After postponing their wedding once, there was no doubt that by the time Annaye and Doug got to tie the knot, it was a day that was well anticipated. And vision? It was clear. Local, handmade, soft shades of yellow and completely “Annaye and Doug”. Their story is beautifully captured by (local) photographer Bryce Gage Studio.

“Our wedding was simple and rustic. Almost everything was either made, borrowed or purchased second-hand on Marketplace,” explained Annaye. “I even used second-hand dried flowers from my bridal dress shop to decorate the place cards that I had handwritten. Our gorgeous signs and table numbers were made by Doug’s Dad and all our signs were painted by Doug’s sister. We chose all local vendors or friends. Our makeup artist, one of our hairstylists, musician, DJ and photographers all attended Ulladulla High School. A lot of talented people came from Ulladulla High! Our caterer always catered for our high school events too. It was so special that we had a connection with all our vendors, which made everything more fun and relaxed for us.”

And of course, with such a focus on local suppliers, it won’t surprise you that Annaye and Doug met at the local high school. The bride reminisces. “We both grew up in Ulladulla and we were in the same grade at Ulladulla High School. Although we had many mutual friends, our love story didn’t begin until the summer before we started studying at Wollongong University. We bonded over our love for exploring, surfing, and the ocean.”

And it was sometime (a decade to be exact) that Doug thought the time finally right to propose. “10 years on, after both graduating from university, travelling, gaining permanent teaching positions, buying a house and a puppy, Doug thought it was time to buy a ring” remembers Annaye. “It was a beautiful, insignificant, sunny Wednesday afternoon, we went on a bushwalk at Mount Keira near Wollongong where we used to explore when we first moved as teenagers. We remembered how to get to a beautiful lookout that overlooked all of Wollongong that had overgrown quite a lot in a decade. As we found a nice spot to enjoy our beer and salt and vinegar chips, I turned around to find Doug on one knee. It was State of Origin night, so we returned home to celebrate with close friends. Although NSW didn’t win that night, Doug had won me!”

“I helped Doug pick the suits,” admits Annaye, who worked with Doug and the groomsmen to find pieces at Tarocash.  “I knew very well without my involvement they could have turned up in shorts and thongs. We wanted something to match the bridesmaids and the rustic, bush setting.”

Annaye and Doug made their wedding a weekend-long occasion. “We loved being surrounded by all the people that matter the most to us. It doesn’t get any more special than that. We had a “wedding weekend”. We had a holiday house booked for 4 days. We were able to have welcome drinks and morning after breakfast, which maximised our time with our friends and family who had come a long way.”

It took Annaye multiple attempts to find her dream gown, a beauty she landed on a Bon Bride gown Your Art Bridal . “I tried on countless beautiful dresses that just didn’t feel like the one until I met Maggie from Your Art Bridal. Maggie was beautiful and took the time to get to know me and helped me pick dresses that would suit me. She watched my reaction and how I moved in them and helped me pick “the one”. My amazing BB:05 Bon Bride dress was originally long-sleeved for our September wedding, but postponing to a summer wedding I had to be creative. I met a gorgeous alterations lady who helped me take the sleeves off, which made the dress even more unique.”


Annaye walked down the aisle hand in hand with her dad but she made sure to include her brothers in the moment too. “My dad walked me down the aisle. I have three brothers so I asked them to come with dad to the cottage before the ceremony, which was a special way to include them too.”

The couple were married outside by the bush. Annaye remembers  “We wanted a short, light-hearted and fun ceremony, which our celebrant Dave certainly delivered. We wrote our vows, which was one of the most special parts of the wedding preparation. We decided to read our vows to each other on a date night before the wedding, which was personally one of the most special things we decided to do because we were able to be emotional and really enjoy it. I know it was breaking the norms, but we wanted to feel confident during the most nerve-wracking part of the day.”

After the I do’s?” The newlyweds went straight into celebration mode. “After the ceremony, we loved having a champagne tower. It was a last-minute decision that our venue helped organise. It was such a highlight and a fun way to start the celebrations.”

The wedding was held at the beautiful venue Bawley Vale Estate. Annaye and Doug hold the South Coast a special place in their hearts, so naturally, it was a brilliant spot to get married. “As we both grew up and met in Ulladulla, we wanted to get married down there. We loved Bawley Vale Estate because we loved the idea of an all-in-one venue, where we didn’t have to worry about moving our guests. We loved the vineyards, animals on-site, wide-open space, being surrounded by nature, and being so close to the beautiful beaches in Bawley Point that we both grew up on. The Barn area for the reception was grand, rustic but modern. The high ceilings, with black statement features, including ceiling-high windows, made it feel super classy.”

“It wasn’t meant to rain on our wedding day but it did. We could have moved the ceremony but we decided to just go with it. My hair went frizzy and we were quite wet, but we didn’t let the weather get in the way of the outdoor ceremony we wanted. I think the best advice is that there will be things that don’t go to plan, but just to embrace it all; the good, the bad and the unexpected!”

The stunning yellow filled floral arrangements were the work of FRED Made. “Laura from FRED flowers is so unbelievably talented we didn’t choose any flowers” remembers Annaye. “My bridesmaids had a lot of colour in their dresses so she pared them with simple daisies. My bouquet was a complete surprise, she created something better than I could have imagined. I loved the subtleties of my favourite colour, yellow. For the arbour, we bought the two, tall, brown pots that we now have placed on our back deck, which is pretty special.”

“Our photographer, Bryce was fantastic” raves Annaye. “He captured the fun and candid moments beautifully. He made us feel so comfortable and was a joy to have around. He didn’t stage anything and we never felt awkward, which we usually feel when someone is taking our photos! I love that Bryce blended in with the guests and the majority of the time we had forgotten someone was taking our photos! We feel he just captured the raw love and joy we felt on the day perfectly.”

We always think the advice from couples who have been there and done that is golden, and Annaye credits one thing for making their day truly special. “A detailed run sheet. There were so many things to remember. We had details on everything. From what photos we wanted to the caterers making us dinner packs to have at the end of the night. It helps to have everyone on the same page of what we wanted to happen.”

The reception was filled with handmade touches that Annaye and Doug created themselves with the help of their family. Annaye remembers “We loved that we tried to do as much as we could ourselves. We made our menus on Canva, borrowed chairs and styling furniture from friends and family, hand wrote all of our name cards, collected and spray-painted dried flowers to assist the florist. Doug’s dad built all of our signage and table numbers and Doug’s sister painted all of them, Doug’s mum made our wedding cake. We put a white ribbon on two of my brother’s cars to drive the wedding party to the ceremony.”

“Every vendor we chose was meaningful. From the local venue, music, food, flowers, hair, makeup and the colours and styling that we felt resembled us. All were amazing and we could write a glowing review for all of them.”

The newlyweds took to the dance floor to a modern take on an old classic, remembers Annaye. “We chose “Time After Time” by Paratone. It was the perfect tempo for a short slow dance before becoming more upbeat for our bridal party and guests to join us to get the dance party started.”

Annaye and Doug had family and friends capture snippets of the day on video that they combined into their wedding film.

Congratulations Annaye and Doug! Your wedding was truly so very special to be able to share. Thank you also to Bryce Gage Studio for working with this celebration with us and sharing the images!