Zoë and Finn’s cosy, romantic wedding is best described as a nontraditional traditional. Not sure what that means? Let us explain! They removed all the traditional elements that didn’t feel like them—garter and bouquet toss, traditional vows, etc. But in removing those things, they made space for everything they wanted—more room for dancing the night away and celebrating love with all their friends and family. Filled with berry-coloured pops of colour, wintery-feel (even though it was spring) and ethereal decor – it’s a wedding their guests won’t forget for years to come. With Fiona and Bobby as their photographers, they were set up for the perfect day of their lives.

Finn and Zoë met in 2017 on St Patrick’s Day! From their first moments together, this couple danced the night away. “He walked me home in the rain so we could spend as much time together as possible. When I arrived home (I was living with my parents at the time), I told my parents I had met the man I was going to marry. The next day, Finn woke up at his Uncle Kendall’s and put on his still-wet clothes to make a two-and-a-half-hour journey back up the mountains (living in the Blue Mountains with his parents at the time). Finn always says it was totally worth it.”

After their first year of being together, Finn treated Zoë’s parents to a dinner out. It was at this dinner he let her parents know he was going to Zoë to marry him. “We are both super close with our families, and I love that instead of the traditional ask the father, he let them know about this big step. My parents were over the moon! The next day, Finn popped the question at Jubilee Park under a Moreton Bay Fig. We watched the boats sail by on a gorgeous day and celebrated with some champagne, followed by calling all our family and friends!”

If there was one thing Zoë was unsure about when they were planning the wedding, it was her dress. “I went to a handful of bridal stores, searched online and couldn’t see anything that felt like me. I went to the beautiful dressmaker Lillian Poon, a recommendation from a friend and spoke about my style and the feel of the wedding and went from there. It was such a great experience designing my own wedding dress. I picked out the fabrics with my mum and found a vintage blush tulle that had the perfect amount left on the roll. It all felt meant to be,” Zoë recalled. “It was especially great because the interruptions with lockdowns meant that there was a lot of time between fittings, so I could make changes to the dress as often as I saw Lilian. By the end, my dress was an a-line tulle blush gown with a subtle split down the right leg, a fitted bodice with long sleeves that ended with blush pearl buttons. My veil was made from the same soft blush tulle and was cathedral-length. I wore velvet berry-coloured shoes to match Finn’s jacket, pearl earrings and my late Nana’s sapphire ring.”

Zoë had four bridesmaids in her wedding party – her long-time friends Millie, Olivia, Lia and Charlotte. They wore dresses of their choice, all in black, with neutral shoes and earrings by Amélie George Bridal.

Finn wore a plum-coloured velvet jacket from Politix, black pants, shoes, a bowtie, and a white shirt. “Finn had cufflinks from his sister Bridie that were a nod to the Simpsons (bride and groom pigs on either sleeve). He looked so handsome!”

His wedding party included his brother Declan and best friends Reuben, Hunter, Joel, and Harry. The party all wore black suits of their choice, with black shoes and matching plum ties from The Brothers at Otaa. Finally, they carried engraved flasks.

One of Zoë’s favourite photos was taken during the getting ready phase, where Finn is sitting on a bed in Collits Inn after reading her sappy love letter and wearing his bright, beaming smile. “It’s the smile I fell in love with, and I look at that photo every day.”

Trish from Eco With Love (formally Blue Mountains Floral Designs) created this beautiful couple’s incredible, moody flowers. “She was recommended by our venue, and the flowers were incredible. When Trish arrived to deliver the flowers, it was the first time I cried on the wedding day; they were that perfect. As we postponed our wedding date four times, all the plans we had made so long ago were really filled with a lot of anticipatory anxiety on my behalf. I was so worried that things wouldn’t be how I had envisioned them four years before. To see the most spectacular floral arrangements and pure perfection was an incredible relief, followed by a big reality hit: this was our wedding day! Trish’s creations really speak for themselves.”

Their venue for the day was Collits Inn in Hartley Vale, New South Wales. “It had everything we were hoping for. Run by a gorgeous family, it really emanated that family feel we were going for. The view from the venue is 360 degrees perfect. It was the first place we looked at and the best by far. We researched all of Sydney, Hunter Valley, and Southern Highlands, and it couldn’t be beat.”

Even though it was the middle of spring, the combination of the moody florals and Blue Mountain backdrop gave the day a wintery feel. So, as a bonbonniere for their guests, Zoë had organised blankets for the outdoor reception and had handwritten love messages on each individual tag. “Little touches really make such a difference in putting it all together.”

To walk down the aisle, Zoë had her parents escorting her. “My Mum was a literal angel and carried my train so it wouldn’t get any mud on it—the weather was a bit dreary in the lead-up, but perfect on the day.”

Finn’s happiest memory from the day was the moment he saw Zoë walking down the aisle towards him, standing under the romantic floral arbour. “I was so excited I was shaking. As the bridesmaids walked down the aisle, I began smiling so wide it hurt. Finally, my partner came around the corner with her parents. The string quartet broke into their cover of Etta James’ “At Last” as I broke into tears of joy to see just how beautiful my partner looked. I will never forget how it felt seeing her moving towards me. The best feeling I have ever felt.”

To begin their ceremony, Zoë and Finn wanted to do an Acknowledgement of Country that they had written themselves. “We really wanted to pay respect to the land, waters and place that we were privileged to connect with on the day. Many of our guests still talk about this moment as the scenery and landscape were on show behind us. We were outside, so it was a bit chilly, but most of our guests were wrapped up in the bonbonniere blankets we arranged. We had the Blue Mountains String Quartet playing, and it was magical.”

The reception space was decorated like a barn, with rustic table decor, candles, and twinkling lights—the works! “We had so many little details that made our wedding special,” Zoë explained. I arranged for the neon sign to be made, handwritten place cards, menus, and signs. We all really worked together to set up the venue decor on the eve of the wedding. Lots of personalised touches were a big hit.”

What was their favourite part of planning this cosy, romantic wedding? “Making all the decisions, big or little, together. We were challenged so much by the lockdowns and restrictions. Although it was overwhelming at times, planning it together made it feel like the easiest thing in the world. We would absolutely plan another wedding in a heartbeat if we could relive that perfect day again.”

Zoë and Finn had chosen Fiona and Bobby as their photographers, and they were ecstatic with their choice. “Boy, were they incredible?! We can’t get enough compliments from our guests on how great they were and how they were “so not your typical wedding photographers.” They made it feel like there were no cameras there, but they captured our perfect day. They were wonderful with changing dates when we had to postpone, making us feel less lonely and sad.”

Because of COVID-19 and the many restrictions Australians have faced over the past four years, it’s been a struggle for many couples to plan their weddings confidently. Luckily for Zoë and Finn, they had an incredible dream team on their side! “All our vendors were incredible. We had to change our wedding date four times because of COVID-19. Our vendors were all so kind to us and made it easy to do. We felt like the biggest burden of rearranging dates on them, most without extra fees to us.”

Throughout the day, there was never a lull in music – and that’s thanks to Zoë! “My favourite detail was probably the amount of music we had during our wedding. We started with the Blue Mountains String Quartet, Finn’s Dad’s band during canapés; I created a wedding playlist with some beautiful love songs from the 1920s-2020s, and Finn’s Dad sang our first dance song. The Molotovs played a set of punk covers to start off the dancing, and our DJ played until we couldn’t dance anymore! I don’t think we could have fit any more music into our wedding if we tried.”

Instead of writing a speech for the couple, Finn’s dad handed out the lyrics to “And I Love Her” by The Beatles to all the guests and taught them how to sing along. “Our guests serenaded us, and we couldn’t stop crying. It was very sweet and very unexpected, and we wish we could relive that moment forever. It was perfect.”

For their first dance, Finn’s dad sang “This Old Love” by Lior. “He’s an incredible musician, and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to have him perform this love song for us,” Zoë explained. “Finn and I chose this song as it’s been ‘our song’ forever. We love music and see gigs as often as possible. We were lucky enough to see Lior play in the mountains, where he dedicated “This Old Love” to me – Finn’s romantic side was in full swing here!”

Congratulations, Finn and Zoë, on this cosy, romantic, wintery wedding! And thanks to Fiona and Bobby for capturing this incredible event.