Carla & Matt

The Whitsundays is all about the tropical vibes and for Carla and Matt, their destination wedding embodied every piece of tropical beauty. 50 guests flew together to the beautiful Villa Botanica (including photographers Love & Other Photography !) to celebrate the next chapter for these high school sweethearts. Fireworks, barefoot walks in wedding gowns and an outdoor reception just some of what we’re loving about today’s celebration!

it makes sense that these two chose an island paradise for their big day, their love of the tropics even extending to the moment Matt popped the question! Carla explains “We were on holiday in Vanuatu – having a picnic on a deserted island. We are huge ‘Survivor’ fans and knew that a season of Survivor had been filmed on one of Vanuatu’s Islands so whilst searching the Island for potential leftover Survivor memorabilia, Matt dropped to one knee and I thought he had found something hidden in the sand – it was, in fact, THE RING. I had absolutely no idea!”

Matt and his groomsmen donned neutral looks from MJ Bale pairing them with tropically printed bowties and ties from Peggy and Finn.

The tropical floral details were styled by Flower Hut Whitsundays with a little help! Carla explains”My business partner has a huge green thumb, she (Sharon) worked with me (and Flower Hut) to design a Bouquet that would compliment my dress. Sharon sketched a bouquet of florals that I had told her I liked. She then sourced these florals and put together a ‘mock bouquet’. We took photos and sent these images to ‘Flower Hut’. Flower Hut then sourced and constructed my dream florals!”

The bride had dreamt about her gown, a piece designed by Rue de Seine found at The Bridal Atelier. She remembers “I saw an Instagram photo of Rue De Seine’s AVRIL gown and fell in love! So I did some research to find out if I could try it on in Melbourne. Luck was on my side and I booked in an appointment at The Bridal Atelier & the rest was history!”

The beautiful Whitsundays venue of Villa Botanica set the scene for Carla and Matt, who share “We chose Villa Botanica because it was perfectly ‘US’!
We are Bali fans and have travelled there together many times over the years. Having our wedding in Bali would not have been practical for our families and so this was the closest thing to ‘Bali’ in Australia. We flew to Airlie Beach to visit Villa Botanica before we booked our wedding. Villa Botanica’s photos are beautiful but being there in real life is just something else…… It’s the way the warmer weather makes you feel, the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves that hit the rocks at the bottom of the cliff! From the early morning arrival with all my girls to Matt’s and my departure the next day, the staff at Villa Botanica went out of their way to make everything feel absolutely PERFECT!”

Shares the bride “Glenn (my dad) walked me down the aisle. Dad and I chose the song together – Dad wanted a ‘traditional’ piece of music and I wanted a ‘touch’ of tradition – so this is what we decided on: Bridal March (Vincente Avella).”

Carla and Matt were married by Peter Upton – My Celebrant Whitsundays. Carla notes “Being a destination wedding, we wanted our ceremony to have a very intimate feeling.
It was important to us that the words spoken during our ceremony were unique to us.
We wrote our own Vows so that they were ‘ours’ and we had Matt’s sister (Gabby) do a reading for us:
“The Blessing Of The Hands”  By Anonymous
“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Of their photographers, Carla shares “I think the fact that we flew our photographers interstate to capture our special day explains how we feel about them!
We had met our photographers (Kyla & Marc) in Melbourne (before we planned an interstate wedding). We had heard about Love & Other Photography and decided to check out their website. We LOVED their work & and then asked to meet up with them – a special connection with our photographers was very important to us because we knew we would be sharing 10+ hours with them on the most special day of our lives! Kyla & Marc’s photos & videos have a very natural, candid feel – nothing feels ‘posed’ and we found that the best shots were the ones that no one knew were being taken!”

Escaping for photos on the sand was a “must do” for these two! “I knew Villa Botanica had a private Beach and it was really important to us to have some time with our ‘toes in the sand’,” shares Carla “Our photographers went with Matt & I down to this beach – they did some drone shots of us on the beach while Matt & I had some champagne and just enjoyed each other’s company!”

Carla put together the favours herself, something sweet! She tells “Everyone loves a mint when they fly and because every wedding guest had to fly to get to our wedding, I knew I wanted to do something with mints and the words “Mint 2 Be”.

The night went off with a bang- fireworks! “Matt & I love fireworks and had seen many firework displays while we were in Europe together for 6 months. So every time we see fireworks it brings back special Europe memories, now when we see fireworks we will also think back to our Wedding Day!!” explains Carla.

The first dance and the dance lessons leading up to the night were one of Carla’s favourite memories. She reminisces “We did some private dance lessons and this was one of our favourite parts of wedding planning, its not often we get to ‘slow dance’ together and when we have had the opportunity in the past to do this, neither of us knew what we are doing – so now we feel we have a ‘go to’ routine for life!! We danced to an acoustic version of “Stand By Me”  by Matt Johnson.”

Carla and Matt also worked with Love & Other Photography to capture their day in beautiful motion.

Congratulations Carla and Matt! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to Love & Other Photography for sharing today’s celebration!