Monday’s are rough (that happy life you knew on Sunday – gone). Unless of course you’re like Shane, a musician who thought it was the perfect day to propose. “I went for an early morning walk with Shane to a local park. Shane led me to a park bench where he played romantic music and kissed me nervously before proposing… all on a Monday morning. Best Monday ever”, says Emily who we sense is a happy human most days.
Choosing to marry on North Stradbroke Island, a heavenly spot located 30 kilometres southeast of Brisbane, she also tells us, “We both love the beach and summer, so it was easy to decide on a tropical island, tiki style party for our wedding. We wanted to keep it very casual, more like a party than a formal and elegant affair, with no seating plan or fancy dress code.”
With that in mind she sat down at her desk (Emily is an illustrator, see Emily Nelson) and designed an invitation suite oozing with adventure. “I incorporated lots of little details from the island and our wedding to give our guests a guide of what to expect.” A boatload of pineapples, bright yellow sunflowers and grass skirts were all in the mix but the best bit (apart from choosing to hire photographer Stories by Ash) according to Emily, was arriving at the ceremony in her vintage Daughters of Simone dress.
“We had the Barksdale Brass Band walk in a procession, with the bridal party down the aisle, through the paper bark trees and onto the beach. When I arrived at the beach everyone cheered and I had tears of happiness looking at my husband and all of our happy friends and family in bright and happy colours.”
The rest of the day carried on in a similar fashion, with Point Lookout Community Hall looking like someone had come and wiped cheer all over it. “There was a lot of DIY styling involved in the wedding. I made a dolphin cake topper, my sister helped me to stamp fluorescent yellow spots onto all of our white tablecloths (with carrots) and we hand painted signs on scraps of wood. I also sourced lanterns, festoon lights, grass skirting, paper pineapples, tiki mugs and about 30 real pineapples and decorated the hall with a team of friends and family.”
Emily and Shane know better than anyone however, that it’s not really a party unless there’s live music. “Live music is the best”, says Emily, very matter-of-factly. “I danced and tried all of the cakes at the same time and Shane finished the night wearing my flower crown and playing the trombone. We laughed and cried, ate until our bellies were so full, guests lost items of clothing and did the limbo and spooned on the grass. It was all magical.”
CREDITS Photos Stories by Ash // Bridal gown Daughters of Simone // Flowers Lisa Lowe via Stradbroke Island Events // Prop hire Stradbroke Island Events // Shoes Betts // Rings Claire Kinder Studio // Earrings Sunday Social // Bridesmaid dresses Naughty Shorts // Grooms suit Rusty Zipper (shirt) and Island Importer (shirt) // Grooms shoes Havaianas // Groomsmen suits Can You Keep a Secret? // Ceremony Home Beach, QLD // Reception Point Lookout Community Hall, QLD // Catering Viva Paella // Cake Flame Tree Bakery // Stationery Emily Nelson // Entertainment Barksdale Brass Band, Kristin Berardi and Bobby Alu // Celebrant Sheryl Gotje via Stradbroke Island Events.