Alice & Rohan
“Just KNOWING we were planning a big surprise for our closest friends and family was the best part!” There is a certain anticipation when it comes to a surprise wedding. A certain secret magic that blossoms when you know you’re keeping such an incredible thing from your favourite people. For Alice and Rohan, it just fell into place. An engagement, that just for months made decisions intentional – the guest list was small, the vendors their favourites, and the whole thing, for two people who weren’t so much of a fan of a traditional wedding, so aptly “them”.
They enlisted Nicola Lemmon to join them on their day, and it is with her beautiful images, that we’re able to tell their story!
It seems fate had long intervened for these two, or perhaps, fate is disguised as the groom’s mother! Alice tells their story. “I was friends with Rohan’s mother before I even knew he existed…both her and I lived in Mackay at the time, and we worked in the same building. We would frequently have coffee together and when Michelle realised I was single, she began mentioning her son over and over! I wasn’t interested in being set up and neither was Rohan, regardless, the lovable Michelle was on a mission and I would often come back to my desk to see a post-it note with his phone number and a reminder to call him! This went on for a few months before I made a trip down to the coast and Rohan and I agreed to meet for a coffee (to shut her up!)…apart from being incredibly handsome, I wasn’t interested, nor was Rohan…so we went on with our lives and eventually began to talk more and more…all of a sudden we were in a long distance relationship! Six months on, I packed up my life (and my best mate, my dog Maverick!) into my tiny little car and we made the move down south to be with Rohan…we’ve been together ever since!”
The bride chose a stunning long sleeve white gown by Rachel Gilbert. She tells “I wore a Rachel Gilbert gown called “Isabel” – it’s a fully beaded long sleeve gown and I chose it because I needed something different to the “norm”…I LOVED it. Having tried on a few gowns in our short wedding planning period…I didn’t feel myself in any of them. I’m so glad I found my Isabel…and ironically, that is the name of my late grandmother so it was an extra special touch!” The groom wore a classic tuxedo, the height of glamour from MJ Bale.
The day was all about togetherness for these two who started with a first look. Alice explaining “Honestly, our favourite part was starting and ending our day together. It was so stress-free. We woke up that morning and walked the dogs, had a nice breakfast then got ready together.
Once we were dressed, we did a “first look” for Rohan to see my gown and for me to see him all spiffed up in his tuxedo. From there, we had a quiet moment to have a drink in our backyard together while our band was setting up. Once the night was over, we jumped in an uber to get home and sat out in our very nicely decorated backyard to have a cuppa tea before we went to bed together.”
The couple worked with Arctic Fox Hire to set up and style their wedding and the beautiful greenery and blooms. “Arctic Fox was wonderful and arrived early to decorate our backyard. Some of my favourite details were the decorations – like the green wall she created behind the chesterfield couch on our back patio…how beautiful!”
And what better place for the celebration than their own backyard? “We chose our backyard for the ceremony – we wanted to be somewhere with our three dogs (Maverick, Baxter and Cooper)…and we were mindful that as far as our guests knew, they were coming to a fancy backyard engagement party…our backyard was PERFECT!”
Guests were greeted by a sign announcing the “Wedding”, with the bride and two of her friends, watching from pulled shutters. The friends told with a special surprise, coordinated by the bride and her makeup artist Ultra Essence just a few hours earlier.
The bride remembers “I was thrilled to have one of my favourite songs by Kate Miller-Heidke, called “Space they cannot touch” sung live for my walk down the aisle. I was accompanied by my father and my best mate (my dog!), Maverick, as I walked down the aisle.”
Alice and Rohan kept their guest list to just a few. “We kept it simple..if they haven’t been a special part of our lives as a couple, then they wouldn’t make the list! It was tough but our ultimate goal was an intimate and inclusive day that allowed us to spend time with every guest…and we nailed it!”
Benjamin Carlyle made it all official, the bride says “Our ceremony was designed to be an intimate backyard moment. We specifically asked our celebrant to include everyone as part of the moment to really mark our special each and every one of our 40 guests is in our lives.”
The day was filled with music thanks to live musos Jake & Andy. Alice remembers “Music has a special power to set the mood of a room and Jake & Andy absolutely smashed it out of the park. It was a true “I do and YEWW!” kind of day!”
Tells Alice “There have been so many people that have said to us since our wedding “gosh we wish we did it this way” and we feel smug with happiness when we hear it! Every aspect was something we picked or wanted to include, no input from anyone else because nobody knew it was happening!”
Tells the bride of her blooms “I did have a bouquet for the ceremony but we largely relied on lush greenery and foliage to decorate our day. My bouquet was a simple collection of greenery with a touch of clean whites. Simple, but elegant.”
Guests were transported together by bus to Glenelg Public House. “It is a favourite date night spot for both of us and we’ve been longtime customers” tells Alice. “The food is best described as “simple food, done perfectly” and the drinks are top notch! Dave and his staff were incredibly helpful and to be honest I think they were a bit shocked when we said we didn’t want much decoration…it’s a stunning establishment as is…it has a warm winter industrial finish, so we just wanted the whole place to ourselves! We were VERY pleased!”
“Nicola is a gentle, hilarious, larakin with a beautiful blonde head of hair and a whale-tattoo” tells the bride of the couple’s chosen photographer. “She is, just wonderful. She made me a cuppa tea, told me some killer dad-jokes and even drove us from the ceremony to the reception. What a DOLL! Since our wedding, she has moved nearby and I’ve been forcing my friendship upon her slowly but surely!”
What better to feast on that cheese? “CHEESE! We aren’t big on the tradition of weddings, including the need for a wedding cake…but we do love cheese…so we had a smorgasbord on offer for our guests.”
Tells Alice “Doing something different from the norm was amazing. I’ve never been a huge fan of the traditional wedding and Rohan came up with the idea of a surprise wedding so we got to work straight away! It was stressful, especially in the short amount of time we had to do everything, but it was worth it – cracking day!”
The first dance was to one of the couple’s favourite tunes. “We chose “Move Together” by James Bay – it’s a song that has been special to us throughout our relationship and it still makes us both smile when we hear the song today. We actually really love some of the photos of our first dance together…we are a couple that laughs together, ALWAYS…and Nicola captured some of the most honest moments of us together during that dance.”
A big congratulations to you both Alice and Rohan! Thank you for sharing all of the stories of your day with us. Thank you also to Nicola Lemmon for sharing today’s beauty with us.