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➳ TARA AND LUKE | EARTHY COASTAL OSTERIA WEDDING {CASUARINA}

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Luke & Tara met on a night out at Mermaid Tavern on the Gold Coast five years before Luke proposed to Tara by Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island. Tara had turned to her sister that night Luke came walking through the door that night and said "That's my dream guy" and now we are excited to share their beautiful earthy, coastal inspired dreamy Wedding day!

"And the rest, as they say - is history. Even though it is cliché, I would say for me it was love at first sight." tells Tara. "After five years together, Luke & I were on a holiday on Fraser Island and went to Lake Mckenzie. As I turned around to get my camera ready to take some photos, I saw Luke down on one knee, I was so shocked and at first was not sure if he was being serious as he had bought a fake ring from a local surf shop that was a gold skull with a fake pearl on it. I said to him ‘are you being serious?' or something along those lines to which he had to tell me that it was a ring he found at the surf shop and he wanted to get me a proper ring and this was just a temporary ring. 


I was soo excited and in shock, I think and I said yes! I was soo happy I was finally engaged and later he told me that he had found a ring he wanted to get made for me but he hadn’t purchased it yet as he wanted to make sure I loved it first. I did love it and it is the ring I now proudly wear (the fake ring of course is still in my jewellery box to tell my girls about one day).
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➳ What led you to decide on your Wedding venue? I went to a ladies inspiration event day at Osteria Casaurina a few years before and instantly knew I wanted to get married there, it was everything I had ever wanted. It had a beautiful intimate garden space with grass and a beautiful indoor space with fairy lights that was the perfect blank canvas. Very simple and beautiful, all in the one location.
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➳ What was the inspiration behind your Wedding theme? I love everything very natural, boho and coastal. My theme was ‘in a garden by the sea’ based on a little poem I wrote about the day which I also included on my Wedding invitations. ‘On a winters day we will meet, in a garden by the sea. Surrounded by family and friends, to become the O’Connor family. I actually bought my husband a Wedding band a few days before the Wedding (as he had said he didn’t want one and would just use an heirloom ring from his pop on the day) I had the words ‘in a garden by the sea’ engraved on the inside as something special to remember of our Wedding day.
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➳ What was your favourite detail about the day? I loved the venue and the weather was amazing! We had an Indian summer that weekend, it was warm, blue skies and sunny days. As we had a Sunday Wedding, we made a weekend of it. Most of our guests and our families stayed at Casuarina the night before in the resorts. We all met up the night before for dinner and I think making a weekend of the Wedding made it feel more special and last longer.

➳ Tell us about your dress: My dress ended up being something that I never imagined ever wearing. I was certain for years that I would wear something very boho, something with lace. I fell in love with a gown just like that and when I went back to try it on for a second time when I was ready to buy I had a bridal consultant who said she loved a good challenge and would try and trump it. If not, I would end up with my dream gown that I had already fallen in love with previously. She pulled out a heap of dresses and the first one she had for me I told her ‘oh no, that is not me at all. I do not like plain things, diamonds, and it doesn’t have lace’
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She said to just trust her, try it on as it might surprise me as sometimes they can be nothing on the hanger and different when tried on. When I came out of the dressing room my sister, best friend and mum all were like 'oh wow, that is stunning, this is the best you have ever looked at" and that this was the dress. I was shocked too at how nice it looked and after trying on a heap more dresses and the dress I originally went in to buy and did not get the moment I had previously had when I went back to the first dress. When I tried it on with the veil and flowers, everyone started crying and I knew it was the dress for me. And after seeing the royal Wedding and how Meghan Markle looked in her elegant classic and simple style, it made me even more excited for going for this completely different look!
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➳ Most favourite moment of the day: By far the best part for me was the ceremony. Walking down the aisle and the feeling I had when that time came. I was so nervous about it and I do not like all eyes on me however just before we walked out of the doors I had a wave of calm come over me. The nerves just disappeared and were replaced with joy and excitement. I felt like I glowed all day - I was just soo happy as I had dreamt about my day for such a long time. I loved the feeling of being able to celebrate it with my girls as well, which made it soo special and something they will always be able to look back on when they are older to say they had been a part of the special day.
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➳ What does marriage mean to you? It means being with the one you love, making that decision that you want to be joined in marriage for the rest of your lives together and being able to finally call them your own in a different way. Being able to get through all that life may bring, the good and the bad. I feel so happy to finally be Luke’s wife and look forward to our lives now we are married.
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➳ Any funny stories from the day? My brother who was MC did such an amazing job, accidentally announced my sister and the best man as the Bride and Groom entering the reception. At the time no one noticed as they all laughed and thought it was a joke at the time. He was very embarrassed after telling me it had been a mistake and he thought I was coming in first but no one noticed and it got a lot of laughs.
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➳ What advice would you offer to other couples planning a Wedding? I would say you do not need to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful Wedding. The day will still be the same length of time and as long as you have your close family and friends, good food and drinks it will be one of the best days of your life. Also to take it all in, on the day let it all go, the nerves, the anxiety, the attention to detail as it goes sooo quickly like everyone tells you and just take it all in. Be present in the moment and enjoy everything even when things do not go to plan and to stay close to one another when you can so you share the day with one another too.
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➳ Any stand out vendors for the day? Someone that went above and beyond? I cannot speak highly enough of my celebrant Brent. He was soo lovely the whole journey and when we met him, I felt like I had known him for years. He made the Wedding ceremony everything we had wanted which was relaxed and comfortable, and at times intimate. If anyone is looking for a celebrant in Northern NSW/ Tweed area he has to be the first person you contact!

Our musician Dom who not only gave us amazing music but stayed on for the remainder of the reception to be in charge of the playlist. He was such a huge part of our day and made it extra special.

My makeup artist Shannon who I am lucky enough to call one of my closest friends who listened to what I wanted despite my need for a minimal look that wasn’t over the top Bridal. She made my makeup and hair everything I had dreamt of and more!

And of course our photographer, Alannah Morton who was just so lovely and captured all our special moments on the day which I will cherish for a lifetime!

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Alannah Morton Photography
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Wedding songs: Our walk down the aisle and first dance were the same song, ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’ by Elvis Presley. We both loved the words in the song and it is special to both of us. I had my amazing musician Dom Francis play it live as an acoustic version for us to walk down the aisle too and we had the Chris Issac version as our first dance song. It was perfect.

Wedding Team: Ceremony & Reception venue: Osteria Weddings // Photographer: Alannah Morton // HMUA: Shannon Claire Makeup // Wedding dress: Pronovias from White Lily Couture // Celebrant: Brent Jones // Acoustic Musician: Dom Francis Music // Floral: Hillview Rose Farm Carrara