Location: Brisbane // Style: Garden // by QB

Wedding: Naomi + Ben

We just have to start off by saying that we are head-over-heels in love with everything about this wedding. Full of colour, surprises and sweet moments, the nuptials of Naomi and Ben perfectly represented the couple and their love story – a story that began seven years ago with a chance encounter at a pub.

It was a normal Sunday evening, when Naomi, meeting a few girlfriends for drinks happened to run into her dream guy. “Ben was on a boys’ night out and we crossed paths when both our groups of friends rallied around the only pool table available and played a game, which started a battle of the sexes,” laughs Naomi. What followed was a pub crawl across the city and a night spent in side-splitting laughter. “It was the start of a love-filled adventure,” says Naomi. “We’ve been inseparable ever since.”

Naomi's giant paper flowers

Going on to date for four fun-filled years, the two were about to celebrate Christmas together when Ben planned a special surprise…which Naomi may or may not have ruined. Insert shifty eye emoji here. After working late one evening, Naomi rushed home, had a shower and threw on an old shirt before starting dinner preparations. “I didn’t notice the cute note telling me that Ben had planned a night out for us, or the outfit he’d carefully laid out on the bed,” she says. “I was busy cooking dinner when I heard my name and turned around to see Ben fully decked out in a suit, holding a beautiful bouquet of flowers. It was then I realised that I had messed up his proposal!” What’s the phrase about best-laid plans?

Just over a year later, Naomi was busy in the final stages of wedding planning when she plotted her own incredible surprise for Ben. One morning while the couple were at a local market, they came across a print by a talented illustrative artist. It was of two dinosaurs: a T-rex with a flower and another with rosy cheeks. “The love story behind it really got to us,” says Naomi. “The boy T-rex wanted to give the love of his life a flower so she would finally notice him but his arms were too short! But the lesson is, if you stand by someone’s side you can conquer any obstacle – even if it’s simply to show your admiration with a flower.” Someone pass us the tissues, please. “That print now hangs in our lounge room and is also tattooed on our ankles,” says Naomi. It was also the inspiration for her big surprise.

Two months flew by, and the big day – 10 March 2017 – dawned. Getting all dolled up with her bridesmaids, Naomi looked utterly gorgeous in a stunning Chotronette dress embroidered with roses. But in a brilliant fashion choice (that we thoroughly applaud), she chose to cover her signature pinup style with…a T-rex suit. Yep, as she walked down the aisle at Hillstone St Lucia, Naomi paid homage to the couple’s dino-love story with a surprise that was touching, unique and utterly hilarious. “We had a little first look session before the ceremony, and Ben was facing away from me. I tapped him on the shoulder and he turned around to see me in the T-rex suit,” she laughs. “I’ll never forget the look on his face! That was by far one of the most precious memories from our wedding!”

dinosaur wedding

Later that day, the two tied the knot in an intimate ceremony with 48 guests, where Naomi swapped the T-rex suit for another quirky accessory. “My bridesmaids and I carried bouquets of giant hand-crafted Italian crepe-paper flowers,” she explains. “They were all in bright shades of pink, red and purple – because life shouldn’t be boring!” Those flowers…that dress…that venue…it all just worked.

After exchanging vows, Naomi and Ben snuck off for more photos while their guests enjoyed a cocktail reception. “Our photographer, Dee, pulled us aside for 15 minutes, just to take it all in,” says Naomi. “We were sitting on the steps in Hillstone’s beautiful gardens having photos taken, when it sunk in that we were husband and wife.”

naomi and ben wedding

When the couple returned to their guests there was a definite party atmosphere, thanks to drinks and lawn games like giant Jenga, lawn bowls and ring toss. “So many laughs were shared and there was some healthy competition going on. We wanted to make sure our guests had as much fun on the day as we did!”

As the sun set, the couple moved the party indoors, where the Champagne was flowing. And by opting out of formal speeches they kept things laid-back: “We wanted a wedding where guests could just get up and dance, grab a drink and eat until they were full,” says Naomi. Needless to sat, a lot of that went down. Especially when it came to scrumptious sweet treats. “We had one of the most delicious dessert bars I’ve ever seen,” says Naomi. “The catering was seriously amazing.”

Retro Polaroid cameras let guests capture all the magic. “They were able to take some happy snaps, stick them in a scrapbook we’d set out and write a little message. from heartfelt congratulations to cringe-worthy jokes, the messages they left us are keepsakes we’ll treasure forever.” And one last quirky touch? “We had a guestbook where guests could leave a fingerprint, creating the giant house-lifting balloon cluster from the Disney film, Up.” Anything with a Disney element gets our vote.

wedding games

A unique celebration to say the least, Naomi and Ben’s wedding was as colourful and beautiful as the couple themselves. “Ben often describes me as dorky and quirky, and our wedding was massively inspired by this,” says Naomi. “It was, in fact, the best day of our lives and we had the great privilege of sharing it with people we care about.”

Bride’s Little Black Book
Dress: Chotronette // Shoes: Bati Shoes // Bridesmaid dresses: Pin Up Girl Clothing // Hair & Makeup: Belladonna Brides // Flowers: Kristen Joiner and Naomi McIntyre (the bride) // Groomsmen suits: Tarocash // Rings: Diamonds International // Ceremony & Reception: Hillstone St Lucia // Cake: The Cupcake Parlour // Photography: Deezigner Images //

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