Say hi to Michala and Dylan, dear friends. Michala is in marketing and Dylan is a high school teacher. They met on the dancfloor of a local bar on a drunken uni night out and the rest is history. “I was pulled in by Dylan’s long surfer boy hair and wild dance moves. It was a dance and pash situation,” laughs the bride. “I look back now and think, ‘Wow, I’m so glad our paths crossed that night…’ to think our lives would probably never have intertwined otherwise.”

The surprise proposal (with a gorgeous RUUSK ring) was slightly given away by the button-up shirt Dylan paired with boardies on the morning of their anniversary, but boy we’re glad it happened, ‘cause you guys are going to want to see this wedding, shot by Weddings By Sam.

THE VENUE “From the beginning I wanted something which felt really intimate and relaxed. We ended up deciding on a restaurant on North Wollongong Beach which is inside of the heritage surf lifesaving building. It’s not a traditional ‘wedding venue’ but from the moment we went there we saw the potential.”

MARRIAGE MEANS “I always kind of thought, it’s just a piece of paper, however as soon as we got engaged and I had this ring on my left hand- I was quite surprised at how much it meant to me. Every time I look down at I am just so grateful for the relationship we have. For me, it symbolises the next chapter for us, becoming a family and committing to our lives together.”

FAVE DEETS “Our florist Lovers and Fleurs had the beautiful idea of having blooms ‘sprouting’ from the ground along each side of the aisle. The end result was so magical – it was pouring rain on the day of our wedding and Faith was there carefully placing each individual cosmos flower into the ground with such care and detail (lucky the rain eased minutes before the ceremony began).”

DIY “My mum made little bottles of limoncello for the party favours, which was so sweet. I remember her months before the wedding collecting lemons and starting to make practice batches! They were delish.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “Only subscribe to traditions that mean a lot to you. You don’t need to do everything- think about the parts of a wedding/ celebration that you really love and prioritise those.”

STANDOUT VENDORS “Special shout outs to our beautiful photographer Sam Riles, florist Faith from Lovers and Fleurs and celebrant Married by Matty – you guys are all so talented and just downright beautiful humans, who were beyond a pleasure to work with.”

This wedding first appeared in our Real Wedding Special 2021, while it’s now sold out, you can still nab a copy of the Real Wedding Special Vol. 8 here – and if you use DOUBLETROUBLE at checkout, you’ll receive issue 39 for free. If you’re loving the bridal parties’ gowns, check out Bec + Bridge on our directory here.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Sam Riles Photography Florist Lovers and Fleurs Stationery Paperless Post Ceremony venue Wollongong Botanic Gardens Reception venue/ catering North Beach Pavilion Cake Delaney’s Cakes Hire Items Simply Seated Entertainment The Event Entertainers Celebrant Married by Matty Rings Ruusk THE BRIDE Bridal gown designer Rhonda Hemmingway Couture Robes Cotton On Body Accessories Kristin Ash, Sarah and Sebastian Hair Primrose on Tannery Makeup Jess Scott Bridesmaid dresses Bec + Bridge THE GROOM Suit Institchu Groomsmen suits Tramps Wollongong