It’s Thursday, friends, and you know what that means… we’re dipping into the vault to bring you another gorgeous throwback! The delightful Claire and Jono – both physiotherapists, btw – met while they were studying at university. “We started our relationship in our second year of uni, in 2013,” shares the bride.Our first kiss was at a Where’s Wally-themed uni pub crawl!”

The pair got engaged a couple of years later and said their ‘I do’s in February 2020, celebrating with 80 guests on Jono’s parents’ gorgeous rooftop in Wollongong and dancing the night away to the sounds of our musical mates The White Tree. The uber-talented Stories by Ash captured every moment of the big day and you’ll excuse us if we get a little teary looking at those oh-so-sweet piccies of the bride’s proud dad!

THE PROPOSAL “We’d just returned from a four-month holiday in Europe. It’s safe to say our families thought it would happen whilst we were away! We had planned a houseboat trip on the Hawkesbury River not long after getting back home and one afternoon, we rowed ashore on the tender to have a picnic on a secluded beach. Jono got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I had to take the ring off almost straight away because the tide had gone out so far, our tender boat was stranded on the beach and we spent the next half an hour pushing it back into the water!”

THE DRESS “This experience was a love-hate relationship, as I’m indecisive at the best of times! I found the decision incredibly stressful but I also felt so glamorous trying on so many beautiful dresses. My final choice was the Zara Crop and RaRa Skirt by Match Made Bridal, which I got from The Babushka Ballerina. I chose it because it made me smile – it was so fun to wear!  I couldn’t stop twirling from the moment I first tried it on.”

THE VIBE “We never chose a theme for the wedding but wanted a personal and relaxed day that felt like a garden party on a long summer’s night.”

FAVOURITE DETAILS “We had a pretty clear vision of how the rooftop should look for the ceremony. Seeing how Carla from Wildflower absolutely transformed the rooftop for the first time whilst walking down the aisle was a very special moment. Our guests also loved dessert at the end of the night – delicious cake by Willow + George Cake Co and an ice-cream cart by The Gelato Man.”

RESOURCES “We found our photographer, Stories by Ash, after seeing her work in Hello May! We felt her style was very unique and we loved how her photos captured people looking natural and candid with beautiful colour and light. I spent a lot of time on Instagram, but we also wanted to use local vendors where possible. We found our catering, florist and cake through friends of the family.”

A WORD OF ADVICE… “We thought getting married at home would be less planning and more relaxed than getting married at a venue. We now think the opposite is true. Thankfully we had a lot of help from friends and family to make it all come together on the day.”

WE’RE GLAD WE… “chose to have live music for the reception. The White Tree were awesome, they had everyone up and dancing. We are also so happy that one of our best friends, Ash, was able to perform our ceremony, with guidance from Matt of Married by Matty. Ash was really able to bring personal touches to our ceremony and made us feel at ease. It was my favourite part of the day.”

STANDOUT VENDORS “Our photographer Stories by Ash was a calming presence throughout the day and was also a big help with structuring our ceremony.  We are so happy with how our photos turned out. She completely captured the mood and feel of the day. The catering team from Burnsbury Hospitality were also fantastic. Jen came to the house several times prior to the day and was a massive help with planning how to best use the space. Everything ran so smoothly, and the food and drink service on the night flowed perfectly. Married by Matty was awesome, too! He was a great help during our rehearsal in planning how everything should run, and his easygoing personality put us completely at ease. His ‘Marry Your Mates’ package meant we could have our friend conduct the ceremony with Matt providing the legal portion only. He was also a great support to Ash, helping her feel prepared for the ceremony.”

This delicious day was originally published in Issue 32 of Hello May mag. The banger issue is sadly all sold out, but there are plenty of eye-wateringly beautiful big days to swoon over in our current issue, which you can pick up here. And if you’d like to sample a little something extra from the incredible Stories by Ash, click right here – or tune into The White Tree‘s musical prowess here. Enjoy!

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Stories by Ash Florist Wildflower Florist Stationery Jessica Woodhouse Illustration & Design Printer Vistaprint Ceremony & Reception Family home Catering Burnsbury Hospitality Food Trucks Gelato Man Cake Willow + George Cake Co Cake Topper Wildflower Florist Other Desserts La Renaissance Marquee South Coast Party Hire Sound Hire & Entertainment The White Tree Celebrant Married by Matty Rings Bride Carla Maxine Groom Tony Poulos THE BRIDE Bridal gown Match Made Bridal Bridal Boutique The Babushka Ballerina Hairpiece Jennifer Behr Robes Piyama Shoes Jeffrey Campbell Hair Bride to be Makeup Co Makeup Bride to be Makeup Co, Nicole McCann Makeup Artist Bridesmaid Dresses Farn, Unstitched, Realisation THE GROOM Jacket Jimmy Stuart  Pants Daniel Hechter Shirt Brooksfield Store Alexandar Michaels Shoes Martino Carolus Groomsmen suits Daniel Hechter via Alexandar Michaels