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Mick completely took Deana by surprise when he took her on a trip with both of their parents to Malaysia. One night while walking on the beach, the two passed a candlelit dinner prepared on the beach…

“I jokingly said ‘would’ve been nice if we did that’ and he says ‘umm well I did, this is for you’. I laughed and kept walking. He had to grab me and sit me down I was so shocked. I was just so happy about the suprise dinner on the beach, he could have left it there haha He took the ring out of his pocket and said ‘Don’t throw this its real’, half expecting me to think the proposal was a joke and for me to toss the ring into the sand. (he knows me well). We were both extremely emotional and will be a night I will remember forever as I don’t think you could ever replicate that feeling.”

Though they’d originally planned on having a small winery wedding, Deana and Mick landed on Abbotsford Convent Gardens after realising their guest list had reached a whopping 340 people. “I’ve always had a strong connection to the convent and Mick and I were strolling around there one day and it just hit me. Why hadn’t I thought to have my wedding here? It’s perfect. It had everything we love, beautiful gardens, history and a relaxed vibe. I love the fact that I can visit whenever I want and hopefully be able to bring my kids here one day,” explains Deana, who adds that their day, captured by Jonathan Ong Photography, was meant to just be a massive party.

“Traditions can be beautiful but they can also be boring, unnecessary and a little stuffy. When planning I didn’t think of the day as our wedding, I just thought of it as planning the biggest party we’ll ever have and I found it really worked in the end,” the bride tells us, though the catering by Bursaria was a real standout. “The catering on the night was amazing. We had a cocktail wedding and were worried there wouldn’t be enough food, but there was so much to eat and waiters constantly filling glasses!”

Another supplier all-star, the pair says, was I Heart Flowers who handled the event styling, florists, stationery and signage. “Straight away we clicked and I knew she would be able to deliver what I had imagined. She was flexible with ideas and always made sure that it was about my taste, never imposing her own taste but always coming up with great ideas to make our joint vision work. I’m looking for excuses to throw another party so I can get her to style it!”

Now enjoying the married life, Deana and Mick leave other brides and grooms-to-be with this bit of helpful advice: “The best advice would be to find vendors that are the on the same page as you. People that you have rapport with instantly, it will make it so much easier with the planning if you have similar taste to your vendor and you feel they understand what you’re after and you can trust to just leave them alone to do what you’ve hired them for basically.”

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CREDITS Photos Jonathan Ong Photography // Bridal gown Jenny Packham via Le Louvre // Veil and hair piece Richard Nylon // Bride and bridesmaids shoes Wittner // Accessories Stephanie Browne // Hair and makeup Renee Camilleri // Rings Janai Jewellery and George Jensen // Bridesmaid dresses Seduce // Bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts Edenborough Evans // Suit and socks Oscar Hunt // Tie / Bow tie and page boys Country Road // Cufflinks Sine Qua Non // Shoes Bared Footwear // Groomsmen suits Briggins // Flower girls Tea Princess // Event Stylist, florist and stationery I Heart Flowers // Ceremony and reception Abbotsford Convent Gardens, VIC // Catering Bursaria // Cake Cherrytree Bakehouse // Decorative elements Ikea // Wedding favours Dan Murphys // Prop and furniture hire Harry the Hirer // Lighting / sound hire and entertainment Higher Ground // Entertainment The Mac Project // Celebrant Father Bob McGuire // Cinematographer Crux Productions.