These newlyweds will be honeymooning in Tasmania, but “not in the middle of winter, and not when the heifers are calving”.
Kate Maher, the daughter of David and Margie Dowling of Yass, and a teacher at Sacred Heart Central School in Cootamundra, laughs about the latter: “All these important things I am learning, living on a farm!”
Kate, who grew up in Yass, met Patrick Maher, a sheep and cattle farmer from Coolac, on a “nerve-wracking” blind date over coffee. “I am a teacher, so I do a lot of talking,” she said. “He is quiet, much quieter than me.” But nerves became verve, and words flowed easily.
On Saturday, July 8, those words became vows as Kate and Patrick wed in front of friends and family in a nuptial Mass at St Augustine's Church, Yass.
Kate’s wedding continued her tradition of sacraments at St Augustine's since baptism. She was attended by her sister Alice Radburn as matron of honour. Patrick, the son of Elizabeth and the late Murray Maher, had brother-in-law Leonard Grout by his side as best man.
Parish priest Father Mick Burke officiated the ceremony and “is a family friend,” Kate said. “He grew up with my mum in Gundagai, and married my sister.
“I wanted someone who knew me to marry me, and I always thought I would be married in my home town, which I know is old-fashioned, but that's what I had always thought.”
The day was a mostly Yass Valley affair. The reception for 89 guests was held at the Old Coach Stables, owned and run by Melinda and Scott Medway in nearby Cullerin. Cindy Davis of Bowning designed and made the cake, and Yass floral artist Melinda Sheffield designed and made the arrangements.
Kate and Alice’s bouquets included a selection of gum leaves and gum nuts, David Austin roses, glasshouse and spray roses, freesias and lisianthus, with foliage supplied locally in the Yass Valley, and flowers sourced from the Sydney Flower Markets. Floral arrangements in St Augustine's included a selection of oriental lillies, gladioli, roses, orchids and stock, and the pews were adorned with a satin bow with a spray of gum leaves. The cake was topped with a spray to match the bouquet.
Kate’s gown, designed by Wendy Makin, came from Annabel's Bridal Studio in Kingston, and her ring from Diamond Boutique, Braddon. Jenny Wynne and Emily Witt of Yass styled Kate’s hair and make-up. Bathurst photographer Mark Quade captured the day.
Their vows “included a prayer about what we believe to be important aspects in a marriage,” signified by their wedding dance – to Everything (Michael Buble).
The Tribune would love to share more stories of Yass Valley weddings, so please tell us about yours, or that of a local loved one, here.