Ben and I met over 10 years ago at a close friends 21st Birthday, and have been pretty much inseparable since.
He proposed to me in our kitchen in Melbourne, after his plans to pop the question on a spur of the moment trip to Tassie were squashed when the ring didn’t arrive on time! We’ve been very lucky to share many amazing adventures together over our 10 years together, partially because of all the moving around we’ve done – from Gladstone, to Melbourne, then London and finally back to Melbourne. As a result of all this moving around, we’ve both developed travel addictions and love seeking out new places and trying new things, but it has also made us realise how epic Australia is, which is how we ended up choosing Eagle Bay for our wedding.
On paper, we might seem like opposites, but we seem to make it work and really are each other’s best friend. Ben’s friends often joke that we do everything together, but I think that’s what makes us such a good team – we love spending time together, even if it’s doing something the other person is more passionate about! Now that we’re married, I’ve even decided I’ll start supporting Ben’s football team – only if they’re winning though!
Ben: We described the dress code for the wedding as beach cocktail (yes, all our guests were confused too!) – which essentially equated to cocktail sans shoes (for the beach ceremony anyway)! For us, this made for a relaxed vibe, but with everyone looking their best, because isn’t that what the day is about anyway – fun in style?! Being from Perth we both love being near the ocean, so although it took us almost 3 years to decide where to get married, our ceremony on the beach at Point Piquet was an absolute dream location.
Steph was the brains behind the styling for the day – and spent countless hours before the wedding pulling ideas from online, researching and developing the concept for the decoration of the venue, even down to designing the welcome sign and menus herself. As much as Steph would have loved to be getting stuck into styling on the day, it was a god-send to have our amazing on the day coordinators and exceptional florist take over this responsibility bringing Steph’s ideas to life. We wanted to bring in personal touches as much as possible, so things such as the boys boutonnieres and the arbor were also constructed by my parents; and I spray painted the milk crates, building an at-home spraying booth out of cardboard boxes to protect Steph’s mum’s garden form pink spray paint splatters!
Steph: Our wedding day so perfectly encapsulated us as a couple – the beach setting, all our closest family and friends in attendance, plenty of good food & booze and a cracking dance floor. Initially I had my heart set on a destination wedding in Italy, given my longtime love of all things Italian, and you would have thought that moving to Europe a month after we became engaged would have provided the perfect environment for planning an Italian wedding! However, in the end we were way too busy travelling and enjoying our time overseas, so the wedding very quickly ended up on the back burner. In the end, it was actually an easy decision to have the wedding in Eagle Bay – a place so special to me as I’d spent many school holidays in the region as a kid – plus its absolutely stunning! As a Visual Merchandiser, I knew I wanted to try and be involved in as much as possible when it came to the design and styling for the wedding (up to a point! On-the-day coordinators are an amazing investment!) and loved seeing all my ideas come together. I was also really happy with all of the vendors and suppliers involved in the day and feel so lucky they were all involved in making our day what it is.
Steph: I wanted to stay true to who I was and not get bogged down in too many traditions or rules with my dress – and for this reason I was drawn to Rue de Seine very early on. What I didn’t necessarily plan on was using my wedding day as my Beyonce moment – but after a mild meltdown when the dresses slip wasn’t sitting quite right, my beautiful photographer Paris and make up artist Hayley gave me some great advice and this bolstered my confidence to throw caution to the wind and just go with it, ditch the slip and rock the bodysuit look.
Ben had quite a strong idea of the look he wanted for the wedding – so I helped him pull everything together, with the knowledge of the drama of my dress in the back of my mind. Ben also strongly disagrees with the notion that the wedding day is the ‘bride’s big day’ and was keen on making his own statement on the day – and I think he looked pretty damn good.
Ben: The whole day was memorable in so many ways. The weather was stunning – sunny, moderately warm and very little breeze which made for a very picturesque wedding on the beach and some stunning photos at Sugarloaf Rock. The reception was perfect – plenty of really delicious food, live music to set the ambience for the evening followed by a brilliant DJ who kept the party going all night.
Also, it goes without saying really, that Steph’s dress was out-of-this-world amazing and as stated by Paris our photographer, “she absolutely rocked it”. My lasting memory and one I will never forget, is Steph appearing at the end of the aisle, flanked by her parents. I still can’t believe how truly stunning she looked, a picture of perfection, and I don’t think I have ever been as enamoured with her or stunned by her beauty as I was as she walked towards me along the beach.
Steph: For me, there were so many memorable moments throughout the day. With 5 bridesmaids, it was an early start at Bridal HQ (As coined by my sister-in-law to describe the house mum had rented in Eagle Bay as our base), but before everyone arrived I took myself down to the beach alone to see the sunrise and even though it was a bit fresh, get some Vitamin Sea! And as it turns out, Ben was doing the same thing, at the same time, just in the next bay at the resort where his parents were staying. I also loved all the time spent with my beautiful bridesmaids throughout the day getting ready – all of the girls hold a really special place in my life so it was so nice to have that quality time with them all, especially as I live so far away from some of them. The ceremony, particularly as we exchanged our personal vows, was also a really special moment for me, the rest of the world seemed to blur away and it almost felt like it was just Ben and I on the beach pledging our commitment to each other.
Ben: I would suggest do what you can to accommodate your guests, but not at the expense of losing your own personality, tastes or priorities for your day. Before you start planning, write down a list of what’s important to you as a couple in order to make it the perfect day for you and make sure you keep these front of mind throughout the process.
Steph: A great piece of advice I received before the wedding was to make sure to spend as much time as possible with your new husband/wife – the day is about the two of you, so make sure you that you make it so. Also, it’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement and joy, that you don’t take the time to occasionally step back to take it all in. Doing this will help you hold on to the memories of the evening, such as expression on your partners face during key moments such as your first dance.
Ben: Talk to as many people as you can but not at the expense of spending heaps of time on the dance floor; people can join you there if they want to hang out! Also don’t worry too much about your dance moves, just remember each other and how you feel in that moment!
Photographer: Paris Hawken | Ceremony Location: Point Picquet, Cape Naturaliste WA Australia | Reception Location & Catering: Eagle Bay Brewing Co | Celebrant: Jorja Miller | Entertainment: South Sound Events featuring Michelle Briggs | Styling: Drinks station & ceremony set up Ferguson Valley Events; Graphics designed by bride; Milk Crate installation collated & coloured by Groom, flowered & styled by Katie Drake at The Dreamer & Collector. Ceremony Arbor built by Groom’s Dad; Neon light from Neon Romance, styled by Ferguson Valley Events at Reception | Flora: Ceremony arbor foliage by Sir Botanical; Bouquets & reception including entrance installation Katie Drake at The Dreamer & Collector | Bride’s Dress: Rue de Seine from Through the White Door | Groom’s Attire: MJ Bale | Rings: Stelios Jewellers & James Allen | Bride’s Shoes: Zomp | Groom’s Shoes: ASOS | Earrings: Kitte Jewellery | Groom’s Bowtie: The Brothers of OTAA | Bridesmaids: Dresses by Sheike; Bec & Bridge; Shona Joy; Shoes by ASOS | Groomsmen: Penguins Formal Wear | Hair: Abby Willing from Abby Hair Expert | Makeup: Sitting Pretty