Leesa & Darren

It was 25 years between drinks for today’s happy couple, Leesa and Darren “Darren and I went to school together and were friends. ” explains the bride “Then we reconnected as friends again through Facebook. We started messaging each other and fell in love. We were living 10 hours apart and when Darren first flew to Brisbane to visit me, we worked out it had been 25 years since we had seen each other.”

And the pair celebrated their day in beautiful, community filled beauty. an old workmate of Darren’s Matthew of Stone & Wool Photography joining the day alongside the couple’s six children and their favourite family and friends in their very own backyard. ” Says Leesa “We wanted a Relaxed outdoor wedding” and that? That they got! Read on for this one.

First up? The romantic, celebratory proposal! “We had bought a five-acre property in Hervey Bay, and the day the sale went unconditional we walked down to the beach with a drink to celebrate. I was watching my little girl playing and when I turned back to Darren, he was kneeling on both knees with the ring!.”

Leese unexpectedly fell in love with at Mia Solano gown at Luv Bridal & Formal. “I was totally going for a nice dress or pantsuit, never an actual wedding dress. I went dress shopping with my bridesmaids/daughters, and they begged me to try on a wedding dress just for them. Well, the first dress I tried on we all got the feels and cried! So I ended up with the big wedding dress deal!”

The wedding party carried bouquets made of paper by Jenelle Gray. Leesa explaining   “We had paper bouquets made from Harry Potter books! I and all my children are huge readers, and Harry Potter fans and I wanted to include our love of books somehow.”


“Matty is amazeballs!” raves Leesa of the couple’s chosen photographer ” He and Darren used to work together in the mining industry. When we set our date, Matty was always our first choice as a photographer. Darren called him to ask if he was available for the gig, and Matty in all his generous glory, straight up told Darren he would be honoured to gift his services to us as he couldn’t possibly take any money.

Matty’s incredible generosity allowed us to spend big on other things on our wedding wish list. His amazing enthusiasm and spirit, relaxed and calming manner, and the gift of making even the most awkward subjects comfortable in front of the camera, are all a magical combination. Matty has this incredible ability to create a magic moment out of a couple of oldies standing in their back paddock among burly trees and weeds! The love and emotion Matty captured while we were all getting ready, at our first look, during our celebration and even later in the night when we tried to tell him to knock off and enjoy the beer, allows us to relive those feelings each time we look at his photos! Matty has a gift with people and we were grateful we got to witness it!”

It was an art home affair for Darren and Leesa, who chose to marry in their own backyard “We held our celebration at our five-acre home in Hervey Bay. Darren worked super hard in the months leading up to our day, getting our gardens looking just perfect!”

Guests arrived to an array of drinks and delicious treats, Leesa sharing “We chose Darren’s fiftieth birthday as our wedding date, which was super special!
Guests arrived half hour before the ceremony so they could have a drink and mingle.”

These two? They didn’t have a traditional processional and it was wonderful! Leesa explaining “We all walked together to “Can’t Stop the Feeling” Justin Timberlake! The wedding party walked in first and Lawson (my daughter) walked with Darren and I. Archie the dog ran down the aisle too!

Our family is blended, Darren has two children and I have three with a daughter-in-law. We wanted all our children to play a major part in our day so they were all in our Bridal party. Lawson is the youngest (13) so she walked us up the aisle. My three kids all made speeches. They all did so well all day, with their support and love, it created a special bond between us all.”

Natalie Alexander – Stylish Weddings officiated the ceremony. “We wanted to be relaxed and we wanted everyone to feel the love and laughter. We kept the ceremony simple, short and sweet. Our celebrant was amazing and kept the vibe going.

We didn’t have a separate ceremony set up, we wanted guests to watch us while sitting or standing wherever they wanted around the rustic styled outdoor party set up.”

Leesa notes “Darren and I fell more in love with each other on our Wedding Day! It was such a romantic and joyous day, it brought us even closer. We are best friends and do everything together, and our Wedding demonstrated our teamwork. It was lovely to have all my siblings together for the first time in ten years or so!”

There were plenty of special details, tells Leesa “Darren researched festoon lighting for months beforehand, in fact, he became obsessed! But all his sleepless nights were worth it! Darren fabricated custom light poles, purchased around 300m of festoon lights and designed the layout. His light set up definitely added the wow factor we wanted!”

And the groom had one final surprise for his new wife! “Darren will always remember the look on my face when the fireworks went off! I kept saying “You got fireworks, you got fireworks”!”

For their dance floor debut, Lees and Darren chose  “It’s Your Love” Tim McGraw.

A big congratulations to you both Leese & Darren! Thank you for sharing your stunning, special day with us. Thank you also to Stone & Wool Photography for today’s beautiful day,