Wedding date: 28 March 2019 // Number of guests: 28
It was a match made in food-and-wine-loving heaven when Renee and Gavin met while both living in Melbourne. Plenty of travel adventures and late nights (listening to their beloved Dire Straits!) ensued before the couple took an even bigger plunge together – moving to the Sunshine Coast, marrying and honeymooning all within one month! Well done, guys! We salute your go-get-em attitude to life and can’t believe the beautiful and intimate celebration you managed to pull off in such a short space of time! Just beautiful …
QB: All good love stories start somewhere; tell us how and when you met &
Ours was a modern-day Tinderella story …
We matched on Tinder early 2016 and soon after ‘swiping right’ we met in person and instantly bonded over our passion for food, wine, whisky, adventure and the music of Dire Straits. Our first date was at Melbourne whisky bar, Boiler Maker House where Gavin attempted to woo me with some fancy single-malt Scotch and witty conversation. Successfully wooed, the date then led to a Chinese feast at Melbourne’s iconic Supper Inn, in China Town.
A whirlwind of wining, dining, Negroni’s, Old Fashioneds & laughter-filled late nights followed – and it became very clear we were kindred spirits.
One night at one of our favourite Melbourne rooftop bars, Goldilocks, we decided to make it an “official” relationship. Partners in crime ever since, we’ve embarked on many mini-adventures around Australia together …
QB: Make us laugh, make us cry: who proposed to who, and how?
… One such adventure, a surprise road trip which Gavin had planned, took us to the gorgeous historical town of Bendigo, and while strolling through the Chardonnay vines at Balgownie Estate, Gavin got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife!
QB: Tell us about your lives together …
We’ve just moved from Melbourne to my beautiful home town, the Sunshine Coast. Quitting our jobs, moving interstate, getting married and going on a honeymoon all within the same month was a stressful, crazy, fun and beautiful adventure! We are loving the more relaxed coastal vibes of coast life. Gavin grew up in a small coastal town, South Shields in the UK, so we are both drawn to the sea.
We love visiting wineries, going on mini adventures, exploring new places, trying new restaurants, cooking for each other and friends and of course drinking good wine! Gavin’s a sommelier so wine is a big part of our lives.
For us, it’s really special sitting around a table with our loved ones connecting over good food and good wine. There’s something really beautiful about that.
QB: What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage to me is about finding that special someone to whom your soul connects, that kindred spirit you want to adventure through life with and honouring that commitment by making a promise to each other in front of those you hold closest saying, I choose you and I will continue to choose you every single day for the rest of our lives.
QB: How and why did you choose your venues?
Gavin and I love connecting with people over food so when planning our wedding it made sense for us to celebrate with one big dinner party, gathering the people closest to us around one big table to connect and celebrate with some good food, good wine, smiles and laughter! We wanted a small and intimate wedding with those closest to us, which really narrowed down the venue search.
Our must-have’s were: good food, good wine, a private dining room with long table, the ability to have the ceremony and reception at the same place; we wanted a nice seamless relaxed flow where guest could enjoy canapés and drinks straight after the ceremony, also a venue that had a great wet weather back up for the ceremony location; we didn’t want to add any stress to our special day if it rained. Lastly, a venue that fit our vibe as a couple and our wedding style – it had to be a modern venue with a coastal but classy feel. Pier 33 ticked all those boxes for us.
QB: What was the inspiration behind your wedding style?
I’m a graphic designer so absolutely loved the styling for our wedding (I’ve already started a Pinterest board for our vow renewals in Vegas – shh!). I had a mood book and clear vision for our wedding style from the start and everything flowed so beautifully from our save-the-dates and invitations that set the scene to everything that came together on our special day. Our style was modern glamour with a touch of romance and a sprinkle of the tropics. I took inspiration from all the things we love, our style as a couple and the gorgeous coastal vibes of the Sunshine Coast.
QB: Did you incorporate any traditions or perhaps do something a little different?
We stripped away a lot of traditions for our wedding and focused our energy and budget on what was important to us as a couple. Food and wine, along with creative elements like photography, florals, invitations, and on-the-day stationery.
In honour of our romantic proposal amongst the Chardonnay vines at Balgownie Estate Winery in Bendigo, we wanted a Magnum of Balgownie Estate Chardonnay for our guests to sign (as our modern-day guest book). After speaking with the vineyard and discovering that this wine actually didn’t come in a Magnum, we were at first disappointed but then thrilled when the winemaker said he would make one especially for us! Special little details like this make me smile!
QB: Were there any standout suppliers?
Our vendors were truly a dream team, all incredibly creative and exceptionally talented at what they do.
Amelia from Bloodwood Botanica is a creative genius with florals, her structural style is breathtaking and her designs completely unique. We were so happy with how everything came together on the day, she has such great attention to detail, like picking up my signature bright red lipstick with pops of red through the florals. Our flowers were just incredible the colours, the textures, her ability to reflect us as a couple in her work, just elevates her designs to the next level.
Mallory has a such a gorgeous photography style which I immediately fell in love with when I came across her on Instagram. She has a way of perfectly capturing the magic of the moment and the way she captures light is so beautiful – like film. We are so in love with our photo’s! She is also wonderfully sweet and a pro at making you feel comfortable getting your photo taken, we had so much fun during our shoot! I’m usually so awkward getting my photo taken so that was such a relief!
Our celebrant Kath Tilly was so fantastic, her modern approach to ceremonies was just so refreshing. Our ceremony was short, sweet, personal, heartfelt and perfectly us… exactly how we wanted it!
Pier 33 was incredible from the gorgeous riverside location, beautiful interior right through to the service, food and nice wine list – it was everything we wanted! The wet weather back up was just so beautiful, we weren’t even sad about not being able to have our ceremony on the lawn.
White Lily Couture was amazing! I found myself without a dress two weeks out from the wedding, quite a nerve-racking experience! The ladies at White Lily Couture went above and beyond to help find me the perfect dress in time! My Zavana dress is absolutely stunning and everything I dreamed my wedding dress would be. I loved the way it hugged my curves and how it made me feel so I also have special thanks to Ella form Ella Moda for her amazing alterations work. It was as though the dress was made just for me.
Valentina from Sunshine Brides is such a creative hair and makeup artist. I wasn’t after the typical bridal look and I had seen her work with more moody bridal looks on a few styled shoots and knew she was the one! She was so lovely and loved chatting away with her on the morning of my wedding. I was so happy with my look on the day she absolutely nailed it and made me feel so beautiful!
QB: Do you have any words of wisdom to offer other couples?
Just do you! Don’t feel you need to follow traditions; your wedding should be as unique as you are as a couple.
Did you enjoy a honeymoon? If so, how and why did you choose your destination?
We had such a fabulous time on our honeymoon. We had just come through a very cold winter in Melbourne so a warm tropical place was number one on the list.
Most of our holidays are normally pretty jam-packed with lots of action and adventure (on our last trip to Tasmania, the longest we stayed in one place was two nights!), and so we wanted to stay in the one place for the whole two weeks. We absolutely wanted a place where we could do choose to nothing but lay by the pool with a glass of champagne (or seek out adventure if we wanted to). Oh, and we were absolutely going to sleep in, every, single, day! It also had to be a place that neither of us had been to, which ensured we were sharing new adventures and experiences together.
Port Douglas ticked all the boxes, and it was everything we hoped it would be. Such a beautiful relaxed town with breath-taking sunsets, some really amazing restaurants, a great little cocktail bar and a touch of adventure. We did a whole lot of relaxing and explored the Daintree and snorkelled the great barrier reef. AMAZING!
Please share any other details …
I couldn’t find the right arbour for hire so I drew up a design of what I wanted and my Dad made it for me. It felt really special Dad walking me down the aisle to the Arbor he had made for me.
I designed all the invitations, on-the-day stationery and signage.