From a fresh start half way across the world to a highly anticipated proposal, real bride Katie wanted a wedding that truly reflected her and her now husband Scott. With a week long celebration full of family and friends, their wedding was simple, fun, relaxing, and romantic. Her day was nothing short of breathtaking, as she walked down the aisle in her stunning Essense of Australia wedding dress to begin her happily-ever-after.
From the bride: I followed my then boyfriend, Scott, to the other side of the world in September 2013. He had landed an amazing job opportunity in Seattle, Washington and we both decided to embrace the adventure. I had never been to Seattle before and I remember arriving at Seattle airport for the first time in my life. Scott came running towards me, gave me a big fat hug, and said “Welcome Home”. This strange place – and endless days of of consecutive rain – was now my new home! After having to spend over a month back in Australia away from Scott to finalize my Visa we were so excited to see each other again, Scott arranged for us to take a vacation in Hawaii to celebrate. I had finally got my Visa and I was now going on a romantic holiday with Scott in one of the most beautiful places in the world… Clearly he was going to propose! Well, turns out that the only thing Scott popped that trip was a lot of champagne. No complaints though, I do love champagne! A month or so later, in the lead-up to Christmas, I found Scott becoming unusually excited about the Christmas festivities which he typically ignores completely. He wanted to cut down Christmas trees, buy decorations, organize the turkey. He was even setting a schedule for when to Skype my family on Christmas day (scheduling and skyping are two things that Scott typically tries to avoid!) Soooo I begun to become a little bit suspicious. After I finished unwrapping my huge pile of gifts, convincing myself that it wasn’t the day, I got up to make us a yummy Christmas breakfast. Before I could make it back to the kitchen, Scott pulled me back down and said “hang on. I have one more gift”. I don’t remember much more after that except my heart beating faster than it had ever beat before. I was so flushed and apparently Scott gave a whole speech, but I don’t remember a word. I just remember jumping onto him with joyful tears. I just clung him and hugged and hugged and hugged… until he finally said: “ahh, do you want to see the ring?”. I looked down and saw the most beautiful ring I had ever seen in my life. We had never spoken about the ring but I seriously couldn’t have picked it better myself! The next day we went to a cute bavarian town just one hour from Seattle. Surrounded by Christmas lights and snow topped mountains, we celebrated the beginning of forever.
When it came to choosing our wedding venue, initially, there was a little bit of back and forth. We live in Seattle so we were thinking about places like Hawaii or Mexico, however ultimately we thought it was important and significant to get married in Australia where we are both from. We still wanted that holiday feel so the Whitsundays was perfect because it is so close to Melbourne and Sydney where most of our family and friends live, however it feels like you are far away in a beautiful tropical paradise!! It so breath-takingingly beautiful! We also loved the idea of bringing all of our closest friends and family together in a beautiful part of the world where they could switch-off from work and stress and just relax and celebrate such an exciting occasion. It also allowed everyone to really get to know each-other and build new friendships, because there were events throughout the entire week, rather than just the one day.
We both wanted the wedding to be really simple, fun, relaxing and romantic. In the lead-up to the wedding, we spoke a lot about what was most important to us and focused on those things: our family, our friends, our vows and the commitment we were about to make to each other. We didn’t want to get too caught up in the food and dress and decorations, because ultimately, it was just about bringing together everyone that we love and celebrating our love and life together. The evening full of love and fun and we could tell that everyone felt so relaxed and comfortable which is what we were going for. Also, with the incredibly beautiful venue and scenery, you really don’t need much more! We tried to keep the decor minimal and simple, because we did not want to take away from the breath-taking natural beauty of the venue.
There wasn’t too much DIY in our wedding because our venue was so amazing! They were so organised and on-top of everything.. it made it such a breeze. I guess the one thing we did do ourselves was our vows. That felt really really special because for us, that was what the day was about: Saying our vows and making the most important commitment of our lives. We both wrote our own vows separately and didn’t speak about them before the wedding, and then on the day, it was really special because we had written really similar things. I think people might have thought we wrote them together. We now have our vows on large canvases above our bed, and it always such a great start and finish to the day to be reminded of our love and our commitment. Every time I look at our vows, my heart is filled with warmth.
One small tip I have for other brides and grooms is to try and take just a brief moment together to digest and appreciate the moment. For us, this was not planned, but it was one of my favourite moments of the night. It was after the ceremony and the full moon was beaming. Our photographer pulled us away to get some photos, and at first, Scott and I were a bit bummed because we wanted to be with all of our family and friends, but then once we were out there, we got a very rare and special moment where it was just him and I. We got to really soak it all in and together appreciate everything that had just happened. We were husband and wife! It’s difficult during a wedding to get time with just your husband, but I strongly suggest trying to sneak away for even a minute or two and just taking that moment – just the two of you!