When Sam and Alicea planned their wedding, they wanted it to celebrate the rustic South Australian landscape. “The wedding was very laid back, with no allocated seating and minimal formalities” they explain. “We just wanted people to feel comfortable, eat and drink nice things, and have nice spaces to hang out. The decor had a rustic vintage feel (velvet parlour chairs, rugs, bud vases etc).”

With Luke James Photography behind the camera, and a beautiful stone hall as their backdrop (not to mention everyone dressing in the most perfect autumn-toned attire) there was a feast, and there was merriment to be had. A buffet groaning with options for one and all, cocktails all night long, and vows and speeches that we’re not sure a single guest will forget. It was the perfect wedding for the couple whose story began when they met online, while both living in Adelaide.

“We had a typical first date, it was an all-night wine bar crawl” they tell, “Alicea had a terrible cold and Sam was fresh from a six-month overseas trip. We were quite bewildered by each other as we had never met anyone quite like each other. Adelaide is a small place and it was unusual we had never met before and didn’t have any mutual friends. We spent the night laughing and exchanging stories. The rest is history.”

Sam popped the question on a picnic date in Fremantle. “Alicea had just submitted her PhD thesis and Sam took her on a picnic at the Art Centre in Fremantle under the guise of celebrating her submission. Sam seemed stressed and Alicea couldn’t understand why. They sat on the lawn overlooking the grounds and Sam had prepared a beautiful spread of bakery treats and sparkling wine.

Sam was rummaging around in a bag and suddenly was kneeling in front of Alicea with a ring box. Much to Sam’s dismay, Alicea didn’t shed a tear, instead jumped up and down with excitement before Sam asked her to sit down so he could say some nice things. Sam proposed and Alicea said YES. It was such a surreal moment for the two and hilarious with all the excitement bursting from Alicea at that time, she now can’t remember anything of what Sam had said to her. Afterwards, they went on another bar crawl to celebrate.”

Luke James Photography not only captured the stills of the day but also pulled together this beautiful film. Tell Alicea and Sam “Luke James was amazing. He captured the ‘moody’ feel of being in the forest that we had wanted, as well as the lightness and brightness of the day. He was also very flexible and easy going which we needed for the kind of day we had planned.”

The couple chose the beautiful stone hall of Kuitpo Hall for their entire day, telling “Kuitpo Hall is a beautiful, quaint little Hall in the middle of Kuitpo Forest. It has a wonderful relaxed feeling and as a blank canvas venue, allowed us to really make it out own for the day.”

“Sam wore a toffee coloured, three-piece suit with a fun, well-coordinated floral shirt underneath” explain the newlyweds. “This was paired with classic, vintage style leather shoes. Alicea and Sam came up with a colour palette for themselves and the wedding parties – so the choice of outfit largely went off that and the vintage, rustic vibe.”

Alicea and Sam’s favourite part of wedding planning? “Probably choosing the finer details of the decorative decor. It was a wonderful way to create the exact, cosy kind of vibe we wanted. Kuitpo Hall and Mase Agency (provided furniture) were also fantastic on the day. We DIY’d lot of stuff. Pretty much all the decorative elements (table decor etc).  We did our flowers. We went to markets, friend’s yards, went foraging, just with autumnal tones and native flowers/stems in mind.

We also hired vendors for everything ourselves, as it’s a blank canvas venue. So we were able to hand pick and tailor everything to our style.”

Want to know all about Alicea’s amazing outfit? Let’s start with her ceremony look. She and Sam share “Alicea had two outfits – one for the ceremony and early evening – and another for the rest of the night. She wore a classic structured white, long-sleeved top with a plunging neckline with a seven-layer tulle skirt that was antique gold. The skirt was the show stopper and it seemed unexpected for most people. She had also gotten a sternum tattoo, especially for the wedding – a kangaroo paw which was referenced in her vows. The Kangaroo paw is a symbol of love, passion, endurance and resilience – much like our marriage. Alicea’s choices came down to personal style and wanting to have both a showstopper item she would remember forever, as well as a fun suit she felt herself in and would wear again.”


Alicea walked down the sale with her dad to Paul Kelly “She Answers the Sun”. “We have very different music tastes but this is where we come together. And it’s a beautiful love song.”

One of the couple’s favourite photos? A photo of Alicea hugging her Nanna during the ceremony. Her Nanna followed her up the aisle to give her a hug and a card – it was captured in a beautiful photo.”

“The Ceremony was in the Hall” explain the couple. “It was casual and it was important to us for it to emulate our values and personality. It was fun but emotional at the same time. It was important to us that this was an opportunity to express how we felt for each other in a deep and meaningful way. We included a reading, a quote from Nick Cave’s ‘The Red Hand Files’ about how he has found a safe space in his wife.”

Sam and Alicea’s wedding day wisdom for you? “Be present – the day will fly by and nothing matters except enjoying the day with your partner.”

Their wedding party, the couple share “We both had mixed-gendered, larger groups for our wedding parties on either side. We chose our siblings and nearest and dearest friends and made them a part of several special events before and after the wedding. We had a palette of browns, oatmeals, burnt oranges, charcoals (basically autumnal colours) and asked people to wear whatever they felt good in.”

“We had a special bottle of wine from San Sebastian that we had saved for the day. We opened it in the forest alone (almost) while Luke took some photos. It was a chance to take a breath and celebrate just the two of us for a moment. This felt special.”

Guests were invited to leave their mark. “We also had a wedding artwork that guests could contribute to which we took back to Perth with us (where we live).”


The food was very important to the couple so they asked Zayt and Zaatar to cater a feast, sharing “It was important to us to have good food and drinks in abundance – we wanted people to enjoy themselves. Zayt and Zaatar joined us on-site and provided an amazing Lebanese buffet. We had Persian cupcakes for dessert. We also had cocktails most of the afternoon and night and sourced wine from our favourite winery Samuel’s Gorge. ”

For the reception, Alicea swapped her look for a white pantsuit. “Later on she changed into a white suit ensemble and some classic vintage style sling-back kitten heels. Secretly this was her favourite outfit as she felt much more comfortable.”

The newlyweds ditched the first dance, though did have an emergency backup option lined up just in case! “All You Ever Wanted” by the Black Keys.”

The couple’s favourite part of the day? “Apart from the ceremony, which nothing could ever top, it would have to be the speeches. We were blown away with our family and friends’ beautiful and profound words – also many funny quips and stories of course!”

Congratulations to you both Alicea and Sam. What a dream of a day to be able to share! Thank you both and to Luke James Photography for sharing today’s images with us.