Meghan and Matt wanted nothing more than, after years apart due to a certain pandemic, to have all of their favourite people in one spot. And with the Gold Coast one of their very favourite places in the world, there was no better occasion, and place to celebrate, than by saying “I do” at the popular Queensland location and inviting everyone to join them. “We loved having our wedding in the Gold Coast, which is now home for us. We loved that we could share a place special to us, with our friends and family and they could all make a holiday out of it. We were nervous as this was a ‘destination’ wedding, with most of our friends and family from Melbourne, or overseas” explains Meghan. “In between COVID outbreaks and unprecedented weather across Queensland at the time, our guests were able to safely get to Queensland and we had the most perfect weather on the day”.
Inviting photographer Taylor Kezia Photography to join them, the couple wanted a simple, elegant and romantic wedding. They chose one venue, letting it do all the talking, and instead turned their focus to weaving their personality, and their community into every aspect of their day. “Getting creative and designing all of the personal details – from bigger things such as my wedding dress to smaller things such as the menus and place cards. Matt and I wanted to enjoy the process of wedding planning together and enjoyed doing even the most simple and repetitive tasks together.”
After meeting while working in a hospital on the same ward seven years ago (as an intern pharmacist and trainee doctor), the pair’s relationship blossomed over after-work drinks and study sessions, hitting things off well and truly. Matthew decided to pop the question in an intimate evening at home. “I got home from work one afternoon and was surprised to find our apartment decorated in fairy lights, a cheese platter on the coffee table and one of our favourite bottles of wine uncorked” remembers Meghan.
“He told me it was all to celebrate my new job but it was quite unusual for him to take the day off for no reason so I was pretty suspicious of it all. We barely got to dig into the cheese and wine before Matt announced he had made a special dinner booking and we needed to be at the restaurant in half an hour. This was classic Matt because he isn’t the greatest with time management! Still a little suss, I remember thinking “maybe he’ll propose at or after dinner” so I wanted to get dressed up and look nice for the occasion. As I hastily got ready, I remember starting to get annoyed at him for booking dinner so soon.
While rushing to get ready, Matt took my hand and said he had something to ask me before we left. In our living room amongst the lights and the presence of our puppy as a witness, Matt got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. With my eyebrows half drawn on, I burst into both laughter and tears at the same time and exclaimed “you’re doing this now?!” before saying ‘Yes!’ Apparently he was so excited he couldn’t wait until dinner to ask. We had a lovely dinner and spent the evening laughing at Matt’s timing. I’m not the easiest person to surprise however he succeeded in surprising me at that very moment. It’s not how I had envisioned getting proposed to but it was so perfectly reflective of how Matt has taught me over the years that sometimes the less planned moments are the best moments.”
Meghan and Matt chose Weddings by Butterscotch to join them on the day and capture this beautiful film. “We loved all of our vendors!” raves Meghan. “Definitely our photographer Taylor, our videographer Chrissy and our singer Danielle were standouts. They were so helpful in the lead-up to the wedding and put in so much effort to make sure our day went smoothly. Additionally, I would say our wedding coordinator at the Valley Estate – Kristen, was a standout. She went above and beyond behind the scenes to make sure our day went seamlessly.”
Meghan worked with her aunt to make her wedding gown, something she had dreamed of for many years. “My Aunty is a wedding dress maker and I recall as a little girl watching her patiently stitching on bead after bead on amazing gowns every time we visited her. Growing up, I always wished for her to make my wedding dress one day. It was a truly special experience being able to design my dream dress and have it made a reality by a loved one.
I wanted my dress to be timeless, simple yet elegant but also comfortable. I wore an A-line ivory Mikado silk gown, with a bateau neckline and a deep V back, detailed with pearls and Swarovski crystals and finished with a half bow. My aunty even filmed a video showing how to tie the bow which my bridesmaids used on the wedding day to replicate the bow! The final perfect touch was …. pockets! My shoes were satin white pointed-toe heels from Bared. They are my favourite brand of shoes because they’re so comfortable and again, I wanted to be comfortable on the day. ”
For all the classic vibes, Matt wore a black tuxedo from InStitchu says Meghan. “Matthew wore a black peak lapel Tuxedo tailored by Institchu in Brisbane. Again, we were going for a simple yet elegant look. We loved the simplicity and elegance of a clean black tux, contrasting with my white dress. Our initials ‘M+M’ was stitched on the inside pocket. The shoes were from Florsheim and the bow tie was from OTAA. Matt spent weeks before the wedding practising how to tie a bow tie and he nailed it on the day! Matt wore a pair of Cartier cufflinks and Tag Heuer watch, both gifted by our family at our traditional tea ceremony.”
The day began with a “first look”. “We had our ‘first look’ before the ceremony in the beautiful glasshouse” remembers Meghan. “It was so meaningful being able to share a short moment with just the two of us, amongst all of the wedding festivities. We couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear and talked about how we couldn’t believe our special day had finally come around and how excited we were to become husband and wife! We were able to get some nice couple shots at this time, which meant we had some extra time up our sleeves after our ceremony to mingle and spend time with all of our guests.”
The couple chose one venue for their day The Valley Estate on the Gold Coast. Says Meghan “We loved the idea of having everything in the one place to maximise our time with each other, particularly because most of our family and friends were travelling from interstate or overseas to celebrate with us in the Gold Coast.
The venue was beyond amazing and we are so grateful for all of the incredible staff who helped us in the lead-up to and on our wedding day. Matt and I booked the venue before it had even been built! We watched a CGI video of their vision and fell in love straight away. It was a big risk to take but worth it! We had the place to ourselves, there were beautiful gardens and spaces for us and our guests to enjoy and endless photo opportunities.”
Including their dog, Dora in the day was a must. “She had been feeling under the weather the week leading up to the wedding but recovered just the day before our wedding and had the most fun greeting everyone!”
Meghan wanted both of her parents to walk her down the aisle, remembering “The aisle in the chapel was pretty narrow, especially with my long train however I knew I wanted both Mum and Dad by my side. Thankfully no one tripped! Our aisle song was an acoustic cover of “Simply the Best” by Stephanie Rainey.”
The couple held a Christian ceremony in the venue’s onsite chapel. Says Meghan “Our ceremony was held in the stunning chapel at The Valley Estate. We wanted our ceremony to be a celebration of our love, and a recognition of all of the love and blessings we have received from God, and from our friends and family, who had travelled near and far to be there.
It was special to have a dear friend and Pastor marry us and one of my close friends read a verse from the Song of Songs – ‘Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, it’s jealously unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love it would be utterly scorned.’
Floral arrangements of bright and beautiful colour were put together by Florals & Co. “Our flowers were shades of pink, lilac, magenta and bright red” explained Meghan. “We wanted vibrant and bright wedding flowers, to provide that pop of colour and complement the bridesmaids’ lilac dresses. Our florist, Sarah, absolutely nailed our vision. We had flowers on plinths for the ceremony; re-purposed in our reception area after the ceremony. Single stem oak lab vases on the tables and even flowers to decorate our cheese tower.”
These two have all the love for their photographer. “Our photographer Taylor was amazing. She seemed to be everywhere, at all times! Matt and I are a little awkward in front of a camera but Taylor made us feel at ease and eventually, we forgot she was even there (but we know for a fact she was there because she took so many great shots!) We loved the authentic and candid moments she captured and looking back on our photos, we get to live our special day all over again. She also captured all of the special little details.”
Says Matt “It was a perfect day. There were so many things that we were worried about and could’ve gone wrong but thankfully, everything went perfectly.”
Alongside a display of their parent’s wedding photos, Meghan and Matt did something different for their guestbook. “In place of our guestbook, we had one of our favourite bottles of wine which we asked guests to sign. We hope to store this away and enjoy it on our 10th wedding anniversary.”
“We loved having our friends and family all in the one place, particularly seeing those whom we hadn’t been able to see for years due to border restrictions. -Our speeches from our wedding party and parents had us in tears (both happy and sentimental!).”
The newlyweds had singer Danielle Guest perform “Stand By Me” live for their first dance. “We aren’t the most coordinated couple so we took up dancing lessons leading up to the wedding at 5th Avenue Dance” explains Meghan. “We really enjoyed this process and learning to do something different together. Our first dance was a lot of fun despite us missing a lot of steps!” Meghan switched into another custom-made gown- this time in fuchsia and red, for the dance floor.
Meghan’s advice to you? “Enjoy the process. Our moments together doing repetitive tasks, or doing dance classes were some of the most memorable. Enjoy the moments because the day itself goes by very fast. At the start of planning, decide what aspects are most important to you and invest in those. Don’t worry about having to perfect every single thing.”
Congratulations on your marriage Meghan and Matt! What an absolute treat to be able to share your story. Thank you both and thank you to Taylor Kezia Photography for sharing today’s beauty with us.