Sophie + Connor by Pearce Brennan

Connor is part Greek but has never visited Greece. So, when it came to choosing a location – well who could go past a Greek Island, right?

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
SG – Connor and I are both working professional accountants – and trust me when I say – we are not your typical accountants! We much rather be outside and working with people than stuck in complicated accounting systems. We are adventurous and enjoy getting out and about, from nature walks to beach days and trying every coffee shop and restaurant in between.

CV – We enjoy our simple life, walking our dog (Cali) each morning and visiting the local café and coffee shops – this is funnily the place where we have met most of our newest friends in Brisbane. We are grateful for having the cutest dog, as she ensures we meet lots of people!

SG – We also love being at home, day to day routines, and creating home cooked meals together. With a recent focus on recreating ‘healthy’ versions of Connor’s favourite fast-food meals (Bondi burgers and pizza). Outside of home is usually an activity with friends, from golf to hiking, running, or beach time. Each Sunday night is dedicated to family time, where we connect with our family over a home cooked meal.

CV – Our core values are aligned, and we know what’s most important to us – living a happy healthy life, surrounded by the people we love, and building a life together that is full of love, laughter, and adventure.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
CV – I first laid eyes upon Sophie the night of my Graduation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants. I was immediately taken aback by her good looks and piercing blue eyes. At the time I was recently single and several of my mates had noticed Sophie checking me out over the course of the evening, they had mentioned that I should “date a girl like Sophie”. I quite liked the sound of this, however when Sophie walked across the stage later that evening to collect her Diploma, she then proceeded to request the photographer take several additional photos on stage in various poses. I immediately let my mates know that she would be “extremely high maintenance” and that I didn’t think I could handle that.

Having known Sophie now for several years now, I can confirm that my initial thoughts were 100% correct, obviously I’m extremely grateful and feel very blessed that it turns out.

SG – I first connected with Connor through a Facebook friend request (lucky for him, we had mutual friends), we chatted for a bit, and once we have some shared free time, we set up a date. At this point, I took the lead and booked us in at a local Thai restaurant. This was the first time we met in person, and I instantly regretted wearing my platform heels to that date (Connor didn’t share the same sentiment). It was a fun, casual night, we just felt at ease together. It wasn’t until later that Connor opened up about being at the Chartered Accountant graduation night, and seeing me on stage, where the photographer missed my photo and asked, I come back for multiple retakes… which I did, we seem to remember this very differently. Connor also strongly believes I saw him there (this speaks to his confidence), sorry Con, but I don’t believe I did, bless him though, and I’ve always loved his confidence.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
SG – That would be our second date, Connor organised a romantic picnic date at a historic Canberra location – Lanyon Homestead, we stayed there all day just talking, getting to know each other, eating the sandwiches Connor had made himself, enjoying a cheese spread and laughing at Connor’s failed attempt at creating chocolate dipped strawberries! I instantly felt Connor being truly honest, and at ease with me (with a touch of nerves), I was the same. Honestly, it’s a feeling that I cannot explain. They say when you know, you know, that’s when I knew, we were truly at ease together, it didn’t matter what we were doing or where we were.

CV – I felt the same on this day, I fondly remember the moment Sophie first took my hand – she was beaming with joy and excitement, taking my hand, and leading the way to explore this homestead. I instantly knew being with Sophie was different and very special.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
SG – A throwback to our earlier dates, Connor asked me to Marry him over a picnic at Kangaroo Point on the 19th of January 2022. It was at sunrise and simply spectacular. He had the most romantic picnic by the Brisbane River set up, candles, rose petals, and some chocolate-coated strawberries (tying back to our second date/ first picnic together). We were only in Brisbane for two weeks, as we settled on our new home. I thought he had just planned a bit of a tourist walk and breakfast to celebrate, well it turned out to be much more!

Whenever people ask about our proposal, I always share what happened in the lead-up to the proposal…

I had no idea in the lead-up, it was all about our new home and moving to Brisbane for me. So, when Connor randomly “went into the office” in the lead-up to our trip, I got quite angry, as Covid was still a risk and I didn’t want us unable to cross the border (from ACT to QLD), we had a fight about work vs family, what comes first and Connor’s ‘priorities’. Little did I know he went out to my family’s farm to ask for permission from both my parents. This meant so much to me. And well, I guess he got it right, family first. Reflecting back on this always makes me laugh – he couldn’t say anything at the time other than defending that sometimes work is important and this was an “important work commitment”!

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
SG – I really wanted to focus on two things: us and a romantic and fun experience – without the stress.

I put us at the centre of all our decisions, and ultimately couldn’t go past the elopement idea in keeping things simple. Connor is part Greek but has never visited Greece. So, when it came to choosing a location – well who could go past a Greek Island, right? Not only is it symbolic and ties back to Connor’s heritage, but what an excuse to get over to Greece and have the most romantic and scenic experience whilst getting MARRIED! Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing!

My vision was kind of all over the place at the start – like who is even prepared to plan a wedding? And you only do it once (if you are lucky, of course!), so it’s not like you are an expert and if you do become one (and trust me, most brides do, if they are like me), what can you do with it..? I didn’t feel at peace with my vision until I was wedding dress shopping, and one designer gave me the best advice…. Choose a dress that is simply your style and taste, because your style will never change! That way when you look back on your wedding photos, you will always love your dress. You know what, I bought my dress right after that. I knew there was one that was truly my style (Classic, Timeless, Elegant), and I tried on almost all of them – trust me!

Now that I knew I was going to stick to my authentic style and taste (not be pressured by current trends), I was much more confident in my choices and decisions. My dress style really led the way. I knew Connor needed a suit that complimented what I was wearing, but Connor definitely wanted a more relaxed vibe. So, I landed on a custom made, deep navy suit (complimenting him), with a white, open collar shirt (where sophisticated elegance meets relaxed… if you ask me!). Making sure Connor felt comfortable and his best self was important to me, it was so much fun having his suit custom made with him, and wow he looked handsome! I guess this is an advantage of eloping, I got to be part of that process too!

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
SG – Photographer – every time! We couldn’t be happier with our photos and having Pearce with us, on the day was so much fun (first Aussie accent we had heard in weeks – instant calm when he arrived)! When eloping, it’s just you two and your vendors – so their vibe and presence is everything! My local Wedding Planner and Make Up Artist (from Athens) were also non-negotiable splurges! We had everything on a smaller scale, and it came to just having the right people, that ensured that we have the most beautiful, stress-free day, of our lives.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
SG – Not a single stress on our day! We just had beautiful Greek people around us, organising our day, and we were none the wiser to any drama or stress… not knowing the language likely helped! It was truly amazing – we were in a bubble the entire time!

SG – Our wedding day was so much more than a single day – it was a new European adventure coupled with a wedding – we scouted ceremony and first look locations with our wedding planner whilst exploring the island and learning about the island’s history, just days prior to our wedding date. It’s a different lens exploring an island with that added excitement!

CEREMONY LOCATION (First Look) Verina Astra – Sifnos, Greece, @verinasifnos; (Ceremony) Kastro village overlooking the Church of the Seven Martyrs, Sifnos, Greece / RECEPTION LOCATION Bostani Bar and Restaurant, Sifnos, @bostanibarandrestaurant / PHOTOGRAPHER Pearce Brennan, @pearcebrennanweddings / PLANNER Ronia Anastasiadou of Sifnos Events, @sifnosevents.sifnosactivities / STATIONERY Vow and other cards by The Whole Bride, @thewholebride / GETTING READY ROBE Le Rose, @lerose_online / WEDDING GOWN Rafferty gown by KYHA from Sphere Bridal Maroochydore, @spherebridalgallery / GROOM’S ATTIRE Custom made suit from Wil Valor, @wilvalor / RINGS Unique Diamonds Canberra, @uniquediamondsaus / BRIDE’S SHOES Lana Wilkinson, @bylanawilkinson / GROOM’S SHOES Aquila Loafers, @aquila_est1958 / MAKEUP & HAIR Katerina Theocharis, @theocharismakeup / BRIDE’S FRAGRANCE YSL Libre, @ysl / GROOM’S FRAGRANCE Tom Ford, @tomford