This lovely couple an Aussie lady and an English gent who recently made Newcastle, NSW, Australia their home having moved from the UK, decided Wallerawang and Blackheath were their ideal ceremony and reception locations.
Wedding date: February 17th, 2018
Wedding location: Wallerawang and Blackheath, NSW
Number of guests: 150
Bridal party: Six bridesmaids and three groomsmen
Ceremony time: 2pm
Reception time: from 5pm
Tell us about how you met and the proposal...
My sister had moved to London, and it was her first Christmas without family so I decide to go and surprise her. While there I caught up with a friend who took me to an event at her church and that is where we first met for a fleeting moment. The next day my friend asked Jonny to drop me off at the airport to continue my travels around Europe, which he did. After a sing off in the car with me showing him the Australian classics like "You're The Voice" was better than UK hits and some flirting, he dropped me off and suggested we catch up for breakfast when I came back to England. I said yes, but he didn't give me his number. While I was in Europe I became sick and my friend sent me Jonny's number and said "he will know what to do, he's a doctor." So our second conversation was me telling him my symptoms. When I flew back to London, Jonny was a tue gentleman and left a party to come and pick me up and took me to the hospital, where we had our first "date". We spent eight hours in the hospital, and it was just before Christmas so it was full of interesting people, I was singing along with the drunks and trying to hide my urine sample from Jonny. At 6am as we were leaving the hospital a nurse asked "So when are you two getting married?" we looked at each other and laughed because we had only known each other a week.
After that day I missed my flight back to Australia and stayed another week in England and he took me out to some places and paid for my return flight to Australia, a week later.
For the proposal Jonny, asked me to have the day off (as our weeks never really match up because he is a shift worker), so I knew that something was going to happen, also I read through his emails and saw that he ordered a ring (he left his emails open so he was just inviting me to read them). So I had a day off from work and we drove to the Barrington Tops 2.5 hours North West of Newcastle. We finally reach the Barrington Tops and Jonny looked a bit confused, he didn’t realise that the road he wanted to take me on that lead to the waterfalls was a 4WD track. We were both getting frustrated until Jonny stumbled across a walking track. So we parked the car, took our picnic out with us, which consisted of our favourite baked goods from a local bakery called Uprising and then had a little picnic on a bridge over a little river. After lunch Jonny suggested we keep on walking. I remember thinking that this place was actually magical, there was a little track that you would walk on that took you through thick forest like bush and there was no one else on the track. It was just Jonny and I. we came to this clearing and Jonny took off the backpack got down on one knee and handed me a letter, at this point I had tears in my eyes, so I couldn’t read the letter and asked him to. He started to read the letter and then he started to well up, but kept it together to finish reading it. It was perfect. Just the two of us surrounded by nature, we felt that God had blessed us so much with the location (even though we had different ideas of what the day would be like), the most important thing was that it was another piece to our lives being woven together forever.
Where was the location of your ceremony and reception?
Our ceremony was at St John’s Evangelist Church, Wallerawang. The reception was at All View Escape in Blackheath.
How did you find the location and why did you choose it?
We chose the church because it’s is the church my parents (Megan) were married in 44 years ago. Plus the church was warm and inviting. All View Escape took our breath away as soon as we stepped out onto the open lawn that was on the edge of a valley, looking over the cliff faces of the Blue Mountains. The property came with accommodation for 20 people for three nights, as we had people travelling from London we thought this would be ideal as we could provide accommodation for them and we could all be together before the wedding.
During the planning of your wedding how many times did you visit the location?
We visited both locations twice, before the wedding.
What was the theme of your wedding?
We really wanted natural beauty to be the centre piece of our wedding, we wanted to gather people around us and for them to appreciate the outdoors just as much as we do. We went for neutral tones throughout the theme of our wedding.
How easy or hard was it to plan your wedding?
At the time of planning the wedding I was working part-time and Jonny was full-time, so I felt it was easier for me to do most of the planning. All our suppliers were very reliable and approachable, which helped a lot with the planning of the wedding.
Where did the majority of your guests stay?
Most of the guest stayed around Blackheath area, some used Airbnb, others used hotel/resorts in Blackheath.
What advice would you give a couple planning a destination wedding in this location?
It is nice to go and visit and stay in the area for a weekend to really suss out good cafes and maybe some fun activities for the guest to do. We were going to plan Friday night drinks at the Hydro Majestic, but couldn’t due to the last minute run arounds that you get when planning a wedding yourselves. Not to mention Jonny having his bucks party two days before the wedding and cutting his foot on some barnacles, whilst they were swimming in Sydney Harbour, then it becoming infected and having to go to hospital the night before the wedding.
What did you like about having a destination wedding?
We really enjoyed the fact that most people had to travel, so they all organised accommodation where they could stay together. Having over 30 people travel form England for the wedding to, they also said, they enjoyed it because it became like a holiday where they stayed in Australia for two-three weeks and travelled around it. We feel destination weddings, just bring everyone together and you can both discover new places that you might not get the opportunity to do otherwise.
What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
Megan: For me, there was so many. I remember waking up and feeling nervous, then I walked outside of our cabin at All view Escape at 7am in the morning and seeing the clouds lift away from the cliffs and just be in wonder of how beautiful the scenery was. Then I remembered feeling so loved and the nerves went away. Also reading Jonny’s letter that he wrote to me gave me contentment and excitement for our future together. His bestman also made a rocking movie about the story of our lives and how we met, which turned the whole reception atmosphere into a home like experience, as they provided popcorn for the guests and we all got to share the moments of how Jonny and I first came to be.
What advice would you give someone else planning a destination wedding?
Once you fall in love with a place, seal the deal. You just have to go in with the attitude that everything is going to be ok and it will be fun.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
The only thing I would have done differently, would be to have a bigger marquee.
How many days before the wedding did you arrive at your location?
We arrived a day before the wedding. As the week leading up to it, all of Jonny’s friends and family were landing into Sydney.
How many days did you stay at the location of your wedding?
We stayed there for three days.
Were there any particularly special or memorable moments from the day you want to share?
It’s been nearly a year on and we still love every moment of our wedding day. From the moment of waking up and walking outside to see the mist on the cliffs, to getting ready and receiving the letters that we wrote to each other and nearly burning down the church with a candle going rouge, to the reception where Jonny’s best mans made a movie explaining how we met and seeing grown man dressed as me to represented our dating world in London, and dancing the night away until 3am. It was all magical.
Tell us about the menu and food served...
We wanted our reception to have a family feel to things, we really liked the shared banquet feast, where people would pass the plates around. We went for quite traditional foods, lambs, beef, roast vegetables and salads as the mains and various canapes to start the reception off on.
Tell us about the wedding cake or equivalent...
Jonny’s Aunty, made our wedding cake, she pre-made some things in London and then came over a week earlier before the wedding to finish the cake. We wanted a semi naked cake that reflected our colour scheme.
Tell us about the music...
We had a DJ that a number of my friends had for their weddings, and he was great. We forgot to organise him a table, so he just used an ironing board with a black sheet across it, so he was very friendly. We also had my friends sing the bridal party down the isle and Jonny’s friends sing the songs throughout the ceremony.
Tell us about the décor:...
We wanted it to be really natural, with greenery and exposed timbers.
Tell us about your guest gifts...
We had a photo booth where guest could take as many photos as they wanted and take them home.
Special mention... I received a Thali, this is an Sri Lankan symbol of marriage, it represents a wedding ring in the Sri Lanka culture (which Jonny’s parents got in London).
Photographer: Samuel Jacob Photography
Cinematographer: Mountain Folk Flims
Ceremony: St Johns Evangelist Church, Wallerawang.
Reception: Allview Escape
Florist: The Sisters
Cake: Groom's aunt
Catering: Red Pepper Catering, Gelato Messina,
Guest favours: In An Instant Photography
Furniture hire: Crabapple Vintage, Blue Mountains Special Event Hire
Transport: Blue Ribbon Wedding cars, Captain Kombi
Engagement ring: Natalie Marie
Wedding Rings: Natalie Marie
Bridal gown: Karen Willis Holmes
Hair stylist & Makeup artist: Chloe Grace
Jewellery: Earrings from Samantha Willis.
Shoes: Shoes of Prey
Veil: Atelier Rose Bridal
Bridesmaid outfits: Zimmerman, ASOS and Shona Joy.
Bridesmaid shoes: Wittner Shoes
Page Boys outfits: Marks and Spencer
Groom's shirt: Peter Jackson
Groom's shoes: Aquila
Tie: Peter Jackson
Groomsmen outfits: Suitsupply