Real Essense of Australia Bride Joanna + Nick

A couple always down for an adventure, real Essense of Australia bride, Joanna, and her husband, Nick, set off for Ireland when it came time to tie the knot. From their castle ceremony to their Cliffs of Moher photo shoot – and of course, Joanna’s Irish princess bridal style – we can’t decide which part we love most. Read on to hear more about their adventurous wedding day!

From the bride: From the very beginning of our relationship, Nick and I have said yes to adventure. Any time I propose a spontaneous road trip or crazy international adventure, he always responds “Hell yeah!” Why should our wedding be any different? After a failed attempt at conquering a bridal expo, we sat surrounded by pamphlets and brochures with venues, cakes, flowers, party buses, and so much more. These are all great and gorgeous things, they just weren’t us. Frustrated with all the decisions we had to make, I took a break from the brochures and scrolled through Facebook. A mountaintop picture caught my attention. A friend had just climbed a 14er. Speaking as I thought, I told Nick I didn’t even need a reception venue. We were only planning a wedding for the friends and family that want to celebrate with us. We could have a casual reception, but when it comes to the wedding, for all I care, we could get married at the top of a mountain. Immediately and in sync, Nick was ready… ‘OR in Ireland!’ he said. We had talked about honeymooning in Ireland. We knew it was the next trip we wanted to make together. What an adventure it would be to just get married there.

With a location in mind, now I needed a dress. I did not know what I wanted or even how to describe what I wanted. What I did know, I wanted THE dress. Some destination or adventure weddings skip the actual wedding dress for something more practical or simple. We were getting married on the road, but I wanted my wedding day to feel special. I wanted to feel like a bride. I made my appointment at Normans Bridal in Springfield Missouri and began my search.

I took in a picture of Mary Queen of Scots from the TV Show reign as my jumping off point. It is stylish while still being classy and modest. It is also very unique, a quality I love, but also makes it hard to find. Patty guided me along my journey. She helped me work my way through several options. When I found THE dress, she knew just what accessories I needed to complete the look. She created the Irish Princess look that was perfect for our adventure. When I came back months later to pick up my dress, she remembered me and my story. She was so excited for my dress and how perfect it would be for Ireland. She was fully invested. It was like sharing the experience with a family member or close friend. She truly cared that I had the best wedding day experience.

While sightseeing in Northern Ireland the day before our wedding, we stumbled into Dunluce Castle. It was gorgeous. Chatting with the staff about our plans to pick a scenic spot and get married on the coast, they suggested we get married right there in the castle. What a wonderful idea that was. We went back the next day and got married in these castle ruins on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Not ready for the adventure to stop, we went to the nearby Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. And of course, no trip to Ireland would be complete without a visit to the Cliffs of Moher.

We had our perfect adventure and returned home to celebrate with family and friends at a reception. We came back with a magical story to tell. Erin Gamble of Gambles photography traveled with us to capture this story. She was the perfect fit for such an adventurous wedding. She was up for the travel, taking a hike, climbing the fence, or even sitting on someone’s shoulders to get that EPIC shot. We couldn’t be more thrilled with our big day or the pictures that we will have to remember these moments!

Gambles Photography