early!

What distinguishes you from your competitors? I’ve often been complimented on my cakes not only looking great, but tasting great as well. I’ve heard so many disappointing stories of cakes for special occasions that looked amazing, but were dry or bland to eat, and left on the plate. All my cakes, and buttercreams are made from scratch. Packet mixes and pre-mixes would be quicker, but they taste nothing like the real thing!

Favourite flavour? I have to admit I like cake mixture more than baked cake! It’s a little hard to give out scoops of cake batter at a party though, so when I’m selecting a flavour for my own celebration cakes, I go for cookie dough cheesecake or a mocha mudcake.

A favourite or funny memory from a previous event/client? I recently created a Thomas the Tank Engine cake for a gorgeous little boy’s first birthday. The cake took hours and hours of crafting and assembly and I was really happy with how he looked. I was sent some party photos of the cake after the event… in the final photo there had been a train wreck and Thomas’ face had been bitten off completely by the birthday boy’s older sister! At least I know Thomas was enjoyed 🙂

What advice would you give couple when thinking about a cake for their wedding? Firstly “It’s what’s on the inside that counts”. There are some stunning cakes that look smooth, elegant and classy, that are decorated with fondant icing (that’s the smooth icing you see on many wedding cakes), but do you like the taste of it? Many couples and their guests peel it off and eat just the cake – so why pay for something that you won’t eat?! Consider other styles and designs, too. Secondly, think about how your cake will be transported and stored leading up to your event or wedding. It only takes minutes in a warm car or room for a cake to become a hot mess, so plan ahead and crank the air-con in advance! Finally, I won’t use the line that the secret ingredient in a good cake is love, but you can tell when a cake maker loves what they do, and this shines through in the taste, texture and appearance of your cake.

Now don’t you wish you had a piece of one of Brooke’s cakes to go with your cup of tea! You can contact Brooke via her Facebook page or email. If you want to taste test some of her creations, she has a cupcake stall at the Laidley markets every Friday.

 

Luxury Cabin Accommodation

cabins_panoramic

As you drive up the hill to Branell Homestead you will be able to see our three Nova Deco Luxury Cabins perched on the side of the hill. Each cabin offers unobstructed views over the Lockyer Valley which you can enjoy from your private deck. The sunsets are also pretty special. The cabins are all self sufficient with a full kitchen, living, dining, two bathrooms and laundry.

cabins_living

Each suite is private, but the main areas are shared. We have included a floor plan below so you can get an idea of their setup. They have a similar layout to a house and could be your new home away from home…

The suites can be booked individually, or you could take the whole cabin – the choice is yours. They are great for additional guest accommodation if you are getting married at Branell, because they are so close to the venue but far enough away for privacy.

You can find out more information about each suite by clicking the links below. We also have some virtual tours of each of the rooms so make sure you check them out.

> Premium Suite
> Deluxe Suite
> Standard Suite
> Cabin Features

For all bookings and enquiries please give us a call on 07 5465 1788 or email. You can also make a booking directly from our website.

cabin_floorplan

cabins_premium

Photo locations close to Branell

The Lockyer Valley is an area with many hidden treasures. Some couples take the opportunity to head off the property to take photos at a second location. We have included some ideas below to get you thinking. It you are considering other locations it might be a good idea to spend a day in the Lockyer Valley checking out some of the local spots. One thing to keep in mind is that you do not go onto anyone’s property without permission. Everyone is friendly and accommodating in the area, but please be mindful of respecting private property.

~ Laidley Railway Station ~

Tom Hall Photography captured some fantastic photos of Sharon and Nathan at the Laidley Railway Station. This is a great location to get some unique backgrounds and create memories that are a little bit different. And better still, it is only 5 minutes from Branell Homestead.

Click to view the full wedding albums of the couples below:
Tom Hall Photography: Sharon and Nathan  |  Tall Timber Studio: Marie-lou and Marcus

Tom Hall Photography

Tom Hall Photography – Sharon and Nathan

Tom Hall Photography

Tom Hall Photography – Sharon and Nathan

Tom Hall Photography

Tom Hall Photography – Sharon and Nathan

Loren from Tall Timber Studio is a regular at Branell Homestead and we absolutely love her creative flair. This photo below of Marie-lou and Marcus is one of our favourites!

Tall Timber Studio - Marie-lou and Marcus

Tall Timber Studio – Marie-lou and Marcus

Tall Timber Studio - Marie-lou and Marcus

Tall Timber Studio – Marie-lou and Marcus

~ Laidley Landscape ~

We also have some breathtaking scenery that you can capture just by setting up on the side of the road. Please make sure you watch out for traffic though. The locals are used to seeing the odd cow here and there, but maybe not a whole bridal party and photographer! The below photos of Kristy and Bartek are right outside the entry to Branell Homestead. You can see our Luxury Cabins on the hill in the background.

Tom Hall Photography

Tom Hall Photography – Sharon and Nathan

Mac Loxton Photography

Mac Loxton Photography – Kristy and Bartek

Mac Loxton Photography

Mac Loxton Photography – Kristy and Bartek

Click to view Kristy and Barktek’s wedding album by Mac Loxton Photography.

~ Laidley’s Main Street ~

The charm and heritage of Patrick Street are a definite drawcard. The Queensland National Hotel has a lovely big verandah, Das Neumann Haus is a historical museum with the well known Clydesdale horse out the front and the Eagle Rock Cafe is a must see for lovers of everything retro. Local business owners and the community are very welcoming and love seeing new people visit the town, so why not go and say hello and see what hidden treasures you discover!

Tall Timber Studio - Main Street of Liadley

Tall Timber Studio – Marie-lou and Marcus

Rustique Rose Florist and Tearoom always has beautiful display

Rustique Rose Florist and Tearoom always has beautiful display

~ Laidley Pioneer Village ~

Established in 1972, the Laidley Pioneer Village is one of the first of it’s kind in Queensland. There are a range of restored buildings, including the Post Office and DesJardins Cottage pictured below, as well as a number of historic collections. These include wagons, machinery, agricultural tools and many more. The property has a number of excellent opportunities for a photo shoot if this is the style you are looking for. You can contact the volunteers who run the village on (07) 5465 2516 or visit their website.

Pioneer Village (photos from website)

Pioneer Village (photos from website)

~ Cunningham’s Crest Lookout ~

Just a couple of minutes drive up the road from Branell, this lookout offers spectacular views of the sunset over the Lockyer Valley. It is a quiet spot, so you are pretty much guaranteed to have the place to yourself most of the time.

Cunningham's Crest Lookout

Cunningham’s Crest Lookout

~ Gatton and District Historical Village ~

This 22 hectare property is home to 22 buildings including a fully restored church, working blacksmith and wheelwright shop, fire station, restored railway station and more. It is a very popular place for wedding photos. You will need to make a booking by phone (07) 5462 1899 or email gdhs4343@gmail.com.

Gatton Historical Village (Photos supplied by Lockyer Valley Regional Council)

Gatton Historical Village (Photos supplied by Lockyer Valley Regional Council)

~ A Private Property ~

You might be lucky enough to know someone that has an interesting private property close by, or better still your photographer might be able to set something up. But please make sure you get permission first. These photos from Tall Timber Studio of Marie-lou and her bridal party look fantastic!

Tall Timber Studio

Tall Timber Studio

Tall Timber Studio

Tall Timber Studio

~ Further Afield ~

You can also head to the Lockyer Valley Regional Council’s website for some further information, especially if you would like to travel even further afield.

Image source: http://tcof.com.au/events/diesel-train-rides-to-spring-bluff/

SPRING BLUFF RAILWAY STATION – Image source: http://tcof.com.au/events/diesel-train-rides-to-spring-bluff/

Photo opportunities on our property

We are super fortunate to have some very talented photographers visit our property every week. No matter how many weddings we have, each one is unique and we are always amazed by the different photography styles and images captured at Branell.

When organising your photography, make sure you chose a photographer who has a style you admire and one that you feel comfortable with. After all, they are going to be capturing the special moments of your wedding day, so you want them to also capture the emotion and feelings. Let your photographer know if there are any particular photos you want, but then let them create their magic!

We have lots of popular spots on the property for photos and have included some below, but there are plenty more to discover. If your photographer hasn’t been to the property before it might be worthwhile making an appointment with us so they can see everything first hand. You can make appointments via the home page of our website, contact us via email or phone (07) 5465 1788.

~ Homestead ~
The federation style elegance of each room of our Homestead is very popular with photographers.

Bride and Groom: Stephanie and Adam – Photographer: Sunlit Studios

Bride and Groom: Stephanie and Adam – Photographer: Sunlit Studios

Bride and Groom: Kylie and Martin – Photographer: Milly Jane Photography

Bride and Groom: Kylie and Martin – Photographer: Milly Jane Photography

Bride and Groom: Cassie and Jason – Photographer: Tall Timber Studio

Bride and Groom: Cassie and Jason – Photographer: Tall Timber Studio

Bride: Tamika – Photographer:

Bride: Tamika – Photographer: Capture That Photography

Photography: Amy Neeson Photography

Photography: Amy Neeson Photography

Bride: Crystal – Photographer:

Bride: Crystal – Photographer: LM Images Photography & Film

Photography: Amy Neeson Photography

Photography: Amy Neeson Photography

0319kyliemartin_138

Bride and Groom: Kylie and Martin – Photographer: Milly Jane Photography

~ Jetty ~

Bride and Groom: Cassie and Jason – Photographer: Tall Timber Studio

Bride and Groom: Cassie and Jason – Photographer: Tall Timber Studio

Bride and Groom: Krystal and Jamie – Photographer: RStudios Photography

Bride and Groom: Krystal and Jamie – Photographer: RStudios Photography

~ Around the property ~
Some of the most popular spots for photos are the entrance driveway, mango trees, stables and the fig tree.

Bride and Groom: Alana and Brad – Photographer: Lucah & Lane

Bride and Groom: Alana and Brad – Photographer: Lucah & Lane

Bride and Groom: Jackie and Luke – Photographer: The Light Chaser

Bride and Groom: Jackie and Luke – Photographer: The Light Chaser

Photographer: Fairytale Photography

Photographer: Fairytale Photography

Bride and Groom: Amy and Todd – Photographer: Tall Timber Studio

Bride and Groom: Amy and Todd – Photographer: Tall Timber Studio

Bride and Groom: Katie and Jake – Photographer: Kelsea K Photography

Bride and Groom: Katie and Jake – Photographer: Kelsea K Photography

Photographer: Anna Osetroff Photography

Photographer: Anna Osetroff Photography

Bride and Groom: Connie and Joel – Photographer: Richard Grainger Photography

Bride and Groom: Connie and Joel – Photographer: Richard Grainger Photography

Photographer: Nicola Lemmon Photography

Photographer: Nicola Lemmon Photography

Bride and Groom: Margot and Glen – Photographer: Shutter and Lace

Bride and Groom: Margot and Glen – Photographer: Shutter and Lace

Bride and Groom: Elizabeth and David – Photographer: EDGE Photography

Bride and Groom: Elizabeth and David – Photographer: EDGE Photography

~ Luxury Cabins ~
The outlook over the Lockyer Valley is stunning from our Luxury Cabins. Some brides/grooms get ready in the cabins and we have also had some wedding ceremonies performed on the hill behind the cabins.

Bride and Groom: Shay-lee and Jay – Photographer: Lucas & Co Photography

Bride and Groom: Shay-lee and Jay – Photographer: Lucas & Co Photography

Branell Homestead: The grassed lawn behind the cabins

Branell Homestead: The grassed lawn behind the cabins

The morning of…

It’s the morning of your wedding and you are full of a mix of different emotions – happiness, nervousness, excitement, anticipation and just plain pure joy. There has been so much planning leading up to the day and you have everything in place. If you are a list person you will be in your element because this is the best way to stay on top of everything and get a good nights sleep. Here are a couple of tips to make sure nothing is overlooked. (These are mainly directed at the bride because lets face it, they are the ones who will have the most going on!)

 
Timelines/Schedule
You can never be too organised. You will have lots of people involved who will all need to work together. Make sure you have your hair and makeup finished in plenty of time to get dressed, have your photographer take some photos, enjoy a glass of bubbly and relax. Make sure everyone knows what is going on so they are not having to check in with you every 5 minutes.

  • When you get dressed pre hair and make-up make sure you put on something with a zip or a silk robe (this is the perfect comfy and feminine option). Just make sure it does not need to come off over your head.
  • Check with your hairdresser and make-up artist to see how long they need for each person.
  • The space where you are getting ready needs lots of natural light.
  • Organise for someone to be in charge of deliveries – for example: the flowers and the cake.
  • Take the dresses out of the bags and hang them up. This is especially important for your wedding dress – it needs time to breathe! This will be a great opportunity for your photographer to take some snaps.

Food and Drink
It is important to stay hydrated and also have something in your stomach. EAT BREAKFAST! Smoothies are a great solution which tick both boxes. You definitely don’t want your tummy rumbling in the middle of your ceremony. Make sure you have enough for everyone. Fruit or sandwich platters are a good idea to munch on during the morning and can be easily prepared the evening before. According to stylecraze.com, these are the best fruits for glowing skin: bananas, lemons, oranges, apples and papaya.

Emergency Kit
Expect the unexpected and don’t panic. Think about everything that could go wrong and pack a kit that can fix all of these problems! You could include things like a sewing kit, scissors, tape, tweezers, extra pairs of stockings, mints, lip balm, moisturiser, pain killers, deodorant, spare toothbrush and toothpaste, nail file, safety pins, hairspray, cotton wool balls, straightener and hair dryer.

Relax
Let everyone take care of you. This is the one day you do not have to be thinking about anyone else.

  • Don’t worry about what the groom is doing. You can rest assured his morning will be much less busy than yours! He will most probably be watching TV or sport with his bridal party…
  • Take some music. Create a special playlist for the occasion.
  • Think positive and be yourself.
  • Breathe, laugh and have fun!
We love this selection of photos Just For Love Photography captured of Jade and Sam getting ready for their big day. These photos give the bride and groom an insight to each other’s time before the ceremony and are a wonderful addition to your wedding album. Jade was already on the property at the Homestead, while Sam got ready offsite and arrived at Branell for the ceremony.
~ The Bride ~
jadesam

 

~ The Groom ~

jadesam2

Branell Site Map

We have a very unique set up at Branell Homestead. It is often very hard to explain the layout of our property over the phone which is why we encourage people to come out for a visit. Situated on 80 picturesque acres of both farming and bushland, the property offers the perfect setting for a quiet weekend away or to celebrate your wedding. We have developed the site map below which will hopefully make things a little clearer.

SiteMap_Property

We have three distinct areas on the property – The Homestead, Pavilion and Luxury Cabins. The Homestead and Pavilion are the hub of activity on the day of an event. Our covered Pavilion overlooks the dam and offers a private space for wedding receptions, corporate event or parties. Our three luxury cabins are located on a hilltop offering spectacular views over the Lockyer Valley. Imagine sitting on the deck with a glass of wine to watch the sun set – we think this is a pretty good way to spend an afternoon!

If you would like to come out for an appointment to get a feel for Branell first hand, you can make a booking via the home page of the website. Or if you would like to talk to one of our professional team, please do not hesitate to call us on 07 5465 1788.

Make sure you look out for following posts over the next couple of weeks, which will provide details on the accommodation floor plans and Pavilion area.

Ceremony by the Jetty

The jetty area in front of our Wedding Pavilion is a popular location that couples choose to use for their wedding ceremony. We have included a couple of photos to show you a couple of different ways couples have styled and set up their ceremonies.

If you choose to have your wedding ceremony on the property we provide you with 20 white Americana chairs, or you may like to come up with your own idea. You are also able to use our red carpet if this tickles your fancy!

You can book an appointment to view the property and meet with one of our event specialists. Head to our website and click on the ‘Book an Appointment’ button in the top right.

Photographer: Angelic Studio

Photographer: Angelic Studio

jesskarl_370_KathScottPhotography

Kath Scott Photography

Mitch&Kate_Photo from Carve it up catering

Photo supplied from Carve It Up Catering of Mitch and Kate’s Ceremony

Daniel&Fiona_21Feb15

Daniel and Fiona dropped the jetty entrance with fabric which looked very effective

My Lense Photography

My Lense Photography

MellySPhotography

Melly S Photography