When I close my eyes and think of the perfect seaside wedding, I see a soft palette, classic yet nautical-driven details and shoreline views of days. It's exactly the idea behind this Ocean-Inspired Wedding, chock-full of timeless design moments and pin-worthy florals paired to perfection with a gorgeous gown by Karen Willis Holmes. The always fabulous team at Lucas & Co Photography told the story just all sitting right here in the FULL GALLERY.
THE LOVE STORYHow did you meet?
Ben and I grew up in Brisbane, shared similar social circles, frequented the same bars every weekend, but strangely never crossed paths. It wasn’t until our mid-20’s that we were set-up by a mutual friend, my then-housemate and Ben’s gym buddy, Trent Akhurst. After being introduced one night at the Port Office Hotel, we went on a few dates and as they say, the rest is history.
What is your proposal story?
Ben and I were living in Hong Kong and were flying back home for Christmas. We arrived Christmas morning and spent the day at my parent’s home in Coolangatta. After lunch, a few members of Ben’s family popped over and we all decided to head down to the beach. We were walking along the beach in front of my parent’s home and, without knowing, just the two of us drifted away from the rest of the group. All of a sudden, Ben presented the engagement ring he was keeping in his pocket and proposed. After saying yes, I turned around to see our families smiling - they were all in on it. It’s funny, I always imagined that I would be proposed to overseas because I love to travel. But after living overseas, it was so much more meaningful to become engaged at home, in my favourite place in the world, surrounded by my favourite people.
THE WEDDING FASHION
Tell us about your attire choices.
I wore the sequin 'Nerada' gown from the KWH by Karen Willis Holmes collection. I had always loved Karen Willis Holmes dresses, but Ben and I were living in Hong Kong at the time, so at first, I tried finding a dress there. After months of looking and not finding anything I liked, on a trip home to Brisbane I made an appointment at the Karen Willis Holmes Brisbane and found THE dress immediately.
Although from a distance, the dress is quite simple, the delicate beading along the neckline made it so special and unique. I felt so beautiful in it, and when I stood in the sun, the sequins sparkled in the light.
I also wore a beautiful single tier tulle veil, also from Karen Willis Holmes.
WEDDING PLANNING JOURNEY AND ADVICE
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
At the very beginning of planning, Ben and I listed what the most important and least important things were for to us and this helped to ensure that we spent where it mattered most and compromised on the things that didn’t. Photography and videography was our splurge and I'm glad we did! I still watch our wedding video every few days 🙂
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Ben and I flew into the Gold Coast a few days before the wedding and still had a number things to finalize. But, we were so excited to be home and to be surrounded by friends and family that we completely forgot about all of those last minute things. Whoops! So, my advice is to not leave anything to the last minute so that you can truly enjoy the days leading up to the wedding. The wedding day goes so fast that it's important to enjoy all of the little moments in the days before and after.
AN OCEAN-INSPIRED WEDDING
Tell us a little a bit about your wedding (your vision, color, style, and location choices).
Our wedding was at Kirra Hill Community Centre on the Gold Coast. We knew that we wanted an outdoor wedding by the ocean, a venue that was a blank slate, and one where we could have the ceremony and reception in one place. Kirra Hill Community Centre ticked all of the boxes. It was a bonus that the area has so much sentimental value to us. It is right across from where Ben proposed - you can actually see the exact spot from the venue. Plus, my parents live just down the road in Coolangatta and Ben and I have spent a lot of time there together over the years.
The theme for our wedding was ocean-inspired. Kirra Hill Community Centre, our venue, is situated on a hill right by the ocean, so we wanted to keep styling to a minimal to not detract from the beautiful view. Plus, there are stunning blue and pink sunsets at that time of year! To add to the ocean-inspired theme, we had a colour palette of white and silver, with shades of blue. This came through in the bridal parties attire, with the bridesmaids wearing different shades of blue with silver jewellery, and the groomsmen wearing navy suit jackets. In the finer details, both Ben and I wore pearls; earrings for me and cufflinks for him. We opted for a cocktail style wedding where roaming canapés were served throughout the night. The menu featured lots of sea food, such as Rockerfeller Mornay Oysters, Seared Scallops, Barramundi Spring Rolls, and Katafi Prawns, and was accompanied by local beer Stone & Wood and a selection of wines from the Margaret River. To suit the coastal theme, we hired a vintage Kombi as our wedding transportation. It was so much fun riding together with the bridal party to our bridal photoshoot location, with picnic in tow. It was also a personal touch since my family has owned vintage Kombis and Ben and I would often drive them to holiday in nearby Byron Bay.
THE WEDDING DETAILS
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
My flowers were by Coco & Confetti. We chose a simple colour palette of white and green, with hints of antique pink, and featured garden, cottage and avalanche roses, with lisianthus and sweet pea. We also featured seaholly in the groomsmen’s boutonnieres and Mother of the Bride and Groom corsages. A hanging greenery chandelier was installed from the center of the tipi.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
My wedding cake was a 3 tier semi-naked cake created by I Heart Cakes and featured a Dark Chocolate with Salted Caramel Buttercream base layer, Coconut with Passionfruit Buttercream middle later and Vanilla with Salted Caramel Buttercream top layer. It was decorated with fresh flowers by Coco & Confetti. We saved the top tier for our first wedding anniversary.
What were your favorite parts of the day? (memories and stories)
The whole day was so much fun but the most special moment was seeing my husband standing at the end of the aisle. I'll never forget that moment. And I have the ugly-crying photos of me walking down the aisle to ensure I never do.
Any unique or interesting elements you want to point out?
Wishing Well - As we live overseas, it would have been a logistical nightmare transporting wedding gifts back to Singapore, so we opted for a Wishing Well instead. With the money that was gifted to us, we bought a beautiful, little puppy and named her Kirra, after the location of our wedding. It is lovely for our guests to know that their gift will bring so much love and joy to our growing family over many years to come.
VENDORS Photography: Lucas & Co Photography | Ceremony Venue: Kirra Hill Community Centre | Reception Venue: Kirra Hill Community Centre | Day-of Coordination: The Events Lounge | Floral: Coco & Confetti | Stationery: DIY by bride | Videography: Lucas & Co Photography | Wedding Cake: I heart cakes | Rentals: vintage wagens | Hair: Avia beauty | Makeup: Ginelle Dale Creative | Wedding Dress: Karen Willis Holmes | Groom's Attire: Alla Moda Fabric Collection | Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden | Veil: Karen Willis Holmes