Lisa and Chris, began their day as they went on. Sharing a hot cuppa together, as they mused over what was to come. It was a beautiful beginning for the pair, who rethought their plans to elope to New Zealand and instead, chose Australia’s very own Cradle Mountain for their nuptials.

With zero guests present, and just a team of talented wedding pros (photographer Eerik Sandstrom proving a definite standout with his moody, misty images) present, the pair vowed to love one another forever by the shores of Dive Lake. They celebrated with champagne and a wander through the fairy floss pink sunset. It was everything they wanted – a wedding stripped back of the fuss; raw, natural, organic and most of all relaxed.

The pair fell in love young, Lisa was just 17 when she first came across Chris’ profile on Facebook – they’ve been together ever since, says Lisa “I was 17 years old and at the end of year 11. I was scrolling through on Facebook and came across Chris’ profile, I saw a few of his photos and thought this guy looks cute, why not give him an add and see what happens!

We started talking on messenger, and we ended up speaking more and more each day, the conversation just flowed and we didn’t have to try hard at all, we could just be ourselves. We ended up meeting up a few months down the track at a cafe, of course in secret on my behalf, I told mum I was seeing the girls!”

The couple became engaged when Chris popped the question on his birthday weekend away – the setting? Utterly magical! “We went to Daylesford for a relaxing week away for his birthday, I had a feeling he was going to propose because and he was asking me questions he wouldn’t normally about what our plans were and he was looking up restaurants (whereas I usually do the planning and he follows along haha).

We went to a nice lavender farm in the morning and walked around the gardens, fed the highlander cow (they’re really cute!) and we had some nice homemade scones, little did we know the scones were massive so we got so full that we didn’t end up going to the fancy restaurant he planned on proposing to me after breakfast haha). I suggested we stop at Forest Glade Gardens in Mt Macedon, we walked around and took some photos, I think he was trying to stall and wasn’t sure if he should ask me here! We walked a bit further into the gardens on a narrow path where it had a rainforest feel and no one was around and I turned around and he got down on one knee and asked me! There were a lot of nerves, tears and laughter!”

When their plans changed, Lisa had to rethink everything, and that included her gown! Her final choice was a stunning Hayes Bridal gown. “We were initially going to elope to New Zealand in August of 2020, so I had bought a dress about 8 months before that date, we did postpone NZ to May of 2021, however, the borders didn’t look like they were going to open anytime soon.

I changed our plans to elope to Tasmania instead and we had about 6 weeks to plan! Since more time had passed, I had second thoughts about my dress, thankfully I found an elegant and minimal long-sleeved dress by Hayes Bridal which fit like a glove and I felt so much more like myself, this was just three weeks before our elopement!”

As per the requirement of Cradle Mountain National Park, Lisa carried a bouquet fo faux flowers from Hayley Paige Flowers. She tells “I placed an order for some gorgeous local flowers in Tasmania, however about two weeks before we departed from Melbourne I learnt that real flowers aren’t allowed in Cradle Mountain! Yikes! Luckily I found Hayley Paige Flowers in Melbourne who was able to supply some faux flowers which I managed to take with me on the plane! She was able to capture the soft and romantic feel I was after!”

Chris found his match at tailor Dyonsu. “We panicked a little when arrived at a custom suit shop and told us it would take more than 4 weeks to make a suit because it was the Chinese New Year!” laughs Lisa.   “Thankfully we found an amazing suit shop ‘Dyonsu’ in South Yarra. We gave them an idea of what we wanted and they dressed him from head to toe and my jaw dropped haha.

Chris wanted a grey textured suit jacket so that it would look a little more casual, modern and soft in the photos. Since the landscapes were dark and moody we thought it would look best if he stood out from the background. Chris wore fitted black suit pants and black shoes, along with a black textured tie.”

The couple took a bus to their ceremony, one of Chris’ favourite memories occurring just as they got on the bus. “We were just about to hop onto the bus that would drive us up to Dove Lake and I remember the panic in Lisa’s face when she realised she had forgotten the rings in the rent a car. I dashed to our car and thankfully we had them for our ceremony haha!” Adds Lisa “My brain was a bit scattered, I forgot the rings in the car as well as the champagne glasses, I thought ‘Oh no, I’m going to have to drink from the bottle, how ladylike!’ every time I watch that part on video I just laugh!”

The couple held their ceremony over the lake with Kathleen Ryan officiating. “It was intimate, relaxed, peaceful and a bit of fun” remembers Lisa. “We wrote our vows which we read to one another for the first time in front of the magical Dove Lake, I was amazed at how beautiful Chris’ vows were.
Kathleen Ryan, our celebrant guided the ceremony through laughter and reflection, it was an emotional and memorable day that was just about the two of us. Cradle Mountain was breathtaking and even more impressive than we imagined!”

The couple read their vows to one another from vow books purchased from  Olive Paperie Co.. Says Lisa”We had these handcrafted minimal vow books which I thought were really sweet and would make a special keepsake.”

After the formal part of the day was complete, Lisa and Chris took a moment to honour their future selves. “We wrote a letter to one another and placed it into a wooden box with a bottle of wine which we will open on our third wedding anniversary!”

If you’re in the thick of planning your wedding day, Lisa has this advice for you. “Be flexible and open-minded, somehow everything works out in the end (and sometimes even better!). Remember what is most important – the love between two people.”

Lisa and Chris spent most of the day alongside photographer Eerik, and it is a decision they encourage you to copy. “Eerik is amazing at what he does! He is such a passionate and talented photographer. We loved that he was so easy to talk to and made us feel so comfortable, he had little tricks that he would use to get a natural laugh from us, which I thought was clever!”

Tells the bride “A special moment would have been when we went on the ‘Enchanted Walk’ and we watched the sunset together, the sky lit up pink, it couldn’t have been more perfect.”

The couple worked with Light Noise Films to capture this incredible film of the day. Their work remains a stand out feature of the day, says Lisa “Brooke and Bree from Light Noise Films who captured those intimate moments that we will cherish forever!”

A big congratulations on your marriage Lisa and Chris! What a joy it was to share on your wedding day. Thank you both and thank you to Eerik Sandstrom for your absolutely beautiful images.