Both pilots, Julia and Chris were together five years before getting engaged on a beautiful weekend away in Victor Harbour, south of Adelaide, close to where they’d recently moved. With most of their friends and family living between Sydney where Jules grew up and Brisbane where Chris had lived, they wanted to make their wedding as accessible as possible for loved ones by choosing a city venue. “We loved many cool Brisbane spaces but they either didn’t feel quite right, or were out of budget. Finally, I stumbled upon The Island Hotel in Surfers Paradise. We weren’t sure what we would find, particularly being an old Schoolies haunt from Chris’s high school years. But when we visited, we immediately became obsessed with the amazing, private penthouse space with incredible views of the beach, city and hinterland,” Jules tells us.

Their chosen venue was the perfect backdrop for these “cool and camp” nuptials. Thankfully, the lovely Stories by Ash was there to make sure we get to see all the beautiful details from the day, including the bride’s gown from one of our favourite boutiques Hope X Page, the groom’s suave M.J Bale suit, and the pumping dancefloor, courtesy of Cut A Rug. Scroll down for all the incredible pics and our chat with the duo…

THE VIBE “We wanted our day to be fun and camp and colourful. Once we decided on the most memorable date we could think of, the 21st of September (thank you Earth, Wind, & Fire), we really leant into the disco vibes, too. If we could do it, we wanted to overdo it! From heart-shaped save-the-dates to disco balls, temporary tattoos and even stickers with our cats’ faces on them.”

THE DRESS “My ceremony dress was by Newhite, from Hope X Page in Sydney. It wasn’t even close to what I had pictured for myself. I never thought I would wear something slinky and sexy, but I was drawn to the sleeves and the texture and colour of the fabric – it was perfect for our disco theme. Plus, it fit so beautifully and made me feel absolutely incredible.”

THE SUIT “Clothes shopping is one of my top least favourite activities, right up there with taxes and going to the supermarket. It didn’t start well either, with the first suit store we visited not having anything that really fit the brief, or me. Thankfully, we went to M.J Bale next, they had exactly what we were after and were also so accommodating.”

REFERENCES “I found Stories by Ash in Hello May long before we started seriously planning the wedding (and if I’m truly honest, well before we were even officially engaged). We were immediately drawn to her candid, natural style and the colour! Oh the colours in Ash’s photography are incredible, you just can’t help but smile looking at her work. What could be better for the happiest day of our lives? So once Chris locked it in, it was a rush to find a venue and a date and simply pray that Ash could be there and she was. She is truly gifted at what she does, she made the whole day so fun, comfortable and natural. We couldn’t imagine our day without her there and we wouldn’t want to.”

LITTLE LOL “We did our photos before the ceremony (best decision), but as we finished and returned to our room, I realised we forgot the confetti cannons we had bought for photos. No worries though, Ash suggested we use them to get a cute balcony photo with the stunning beach views. Before we even made it outside, Hayley, my bridesmaid, began reading the instructions aloud, ‘twist right’… Immediately a sound like a gunshot and our whole room was shrouded in confetti! Somehow Ash captured the moment, the look of sheer terror on my face, followed by raucous laughter. Luckily we had two!”

STANDOUT VENDORS “We had the ultimate dream team for sure. But really that’s all because of Ash, of Stories by Ash, she pointed us in all the right directions with vendor recommendations and was always there with any advice we needed. She never once steered us in the wrong direction. Erin Woodhall is hands-down the best celebrant of all time, we can not sing her praises enough! Her ceremony was warm, funny and intimate. As if we were being married by someone we had known our whole lives. And Aaron at Cut A Rug was another spot-on recommendation. He made us the perfect processional song mix and had the dancefloor pumping the whole night. Before the end of the first song, our music professional friends had already proclaimed him the ‘best DJ of all time!’. The ultimate stamp of approval.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “Have fun with it! Who cares whether something is trendy, or timeless, tacky, or classy? If you love it, do it! Chances are all your guests will love it too, because they love you.”

Stories by Ash is one of our all-time fave photographers and if you have fallen in love with her snaps from this wedding, be sure to check out more over on her Directory listing with us here. If you’re loving Julia’s dress and Chris’s suit, get in touch with Hope X Page and M.J. Bale here and here. Finally, take this couple’s red-hot advice and get chatting to Cut A Rug if  you want big-energy vibes on the dancefloor. But first…

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Stories by Ash Cinematographer Lemon Tree Film House Stylist Main Event Weddings Florist Garden Graffiti Save-The-Dates & Invites Sage by Annalise On-The-Day Stationery & Signage Main Event Weddings Ceremony & Reception Venue The Penthouse at The Island Gold Coast Cake Veganyumm Bakehouse Desserts Kneadyboi Wedding favours TheExtraBridesmaid via Etsy Audio Guest Book Off The Hook Entertainment Cut A Rug Celebrant Erin Woodhall Rings Frank Darling Confetti & confetti cannons The Whole Bride Custom Disposable Cameras The Atelier Creative Bouquet Preservation Bonny V Art Wedding Dress Preservation Happily Ever After Wedding Dress Cleaning THE BRIDE Bridal gown designer New White Bridal Boutique Hope X Page Reception Dress Selezza London Veil Grace Love Lace Shoes Bared Footwear Accessories Alix Yang, Izoa, Bella Hugo, Selezza London Sunglasses Poppy Lissiman Hair & Makeup Blush & Bangs Nails Paintbox Nails & Beauty Bridesmaid Dresses Leo Lin, dress hired from The Volte Bridesmaid Shoes Pink Inc THE GROOM Suit, shirt & groomsmen suits M.J Bale Pocket Square Catherine Baudet Shoes Betts