Rose petals were thick on the lush green grass as Ellen and Thomas were married by the water in Port Stephens. An intimate and classic day, filled with sentimental touches, Ava Me Photography captured the celebration.

The bride and groom met at just 15 and 17, respectively, and from that moment have been together. Ellen tells of the proposal, ”We travelled to Port Stephens to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Tom set up a picnic on One Mile Beach and presented me with a ring box and said, ”I know this isn’t the ring you wanted but happy anniversary”. As I was staring at this ring feeling a bit disappointed Tom got down on one knee and presented me with another ring box! I was in disbelief, I pushed him and said, ”This is not funny!” To my surprise, Tom was proposing to me finally after 10 years together.

Wearing a lace gown with dropped sleeves, the bride found her dream dress very quickly. She shares, ”I didn’t have expectations of how I wanted my wedding dress to look. I went to one shop, tried on my first dress, and then that was it! I loved it from the first time I tried it on.” The groom wore a charcoal suit with a white tie, chosen by the bride.

The Anchorage Port Stephens set the scene for a sunny and classic wedding ceremony by the water. Ellen remembers, ”We had an outdoor ceremony looking out at the marina which was special to the Steber’s. Tom’s dad was a boat builder for many years as well as his pop, Neville Thomas, who Tom was named after. He sadly passed away before I met Tom. The ceremony for us was all about family remembering old memories and creating new memories.” Ellen walked down the aisle to ‘I Get To Love You’ by Ruelle.

Not only a lush arrangement to frame the ceremony, Botanica Bird transformed the reception into a green oasis. Soft, romantic blooms contrasted with textural foliage to create a gorgeous addition to the day. Ellen tells, ”Flowers was the hardest decision to make. I chose simple, vintage but elegant colours to which Botanica Bird then created an amazing reception of two hanging arrangements from the ceiling, the backdrop of our ceremony and bouquets were out of this world I couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful.”

Capturing the waterside light beautifully and all the emotions from the wedding celebration was Ava Me Photography. The bride tells, ”Joel hands down did an amazing job especially when we first met him for our engagement shoot. Tom and I aren’t very lovey-dovey but he was able to capture amazing photos of us both engagement shoot and wedding. He was so relaxed, easy-going and gave us great direction. We couldn’t have asked for a better photographer. 10/10!”

Visiting The Anchorage Port Stephens for their 10th anniversary turned out to be serendipitous in the best possible way! The venue provided the perfect spot for Ellen and Thomas’ day, as they share that ‘everything’ was a favourite detail. ”YWC Productions was our decorator and Botanica Bird was our florist and they worked together to create the most amazing wedding. We gave them my ideas and they turned our wedding into a dream come true. Our photographer Ava Me Photography was so relaxed and easy-going on the day. He didn’t rush us and made sure we really enjoyed our day. In the end, it was just the best day to be surrounded by the people we love and we both got to marry our best friend.”

A caramel drizzle cake standing three double tiers high and photos of grandparents who had passed away were some of the details of the reception. Ellen remembers, ”We didn’t have any dance lessons but created some dance moves of our own. Tom and I have so much fun just being at home playing music and dancing around being silly. So it was great to just have fun and not be so serious with our first dance. We knew our grandparents were there on our special day but it was a nice touch to have their photos on display.”

As a special touch, and to carry on tradition, Ellen tells, ”We added the Irish blessing at our reception before we ate. My uncle gave the blessing as my background is Irish, and my grandpa who passed away said it at my uncle’s wedding, and then we did the same at my grandpa’s funeral.”

Thank you to our gorgeous bride and groom for sharing your wedding day with us, and congratulations! Thank you also to Ava Me Photography for your beautiful images!