The love story between Natalie and Diz started back in high school – well, kind of. “We met briefly in Year 8, but Diz mainly hung out with a circle of friends a few grades above ours and was too busy being a cool skater dude to have a girlfriend,” laughs Natalie. “It was in Grade 10, when we met properly and shared some of the same subjects, that our friendship really began.” Noticing a connection, the two went from passing innocent little letters in class (sorry guys, we outed you) to dating, leaving school, travelling the world together and becoming inseparable. “During the 11 years we’ve been together, we’ve grown together and have become such a significant part of each other’s lives,” says Natalie. Aw!
During this time they’ve also become part of each other’s families. Which is why Diz decided to involve their closest loved ones in the special moment when he popped the question. “We had all the family together for Christmas Eve and were celebrating when Diz stood before all those we love and adore, and asked me to be his bride,” says Natalie. Involving family once more, Diz presented his lovely girlfriend with a very special engagement ring, which had once belonged to the bride’s father’s mother (stay with us, people!). “It was worn by my Nana, Sumiko Yoshitake for 60 years,” says Natalie. “It meant so much for my dad to trust us with his mother’s ring and it’s something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”
When it came time to tie the knot on 30 September 2017, some 20 months later, Natalie and Diz planned a celebration with a focus on good ol’ fashioned L-O-V-E. “We wanted our dream day to really represent ‘us’ and our personal style,” says Natalie. “It was important that our family and friends felt relaxed and comfortable.” Discovering a breathtaking private property in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland’s Maleny region, the two took inspiration from the setting to plan a rustic-meets-boho wedding that showcased the venue’s natural beauty and laid-back feel. “We wanted to complement the venue’s earthy vibe and styled the ceremony and reception with rugs, cushions, lounges, wine barrels and trestle tables to create a real festival feel.” The results get a big thumbs up from us!
When the big day finally arrived the sun was thankfully shining, showing off the gorgeous property and creating the perfect scene for the couple’s nuptials. Dressed in a flowing Grace Loves Lace dress, Natalie walked down the aisle while her brother played a beautiful, emotional piece on the piano. “Everyone had the tissues out, wiping away happy tears,” remembers Natalie.
Before saying ‘I do’ with views of the Glass House Mountains in the background, the couple invited another loved one to be involved in the ceremony. “One of our friends performed a sage blessing to cleanse the space and encourage positive energy,” says Natalie. “It was so beautiful!” #GoodVibesOnly
With their vows exchanged, the couple were about to walk back up the aisle when something kind of held them back. “My mother and Nana had made two beautiful wedding horseshoes as a symbol of good luck,” explains Natalie. “When our celebrant announced us as husband and wife, everyone stood up, cheered and threw rose petals as we walked up the aisle together. Or at least tried to – I could feel something pulling my head back. Turns out I had left the horseshoes on the table where we signed our wedding certificate and a friend, who was running after us to return them, accidentally stood on my veil in the process! Luckily, we all found it hilarious!”
Wardrobe malfunctions attended to, Natalie and Diz then roamed the property at sunset for a photo session, taking in the beauty of their surroundings. “There is something so breathtaking about the mountains,” says Natalie. “I know that for Diz and me, they really make us stop and take a moment to appreciate life itself – just the sheer beauty of it.”
Joining their 80 guests to toast the occasion and let their hair down, the couple then celebrated with an enchanting tipi reception under the stars. “Style Le Aisle and Wildflowers & Moss styled the inside of the tipi to bring our dream ‘boho chic, wild romance’ theme to life,” says Natalie. “Their work created a truly magical atmosphere that we absolutely loved.”
After enjoying plenty of delicious canapés (like grilled halloumi with tomato chilli relish and Indian-spiced vegetable fritters with mango jam), Natalie and Diz were listening to heartfelt speeches when they received a couple of touching surprises. “My best friend sang ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ and it left us utterly breathless,” remembers the bride. “Then my brother, mum, granddad and brother-in-law combined their musical talents to perform ‘Lullaby of Birdland’, which was just unforgettable!” Now that’s how you get a party started!
After a first dance to Broadhurst’s ‘The One’, the newlyweds cut into their indulgent wedding cake. “My beautiful sister-in-law made it fresh on the morning of the wedding,” says Natalie. “The bottom layer was a hazelnut, pecan and coffee cake, and the top was a rosewater and vanilla sponge.” We’ll take a slab slice of both, thanks. Another hit was Natalie and Diz’s gift to guests: a jar of organic honey (from a friend’s own beehive, no less). Very sweet, indeed.
A celebration brimming with love, Natalie and Diz’s wedding was filled with dancing, laughter, endless smiles and plenty of beautiful memories. “Our wedding will remain in our hearts as one of the most special days of our entire lives,” says Natalie. “Everything was so much more magnificent than we could have ever imagined!”
BRIDE’S LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Photography: Evernew Studio // Ceremony & reception: Halfmoon Hideaway, Maleny // Wedding dress: Grace Love Lace // Shoes: Shoes of Prey, customised by the bride // Bridesmaids’ dresses: House on Oxford // Bridesmaids’ shoes: Nine West // Hair & makeup: Done by the bride’s friend // Suits: Roger David // Rings: Family heirlooms // Flowers: Wildflowers & Moss Styling: Style Le Aisle // Tipi: Tipi Luxe // Mobile bar: Tinker Travelling Vintage Van // Catering: The Canape Project // Desserts: Made by the mother of the bride // Cake: Made by the bride’s sister-in-law // Celebrant: James McLauchlan Civil Celebrant // Musicians: Shannon Rose & Henry // Videographers: D‘Arcy & Co. Photography & Film // Honeymoon: Samoa
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