It’s not often that a love story begins with bloodsucking parasites. But, funnily enough, this one does. “For me, the moment I knew he was the one was when we went for a bush walk in the Gold Coast hinterland and my feet were covered in leeches (I was in havvies, as usual). I was scared and grossed out but Lex saved me from them,” says Casey, adding that the aim for their nuptials, captured by Finch & Oak, was a lot less dramatic.

“All we wanted from our wedding was to have a huge party with all our favourite people. We wanted to spoil our loved ones with good food, great music, laughter and of course dancing. We never could have imagined the incredible day that came to fruition. The best part was the crowd, how lucky were we to have such beautiful family and friends make the journey to be at our special day – it was the most humbling experience of my life.”

With guests travelling from near and far to attend the celebration held at Brisbane Powerhouse, the couple (understandably) wanted to make their first dance one to remember and spent days searching for the perfect song… though the bride’s father had something else in mind. “We started dancing and Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’ started playing. With a big smile on my face, I said to Lex ‘this isn’t our song’, to which he replied ‘I know’. I look over and wonder why Dad is holding the microphone and then he starts singing. I lose my shit. I nearly fall on the floor crying. I then realise that Lex knew this whole time and kept it a surprise for me. I then cry more. Then he starts crying. The two of us are sobbing on each other and my dad sings beautifully. It was the highlight of an already incredible day.”

For the groom though, his favourite memory is unmistakable. “Mine would without a doubt have to be when I first saw Casey on the day. I have never set eyes on anything more beautiful or felt a rush of emotions that even comes close to that feeling,” he tells us, though Casey was a bit nervous having opted for a completely non-traditional ensemble – a gorgeous purple gown from Bariano.

“I put it on and instantly felt special. I couldn’t not buy the purple dress. Even right up until the day, I was nervous about the colour. I knew I loved it but I was worried that it might not look special enough or maybe Alex wouldn’t like it. And then the day came and I had my hair and makeup done, I stepped into the dress in front of my sisters, Mum, Dad and best friend and when I saw them looking at me and the look on their faces, I knew I made the right choice.”

Casey and Alex’s Brisbane wedding was originally featured in our third annual Real Wedding Special, on sale now and stocked in newsagents nationally. Search for your nearest stockist via suburb or postcode here or shop online with Mag Nation or through the HM online store here.

CREDITS Photos Finch & Oak // Dress Bariano // Robes Le Rose // Shoes Betts and Adidas // Ring Diamonds International // Makeup Glamouresque Beauty Boudoir // Bridesmaids Myer // Suit Politix // Shirt Charles Tyrwhitt // Tie Ben Sherman // Shoes Aquila // Ring Larson Jewelers // Flowers Brisbane Flower Market // Ceremony and reception Brisbane Powerhouse, QLD // Catering Zen Catering // Cake Nodo Donuts // Photo booth Nick Evans Photo // Entertainment The Walking // Celebrant Alicia Zeller.