It’s the non-stop smiles for us. These high-school sweethearts brought fresh modern energy to their classic Brisbane wedding, where church vows and sweet Italian traditions set the mood, and a late-night burger delivery kept the party going! Though Grace and Corey have shared many milestones, this one takes the cake. Celebrating with 130 of their nearest and dearest was a dream come true for the pair, with styling credit going to the bride for the day’s chic, timeless aesthetic. We delve into the details with Grace, including the story behind that gorgeous bridal gown.
Photography: Mezic Studio
QB: All good love stories start somewhere; tell us how you met …
We started dating in 2010, we were in Grade 9 and just 14 years old. Our relationship grew from strength to strength over the years. We would often walk to classes together, run around on the oval, and sometimes find a quiet place just to sit and talk. After many months of being inseparable, Corey finally asked me to officially be his girlfriend on Christmas Eve 2010 whilst looking at Christmas lights.
We used to meet at the end of the M Block hallway at school, and after 12 incredible years together, we finally got to meet at the end of the aisle on 1 October 2022. For many people, they only get to share a short portion of their lives with each other before they get married. We have been fortunate to be able to share many of life’s milestones with each other.
QB: Make us laugh, make us cry: who proposed to whom, and how?
After being together for so many years, you’d think I would have been suspicious when the proposal was coming … but that wasn’t the case. I had recently quit my job and planned a short holiday whilst I was in between roles. Corey was receiving a lot of pressure from people to propose, and naturally, I didn’t want him to feel pressured. So, I actually said: “don’t propose while we are away.” Little did I know that he had the ring for months and was planning to propose!
In Maleny, Corey suggested a picnic at a special property that could be accessed in exchange for a charity donation. He pretended to book it the night before, so I thought it was just a normal picnic — as he wouldn’t leave it that late if he was proposing. The morning of, I realised we’d brought the small picnic rug and was inadvertently making things difficult about wanting to go and buy a bigger one.
Corey managed to get me in the car and drive to iconic One Tree Hill, where there was already a beautiful picnic set up for us. Even after seeing it and with Corey acting strange, I genuinely didn’t think the proposal was happening. But after enjoying some food (mainly me eating as Corey was too nervous), we stood up for a photo and he proposed. Corey did so well to keep the secret and we enjoyed the afternoon all by ourselves at One Tree Hill, which often pulls quite a crowd.
One Tree Hill at Maleny will always be so special to us, and we are forever grateful that we got to have our engagement photo shoot with Mezic Studio there before it was closed to the public.
See Grace & Corey’s Maleny engagement shoot here
QB: How did you celebrate your hens/bucks/hucks?
We celebrated separately with a weekend away at the coast with our closest friends.
QB: How and why did you choose your venues?
We attended an event at the Emporium Hotel approximately two years before we were engaged and absolutely loved it. We especially liked the idea of having a Brisbane city wedding where our guests could conveniently attend and not have to travel/pay for accommodation.
QB: What was the inspiration behind your wedding style?
We wanted it to be timeless so we could look back on the photos and feel like they hadn’t dated much. Given that we had decided to have a city wedding, naturally, our inspiration was very modern and chic (as opposed to rustic, etc). We found lots of inspiration on social media such as Pinterest, Instagram and especially TikTok.
QB: Tell us about your dress/suit choices …
I stumbled across a TikTok video of a woman in the United States wearing a beautiful wedding dress and (after much research) found Brisbane’s White Lily Couture stocked the dress. As soon as I tried it on, I knew it was the one. Classic, timeless, but still modern with a different neckline. I also customised it by adding 143 silk buttons on the back.
Corey was always going to go for a classic tux, and we chose Black Jacket Suiting after receiving many positive recommendations. The fit was perfect!
QB: Did you incorporate any traditions?
Yes, it is an Italian tradition for the bride and groom to be wrapped in streamers during their first dance. The colourful streamers are wrapped around the couple by different family members. Entangling the streamers is a symbol of good wishes that guests give to the bride and groom. This was an incredibly special moment for me as I had witnessed and seen photos of many family members sharing in this tradition; it was finally my turn!
QB: Was there a favourite (and/or funniest) moment of the day?
The most special part of our day was definitely that moment when we met at the end of the aisle. On a less serious note, we love a cheeseburger at the end of a big night, so we ordered 70 cheeseburgers from McDonald’s to be delivered at around 10 pm. It was so much fun seeing our guests’ faces light up and passing cheeseburgers around to them. It definitely helped keep the party going into the early hours of the morning!
QB: Do you have a special mention for any stand-out vendors?
This is hard, as most of our vendors were incredible! In particular, our photography by Mezic Studio and videography by Michael Kelly Films were a standout. We spent a lot of the day with them and they blended in so well that we didn’t even feel like we were being captured, we could soak in every moment. They were particularly accommodating and professional when it rained during our photoshoot and also captured some incredible moments despite the weather.
QB: What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage is about putting the other person before you and helping them be better each day. Most importantly, when life gets difficult, it’s the two of you against the problem, not you two against each other. We have always tried to adopt this approach to challenges in our lives and will continue to do so throughout our marriage.
QB: Any words of wisdom to offer other couples?
Someone told me before my wedding not to cry. At first, I thought that was insane advice as I am a very emotional person. They said to me that it is the happiest day of my life surrounded by everyone I love and really there is not a lot to cry about. Funnily enough, I didn’t cry once on my wedding day, as it was a day of happiness beyond happy tears. I look back on the photos, and you can see that I am absolutely beaming with happiness, and you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Yes, I felt emotional on the day, but I managed to focus on my happiness and excitement. You are surrounded by everyone that you love and care about on your wedding day, it is literally the happiest day of your life so remember to smile!
QB: How did you honeymoon?
We were incredibly grateful to be able to travel overseas for our honeymoon in the Maldives. It was more beautiful than the pictures and will probably always be our most memorable holiday.
THE DREAM TEAM
Photography: Mezic Studio // Videography: Michael Kelly Films // Ceremony location: St James Catholic Church Coorparoo with Fr Francis of St James Catholic Parish // Reception venue: Emporium Hotel South Bank // Gown: Pronovias ‘Day’ from White Lily Couture. Altered & custom buttons by Bridal Alterations Brisbane // Earrings: Amelie George ‘St Clair’ // Shoes: Harlo Australia ‘Alexandra’ // Groom’s outfit: Black Jacket Suiting // Bridesmaid dresses: Bariano gowns in Dusty Lilac // Groomsmen outfits: Black Jacket Suiting // Make-up: Shannon Hope Makeup Artist // Hair: Chantelle Maree Hair // Wedding Rings: AG Designer Jeweller //Flowers: Gwen Floral Co // Cake: Vas Frosted Indulgence // Catering: Emporium Hotel // Stylist: Bride // Music: DJ Jordan George // Seating chart: KC Times // Tree: Autumn Grove Events // Centrepieces: Luxe Designs and Events // Coasters (wedding favours/place cards): Personalised favours