Renee & Steve
Have you ever thought about ditching the idea of an afternoon wedding and flipping the schedule on its head? That’s exactly what Renee and Steve did for their big day choosing a Sunrise picnic wedding to celebrate at their favourite part of the day! They chose Sarah Streets Photography to capture the first break of day with them.
Steve starts us off with the story of how they met. “We were friends long before there were any love feelings. Renée was training with me as a client and I was her personal trainer, there were definite sparks but we were both committed elsewhere. We trained together for 8 months until Renée left Brisbane to work on Superyachts in Europe, leaving me wondering…what if. Finally almost three and a half years later she returned home. I was single and so was she. I thought it was in my best interest if I sent her a message to see if she wanted to see me and catch up on the time that had passed. I don’t know if it was the mutual love for espresso martinis and pizza or just that the sparks we had felt a few years before started a fire in each of us, but here we are today awaiting our first baby almost a year and half into our marriage, 5 years into our relationship and almost 8 years since we first met.”
Renee chose a gold sequin strapless wedding gown designed by Rachel Gilbert . She explains, “As Steve and I were working and living overseas, I felt that I had very limited time to find ‘the dress’ on a quick trip home to Australia. Especially as many dresses require you to come in for multiple fittings etc which I just wasn’t going to be able to attend. I tried on what seemed like a million dresses in all different styles and just couldn’t find one that I felt WOW in. On a trip to Melbourne, I found this stunning sequinned Rachel Gilbert dress and I fell in love with it. I was just imagining the light from the sunrise beaming onto the dress during the ceremony and making me feel like an old world glamour mermaid. Who doesn’t like wearing sequins during the day?!”
A sentimental spot close to their hearts, Renee and Steve chose Pat Morton Lookout, Lennox Heads for their ceremony, the bride explaining, “It is the first place we stopped off at, in Steve’s pimped out van, when we travelled up and down the east coast the first summer we got together. We love sunrises and we dragged each other up the lookout early that first morning to catch it. It is also the same spot that a year later we decided for our anniversary we would go and visit again – this is when Steve popped the question at sunrise. This is also the reason we were married at sunrise in the same spot.”
Renee walked down the aisle to Xavier Rudd “Follow The Sun”.
The Champagne Celebrant – Jacqui Patterson officiated the ceremony, the bride remembering, “We really wanted our ceremony to be quite intimate but also light-hearted. We even chose to be married standing in the centre of our friends and family and not standing up the front of the aisle. Steve and I stood on a beautiful vintage rug in the middle of our guests. Surrounded by love. Our celebrant told the story of how we met and then Steve and I were given the opportunity to say our own vows. It was beautiful, heartfelt and I’m not sure that there was a dry eye in the audience.
We both had leaky eyes – thank goodness I had tissues stuffed down my dress for this very purpose. haha! Before placing the rings on each other,s hand we had a ring blessing – our rings were passed through all the hands of our guests – each person blessing the ring with love and well wishes for our married future – before returning them to us. After the ceremony we served Prosecco, orange juice and croissants to celebrate a magic start to a beautiful day!”
Of their photographer, Renee tells, “Sarah Streets is amazing – she is able to capture a moment so beautifully. Sarah has a way that when she photographs a subject the photo never looks posed or unnatural, which is what really appealed to Steve and I when we were choosing someone to document our day. We wanted fun, natural, in-the-moment photos of our day. Sarah also helped me with a little boudoir shoot before the wedding. I wanted to surprise Steve with a little memento for his wedding gift from me. Sarah has since gone on to shoot a couple of our friend’s weddings plus we recently did a maternity shoot with her with our growing bump.”
Guests celebrated with a Farmers Market picnic brunch, a jumping castle and plenty of dancing at Ewingsdale Hall,. “We came across Ewingsdale Hall through a suggestion from a friend. It was really the only venue that we could really take over and do our own thing. Having an actual Wedding “breakfast” is pretty rare and not many venues were able to handle our requests. We were able to hire the hall for the whole weekend and just take it over including the grounds. It was fantastic and in just the most pretty spot surrounded by huge fig trees and a cute little chapel next to it. ”
“I had so much fun planning our wedding. I planned everything from overseas where we were living and working at the time with only a quick trip to Byron Bay to cement a few things and choose a dress and suit, 7 months before our wedding day. It was exciting seeing all the different and eclectic ideas we had come to fruition on the day and all our loved ones enjoying themselves so much. The most important part was that Steve and I had the most fun ever and we got to marry our best friend. I’m not sure that there was one particular aspect that I enjoyed the most. The whole experience was awesome!”
The Events Lounge coordinated the day, working seamlessly with other vendors. Renee remarking, “We put together an absolute dream team for our vendors – everyone was so amazing in their own right. Rachael from The Events Lounge who was the on-the-day coordinator was simply the best person to have run our special day. Her cool calm ‘nothing phases her’ demeanor mixed with big smiles and warm hugs was exactly what we needed and her skills were indispensable. The boys from Anise Catering, Brendan and Remy were also complete standouts – their food, hospitality, the cocktails they mixed up, their staff – all superb. They were excited from the start to do something different and work with us in creating a wedding breakfast not to be forgotten.”
The first dance was John Butler – Groovin’ Slowly. Renee tells, “We took dance lessons with River City Ballroom in West End, Brisbane. We wanted our first dance to be memorable and fun, not only for us but also for our guests. We chose to use this song because it’s our dance in the kitchen song and reminds us of delicious and loving times spent together.”
Each element of the day was about fun, Renee remarks, “We had to have a jumping castle!! Not just for the kids but for us!! Jumping castles are so much fun!! We love breakfast so putting on a tasty hearty breaky for all of our guests was important. As was the espresso martinis that were served as a pick-me-up welcome drink. We had quite a few DIY aspects which were fun to put together – we had lots of help from different family members. We chose to have picnic style seating rather than formal seating as we felt it suited the time of day better plus we had so many friends and family from different parts of our life that had never met – it really encouraged guests to mingle and chat rather than being stuck at a table.”
Renee and Steve added YellowBull Media to their team to capture a video of their day. The beautiful golden light casting a sense of magic over the day.
Congratulations Renee and Steve! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Sarah Streets Photography for sharing today’s celebration!
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- Gille Goncalves of Harvey Nichols
- Makeup Artist
- Amy Stewart