Ciarne & Joel’s Relaxed Coastal Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Ciarne & Joel

It was with the crashing waves behind them that Ciarne and Joel said their vows. The pair, who hail from Sydney, choosing the seaside town where they bought, and renovated a home together, to tie the knot. That seaside ceremony and the images captured beautifully by Luna Imagery just the beginning of what you’re going to love about this special day.
Let’s take special note of Ciarne’s gorgeous bridesmaids too as a nod to The Bridesmaid issue! The bride choosing elegant sage green gowns from Bridesmaids Only for her beautiful friends.

These two have been together since they were high schoolers! Ciarne telling the tale of how they came to be. “Joel and I met 12 years ago, he attended the local boy’s high school and I went to the local girl’s high school. It was common for friendships to form between the two schools. We went to each other’s Year 10 Formal and started dating 5 years after that. If someone had told us we would marry all these years later we wouldn’t have believed them!”

And let’s talk about the proposal, a romantic tale taking place in the couple’s very special renovated home. “After renovating our house in Newcastle that would one day become the family home we were sitting on the front verandah in the late afternoon. Joel went inside and came out, got on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was perfect for us simple, private just Joel, myself and our beloved dog Tyson around.”

Ciarne’s bridesmaids dressed in floor-length sage green gowns from Bridesmaids Only.

“I really had no idea about what style of dress I wanted,” remarks Ciarne, who found her off the shoulder lace wedding gown at Marry Me Bridal. “I booked into a bridal shop and basically tried on all different styles. It was my first visit and I found my dress! To me, my dress was pretty standard, a strapless type with nice lacework and a soft fishtail tulle base. I knew I didn’t want a veil but loved the unique cap-sleeved detailed cape that kind of replaced the veil. The cape became the special part of my dress.”

Ciarne and Joel chose Hickson Street Lookout for their ceremony, the stunning views a favourite place for the duo, who tells “Joel and I have grown up in Sydney our whole lives but have purchased a house in Newcastle and will be moving up there this year with our newborn son. We wanted to get married up there as we knew that it’s most likely where we will spend the rest of our life! We chose Hickson Street Lookout as it has a breathtaking view over the beach as a backdrop for our ceremony. You walk down a small bush track to the lookout and it’s very natural and peaceful.”

Ciarne walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of one of her favourite songs, sharing “My dad walked me down the aisle to “Avalanche” by Australian singer-songwriter Nick Kingswell, I contacted Nick in the UK to ask for an instrumental version and he kindly sent one. My dad really likes Kingswell and the song was a surprise for dad.”

“Short and sweet! We had an easy-going relaxed celebrant that suited the type of ceremony we wanted” tells the bride of the couple’s clifftop ceremony officiated by Weddings With Jules. “We kept it really simple, the location and atmosphere were enough to make it feel special. Joel and I aren’t really romantic but our ceremony was still meaningful. We had one reading “Love is Like Owning a Dog” it compares the rollercoaster adventure of love to the rollercoaster adventure of owning a dog. Initially, Joel and I bonded over our love for dogs, we had a Boxer dog named Tyson who we adored. In a strange twist of fate, Tyson sadly got sick quickly during the year of our wedding, he came up to Newcastle at the time of the wedding as we knew he was in his last days, we sadly put him down two days after we married. The reading is extra special now.”

Ciarne and Joel were lucky enough to be able to include their favourite people on their wedding day. “Our wedding party included our closest friends including my sister. All members of the bridal party were very familiar with one another and have been friends for years so it was really nice and fun to spend the special day with them.”

“My favourite part of wedding planning was ticking things off the list, it was very rewarding!” 

Ciarne and Joel chose both Sophia Wilde and As Sweet As Jasmine to style the floral details for the day, explaining “We ended up having two different florists plus Joel’s cousins and Aunty do our flowers. I had booked Sophia Wilde and then amazingly won a florist competition through As Sweet As Jasmine. I decided to keep Sophia doing the arbour and bridal table, then As Sweet As Jasmine provided the bridal party’s bouquets and buttonholes. Joel’s cousins and Aunty did the table centrepieces. Both florists were so friendly, thoughtful and collaborated so that they would have consistency. I loved all of the floral elements of the day especially the arbour arrangement.”

Ciarne and Joel loved working with their photographers. “Our photographers Luna Imagery were a power couple – Dave & Mel. They had photographed my friend’s wedding and were highly recommended. I must admit I was nervous about the photograph element of the day as I am not a natural in front of the camera, Joel and I are not ones to show public displays of affection so I thought it would be awkward being photographed holding and kissing each other! But Dave made me feel completely comfortable and guided us through the day so well, it was actually so much fun. Mel was able to capture shots from a second angle which was really beneficial! Dave’s energy the whole night was unbelievable, he didn’t miss a thing and was so genuinely happy to be capturing our day. Many guests commented on our photographers the days after.”

The couple wanted to keep in with their coastal vibes, so held their reception at Merewether Surfhouse. “Merewether Surfhouse was just down the road from the lookout and has a great view of the ocean so it made sense to have our reception there.”

“Luna Imagery photographers were amazing” notes Ciarne. “I must also mention the florist As Sweet As Jasmine and Mae Petite Cakes who were so generous in running a competition with such a valuable prize giving a flower package, a wedding cake and macaroons free of charge! I was so fortunate to win.”

For the newlywed’s first dance, Joel chose  “Something About The Way You Look Tonight” by Elton John.


Congratulations Ciarne and Joel! It was so lovely to share your day! Thank you also to Luna Imagery for today’s beautiful images.

Polka Dot Dream Team...

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  • Ceremony Venue
  • Hickson Street Lookout


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