EMILY + ROWAN by Jess Nicholls

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

Emily is a Project Manager for Sport and Recreation Projects and Rowan is a Postal Services Officer and Solid Plasterer. We both grew up in Melbourne not too far from one another, but we didn’t know each other in Melbourne.

We also have this beautiful film from Native Wedding Videos

We both love the beach and had each moved down to live in Torquay, Emily six years ago and Rowan eighteen years ago. We met on Tinder three years ago. Emily thought Rowan looked like Kelly slater and he had a nice warm smile in his profile picture. When we first met in person we both experienced a warm comforting energy that we both can’t fully describe. It was like our souls had found their home in one another. From our very first date we were inseparable.

We both love surfing and the outdoors. We bought a big red Toyota Troopcarrier a few years back which is all decked out for camping which we love to take on road trips down south to The Otways and along The Great Ocean Road. We also love gardening and cooking and going to gigs together and having beers or a nice bottle of sparkling wine and Twisties while sitting in the Troopy looking over Bells Beach listening to music from some of our favourite bands – TOOL, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Jose Gonzales.

One of our favourite places to camp is in Princetown which is why we ended up getting married there.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…

We wanted to create a beachy desert chic style. The vegetation, sand dunes and landscape at Princetown is reminiscent of a desert which is what inspired the styling. We also didn’t want to book a venue with a strict curfew as we knew we wanted to be able to dance the night away! Kangaroobie Camp was the perfect location. We had the ceremony overlooking the wetlands with a glimpse of the ocean too and this was framed beautifully by the Pampas hoop created by our stylist.

We used a lot of pastel colours inspired by the colours you see when you watch the sun set over the ocean and sand; and a mixture of fresh and dried florals and succulents to keep with the desert vibe. After the ceremony, guests moved into the courtyard which had Aztec rugs and peacock chairs; and were served south west American inspired cocktails and American BBQ canapes and we also had the Bells Beach Brewing truck there, serving delicious frothies on tap!

The beautiful dining hall is timber clad and guests were seated on long timber tables with florals in vintage vases and hanging overhead. Stoneware look plates, gold cutlery and dusty pink napkins completed the look. Dinner was share plates of American BBQ and dessert was a mixture of cake and cupcakes all in our pastel colour palette and cookies in the shape of cacti, flowers and hearts.

We then danced the night away under festoon lighting to the tunes from our amazing cover band with espresso martinis and cosmos being served throughout the night!

Tell us about your main outfits:

Emily wanted a lace dress with Stevie Nicks sleeves that she could dance around with and found the perfect gown at the Grace Loves Lace Gold Coast store. It was the third dress she tried on and knew immediately it was the one!

Rowan wanted (or, as he says, ‘was told to wear’) navy pants, a fawn jacket, white shirt with no tie and brown loafers to go with the desert chic vibe. He was lucky also in that he loved and purchased the first outfit he tried on from Politix as it totally met the brief!

We absolutely loved the bridesmaid dresses from Spell and The Gypsy too. The pastel colours in them went perfectly with our colour palette. Our florist absolutely nailed the brief with the bouquets and boutonnieres featuring beachy desert inspired florals which tied all the outfits together!

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

Before the big day, a definite memorable moment was the incredible rehearsal dinner we had at Destination M. These guys have created the most incredible boutique hotel, lounge and restaurant all out of repurposed materials. This overlooks the most incredible edible and ornamental garden. All their produce is either grown on-site or sourced locally and the whole place just has the most calming and zen vibe. It was the perfect place to have a relaxing, nourishing dinner before the big day and for the girls to wake up and get ready in! Our whole wedding party were completely blown away by this special place in The Otways!

We love that we were able to incorporate our love of rock music into the day – we walked down the aisle to Alanis Morisette -Thank You, had the lyrics from Zed Zeppelin – Thank You as our reading, signed documents to Eddie Vedder – Without You and Ben Howard – She Treats me Well, walked back down the aisle to INXS – Never Tear Us Apart, entered the reception to Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter, did our first dance to Kiss – I Was Made For Lovin’ You, father-daughter dance to Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark, mother-daughter dance to Fleetwood Mac – You Can Go Your Own Way and a circle of all our guests with arms linked singing to Tiny Dancer – Elton John to finish off the formal part of the evening!

One of our bridesmaids also surprised us by wrapping a cover of Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa which totally got the D-floor cranking!

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

Communication is everything! All humans perceive experiences differently depending on each of our individual experiences in life so that is why it’s important to communicate.

If you are feeling grumpy go and be in nature!

Make sure you have fun things to do as a couple to look forward to. We celebrate the anniversary of the day we met every month with something fun.  

Venue: Kangaroobie | Videographer: Native Weddings | Photographer: Jess Nicholls | Celebrant: Paige Whyte | Entertainment: Fully Loaded Band | Styling: Lush Events | On-day Co-ordinator: Aster and Rose | Hire: Elderberry Events | Catering + Beverages: Sticks and Bones BBQ, Bells Beach Brewing & The Chariot Bar | Cake: The Sweet Hall | Rehearsal Dinner and Accommodation: Destination M | Groom’s Suit: Politix | Bride’s Dress: Grace loves Lace | Ring/s: Ruby Tuesday Jewellery | Shoes: Nine West | Alterations: Vicki Penrice | Makeup: By friends – Pia Segafredo & Milly Wemyss | Hair: Surf Coast Beauty & A Cut Above Hair Design | Bride’s Fragrance: Ralph Lauren Romance | Groom’s Fragrance: Bottega Veneta Pour Homme | Bridesmaid Dresses: Spell | Groomsmen Outfits: Connor