real essense of australia bride Brittany + Brock

Real Essense of Australia Bride Brittany + Brok

By incorporating fall colors mixed with steely blue and navy tones, real Essense of Australia bride Brittany pulled off a warm and welcoming wedding. We’re just slightly obsessed with her long-sleeved dress with open back, too.  Brittany and Brok’s wedding day was absolutely perfect. From the weather to the food – there wasn’t one thing that either would choose to change!

real essense of australia bride brittnay

The Proposal

We went on a fall color tour along M22 in 2016 and made plans to go again in October 2017. I was really excited for the trip and couldn’t wait to see the pretty fall trees along Lake Michigan. Since we had gone the year before we knew what stops we liked and wanted to make again. One of them being Empire Bluff Trail. This is a BEAUTIFUL outlook over the lake with a boardwalk going along the top of the dune. Once we got to the outlook he offered to try and set the camera up on a timer to take a picture of us so we could get the Sleeping Bear (sand) Dunes in the background better than we could just by taking a selfie.


Little did I know though that instead of putting the camera on a picture timer he was actually starting a video! He posed with me like we were taking a picture and then before I knew what was going on, he was down on one knee, telling me how much he loves me and asking me to marry him! I (obviously) said yes! Well actually…I said “yeah”. (I was in shock, okay?). I don’t think I stopped smiling for the rest of the trip. And I have an amazing video of one of the best moments of my life to keep forever!

Essense of Australia style D2511

Finding the Perfect Dress

Before I was engaged I wouldn’t have imagined wearing sleeves on my wedding day. Just hearing the idea all I could envision is the poofy, satin dresses from the 80’s. However, once I started looking at dresses online I fell in LOVE with the modern day sleeve dresses. There weren’t many so I also loved the fact that they were more unique and I hadn’t seen very many brides wearing them. Because I wanted sleeves, my options were a lot more limited once I started visiting shops. I was even to the point of buying a non-sleeved dress and having a seamstress physically add them! But then…I found MY dress. I knew the second that I tried it on that it was THE ONE.

Brittnay Brock

The Wedding Details

Our wedding was more simple and rustic. Our ceremony and reception were at a barn that my husband actually did the electrical work on! Our theme was “fall” with burlap, ivory pumpkins and gold maple leaf decorations. The bridesmaids wore burgundy dresses and the groomsmen were in navy tuxes. We also incorporated fall into our desserts with pies, donuts and a caramel apple bar in addition to our traditional cake. Our wedding fit our personal love story perfectly, we started dating in the fall, were engaged in the fall, so getting married in the fall only seemed fit.

Brittnay Brock

Brittnay Brock

If I had to choose one moment that was my favorite from the whole day, it would be when we were announced as Mr. & Mrs. VanZandt for the very first time and I was officially married to my best friend!

Chelsea Lusk Photography