This jewel-toned wedding was full of native florals, laughter, and gorgeous colours. If there’s one thing you take away from today’s Feature – don’t underestimate the importance of spending quality time with your partner. Rory and Declan’s homestead wedding was the perfect representation of their relationship and love. They had Jack Chauvel Photography on their team, capturing every intimate moment.

If there’s one thing we love at Polka Dot Wedding, it’s a dating app success story! Declan and Rory met online, but neither of them was looking for something serious. They met up for dinner and hit it off instantly – it was only when they parted ways that Rory felt Declan’s absence. They took one more chance on each other, and now, here we are, telling you their story!

By the time talks of marriage came around, it was a race between who would propose first – Rory or Declan? These love birds do everything together, even getting their fingers sized for rings! Declan was more prepared than Rory, but lacked subtlety and forced him out of the house when the ring had arrived. “On the 27th of December, we drove around Lake Macquarie, stopped and grabbed some ciders and cheese and kept driving. We stumbled upon a sleepy little beach in the early afternoon near Katherine Hill Bay, and that’s where Declan proposed; it was just us with no one else occupying the beach, and it was us doing what we do best, enjoying each other’s company,” Rory explained. “The ring is a beautiful white gold band with an intricate Gaelic pattern that has five emeralds dotting the band. I bought the same one for Declan, but it has sapphires instead.”

In the lead-up to the wedding, Rory and Declan rented a manor for their wedding party so they could spend quality time together. “Declan and I were very firmly on the same page, and we didn’t want to spend time away from one another,” Rory said. “Our wedding is a moment for us both, and we didn’t want to spend the night before the most important day of our lives apart. Being able to wake up together, shower, get ready, laugh, hug and support one another is something that I cannot recommend enough.”

They both wore black formal pants, brown monk shoes, white Egyptian cotton shirts and complimentary suit jackets—a dark earthy green for Rory and a deep maroon for Declan.

As guests entered the ceremony, they were greeted by rolling hills, lakes, and lush gardens, and drinks were served on arrival. “It’s a celebration of our love, and we wanted the crowd to be jolly!”

The wedding took place at Tocal Homestead, with the ceremony on the homestead lawn under these gorgeous giant fig trees. The ceremony set up included a jewel-toned native arbour crafted by Flora Luna, with other floral features including gum nuts, feathers, pocket square florals, bouquets, and pin holes across our outfits.

Rory and Declan didn’t want to sacrifice a single moment together, so they walked down the aisle together to Elvis Presley’s “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” sung by their musician Anthony Hughes.

Their celebrant, Jaya Bargwanna, led guests through a joyful, sweet and intimate ceremony filled with laughter and tears of joy. “Our vows were long and filled with emotion, truth and complete sincerity in our feelings and devotion to one another.”

During the ceremony, their celebrant also held a mini gin ceremony, during which the couple picked their own flavours and infused them into a custom gin—which they can take their first sips on their first anniversary.

“Not to sound corny, but the whole day was exactly what we wanted,” Rory said. “We trusted our vendors to do what they do best, and everything ran so smoothly that we truly just enjoyed one another and were in the moment.”

Jack Chauvel Photography was Rory and Declan’s photographer for the day and was the absolute champion of the day. “Jack is an absolute demon. He was with us for 10 hours and just didn’t stop. He was so dedicated and kind; we couldn’t have asked for anyone better. He made sure to meet us well before the wedding for dinner, and we built a good relationship with him over the coming months,” shared Rory. “It made the day flow and felt more like having a friend there than anything; he also helped herd the crowd and keep the day flowing, which was an unexpected and very appreciated touch. I don’t think there will ever be a photographer that compares, and every photo we have tells part of an intricate story of our day.”

The reception took place in the panoramic barn – full of beautifully rustic features, long banquet tables that Declan and Rory laid simple sheer fabric on, antique lounges and their unique jewel-toned colour scheme. “Natalie, who was a part of Declan’s wedding party, made some mini succulent jars with each person’s name; this served as their seating arrangement and their wedding favour.”

This gorgeous jewel-toned cake was made by Cakes by Han. For dinner, guests enjoyed an open bar and banquet-style meal thanks to Sprout Catering as they listened to speeches and basked in the joy of the day.

There wasn’t a single vendor Declan and Rory didn’t love with all of their hearts. “Our photographer, celebrant, florist, musician, and cake maker were all flawless. We picked people because of their art, and not because of any expectation we had, and as a result, we had exceptional vendors that brought us the world.”

One of Declan and Rory’s favourite photos from the night was this one just above. “We have a truly phenomenal photo of us at the very end of the night under the stars; it’s incredible to look at,” they explained. But I also don’t necessarily have a favourite photo; Jack, our photographer, put in a long day for us, and he documented everything beautifully. We have many of us sneaking looks at one another and laughing, and that’s what our life is like laughing with one another and sneaking looks.”

Their first dance was to Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You”, a song that has a lot of special meaning to Rory and his family and is an incredibly romantic song. “It was a special moment that tied Rory’s two worlds together; Rory’s sister also had the song at her own wedding.

A lot of special touches came mostly through their song choices, including meaningful music, fun tunes, and a special moment when Declan pulled Rory up in front of their guests to sing to him: “I have never felt so cherished.”

Congratulations, Declan and Rory, on your beautiful jewel-toned wedding! And thanks to Jack Chauvel for capturing and sharing this incredible wedding with us.