Soph + Oli by Jason Corroto Photo

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

We are both from the northern beaches, Sydney News South Wales. We grew up around the corner of each other but only met once in our twenties.

Day to day I look after a bunch of little rug rats at a daycare centre while Oli takes care of the next generation at the local high school teaching wood tech. Oli froths for surf and any chance he gets, he hits the ocean with any of his one million boards, which he also helps design as part of his passion for a side gig. I love a bit of sunbaking on the beach while also catching up with my favourite gal pals. And I’m rarely one to pass up the chance for a cheeky cocktail or 2.

Aside from chasing waves and sunshine, we both just love the outdoors, exploring walks, waterfalls and any other form of adventure we can find up and down the east coast we live on. Something we think might be a bit unique about us could be that we’re YES people, always keen for good times with friends, family and each other. We feed off each other’s vibes and feel this rewards us in many ways, whether it’s travelling the world or just day to day. The energy and love we create enhances each of us and makes life all the more enjoyable as a result. We simply couldn’t imagine life with anyone else!

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:

Literally, nothing beats our wedding day! As cliche as it sounds, it was the best day of our lives. Before we got engaged I (Soph) was adamant we were going to get married on the property in Valla NSW, which Oli’s parents, bought in 2017. I had visualised the party and the entire set-up, all I needed was the proposal haha! Then sure enough Oli popped the question in 2019 and the planning began. Oli and I always had a vision and in the space of a few months we, along with the amazing help from both our families and friends, transformed the property into something much more than either one of us ever anticipated. We wanted to enhance and capture the true beauty of the property, so didn’t want too many decorations. We kept the styling quite minimal with lots of DIY pieces like the tables, jars and our bar set up which, I might add, Oli built from a stack of old pallets. We also created another bar using a claw foot bath filled with serve-yourself drinks. Then our florist intertwined a unique design into 2 Crepe Myrtle tree’s for our arbour and it looked so beautiful. We styled the area with a natural timber look using wooden seating and wine barrels along with rugs, candles and fairy lights to create a truly modern Australian fairytale festival and it sure paid off.

With the theme/dress code, we knew we also didn’t want just any old wording like “cocktail style” so, after much deliberation we finally agreed on a theme we felt was the perfect fit, “Dress to Impress for a garden vibe”. Just a bit of fun with a chilled kind of style to it — exactly what we were going for and everyone looked so good, with lots of fruity shirts on the boys and floral numbers for the girls. Our favourite bit of detailing from the day would have to be our epic tipi. It was situated right next to the ceremony and it complemented our garden/ festival vibe really well. It was decorated with some fairy lights and the most amazing part was the arbour hanging down from inside the apex, which was also created by our florist. It included a variety of dried tree branches, white flowers and greenery. Then finally the band we hired helped cap everything off, playing in the back section to all our guests who totally danced their hearts out in this awesome boho like, simple jute floored space. We felt like it was so good and the tipi really made for a great intimate environment where everyone could come together and celebrate.

Tell us about your main outfits:

I was so excited to wear my very own custom made dress. I always knew I wanted something different and that special and a little bit edgy, but didn’t know exactly what that was until I was in the midst of designing a dress with Christie. I woke up one morning after having a fitting and at this stage, the dress was still only made from a simple base material. I remember running the idea by my mum and she was 100% on board. I messaged Christie and said that I had something to run by her during the next fitting and hoped she would like it. When I told her I wanted to use black she was definitely shocked, but as keen as me to make it happen. We were able to experiment using photoshop to see what the dress would potentially look like as black and white. At first, we made an image of it in all black and all agreed this was too harsh before adding some white to the bottom half, leaving black up the top which I was never too keen on. Then when we did a final photoshopped image of white up the top and black down the bottom we all agreed it just looked perfect. I had to make a quick decision to get all the material we needed ordered in time and it was an easy yes from me. So I said, “Let’s do it!”. It was always a gamble but the final product just blew me away. I stuck to a simplistic and elegant style design and in the end, it made the dress timeless and yet still edgy at the same time.

Since Oli has always had a fairly unique style and quirk about him I always knew he wouldn’t want to go the full traditional matching suit. He was really keen to choose what he wore and wanted to keep it a surprise which definitely made things all the more exciting too. He said it wasn’t easy though, with most suit shops generally stocking a heap of super basic, impersonal type shirts, jackets and pants, with very little material choices or variety. In the end, Oli sourced each item separately, then blended various tones and materials that he felt comfortable in, along with a collection of 3 feathers his mum found for his lapel. All together, the look he created tied in really nicely with our whole bridal parties colour scheme. Then to cap it off he decided to wear a pair of socks I made him for valentines one year. They were white with my face printed all over, classic! In my opinion, Oli looked super handsome and even though he could have easily lost his mind, he managed to make sure it was still him I saw standing up there at the end of the aisle.

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

 It’s hard to answer that question as we truly believe every moment from the day was unique and memorable. If anything, we’d have to say getting ready with our best friends, both bridesmaids and groomsmen along with the whole anticipation of finally seeing each other once more all contributed to making this a really special time. For me personally (Soph) I truly love the memory of when I was walking down the aisle with both Mum and Dad. It was something I had always dreamt about, and I’d visualised how I would walk and how I might look, but all the adrenaline and intense emotions completely take over when this time finally arrives. So seeing Oli standing there waiting for me, his ‘bride’ was just the best!

We were able to escape for a short period during the wedding just us two, and that was seriously so good to just have a minute to take it all in. We were wrapped up in each other’s arms and we just couldn’t believe the turnout and to see all of our friends and families in the one place celebrating us was absolutely amazing, we felt so blessed and lucky. I remember saying to Oli “Babe, our day is finally here, can you believe it!”. Then there was our amazing band and the great mix of music that they played, it set the mood from the get-go and kept everything flowing seamlessly the entire day. The dancefloor went off until early hours and everyone kept commenting on just how awesome they thought it was. To find a fault in anything is almost impossible and given the chance, we would do it all over exactly the same in a heartbeat (with possibly just one more jug of margaritas).

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

Getting married is the best thing ever, we highly recommend it! Be true to yourselves and when you know, you know. If it’s a DIY wedding we would say making to-do lists are going to be your best friend and make sure you divide up your roles evenly. If you think one week is enough time to set up, planning 2 weeks won’t hurt haha. Just have a ball with each other throughout the whole planning stage, start sooner rather than later that way you have minimal fights ha! Remember you’re planning YOUR special day so make it fun, exciting and all about what makes you both happy. Your wedding day will come and go quite quickly but just remember it’s never really over thanks to the honeymoon, all the memories, photos and endless adventures you have to look forward to as Mr and Mrs!

Ceremony and Reception Location Groom’s Parents Property The Holmestead, Valla NSW Reception / Videographer Elevate Visual / Photographer Jason Corroto Photo / Celebrant Tulia Connor Ceremonies / Ceremony Entertainment acoustic by Max Marvell / Reception Entertainment Honey and Stone Music / Hire Wood Shop Weddings and Coffs Event Centre / Marquee Byron Bay Tipi Weddings / Flora Boo & Bo’s Blooms / Catering + Beverages Beach House Providore / Cake Home Made / Bride’s Dress and veil Christie Nicole Bridal / Groom’s Attire H&M, Rollas and Vintage Jacket / Bride’s Ring custom-designed Manly Jewellers / Groom’s Ring custom-designed from Crooked Howlet Designs / Bride’s Shoes Nelson Made / Groom’s Shoes Dr Martens / Makeup Juliet Durham Makeup / Hair Smith Artistry / Fragrance Fredric Malle / Bridesmaids Attire Custom Made / Groomsman AttireH&M and Rollas