Neither of us likes being the centre of attention, public speaking and corny traditions so the first plan for our wedding was to elope and have a destination wedding that anyone who wanted to join could. We quickly realised our families and grandparents in particular probably couldn’t join us and would be disappointed to miss out, so we made each other a promise: “To have the most informal, simple, fun, ‘non-wedding’ we could pull off and to do it as soon as we could rather than have a big build up happen over time.”

After several date changes,  we found a Saturday in May that suited all locations, May 19th – we picked it first before the royal couple!

One of the few traditional elements of the day was my dress, every little girl dreams of wearing that beautiful white wedding dress.

I started looking at a few shops not long after saying ‘yes’ and with only three months to the wedding I was left panicking at the end of the day with every shop telling me they couldn’t get me one in time and I’d have to buy off the rack as is, alterations were out of the question in my time frame.
So a call to Mum and a ‘sicky’ at work, she flew up from Sydney the following week and we set out on a mission to end the day with a dress, and with the help of Angelic Bridal we did!

I opted for a more mature look rather than the giant poofy dress I may have picked if I was ten years younger.  I found an elegant ivory lace fit and flare dress with a gorgeous train I just fell in love with, altered slightly by Kaylique Designs this was perfect for the day.

The groom albeit would love to say he was easy, took a bit of convincing to wear the vision I had. Eventually, he was happy to get a navy suit, which we hired from Tony Barlow to save costs, and his groomsmen wore mismatched suits in the same navy to coordinate with his. I dare not ever ask him to wear a pink tie again, I know now that will never ever happen!

Having seen endless floral combinations and bouquets at events over the years I knew I didn’t want an ordinary selection. Choosing peonies, succulents, berries, tulips, thistles & dusty foliage we created an amazing collection of florals. They were show stoppers!

Our ceremony took place at Newstead Rotunda in Newstead Park, I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of “Feel the Love” by Rudimental, one of my favourite music groups.

Bella spotted her Daddy whilst walking down the aisle and just ran to him so happy and lovingly, which was so special. Knowing I have made the best choice for the two of us to spend our life with Andy in the most perfect world – nothing beats that.

Our vision for our ceremony was short, sweet, quick & simple. Not wanting to profess our love in front of 90 people when neither of us like speaking to any size audience was very important.

We choose simple non-traditional weddings vows – to help each other grow and love each other more each day – real world promises.

Our Celebrant Cara Hodge from Brisbane City Celebrants was amazing. She made the process so easy for the day. Answered any questions, big or small for us, had advice for the little things and even gave us honeymoon travel tips! We couldn’t have chosen a better celebrant for our day!

We made sure the ceremony included our daughter, in addition to being our ring bearer, the ceremony wording focused on the making of a family, not just a couple.

While wedding planning I ensured I didn’t get carried away with the concept of a wedding and kept to the promise I made the groom – that it would be fun and informal. Making sure our family and grandparents, closest friends and loved ones could be part of the day was the main part.

My sister was my maid of honour and a close friend took on the bridesmaid role.

All of the vendors we used were great, I think they actually appreciated the ease of the planning I provided, the relaxed approach I had to every element. My training and experience in the event field made it super easy to get the right vendor for everything first time rather than shop around and I had an exact plan when speaking with each which made all their jobs very easy.

My favourite photo is 100% the image of Bella with her hand on her forehead – so many captions for that one… “Doh”, “Ew they are kissing again” “Oh no it’s two vs one now”.

As a surprise to many, our reception took place at Eat Street Markets Northshore. Eat Street Northshore is Brisbane’s iconic riverfront shipping container food and market precinct, with new unique container style function spaces. We chose the Riverdeck overlooking the Brisbane river.

Vanessa from Cookoo Photography came highly recommended by several colleagues. After speaking and meeting with her I knew I had the perfect person for the job so I didn’t even speak with anyone else. She loved that I didn’t want traditional and her style was exactly what we wanted – candid, close-ups & no forced smiles.

Eat Street is nothing like what you ever imagine your wedding venue to be. On a mission to have no traditional elements, this place covered everything we wanted. A ridiculously huge selection of food styles to choose platters from, the venue comes fully themed and furnished. They had a bar set up and butler to attend to our guests.

Nearly every guest has taken a moment to tell us how much fun and easy going it was. How great it was to not have to sit through endless speeches or be stuck talking to the same people at a banquet table all night. Our wedding hashtag #laurenandandy2018 was actually followed by #bestweddingever by many people.

We hadn’t taste tested the flavours of our cake (made by Poppy Pie and topped with a wooden cake topper from BMCrafts), we actually didn’t even know what they were until we cut it – it was SUPER yummy!

We loved seeing the absolutely endless enjoyment everyone was having was such a highlight of our day, in particular, our daughter who was in her element and without a doubt stole the show all day long.

Almost all the details were DIY! I have been a crafty, hands-on person since I was born and I’ve been an event producer for many many years, I’m all about the DIY! From the graphic design and code writing of the wedding website to the giant cut out of our names for the photo booth backdrop. The design and program created for the photo booth printouts, the props, the wishing well, the welcome and reception signs, my intricately jewelled headpiece – anything I could make to save us money, I did.

My advice to future couples? It’s supposed to be a fun experience. Focus on the goal, getting married rather than impressing your old school mates you never talk to and your mum’s gossiping gal pals. It’s YOUR day – no one else, who cares what anyone thinks!

Ms Polka Says: How wonderful is the idea of celebrating your marriage at a night food market? Serve us up some of those delicious treats! Thanks so much to Lauren and Brisbane City Celebrants for sharing this gorgeous story!