With connections in Sydney, the UK and America, Molly and Conor’s destination was truly a transcontinental affair. From their romantic whirlwind love story to the biggest day of their lives, see the breathtakingly beautiful photos by Melissa McFadden and read more about their Washington wedding.
Wedding date: August 5th, 2017
Wedding location: Waitsburg, Washington, United States
Number of guests: 75
Bridal Party: Two maids of honour, two bridesmaids, two best men, and two groomsmen
Ceremony time: 4pm - 4:30pm
Reception time: 4:30pm - 11pm
Tell us about how you met…
Conor: We met in 2013 in London, at work, but we both hate to admit it. Although she was
seeing someone else Molly won't let me off or let me forget that I was too shy to ask her out at the time. One day she will admit that it's the reason she ran away back to America. Luckily for me Boston was just too cold and she flew back to the sunny English shores and I wasn't going to miss my chance again. Many moons, cocktails, countries and amazing times later I just had to ask her to marry me.
How did Conor propose?
Molly: We went to Rome in November 2016 to distract Conor from turning 30... or so I thought. Looking back maybe I should have predicted the cliche but at the time I was oblivious. After a
fabulous meal at Casa Coppelle and a few negroni later we took a stroll towards Fontana di
Trevi, at which point Conor popped the question. YES was the only answer it could have been.
Where was the location of your wedding ceremony and reception?
Both were held at Lewis Peak Road on a private property in the Blue Mountains.
What was the vibe or theme of your wedding?
Conor: Instead of titling a “theme” we made a list of what our vision was, above all we wanted our guests to have a good time. We began with creating a colour palette of blues, greens,
white and charcoal, tossed in a few references to Rome. We also picked one font, a minor
detail that helped to pull the look together. While not a theme, a consistent consideration in ourplanning the event was to allow for cross culture pollination. We wanted to show off Molly’s
home town to our international guests, while also bringing touches from our lives in the UK to Molly’s friends and family in Walla Walla. It was a tremendous opportunity to weave people
together from all over the world and from different stages of both of our lives.
How did you find your location?
Conor: Molly visited it a few years prior and fell in love with the view and hillside covered in
Where did the majority of your guests stay?
The bride’s mother lived in a small neighborhood of cabins nestled in the woods outside of
Walla Walla. She was able to borrow half a dozen seasonal cabins from her neighbors to
accommodate the bride and groom's family and out of town friends, creating the perfect
vacation getaway experience. Many friends also stayed at Airbnb’s in the city.
Was it hard to plan your destination wedding?
It was very difficult to plan given we lived in Sydney, Australia at the time and had to arrange
plans with the bridal party, family and guests from the UK and USA!
Describe your wedding’s décor…
As we had picked the venue to showcase the beauty of the valley, we wanted to let nature do most of the work. We chose classic and minimalist touches that would elevate the natural
beauty without distracting from it. Cafe string lights, wooden elements, greenery and the
occasional accent of white flowers was all that was the needed.
We started the day with a picnic and garden games to gather family and friends together
before the ceremony. Staged in one of the pine groves, croquet, boules, corn hole, giant chessand a ping pong table were a few of the prominent decor items.
Because our venue was a private home, and a rustic cabin at that, it was bare in terms of
outdoor furnishings. The architects in us couldn’t resist the challenge, so we passed over the
idea of renting or buying, and opted instead to build most of our outdoor furnishes from
scratch. We used wooden pallets for our bar, lounge seating, cocktail tables, the picnic table
and for many of the games. In a nod to the Roman Colosseum we built wooden columns to
create the entrance to our outdoor ceremony.
Tell us more about your unique menu…
Some friends getting married around the same time mentioned picking out silverware for their wedding dinner, and we realized that just wasn’t the type of experience we wanted planning,
so we thought it would be really fun to just use chopsticks. It seemed much more us and thus we choose a Thai food menu, a cuisine that we adore. At the same time, the Walla Walla
Valley has an abundance of farm stands and local ranches, and it’s easy to source wild caught seafood from the Pacific Coast.
Farm-to-table is a cornerstone of Pacific Northwest cuisine, and we wanted our guests to be
able to enjoy the local and regional bounty as much as possible. Luckily we found a local
caterer who could deliver the Thai cuisine we envisioned, while packing in fresh, local and
seasonal goods where ever possible. Our cocktail hour included Thai spiced shrimp with
dipping sauces, as well as vegetable spring rolls. For dinner we served papaya salad, gay
yang chicken, jasmine rice and grilled seasonal vegetables with Ginger/Soy Sauce. Everythingwas cooked over a woodfired grill in front of our guests and then served family style. We
poured local Walla Walla wines during the meal from Seven Hills Winery, and a Argyle
Sparkling Wine from the nearby Willamette Valley for the toasts and dessert.
What advice would you give a couple planning a destination wedding in this location?
Because we were getting married abroad we wanted to be as prepared as possible in order to plan as best as we could. There was very little margin for error! As odd as it sounds we
learned a lot from wedding podcasts. Everything from the florals, to timelines, to writing our
ceremony and vows. Some key takeaways were to consider all of the extra things you need to have for an outdoor wedding if it is not included in the venue, to hire a coordinator (even for the day it makes a world of difference), and do not forget a backup plan! Rain is a concern, but
the Walla Walla Valley is prone to wildfires, so we rented a town hall nearby in a darling little
town. Don’t forget wedding insurance!
Photography: Melissa McFadden Photography
Ceremony and reception: Private property
Wedding Rings: Raphael Jewellers
Bride’s gown: Ceremony gown - Self Portrait, crop top: Finders Keepers and reception gown: Grace Loves Lace
Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bride’s accessories: Earrings by Two Dots Jewellery
Bride’s lingerie: Ysé
Hair stylist: Nici Goff (friend of the bride)
Makeup artist: Ciara McNair at The Nest
Bridesmaid dresses: Lioness, Missguided & bridesmaid's own
Bridesmaid gifts: Two Dot Jewellery
Groom’s suit: Reiss
Groom’s shirt: Thomas Pink
Groom’s shoes: Sons of London
Groom’s tie and socks: OTAA
Groomsmen’s suits: Their own
Groomsmen’s ties and pocket squares: OTAA
Event planner: Danielle Christopher
Celebrant: Jennie McLauren (cousin of the bride)
Transport: A Plus Taxi
Cake: Lynne Strafford (mother of the groom)
Cake topper: DIY
Catering: The Q Wood Fired Grill
Florist: Pam Bryan (friend of the couple)
Guest favours: Joe & Seph's gourmet popcorn
Furniture hire: Sandy's Rentals
Stationery: Printing by ABC, Artwork by Alex Hubbell