Real Wedding – Alice & Shannan, Newtown VIC
On the banks of the Barwon River in Geelong, Alice and Shannan sealed the deal in front of their ecstatic guests who were beyond thrilled to share in their happily ever after.
They embraced the natural beauty of their venue, as the gorgeous gardens and surrounds played host to their wedding celebration. This darling duo kept things simple, preferring to focus on great good and wine and dancing all night long under the stars.
Sentimental touches made this day magical, with their families playing a big role, as well as a surprise appearance from their pet Groodle. It’s easy to see why they couldn’t wipe the smile from their faces and photographer Nic Stephens has captured it all beautifully.
In Alice’s words…
We first met at our sister’s year 12 graduation through mutual friends although we’re both unsure how we didn’t cross paths before then! Although the attraction was instant, we remained friends for a long time and it wasn’t until Shan asked me to do some freelance work for his business that we couldn’t deny our chemistry and made it official. We’ve been happily together ever since!
Given how long we took to finally get together, I think that as soon as Shan and I started dating we knew there would never be anyone else for either of us. We are polar opposites in every way but I think that’s what makes us so strong as a couple – our strengths and weaknesses complement each other and we balance each other out. While we might like different things, but we place the same importance on our values, which at the end of the day is all that matters. We have a lot of love, laughter and friendship in our relationship and we make each other really happy.
Shan proposed while we were on holidays in Sardinia, Italy, atop a beautiful cliff at sunset, overlooking the ocean and the town’s lighthouse. Having carried around the ring that he’d designed for weeks waiting for the opportune moment away from the Italian crowds, he got down on one knee and I of course said yes! We both couldn’t stop laughing and celebrated with great Italian food and probably a tad too much wine.
Keeping things nice and simple, our wedding was designed as a celebration of love and that extended to our family and friends. We knew we wanted somewhere that could host both our ceremony and reception all in the one place and somewhere with a late curfew so we could dance all night under the stars! We also placed an emphasis on great food and wine (and plenty of it!) and loved that our venue basically felt like you were sitting in a gorgeous garden for the entire night. With regards to styling we loved drawing on the venue’s natural beauty and focused on lots of foliage in greens and whites with pops of the girl’s bridesmaid dresses to add some colour.
To be honest, in the beginning I really struggled with the hunt for the perfect dress. I felt like I wasn’t having that dream dress moment. I was lucky enough that my cousin had worked as a bridal designer for a number of years and she offered to help design and create the perfect dress from scratch. The brief: simple, elegant and something I could dance in! She nailed it and the dress was all the more special having had someone so close to me be a part of its creation.
Walking down the aisle and seeing Shan’s beaming face! We also loved our first dance to ‘Simply the Best’ under the stars in front of all our family and friends.
Meaning of marriage.
Being there for one another, to challenge and support in good times and in bad. Someone to hold hands with and face life’s adventures with.
Aisle: XO by John Mayer
Signing of the registry: Mango Tree by Angus & Julia Stone
Reception entry: You Should be Dancing by Bee Gees
First dance: Simply the Best by Jimmy Barnes
Funny stories (or near disasters).
My husband and the best man decided to play a little trick on me during the ceremony. When it came to the exchanging of the rings, our best man declared he had forgot them and ran inside to grab them…. He returned with our little Groodle puppy, Sonny dressed in a suit (with the rings). Lucky the surprise was so cute (and that I didn’t notice the barking during the ceremony!)!
It was really touching how exciting a wedding is, not just for the bride and groom but for everyone around you. We tried to involve all of our family in our special day with my sister and Shan’s dad both a part of the bridal party. Both my mum and dad walked me down the aisle and my brother and Shan’s sister did a joint reading which was really special. We also surprised our mums as the witnesses for the signing of the registry during the ceremony, which was a really beautiful moment.
Words of wisdom.
Do what feels right for you even if it’s not the norm. We made sure our special day was reflective of what we wanted and it made the day all the more special.
Also, don’t sweat the small stuff on your big day. You can’t control the weather so if it’s a little cooler than planned, grab a jacket and dance extra hard to keep warm!
Geelong is an incredible location for a wedding, and we’ve unveiled this stunning city here with all our best hints and tips.
ALICE & SHANNAN’S TRIBE
Ceremony and reception location: Barwon Banks, Newtown
Celebrant/Officiant: Paul Nolan
Photography: Nic Stephens Photography
Videography: Folklore Films
Florist: As Daisy Does
Hair and make-up: Blondie
The Dress: Belinda Sara (family)
Rings: Cushla Whiting
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Keepsake The Label
Menswear: Eddy Elias
Entertainment: White Tree Band
Hire: Big Letter Hire (LOVE letters)
Honeymoon: New Zealand, South Island – lots of hikes and adventuring to burn off all the cheese and wine!