As the mess of 2020 starts to ease, the weddings for Aussie start to actually happen, and the stories start to come out. For Luka and Alex, the bride’s career as a nurse soon put cancelled wedding plans into perspective. “As so many 2020 couples were, we had our initial plans totally turned on their head by the covid pandemic. Being an emergency nurse I experienced first-hand the impact that the pandemic had on our health system and our community and in the face of that, I found it difficult to be sad over the changes that my wedding would have to face. As long as we had our health, Alex and I were happy to embrace any changes we needed to make.”

The couple’s dream 85 guest wedding weekend in the Hunter Valley, soon flipped on it’s head to become an intimate Blue Mountains wedding that honoured nature, and their bonds with their new guest list that numbered just 35. “Our venue lent itself beautifully to the concept we had of an intimate celebration filled with whimsical florals, bright pops of colours, and the best possible background that nature had to offer.” And just the ticket for The Nature Issue, we have all the beautiful secret garden vibes to share thanks to photographer K3 Photography.

The story says “as all modern fairytales do” laughs Luka, admitting the couple met on Tinder before Alex popped the question on a holiday to New Zealand. “New Zealand has always been my favourite travel destination due to its stunning scenery. Alex had never been so we planned a holiday driving from Christchurch to Queenstown and some quiet little towns in between.

I used the trip to show him my favourite locations and to also stay in one of my bucket list destinations – Lake Tekapo. I had always wanted to go but had never made it there. Lake Tekapo is famous for its crystal turquoise waters, mountain backgrounds and star gazing amongst the dark sky reserve. Alex planned an afternoon picnic by the lake where we could watch the sunset and see the stars come out. He popped down on one knee and asked me to marry him and become stepmother to his beautiful little daughters. I said yes and the rest is history.”

Luka found her off the shoulder ballgown at Purple Fox Bride. The purchased gown completely different from what she thought she’d choose! “As most brides do, I picked the exact opposite gown of what I had always pictured. My dream slinky slim-fitting gown turned into a sleeveless ball gown covered in thousands of tiny clear sequins. On the day of our wedding, there was barely a cloud in the sky and the sunlight caught every sequin, making the dress sparkle as I moved. Having my bridesmaids help me into that dress was a true princess moment.”

The groom and groomsmen chose blue suits from Connor. Says Luka “Weddings can be incredibly expensive so we took every opportunity we could to save in ways that wouldn’t affect our big day. Connor offered everything a groom and his groomsmen could want at an affordable price while still looking very stylish.”

Luka and Alex were married at the beautiful garden venue Dantosa Retreat. Says Luka “The vision I had of our wedding was ‘A natural fairytale’. I wanted for our special day to be a moment in time where we could step away from the real world and be surrounded by our nearest in dearest in a flower-filled, sunlit opening with the movement on the lake in the background. The two key elements that really allowed the vision of our day to come together was the beautiful styling done by my mother and the whimsical flower arrangements that our insanely talented florist Julia Rose created.”

“Lily and Elsie, Alex’s daughters played such a special part in our day as our flower girls. Elsie was so shy and a little scared to walk out in front of our guests but after a pep talk and a handhold from her older sister, they so beautifully started our ceremony in a way that was so special to us.”

For her walk down the aisle, the bride remembers “My father walked me down the aisle to the song “I get to love you” by Ruelle. It was a very special moment as my father has a condition that makes it difficult for him to walk that distance. There wasn’t a dry eye when he led me to Alex.”

The couple chose Sarah Loves Love Life Celebrancy to perform their ceremony, Luka noting “Our ceremony was intimate, fun and very heartfelt. Our celebrant Sarah expertly helped us to express our love for one another in a way that beautifully captured who we are as a couple. We laughed, cried and became husband and wife in front of our closest family and friends.”

Luka and Alex were married under a wooden arch made by the bride’s parents and adorned with lush, colourful blooms by Wedding Flowers by Julia Rose “I was extremely lucky that world-renowned florist Julia Rose is a family friend and could not wait to be involved in our big day. We had a briefing in which we discussed not only the particular flowers I may want but also the atmosphere I wanted to create with the arrangements. Everything that Julia created for us was just magical but I had to admit my favourite pieces were the phenomenal bouquet she created for me with bright pops of pinks, purples and oranges and the hair pieces that she handcrafted for my stepdaughters who played the part of our flowers girls so beautifully.”

Although the couple had bridesmaids and groomsmen, they decided against a maid of honour and best man. “We chose to forgo having the formalities of a best man and maid of honour and instead just chose to have our nearest and dearest stand beside us in no order. My three closest girlfriends wore different dresses, in 3 various styles that each suited their individual styles. All three dresses were a shade of pink that worked so nicely with the boys’ navy blue.”

The pair have nothing but good things to say about their choice of photographer. “We were lucky enough that once our wedding plans changed, Kathy was more than happy to pack up her gear and join us for the 3 hr road trip to the Blue Mountains!

I initially found Kathy via Instagram and loved the way she seemed to capture a couple’s personalities in her shots. We had an engagement shoot with her and never looked back. Kathy so easily created such beautiful moments between us to capture. She has given us so many beautiful reminders of our big day.”

Luka and Alex made the most of the wedding’s Blue Mountains location. “It was really important to me that our post-ceremony photos were in a unique location. A month before the wedding my mum, future mother in law and myself went on a drive to the Blue Mountains to check out some of the nearby spots. We soon found Frazer Rock. A sheer cliff edge overlooking a wide expanse of mountains as far as the eye can see.

Photographer Kathy was only too happy to use all this location had to offer and we so many stunning photos of us on the cliffs with my veil and dress blowing, mine and my bridesmaid’s bright bouquets popping against the mountain backgrounds and our wedding party enjoying a bottle of champagne with us as husband and wife. The photos are a snapshot into a magical day and we love looking back on them.”

“The favourite part of the day for me was the post-reception photos on the cliffside of Frazer Rock” tells Luka. “We had been husband and wife for only an hour and we got to take a silent moment, looking out into the amazing mountains and realise that our many months of planning had created this perfect moment.”

And then the newlyweds headed off to the reception, where their first dance was a truly special moment. “I had initially wanted to hold off on telling Alex what our first dance song would be but his lack of dancing abilities saw the end of that pretty quickly. I played “This Years Love” by David Grey to him to make sure he loved it as much as I did and we began some much-needed practice in our loungeroom, often spinning into walls. Our singer, ‘Ben Fox Band’ did an amazing job on the day of bringing all of our song choices to life. If a live singer is within your budget, we would highly recommend it. It brought a really special element to our day that all our guests commented on.”

If Luka gives you no other advice, then hiring a videographer would be it. “If having a videographer is within your budget we would highly recommend it. Our videographer captured every special moment of our day and put it into one video we now treasure. Weddings are expensive but some things are worth their weight in gold.” Take their film, captured by Bedroom Studio as all the evidence you need.

Congratulations to you both Luka & Alex! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us, thank you also to K3 Photography for today’s stunning images.