These two have a love story that’ll make any hopeless romantic’s heart burst. It all started when this American bride took a trip across the world and met an Australian man who happened to be owner of Sydney Beachouse, where she was staying. A long-distance romance ensued and the rest is history. Watch their amazing day unfold with images from Honey Honey Photography in THE VAULT.
From The Bride…Mike grew up in Australia and I was living in New York City (ie. opposite sides of the world). Wedding singing took me to New Zealand for the first time, so while down-under I decided to pop over to Australia! I needed a place to stay, so a mutual friend from NYC introduced us. Mike owns a hostel on the beach called Sydney Beachouse, and offered me to stay there during my one month trip to Oz. The perfect host, Mike took me to the Blue Mountains where we went to Megalong Valley Tea Rooms, various museums, and finally to an unanticipated date to the Sydney Opera House. A delicious salmon dinner by the harbor preluded a Cirque Du Soleil show in front of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Can you say AMAZING?
The first thing I noticed when I spent time with Mike was how much peace I felt around him. I could be completely myself; he drew that out in me in a matter of days. Mike happens to be one of the most encouraging people I have ever met, and I very naturally felt drawn to that.
At the end of my visit Mike had written a three page letter telling me how he felt about me: that he had dreamed of moving to New York the previous year (though it wasn’t the right time), that he had bought a ticket to NYC with his family before we had met, and would I be open to a long distance relationship? Feeling peace, I said yes, and he came to NYC with his family a couple months later. The magic was still there. I went to see him again in Australia for New Year’s, meanwhile, we were facetiming nearly every night between. After two trips and one year of long distance, Mike moved to NYC and a year and a half later we are married. It has been an amazing journey and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for us both together.
We both love the outdoors, and wanted to incorporate a garden setting into our wedding. Grand trees, lush greenery, and a paved dancefloor led us to the Old Homestead in northern California, just 20 minutes from Paula’s hometown. We wanted to keep decor clean and bright to highlight the natural beauty of the setting (and the natural beauty of our family and friends). The juxtaposition of formal with nature was an inspiration for me. We used our own vendors to play off this idea, with delicious food and DIY decorations. My favorite project was working with my mom to pot ferns into her collection of vintage glass pieces, which we used as mismatched centerpieces on all tables. The final outcome was just as I’d hoped – gorgeous guests in a “garden of eatin'” Haha
Mike and I opted not to see each other before the ceremony. Walking down the aisle and seeing him for the first time – with guests from all over the world in my periphery – was the most magical part of the day. As soon as I saw him, every stress and worry from wedding planning vanished. It was all worth it. The speeches were hilarious, with Mike’s brothers doing their best to embarrass everyone. When it came time to cut the cake, I made sure to put it all over Mike’s face. The dancing at the end was so joyful and easy, with everyone relaxed and enjoying the celebrations.
During the process of planning, take time to have days where you celebrate just you two being engaged. All the details of the day will come together, but don’t be afraid to ask for as much help as possible! Like me, you may want to control every aspect, but you’ve got to trust friends or family to help you out. It’s too much to handle alone! Just like during planning, make sure to find time throughout the reception to be with each other. Everyone will want to chat with you both and you may find yourself on the other side of the room. Meet back together and really take in the moments. There was a point where Mike and I snuck out for 10 minutes during the reception (no one noticed!) and took a few photos around the corner. It was so special.
Photography: Honey Honey Photography | Floral Design: Full Bloom | Wedding Dress: Theia "Lilia" Gown | Cake: Yum By Jolie | Bride's Shoes: Dune London | Rings: Soho Gem | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Elegant Occasions | Hair And Makeup: Paige Patterson | Calligraphy: Pick Then Print | Band: Xecutive Suite | Groom's Attire: Suitable NYC | Venue: The Old Homestead | Bridal Boutique: Lovely Bride NYC | Rentals: Chairs For Affairs | Veil: Toni Federicci