Elle & Mark

  • Story by Julia Steel
  • Photography by David Le Photography

We were married on February 8th 2019 and really just wanted our wedding to be a big garden party in the sun.

Elle & Mark

Mark proposed following a weekend stay with friends in Taupo. I thought we were on our way home, but he drove in the other direction – he’d secretly booked a beautiful bed and breakfast villa! Our puppy, Joe, was with us, so we took him for a bush walk and came across a beautiful secluded boat ramp where Mark got down on one knee! The proposal was absolutely the surprise of my life!

Elle & Mark

We married about a year later in my parent’s garden in Colyton (near Feilding) and held the reception in a stretch tent out in the paddock. We thought it would be lovely to do it there as it’s local and means a heck of a lot to both of us, on top of being absolutely stunning!

Elle & Mark

Our wedding was pretty simple and quite country. A lot of the decor was handmade, reflecting both of our backgrounds.

Elle & Mark
Elle & Mark

I tried on some dresses then my mum and I took a few ideas, put them together and then she worked her magic with fabric from Sydney – she’s a very clever lady! The dress style was quite country with a tasselled fold-over split at the front and more tassels on the shoulders and down the back in a V shape with subtle lace detailing. It was made from a crepe stretch material and had an almost off-the-shoulder V-neck.

Elle & Mark

My mum made all three of my bridesmaids’ dresses in completely different colours and styles from each other. Each girl is different, and I wanted them all to wear something that they loved, that suited them and that they were comfortable in!

Elle & Mark

It was so us – with Mark even getting an axe rather than a wedding ring!

Elle & Mark

The archway that we married under was made from my late grandpop’s scaffolding ladders with a macrocarpa slab milled by Mark across the top.

Elle & Mark

I paired my dress with my sister’s beautiful glitzy hair piece from her wedding eight years ago and ankle embellishments over the top of my shoes. My earrings from Cameron Jewellery were a gift from Mark’s sister Morgan. I also found ways to incorporate beautiful brooches from late family members.

Elle & Mark
Elle & Mark

I love flowers, so I had to have lots! Most of them came from my mum and aunty Claire’s gardens with a few from Melody’s Florist. They helped with heaps of the arrangements while I made the bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids’. Mum also put together an absolutely incredible arrangement to go on the archway

Elle & Mark
Elle & Mark

The best part was looking each other in the eyes knowing that it was just the beginning of the best adventure ever.

Elle & Mark

We had grazing plates after the ceremony, followed by burgers and salads for dinner! The burger meat was chicken, home kill lamb from my dad and venison hunted and gathered by Mark. The bridal party had epic triple meat burgers!

Elle & Mark
Elle & Mark

The whole day was an absolute highlight reel! Mark says his favourite moment was when I walked around the corner to come down the aisle – mine was seeing his face as I did so! 

Elle & Mark

All we wanted was a fun party and that was exactly what we got! We couldn’t have done it without our legendary families.

Elle & Mark

Dessert was home baking I made with my talented sister Laura, who also whipped up the amazing cakes. One was a beautiful vanilla and white chocolate creation and the other was yum lime and elderflower. For the third ‘cake’ I made heaps of giant cookies which she assembled on top of each other to make a giant layered cookie cake!

Elle & Mark
Elle & Mark

There was no stress for the entire time and it was literally the best day of our lives – our faces were sore for days from smiling.

Elle & Mark
Elle & Mark

BRIDE & BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES Kaye Bradbury (Bride’s mum); BRIDE’S SHOES Number One Shoes; BRIDE’S ACCESSORIES Cameron Jewellery; GROOM’S SUIT, SHOES Barkers, Johnny Bigg; GROOMSMEN’S ATTIRE Barkers; CELEBRANT Sal Cleary; HAIR Emmaleigh (bride’s friend); MAKEUP Abby’s Beauty Wonderland (bride’s friend); RINGS Cameron Jewellery; CAKES Laura Bradbury (bride’s sister); CATERING The Crafted and Co. (Groom’s sister); MUSIC Twisted; HIRE Stretch Tents Wellington

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