Today we are lucky enough to be sharing a very special wedding with you. We’ve featured the beautiful writing of real bride Racquela in two pieces so far – one about pandemic wedding planning and another about her super quick first wedding to her love, Michael. And this is yet another glorious piece in her writing repertoire, this time about finally having their dream wedding day – not without a few stormy hiccups. Please enjoy Racquela & Michael’s Perfect Dreamy & Stormy Wedding Day – captured by Woodlands Creative

Seeing the word ‘disaster ‘and ‘wedding’ in the same sentence isn’t exactly how any bride or groom would want their day to be described right? Well, before I dive into the details of our magically unpredictable but totally worth it wedding day, I’ll paint you a picture of our lead-up – this is one for the nuptials history books! Of course, COVID-19 is a fair culprit to our impending wedding plans. Covid decided to gift us four different wedding dates and a stretched-out, three-year engagement. La Nina was also extremely generous and she decided to gift us a once-in-a-two-hundred-year flood… the day before and the day of our wedding.

The Dreary Day Before

We arrived at our beautiful venue the day before our wedding at Kantara House, which is adored by lush gardens, a postcard picturesque worthy chapel, and tropical surroundings. La Nina had also come in at full speed and made the tranquil free flowing little creek on the property into the Amazon’s whitewater rapids which totally wiped out 90% of Kantara’s grounds. As we watched our original wedding plans wash away (literally – *wipes tears*) I stood there in disbelief that we finally got our day and it still isn’t what we pictured. Reflecting back, I wish I could tell myself, “It’ll work out just fine!” because the honest truth is, it totally did and I am SO lucky.

Shoutout to the world’s best wedding coordinator, Karina. Despite the flood wiping out her ability to even get to her house the day prior to our wedding, she called me the night before just to see how I was. Sometimes people do a job because they have to and other times people do a job because they actually love their job, Karina is no exception to this.

The Mixed Emotion Morning

My morning wasn’t exactly what I pictured it to be. I thought it would be giggles, champagne, and excitement. I was overcome with anxieties and nerves about how our day would look and was so swept up in the circumstances I couldn’t control. If you’re an anxious person or have your wedding plans flipped upside down, the only piece of advice I can give you is this: invest in the best wedding squad you can who truly want the best for you. Nicola, Lauren, and Molly wiped all my tears and tried their best to reassure me things would work out fine – even if the radar is sending out literal messages of a major flood warning. Oh, and, the road to get to our wedding was about to be flooded over but hey, what is there to stress about? I couldn’t thank Molly, Lauren, and Nicola enough for being the most supportive and caring group of individuals who, I am sure if I asked, would get shovels and buckets to personally move the 160mm of rain we copped in a few hours.

Dean and Mitch from The Boys Studio arrived at our very lux accommodation in Booker Bay. Bells Property Escapes recommended the nicest place to stay called ‘Booker Seaside’ and even with heavy cloud coverage, the views and place were amazing! Dean and Mitch were an instant mood booster with their high energy and vibrant personalities, they are the ultimate duo! They totally transformed my sad and worried mood with their beauty wizardry and calming vibe.

Given the weather forecast and the unlikelihood of being able to capture photos at our venue, Michael and I decided to make the most of our accommodation and do a first look (this was planned the morning of – nothing like a last-minute change, right?!). Elisha from Woodlands Creative and Bonnie from Bonnie Lass Films coordinated where and how it would happen and I’m honestly so glad we did do a first look. The photos are extra special and it was nice to have an intimate moment with Michael before the chaos began!

The Ceremony – Take 2

So, another dilemma! We were supposed to be married in the Charlotte Chapel but La Nina struck again and the walkway to get to the chapel was totally underwater. Initially, we were disheartened with the change of plans but we had the most gorgeous alternative. Although, in the moment I didn’t think we did – cue the sad bride vibes. We had our ceremony under the fairy light canopy at Kantara House and it felt like we were in the middle of a dreamy rainforest. We twisted tradition and walked down the aisle together and were met with our light-hearted,vibrant and fun celebrant, Marry Me Sarah B. Sarah captured our story, our personalities and included all of the guests in the ceremony and it was so perfect! We honestly would not change an absolute thing! Elisha captured our ceremony in all its glory and the rain in the distance only made the rainforest vibe feel more special.

Perfect Portraits

Somehow, miraculously, the rain stopped periodically and we were able to make full use of Kantara’s grounds. With Elisha working the camera lens and Bonnie on the videos, anything is possible with such a perfect wedding combo! Jesse from Brew Bike made sure we were recharged with martini’s and Karina our fabulous wedding coordinator sent us some canapes during the portraits – this is SO important. As a couple, you’re so swept up on the day you forget you actually need to eat something!

Party Time!

Our reception was total wedding dreams! I envisioned an abundance of flowers layered with gold trimmings and it truly blew my expectations out of the water. When we set up the day before, without candles lit and lights on or guests filling the space, it looked somewhat empty. The night of it was so glorious! If you’re due to wed, sit for a moment with your new husband or wifey, and take in the reception – the people, the decor, the flowers or the feel of the space. It really is something special!

We opted for a band and have NO regrets! Kartik and the band from Red Soda put on an absolute show for us. We also had Creative Booth snap some pictures of our guests. Our favourite part was of course hearing what our nearest and dearest had to say along with having a delicious entree and main served by Kantara. I was so nervous about our first dance and the formalities so once they were over, I felt a new life and kicked off those heels and danced my little heart out!

I would marry Michael in far worse circumstances and in far worse weather conditions because at the end of the day, I know regardless of how our day was, I married the perfect person for me.

Are you next!?

If you’re a current couple planning their day, welcome to the club! Just because I’ve had my day by no means I am an expert but what it does mean is I can share some of my savours for a whirlwind day. I can’t emphasise enough how much I believe picking your vendors truly makes your day. Our photographer Elisha from Woodlands Creative was so much more than a photographer, she took on the role of an unofficial bridesmaid and literally helped me plan the day – including the colour schemes, timelines, and venue setup! Our perfect videographer Bonnie from Bonnie Lass Films was the most calming, caring supportive vendor who just oozes fun! The dynamic duo of Elisha and Bonnie made our entire wedding party feel like we were walking down the red carpet all day! Invest in a celebrant that gets you, your relationship, and your audience. Sarah from Marry Me Sarah B is so unique in how she crafts her ceremonies, she includes all guests so they too play an active role in the ceremony. There is no copy and paste here!

If I could relive my day or know what I know now, I would tell myself to live in the moment, and if things aren’t going to plan, who said you can’t make a new one? We live in a world of Pinterest-perfect wedding expectations but every couple’s wedding IS perfect in its own special way, Pinterest board or not. Don’t be so hard on yourself in the preparation and lead-up. Have a drink, laugh, love, and be in the moment – your day really does fly by.

Thanks to Racquela & Michael for sharing their stunning day (which finally came to be!). And to Woodlands Creative again for taking such amazing images of their wedding!