Cassie & Nathan

“After our wedding, my uncle joked “This is the most reversed wedding I have been to – a ceremony in a pub and a reception in a church!”. Funnily enough, this is completely true.”

And that it was! For Cassie and Nathan, their romantic & moody wedding was filled with unexpected charm and plenty of it!

Captured by the talented team of  Ava Me Photography, this was a wedding that was, in the bride’s so very apt words “Romantic and moody, but highly celebratory with a party atmosphere as everyone screamed “Finally!” after 10 years of waiting for us to tie the knot.”

And while two tied the knot on their tenth anniversary, they first met at the tender age of 15! That’s right, they’re high school sweethearts! “We met when we were 15 years old then spent a year messaging each other and sending little love letters (which Cassie sneakily used as a base to her wedding speech!). After a year, we were awkward 16 year-olds who decided to give it a shot and we haven’t looked back since! We promised each other that we would continue being a couple as long as we were having fun. And, 10 years later, clearly, we never stopped having fun!”

A couples getaway to Fiji was just the push Nathan ended to ask Cassie to marry him. “To set the scene – we were on the second day of our Fijian getaway. Nathan brought his large camera on holiday (which he hadn’t used in years!). Over the day, he kept mentioning he wanted to take some snaps of the sunset.

As the sun began to set, Nathan led me to a quiet part of the resort where our legs dangled over the water’s edge and we spoke about how relaxed and happy we were. He then said that he wanted to take some pictures of me with the sunset. He told me to face to the sun so that he could take some “model Instagram shots” and after a few snaps of the camera, he said, “Ok, I’ve got the one!”. I turned around to see him on one knee with a ring and he asked me to marry him. Forgetting to reply, I leapt onto him with endless kisses. He asked “So, is that a yes?” then proceeded to try to put the ring on the wrong finger. Twice.

It was truly a perfectly imperfect moment. The ring was fake, as the box contained a render of a ring that he had designed, but hadn’t made because he knew I would want to tweak it to truly reflect me and our story.” 

The groom chose a blue suit- a last-minute decision, designed by Rundle Tailoring. “A month out from the wedding, we took the original suit out of the cupboard and he decided he didn’t like the blue! Luckily, the salesmen at Rundle Tailoring helped us out and Nathan bought a… blue suit! A different shade of course, but still, another blue suit was purchased.”

Adding something sentimental to her look was key for Cassie. “I always wanted to wear something that my Mum wore on her wedding day. She saved her wedding outfit but when I opened the box, however, I realised that (to put it nicely), that some fashion isn’t always timeless. Although she was very stylish in her time, unfortunately, puffy sleeves weren’t about to make a comeback in 2019. So, I put my faith in wearing her veil but… turns out she wore a hat. Since I was determined to find something that would match perfectly with our day, I finally chose a faux flower (that was originally located on said hat) to wear in my hair. My dad and brother also pinned a flower to the inside of their jackets.
Nathan’s grandmother also lent me a bronze broach that was worn by herself, Nathan’s mother and many other women in their family on their wedding days. I chose to pin it on my bouquet so that I carried their traditions with me all day.”

The bride chose a Studio Levana gown from Designer Bridal House. “I wore a Studio Levana dressed called the Esme. It was a Pinterest dream dress of mine because I fell in love with the lace. I called the company, but they, unfortunately, said the dress wasn’t available in Australia yet. I continued my dress-journey by heading on a girls-day-out in Newcastle hunting for dresses in the bridal shops, but I didn’t fall in love. A few weeks later, Bridal Designer House (a bridal shop in Melbourne!) had announced a trunk show that had my dream Esme dress! To put my heart at ease, I decided to travel to Melbourne with my dad. To make it an even more special event, my brother also came to the dress appointment. As my family were around me, I fell in love with the dress but also the close experience with my family.
Needless to say, I didn’t think through the purchase of a dress in Melbourne when my wedding was in Newcastle as I had to travel back and forth to get measured as well as my final alterations only a few days ahead of the wedding. A few days before the wedding, one cancelled flight later, a dress that was in a bag underneath the plane, multiple calls to the airline, and a frantic bride… was finally resolved a day later when everything arrived safely in Newcastle just in time!”

Nathan’s absolute favourite memory of the day? “As Cassie entered the ceremony, the calm acoustic music of “Stand by Me” played but as she rounded the corner she SCREAMED. She was so excited to see me that she couldn’t help herself. It was at that moment that all my fears and nerves (and there were heaps!) melted away. I’m glad that it was a happy scream and not a horrified one!”

Cassie chose an acoustic version of “Stand By Me” to play as she walked down the aisle with her dad.

The couple chose Customs House Newcastle for their ceremony. “Our ceremony was held at Custom’s House in Newcastle, which overlooked the harbour. The room has authentic, traditional features including arched windows, old floorboards and a prominent fireplace. Luckily, we had planned our ceremony to be indoors because we hadn’t predicted the 14 degrees, torrential rainy weather that we had.”

Wed By Kez was chosen to perform the official part of the day, Cassie remembering “Our ceremony aimed to be a balance between romantic, authentic and fun. As I walked down the aisle, I screamed when I saw my extremely nervous groom, because I was so excited. Halfway through the ceremony, before saying our original and unique vows, our celebrant said “Unfortunately, some people couldn’t make it today but I’m glad to welcome two very important guests” and the song “You Make Our Dreams Come True” blared over the speakers and our two puppy-dogs, Eddie and Reggie, bounded into the room. This meant that for the rest of the ceremony, there were a few barks here and there that always lightened the mood if things became too soppy.”

The couple’s favourite four-legged friends added something a bit fun to the couple’s wedding, the photos produced, among Cassie’s favourites. “My favourite photo includes Nathan and I picked up our crazy dogs in the middle of the ceremony – our smiles as big as our faces. I still hear the gasps and screams of our guests saying “NO, Cassie! Be careful of the lace!” when I picked our crazy labradoodle up.”

“I loved every moment of the planning” tells Cassie. “I loved incorporating little bits of ‘us’ in the day – novels, flowers, pictures, music, and ultimately… dogs! Our vendors were amazing. From dress shop, celebrant, to stylist and florist, makeup artist and hair artist, to venues, cake, to videographer and photographer – every single one of them was perfect and I thank them for making out the day so special.”

The beautiful floral arrangements were styled by Little Wren Flowers. Cassie says “Little Wren designed our flowers for the day and Lucy was fabulous. The flowers were a contrast with bright white and light pink with deep dark foliage. To top it off, there were pops of metallic gold throughout.”

The newlyweds were thrilled with their choice of photographer. “AH-MAZE-ING. Joel, from Ava Me Photography, was fantastic on the day. Extremely relaxed but also professional. His ability to move like a ninja is impressive and is evident through the number of shots that he managed to get of one moment. He was non-invasive, but also had a clear presence in the room. Somehow, he made Nathan and I – the two most awkward people ever – look somewhat natural in our photos. Our bridal party was filled with BIG personalities and he was able to navigate that perfectly. We ultimately chose Joel because of his dark and moody candid photographs, which is exactly what we got. It’s exciting to know that we will be showing Joel’s pictures for many generations to come and we will always be happy with his work.”

Why not make the most of your photo location and grab icecream? “Eating ice cream cones during our photos was not only a great photo opportunity but also provided deliciousness” laughs the bride.

The historic, restored of 48 Watt Street was just what Cassie and Nathan wanted for their reception. “With high ceilings, we loved the architectural features of the space and we loved dancing the night away with moody lighting and flowers above.”

Each guest took home something special. “One of my favourite details was the bonbonnieres. I’m an English teacher and I always want to encourage reading! So everyone received a little black novel and a bookmark to read.”

Cassie and Nathan give nothing but rave reviews to their wedding vendors, including Crab Apple Vintage who brought their vision to life.  “All of our vendors were extraordinary and deserve the biggest shout-out. Crab Apple Vintage was our stylist who managed to capture our vision to a tee! They also worked seamlessly with Little Wren, our florist, to create a floral wonderland that included moody hanging florals above the tables, impressively beautiful installations for the ceremony as well as the reception, and special vased flowers along the table. Kez, from Wed by Kez, made our ceremony relaxed and fun from start to end. And Bonnie Lass, our videographer, perfectly captured the atmosphere of the day.”

The couple made sure to include a table of very important people in memory. “Unfortunately, Nathan lost his Dad and I lost my Mum before our wedding day, so we made sure to include a memory table or “Table of Love” with photographs of our loved ones that had passed away. This was extremely special to us.”

Cassie and Nathan entered their reception with their first dance and made sure to have plenty of fun with it. “Nathan and I are probably the most uncoordinated people you could ever meet, so a waltz was never an option. Instead, as we were welcomed as a married couple into our reception to the song “You’ve Got a Friend In Me”, we danced a coordinated, lame dance in front of all of our guests. Think – shimmies, box steps, and the ‘catch the fish’ move. Very over-the-top and absolutely ridiculous. It got our whole reception party up on their feet and screaming with laughter – a perfect way to begin our reception.”

  “Always make decisions together using your hearts” advises Cassie. “Sometimes it would be easier to use your head, but your heart invites passion, adventure and happiness.”

Cassie and Nathan made sure that their wedding festivities extended beyond one day. “Out of 92 guests – 90 travelled regionally to join us for our wedding! Nathan and I are originally from Wollongong, 3 hours from Newcastle, and we have travelling back and forth throughout the years and have lost count how many times we have done the drive. This time, our friends and family all had to make the trip to join us in Newcastle – for some, this was the first time they had been here! So, rather than a Wedding DAY, we made it a Wedding WEEKEND. Majority of guests joined us for dinner the night before at Queens Wharf Hotel and for breakfast the day after the wedding (to soak up all the party-drink!) at Six Degrees. It meant that everyone was relaxed and enjoyed the entire weekend!”

Cassie and Nathan hired Bonnie Lass Films to film their day and the result? It’s pretty special!

Congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Props and thanks to Ava Me Photography for today’s stunning photography!