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Astrid & Nick

“It’s an unusual one as we decided to get married before we were engaged” shares today’s bride Astrid. “We’d be planning a 5 week holiday in Europe, joined by friends and family along the way. One night while we were planning our trip, we got to talking about how many of our loved ones would be over there with us, and how great it would be to get married. I called my mum straight away and told her the news.”

If a girl could dream of a blissful Summer destination wedding, then Astrid and Nick’s destination Capri day may just be what dreams are made of.

The entire plan was spontaneous – a trip to Europe with family and friends, turning, spontaneously into the most wonderful time to get married. So packing their dreams of summertime fiestas in their suitcases, the duo enlisted the help of wedding planners Isla and Smith, stylists Boys Club Co and photographer Tennille Fink to start their dream building – in just eight weeks!

Keeping the Summer vibes going, these two actually met in Byron Bay! Astrid shares their story “We met in Byron Bay. I’d (Astrid) just moved from Brisbane to Sydney three days before would you believe! We got to chatting in a bar and Nick asked me for my number so that we could meet up again, to which I said would be hard, since I’d just moved to Sydney!
The distance wasn’t a problem for us, we spent the next 12 months doing the long distance thing, both of us flying between Sydney and the Gold Coast and after that, we knew… Nick relocated to Sydney soon after, we started living together and haven’t looked back.”

But it wasn’t until the date was set and the crew were in Europe, before the wedding that Nick popped the question. About a week before the big day, we were on a boat in Mallorca with two of my girlfriends. While moored at one of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen (Cala Figuera in Islas Baleares), swimming and drinking champagne, Nick surprised me with a beautiful ring. What a holiday!”

Astrid and Nick chose Villa Casa Tua, Anacapri for their wedding festivities, Astrid telling “I was drawn to our villa in particular because of the stunning bougainvillea archway at the entryway, and knew instantly that’s where we would hold the ceremony. Also, the villa was the perfect location for a few days before and after the wedding day to relax by the pool with our friends and family, and immerse ourselves in ‘la dolce vita’!”

Astrid and Nick opted for no bridal party. “I spent the morning at a girl’s brunch at the famous JK Palace Capri, and then returned to the villa to get ready with two of my close friends, but no official bridal party as such.”

Astrid chose a floral pink gown designed by Dolce & Gabbana. She shares “My gown was “far from a traditional wedding dress but I wanted it to be something different from anything bridal or that I had seen before.”

Each guest was asked to dress in white, Astrid explaining “We had all our guests wear white because I wore a coloured, floral dress. I guess seeing me in a non-traditional wedding dress was a bit of a surprise for everyone!”

Astrid walked down the aisle with her father.

Of their ceremony, officiated by Rosario Mercadante, Astrid tells “Our celebrant delivered a beautiful speech about how marriage in Italy is more than just love, it’s about family. He delivered it in his beautiful Italian accent, and it brought everyone to tears. It was simple and quick, we just wanted it to feel like us.”

 

Astrid’s bouquet featured white roses, she shares “I carried a bunch of 100 white roses that I sourced from a local florist and bunched them together myself, with an offcut of silk from my gown. Beautiful and simple and fitting with the white theme of the day.”

Of their photographer, Astrid tells “I knew of Tennille through another friend whose event she photographed and was having trouble finding someone local whose style I was drawn to. One of my girlfriends suggested I give her a call and at 9pm on a Wednesday night we spoke and basically decided there and then that she would come to Italy and spend the three days of celebration with us, documenting it all. She joined us on the boat cruise the day before, dinner at Paulino and brunch at JK Capri, and was there all day at the wedding, even swinging by on her scooter the next day before leaving the island.”

Astrid notes the long reception table, set outside, as one of her favourite parts of the day. “I created the table setting myself. I went with a friend the day before to the local markets and picked up crates of lemons, oranges and grapefruit, and hand-picked kumquats off trees in the garden. It was so simple yet so effective. Creating the table setting myself with my friends, I just felt this overwhelming sense of achievement in creating something so unique and visually beautiful”. The florist hired for the day even wired extra fruit into the trees to make them appear fuller, and transported each tree by boat from Sorrento.

“I couldn’t possibly pick one favourite photo because our photographer captured so many incomparable moments that are each special in their own way” shares Astrid. “I love the photos of Nick and I walking hand in hand down the driveway, as well as the ones where I am running barefoot with my dress dancing in the wind. I love the photos of our friends and family enjoying our Italian feast under the stars on the terrace, I love the photos of the boys sitting on the deck chairs by the pool having a laugh. Every photo makes me happy, every photo makes its own memory. Tennille didn’t just photograph my wedding day, she captured the most momentous moment in my life, and I think every photo shows how truly happy we were that day.”

Popping champagne at sunset remains one of the bride’s favourite memories of the day. “It was the afternoon and the sky was pink. It was the most beautiful moment of my life. I’ll remember that pink sky and the way I felt in that moment forever.”

The Italian setting wove its way through many elements of the day says Astrid. “We honoured the Italian location and had a traditional family-style Italian feast and a traditional Italian wedding cake, millefoglie which literally translates to “a thousand layers” – of yum!”

“There was just so much happiness and energy in the air that day, and I loved the balance there was between a glamorous Italian Affair and a relaxed one, just surrounded by a handful of loved ones and lots of champagne. Keeping it relaxed as much as possible made it all the more enjoyable.”

And of course, the dance floor kicked off with shots of limoncello.

Shares the bride “We didn’t have a traditional first dance, after dinner, we all moved down to the pool for more champagne and good music and danced under the stars…. until the boys stripped down and dived into the pool!”

A big congratulations to Astrid and Nick! Thank you for sharing your stunning day with us! Thank you also to Tennille Fink for sharing today’s photographs!

Photographer: Tenille Fink / Cinematographer: Roost Film Co / Wedding Planner: Isla and Smith / Styling: Boys Club Co / Bride's Dress: Dolce & Gabbana / Bride's Veil/Hair Accessories: Jennifer Behr / Bride's Shoes: Olgana Paris / Bride's Jewellery: Iradj Moini / Groom's Attire: MJ Bale / Invitations: Alastair Emmett / Stationery: Vanessa MacPhail / Calligraphy: Vanessa MacPhail / Venue: Villa Casa Tua, Anacapri / Ceremony Officiant: Rosario Mercadante
Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner
Reef diving. Image via Tourism Whitsundays

Reef diving, Image via Tourism Whitsundays

Love means many things to many people. For some, it’s hitting the couch with their significant other and not moving for an entire weekend, letting Netflix occasionally shame them with an ‘are you still there?’ – yes, we’re still here Netflix!
For others, it’s whacking on matching hiking boots and smashing a mountain trail. Or  perhaps lacing up for a mini-marathon – visors and sweat bands in tow. To which we say, there’s nothing wrong with any of these expressions of love, but I thought I’d appeal to the latter this week.

As part of Whitsundays Month at Polka Dot Groom, I’ve found some of the best activities for loved up newlyweds to make sure they don’t spend their entire getaway lounging on the beach (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

And when it comes to activities, the Whitsundays has got you covered. As Tourism Whitsundays General Manager Natassia Wheeler says: “The options here are almost unlimited… Made up of 74 island wonders in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, there are luxury and affordable island resorts as well as mainland stays, with sailing, endless snorkelling and diving locations. All of this truly makes the Whitsundays the ultimate honeymoon destination.”

 

1. Get extreme

‘The Thundercat’ is one of the fastest catamarans in the Whitsundays – so it’s not for the faint of heart, but apart from the awesome ride, you’ll also get the chance to explore above and below the water. They offer “an exhilarating ride around the Whitsunday Islands, all in one day”, where you’ll visit Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet lookout and get your snorkel on in waters fringing the Great Barrier Reef. More information here.

2. Fly high

Helicopter rides always get the heart pumping and GSL Aviation will get you sky high above the pristine Whitsundays. They’ve got a range of scenic flights to get your jaw dropping and your Instagram popping. They guarantee window seats and excellent visibility. More information here.

3. Get wet

Come on, you’re in the Whitsundays! You can’t miss out on diving and snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef! The Explore Group will explain the experience: “Uncover a world under the sea with an experience in one of the top dive locations on the planet. Be enchanted by the colourful marine life in this natural playground.” More information here.

4. Head out for a paddle

Salty Dog Sea Kayaking can take you on an all day adventure on the water, where you’ll wind your way through islands before heading out to nearby White Rock. Bit of a nature fan? You’re a fair chance to spot sea turtles, dolphins and tropical fish. Top tip: Plan your trip between July and September for the chance to see migrating humpback whales! More information here.

5. Get your jet ski on

Now we’re talking, Whitsunday jet ski tours are the perfect combination of nature and adrenaline. No licence or experience necessary. Explore beautiful bays, islands and the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. More information here.

Ms Zebra Says: The Whitsundays look so picturesque in every way. From the colour of the water, to the white sandy beaches! Add in the bonus of activities and it’s a perfect honeymoon destination to suit anyone.

About the author Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.

If you’re up for a bit of fun in the sun then you’re in the right place. It’s Whitsundays month on Polka Dot Bride! We have the most incredible posts lined up for you, including plenty of turquoise clear blue waters, tropical cocktails, stunning beachside weddings and dreamy honeymoon travel tips.

The Whitsundays is one of the most gorgeous destinations in Australia and we’re so excited to show off this beautiful paradise to you all through October. Tune in!

Much love, Ms Zigzag and the Polka Dot Bride Team x