Natalie and Chris

Today’s wedding is a Cronulla beach celebration- except it turned into an indoor surf club wedding thanks to the rain. But making the best of it, is really the theme of Natalie and Chris’ wedding planning journey. From rain right before the ceremony, to changing their wedding venue due to last minute vet bills. I love the reality of their story and the beauty of their day captured by Thorson Photography.

Natalie tells their story. “We met in Jindabyne in 2003 when Chris was living with friends of mine doing a season. He returned again in 2006 and after a few text messages and drinks it wasn’t long before we decided we liked each other. Chris proposed with an engraved lock on the Seacliffe bridge on my birthday, followed by a picnic at Austinmere while our dog Johnny ran around on his favourite beach. Chris didn’t trust himself to pick out the ring so we got it made later…”

Chris and his groomsmen wore suits from Country Road.

Natalie wore a strapless gown with flower embellishments, telling, “My dress was Collette Dinnigan, I’d never even tried it on. I saw it for sale online at a second hand bridal store in Brisbane called Simone Frances. It had never been worn and was a few hundred dollars cheaper than in the store, it was the style of dress I loved but I was still nervous buying a wedding dress online. The dress arrived beautifully packaged and fit like a glove.” Natalie added shoes from Lisa Ho and jewels from Johanna Johnson.

The planned beach side ceremony turned into an indoor ceremony at the last minute. Natalie recalling, “It was perfectly sunny up until the car arrived to pick us up, there was a bit of chaos as the ceremony had to be changed from the beach to the balcony of our reception venue, my dad walked me down a makeshift aisle to Smashing Pumpkins and our dog Johnny was there waiting with Chris.”

Natalie was walked down the aisle by her father to ‘Tonight Tonight’, Smashing Pumpkins.

The wedding was held at Elouera Surf Club. “We are both pretty casual and we wanted our wedding to be relaxed and in formal, it was always going to be held outside close to the water… We had originally booked Bush Bank in Kiama but had a last minute change due to our dog needing surgery and it setting us back financially. We ended up keeping it close to home and booked our local surf club at Elouera, it had recently been renovated and the view is amazing.”

“We were lucky enough to have had our celebrant Lisa Shirlaw recommended to us by a friend, she made everything easy and the ceremony exactly what we wanted.”

A friend of Natalie’s and her family played as a string quartet for the ceremony.

“I didn’t really have a theme in mind, I wanted it to be eclectic, a little bit vintage, simple… My bridesmaids wore ivory Zimmermann dresses, the boys all wore classic black slim fitting suits.”

Of their photographer, Natalie says, “We were so lucky to have Thorson Photograpy taking the photo’s for the day. Amanda and her second shooter Annika were amazing, we’d never met but they were so lovely and relaxed it made the whole process so easy. We fell in love with Amanda’s style of photography, relaxed and candid but with this beautiful artistic edge to it. We had our photo’s taken up at Kurnell National Park, the rain held off just enough to get some amazing photo’s taken.”

“The cake and cup cakes were made by a friend of mine Cindy Miu. The cake toppers were ordered off of, they come in a little kit with paint and brushes so you can customise them to look like yourselves… it kept me busy on the night of Chris’s bucks.”

“Almost everything was made or put together by ourselves or friends. Chris, my bridesman Tom and his wife Lisa, our grooms men and the florist InBud decorated the venue.”

The reception continued at Elouera Surf Club. Natalie remarking, “We had a cocktail style reception to keep things relaxed and allowing people to move around, Feast Catering served up scallops, goats cheese and roasted beet tart to eye fillet on a sweet potato puree. Their menu was amazing and everyone had plenty to eat. Dessert was lemon lime and bitters sorbet with walnut and caramel gelato and macarons.”

For their first dance, Natalie remembers, “Chris and I danced to ‘The Rest of My Life’ by Unwritten Law, we love a bit of punk and it’s a good song to sing to someone you love. Dad was too emotional to say a speech so he had the the DJ surprise me with a song that we danced to together instead. The night followed on with dancing, speeches and the very popular photo booth (from Black Booth) we got to look at some hilarious and a few x rated photo’s the next day…”

Congratulations Natalie and Chris! Thank you for sharing your day with us. Thank you also to Thorson Photography for sharing the beautiful photographs today!