It didn’t take long before I fell head over heels for this breathtaking Sydney affair. About .5 seconds to be exact. Because a wedding this amazing grabs ahold of your heart in an instant… and with one heartwarming detail after another filling every second of pretty, it’s the kind of day that you want to relive again and again. So sit back, get cozy and start your weekend off right in the full gallery captured by Lovers Lane Photography. It’s amazing, lovelies. I promise you that.
From the Bride… Chris and I met whilst travelling in South America. With Chris living in the UK and myself living here in Australia, we endured a long distance relationship for 18 months before Chris was granted his visa to move to Australia. Having left his family and friends to move here to be with me, I was happy to make his dream of an Australian beach wedding come true. It was a truly magical experience for those family and friends who were able to make it from the UK.
The theme of our wedding was Beachside Luxe with the ceremony taking place on the deserted Bilgola beach on Sydney’s northern beaches – an overcast day can have it’s benefits, for us it was a stunning beach all to ourselves. We wanted the guests to feel the cool soft sand between their toes and to be mesmerized by the sound of the rolling waves. My father passed away when I was a young girl, so it was always going to be an emotional day for my mum and I. I felt him with me throughout the entire day – his felt presence was so calming and reassuring amongst all the hype and excitement. I chose to walk down the aisle on my own, as I knew dad would be walking by my side. It is one of my deepest regrets that Chris never got the chance to meet my dad, as they would have got on like a house on fire. I also kept dad close throughout the day by attaching a vintage locket with a photo of dad to my bouquet. The bouquets, full of peonies, were so beautiful.
It was the most incredible feeling seeing Chris for the first time as he waited for me at the end of the aisle. He was crying tears of happiness, whilst I was smiling from ear to ear so overjoyed to be marrying the man I love so very much. We composed the entire ceremony ourselves with the exception of the legalities. We wanted our loved ones to feel a part of something very special so there were moments of humour, reflection and great sincerity. We started by remembering loved ones who were no longer with us, before taking a trip down memory lane to the time we met and the qualities that drew up to each other.
My cousin (junior bridesmaid) chose a gorgeous excerpt to read from The Velveteen Rabbit about the unconditional and enduring nature of true love, whilst her brother read a lighthearted poem that got a few giggles here and there. We then made our personally written vows to one another, a very special moment, followed by the exchange of rings. In addition to my wedding band, Chris also had my engagement ring which we incorporated into the ceremony as a reminder of the exciting time when we announced our engagement, the beginning of our commitment to one another. With a soft breeze and subdued natural light, we then had photos taken along the deserted beach with our bridal party. Our photographer’s Courtney and Lyndon were a dream to work with. They captured the undulations in the sand, the movement in my gown, my hair flowing in the breeze, the intimate glances between Chris and I, as well as the cheer and excitement amongst the bridal party. Courtney and Lyndon were such a calming presence, we were very lucky to have their relaxed yet professional influence around us for the day.
Our decorators turned Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club into a relaxed yet stylish space. Candles in cut-crystal and vases over-flowing with cream David Austin roses injected warmth into the space. Our cocktail-style reception kicked off as guests mingled, drinks flowed and the speeches entertained and endeared. Our simple yet elegant cake was also cut. Just as Chris and I fell in love in South America, we also fell in love with the Argentinian Tango. After a couple of years of lessons, we put our skills to practice for our first dance. Being a dancer since the age of four, I’m not very tolerant when it comes to being led, however in that particular moment I was an obedient wife and followed Chris’ lead, Chris kept his nerves in check and there were no wardrobe malfunctions. We did it!
I then had my father daughter dance with the four men who really stepped into dad’s shoes after dad died. Words can’t describe how much I missed my dad in that moment, how he loved to dance. There couldn’t have been a more fitting song than ‘Dance With My Father’ by Luther Vandross. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.
With all of the formalities over, the fun got turned up a notch and guests hit the dance floor as our 7-piece band kicked into action. I’m sure there were plenty of sore feet the following day. We have such great memories of everyone letting their hair down and pulling out their favourite moves irrespective of the era from which they were dug up. Our dream for the evening had come true – not only had we consolidated our love for one another in front of our loved ones, but our guests were having a great time. New friendships were born, old friendships were reunited, stories were shared and a good time was had by all. I would do it all again in a heartbeat….and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Photography: Lovers Lane Photography | Floral Design: Flirting with Flowers | Event Design: The Style Salon | Ceremony Location: Bilgola Beach, Sydney’s Northern Beaches | Reception Location: Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club | Catering: Corella Catering | Transport: All Wedding Cars | Hair + Makeup: Makeup by Aimee Van Essen | Dress: Johanna Johnson | Shoes: Filippo Raphael