Rebecca and Damien

With Summer ending and the hint of Autumn on the horizon it’s nice to showcase a gorgeous beach wedding from NSW. Today’s wedding is relaxed and elegant and the beach photos are enhanced by the moody backdrop of a grey sky. I love that Rebecca and Damien met on the other side of the world and it was only by chance that they ended up together!

Rebecca explains how she and Damien met. “We think its special! I am Irish and have lived in Dublin all my life. Damien was born in NSW but moved down to Torquay in Melbourne when he was 14. Our chance meeting happened in October 2008 when I was over in London for the weekend visiting some girlfriends. We were out for a long lunch on the Saturday and had no major plans for the rest of the day. My cousin, who is Australian, was living in London at the time and rang me very persistently that afternoon to say that she was going to a massive party with a group of Aussies and that I HAD to come along! Eventually I gave in, which I am forever thankful for!

Damien had just arrived in London where he had been living for 2 months at that point with his brother Adrian and his girlfriend Ash. We met that night, had a great time and I gave him my number, thinking I would never hear from him again. So when I didn’t hear anything for a few days I wasn’t surprised! Turns out, I had given Damo my number but without the international dialing code and he had been sending me texts all week that I wasn’t receiving! So by the Thursday he started looking through his phone and came across my number, which I had dialed from his phone that night at the party when I couldn’t find my own phone! It was the very last number on his dial list, one more call made or received and my number would have been lost and I would never have heard from him again! Damo’s reaction when he realised was to say to Ado “quality man, now she thinks I am playing hard to get!”

The real love story started 6 weeks later, when we finally arranged to meet for the second time. Damo came over to visit me in Ireland, and when I walked into the bar to meet him that night it was honestly love at second sight for both of us and we knew we would be together forever in that instant! Things moved quickly from there and 18 months later Damo proposed to me at the top of the hill looking out over the Yarra Valley, where we nearly managed to get ourselves arrested for trespassing on someones property, but that’s a whole other story!”

The photographer today (making her long overdue Polka Dot Bride debut, hooray!) is  Nadean of Photography By Nadean. I love the fresh, fun nature of Nadean’s photographs. They’re full of style and elegance while still capturing the joy of the wedding.

Rebecca and Damien chose White for their videography and Saltwater Weddings assisted with planning the ceremony and organising the setup.

Rebecca wore a gorgeous one shouldered gown by Melbourne designer Luci Di Bella “Advice to future brides, do not try on too many dresses! I did and it made my decision extremely confusing! My good friend at work suggested visiting her wedding dress designer, Luci Di Bella and I knew the minute I walked in the door of their gorgeous boutique on High Street, Armadale, that I had made the right choice. Luci and Clara made the whole experience relaxing, exciting, fun and easy and I absolutely loved my wedding dress.”

Rain didn’t put a dampener on the couple’s wedding day. Rebecca explains “We were supposed to get married in these tiny little gardens that were up on a hill looking out over Palm Beach, but an hour before the ceremony there was some drops of rain and I made the executive decision to move the ceremony to the house where I was getting ready. The following ten minutes were frantic, with everyone rearranging the room to get ready for the planner to arrive with the chairs, I had to call the musician, celebrant, VW Kombi guy, videographer and a few guests to tell them about the change of plan. When everyone arrived, they said it was the best “plan b” they had ever seen! The ceremony was so intimate and the view was spectacular and I was so relaxed when I finally walked down the aisle, my groom however was not so relaxed, he was very emotional and when I finally reached him I got such a shock with all the tears that I said “Oh look at you “ and everyone  burst out laughing, which you notice in the photos! This set the mood for the rest of the day ,which was filled with laughter from start to finish.

For the ceremony I found a gorgeous shop in Palm Beach called Love, Loans & Linens and Jessie was really helpful in supplying me with the bits and pieces I needed! I borrowed some little medicine bottles that I hung with brown string of the sides of the white chairs and then ordered assorted white individual flowers from our florist which we placed in each one, it was simple but exactly what I wanted! My best friend Sally and also Krissy made the petal cones the night before the wedding out of brown paper and we stuck them together with cute little stickers I had printed that said “when the bride and groom walk your way, throw the petals and yell hooray!”

Music was played on the guitar “We had an acoustic guitarist called Fernando who was part of our band Grover. He played Jack Johnson ‘No Other Way’ as I walked down the aisle, then ‘Is this Love’ by Bob Marley as we walked back up as husband and wife!” Rebecca says.

One of Rebecca’s favourite moments was Damien’s choice of words. When we walked down the hill of the house where we had the ceremony, towards the Kombi to go for our wedding shoot, Damien turned to me and said “Babe its only been an hour so far and I’ve already had the best day of my life!” – I think that says it all!”

Rebecca’s bridesmaids wore purple gowns from one of Rebecca’s favourite designers. “I am obsessed with Rachel Gilbert so there was no doubt that my bridesmaids would be wearing one of her gorgeous dresses!” Terry Hills Flower Market styled the floral arrangements.

The newlyweds did away with a limousine and chose something a little more fun. Rebecca explains “My sister in law Krissy found the most gorgeous VW Kombi Split Screen online from Sydney Split Screens and I emailed immediately hoping that they would be free on our day, luckily they were! Guy has maintained his Kombi impeccably and it was definitely a highlight of the day driving around with our bridal party, everyone we passed couldn’t help but smile when they saw us!”

Rebecca and Damien held their reception at Beach Road “Our venue was the inspiration for the rest of our wedding and the first thing that we booked! Beach Road Restaurant in Palm Beach NSW gave us the perfect setting for our dream wedding. Tom, Craig, Paul and the rest of the team were without doubt the most exceptional hosts to our wedding guests and went above and beyond to make sure  we had the best day of our lives! We are still getting comments on how gorgeous the food was, how relaxed and laid back the venue was and how much fun everyone had as a result of the wonderful team there.

We spent sometime researching venues and couldn’t really find anything we liked, we knew what we were looking for and when Damien came across Beach Road one night online the two of us knew instantly we would have our wedding there. I made some appointments to see a few venues in Sydney one weekend, Beach Road was the first and last place we saw, as I cancelled all other appointments the minute I walked in the door! Tom, Craig and all the team are running the most chilled out perfect beach retreat in the Northern Beaches and I think everyone would like to live out their retirement sitting outside their restaurant having a glass of wine and watching the world go by! What made the venue so special, apart from the gorgeous interiors of the place, was undoubtedly the service and food. The staff at Beach Road made every guest feel  so special and it honestly felt like a party in someone’s house with our friends as the hosts! The next day when we went to pick up all our things, we were greeted with glasses of champagne and one of the waiters Paul even recited a special prayer for myself and Damo as a gift, to wish us luck in our marriage together! We are already looking forward to our first anniversary which we’ll spend there next year!”

There were lots of homemade details throughout the day. Rebecca explains “I am so lucky to be really good friends with one of my other suppliers. Clare Miller runs her own company Victor Fox Art and Graphic Design and her blog is Clare helped me with so many elements of my wedding, from our invitations, menu’s, stickers for our guest book etc.  Clare is one of those rare and divine people who combines talent, style and creative ability and I feel blessed to know her. If that’s not amazing enough she is also one of the coolest people I have ever met!

My very talented husband painted the palm beach setting that became the image on our wedding invites, he also hand carved the 8 wooden long boats that became the centre pieces on our tables at the reception and he also drew all the table names and drawings on the gorgeous long blackboard that sat at the entrance to beach road.

Instead of a photobooth, we decided to do our own version. So I ordered a white polaroid camera from Ebay, bought a guest book from Kikki K and had the Palm Beach image Damo had drawn for the invites, made into a large sticker to place on the front. My sister in law made the cute props, moustaches and lips on sticks and I wrote a little poem to give guests directions to what we called “The Booth” and had them printed and placed it in a white frame.

I borrowed the black board, and lots of long stem vases and other bits from Love, Loans & Linen and had I found them earlier I would have used their event styling services also as they are hugely talented and have great enthusiasm for what they do.”

The first dance was a romantic one to Powderfinger’s ” Burn Your Name”. Rebecca says ” We chose the song as we wanted something fast and the words are beautiful and meaningful.”

Congratulations Rebecca and Damien! Thank you for sharing your special day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to  Nadean of Photography By Nadean for sharing today’s images!