Em and Tony were just babies when they met at just 18 and 21 (respectively) – and after almost a decade of love between them (not to mention two cute kiddos, Violet and Eddie) they decided to make it all offish and put some rings on! “I have been asked since the wedding, ‘What does it feel like now you’re married?, but I don’t have a surprising answer because it really hasn’t changed anything for us.!” shares the bride. “Marriage and sharing a life together, to me, is to always love unconditionally. There are perfect days, like your wedding, and there are days that you need each other more than you can imagine, and it isn’t perfectly curated. They’re the raw days –with none of the beautiful layers – that really create the glue that keeps it all together when things seem to fall apart.”

Marriage was always on the cards for these two, says Em. “The conversation had been very open for some time and a beautiful Louise Jean ring was in the safety of a draw.” And when this bride calls their wedding the “perfect day”, she’s not wrong! Em opted for the beauty of simplicity in a chic Esse dress, while Tony sourced his dapper suit from our friends at M.J. Bale, and the stunning pics by Taylor Kezia Photography cement this day as one of our faves!

THE THEMEThe theme for the day was to capture the love and joy like a family together on Christmas, surrounded by absolutely every little thing that felt like home. From the table settings to familiar nature, everything had to feel like you just came to Em and Tony’s dream backyard lunch – even the drive there!”

THE VENUEWe initially thought that we would keep it to a small ceremony at the registry office, followed by a nice long lunch in Brisbane. Some things turn out best when they don’t go to plan, and the way I discovered Dorset Bottega was more serendipitous. I used to drive past the beautiful home several times a week and was forever curious as to who and what lay behind the star jasmine fence. I actually copied the perfectly landscaped fence about four years ago, so the love affair was over time! I heard that there was an open day and I popped in and my jaw literally dropped. After all this time, and off a road travelled so often, was this ethereal place filled with so much familiarity it instantly felt like home. And home it was, not for me but for the most generous, welcoming family you could imagine. What we also loved about Dorset Bottega was its location and how easy it would be for all our friends and family to get to. We wanted to make it as accessible as possible and stress-free for our new-parent friends.”

FAVE DETAILSI loved our invites by Papier from the moment I saw them. It was like our favourites things just happened to collide. Blue/white, seafood, flowers, a champagne glass and nautical touches… We literally couldn’t have found something more suitable to anchor (no pun intended… okay it was!) the details around.”

THE DRESSI ended up going for a completely timeless white column Esse dress. It was so simple and my gorgeous shoes got to peak through. It even had sneaky pockets! I get that the dress is such a big, beautiful deal, but for me personally, I felt like I wanted there to be more to say about our day than the dress. In fact, I wanted the conversation about what I wore to be ‘she wore white’ and move on! A friend sent me a link to the dress and upon reading Esse‘s  Instagram posts and finding a quote that spoke to the power of simplicity, I literally bought it and that was it! I didn’t ever actually try on a dress and I’m so glad I went with the dress I did. It gave me time and space to focus on everything else that everyone got to enjoy.”

MEMORABLE MOMENTSMy mum’s speech hit all the feels. After losing my hero, my dad, at seven years old and my ridiculously good stepdad last year, their absence felt so heavy when it came time for the traditional components of the day. I had my daughter Violet’s head to cry on as Mum poured her heart into doing them both justice, and little Violet was right there capturing all my tears, listening to every word. The pictures tell a thousand words and it’s unbelievable how in one moment your heart can be so full and unbreakable while you simultaneously feel completely lost, missing important pieces of the puzzle.”

 STANDOUT VENDORSAll of them! Literally couldn’t have picked a better bunch to become part of the family for the day. When you imagine your wedding day, you picture absolutely everyone you love by your side, creating the memories in a vision that is brought to life. What you probably forget is that some of your vendors spend just as much time (if not more! Why is it so hard to see everyone?!) with you. For us, one of those incredible people was Taylor Kezia, our photographer, who just so happened to be everywhere at once, noticing every perfect little moment and capturing it for us to cherish forever too. An absolute professional, true, but more than that, Taylor could have been every bit a part of our guest list as the next person there. She was kind, thoughtful, excited and always took the closest care with all our friends and family, from the little kids to the big ones. And if we didn’t already feel so special to have her a part of our big day, she went every extra inch to make the magic last a lifetime with her ongoing excitement and mind-blowing skills behind the scenes.”

With that sort of reco, you know you want to get Taylor Kezia on board to snap your big day – check out her directory listing here. Plus for gorg jewels and dapper dudes’ fits, visit Louise Jean and M.J. Bale‘s listings, too.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Taylor Kezia Photography Florist Hacienda Flowers Stationery & Signage Papier Ceremony & Reception Dorset Bottega Catering Wine & Dine’m Cake Petal & Peach Hire Items Innovative Hiring (tables & chairs), Hampton Event Hire (bar, cutlery & plates) Entertainment Imogen Laang Celebrant Love Lei Weddings Rings Louise Jean THE BRIDE Gown Esse Veil BHLDN Shoes Malone Souliers Hair Ali Wilkinson Makeup Renée Jean Flower girl Chloé and Amélie THE GROOM Suit & Shirt M.J. Bale