Leah & Ben

It is always incredibly special to showcase the wedding of a long time reader – Leah has been such a joy to get to know through her wedding plans and I am so thrilled to bring you her beautiful rainy day wedding today.

Leah and Ben met over seven years ago, Leah says “Ben and I met at a friends BBQ, seven years ago (April, 2003). Over the last seven years a mutual love and respect has developed. While I was overseas traveling mid 2008 (without Ben), the few months of separation cemented our commitment to each other and desire to spend the rest of our lives together. At the end of my European trip Ben met me half way in Thailand. This short holiday gave us the chance to discuss what we both wanted for our futures and the way forward together.” Ben proposed on one knee under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

Leah and Ben chose to marry in the Kiama/Gerringong area in new South Wales as that was where they had spent most of their time together.  Leah and Ben hired Girl Friday Weddings to help them out on the day of the wedding. Leah says “Sarah Johnson was a last-minute addition to our wedding planning process, and one of the best additions I might add. Sarah acted as a “personal assistant” leading up to the day (helping with the grunt work) i.e. confirming arrangements with all vendors and attending on the wedding day to ensure everything ran smoothly. Sarah was personable, proficient and affordable. As the weather was so miserable I was very grateful to have the services of Girl Friday Weddings making sure that we stayed dry prior to the ceremony and when we didn’t i.e. after the outdoor location shoot in the rain – blow drying our outfits (and shoes) ready for the reception!”

Photos today are by Soho Images.

Leah and her family got ready at the reception location – Bellachara Boutique Hotel. Leah’s bouquet by Always Flowers was a surprise to her. “I asked the florist to surprise me with my bouquet after an initial briefing meeting. I had planned all the other wedding details; I really wanted something to look forward to. The flowers in the bouquet included: autumn hydrangeas, succulent flowers, and lambs ear foliage, smoke bush, cinnamon roses, white David Austin roses and pink peppercorn.”

Leah wore a gown from Sposabella Bridal. “My wedding dress was a “Divina Sposa” semi mermaid lace dress, with chapel length train. Sposabella Bridal Boutique specially made for me a matching bolero jacket. I wore an ivory chapel length veil. Ben (groom) commented that it looked like I had snowflakes on the ends of my dress as I walked down the aisle.” Leah’s bridesmaid wore  a blush pink gown from Alannah Hill called “My Perfect Moment” accessorised with a custom made sash.

Leah and Ben married in St Marys Star Of The Sea Catholic Church in Gerringong by Monsignor Paul Ryan who graciously came out of retirement to marry the couple.. This was significant as Monsignor Ryan had baptised Leah and is a respected family friend. Leah walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon In D played by Southern Strings.

One of Leah’s favourite moments was the ceremony “Focusing on the ceremony; a lot of thought and attention was paid to the ceremony proceedings and then time spent going through this with our priest. At the heart of our ceremony was family, the families we came from and the family we were forming. Guests commented that the ceremony was very meaningful.”

Leah and Ben had their photos taken at Bush Bank. “Bush Bank provided the perfect setting for our wedding photographs – rural splendour with breathtaking ocean views. Bush Bank was chosen for our location shoot as we wanted somewhere private to have our photographs taken and also wanted a background that was significant to us. Ben grew up in Kiama and my parents live in Kiama sharing a similar coastal outlook to Bush Bank (unfortunately without the expansive farm property)! We also fell in love with the giant Morton Bay Figs on the property; our favourite photo was taken alongside them.”

The reception was held at Bellachara Boutique Hotel.  The adults enjoyed canapés while a  kids club was set up for the children attending which included a separate “break out” space, providing refreshments and mocktails and also some fun games, i.e. Nintendo Wii.

The reception room was decorated with willow branches and glass bulbs that held pink flowers and tealights . Leah loved Ben’s speech “I loved the beautiful way my (now) husband was with me on the day of our wedding, sending me beautiful roses and loving words in a card on the wedding morning, seeing him for the first time before the ceremony, the way he looked after me and supported me throughout the wet weather and the way he overcame incredible shyness to deliver a truly heartfelt speech.”

The three tired cake was decorated with sugar roses and swiss dots, and included butter cake, chocolate cake and banana cake.

The tree motif was used throughout the wedding day to bring the elements together. Leah and Ben made the Mass booklets, guest place cards and table numbers and included a tree motif that was also used on their invitations. Leah says ” Coincidentally we found in a shop an almost identical metal tree motif used on our invitations and had this framed and displayed at the reception. It now hangs in our home as a reminder/keepsake of the day.”

For their first dance, Leah and Ben invited guests to join them in a wedding waltz to  Jack Johnson’s “Better Together”.

Although the day was full of rain- as Leah says, “Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata  – A wet bride is a lucky bride…”

Congratulations Leah and Ben! Thank you for sharing your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! I wish you a life of love and laughter together! Thank you also to Soho Images for allowing us to share today’s photographs!