Tahlia + Phil by Yani Rae Photography

I think my fate was sealed, by the way he kissed me after walking me to my tent at daybreak on New Years’ Day at Woodford.

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

Tahlia – I’m a lawyer. I recently took over the reins at my dad’s small, community-based law practice to help him transition into retirement.  

Phil is an environmental professional with a real passion for sustainability and the environment. I guess both of our backgrounds really shone in our choice of venue, hinterland location and engaging with small, local vendors and their communities.

Phil and I became engaged in August 2022 with no real rush to the altar. In January 2023, my dad was suddenly diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, so we fast-tracked our wedding plans in the hopes he would be there…which ultimately (and heartbreakingly) wasn’t to be.  

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

Phil – We worked together at Bunnings in our very early twenties and were friendly, but it wasn’t until 10 years later that we crossed paths again at a festival and quickly fell for each other.

Tahlia is gorgeous and I always had a very soft spot for her blonde curls, glittery eye makeup and the little black footy shorts she’d waltz around the big green shed in. She was always incredibly sweet and easy-going, shy but confident. I was such a wuss back then though and I could never work up the courage to do anything about my infatuation.

When we bumped into each other again completely out of the blue, the timing was just right and there was no way I was passing up that opportunity again. Everything since that time has just felt so right and so perfect. I love everything about T and I couldn’t imagine life without her.

Tahlia – He was tall, dark and handsome! Over the couple of years that we worked together, I found he was such an incredibly special and sweet person, always so kind, patient and giving of himself.

Phil was just as handsome and loving as I remembered (maybe even more so), and he drew me into the warmest embrace. It immediately felt like our own world, just the two of us, and even now he still gives me butterflies.

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

Phil – There was a proposal… We spent a week holidaying in Tasmania in August 2022 and on a very crisp, winter morning I decided that we would scale Mt Amos in Freycinet National Park. With the most beautiful views of Coles Bay, I got down on one knee and popped the question.

I can’t be sure whether it was her surprise at the question or a fear of heights, but Tahlia was too scared to even put the ring on and made me re-propose once we were back on safer ground.  We celebrated with another 4 ½ hours of hiking in the Tasmanian wilderness, a well-deserved bottle of champagne and a soak in the outdoor bath.

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

Phil – Our venue discovered us, and we instantly fell in love with it, embracing the natural wilderness of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. This influenced the moody colours and style of our wedding: simple, understated elegance. We aimed for intimacy, focusing on the sacred nature of the celebration and embracing the experience with our guests.

Tahlia – We’re a bit reserved, so the idea of a low-pressure celebration resonated with us. It allowed us to be fully present with each other and our guests on the day. We incorporated meaningful touches that reflected us, like my parents’ photo pinned to my bouquet, symbolizing their presence. I wore earrings from Phil during the ceremony, switching to diamond earrings from my dad for the reception.

I think one of the best investments we made, though, was with our choice of photographer, Yani Rae. Discovering her work led us to our venue, and we have our memories captured beautifully and forever thanks to Yani.

VENUE Montville Estate, @montvilleestate / PHOTOGRAPHER Yani Rae Photography, @yaniraephotography / CELEBRANT Hayley Hart Celebrant, @hayleyhartcelebrant / STYLING Simply Style Co, @simplystyleco / PLANNER Nichola Spain from Montville Estate, @montvilleestate / HIRE Simply Style Co, @simplystyleco; Perry’s Hire,  @perryshire / FLORA Bloom and Bush, @bloomandbush / CATERING & BEVERAGE Tuck Shop Catering Company, @tuckshopcateringcompany / CAKE The Whimsical Baker, @the_whimsicalbaker / GROOM’S SUIT MJ Bale, @mjbale / BRIDE’S DRESS, TULLE WRAP AND TULLE GLOVES  Karen Willis Holmes, @kwhbridal / FAUX WRAP Yeojin Bae, @yeojinbae / BRIDE’S ENGAGEMENT RING & EARRINGS Michael Hill Jeweller, @michaelhillj / BRIDE’S WEDDING RING Kelty Pelechytik, @keltypelechytikjewellery / GROOM’S WEDDING RING Michael Hill Jeweller, @michaelhillj / GROOM’S SHOES Aquila, @aquila_est1958 / BRIDE’S SHOES Steve Madden, @stevemadden / BRIDE’S DIAMOND PENDANT EARRINGS  ‘Something Borrowed’, Heirloom from Bride’s Mother / HAIR & MAKEUP Hayley Patterson, @hayleypatterson_hmu 

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