"Marriage to me means showing the world that you’re completely committed to this one person being your partner in life. It represents security, trust, love, support." Laura tells.

A modern day love, Laura and Luke met on Tinder while Luke was on a work trip in Sydney and Laura was living in Cronulla at the time. After doing long distance for a year, Laura moved to Northern NSW to be with Luke and the rest is history! These two were together for 3 years before Luke popped the question on the beach before celebrating away the weekend with family & friends.
➳ Tell us about the proposal: Luke and I were visiting my family down on the south coast of New South Wales, only a few months after my Dad sadly passed away. After a lovely brunch at one of our favourite vegetarian café’s, Pilgrims, Luke wanted to go for a walk on the beach. I remember saying that I would rather go to the local pub to play a game of pool, but Luke was adamant that we had to go for a walk on the beach while it wasn’t raining.
I wasn’t keen for the beach walk, so I thought we could go for a walk on the beach right next to the Huskisson Pub so we could come back and play a game of pool. At the last minute I changed my mind and decided to take him to this beach he had not been to, and funnily enough this same beach is where I have a beautiful memory of Dad and not too long before he passed away where we had watched a sailing competition together.

I’ll never forget that afternoon. The sun came out for us, there was no wind, we had the whole beach to ourselves, the bay looked stunning, and I remember feeling so in love with Luke at that moment. I felt happy, and he looked gorgeous. We were walking on the beach and he started playing some music. He then stopped to give me one of his massive hugs and as he pulled away he told me how much he loved me, and how he realised that after all we had been through recently he never wanted to let me go. He dropped down on his knee and I had no idea that this was what was happening. I remember asking him if this was a joke. I think in that moment I was the happiest I could have ever been, especially after such a hard year. The man of my dreams wanted to spend the rest of his life with me!

The most special thing about this moment was that no one knew (except my two close girlfriends who helped with ring advice). He didn’t tell any of our family or close friends and it was such a beautiful moment being able to call them shortly after and surprise them all. We spent the whole weekend celebrating with our family on the South Coast. 

➳ What led you to decide on your Wedding venue? I saw a feature in a magazine of another couple who got married at The Billinudgel Hotel. We went there and had a beer with the owner, and we both fell in love with the space. It was the perfect vibe for the type of day we wanted for our Wedding. The hotel is very old, and has so much character. The outdoor area is also perfect for that backyard style of Wedding.

 What was the inspiration behind your Wedding theme? We didn’t have a Wedding theme as such. We just wanted to keep things simple and let the venue do the talking. We had no formal sit down dinner so we laid out lots of silver dollar eucalyptus leaves as table runners on these big wooden tables with lots of candles (we actually forgot to light the candles when it got dark though, WHOOPS!), and decorated the shed with some extra fairy lights. That was pretty much all the styling we did, apart from some snaps of us over the years displayed on old wooden frames in the shed. Luke made our Wedding arbour from recycled wood from an old train track.

➳ Your most favourite moment/s of the day: For me, I found one of the most special moments was getting ready the morning of the Wedding with all my girlfriends and my Mum. I remember looking around and feeling so happy and blessed to be surrounded by my girls and Mum during such an exciting time. And of course the moment I walked down the aisle, seeing all our family and friends smiling faces and the look on my Husbands' face when he first saw me. That’s something that I’ll never forget. Finally, my Husbands Wedding speech!! He hates public speaking so much, and was so nervous in the lead up to the Wedding. But once he took the stage he simply smashed it out of the park. His speech was definitely the best of the night, it had everybody crying, laughing and cheering, especially me.

 What was your favourite detail/s about the day? Probably our grazing platter, which was done by our friends from The Tropical Touch. It looked like a work of art, and I simply adore a good grazing platter. Everyone raved about it. I just wish I had of taken more time on the day to enjoy it more! I think I only had a few mouthfuls of some crackers and cheese. 

 How long did it take for you to find and how was your dress/suit shopping experience overall? I only had two dress fittings, both at Grace Loves Lace. First was with my Sister-in-law to be and a girlfriend, and the second was with my Mum and another girlfriend. Both experiences were so much fun and very easy. The two piece set I chose felt so comfortable to wear, and I knew it was “The One’ when I got tears from my friends and Mum.

 What does marriage mean to you? Marriage and commitment to me means a partnership. A lifelong commitment to support and be there for one another, no matter what challenges life throws your way. 

It means building a family; a life and a home with my best friend, waking up to him every morning and going to bed with him every night. Having my best friend by my side for the rest of my life. Having someone there to share life’s trivial day to day happenings, good and bad, always having someone to talk to, to laugh with, and to cry with. It’s knowing that Luke loves me unconditionally, and that life is so much better with him than it ever was without him. We are a great team.

Marriage to me means showing the world that you’re completely committed to this one person being your partner in life. It represents security, trust, love, support. 

 Any classic stories you want to share from the day? Probably getting photo bombed by our neighbour’s dog during our couple Wedding pictures. Squid the dog is this gorgeous Wolfie X who got a special invite to our Wedding because we love her so much. She has a cheeky personality and tends to run away from her parents from time to time. I remember we were just about to wrap up shooting with our Photographer Chantel and Videographer Joey, and in the distance we saw Squid running full speed at us from down the road, covered in mud. Our neighbour, Tom was trailing behind in an attempt to catch her. Squid adores me, and she ran straight for me, mud and all. We were laughing so much, and grabbed her by the collar. Joey our Videographer was quick to snap this picture of it all going down, and it’s one of my favourite pictures of the day.
 What advice would you offer to other couples planning a Wedding? It sounds so cliché, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Our Wedding was done our own way, and nobody cared! We had no Bridal party, we didn’t do Wedding favours, we had really simple decorations, we didn’t have a guest book or a photo booth or lawn games. We found that these details didn’t mean a lot to us so we just decided to go without! We also forgot to do the garter and bouquet toss, and also forgot to cut our Wedding cake! We were just having too much fun. So many of our guests commented on the type of Wedding we had and said that it was one of the best Weddings they had been to. That’s another piece of advice I’d offer, you don’t need to have all those Wedding traditions if you don’t want to, your Wedding can be done your own unique way and trust me, none of your guests will mind. 

 Any stand out vendors for the day? I definitely have to mention the all the staff at The Billinudgel Hotel. They absolutely went above and beyond for us throughout the whole planning and on the actual day of our Wedding. Nothing was an issue for them, and they were always available to talk to if we needed. Special mention and thanks to the Manager Craig, owner Ken and the chef Ripp.

Wedding songs:
Aisle: Cat Power “Sea of Love” 
Recessional: Stevie Wonder “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” 
First Dance: The Robins “Since I First Met You” 

Wedding Team: Photographer Chantel at Wanderer and the Wild @wandererandthewild // Wedding Dress & earrings Grace Loves Lace @grace_loves_lace // Brides Bangles Brock Bangles @brockbangles // Brides Shoes Billini Shoes @billinishoes // Grooms Suit H&M // Grooms Dress Shirt Mr Simple Clothing @mrsimplegoods // Grooms Shoes Rossi Boots @rossi_boots // Brides Robe Homebodii @homebodii // Hair and Makeup Clare Moriarty at The Future Mrs @thefuture_mrs // Florals Mikarla at Wilderness Flowers @wildernessflowers_ // Celebrant Kate Veling at Inner Circle Ceremonies @innercircleceremonies // Videographer: Joey Bailey @joeybailey // Grazing Platter The Tropical Touch @the.tropical.touch // Entertainment The Buggy Brothers // Catering and Bar The Billinudgel Hotel @billinudgelhotel_