If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t need a lot of time, or, things to go exactly as planned for your wedding, to be absolutely perfect. For Kate and Ed? They pulled their day off in just four days and it’s full of glittering gold details.

Kate and Ed originally planned for a winter wedding with a campground festival vibe. The anticipation of their 24th of July wedding date quickly tuned to disappointment thanks to a snap lockdown. When the lockdown was lifted, albeit it with a smaller guest list and no dancing, the couple decided to go for it. “My sister was our celebrant, which is the main reason we managed to pull this together” admits Kate. “When the lockdown lifted on Tuesday (27th July)  and the announcement was that we could have a wedding with 50 people, Sarah asked if we wanted to just go for it, and so I scrambled around emailing all the local venues, hoping for the best… and RACV came through with the goods.” And lucky for these two? The majority of their dream team, including photographer (wait until you see these shots) Nic Stephens Photography were available to make it happen.

And Kate admits that the quick turnaround was one of her favourite parts. “Throwing it together in less than a week was pretty fun actually – we didn’t have time to worry if anything went wrong!”

It was while working in the wee hours that these two fell in love, in Kate’s own words “We were working together in the emergency department at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Ed used to make me cups of tea on night shifts. I was studying for my clinical exams and Ed would tell me which patients had good examination findings.
We started playing words with friends and going for brunch after night shifts. For our first official date, I brought a bunch of flours (plain, wholemeal, self-raising).

Ed decided it was time to pop the question while the couple we holidaying in Corsica “We were on a holiday in Corsica, after visiting Ed’s parents in England. Ed planned a hike up a particular mountain and we ate leftover pizza looking out across the tops of the trees, Ed was acting a bit weird – the next minute he was down on one knee holding out his grandmother’s ring from 1939. I thought he’d found a ring on the ground somewhere and was pulling a prank and then I was so surprised that I forgot to say yes (spoiler alert…it was a yes).”

The couple held their wedding at RACV Torquay “Not our original venue but the only one that happened to be available that weekend!” laughs Kate. “They were so amazing, everything worked out so perfectly even though it was all with only 4 days notice!

Honestly, they went above and beyond, it all went so smoothly, the food was delicious, the booze was free-flowing, all the audio/visual/lighting/zoom meeting went surprisingly well!”

The groom wore an incredible fuchsia suit from MJ Bale, on the insistence of Kate. “Ed generally wears fifty shades of grey – and not in a sexy way, he has fifty grey t-shirts, jumpers, pants and not much else. I managed to convince him that a green suit would go with our campground aesthetic, but there weren’t many options for green suits. He’d found one in MJ Bale which looked quite nice, so we went together for him to try it on…

I LOVE velvet and tried my very best to get him to try on a purple velvet jacket, which he refused point-blank. Then we locked eyes on this stunning fuchsia number and he agreed to just try it on as a compromise. I don’t think either of us expected it to look so good but IT LOOKED SO GOOD we bought it on the spot.” He added accessories from Peggy & Finn “A local surf coast brand we both love!”.

Kate and Ed opted for a first look to make sure they got plenty of photo time before the ceremony began after sunset. “Our ceremony at 5 pm was so family in the UK could attend online,” says Kate.

Gorgeous, glimmering gold is the only way to describe Kate’s star adorned gown – the “Orion” gown Willowby by Watters from Moonstruck Bride. “I love sparkly and colourful and I didn’t want to wear white, so champagne and sequins was a good compromise. I thought I would wear a jumpsuit and go to Moonstruck Bride because I loved their selection of sequinned jumpsuits…but then I tried on the Orion and had that cliched ‘it’s the ONE’ moment. I didn’t think I would be that kind of bride but when I tried it on and my mum and sisters had tears in their eyes – what better review than making your family cry.
I felt like a FAIRY PRINCESS and I LOVED IT.” She paired the look with golden Dr Martens and an antique engagement ring.

My engagement ring belonged to Ed’s Irish grandmother, which was given to her by Ed’s grandfather in 1939. They got married in 1940, and his grandfather died in the war in 1944.

“One of my favourite photos is with my sisters, Nic said ‘now turn to your favourite sister’ and I turned to Sarah (as a joke but maybe a little too quickly haha) – the look of happy surprise on Sarah’s face and horrified indignance on Emma’s is hilarious.”

Kate asked her three sisters and four friends to be her bridesmaids, each wearing their choice of outfit. “I didn’t want to make them buy new dresses (trying to limit our environmental impact and not have any fast fashion) so said they could wear whatever they wanted but try to make it a rainbow haha… It was a winter wedding so I got matching recycled-plastic-bottles faux fur jackets from Ena Pelly.” And For Ed? “Ed had three close friends as groomsmen (sadly his brother and other closest mates could not come from overseas and interstate) who all wore different suits with matching ties and socks from Peggy and Finn.”

“There’s one picture where we’re walking outside and it was raining and I was looking up at the sky and Ed was holding the umbrella and looking at me and we were so happy and colourful and we didn’t care that it was raining or that our big wedding had been cancelled we just felt so lucky to be there and then, together…wearing a bright fuchsia suit and a sparkly dress and faux fur and gold Doc Martens and the heaviest bouquet in the world. It is such a perfect photo.”

Beautiful blooms right? Kate and Ed chose As Daisy Does to style their blooms for the day. “My favourite florist. We bought plants for the altar and decorations (which then became party favours at the end of the night) and opted for the ‘quickie wedding’ flowers. The brief? Just a rainbow, thanks.
Gawd the bouquet was ginormous, it was so heavy! Good for making the biceps look toned in all the photos.”

Kate, an Ed’s photographer could not have gotten a more glowing review from Kate, who sings his praises highly. “What a legend! He was AMAZING. He was so flexible when we had to change dates a bunch of times, so easygoing and seemed to know exactly what we wanted. Ed hates having his photo taken (don’t worry I make up for that!) but Nic put him at ease, kept it relaxed and fun and a little adventurous.

The couple hired Cal Young to serenade the guests. “Not only was he available and willing at very short notice, but he was also amazing and set the mood so beautifully for the whole night. Beautiful voice beautiful guitar, and good at whistling!?

One of my favourite memories is my grandpa doing a lap of the room with his walking frame so that he could go and tell Cal (the musician) that he was doing a good job. Oh, my heart!”

Of the processional, Kate remembers “The big reveal was walking down the aisle on a red carpet. I made a last-minute decision to change the song from Nick Cave (who we both love, but maybe a bit sombre) to ‘Mess is Mine’ by Vance Joy – much more fitting to our relationship (my mess, mostly). My mum and dad both walked me down the aisle and it was the happiest I have ever felt.” Ed adding “I loved the moment I caught the first glimpse of Kate behind the pillar, the flash of gold stars and the gold Doc boots.”

Kate and Ed were lucky enough to be married by Kate’s sister  Sarah Gazzard. “A standout vendor! A blatant plug for my sister!) – but seriously she should, and does, actually do this for a job” laughs Kate. “Sarah was so amazing. She made us both feel completely at ease while allowing us to feel all the feels. It was the perfect combination of hilarious, sincere, and full of love.

The ceremony blew me away. Neither of us is religious, so we didn’t think the ceremony was a big deal, we just wanted to have a party. It wasn’t until we were in it that I truly felt how powerful it was to be making these promises, surrounded by people we love, including Ed’s family on zoom on the big screen next to us.

When we had planned the campground wedding festival we weren’t going to be able to have an online component, and had accepted that due to COVID, Ed’s family wouldn’t be there. Having them there with us, even though remotely in this weird online COVID world, was so special. Somehow this late notice, slap-dash style worked out for the better!”

“At the start of the ceremony, we viewed a video of Orla and Ruari – Ed’s niece and nephew who live in Singapore – walking down an aisle throwing petals and singing to us.
Ed’s good friend Jana did a reading chosen by Ed’s parents.
My mum, Carol, wrote her own words to read with Disney and Winnie the Pooh quotes (which have a special place in my heart). “Any day spent with you is my favourite day. So today is my new favourite day.”

“My grandparents, Keith and Alison, also spoke – to give marriage advice. They’ve been married 66 years. They are SO CUTE we love them so much. Grandpa referred to the importance of supporting each other in a marriage, referencing the Thatchers (unexpected) and Gran said ‘we’re lucky to have each other. All our friends are dead!’.”

“We wrote our vows (we had a bit of an argument about length, knowing that Ed’s were five sentences, and mine were two pages – Ed said I should make mine shorter and I said he should make his longer, neither of us backed down and it didn’t actually matter) and then did the legal bit and then Sarah said ‘you’re married!’ and it really hit me – we almost forgot to kiss.” And it is the ceremony, that forms Kate’s advice to you “Don’t dismiss how important the ceremony is. We thought we just wanted the party bit, but the ceremony was so much more than either of us had expected.”

Kate’s sister Georgia made the cake. “It was the most magnificent cake I’ve ever seen!” Another sister Emma made her a matching wedding face mask for a  “a classic COVID wedding!”

Kate lent her hand to a thing DIY elements, though they weren’t all quite as she planned. “I made the seating chart and place-cards made of paper with swan daisy seeds in that you can plant and grow flowers.

I also had impulsively ordered 150 enamel mugs (I had drunkenly planned to paint and send out invites on these mugs… not at all practicable!) which were actually much bigger than I thought they would be – they arrived and they are massive! You can fit 1.2L in there! So they look ridiculous. We used them as plant pots to decorate, and then people got them to take home at the end of the night.”  Ed adding “I remember being blown away by the transformation from what looked like a fairly boring conference room, into a beautiful wedding venue for the ceremony and reception in the ballroom.”

For a day that was all about whimsy and love, it was also really important to Kate and Ed that their wedding was low-impact. “We tried to keep it as environmentally friendly and low-impact as possible. We wanted no single-use plastics, only local providers and produce, minimising travel (already done thanks to COVID), a small guest list (also thanks to COVID). For the food, we went full vegetarian (because we and a lot of our friends are, and to reduce the carbon footprint of our wedding). We asked for no gifts, but that people donate to our favourite charities – Seed mob, AYCC, Bob Brown Foundation and MSF.”

“We were going for a campground festival vibe, but our wedding was cancelled due to a snap lockdown… so the style was more a last-minute-thrown-together-we-can-have-covid-restricted-50-guests-including-ourselves-between-lockdowns kind of vibe. We wanted colourful and sparkly.”

We told you this day was perfection! “We just wanted a big party, and to be able to invite everyone we wanted. A global pandemic had other plans, and we ended up having a small ceremony and dinner with 50 people and no dancefloor, but it worked out so perfectly and we loved every minute of it. Maybe because we’d changed plans so many times before and had other friends who’d also had to cancel weddings because of lockdowns and border closures, but we felt lucky to have any kind of celebration this year.
Cutting the guest list down to 48 people (the 50 person limit included us!) was a real challenge, and there were so many people we would’ve loved to have there, but a small wedding was so lovely and intimate and I would definitely recommend it! (it helps if there are COVID restrictions and all your aunts aren’t allowed to get annoyed for not being invited) The whole day felt like such a treasure, to actually spend time with the people we love after the difficult year it’s been with lockdowns and restrictions and isolation.”

Restrictions meant these two had to ditch their first dance, but as with everything about this day, they did it their way. “We weren’t allowed to have a dancefloor, and we had planned a first dance based on having an outfit change in the campground… so we didn’t have an official first dance. We unofficially started an impromptu first dance to ‘Dreams’ by The Cranberries, but had difficulty navigating the many layers of my dress.”

A big congratulations to you both Kate and Ed! I am so glad you got to have the wedding you dreamt about. Thank you both. Thank you also to Nic Stephens Photography for today’s incredible images.