Nick + Alex by Ocean Way Collective

There was no official theme for our wedding, but we knew from the get-go that we wanted it to feel like a big party and be full of colour.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
Alex: I’m a Graphic Designer from Sydney. I really loved the wedding planning process as it was an opportunity to show my creativity and bring my vision to life in a big way. I love yoga, reading, wining and dining, and of course my brand-new husband, Nicky!

Nick: I’m a Strata Manager from Sydney. I love my new wife, Alex. The other loves of my life are our cats, Pablo and Frida. I also really enjoy surfing and playing golf.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
Alex: We actually met on Bumble back in 2017 and we chatted for a while before meeting in person at The Forresters, a local pub. It was there that we discovered our mutual love of Hills Cider (and hatred of beer) and the rest was history. My first impression of Nick was that he was too cool for me, which we laugh about now knowing that he’s just as much of a dork as I am.

Nick: My first impression of Alex was that she was a really cute, sensitive and a reserved individual. I quickly learnt Alex is an incredibly sweet, caring and loyal person. Right off the back of meeting each other, I felt completely at ease and could be my true self around her. I couldn’t wait to meet up with her again which we did three days later at what we call our first official date.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
Alex: It was very much the cliche of ‘when you know you know’ with us – we knew early on that we had something good and wanted to spend our lives together, it was just a matter of waiting for the right time. The way Nick slotted in perfectly with my family and friends is probably what cinched it for me also.
Nick: What she said.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
Nick: I had originally planned to do a walk through the Royal National Park on a Saturday morning, there’s a little quiet spot that looks out to the ocean and it would have been the perfect setting. I had also arranged a lunch at Arthur’s in Paddington. However, New South Wales entered a Covid-19 lockdown. I waited a few weeks for it to lift, but soon learned we were due for an extended lockdown. I didn’t want to wait any longer, so I decided to do a lockdown proposal in our living room instead. I purchased a really nice bottle of champagne, ordered takeaway from Fratelli Paradiso and proposed to Alex while we were doing our Saturday jigsaw puzzle.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
AO: Nick gave me free rein over the design of the wedding, while he handled the admin side of things, which worked well. There was no official theme for our wedding, but we knew from the get-go that we wanted it to feel like a big party and be full of colour.

One of the big reasons we chose Dark Horse as our venue is because of how gorgeous the black and white barn would look decked out in colour. From there, my creative vision all fell into place. I designed the hot pink invite to really set the tone, and as a result, lots of our guests wore bright colours on the day which looked amazing. I also wanted to add a lot of personal touches, as I found those to be the most memorable part of weddings I’d been a guest at. My favourite was the wine bottles we used as vases on our dining tables. Nick and I saved special bottles that we shared together throughout the years so that they could be repurposed for our wedding day. We were also very lucky to have so many talented friends and family who helped bring our vision to life. Our celebrant, florist, cake-maker, and DJ were all friends and family of ours, which made all the details feel extra special. Our florist, Liv (Flores Botanica), was exceptionally amazing, she understood my vision 100%, and went above and beyond to execute it, including all the table styling! As was my bridesmaid, Mikaela (Miks It Up) who made the cake. She nailed the brief and it matched the bridesmaid’s pyjamas perfectly which was a really special touch.

Nick: My Dad’s and his partner Sonia have been together for 17 years or so, and it felt right to have Sonia as the celebrant. She did a fantastic job, and we we’re very happy with our decision.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
Alex: Probably the venue. It set the whole tone of the day so it was one of the biggest decisions we made. I threw myself into wedding planning during lockdown and had a very intense spreadsheet comparing 20+ venues, but Dark Horse definitely came out on top and ticked all our boxes. We loved it so much, and the team was a dream to work with. The flowers were another area I was willing to splurge on because they were such an important part of our colourful vision, but luckily Liv was amazing and helped us find heaps of thrifty ways to trim costs and repurpose the flowers to fit within our budget.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
Alex: Definitely the heat. We knew it was going to be a hot day (around 40 degrees) but I was adamant on not moving our ceremony into the shade, convinced that the bottles of water, sunscreen and fans we provided would be enough to keep our guests cool. But it was so hot, as soon as I left the guesthouse to walk down the aisle I started sweating, and felt so bad for Nick and the boys in their full kilts! Our guests were absolute troopers though and didn’t let it get in the way of a good time, luckily they were moved into the shade soon after the ceremony with plenty of cocktails to cool them down!

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

Alex: I had followed Prea James Bridal for a while and had my heart set on their ‘Asta’ gown, but as soon as I tried on ‘Carine’ it suited me so much more and my mind was changed. I tried on a few more dresses in other stores but nothing could top ‘Carine’, so knew pretty quickly that it was my dress. I loved it so much that I never really considered getting a reception dress, I wanted to stay in my wedding dress for as long as I could (plus, it was super comfy for dancing!). Since the dress is quite a classic style, I wanted to have a bit of fun with the veil, which I found in the Made With Love Harlow Veil. I added a lot of personal touches to the outfit as well, like my Nan’s wedding ring, my Mum’s engagement ring, and a necklace that I made myself. I also made a pair of earrings for each of my bridesmaids so they’d have a special part of me in their outfits too.

Nick: My Mum, Arlene, was born in Glasgow and I hold Scotland and the culture close to my heart. Unfortunately, Mum passed away in 2007, and I really wanted to have Mum’s and my heritage prevalent at the wedding. I had decided that myself and the groomsmen would wear kilts during the Ceremony. My brother and I can play the bagpipes, so we had a jam together during cocktail hour which was a really special moment for me.

Ceremony & Reception Location Dark Horse Vineyard, @darkhorsevineyard / Photographer & Videographer Ocean Way Collective, @oceanwaycollective / Celebrant Sonia Khatri Marriage Celebrant, Band The White Tree Creative, @thewhitetree / Photobooth Newy Booth, @newybooth / Styling & Flora Flores Botanica, @floresbotanica / Catering + Beverages Fennel and Co, / Cake / Stationery Bride / Bride’s Gown Prea James, @preajames_bridal / Groom’s Suit M.J Bale @mjbale / Groom’s Kilt A Highland Wedding / Brides Engagement Ring & Groom’s Wedding Ring: Sarah and Sebastian, @sarahandsebastian / Bride’s Wedding Ring Ruusk, @ruusk / Bride’s Shoes ASOS @asos / Bride’s Earrings The Littl, @the.littl / Bride’s Necklace Made by Bride / Veil Made With Love Bridal, @madewithlovebridal / Makeup Makeup By Bonnielee, @mblbride; Brittany Thame Makeup Artist / Hair Makeup By Bonnielee, @mblbride; @makeupthis / Bride’s Fragrance Narciso Rodriguez, @narciso_rodriguez / Groom’s Fragrance Abercrombie, @abercrombie / Groomsmen’s Suits M.J Bale @mjbale / Groomsmen’s Kilts A Highland Wedding / Bridesmaid’s Dresses L’IDEÉ, @lidee_woman / Bride & Bridesmaid Pyjamas PIYAMA, @piyama_co

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