Pip & Luke
Have you ever seen an engagement party turned surprise wedding turned vow renewal? Well today, you’re in for a treat, because we have all three for you and it’s as glorious as it sounds!
After an online Tinder romance blossomed and turned a soulmate worthy love story of epic proportions after just for months, Luke, New Zealand born and bred had to return to his home country. Nine months of long-distance led to an impromptu backyard wedding, with a promise to celebrate with their families one day. And today? Well, “one day” has arrived and it comes with a stunning venue, beautiful blooms and the best surprise you ever did see.
Amy Skinner Photography went along with the plan and we’re so thrilled to share the story of Pip and Luke alongside her today!
Pip starts us off with the amazing story of how these two pulled it off! “Actually we met on Tinder – pretty common these days, but what happened next I think is unique to us! We fell in love fast and after only 4 months, Luke and I knew we were soulmates in the cheesiest of ways. The trouble was, he had to leave Australia as his visa was ending… so we ended up doing a harrowing stint of long distance for 9 months, he lived in NZ to be closer to myself in Perth (closer than the UK so to speak). While I was visiting in NZ during our time apart, we decided to get married so he could come back to Aus – and Luke proposed on one knee, just himself and his promise to me – to be together. At this point, I hadn’t met his family, we were poor, and had to put all our funds into the visa, so we decided to get married in secret with the plan to celebrate with loved ones in a fabulous and fun way – when we could afford it! So, on a rainy day in August, we married in a backyard in Perth, with our beloved witnesses (completely coaxed into joining in the secret) and had what I will always think of as the most romantic day of my life.
Flash forward 2 years later, we started to feel the pressure from family “when are you getting married”, “where do you think you’ll get married – Aus or UK?”. Luke and I would often talk in private, giggling, sometimes worried and contemplating how the heck we were going to reveal this to all of our loved ones. And it went like this: Luke proposed this time, with a ring designed by the both of us, and this allowed us to organise engagement parties, one in Aus and a little later in the UK – little did our guests know what lay ahead. Needless to say, the party went on all night, many open mouths, long hugs and disbelief mixed with love all around.”
Pip told her two bridesmaids about the plan just a few months prior. “I love my two maiden, Laura and Rosie, I can’t believe I hadn’t told them for so long. It was the most amazing feeling to finally let the cat out of the bag with those two, so many laughs!”
Pip and Luke chose Guildhall for their celebration, sharing “Guildhall is one of a kind, with astoundingly delicious food by Propeller a beautiful restaurant next door. It is a classic yet modern and English high ceilings venue with an open-air courtyard and charm. It is situated in North Fremantle which has an abundance of antique shops and bars surrounding it. Our favourite place in Perth.”
Pip found her elegant gown at Through The White Door. She tells “My dress was backless, buttons, French silk – what more could you want. I chose simple, understated and to me, timeless. Anyone in any era could wear this dress, and I felt fabulous and happy.”
Of their photographer, Pip raves “Amy Skinner, was always fun, relaxed and keen to join in on the fun. I think she found us a bit weird and hilarious, but our connection with her was brilliant. I was so ridiculously happy with her photos, they showed Luke as we were in the moments, she helped us steal away and make memories – I have over 10 photos framed in only a couple of rooms because they’re just so damn perfect!”
Pip was lucky enough to have her mother, a florist do the lush pink floral arrangements for the party. “My mum is a florist (lucky I know), we wanted colour and natives, she is extremely clever – the flowers were plentiful, perfect and in abundance.”
Pip changed into a short white dress after the photographs, for the “engagement party”, the plan throwing guests off the scent.
And then it was time for Pip to sneak off with her maidens and change into the piece de resistance!
The plot was revealed as Pip walked into the room on the arm of her father to Bruno Mars’ “Marry Me”.
The groom led the bride and their guests into the surprise wedding, Pip tells the story “Our ceremony was fantastic. Luke told the amazing story of how we met, fell in love, endured intense and sometimes very challenging long distance, the sacrifices we made to be together, and delivered the news of our secret wedding in perfect comedian style and cue. After some loud laughter, crying and gasps, we had champagne handed around for toasting, then followed Luke and I having written vows for each other and reading them allowed. It was perfect, simple and fun – just like Luke and I.”
The first dance was entirely impromptu, chosen by the talented live band, The White Tree. Pip explains “Our first dance – well, to be honest, I left it up to the band, it was the good old well used classic ‘Talking out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran. My favourite song was ‘Horses’ by Daryl Braithwaite at the end of the night, all hugging each other and singing along – best feeling ever.”
A big congratulations on your marriage Pip and Luke! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you to Amy Skinner Photography for today’s beautiful celebration.