On our list of things that can “go wrong” on a wedding day, a seaside storm is definitely not one of them! Perfect for creating a romantic, moody vibe, even if it means there’s some juggling on the day for wet weather plans. And the photos! Well! Melissa & Ben’s Stormy Seaside Wedding Day is a testament to just how glorious a rainy day is for your wedding memories captured through images – in this instance by Stephanie Flay Photography. Melissa tells us about their love story and their stunning day…

Ben and I met online in 2019. We had both come out of difficult relationships and we just clicked. We had a mutual understanding. We were pretty much inseparable from the moment we met – we just get each other.

We had talked about marriage pretty early on, as it just felt right. Ben proposed in bed in April 2021 by putting the engagement ring in a bag of chocolates we were sharing one night in bed. I picked out the ring and got a pretty big shock! I was not expecting it at all. Then he did a kind of commando roll over to my side of the bed, landed on one knee, and proposed. Of course, I said yes!

Ben chose to wear a navy suit and brown shoes from Tarocash. We chose that as we felt like it matched well with the sage green of the bridal party.

My dress was purchased from RSVP in Coffs Harbour. I had my three daughters there on the day I choose it and we all fell in love with it straight away. It made me feel like a princess wearing it.

I walked down to Ronan Keating’s “This I Promise You” – we chose the song together.

The ceremony was held at the last minute at Sawtell RSL due to the weather. Ben had to make a call on the day as we had them set up there as a backup plan. It was supposed to be at the Sawtell Surf Club overlooking the beach but unfortunately, the weather prevented this from happening. The reception was still held at the Surf Club!

The Sawtell Surf Club is a little club right on the beach. It was only $150 for the venue for the night but that also meant we had to DIY everything. A big job! Ben and I organised most of the day ourselves with lots of friends and family helping us set up the day before.

I got my bridal bouquet from Everbloome and the boys’ buttonholes came from a little shop on Etsy. I used Etsy a lot for various items for the wedding.

Unfortunately, we had an issue with the original wedding supplier not supplying all the wedding flowers so I had to shop around at the last minute for my bouquet and the buttonholes.

We had a handfasting ceremony as Scottish is Ben’s heritage. We included this reading:

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you,
That are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Our photographer, Stephanie Flay, was awesome! I remember recalling later that I don’t remember seeing her at all during the ceremony. It meant that she blended in and was inconspicuous. She took great photos.

Ben and I both have favourite photos – it’s so hard to choose just one! One of his favourites is of me smiling (and blushing, I think!) during his speech! He mentioned our first kiss during his speech. One of my favourites is Ben when he first sees me walking down the aisle.  One of my other favourite photos is on the beach with him kissing me on the forehead.

My favourite part of the day was definitely Ben’s speech and how special he made me feel. Also all the other speeches – we’re so lucky to have such great family and friends.

We didn’t rehearse a dance or anything as we just wanted it to be as natural as possible and go with the flow. We started the dance to “That’s Amore” and then it cut to “Shut Up And Dance With Me” when all the guests were invited to get up and dance. Then the party just started naturally!

My advice to other couples would be if you can, get people to help you set up, especially if you are doing a lot of DIY to save money. It’s such a big job and the more people the better to help.

Thank you Mel & Ben for sharing such a gorgeous wedding day with us, and to Stephanie Flay for these stunning images to accompany their story.