Sometimes a wedding has the power to stop you in your tracks and leave you speechless; to send you grasping for words as you stare in complete awe at its lovely images.  A special kind of wedding that mixes heartwarming moments and pretty details with a bride and groom who are the epitome of all things lovely.  This, my friends, is one of those weddings.  A breathtaking Phillip Island affair that isn’t just drop-dead gorgeous, it’s rich with meaning… from the lovely tributes to the bride’s amazing father to the beautiful at-home reception.  See every last love-filled moment captured by the wonderful Stewart Leishman in the full gallery.

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From the Bride… After losing my Dad only four days after Paul proposed, planning a wedding was certainly bittersweet and not entirely like I had imagined it would be.  We knew immediately that we wanted to get married on Phillip Island, being such a special place for both our families. We couldn’t think of any other place in the world to have our wedding, and the Island is now the place where my beautiful Dad rests.

We believe strongly in marriage equality and also that weddings should be exactly what you want them to be; not restricted or confined by tradition or expectation. We had a colourful tower of Macaroons, rather than a cake. We had a brides man and a grooms lady because we wanted to each have our most precious friends beside us. My bridesmaids, brides man and Pauls grooms lady all chose something unique to wear in a similar colour spectrum, which I think looked stunning and was a nice way to make sure each of them looked and felt like their beautiful selves. Paul wore an incredible blue suit from Calibre, effortlessly styled by my brides man Tom, and finished his look with one of my Dad’s signature bow ties. Paul’s outfit (aside from the colour) was as much a surprise as my dress was to him, so our ‘first look’ was very special for us both.

Art Stems on Lygon arranged our flowers and I was nothing short of breath taken when I saw my bouquet (which I had chosen not to throw- probably lucky, as someone could have been seriously injured given its size and weight!). The girls each had their own individual bouquet of a different flower type to match their mismatched outfits and our reception was flooded with hundreds of tiny jars of flowers. Instead of a signing book, I hand printed cards for our guests to write on and peg on a board. I cannot speak highly enough of my amazing hair and makeup girls – they made the getting ready process so easy and fun and did such a fantastic job!

When I first looked for a dress I found a lot of wedding dresses that I liked, but none that I LOVED. I decided to take my ideas to Kylie Easton, a dressmaker who helped me to create a completely unique and one-off dress made from blush tulle and vintage beaded lace. Kylie was fabulous and it was such a fun creative process and very cost-effective! We were blessed with a day of pure perfection, and could not have been more humbled by having our closest friends and family around us to watch us be wed by the sea on the Island that we love. Our ceremony overlooked Flynns beach beside Trenavin chapel in Ventnor, only a short drive up the road from my family’s place.  My Mum and my brother walked me down the aisle to James Morrison’s ‘One life’ which reminds me every time I hear it of my Dad and how important it is to appreciate every day you have with the people you love. Having our reception on the front lawn of my parents’ beach house made it all the more precious and allowed us a lot of freedom to DIY and make our wedding entirely our own.

We wanted our wedding to be warm and relaxed, a laid back garden cocktail reception with loads of places to lounge under the grapevine. Our friends and family ate beautiful canapé style food by Luckman catering, including mini ice cream cones for dessert – perfect after a beautiful warm afternoon. Everyone mingled freely under the festoon lights and had great fun with our photobooth, including my sister’s dog Sumo who loved being the centre of attention.

Stewart Leishman, our photographer, was such a pleasure to have around and did a fabulous job capturing the day. We were so lucky to have many of our family and friends help out with many aspects of the preparation which we were so grateful for; my amazing brother Ash created all our invitations and we had incredible friends running deliveries from Melbourne including all the flowers which my Mum, Aunty and cousin carefully set up for the reception. Music was very important to us to set the feel for our wedding and one of the first things I started was a wedding playlist of all the songs I wanted to include – we had our gorgeous friend Eve acting as DJ and the dance floor was the place to be all night! It was our photographer Stewart’s idea to get our guests to create a walk of honour made of sparklers which we walked under just before we shared our first dance to Florence and the Machine’s ‘Never let me go’. It was absolutely the most incredible day and was exactly the wedding we wanted and more.

Photography: Stewart Leishman | Flowers: Art Stems on Lygon | Make Up: Nikki Dom | Hair: Sasha Madden (0421335524) + Phoebe Livingston | Wedding Dress: Kylie Easton | Shoes: Vera Wang | Earrings: Samantha Wills | Bridesmaids Earrings: Mimco | Bridesmaids Dresses + Belts: Various