Not even a pandemic could stand in the way of this couple’s desire for “I do”.
Adventure may be a hallmark of their relationship, but April and Sol didn’t expect their wedding journey to be quite so eventful. Within just a few COVID compromised months, the couple’s planned celebration for 90 became an elopement, and then pivoted into a last-minute riverside do for 26 – but as you can see from this beaming bride and groom, third time’s a charm!
“We were getting married, no matter what!” laughs April, who first crossed paths with her future groom at work. What started as a friendship quickly blossomed into a love story filled with overseas adventures and a ton of beautiful memories. “We’ve had so many wonderful experiences together,” says April. “We’ve travelled around more than 30 countries, lived in Canada and England, built a house on the Sunshine Coast, and raised our fur baby Pippa.”
After snowboarding through eight countries together, it seems only fitting that Sol’s proposal came on top of a mountain while holidaying in Japan. “He proposed on the second-last day… waiting for the right time,” says April. “The right time ended up being on top of a mountain snowboarding in a -18˚C blizzard!” April was just about to head back down the slope when she turned around to realise what was going on!
Although he’d kept his custom-designed ring a secret for six months, Sol barely had to wait a millisecond for his sweetheart’s response. “It was the best surprise – I believe I said yes before he even asked me to marry him,” laughs April. “Oops, too excited!”
Back home, the couple’s planning journey started smoothly. After only visiting two venues, they instantly knew The Rocks Yandina was the one, charmed by its earthy, rustic vibe and private Maroochy River locale. “Choosing our venue was a piece of cake,” admits April. “We loved that we could have a laidback outdoor dinner party and that the ceremony and reception was all in one place.” And, it just so happened the only date they had available was April’s parents’ wedding anniversary! Meant. To. Be. Just when things were falling into place, the pandemic scrambled everyone’s best-laid plans, especially with Sol’s parents and sisters in NSW and April’s extended family in Victoria. By July, the couple’s dream of a wedding for 90 guests had evaporated – but their desire to marry had not. “As the time got closer to our original date of October 10th, we decided we wanted to get married,” says April simply. “And if that meant just us and a party later on, then that’s what we would do.” So, with their celebrant and photographer on board, the pair prepared for an elopement … before plans were turned on their head again with the Queensland border reopening to the Byron Bay region (home to Sol’s parents and two of his sisters). Now just three weeks out, the couple embarked on a “mad dash” to rescale their original plan at The Rocks for 26 close family and friends. And this time, the stars aligned for their riverside nuptials.
While smaller than they first imagined, the couple’s relaxed wedding reflected their personalities and vision to a tee. The mood was glorious rustic-luxe with accents of timber and fresh florals and a dash of modern sophistication thanks to the bride’s Madi Lane Bridal gown (that cape!) and Sol’s dapper ensemble. “We wanted a relaxed, simple wedding and a happy, fun environment,” explains April, and even though the breathtaking venue had only a fortnight to plan the event, the couple readily agrees “all of our suppliers were amazing and so helpful and accommodating through such an uncertain time.”
After an eventful journey to “I do”, the newlyweds swapped international honeymoon plans for a decadent Hamilton Island escape that was just what they needed. “We stayed at the amazing qualia for a week and had the most relaxing time,” says April, who has a few words of wisdom for couples planning their own celebration: “Do what you want to do, and what is best for you,” she advises. “We had a crazy time, having organised the wedding and then dealing with COVID. Ultimately, we decided we wanted to get married and that was the most important thing.”
Having this shared clarity of focus served the couple well, especially in uncertain times and changing circumstances. It also aligns beautifully with their view on marriage. “Marriage means committing to love, support and spend the rest of your life with your best friend,” shares April. And, well, isn’t that what it’s all about?
Photography: Angela Cannavo // Venue: The Rocks Yandina // Florals: Oh Honey Florals // Dress: Madi Lane at Luv Bridal // Suit: MJ Bale // Hair: Coastal Style Mobile Hairdressing // Makeup: Renee Jean Makeup Artist // Grooming: Scumbags Barber Shop // Musician: Ollie Murk // Videography: The Four Elements // Celebrant: Hayley Belle Marriage Celebrant