Melyssa and Emily met on the internet in 2005 – back when it was the scary way to meet people! Emily was in America and Melyssa, Australia – they exchanged emails and the rest, as they say, is history.
When it came to planning their September wedding, they wanted a day that felt intimate, light-hearted and as if they were just chilling out in their lounge. With a $9,000 budget, they set about to create just that. Firstly they found their ceremony venue – Blenheim Beach Reserve in Vincentia, NSW, and then they hired an AirBnb just up the road for their reception.
The whole thing was planned in just a few weeks – with Emily’s family deciding to come out on holiday from the U.S with little notice, the couple jumped at the chance of having both their families on one continent and planned it quickly.
They brought the lounge vibe into their ceremony by hiring mismatched chairs, rugs and a coffee table to set as their backdrop. They walked down the aisle together with their three children; having been together for 15 years already, they didn’t want to walk down separately, and wanted to begin their union as a family unit.
Another personal touch was the inclusion of a coffee during ritual; “Every decision we make, large or small, are always taken over coffee,” the couple explained. “Conversations and plans are made with a coffee first, so it only made sense that we include it in our wedding day!”
Their celebrant begin with an Acknowledgement of Country so that they could thank the original indigenous owners of the land for allowing them to be married on their territory. He told the story of how they came to be, then they exchanged their own words and were officially married.
They toasted with shots of rum, and then headed straight to the beach for photos and a trash the dress shoot! “We loved having a chance to be silly and playful and discuss our day so far while having our photos taken candidly and it was magnificent.” They headed back to their AirBnb for a self-catered vegetarian Mexican banquet reception, with apple pie dessert as a nod to Emily’s American roots. Entertainment was provided by their rambunctious toddler, and a Spotify playlist by Melyssa.
“Do what you want and don’t listen to other’s opinions,” Melyssa advises future couples. “I was told by the vendor that my idea of two lounge chairs and a coffee table as a centrepiece for our ceremony in a public park was ridiculous but I did it anyway because it was exactly what we wanted. Go with your gut instinct, not Pinterest. And hire the photographer you know you really want – it’s worth it.”