How did you meet?
Elliot and I met at the place where you meet all good men – the bar of course! We met at the Normanby Hotel in Brisbane, during one of the State of Origin games. My cousin saw Elliot and his group of friends, thought they were cute, and declared that we were going over to talk to them.
Tell us about the proposal…
Elliot proposed the night we moved into our first house together. It was just us, our dog Chester, some Thai takeaway, and of course, Champagne. After dinner, Elliot told me he had a surprise for me and that I had to close my eyes. I remember standing in the kitchen with my hands covering my eyes, naïvely thinking, “Hmm, what could this be? Bed sheets? A new dish set?”. I heard Elliot come back into the room and he said, “Ok, you can open your eyes now”. I opened them to find him down on one knee in the middle of our kitchen with the ring in his hand. I think I forgot how to breathe for a good 15 seconds but squealing, crying and laughing came quickly after that.
Why did you choose Canada for your wedding?
I’m originally from Canada and had always dreamt of a wedding in my home town. We love to travel, as do a lot of our friends in Brisbane, so it worked out perfectly. We were married in the backyard of the home I grew up in, and the reception was held at a golf course less than two minutes away.
What did you do for your hens and bucks?
In true Brisbane bloke style, Elliot and his mates went to the Gold Coast for a weekend away. My girls organised a surprise hens’ party at the Ritz Carlton, complete with room service, Champagne, lots of girly bridal games, more champagne, lots of dancing, and lots of laughs!
We found and purchased as much as possible online from previous brides, Etsy, Gumtree, you name it. We bought our own paper lanterns and mason jars with ribbons and tealights for the reception, hanging paper pom poms for the ceremony, old window panes for the guest seating chart, street signs (of streets we had previously lived on) for our table numbers, and chalkboards for the welcome sign and dinner menu.
What was your key styling inspiration?
I took a lot of inspiration from photos of other couple’s weddings that were shared on Pinterest, then I used Etsy to turn that inspiration into reality! I love anything with a soft or romantic feel to it.
What gifts did you give your guests?
Our bombonnieres were chocolate covered macadamia nuts (we tried to incorporate Australia in as many subtle ways as possible!) in muslin bags with a personalised stamp that read, “She’s sweet on him and he’s nuts about her” with our names and our wedding date below it. For my bridesmaids, I was able to find matching kimono robes (each girl got theirs in the colour of the dress they were wearing), a clothes hanger with their name fashioned in the wire, and handkerchiefs embroidered with the phrase, “No ugly crying”. For Elliot, I found a website that calculates the amount of days you’ve been together and then prints that on a card in beautiful calligraphy. My card to Elliot read on the front, “I have loved you for 1661 days”. I also found socks on Etsy with a label that read, “Just in case you get cold feet… with love from your bride”.
I had to get ready in the main family room of the house as upstairs was undergoing some renovations. Everyone exited the room except for my bridesmaids who were helping me step into my dress. At the exact moment that I was stepping into my dress, wearing nothing more than a bra and g-string, one of the groomsmen came barging into the room looking for a bathroom. My bridesmaids and I yelled in unison, “Get out!!” as one of the girls promptly chased him out of the room. We immediately broke into hysterical laughter at the whole situation… poor Flynn on the other hand is still traumatised by the wrath of my bridesmaids chasing him out of the house!
Our ceremony as we were just lost in each other the whole time. It felt like no one else was there but us and our pastor. We couldn’t take our eyes off each other – it was such a cherished and special moment.
What did you do for your honeymoon?
Everything! Starting with Paris, including dinner at the Eiffel Tower, then we were off to the beaches of Nice, across to Rome for sightseeing (and pasta of course) and finally to beautiful Santorini, which was by far the highlight of our entire honeymoon.
To my sister and Maid of Honour, Maren. Planning a wedding can come with all sorts of challenges, but planning a wedding from overseas comes with a whole world of additional challenges! Right from the start my sister was there for us for whatever we needed – she met with the caterers, the venue manager, our florist, our hair stylist… basically everyone and anyone. She ran a gazillion errands for us, did our taste testing, organised decorations, found our dresses, and was our go-to girl for everything wedding related. We are forever grateful to her and her secret talent of wedding planning!
What advice would you give other brides-to-be?
Ask lots of questions, look at different options and be open to suggestions from other people. Always sleep on a decision before you make it so you know it’s one that you’ll be truly happy with. And, this one is a must… join Pinterest for (p)inspiration and Etsy to turn inspiration into your real life dream wedding.