In the summer heat of Jervis Bay, Rebecca and Max held a botanical-filled wedding weekend at The Cove to celebrate their marriage with their family and friends. To capture the magic of the day, the couple hired Mitch Pohl for photography.

When you meet the love of your life for the first time, you know. So, as Max saw Bek painted head to toe in blue and her Smurf costume, he was a goner. Meeting at their friend’s joint 18th birthday party as a Smurf and a Viking was only the beginning of this couple’s journey.

For their 9-year anniversary, they organised a weekend away to Narooma. On the day itself, Max carried the ring with him everywhere but couldn’t find the perfect time to propose. Instead, he chose to ask Bek to see the sunrise the next morning, a normal occurrence for their trips. “Upon arrival, the beach was covered in fog and the sunrise could not be seen. Bek was interested in the beach below and was wondering how to get down to that section of the beach from the lookout. Max had been beside her but started walking away, although, still too focused on trying to spot a way down she didn’t realise where he was. She heard Max clear his throat suddenly, so turned around and found Max down on one knee. In shock, there wasn’t a big reaction, but she was very happy. Max asked Bek to marry him by saying “At the dawn of the day which starts our 10th year together, will you marry me?”. Of course, Bek said yes and was very happy.”

All cinematography for this wedding is from the talented Tim from Above Below Visuals.

Max and his wedding party wore classic black suits with white shirts and had Australian botanical-inspired bowties from Peggy and Finn, pocket squares and boutonnieres.

In Rebecca’s wedding party, she had her two sisters and three of her closest friends. “They have all been with me through different stages of my life and it was so important to have all of them with me on my wedding day. I was wondering whether 5 Bridesmaids were too many, but I knew it would not feel right without them.” The party wore rust orange dresses, inspired by native Australian botanicals, from Leaver Her Wilder in different styles.

Bek wore a stunning nature-inspired gown by Allure Bridals. “I wanted something that was free-flowing so I did not have to worry about not being able to dance, but would also compliment my style. I had gone to a few different boutiques and tried on different dresses, however did not want to say yes on the first day trying.” Bek explained.

“I went to Brides of Sydney with my mother, future mother-in-law and future sister-in-law which is where we found THE ONE. I was not sure if I would have “the moment” when I found the dress. I was feeling so happy and confident in the dress and did not want to take it off,” She beamed. “The detailing in the lace was beautiful, and the flowers on the dress reminded me of Australian natives and the beach, which seemed to perfectly fit our wedding location. My mum and I went back a few weeks later and officially ‘said yes to the dress’.”

The ceremony was held outside, with a beautiful arbour covered in native Australian botanicals. Unfortunately, not everyone could make it on the day. “Max’s grandfather and grandmother were unable to make the journey for the wedding. We had originally planned for them to be involved in the ceremony and provide their blessing and wishes for the marriage into our rings before we exchanged them. The Wednesday night before the wedding we had a small dinner where they blessed the rings and gave us sage pieces of advice for marriage.”

Rebecca walked down the aisle independently, stating “My father passed away when I was 12 years old, but even if he was still here I have always been very independent. I also didn’t want to be ‘given away’, I was choosing Max and Max was choosing me so there was no reason for anyone else to be involved in that moment.”

To avoid staying in the sun too long, the ceremony was short and sweet. Led by their celebrant Cathryn Philpott, Bek and Max shared their personal vows and wrapped up the ceremony. “She took our story and created an almost fairytale-like narrative that was so personal to us. It was exactly what we wanted, completely tailored to us, and was interesting for our guests as well.”

They chose warm-toned native Australian flowers as the main botanical for the event, to contrast against the calming blues and greens of the nature around them. “Bek has always loved native flowers, especially banksias and waratahs. Our florist, Gypsy Carmen, is also a floral genius and was able to arrange the flowers in the most special way. My bouquet and the bridesmaid’s bouquets were exquisite, my sister, Merrin thought they were the most beautiful arrangement and perfectly paired with the dresses and the day. The arrangements on the table and around the venue were spectacular and the arbour was beautiful! Lots of people snapping their own photos in front of it. I had an idea of what I wanted and Clare took her artistic twist and made it magical.”

Instead of wedding favours, Rebecca opted to create custom name tags for their guests. “One of my favourite details was our name cards which also doubled as wedding favours for our guests. I originally did not want to do wedding favours as I saw far too many weddings that had favours still on the table. As I was looking at ideas for name cards, I had the idea of combining the name card with a favour, something most guests would take home with them. I found these marble coasters on personalised wedding favours and knew it was perfect. We had a coaster for each of our guests. Since the wedding, we have been delighted to see them on display in people’s homes, or photos sent using them.”

When planning their wedding, Bek and Max knew their wedding was going to take place in their ‘home away from home’ – on the South Coast of New South Wales. “We had spent a lot of time in the area with day trips, weekend aways, family holidays and Max’s sister and brother-in-law living there. A place we wanted to make more special and also share with family and friends,” Rebecca explained. “The Cove was the last venue viewed and as soon as we got there it felt right. Situated in the national park and on the inlet that led out to Beherwherre Beach it was the perfect mix of the things we loved, national parks, the beach and being in nature. No need to think about timing getting from one place to another, or how would guests get home safely, we would all be nestled at The Cove.”

When looking for a photographer, Rebecca and Max said they gravitated towards Mitch. “We were looking for a photographer that was great at capturing the day as it happened, with candid moments being the best feature of the photography. Mitch’s portfolio of work definitely reflected that, and we could feel his passion for photography through his information pack.”

Instead of DIYing a lot of their decorations, Rebecca and Max instead chose to engage with a range of local vendors. “The South Coast has been hit hard over the last few years, bush fires in 2019 and COVID in 2020 and 2021, which hit the area hard, especially the wedding industry. All vendors also know exactly what they need to do and love doing it, so we thought it would be better to leave it to the experts, and so glad we did! Everything went off without a hitch and there is nothing we look back on and think “what-if”.”

To surprise their guests, the couple had six dance lessons with Paula O’Donnell from The Beaches Wedding Dance in the lead-up to the wedding. “The One” by Kodaline was the song they chose to dance to “a beautiful, slower-paced song that Max had once shown me. We both related to the lyrics and felt like it expressed so much about us and our relationship, especially in the context of a wedding day.”

Their favourite moment of the day? “One of the special moments we shared was practising our dance by ourselves before going in for the reception. It was a sweet.”

Music is very important to this couple, so choosing their wedding playlist was one of the planning tasks they looked forward to. “The songs we picked were quite important to us. We love music and know there are 100 songs that we could include. Anytime we were driving in the car, I would put on different songs and we would shortlist them and narrow them down. It was a nice part of the final stages of planning when everything was feeling so chaotic.”

Thanks to Mitch Pohl for submitting this beautiful couple – and congratulations to Rebecca and Max for their stunning wedding!