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Sometimes it pays to not be in the know. Having never been to a wedding before Nat says she had nothing to base hers to Sam on when they were preparing – resulting in one with a lot of quirks. “I wouldn’t have a clue what happens at ‘normal’ weddings and still don’t! All I know is that everyone said it was one of the best, most fun weddings they’ve ever been to!”

Having happened upon the wonderful ocean views, location and old 80’s charm of Clovelly Bowling Club in Sydney’s east, the pair adopted a rather laissez-faire attitude to the old bowling club. “Rather than try to hide the stuffy old feeling of the bowling club, we eventually decided we better just play it up. Instead of covering things up (like the bizarre picture of the queen above the stage, and the old 70s chairs) we left them exposed and simply matched our colour scheme to go with the orange walls and the wacky blue carpet. Cheap as chips to hire, drinks prices stuck in the 80’s, tacky bright blue carpet and a strange old picture of the queen flanked by two Aussie flags above a stage which houses an ancient piano (which we tuned up and used!) – awesome!” Their genius at scouting locations for the day also led to a ceremony atop an ocean-side cliff edge just next door to the reception and the very fun Sterling Hairdressing Parlour & Barber Shop in Surry Hills for hair, makeup and getting ready earlier in the day.

Many friends lent some help for the day with everything from cake and catering to flowers. Says Nat, “we know some amazing talented people – everything was incredible!” Meanwhile, Nat and Sam took on a touch of DIY with their decorations, by scooping up a jackpot of cheap records and printing their menus on them as placemats. Personalised printed guitar picks scattered around rounded out the rock ‘n’ roll theme.

With the proposal having taken place a year earlier on Italy’s Island of Capri as a flock of swallows flew around their heads (true story!), swallows also made an appearance as a bit of a theme on their wedding day from Nat’s necklace to some more DIY, says Nat. “Swallows featured as a bit of a theme – an oldie but a goodie – they mate for life, they flew around our head when Sam proposed and they are the basis of the tattoo on my leg – so we spray painted our flower buckets with some swallows and anchors along with our initials and the date of the wedding.”

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CREDITS Photos Lara Hotz // Ceremony venue Burrows Park Headland, Clovelly // Reception venue Clovelly Bowling Club // Bride’s dress Maria Ling Qing Huang // Headpiece Melinda Rose Design // Bride’s shoes Schuh // Groom’s suit Montagio // Bridesmaid’s dresses Their own // Cake Copy Cat Cakes // Flowers Mali, friend // Hair + makeup Sterling Hairdressing Parlour & Barber Shop // Band Geoff Bull & The Finer Cuts // Stationery Three Eggs Design // Catering Peter Oxley, friend // Props Sydney Props // Wedding day coordinator Bells n’ Whistles