In the mid-autumn afternoon sun, with the Blue Mountains as their backdrop, Alyssia and Matthew tied the knot. It was elegant and romantic, filled with pinks, whites, and twinkling lights. Beautiful emotions, heartfelt sentiments, and lots of laughter filled their day. Andy Mac Photography captured these love birds, showcasing their love for not only each other but also their families and those they’ve lost.

Alyssia and Matthew met at a mutual friend’s 17th birthday in 2013, when she was 16 and he was 18. “We briefly spoke amongst other conversations and had awkward encounters during the night because we were both shy. I sent Matt the friend request, and he accepted and sent the first message a day later,” she recalled.

Flash forward eight years to Christmas Day 2021, when Matt proposed. “It was Christmas in our first home together. I unwrapped the last present under the tree, which was a bauble that said, ‘Alyssia, will you marry me?’. To which I replied yes. I loved that it was just the two of us and a moment we shared together. We soaked it all up before ringing our families to tell them the good news. Matt saw my dad and asked for permission, to which he jumped out of his chair with excitement. My sister was a moral support for Matt and assisted him in post-engagement celebrations as we celebrated our engagement and Christmas Day at my parent’s house later that day.”

For his outfit, Matt wanted something he could wear time and time again, whether together or as separate pieces. He chose sand chino pants, a white shirt, and a navy blue striped jacket from Peter Jackson. He finished his attire with an RM Williams belt, matching shoes, and a white bowtie. His wedding party included his best friend and two brothers, who wore matching outfits but had rose-coloured ties to match the bridesmaids.

Her wedding party included her sister and two of her high school best friends. They wore matching desert rose-coloured chiffon dresses with pleated bodices and back detailing.

Alyssia wore a gorgeous off-the-shoulder princess ballgown from Sweethearts Bridal Boutique. “It was all I ever envisioned myself in. It didn’t take long for me to find my dress. It was in one shop; I tried on about ten and then found the one. It was a great experience; I took my sister, mum and now MIL.”

To finish her look, Alyssia included her great-grandmother’s cross in her bouquet, one that all the women in her family had when getting married. The final addition to her bouquet was an image of her brother, which she then gave to her sister when she got married.

After Alyssia was ready, she had a first look with her dad and siblings. “It was perfect as all of their reactions were caught on camera. I loved spending that time with my family!”

Next, Alyssia had her first look with Matt, giving them the perfect opportunity to see each other and calm some of those pre-wedding nerves. “Seeing Alyssia at the first look all dressed up, she looked amazing. And I knew the day was getting underway; I couldn’t wait,” said Matthew.

The flowers from A&L Florist perfectly fit their elegant, romantic theme. With pops of pink, the white, sand, and greenery theme complimented the mid-autumn colours of the Blue Mountains. Alyssia’s bouquet was filled with white flowers and foliage, and her bridesmaids had pink instead of white. The groomsmen and fathers had buttonholes, and the mums had matching corsages in the same colours. These beautiful arbour and aisle flowers were repurposed later for the reception, used on the wedding party table and spaced around the room.

Their venue of choice for the day was Fairmont Resort and Spa in the Blue Mountains. “It was a venue that could hold our guests, and it was all in one place. We didn’t want guests to travel all over the place; we wanted them together all day so guests could experience the whole day with us. It had Blue Mountains/cliff/valley views, and the weather was perfect in April.”

To kick off the ceremony, Alyssia walked down the aisle with her dad to an acoustic version of “First Date” by Blink 182. “It was one of our favourite songs when we started dating.”

Full of love and laughter, the ceremony followed their love story and had guests teary–ready for this couple to be wed. Joined by their celebrant, Georgia Fletcher, and the warm afternoon sun, the couple led their guests through a reading from Alyssia’s younger brother and their vows.

With the sun shining, Alyssia’s gown glittered as they returned down the aisle. Since Alyssia is a teacher, she had her students create cones with pictures and messages and filled with confetti for their guests to throw as they walked back.

One of her favourite photos was from this moment. “Walking back down the aisle after getting married, the confetti is everywhere, guests are smiling, and we have the biggest smiles on our faces together.”

After the ceremony, the guests enjoyed a cocktail hour on the grass while the happy couple slipped away to take a peek at their reception space. They had a table with pictures of their grandparents and Alyssia’s older brother, whom they lit a candle for.

Alyssia knew their photographer, Andy, as they had worked retail together many years ago. “Once he went into photography full time and I saw his work and the videos he makes, I knew his style was what I wanted for my own wedding,” she explained. ‘He made everything so comfortable and was very organised. He does this with his wife, Ang, and then we had a second photographer, Josh, who was also amazing.”

The couple’s dream team came together to bring this wedding to life, and there wasn’t a single vendor who let them down! “All of our vendors were amazing. They had our best interest at heart and ensured our vision was executed for the day. Every phone call, email, and visit was productive and on track.”

Matt picked their first dance, which is one of his favourites. They danced to a slowed acoustic version of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers. “We aren’t dancers, but we practised a few moves in the lounge room to do on the dance floor. The dance ended with Matt going onto one knee, and I sat on his knee and kissed him. It was perfect; the whole dance felt like we were the only two in the room,” Alyssia described. “When the original version comes on at other weddings we go to, before and after our wedding, it is the only song I can get Matt up to dance to.”

For reception entertainment, they hired a photo booth from iCanvas Booth and had the incredible talents of Serge from DJ:Plus! Entertainment running the night as their Master of Ceremonies.

The advice they want to leave for future married couples is:

“1. Go with your gut when making decisions; don’t second-guess yourself because you’ve seen what others do or have done.

2. Take 2-3 people max dress shopping with you; the fewer opinions, the better.

3. Have fun and soak it all in; the day goes so quickly.

4. Stay together at all times, and check in with each other (when getting photos or sitting down)

5. Sit and eat your food; you paid for yourself, so eat what you selected.”

A huge congratulations to Alyssia and Matthew on your gorgeous, heartfelt wedding! Thanks to Andy Mac Photography for capturing the night and to Serge from DJ:Plus! Entertainment for submitting.