Steph & Quin

I’ll tell you what, I am all about the cherry red velvet bridesmaid gowns in today’s rustic autumn Bellarine Peninsula wedding. Amy Wilde did a stunning job capturing all the autumnal beauty of this celebration. The beautiful autumn leaves, neutral tones, natural textures and a story that wove its way through it all.

“Our wedding was intimate with only 44 guests, so the atmosphere was cosy and reflected our love of Regional Victoria, great wine and local food,” explains Stephanie of her and Quin’s vision for the day, the couple invited just 44 guests to celebrate their milestone, the atmosphere focusing not just on autumn warmth, but on the specialness of the bond they all share.

The pair met as teenagers, both hanging out at a local skate park, their teenage love soon blossomed and eventually transformed itself into something more. Their story culminating in a surprise proposal on Thailand’s shores. Stephanie fills us in “We went overseas for a holiday in Thailand, and Quinton carried the ring in his backpack for over an entire week waiting for the perfect moment. Eventually, Quinton proposed one night on the beach in Krabi. Afterwards, we walked through the streets of Krabi and enjoyed a drink together to celebrate. We had spent six months designing the ring together with our local jeweller Narelle from Second Empire Jewellers.”

The groom chose a suit from Oscar Hunt, his very first port of call. “Quin loved being a part of the design process and settled on a linen suit as it was something different and more relaxed than a traditional black suit” explains the bride.

Stephanie chose a long sleeve lace Mia Solano gown from Luv Bridal, pairing with emerald green velvet heels from Bared Footwear. “Wedding dress shopping was a little daunting and frustrating for me” tells Stephanie. “However, my amazing bridesmaids encouraged me to keep looking and we eventually walked into Luv Bridal in Moonee Ponds and found this Mia Solano gown. We loved the vintage lace details and long sleeves, it was the perfect romantic gown for a rustic wedding.”

Stephanie actually worked together with the couple’s chosen photographer. “Amy and I work together as Primary School art teachers. When she mentioned getting back to her wedding photography roots, it completely made sense that she would be the perfect photographer to capture our day. Amy is not only a great friend, but she is a super hardworking photographer and her relaxed character makes her so easy to work with. She got along with all our guests and was able to capture the entire event in such a natural and organic way.”

A lovely olive grove owned by Lighthouse Olive Oil set the scene for an outdoor ceremony. The significance of the venue carried through to the favours. “We thought it would be really special to fill small bottles up with the grove’s olive oil and use them as weddings favours and place cards” explains Stephanie. “One of my bridesmaid’s hand wrote the name tags that we attached with twine to each bottle. I also picked and dried rosemary straight from our garden to go inside each bottle of olive oil. It was a really personal touch and our guests loved that the olive oil came straight from the grove that we got married in. My super crafty bridesmaid also created personal signage using blackboards and chalk. I wanted it to be simple and laid back and to just let the beautiful venue do the talking.”

Stephanie was accompanied by her father down the aisle, remembering “I walked down to Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams playing on acoustic guitar. I have always been a Stevie Nicks lover.”

Stephanie and Quin were married by Annie The Celebrant. The bride remarking “We knew from the very start that we wanted our ceremony to be simple, relaxed and personal. So I searched Instagram for a cool, laid back looking celebrant based on the coast, and I found Annie. Annie met with us a few times leading up to the day and Quin and I fell in love with her. She understood our quirky sense of humour and calmed all nerves. No question was too silly. On the day, my grandfather read a poem he wrote for us, and this was by far my favourite part of the ceremony and it moved so many of our guests. It was incredibly personal and something I will always remember. ”

Annie made the ceremony even more special for these two. “Before I arrived, Annie organised a Ring Warming, an Irish tradition where friends and family pass the rings to each other and take a moment to bless the rings. Many guests said that this was a beautiful and quiet moment for them, something they had never experienced before and they loved feeling involved in the ceremony. Our vows were short, sweet with a little cheek, it suited us well” shares Stephanie.

The wedding party chose a kombi from Coastal Kombi Weddings to transport them on the day- a decision which tuned out to be unexpectedly beneficial! Stephanie explains “Before we arrived at the ceremony, hilarious and warm Matt from Coastal Kombi leisurely drove myself and my bridesmaids around the Bellarine Peninsula. He showed us some the beautiful sights and excitedly honked his horn at strangers who were out enjoying their afternoon by the coast. We were full of nerves, but soon as Matt gathered us into his Kombi and put champagne in our hands we felt instantly relaxed and couldn’t stop laughing.”

“As a lover of all things floral and creative, planning the flowers was by far my favourite part” tells Stephanie of the couple’s decision to hire  Little Twig Flowers to style the flowers for the day. “I set my eyes on flowers and grasses that exuded texture, subtle autumnal tones and romance. At the same time, I wanted the arrangements to be playful and wild, to reflect my personality that isn’t exactly cookie cutter. I worked with Little Twig throughout the process and the end result was amazing. Rich wine coloured David Austin Roses, Orchids, Easter Daisies and peach toned Dahlias were featured on the day, along with glossy magnolia leaf and textured pampas grass. In the planning stages, I struggled to decide on a floral feature to centre the wedding ceremony in the olive grove. I wanted something different and striking. Ann from Little Twig came up with this amazing idea of an arch that was shaped like a crescent moon. It was spectacular on the day.

Stephanie and Quin chose Merne at Lighthouse for their reception, sharing “We knew from the beginning we were after a venue that reflected our personality. We aren’t fans of anything flashy, huge or overly trendy. We needed a venue that was cosy, relaxed and inviting, a place that showcased the best of local good food and wine. Merne was just perfect, we fell in for the views of the olive grove and the regional landscape straight away. Hosting our wedding at Merne meant that our wedding turned into a beautiful getaway for all of our family and friends, as we all organised to stay in the local seaside town of Queenscliff. Our wedding had such a weekend getaway vibe and a sense of excitement, as everyone travelled across the country by plane or road trip to spend the weekend with us.”

“The speeches were hilarious and incredibly honest” remembers the bride.

The first dance? It had to be fun! Stephanie remembering “Quin and I aren’t traditional, so we wanted the First Dance to reflect that. We asked our guests to grab a partner and join us on the dance floor and we danced to an acoustic version of Hey Ya by Outkast. It was such a fun moment, being surrounded by those you love on a crowded dance floor. After the first dance finished, the music kept going and we spent the majority of the night dancing, laughing and accidentally spilling drinks on each other. Callan made sure we had a lot of Hip Hop, RNB and 90s classics, it turned into a crazy disco. Luckily, I changed out of my wedding gown and into an ivory silk Bec and Bridge dress, which made me feel super comfortable, chic and dance floor ready.”

Congratulations to you both Steph and Quin! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous day with us! Thank you also to Amy Wilde for sharing today’s beautiful celebration.