In the merry month of May, this couple brought their guests from around Australia and Malaysia to the little coastal town of Bellingen in Mid-North New South Wales. Sarah and Mitch wanted to celebrate their marriage with a simple, timeless wedding surrounded by their nearest and dearest. Wanting to support local small businesses, this couple chose Jeremy Becker Creative as their photographer for the day.

Before we jump into their wedding, let us introduce you to the newlyweds. In 2018, Sarah moved to Melbourne from Malaysia to do her Bachelor of Pharmacy, while Mitchell moved to Melbourne from Sydney around the same time to finish his Masters in Audiology at the University of Melbourne. It was during the cold winter months in 2017 that they finally met on Chapel Street. “It probably wasn’t love at first sight, but it wasn’t far from it.”

Soon after that night, they moved in together in the sunny beachside suburb of Elwood. For Sarah, coming from a slightly conventional Chinese family, it can be frowned upon for couples to move in so soon, but Sarah’s family was very accepting of the match. “We very quickly nailed the definition of “what’s mine is yours” and enjoyed each other’s company. We also adopted Chippy & Billy, our guinea pig boys, during this time and are very lucky to still have them with us now, six years later,” Sarah explained. “Very early on, Mitchell also revealed that his mother and her family had grown up in Malaysia during the early years of her adolescent life. It sounded fabricated then, but having that connection between the two families is pretty cool! They have much to talk about around cultural experiences and have formed a very special bond between them!”

In 2019, the couple packed up their home in Melbourne and moved to Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, for a job opportunity. It was paradise for a while until Mitch had another job opportunity pop up in Sydney, and the couple had to spend some time apart. “We saw ourselves together forever, so we knew that at some point we needed to reunite and hopefully start a family one day,” she shared. “On a very hot summer day in December 2021, Mitchell got down on one knee to make the start of our forever happen. It was on the gorgeous Sapphire Beach headland with a picnic set out by our beautiful friends. Truth be told, the proposal wasn’t the biggest of surprises as the ring was designed together, but it was a commitment we made to come together and put an end to our long-distance relationship, even though we didn’t have a plan just yet. It all fell into place over the next 12 months as we took a plunge to purchase our very own beachside home; Mitchell had the opportunity to own a local audiology business. Most importantly, we were finally home together!”

One thing Mitch knew going into the wedding planning was that he wanted a tailored tuxedo made for the day. After some shopping around and research, he found InStitchu in Sydney. “Lance from InStitchu was incredibly helpful with the boys in helping them decide on the small details, making the whole experience seamless. Mitchell made sure that his attire was special for the big occasion but also one that he could still wear in the future.”

His wedding party, Lewi, Tom and Rowsell, are all close friends of Mitch’s from his high school experience in Sydney. The guys also had suits tailor-made by InStitchu that had the same timeless look. They wore black suits with white shirts, black bowties and pocket squares that they could wear for years to come.

Sarah knew she wanted a conventional, timeless white wedding dress that would stand the test of time. The tricky part was finding one that would conceal her half-sleeve tattoo while still having that classic, clean look she wanted. At Luv Bridal she found the perfect gown, with its off-shoulder neckline, contemporary crossover pleated cuffs, and figure-hugging mermaid-cut skirt. She added a floral lace cape instead of a veil attached to the back of the gown, which created a billowing effect as she walked.

She had three bridesmaids in her wedding party: Jamie, Annie and Bree – three friends she’d made throughout different phases of her life in Australia. Before the wedding, no one knew each other and lived in different states. “We really appreciate how they got together for the occasion. Due to logistical reasons, it was not possible to have everyone dress-shop for the wedding together. I wanted the girls in a champagne colour, and the girls had shopped online and had gone with a full-length, cross-back dress that was adjustable to suit any height and body shape. We decided on nude heels and gold jewellery to pair.”

Brit from The Botanical Connection and Sarah hit it off from day one, bonding over Sarah’s vision for the wedding. “After coming highly recommended by a colleague, we very quickly had a deep appreciation for her wedding floristry and her desire to work closely with her clients. She understood the theme very well, and we shared mood boards with each other. We had no specific requirements for flowers except white blooms and dark green foliage. Brit nailed it on the day and delivered the most beautiful bouquets for the bride and her bridesmaids.”

As Sarah and Mitch had lived in so many places throughout their time together, they had a difficult time choosing where to celebrate their wedding. After careful consideration, they decided to have it close to their current home and chose Cedar Bar in Bellingen. Cedar Bar is a restored 114-year-old church with original stained glass windows and seven-metre-high ceilings. “We were proud of the beautiful surroundings we now call home and were excited to share this with our nearest and dearest.”

To begin the ceremony, the acoustic tunes of “Take on Me” by A-Ha played as Sarah walked down the aisle with her father on her arm.

Keeping their ceremony simple and timeless, Sarah and Mitch chose to bring on Mitch’s friend Linda as their celebrant. They also wanted to include their nearest and dearest as much as possible, so both of their parents and Mitch’s grandmother were involved in the ceremony proceedings.

Both Sarah and Mitch felt grateful to be able to work very closely with their celebrant, Linda Dalton, and be able to write their vows to each other. “We were both confident that we wanted to write our own vows but were dreading the process of it all. Linda had helped us unpack our relationship and worked through it with us. We took time apart from each other the week before the wedding to pencil down a few words. After the wedding, Linda presented us with a beautiful copy of the script from our wedding. It was such a special touch knowing we would be able to go back and read it all over again,” says Sarah.

In the lead-up to the wedding, Mitch decided he was going to try out for their local AFL team. This meant he tried his hardest not to cop a black eye just before their wedding. And while he succeeded in that goal – he did manage to fracture his finger… his RING finger! “The wedding ring ended up on his pinky finger on the big day!”

One of Sarah and Mitch’s favourite photos is this money shot of Mitch spraying the champagne in front of the wedding party as the sun glistened through the drops in the background.

As it was May on the Mid North Coast, they had to roll the dice on having an early sunset, and luckily for them, the weather was beautiful. “We had the most beautiful sunshine throughout the day and a cool breeze as the night started. Our photographer, Jeremy, had taken the wedding party away from the venue to a beautiful street that he had carefully scouted. With the perfect sunset and light, he captured the most beautiful photos of us. We then had some intimate time to take more photos with Jeremy by a river, which set a different scene. It was special to have this moment for ourselves but especially to have these amazing photos to look back on.”

Sarah had followed Jeremy on Instagram when she had started her hunt for a photographer to capture their timeless wedding. They had wanted someone local to the area – as they wanted to support local, small businesses. “Jeremy had the ability to make all his clients feel relaxed and somehow always seamlessly manage to capture every moment in the perfect light.”

The top five things that made their timeless wedding so special included:

1. Having our guests come from far and wide, overseas and interstate, to celebrate the wedding and to visit the Mid North Coast, which we now call home

2. Having a wedding venue that still had the bones of a church

3. Being able to take our fresh blooms home from the wedding, having them now dried and carefully placed around the house

4. Dancing to ABBA outdoors under pontoon lights – so thankful for the weather and Cedar Bar for this amazing space!

5. Because it was a little bit of a destination wedding for most guests, it was really a weekend of celebrations: welcome drinks the night before, recovery breakfast the day after, and a Tea Ceremony the day after! It was lovely to have 80 of our guests scattered in different accommodations in small-town Bellingen, running into each other all weekend!

As a way to honour her Chinese background, Sarah wanted to embrace her culture in small ways throughout the weekend. One of those ways was the engraved wooden chopsticks they created as wedding favours for all their guests, placing them alongside each name card at the reception.

Both Mitch and Sarah can agree they’re very uncoordinated, and they knew they didn’t want to do a formal first dance. However, they decided they could manage to sway in each other’s arms, so to open the dance floor, that’s exactly what they did! They swayed as their reception band, Funk Thieves, played another version of A-Ha’s “Take on Me.”

Congratulations to Mitch and Sarah for your beautiful, timeless wedding – it was a pleasure to look through! And thanks to Jeremy Becker Creative for capturing and sharing it with us.