Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship… We consider ourselves a down to earth couple. We love the simple things in life; sharing delicious meals with our friends and family, wandering the world together and our smiley Golden Retriever, Sammy who was both part of our engagement and wedding ceremony.

Phil works as a cardiologist and I’m a primary school teacher (although prior to this as a physiotherapist). We met in an old open corridor called the ‘Breezeway’ between the hospital wards. We both noticed each other and did a double take, looking back and catching each other’s eye. Phil said he noticed my big smile and would make excuses to walk up and down the Breezeway as many times in a day as possible to force another encounter!

We met at a very inconvenient time actually – Phil was just about to jetset around the world for 9 months. We got to spend a month together and fell in love, and I decided to come visit Phil overseas to Europe, to the Middle East, and to the USA even though before we met, I didn’t even have a passport!

That year while Phil was travelling around the world he would write me an email every day we weren’t together. We’d both look forward to reading an email from each other, the highlights of every day even if the only thing to say was what happened in a day at work or a 12 hour bus ride. This chain of 500 plus emails are a special record of how our love story began and we shared some of the very first emails with each other on the morning before our wedding ceremony.

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details… For us our wedding day was about bringing our most loved people in the world together to celebrate our love. We wanted the day to represent us and we wished our guests to leave feeling that they too were now a part of our story.

Like us, our wedding style was fun, creative and relaxed with a highlight on creating memories, sharing meals, telling stories and having fun!

We chose ‘The Shed’ at The Epicurean as our reception venue based on the relaxed, restaurant style vibe. We loved the lack of formality, there was no expensive linen or chair sashes in sight! The greenery and rustic feel, accompanied by the high ceilings and delicious smells from the wood fire pizza oven won us over!

We hunted everywhere for our ceremony location and had a few difficulties early on. On our many drives around the Red Hill area we’d often spot amazing nearby properties and say to ourselves, “if only we could get married there”! So we decided to try approaching AirBNB hosts and met the most lovely couple who were happy for us to use their stunning rustic farmhouse property.

It was everything we hoped for as we had the freedom to create a setup of our own, there were kangaroos bounding in the backdrop of our ceremony and it allowed for international guests to experience Australia at its best!

Tell us about your main outfits: I wore a Jane Hill Dress (‘Luca’) from their new collection. I loved the chic, modern feeling of the thick, detailed lace and the sheer straps. It contrasted beautifully with the rustic vibe of the wedding location. Most importantly the dress was so comfortable! My shoes were very inexpensive but were perfect. I was able to dance all night in the low heel and the rose gold colour complimented by rose gold wedding ring.

Phil is very simple when it comes to suit shopping and it didn’t take him long to find a slim fitting Jack London suit for the day. Being a vivid navy colour it added to the brightness of the day. Both him and Sammy, the Golden Retriever both wore a bowtie for the occasion!

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day? We definitely had some special moments in the day. The two of us wrote our whole ceremony with the help of our closest friends and family and this became a very special part of our planning process. We had friends who were a part of each stage of our relationship write their own accounts of how we came to be. It was very special to hear them tell our story and add their own personality to it! It was funny, heartfelt and memorable. Sammy, our dog, joined my bridal party and did a sneaky exit mid ceremony to surprise everyone by bounding down the aisle to deliver the rings and he stayed on for drinks after the ceremony to mingle with everyone!

The day became a bit of a ‘surprise off’. I surprised Phil during the ceremony by writing him a picture story book of our vows, which I read. The reception also contained surprises that left everyone a little teary! My sister is a singer/songwriter and is very clever. For her speech she wrote a song that captured the story of us and accompanied it with an animated video which starred us in cartoon form! We were speechless, it was a very special gift that we will treasure forever.

Phil also added a little song surprise to the evening. I’m a Taylor Swift fan and he finished his speech with a rendition of ‘Love Story’ which he played on guitar and re­wrote the words too. I sat, and cried as I knew how much effort he had put into creating something special for me.

The night finished on a high, there were espresso martinis for all and plenty of dancing. Nobody wished to leave after the final song! The sparkler send off was accompanied with smoke flares which made for an epic exit. It really was the happiest of days, our jaws hurt from all the smiling!

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together? Despite the extra work it is totally worth the effort of making your day you ­ break the rules! It’s tempting to use the format that is provided to you by the wedding venue but creating your own day from scratch means you experience something that represents all that you are as a couple.

We also feel that our vendors made our day special. We chose people we loved and could see ourselves hanging out with all day. Jesse (our photographer) and Nathan (our videographer) were with us all day and we couldn’t have asked for two nicer guys to spend the day with!

Finally, remember not to fuss on all the small things. It’s about the two of you and just having a ball together. After all having fun is the best way to kick off the rest of your lives!

Check out Kara and Phil’s wedding video by Nathan Kaso:

Photographer: Jesse Hisco | Videographer: Nathan Kaso | Ceremony location: Hautacam Farm (Private Property) | Reception location and catering: The Epicurean Red Hill | Celebrant: Julianne Bambacas | Ceremony singers: Ash Ball, Alanna Deutrom | Band: Lark Music | Flora: Poppy Culture | Cake: Mother of the bride | Wedding dress: Jane Hill | Shoes: Betts | Wedding ring: Janai | Jewellery: Samantha Wills | Groom and groomsmen’s attire: Jack London | Shoes: Windsor Smith | Wedding ring: Uniform Black | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Tallulah | Bridesman’s attire: Topman | Flower girl: Seed Heritage Child

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