Catherine and Matthew originally planned for a big wedding during winter in the beautiful Southern Highlands. But like every other couple in 20202, COVID, and its restrictions, meant that the pair had to postpone their day and if they wanted to get married? Drop their guest numbers, head to their local park and, ale the most of the sunshine, right of course by the sea. “We had had a few setbacks due to COVID – culling the guest list, changing the venue etc so we were just so happy in the end that our plan B wedding worked out perfectly, and should have been our plan A all along!”

If you love the idea of a coastal wedding, but don’t love the idea of the beach. Then scroll on to see how Catherine and Matthew made magic happen through the beautiful images by Gina Geomelos!

It was over drinks in a Sydney bar, with a bit of culinary boasting, that led Catherine and Michael to hit it off.  “Matt spent the whole time bragging about how great he was at making beef pot pie,” laughs Catherine, “so I took him up on the offer to make this for us on our next date!

Matt popped the big question on a holiday through the USA, “Matt and I were on day one of a three week trip in the mid-west USA. We’d just had a beautiful hike in New Orleans and stopped to take a break and have something to eat. Before I knew it he was down on one knee!

Says Catherine “Matt wore a light navy suit with a pale pink tie that matched the flowers and colour scheme of our wedding. He looked beautiful!”

Catherine worked with the lovely Louise Alvarez Couture on her simple, yet elegant gown, She tells “I always admired brides that went for the classic/elegant look. My sister had her dress made by Louise Alvarez for her wedding and I adored her dress, so it was a no-brainer that I would go with Louise as well. It was a fantastic experience having my dress custom made by Louise, she is an absolute pro, extremely accommodating (I had some last-minute design requests!) and super friendly all around.”

Designer Lousie Alvarez adding “Catherine’s beautiful custom gown featured an Art Deco style cowl back. Her hand appliqued, beaded lace bodice followed through with exquisitely simple lines. The soft flow of her silk satin skirt was perfect for their harborside setting moving with the ocean breeze! ”

“Rachel was fantastic and looked after me very well. They were a mix of pink shades, white and creams” tells Catherine of the fresh floral details on the day styled by Lavande Designs. And that walk down the aisle? “I walked down the aisle with my dad. ‘Only You’re by Yazoo, sung by one of Matt’s oldest friends is the song we walked down the aisle to. It was a beautiful moment.”

Catherine’s favourite moment? “Finally seeing Matt when I made my way down the aisle – I was a pile of nerves the whole day getting ready, but time slowed down as soon as I was with him and we were then able to relax and enjoy the ceremony together.” This moment? Also, Matthew’s favourite “When the song started playing and I knew it was time for Cat to walk down the aisle, I knew it was ‘go time’ and seeing Cat walking down the aisle was such a special and lovely moment that I’ll never forget.”

The ceremony was held in the sunshine at Cremorne Point, a special place for Catherine and Michael “We were living in Cremorne at the time and just loved the area, ” explains Catherine “we regularly went for walks with our puppy Frankie down by Cremorne point. When we had to cancel our original, larger venue due to Covid restrictions, we weren’t sure what our plan b would be. One night we had a picnic down by the water and it just clicked that this was the perfect place all along!”

The wedding was officiated by Haley of Love Notes Ceremonies “Our ceremony wouldn’t have been as special without Haley. She set such a great and loving energy for the ceremony and was fantastic at giving us discreet direction when required on the day.

We wanted a really special, intimate ceremony, especially given that we had only 30 of our closest friends and family there to share our moment with us. I have Irish heritage and so asked one of my good friends and my mum to read Irish blessings during the ceremony. Haley kept the ceremony light and heartfelt, and brought really warm, friendly and beautiful energy to the ceremony.”

Catherine gives you this advice “Once the day unfolds, relinquish control and just enjoy the day. Spend time together as a couple in the afternoon/night. It’s true what everyone says – the day just runs away with you and passes so quickly, so definitely try to stop and cherish each moment.”

Catherine and Matthew have all the thumbs up for their photographer Gina “She had worked with a few members of Matt’s family so we knew she would do a stellar job for us as well. ” explains the bride “She was phenomenal – professional from start to finish and gave us and our bridal party/groomsmen the direction we all needed. I highly recommend Gina!”

The intimate group settled in for a sunset dinner at Ripples Milsons Point. “We particularly think of our menu tasting at Ripples as our favourite part of wedding planning – delicious! ” raves Catherine “We vowed to go back there to sample the rest of the menu!”. To honour their engagement, Catherine handmade New Orleans style truffles for each guest to take home as their wedding favour.

“We loved The intimacy of the afternoon and night, the familiarity of our location, the fact that it just turned into a great party for our closest family and friends, the heartfelt speeches made, and the fact that we were secretly three weeks pregnant and only we knew!!!”

Of their first dance, the bride remembers “We started our first dance to “Forever” by Ben Harper but soon changed tune and busted out some moves to “For Once in My Life”  by Stevie Wonder. It was so much fun and we were soon joined by our bridal party on the dancefloor!

Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us Catherine and Matthew! We loved working with you and Louise of Louise Alvarez Couture on this story! Thanks also go to Gina Geomelos for sharing today’s imagery!