Courtney & Al kicked tradition to the curb and stayed true to themselves for their big day – and we loved it! With tradition off the cards, they turned up the party vibe and the saturation with their colourful DIY wedding. “We settled on throwing a wedding that had all of our favourite things so that we could look back in years to come and still love it rather than trying to follow trends.” Shot by Kitty Loves Love, this bright and fun wedding took place at the Matilda Bay Restaurant in Perth, overlooking the fantastic riverside and the Perth city skyline.

These high school sweethearts met, funnily enough, in high school, “I was the girl who sat in front of Alestair in year 11 physics with the “big head that blocked his view of the whiteboard” (at least that’s what he used as his excuse to start chatting with me). Soon after he was walking me to the bus stop after school, carrying my bag and my holding my hand. He asked me to be a girlfriend after a few weeks and here we are all these years later so something must have worked!”

And even after nine years together, Al was still able to surprise Courtney with their proposal. “We had planned together to have dinner on our 9th anniversary at Matilda Bay Restaurant. Alestair told me he’d forgotten to book in time so he’d only been able to get a booking at 5:30 pm (a totally believable story because he doesn’t like making bookings!). He then rang me and told me he was picking me up early from a work afternoon tea because of the timing mishap. After arriving at Matilda Bay, he then said we’d made good time and could we perhaps just go for a walk along the river so he could finish watching the NRL game on his phone before dinner,” Kitty described. “As we were walking along I spied a beautiful picnic set up with fairy lights and cushions. I got butterflies and asked if it was for us and he gave a snort of derision and then laughed and said “As if I’m that romantic, but if you wanna check it out before whoever’s picnic it is arrives you better go look now”. I started walking toward the set-up and then turned around and he was on one knee! Turns out it was for us after all and he’d arranged for a surprise stealth photographer to capture it all. It turned out he did also make reservations at the restaurant for a later time so we wandered down for a nice dinner afterward.”

Al picked a magenta plum suit by MJ Bale. It was the last one in the country and a few sizes too big, so after it was altered it was the perfect fit – both in size and vibe. Al’s wedding party included Lockie (his brother), Sandy (Courtney’s brother), Steffen (a high school friend) and Josh (a Navy friend). Struggling to find suits to match Al’s magenta plum attire, they settled on some blue linen suits they found on sale from Tarocash that perfectly complemented the vibe.

“My favourite colours have always been orange and pink, and I’ve always been a lover of sparkles and colour – so we tried to reflect all these elements in our day,” Courtney stated, and that’s beautifully reflected in the beautiful flowers. “I didn’t so much as choose flowers for our day as I did a florist – we picked Bec from Edie and Ivy Flowers after meeting with her to explain our vision. We basically just told her we wanted lots of colour, minimal greenery, and maximum impact and she did the rest!”

“I wore my mother’s special diamond necklace and my grandma’s engagement ring who also couldn’t be with us so that was really special as well.” The family heirlooms match perfectly with Courtney’s final look. After a long search, she wore a custom dress created from a warehouse sale gown and the fabric from a $300 dress. The one-of-a-kind dress was paired with a custom tinsel jacket made by Rachel Burke – something Courtney had dreamed of since she found her Instagram. “I told her which colours I wanted, and she did the rest – and it matched the day and dress perfectly! I felt like the sparkly, best version of myself on our day without having made myself fit in the box of tradition.”

Courtney’s wedding party included Kat and Eliza (university friends) and Mikhayla and JD (Perth friends). Without the need for matching dresses, Courtney had a better idea, “I have always been a fan of mismatched bridesmaids – so I asked the girls to wear something pink or orange or both. In the end, they all looked amazing together and I couldn’t have imagined how perfectly the dresses would work together!”

After some back and forth on venues (thanks to border closures), the couple got to lock in their dream location, “When we had to cancel that wedding due to border closures, the venue wasn’t able to reschedule so it was written in the stars that by cancelling one wedding we were able to have our actual wedding at our first venue choice in the end!” The ceremony was held at Matilda Bay Reserve (right next to the restaurant), and the party celebrated the reception in the alfresco area of the Matilda Bay Restaurant.

Once at the ceremony, Al’s football mates walked down the aisle as the flower boys. “We’d given them neon pink bum bags for the flowers, but their outfits were a surprise to us and absolutely matched the day perfectly!”

Courtney walked down the aisle with her dad on her arm to Boyce Avenue’s version of “A Thousand Years” – every Twilight fan’s dream. Her younger brother Sandy also did a reading of “How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” in celebration of their two golden retrievers.

The one tradition the couple kept was Al’s family tradition that each bride has a horseshoe made for her. “Alestair’s grandmother made me a horseshoe. His grandparents weren’t able to be there on the day so it was really special to have that element.”

With Kirk Goodsell as the celebrant, the couple had a few unconventional aspects to their ceremony, including a blessing from both of their parents and an oath for their guests that said, ‘I solemnly swear that tonight I am going to have lots of fun, drink more than I should and have a boogie on the dance floor!’. “We wanted our ceremony to be light-hearted and fun, a reflection of our journey as a couple,” Courtney recalled, “We also loved Kirk – the ceremony he crafted for us so uniquely “us” we loved it. Our guests are still raving about how different it was from other ceremonies they’ve been to.”

Speaking of colourful DIYs, unique touches can be found throughout the reception and ceremony. All of the acrylic signage you can see was done by them (courtesy of a Costco Cricut splurge). “My pride and joy was our seating chart – the idea was the guests had to ‘find’ their seats by following the string.”

Other details the Cricut touched were the wishing well, the bar sign and pre-wedding robes. Candlesticks and vases were painted to match the party aesthetic and the custom neon wedding sign was turned into a photo backdrop (that now lives in their living room!).

Including family and friends in every aspect of the day was so important for Courtney & Al. “We displayed wedding photos of our parents and grandparents on the gift table. Our closest friends also gifted us a beautiful set of monogrammed pink champagne flutes which we used for our toast as we sliced the cake.”

Their two golden retrievers were included on the day – in the best way. “One of the most special parts of our day was having our fur kids brought along for the photos. While we would have loved them in our ceremony, one of our dogs has anxiety so we didn’t want to put him through that. Instead, we hired a “professional dog mum” who bought them to our offsite photo location meaning they could still be involved in our special day and be in our photos without the distraction of a full wedding guest list.”

To capture their day, Courtney & Al chose Kitty Loves Love. “Kitty was incredible! She worked with us through cancelling the first wedding and changing venues but managed to keep our dream alive. Her work is incredible and there’s not a single photo that we don’t love.” There was truly no better photographer to shoot this colourful DIY wedding!

The couple’s first dance was to “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden, which was played acoustically by their wedding singer, Dean Anderson from Groove Night Avenue. “It was also important to Alestair to have live music and our musician did an amazing job building the vibes and keeping the party alive.”

They also had Cassa Illustrations drawing live pictures of the wedding guests as wedding favours and an audio guest book from Glad You Called for guests to leave voicemails! “I LOVED the audio guest book we did – we love being able to listen back to all the messages from our guests and hear them getting wilder as the night wore on!”

When asked about her favourite memory of the night? Courtney responded: “It was just the best night ever! We have so many special memories – from getting down on the floor with our older relatives, to the spontaneous Conga line and the guests who went swimming, it was such a fun night and the best atmosphere we could have asked for.”

“I also loved that when the garter toss game came around, Alestair fully embraced it and did the “Magic Mike” pony dance justice! We’ve got it on camera so I can relive that moment forever (he’s normally quite shy so it was very memorable!).”

Al’s favourite memory? “Everyone was dancing before dinner had even finished and before the first dance and no one stopped dancing until we kicked out!”

It’s undeniable the love Courtney & Al have for each other – so congratulations! A big thank you to Kitty Loves Love for perfectly capturing the bright and fun essence of the day (and sharing it with us).