Nathan and David credit the ease, the success of their day, to their amazing vendor dream team. “Knowing we had great suppliers who had our backs. We are not decisive people so having great suppliers who knew your vision and you can trust meant you could focus on the little things.”
With Brisbane’s Story Bridge as their backdrop (a landmark which carried throughout much of the day); greenery, classic white flowers and even a nod to their pups as decor and photographer Peppermint Photography behind the camera to document every moment, David and Nathan wanted a day that was an “an elegant and relaxing evening by the river looking out at the city we call home”.
The couple met online way back in 2017, remembers David “We spoke for about a week before arranging to meet up for dinner on a Sunday night at a local burger bar. It was one of the hottest days of the year and Nathan brought along his 4-legged sidekick Bella for support. The catch-up went well, until I had a Cinderella moment and get up and run off to avoid missing my train home. Nathan was left wondering what had happened and if there would be another date… it did and there was.
David was the one to pop the question, choosing a winter’s night in, with a sweet treat to make it happen. He tells us all the details. “It’s June 23rd 2020 and it’s cold-ish for us QLD people…and Nathan is heading to Coles to get ice cream wearing his best tracksuit pants. So while Nathan is off getting ice cream I knew I had about 10 mins of alone time and 10 mins to make this happen.
I put on a three-piece suit and attach the engagement ring to our dog Lola and we sit on the couch awaiting Nathan’s arrival home. Nathan arrives home, sees us on the couch, and instantly realises what the hell is happening. Nathan then begins to laugh at the polar opposite outfits we had on. But dressed up or not, this proposal happened. We both asked each other if we would like to get married and celebrated with a gin and tonic.”
Both David and Nathan wore suits from Wil Valor, but their wedding day style began much earlier, with shoes from Christian Louboutin. David explained “The first item we purchased to wear to our wedding was a matching pair of Christian Louboutin shoes. This was the only thing we wanted to have matching.
We then found Wil Valor who had our suits. We knew that we wanted to have the same style but to be different and unique – each of us. Mark from Wil Valor helped two indecisive people choose fabrics and linings that suited our personalities and style. We knew we were in good hands and don’t regret our decision at all. Having a suit made for us was a really special experience.”
Nathan’s favourite part of the wedding? The fact that he and David got to do it all together. “When I think back on our day I think how lucky we were to spend the entire day together, from getting up early to go see the flowers being installed to the madness of getting our wedding party ready, leaving us with only 10 minutes to get dressed! I remember thinking how great it was to see all our family and friends enjoying themselves and interacting with each other. I remember how nervous we were as we walked towards the venue together but also knowing we had each other and it was going to be the best day of our lives.”
Tells David “Nathan and I each chose our best friends to be our Groomsmaids. Trying to work out what we wanted them to wear was hard (and we did change a few things over time) but there is a real lack of simple and elegant dresses to choose from. We came across a stunning black silk dress at Bianca Spender that could be worn in different ways but was beautifully tailored and elegant. We wanted the girls to each look unique and whilst they had the same dress and accessories we made sure they were styled differently again to suit their personalities.
We also had four children to support us – our nieces Olive and Isla and Sophie’s two youngest children Francois and Marcel. For the little girls we wanted to give them sparkle to make it special for them and we found the Aurora dress from Needle & Thread in the UK. For the boys, we chose simple black and white clothes and then incredible velvet shoes with jewelled accents.”
The grooms walked hand in hand down the aisle. “We aren’t used to being the centre of attention so we decided we just wanted to arrive and stand in place. Nothing formal and no fuss. We arrived at our singer Trent Bell singing “Simply the Best” (the Schitt’s Creek version).”
The coupe wanted to keep their ceremony, overlooking the water relaxed, and enlisted Paul Voge (who they also chose to MC their reception) to make it happen, David sharing “Our ceremony was relaxed. We didn’t want to follow too many traditions. We wanted something done our way. Our celebrant Paul helped us achieve that. He told our story and one of our closest friends made a short speech. We wrote our vows (which we kept a secret from each other) and flipped a coin during the ceremony for who would go first. When it was over we left to You’ve Got The Love by Florence and the Machine.
All of our vendors were amazing. But our celebrant and MC Paul Voge was incredible. He was always there to give advice; talking to him was like talking to a great friend. He listened to us which meant he really understood the kind of ceremony we wanted and made sure it happened. There is no doubt that our day wouldn’t have been as amazing without him.”
The couple used the Story Bridge as the theme for their day, their wedding venue Bougainvillea House, Howard Smith Wharves, overlooking the landmark. David shared “We had walked past Bougainvillea House when it was being built and we knew it would be a special place to get married. It is a simple building beside the river with the most incredible view of the Story Bridge and the Brisbane skyline. We also wanted to have everything happen in one place so that no one had to leave or move around. Once we arrived that was it for the day.
The Story Bridge was the main theme of our wedding and was included on the save the dates, invites, custom stamps, menus and the focus of our custom neon light that was incorporated into the floral backdrop behind us during the reception. Paper Jam Studio helped bring the theming together for us.”
Planning your wedding? David has this advice for you. “Go with your gut! If you have a vision and you find what you want get it! There is no cookie-cutter style to a wedding. It should be about you as a couple. Listen to your suppliers and take on their advice. They have your back! Don’t overthink it.”
“There was only one choice – Amanda!” exclaims David of their chosen wedding photographer. “I had seen Amanda do the photos for my friend’s wedding the year before we met and she had also done another friend’s wedding in Tasmania. Her style of photos shows the couples as they are and that is what we wanted.
We met up with Amanda for a coffee shortly after getting engaged and she got us and we knew that we were in safe hands. Amanda is more than a photographer. She helped us decide on timings, and how the day should run, she suggested vendors and also worked closely with our celebrant to make sure the day ran smoothly.”
The flower details, like the greenery-filled ceremony backdrop, were styled by Kate Dawes Flower Design. “We knew what we wanted and who we wanted to work with from the moment we got engaged. Kate Dawes does the most magnificent flowers and the hardest part was choosing exactly what to have because all of her examples are incredible. But we sat down with Kate and we gave her our brief and asked for white and green with lots of foliage. And she nailed it!
For the Groomsmaids and young girls, we knew we didn’t want anything big and we choose simple reflexed roses for them to carry. Three for the groomsmaids and one for each of the girls.”
There was elegance, but there was also fun! “We had an illustration created of us with our two dogs when we got engaged” explains David. “We had it enlarged and turned it into life-sized cutouts at our wedding. We also used this in our wedding favours on custom playing cards. We also created a British post box as our wishing well so that we had an element from one of our favourite places in the world.”
The moments at this wedding are as important and special as the details – right down to the song David & Nathan chose for their cake-cutting. “We chose the song ‘Love, Love, Love’ that was written by my Great Aunt Marge Graham who was a victim of the Lismore Floods in February 2022, for our cake cutting.
Marge was a well-known Country Western Singer in the Northern Rivers of NSW and had written the song in 1981 which was the year my parents were married. Marge sang at the wedding (but it isn’t known if she sang this song). We asked our singer Trent to learn it but put his spin on the song and make it more modern. We kept this a secret from all of our family and friends which made it very special.”
The night ended with dancing, their way! “We didn’t have the first dance as it just didn’t feel like us” explains David. “But I made sure “Nutbush City Limits” was played at the end of the night which had everyone on the dance floor (except Nathan – Kiwis just don’t get it!).”
Congratulations to you both Nathan and David! Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us today. Thank you also goes to Peppermint Photography for sharing today’s celebration!