Kate & Donovan by Finder Seeker Photography

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

We both originate from warmer, sunnier parts of the country but found ourselves crossing paths in Melbourne when Donovan moved here to study paramedics and I to pursue my career in Visual Merchandising.

It has been a busy 6 years since that first tinder date balancing study, graduating, promotions, moving house 3 times, constant work travel, overseas holidays and our biggest achievement is our now 17 month old lil man who is our sunshine on any gloomy Melbourne day. It wasn’t necessarily love at ‘first swipe’. I took some convincing that the bare foot, sweet, surfer guy from Byron was ‘the one’ for this loud, ambitious, accident prone north queenslander…but Donovan’s endearing determination, persistence, undeniable good looks and masterchef skills eventually ensured we were spending every second together and it became obvious we complimented each other perfectly and were better together. 

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 were certain that we wanted a wedding by the water with great food, plenty of drinks, dancing and a relaxed atmosphere…but exactly where was not so clear as we had to factor in that the majority of guests would have to travel. We considered private beaches in the Whitsundays and a villa in Bali, but quickly realised the logistics involved would become a full-time job and soak up our budget. We did a reconnaissance mission to Mornington Peninsula. This region is not only just 1 hour out of Melbourne but has so much to offer including all of our favourite things – wineries, breweries, great local produce, restaurants and beautiful beaches. We took the beach road and drove past Alatonero which was too good to be true, ticking all of our boxes in terms of food, drink and aesthetic and happened to be directly across the road from the beach. We found and booked our venue in August and took family there in December, 12 months before our big day. After a delicious lunch at Alatonero we proudly marched our family across the road to the beach to show them where we planned on having the reception…along with 5000 other punters and their inflatable flamingos, boom boxes, Smirnoff cruisers and suntan oil! It was time for plan B! I strongly recommend you visit your location and venue at the exact same time of year you plan to have your wedding so there are no nasty surprises. It ended up being even better having the ceremony and reception in the one place. We could set the mood right from the start with cocktails on arrival and our amazing band could play through the whole day. Our guests could stay in the one place and mingle while we set off for photos. We had both inside and outside areas of the restaurant allowing there to be a seamless shift of the party when the typical Melbourne weather bore down on us starting with a 40 degree day, a hail storm and then a nice cool evening. The venue was prepared for everything! 

Tell us about your main outfits:

Donovan wore a linen Calvin Klein suit. When looking for my dress I knew I wanted a high neck but thought I’d end up with something slinky and fitted…until I saw the skirt from One Day Bridal. It was unique, contemporary, fun and nothing like any of the other dresses I had seen or tried. I could still have the high neck I wanted and had the top made separately. 

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

Standing at the front during the ceremony and I kept spotting friends and family that we hadn’t seen in a long time and had travelled such a long way. We were overwhelmed with the effort a lot of guests made to get there. We had friends that travelled all the way from Singapore just for the night! Despite not having our beach ceremony our photographer snuck us away for 10 minutes of photos on the beach as the sun was setting and they are some of our favourite photos. For a couple that don’t like getting our photo taken we actually had fun getting these as it was spontaneous, only us and all of the formalities (and storms) were over, and we were relaxed and relieved. 

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

Interview potential photographers in person! They are there for your most intimate moments and it’s really important they understand and are also willing to follow your brief. They need to be someone you can imagine being 2 steps behind you on your special day and able to give direction to your bridal party. Our bridal party aren’t the most disciplined bunch and don’t particularly like photos so we wanted these over as quickly and painlessly as possible. On top of this I was unwell and didn’t feel much like smiling. From our photos you would never guess and Dee from Finder Seeker managed to capture all of our specific requests, multiple locations and more! 

Photography: Finder Seeker Photography | Ceremony and Reception location: Alatonero | Celebrant: Di Kleinert | Bride’s outfit: Skirt- One Day Bridal, Top- Brides own creation | Groom’s suit: Calvin Klein | Rings: Melanie Katsalidis and Uniform Black | Shoes: Calvin Klein | Makeup: Kate Winkler Makeup Artist | Hair: Cropped | Bridesmaid’s attire: Sheike | Groomsmen’s outfits: Calvin Klein | Entertainment: Jack and Jordan Music | Flora: Fleurs By Noelle | Catering and Beverages: Alatonero | Cake: Rosemarie’s Cake