Joanna and Rowan deserve a special mention, folks. Like many couples, the pair were set to marry in front of a whole lot of loved ones  (50, to be precise) but had to pull the pin on those plans with COVID preventing about half the guests coming from interstate. Persevering regardless, they booked a smaller venue and pushed ahead with the plans. But on the day of the wedding, “the Premier announced that southeast Queensland would be going into lockdown from 4pm”, shares bride Joanna. “Although our ceremony was scheduled for 1pm, the venue called us (very apologetically) at midday to say that they were no longer able to host our wedding as they would be closing down at midday, in anticipation of the lockdown.”

Eek! But don’t worry, folks – this story has a very happy ending. Dressed to the nines (Joanna’s customised ASOS dress beautifully complemented by Rowan’s Peggy and Finn tie), the pair pushed on to make the day a bloomin’ beauty. And we have the stunning snaps from Solis Photos to prove it!

THE VENUE “Rowan and I were heading out the door when we got the news that the venue had to cancel, so we had to come up with a new plan on the fly. Luckily Rowan’s mum is an avid gardener and maintains a beautiful home garden, so they agreed to let us move the ceremony to their house. We got on the phone with our amazing photographer, Solis Photos, florist, The Boho Blossom Co, and celebrant, Steven (aka That Celebrant Guy) – who were all already on their way to the venue. Our photographer did an incredible job of framing the driveway to look like a lush wedding venue! After the driveway ceremony, we moved into the backyard bromeliad nursery to relax after the chaotic events of the morning and unwind with the delicious grazing platter my parents had picked up from our original venue, Redlands Indigiscapes Centre, and my mum’s beautiful cake.”

THE DRESS “I always wanted to wear a non-traditional wedding dress and fell in love with the black gown with green and gold floral embroidery from ASOS. I altered it by adding black velvet ribbon around the waist with a bow at the back. To complement the deep and striking tones in the dress, Rowan chose a tan linen blazer over a simple black and white pants and shirt combination. His green and gold Peggy and Finn banksia tie matched the colours of my dress and our dried floral arrangements.”

THE VIBE “Our styling was inspired by Australian native flora and deep, warm colours. It was also important to us to minimise waste so we looked for opportunities to reduce, reuse and DIY. We chose dried flowers as a nod to the flowers Rowan gave me when he proposed and so that we could keep them after the wedding, rather than have them go to waste. We thrifted the vases from Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree for a mismatched, rustic feel. Some, like the antique plant stand, needed some repairs, which Rowan enjoyed doing.”

FAVOURITE DETAILS “Our standout dried floral arrangements. These ended up being our only decorations due to the last-minute venue change. They were so bold but also versatile – they looked perfectly in place even though our ceremony location ended up being nothing like what we had originally planned.”

WE’RE GLAD WE… “decided to have dried floral arrangements, as they are less wasteful than fresh flowers, can be kept forever and are postponement-friendly!”

A WORD OF ADVICE “For couples planning a non-traditional wedding, I would consider keeping an element of surprise about the unconventional aspects of your wedding. I encountered a bit of negativity about things like my black wedding dress, which at times made me doubt my choices, but since the wedding, I have received nothing but compliments and other brides telling me they wished they had worn something less traditional!”

STANDOUT VENDORS “All of our vendors were amazing. Our photographer, Jess from Solis Photos, was an excellent stand-in family member at our tiny wedding. When we arrived at Rowan’s parents’ house she was already there scoping out the most photogenic backdrops for our ceremony. During the ceremony, she could see how frazzled we were from the morning’s madness and gently guided us through the events and family photos. Rowan and I were really nervous to have our photos taken, but Jess’s calm and easy-going nature put us at ease – I daresay we even had fun! Our florist, Sal from The Boho Blossom Co, was welcoming of my very vague ideas, budget and desire to use thrifted pots and vases, and on the day she re-routed at the last minute to deliver the arrangements to our emergency venue. My makeup artist, Amy from The Eco Makeup Bar, was so caring and reassuring when I found out about the afternoon lockdown as I was having my makeup done, all the while delivering a stunning natural look with eco-friendly products. And our celebrant, Steven, was so relaxed – even when he had to drive all the way back home to re-print our marriage certificate with the new venue address once our plans changed at the last minute. He did a great job of keeping the wedding ceremony together when it could have so easily fallen apart.”

Love the look of this day as much as we do? Click right here to find out more about Solis Photos. And guys, if Aussie florals are your vibe, take a peek at the offerings from Peggy and Finn.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Solis Photos Florist The Boho Blossom Co Printer Officeworks Ceremony & Reception Groom’s parents’ home Catering Redlands Indigiscapes Centre Cake Jo’s mother Celebrant That Celebrant Guy THE BRIDE Bridal gown ASOS (with alterations) Shoes SPURR via The Iconic (ceremony), Vans (photos) Makeup The Eco Makeup Bar THE GROOM Jacket Country Road Shirt & Pants Blaq via Myer Tie Peggy and Finn Shoes Windsor Smith