Emily & Shaun’s Italian-Inspired Wedding in Port Stephens, NSW

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Upton
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Their love story… We knew each other from around the town. I (Emily) went to a grammar school and he went to the local public school. We were ‘on and off’ since we were 17, then settled down together at 22 and moved in together soon after that! I think when we were young we both knew we were going to end up together because we really did have that instant attraction and connection. It was really strong and everyone around us knew we would end up together. I think being so young when you meet your ‘forever person’ it becomes a bit scary. But I wouldn’t change a thing because we are perfect for each other and really know it is true love!

Emily and Shaun’s proposal story is one of those moments that you think is simply too good to be true. It’s a combination of perfect planning, as well as luck!

We were holidaying at the Hilton in Sorrento, Italy. We had a club room with the most amazing views over the Mediterranean. After a beautiful dinner with our families, Shaun kept insisting that we go for an evening walk in the gardens. I was not in the mood for any walking after such a feast so kept refusing and was determined to head to bed. We got back to the room and Shaun asked me to hang out on the balcony with him. We were sitting overlooking the water and admiring a huge cruise ship that had arrived in the port. It was such a clear and stunning evening and the moon was full over Mount Vesuvius. The next thing I knew, he was asking to marry me!

It took me by surprise and by the time I had a chance to respond (which of course was a “yes!”) the cruise ship lit up and the most amazing display of fireworks over the water appeared. It was one of those incredibly emotional, overwhelming yet magical moments that you just would never forget. It was absolutely perfect timing.

Their love for Italy followed through their wedding theme that Emily describes as “Italian, minimal and natural.”

Italian – for our love of Italy. And natural because we are right into organic living. My sister and I have an eco/organic beauty salon and my mum, being from India, has always taught us the importance of natural medicines, yoga/meditation and organic living. We wanted our wedding to represent who we are.

We really put a lot of pressure on ourselves to find the ‘perfect venue’. We spent three weeks travelling up the coast from Byron Bay to Noosa in the search for our venue. After weeks of travel nothing compared to The Anchorage which almost felt like a second home to us, as we spent many weekends and holidays nearby at my parents holiday house in Port Stephens and relaxing at the beach beside it.

I wanted the ceremony to really represent Shaun and my personality and passions as this has crafted our journey as a couple together. Our love of Italy and travel together was represented by our smaller touches such as the lemons around the welcome sign. We didn’t write our own vows as we used the vows from the church. We had a catholic priest, Father Kevin, from the parish do a ceremony out of the church for the first time! That was really special.

Every detail of Emily and Shaun’s styling and decoration for their wedding was made from the heart.

My dad is an amazing man who is always putting us first and helping us with everything we do. He is really handy so I wanted something that he had handmade to be the centre of the ceremony. So he decided to make the arbour; it was beautiful and meant so much to us.

The handmade signage was made by Shaun’s parents, and my sister’s calligraphy on the “take petals” sign was extra special.

We are very into a natural way of living so didn’t like the idea of having soy candles. My aunty decided to gift us with the most amazing hand made bees wax candles for the centrepieces. They were absolutely stunning and I had three hand-carved ones that we made for the ceremony; candles that were lit by my family, Shaun’s family and then us as a couple. It was a really special touch.

I wanted to continue with a timeless theme so went for white roses with magnolia leaves and greenery.
My mum is very talented with the sewing machine and she handmade the beautiful flower girl dresses and added the black and white touch. We wanted to ensure they tied in with the bridal party. They looked absolutely gorgeous! I was so amazed at how all these talents that were present in the wedding came together so beautifully on the day; each having such a beautiful story behind them.

We are such a close family and unfortunately, my grandfather had passed away. So to bring him to the wedding my aunty collected rose petals from his gorgeous garden which we included down the aisle. My grandmother gave me my grandfather’s pin to add to my bouquet. He was a fighter pilot in the Indian air force and that was a very big part of who he was. This was a very special touch. Seeing a sea eagle soaring above us during our vows bought a tear to our eyes and we could feel he was with us!

I always assumed the ceremony would be my favourite part and then being able to relax after it with some food and dancing. But once I was getting out of the car and everything was set up perfectly, holding dad’s hand as we walked towards Shaun, and seeing all the people we loved there for us, it was so surreal and magical. Hard to explain, but when you spend months planning something and everything just comes together in one special moment it just means the world to you. And that’s how I felt.

We had so many photographs that we love and each one retells the story of our day in such a memorable and happy way. We really fell in love with the bridal and family photos, particularly the ones during the ceremony that showed that raw emotion of happiness. Family means everything to us so seeing the smiles on their faces was really special. We also loved the beach photos with just the two of us, the lighting is really soft and there was no sun. These were so beautiful and again a very special moment in time.

We met our photographer Florent of Florent Vidal Photography and he went above and beyond to ensure our day was special. He ensured that his photographs would be a true representation of the day. Another thing we didn’t want was photoshopped images and ones that followed a trend. We wanted our images to remain timeless and he really did a good job with this.

A memory they’ll never forget…

We arrived at a Sunset Beach to get some photos of the sunset and someone (none of my bridesmaids admit to this) took my slip-ons out of the hire car. I was so devastated as my shoes were never going to work on sand so had to be barefoot. For anyone who knows me, I am the biggest germaphobe so naturally walking across the park barefoot wasn’t how I imagined this evening. We were halfway towards the water and, of course, I hit a massive bindi patch! Shaun had the bottom of my dress plus my flowers in his hand and offered to carry me across but it was never going to work. Then a lovely lady who was having a bbq nearby ran me over her thongs; mind you I never share thongs. I had to accept the kind gesture and put on the lady’s thongs and put all my germ worries behind me. She saved me from my bindi patch and I was able to continue on with the photoshoot. It was such a kind and weird gesture but it will have us laughing one day, later on.

Emily has this sage advice for future married couples to be…

Finding time for our date nights are important and I really recommend this, particularly before the wedding. It was such a nice time to really relax together and share wedding ideas and moments.

Ms Zigzag says: What a gorgeous couple! I love how they let their love for all things natural and organic flow through their design and style of their special day. 

Credits

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COMMENTS
  • Friday Roundup - Polka Dot Bride says:
    April 13, 2019 at 12:02 am

    […] Shall we go inside Emily and Shaun’s Italian inspired real wedding in Port Stephens, NSW? Enjoy th… […]

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