“As timeless as the tides, as endless as the seas” was part of the theme for Brittany & Michael’s elegant coastal wedding, and for these two, while their day looks pretty as the coastal, relaxed, timeless celebration they wanted it to be, this quote holds much more meaning, because endless flooding rain meant their venue was underwater just 24 hours before their wedding day.

But never fear dear reader, because as evidenced by these beautiful photographs captured by Bayleigh Vedelago Photography this day embodied every bit of the sunshine, coastal beauty these two wanted – and it was worth the one year (thanks COVID!) wait. Not least because of the pair’s dream team of vendors (led by wedding planners The Wedding and Event Creators).

The couple’s story began on a night out, when a mutual friend introduced them. “Like most relationships in the Sutherland Shire, on the corner of Northies” laughs Brittany. “After a few dates it was obvious we had a really great connection, we had a lot in common personality-wise and value-wise. We both loved being with our families and loved having a laugh. Three months after we got together, Micky’s sister was getting married back in the UK and he brought me along which was a big commitment, meeting the whole family early on. It was the best timing for us though, as it cemented what we already knew, in that we were right for each other.”

It was when his parents had travelled to Australia, that Michael took the opportunity to ask Brittany the big question. She tells “In November 2018, Micky’s Mum and Dad were visiting Australia. He hired a house down in Kiama on the water near the blowhole and planned a family getaway for both mine and his family to get together and spend time together. What I didn’t know, was this was all a façade, as it was just a way to get everyone together to celebrate our engagement. On the first day, we got there, he took me for a walk up around the cliff and popped the question on a little seat overlooking the water. It was nice having family and friends there with us over the weekend to celebrate.”

The couple worked with The Love Lens to capture their wedding on film (including this Super 8 take!)

Brittany found her beautiful Jane Hill gown at Love Marie Bridal Boutique. She shares “I wore a Jane Hill Dress that featured a nude underlay and a chain link embroidered detail on top. There were little pearls sewn around the waist, and the embroidery was done in a way that it almost looked like there was more beading involved. It was one of the first dresses I tried on and I loved the way it hugged my curves. I felt like the chain link detail also looked a little bit like seaweed, which very much matched the sea venue.

My dress was also a bit of a saga because we were stuck in lockdown in mid-2021, I couldn’t get to the dress shop to try on the dress one more time before I committed to it and so I already knew it was going to be a tight turnaround. Then it was a little later than we expected (thank god Love Marie was so great to deal with) and the place I was getting it altered was also affected by floods. I remember sitting in a cafe waiting to get the final alterations made and getting warning texts to leave the area because it was a high risk of flooding.

For my veil, I had a little poem embroidered into the fabric: “As timeless as the tides, as endless as the seas”. This is part of the theme of our wedding and we also had this included on the signage near our seating table arrangement.”

Micky and his groomsmen were dressed by MJ Bale, tells Brittany, “Micky knew he wanted to wear a sandy coloured linen suit to match the colour scheme and the relaxed approach to the day. MJ Bale had a beautiful one we had seen a few times before and the quality and service were amazing.

He wore a white linen shirt underneath the suit and had a white linen pocket square to match. He wore RJ Williams chestnut boots and a matching belt with an aged brass buckle. All the groomsmen wore the same attire, the only difference was Micky had a white rose buttonhole to set him apart.”

The day was filled with hydrangeas, orchids and white roses, all significant to Brittany and pulled together beautifully by Willow & Bear. “I knew I wanted hydrangeas to be a big part of the décor, as they were my late Nan’s favourite flower and we also have them in the back garden at our home. I also knew I wanted to incorporate orchids because they were in my Mum’s wedding bouquet and they’re also my favourite flowers. So both of those flowers were a big part of the ceremony, the décor around the bar and dancefloor and at the reception.

There was also plenty of greenery like olive branches and our florist Willow and Bear did such a great job mixing a range of florals and greenery in our colour scheme of blue, green and white. For the ceremony, we had a floral nest in the shape of a half-moon. There were white roses that lined the aisle. For our bouquets, I had white long-stem roses and orchids, while the bridesmaids had white long-stem roses.”

The venue, The Cove Jervis Bay, set by the water was the perfect place for a three-day long weekend of celebration. “The Cove is such a stunning venue, combining the bush and the beach. We love our bush walks together as a couple on our days off and also love taking our border collie Louie to the dog beach, so it felt like a really relaxed setting for us. Not to mention the sand hills are stunning. We got lucky with the weather on the day and we got to enjoy the venue at its absolute best in the sunshine.

Micky was the one that had his heart set on The Cove, and after our first visit there I was convinced it was the right venue for us too! Because it is right in the middle of the national park, it’s a secluded and really private place which was key for us as there are not many places in NSW where you can get married on the beach with the guarantee that members of the public won’t be there too. The beautiful sand hills as the backdrop for the beach and cool tree bar were also what really sealed the deal and with room to have 126 people stay on site, it was the perfect place for us to create a fun three-day affair so that we could relax and spend time with all our nearest and dearest.

When we first booked the venue, they didn’t have a wet weather option, but when we had to postpone our original date in March 2021 to a year later because of COVID, they ended up building a beautiful white barn that was finished before our new date. The oak floorboards, rendered white walls, brass finishes and the hanging floral installation were so beautiful and just finished everything off for us. From the ceremony to the cocktail hour, the sit-down reception and the dancefloor to finish the night, nobody had to move more than a 100m to each section of the night.”

“We also had different sections of the day broken up by music. During the ceremony Nick Read Entertainment kept it really slow tempo and pared back. During the cocktail hours, he upped the ante and played faster / pub singalong songs to lift the atmosphere. Over dinner, we had XYDJ playing plenty of upbeat songs to get people moving in their seats and then for the actual dancefloor we made sure every song was an absolute banger that you wanted to dance too so that everyone stayed together. I think these little moments lifted the energy bit by bit so it built throughout the day. The vibe was unreal.” Micky also added that this moment was his favourite. “The first moment I saw my wife walking down the aisle. She truly blew me away and she looked so incredible. I could relive that moment over and over.”

Brittany has SO much good advice to pass on after the day. “Try and personalise as much of the wedding day as possible, as it is about what makes you happy and is supposed to be a celebration of your love. When it comes to your budget, decide what is most important to you and dedicate most of your time and energy there.

On the day, try and make sure you spend as much time together as possible. If you can break up the day with moments that ensure you come back together (photos after cocktail hour, speeches after mains, cutting the cake, first dance, etc) then it’ll make sure you spend time together on the day. As much as you want to create memories with all your loved ones, again – the day is about you – you don’t want to get stuck talking to someone in the corner while the other partner is off partying on the dancefloor. Also, try and protect your energy on the day.

We had lots go wrong in the lead-up to the wedding and on the day we both just wanted to make sure nothing negative wrecked it for us, so anytime there was something that didn’t go to plan or something was annoying us, we just smiled and distanced ourselves from it so that we had control of our happiness and made sure nothing wrecked our good vibes. Lastly, would recommend you get an on-the-day coordinator or a wedding planner, as we would have truly been lost without ours (The Wedding + Event Creators). When your venue is underwater 24 hours before and there’s a threat your wedding may not go ahead – who else is going to come to your rescue? It was amazing to have their support during a stressful time.”

“We ditched a lot of traditions for our wedding” notes the bride. “We stayed together the night before, Micky made us girls breakfast the morning of as we were getting ready, the bridesmaids wore white, we didn’t throw the bouquet or do the garter toss. We didn’t have any bombonieres. The only traditional things we did was having a first dance, cutting the cake and having a father-daughter dance.”

The ceremony by the water, was officiated by Jessica Mutch Celebrant. Remembers Brittany “The ceremony was detailed and heartfelt. Jessica Mutch our celebrant told our story of how we met, our journey as a couple, what makes us tick, what our hobbies are and our dreams for the future. It was a longer ceremony than usual, but it was really important to us that we didn’t skim over the ceremony as the day is about the marriage and union, so it felt like it needed to be a big deal. We wrote our vows, which made it personal and there were some funny similarities in the commitments we made to each other. There was also a reading. One of Micky’s “Australian Mums” Mel had read this special reading at both of her son’s weddings and we loved it, so asked if she’d also read it at ours.”

“The ceremony was a bit longer than most people would usually go for, but we thought it was the most important part of the day and deserved to go into detail about how we met, who we were as a couple, what we hoped for in the future, what we loved about each other, etc. We did our vows and Jess Mutch our celebrant took the time to tell our story in a lighthearted way. Starting with a meaningful ceremony set the tone for the rest of the day.”

Brittany & Michael’s choice of photographer matched the elegant, light-filled vibe of their day. “Bayleigh Vedelago’s work is really simple and light. We love how bright, airy and natural her photos come across. Her take on wedding photography feels quite timeless. Like we could look back at these photos in the years to come and not think that they’ve been too heavily filtered or edited to look like a certain trend.”

While Brittany &Michael’s day looks utterly perfect (and it was) epic flooding rains almost put a stop to it, their day saved by the dream team of vendors, including wedding planners The Wedding and Event Creators. “The week we got married was when the NSW floods were happening. It had been raining for at least a week, maybe two weeks straight, and 24 hours before our wedding we got a call to say the venue was underwater and we might have to find a new place to get married. This threw everything into chaos and that is when our wedding coordinators (The Wedding + Event Creators) went into full blown planning mode for us. We just couldn’t keep up with all the calls from vendors and guests trying to work out what was happening.

Then when it finally stopped raining the afternoon before, we were on our way down to the venue our car broke down and we were stuck on the highway. When we finally got to the venue we had to make our way through floodwater to get through the national park. In the end, the wedding went ahead. The sun came out and dried up all the rain. The team at The Cove restored the venue so well we couldn’t even tell it had been flooded the day before and we had bright sunshine all day on our wedding day. It was an absolute miracle. We did have to cancel our welcome dinner the night before, but we were so relieved the day could go ahead after all the stress and I think that made us appreciate it 100 times more because we didn’t think it was going to happen 24 hours before.

We got so so lucky, and that’s probably the part we will always remember about it when we think of special moments – just the way our vendors and family turned up for us in a time of so much stress and how the weather gods finally looked after us on the day. It felt like a dream and not reality!”

“I think a big part of that was the music and the energy we created” remarks Brittany. “Straight after our ceremony Micky and I walked straight to the tree bar and people followed us to watch us pour our champagne tower and kick off our cocktail hour. The cocktails we served during this time (frozenmargaritas/passionfruit caprioskas) were different to the ones we served later at night when we kicked off the dance floor (espresso/lychee martinis). While beer and wine were served in between over dinner.

Henry Clive Caravan Bar were huge standouts. Their cocktails were a hit with everyone and I couldn’t get enough of their lychee martinis. They were delicious! It’s a family business and the team are regulars at The Cove. We had Fred with us for the day and they were so much fun, they brought the vibes. In the lead up to the day they held a taste testing for us and that was cool taking both our families along and picking wines, beers and cocktails for the day.”

Celebrations kicked off outside with Champagne and canapés before guests headed inside for a decadent dinner, Brittany notes Garnish Catering as one of the stand out vendors of the day. “The food was something a lot of our guests commented on. Jo and her team delivered fresh, light, summery food that fit the brief of our day. For canapés, we had: Arancini Balls, Barbequed Beef Brisket Slider and Prawn Dumplings. For sit-down shared plates at dinner, we had: salmon, lamb, roasted potatoes, woodfired bread, a green bean salad and another custom salad Jo put together for us with baby spinach, pumpkin, pomegranate and feta. She also made a special custom dish for our vegetarian guests and put together a kid’s meal for Micky’s niece Megan.”

The lush floral details continued through to the reception too. “For the reception we had pastel blue hydrangeas and white orchids again, and the vision was that the centre-pieces and head table almost look like they were soft blue clouds. The hanging installation The Cove has permanently in their wedding barn also features an all-white preserved hydrangea cloud hanging over guests. We didn’t plan this, as we already had our flowers and themes picked before the barn was done, but it all tied in nicely.”

“It was fun picking all the different elements and putting them together. Especially decorative things like flowers, cakes, invitations, signs, etc. Pretty much determining the look and feel of our wedding. Pinterest and Instagram were super helpful on this front. We loved personalising everything as much as possible. Making decisions for each element of the day and hand-picking our vendors based on who we are as a couple rather than what we thought we should be doing or following trends.”

For their first dance, Brittany and Michael were again serenaded by Katy. “Again, my cousin Katy did us another very special favour and sang Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” for our first dance. I had always loved the song and although the lyrics aren’t particularly romantic, the feel of it and the piano has a romantic feel. During the lockdown, Katy was putting up videos of her doing cover songs and this was one of them. We loved it and were very grateful she was happy to perform it on the night.”

Congratulations to you both Brittany & Michael. Thank you for sharing your day and it’s beautiful stories. Thank you also to Bayleigh Vedelago Photography and The Wedding and Event Creators for sharing this beauty with us!