Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Nerilee & Michael

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For Nerilee and Michael there were a few things that were crucial for their wedding – a relaxed, garden ceremony, good food and being joined by their loved ones. The couple were married in a stunning ceremony in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens where their guests could wander through the gardens’ natural beauty and simply cross the road to the famous Restaurant Two for a memorable reception. Here at QB we think this is sounds like the perfect no-fuss, stylish wedding.

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Date: October 25 2014

The Couple: Nerilee Wall and Michael Whitehead

No. of Guests: 83

Location: Brisbane Botanic Gardens and Restaurant Two

Theme: Classic with a touch of sparkle

First Dance Song: Real Love – Regina Spektor

Budget: $35,000

Photography: Studio 60

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Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

Nerilee and Michael

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How did you meet?

Embarrassingly we were set up. Mutual friends had thought we would be perfect together and had a party to get the two of us to meet. Those mutual friends are still some of our closest friends. They often joke we will have to name our children after them…

Tell us about the proposal…

We became engaged on a surprise weekend away to Byron Bay. It included a romantic itinerary for the weekend, all topped off by a proposal in a hot air balloon at dawn floating across the Byron Bay Hinterland.

Why did you choose the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and Restaurant Two for your wedding?

We both love Brisbane and knew we wanted to have our wedding here. We have both grown up in Brisbane and after both spending years away are both very happy settle here. We loved the idea of an outdoor wedding in a gorgeous garden, and it’s hard to go past the magic of the Botanic Gardens in Spring, with the flowering jacarandas, the river and the city views. It’s just a magic place.

Restaurant Two needs no introduction. I had heard so many wonderful reviews of weddings there. We both knew their food was fabulous. And the floor plan just works for a wedding. The option for abundant fairy lights was the clincher. We also loved that our guests could meander through the gardens after our ceremony and just across the road was the reception.

What did you do for your hens and bucks?

Michael had a night out with the boys with dinner and a pub crawl and who knows what else! I had a lovely high tea with the ladies, then a mysterious surprise tour of a handful of Brisbane bars and restaurants.

DIY Details

My sister and I made the welcome sign for the reception. The rest was done by the vendors.

Key Styling Inspiration

Spring flowers and anything sparkly for me and 1950s classic glamour for Michael.

What did you splurge on and what did you save on for your wedding?

My gown was a small splurge, but it was everything I had dreamt of so it was definitely worth it. We saved on transport – we didn’t need any – our hotel, ceremony and reception were all within walking distance.

What was the funniest moment of the day?

A fabulous surprise, my incredibly talented MC/bridesmaid Nicola wrote and performed a song, a reworking of Lorde’s ‘Royals’ where she had re-written the lyrics to be about Michael and I. It was hilarious and perfect. She even had the other bridesmaids stand up and chime in for the chorus.

What was the most special memory from the day?

Our first dance was so special. After a whirlwind day it felt like our secret moment together where we could whisper to each other and just enjoy the moment.

What did you do for your honeymoon?

We hired a car and drove around Tasmania. It was very relaxed, and very picturesque. The food was incredible. Our favourite part was sitting by the fire in our cabin at Cradle Mountain while it snowed outside, (in November!)

Special thanks to…

My mum and my sister for all their assistance. And of course Danielle from white + white. She made the whole process a breeze. She was so wise and experienced, and just a lovely person to work with. And her styling is just perfect.

What advice would you give other brides-to-be?

Take a moment at the ceremony or reception to realise that all of the people that you both love are all together in the one place. It will take your breath away.

Words by editorial intern Emily Russ


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Credits
Ceremony: Brisbane Botanic Gardens
Reception: Restaurant Two
Gown: Darb Bridal Couture
Bridesmaid Attire: Sacha Drake
Groom's Suit: Wil Valor
Groomsmen Attire: Their own. Ties - Hugo Boss
Decorator: Danielle White of white + white weddings and events
Flowers: Stem Design
Hair: Papas and Pace
Makeup: Natalie Papas
Cake: Croquembouche courtesy of Restaurant Two
Stationery: Marisa Kate Designs
Music: Sincerely Strings, Jazz Australis, Eye-topia Sound
Photographer: Studio 60
Honeymoon: Tasmania
Celebrant: Sarah May Alexander
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