Lauren + Dylan by Scott Surplice Photography

It was a beautiful day, and as soon as we landed on the sand, he popped the question.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

Lauren works in the philanthropy sector at the University of Sydney and is passionate about making a difference in society through her work. She is also a crazy dog lady, a gourmet chef with a speciality in Italian pasta dishes, and an aspiring long-distance swimmer who dabbles in social tennis.

Dylan is a project manager for the NSW government and an engineer by trade. He is a competitive tennis player, aspiring golfer and lover of snow sports in the winter (thanks to his Canadian roots). He will talk to your ear about anime and fantasy novels if you let him.

Despite their different brains and passions, they are very similar in all important ways. They are both eldest siblings, so they are very organized and good leaders. They are both very close with their immediate families and share a love of reality TV, sitcoms, and Disneyland.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

We are high school sweethearts and first remember ‘meeting’ each other in Year 8 roll call. Lauren remembers thinking Dylan was so much more mature, kind and smart than the other teenage boys in their year. Dylan noticed how pretty Lauren was despite how shy she was.

We chatted online (on MSN!) every day but were too shy to talk in person until a few more years had passed. Dylan tried to ask Lauren out on dates many a time, but Lauren (regrettably) declined until the time was right. Finally, at a friend’s 18th birthday party, we made it official, and the rest is history. In our first year as a couple we did our HSC, schoolies and started Uni together, and have gone through every milestone since then, side by side.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

As cheesy as it sounds, we both knew pretty instantly that we were with the person we were going to marry. We became best friends and essentially grew up together, our bond only getting closer despite the changes and milestones throughout our late teens and twenties. We weren’t in a rush to get married and really enjoyed our independence—each doing solo travel and living with friends for several years before moving in together. 

We knew the time was right when we moved in together and started getting excited about the next milestone of having a wedding, kids, etc. We ended up getting married a few months after our 10-year anniversary, so it felt right to throw a big party to celebrate our commitment with all our closest friends and family and start a new chapter together as husband and wife. 

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

Dylan planned the whole proposal, including Lauren’s best friends in the design of her dream ring (a Princess Diana-inspired teal sapphire ring). The actual proposal took place on Dylan’s family’s boat, where we had spent a lot of time over the years wakeboarding and swimming in Ku Ring Gai National Park. Lockdown had just lifted in Sydney so we took a week off work to just enjoy getting outside, and Dylan organised to take the boat out and have a picnic on a secluded beach. It was a beautiful day, and as soon as we landed on the sand, he popped the question. We spent the whole day just soaking in the moment before we told everyone, swimming and lying in the sunshine. It was perfect!

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding.

We always knew we wanted a winter wedding as we both much prefer the cooler months and are big snow bunnies, and we wanted to recreate the atmosphere of all the cosy winter camping weekends we have enjoyed over the years. We also knew we wanted to keep it small. It really all came together when we visited Redleaf for the first time and instantly knew it was the dream venue for us. We styled the whole wedding around Redleaf’s gorgeous Tuscan design, letting the grounds and villa speak for themselves, choosing minimal, European-style florals and styling. We wanted the weekend to involve dancing, good food, campfires and close friends and family, and having all the festivities take place at one venue in the beautiful Hunter Valley was the best way to create the wedding we wanted.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

We splurged on the band, which we do not regret one bit! We went to the White Tree’s showcase performance and were blown away, so we decided to splurge on getting a 4-piece band to create the dance floor of our dreams. They were absolutely incredible, managing to both get the dance floor jumping and playing gorgeous vintage tracks while we ate and mingled.

We decided that a wedding video wasn’t important to us, but we knew that finding the right photographer was something we didn’t want to compromise on. Scott wasn’t necessarily a splurge but someone we would have happily spent millions on for how amazing he was in the lead-up to and on the big day!

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

We had planned for the evening portion of the wedding to be cold and had booked heaters, fire pits and blankets for our guests. We laugh now about how much colder it was than we anticipated – although the great wine and lively dancefloor kept most people warm enough!

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

I loved my wedding dress but always knew I wanted to incorporate my mum’s wedding outfit into my own wedding one day. She wore a gorgeous dark green, chiffon pantsuit at her wedding to my dad. As it was her second wedding, she was (apparently) not supposed to wear white again, but I always thought she looked so beautiful, stylish and unique in the outfit, and I loved how timeless the style was. I surprised her on the night when I changed into it, which was a special moment. It was SO much more comfortable to dance in, which was a huge plus as well!

Dylan wanted to wear a warm jacket coat, so a dark green velvet tux was the answer. It was also fun to match with each other for the last few hours of the evening!

VENUE Redleaf, 2480 Wollombi Road, Wollombi NSW 2325 PHOTOGRAPHER Scott Surplice Photography, @scottsurplicephotography FLORIST Still Life Floral Art, @stilllifefloralart STYLIST The Event Artists, @theeventartists HIRE Beavis Party Hire, @beavisyoureventteam; The Event Artists, @theeventartists CELEBRANT Megan Brummer ENTERTAINMENT Band: The White Tree, @thewhitetree CATERING Fennel & Co. Catering, CAKE Friend – Avalon de Mestre, @avdemestre STATIONERY Downloaded and self-printed from Blanchepaperie RINGS & JEWELLERY Dustins Jewellers, @dustinsjewellers EARRINGS Something borrowed and blue from my lovely Aunt, Bronwyn Eggleton BRIDAL GOWN de la Rosa Bridal, @delarosahawaii BRIDAL SHOP Sphere Bridal, @spherebridalgallery SECOND OUTFIT Mum’s wedding suit BRIDAL SHOES Lulu’s, @lulus VEIL Sphere Bridal, @spherebridalgallery HAIR & MAKEUP Chic Artistry, @chicartistry BRIDE’S FRAGRANCE Chloe by Chloe TUX Institchu, @institchu GROOM’S SHOE Julius Marlow, @juliusmarlow CUFFLINKS Borrowed from father-in-law GROOM’S FRAGRANCE Hugo Boss BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES Anthropologie, @anthropologie; Shona Joy, @shonajoy; Bec and Bridge, @becandbridge; & Other Stories, @andotherstories GROOMSMEN SUIT Pepper’s Formal Wear, Cremorne, @peppersformalwear