Kelli & Nick are too damn cute guys. Why? Nick used a whale pun to pop the question while holidaying in Byron Bay (yes, they were whale watching) and we were sold pretty soon after reading that. “Nick whispered in my ear ‘there are too many people up at the lighthouse behind us, and I can’t get down on one knee, but I whaley love you, and will you marry me’”, the bride explains. See. Cute! HM directory vendor, Dany from Pia + Jade did some pretty epic styling, florals and planning, and our friend and photographer Jack Henry Photo was there to capture it all on camera, so scroll down for all the gorgeous moments and more…

THE VENUE “My career involves a lot of international travel, and Nick and I have a tradition of going to a park, gallery or museum in Sydney on the day of my return. Needless to say, we wanted to get married in one of these places, and the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney are just so beautiful and right in the heart of the city! We also loved that we could have the ceremony and the reception in the same place.”

FAVOURITE DETAILS “The flowers and styling by Dany from Pia + Jade were out of this world! The combination of natives, berries and roses were beautiful. The ‘alter’ feature was both breathtaking and sympathetic to the Edwardian architecture of the Palm House and everyone’s reaction to their personalised place cards was really lovely to see too.”

THE DRESS “I never thought I’d get married in a white dress. I knew finding a dress would be a very special occasion for my Mum, and on one of my work trips to London, she came over from France and we went to an appointment at Angelica Bridal on Camden Passage. I tried on a few dresses from the Karen Willis Holmes collection and to my surprise, I felt so confident and beautiful in them. I came back to Sydney, and both my Mum and I couldn’t stop thinking about the Celine, so I booked an appointment at the Karen Willis Holmes studio in Alexandria and brought my dad and sister along for a second opinion and we all knew the Celine was the one!”

REFERENCESWed Shed was our go-to for all things wedding! We found their shortlist of recommended vendors super helpful and time saving!”

MEMORABLE MOMENT “The whole day was everything we wanted in our wedding day but if we had to pick one, it was our ‘first look’ photos. We decided to have photos taken of us meeting each other somewhat privately and do most of our bridal party photos before the wedding so that we could enjoy the post ceremony time with our friends and family. The mixed-lolly bag of nerves, excitement, anticipation and joy I was feeling during the morning was unreal and then the wave of calm and happiness that came over me when I saw Nick was the best feeling ever! It was so much fun laughing and joking with our best friends around the Botanic Gardens. Jack Henry Photo (and second shooter, Morgan) were just as hilarious and the best people to have capturing it all.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “We stuck to talking/ brainstorming/ actioning the wedding at an Inner-West pub only on Wednesdays- Wedding Planning Wednesdays! It kept us focused and proactive, and also kept us from talking wedding stuff all year long. We were good for the first two drinks, but not so much after the third! Whilst we had busy work schedules, it kept the planning process ticking along in achievable bites and panic free.”

STANDOUT VENDORSMelissa Soncini, our celebrant, orchestrated the most beautiful and personal ceremony for us that was equally cute, funny, and meaningful. Dany (of Pia + Jade) is truly wonder woman and she took our initial loose thoughts of a ‘look and feel’ and made it into the stunning style that it was. Brides by Kristin Brett was a delight to be around and was the calming beauty behind our hair and makeup – she nailed the done but not over-done look we were after. Jack Henry Photo was brilliant behind the lens and awesome people to work with. They made us feel at ease, made us laugh, and did a brilliant job of capturing all the special moments of our day.”

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Jack Henry Photo Event Planner, Stylist & Florist Pia + Jade Stationery Paperless Post Place Cards Pia + Jade Ceremony Palm House, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Reception & Catering Botanic Gardens Restaurant Hire Items Bentwood Events Signage Pia + Jade Entertainment We Play Records Celebrant Melissa Soncini Rings Natalie Marie Jewellery Transport Enroute Cars THE BRIDE Bridal Gown Karen Willis Holmes Robes ASOS Shoes Nicholas Kirkwood Accessories Zoe and Morgan Hair & Makeup Brides by Kristin Brett Bridesmaid Dresses Zimmermann THE GROOM Suit MJ.Bale Shoes Florsheim.