Real Wedding – Sally & Nathan, Port Fairy VIC
Real Wedding – Sally & Nathan, Port Fairy VIC
Real Wedding – Sally & Nathan, Port Fairy VIC
Real Wedding – Sally & Nathan, Port Fairy VIC

Real Wedding – Sally & Nathan, Port Fairy VIC


For Sally and Nathan, whose relationship evolved against the challenging backdrop of a global pandemic, creating a wedding day filled with perfectly personal, darling details were front and centre of their planning.

A sun-drenched setting along the Great Ocean Road, between their home towns, provides a beautifully relaxed blank canvas onto which Sally and Nathan created their dream day. Crisp, white decor dynamics make for a seamless transition between the garden party ceremony and magical marquee reception. Soft blush linen softens the effect and florals in bold pops of vermillion, neon pink and velvety crimson. A wedding party in classic black silhouettes anchors the look in timeless style.

But the one thing you can’t plan for at a wedding is the epic sense of fun overflowing from every image by lens legend Nikki McCrone Photography. Sally and Nathan and their nearest and dearest are giving total laid-back, blissed-up vibes, and we are here for it.

Scroll on to see every laughter-laden moment.

The meeting.

We met on Bumble, then had a failed first date attempt due to the first COVID lockdown in Victoria. Nathan was living in Ballarat, and Sally in Melbourne. We agreed to meet halfway for dinner; however, work got in the way, and before we knew it, we were locked to the confines of our homes for eight weeks. During the first lockdown, we spoke almost every day and face timed on weekends, which allowed us to build a solid friendship. When the lockdown lifted, Sally showed up on Nathan’s doorstep in Ballarat, and the love story began. We spent alternate weekends between Melbourne and Ballarat until the ring of steel was implemented, and Sally moved to Ballarat.


The ‘one’.

Sally: It was when my mum called Nathan a gem; I knew I had found a good one that would care for me and protect me.

Nathan: When we were hiking in the Grampians, and I saw Sally’s determination to get to the top despite being exhausted.


The proposal.

Nathan and Sally’s proposal was a very special moment. Nathan proposed in his parents’ presence just days before we sadly lost Nathan’s mum to heaven. This moment will always be remembered.


Planning process.

Sally: Nathan and I were super relaxed until three months out, then I started to feel stressed as I felt that there was so much to do and no time. Nathan managed to calm me, and we composed ourselves and enjoyed the process till the big day. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you want to enjoy all the ups and downs.

Having the best team behind us gave us full confidence that our vision would be executed.

Creating a list of all the remaining items and allocating the responsibility was the thing that kept us on track.


Style inspiration. 

Sally and Nathan wanted to create a wedding that reflected our personalities – classic and fun!

We started to brainstorm colours and decided on white, navy and pink. Once this was locked in, the rest came together, from bridesmaid’s dresses, flowers, stationery and styling. Looking back on our day, we wouldn’t have changed a thing.

The most useful thing for us when planning was piecing together inspiration from real weddings that fit our style. Sally started following endless Instagram and Pinterest pages, creating mood boards from these. We shared our mood boards with our vendors and entrusted them to do the rest. We also found it really useful to read blogs and articles when writing our vows and speeches. There is so much information out there; you just have to be true to yourself.


The ceremony.

We knew we wanted to get married outside and have a relaxed and fun ceremony as it set the tone for the whole day. We started scouting locations in Port Fairy and felt it was too risky to get married along the coast (as it can get very windy). One weekend we travelled to Port Fairy and walked along the river and spotted what would become the perfect spot, Johannsson’s Perch.

We incorporated lots of personalized touches, including the beautiful arbour and signing table, which was built by the father of the groom. Sally’s nephews did a special reading, Apache Wedding Blessing; Sally incorporated orchids in her bouquet in memory of her Pa, and the bridesmaids walked down the aisle to a special Hawaiian version of Over the Rainbow in memory of Nathan’s mum’s favourite place.

When planning our wedding, we kept our guest list intimate; we only invited family and friends that we see as being a part of our long-term future. It made it incredibly special to share our love with these people. The ceremony was perfectly curated by Celebrate Rochelle, with all our guests in tears and laughter throughout.


The outfit. 

Nathan: From the beginning, I had a clear vision of my outfit, classic black and white.

Sally: Unlike most brides, I had no idea what style of dress I wanted. I started by visiting designers in Melbourne and trying on every style in various shades of white. From this, it became evident that I wanted a timeless dress. Overall, I visited five boutiques, and my dress was the very last one I tried on. Once the dress was ordered, I started to piece the accessories together, pearl earrings with some special rings from my late Nanna and late mother-in-law and a cathedral-length veil. The shoes were a bit of fun (and were incredibly comfortable, seeing the whole night through)!


Favourite moments.

Nathan: My favourite part of the day was between the ceremony and the reception when Sal and I were able to go up to our room at the Oak and Anchor and just reflect on what had just happened, as well, of course, to have a big drink of water and catch our breath.

Time slowed down in that short moment for the first time all day, and it was very special to me because it was our first moment together alone as husband and wife

Sally: It’s hard to choose; the day was incredible and more than I could have ever imagined – getting ready with your closest friends and family right through to the party at the end of the night. But the two moments that stand out for me are the moment I saw Dad at the bottom of stairs – he was absolutely speechless (which, if you’ve met my Dad, you’ll know is impossible) and when I saw Nathan standing at the end of the aisle. I couldn’t have been happier to start the next chapter with my beautiful husband.


Meaning of marriage.

Nathan: Marriage is a partnership and a coming together of two people who are best friends and want to share all the best moments of the rest of their lives together.

Sally: Marriage to me means a lifetime full of love and happiness between two people who care and comfort each other, are honest and respectful and share and support each other’s dreams.


Wedding soundtrack.

Aisle (Mum and flower girls): You are my Sunshine by Christina Perri

Aisle (Bridesmaids): Over the Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Aisle (Bride): Can’t Help Falling In Love by Kina Grannis

Recessional: (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson

Reception entry: Finally, by CeCe Peniston

First dance: All of Me by John Legend

Father / Daughter dance: Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder

Reception exit: We Found Love by Rihanna, Calvin Harris


Funny stories or near disasters.

Nathan: I had decided on the wing-tipped shirt and purchased it for my groomsmen; however, they didn’t have my size in stock. It took lots of phone calls and emails to finally secure the last one, which had been misplaced in a warehouse.

Sally: I had chosen my earrings but held off ordering, then they sold out, only to be restocked one week before the wedding. They arrived two days before we left for our wedding. This was stressful as I hadn’t even considered a backup option.


Planning surprises.

Sally: That I actually enjoyed it! I thought it would be a really stressful process as we were both indecisive, but from the beginning, we started to create a clear vision of the day and agreed on key decisions. It helped having vendors that understood our vision that we trusted.


Words of wisdom.

The day goes incredibly quickly; make sure you take 30 minutes as husband and wife alone to take it all in. Have fun, and don’t sweat the small things; remember, none of your guests know what you’d planned; if something doesn’t go to plan, don’t let it spoil your day, you’ll look back and have a laugh.




Looking for some planning advice? We turned to one of the best in the biz, wedding celebrant and MC extraordinaire, Precious Celebrations. Here’s her take on a great approach to planning your dream day.




We knew we didn’t want to get married in a city, so we started looking at locations between Adelaide and Melbourne. Sally grew up in Regional South Australia, and Nathan in regional Victoria.

Knowing all our guests would need to travel, we wanted to make it a beautiful location for a weekend away while supporting a small community.

We started by booking our photographer; we knew we wanted to invest in someone who would capture the whole day, including the emotion of our guests. We found Nikki on Ivory Tribe and fell in love with her work. We got in contact quickly as we knew she’d be highly sort after; lucky for us, she was available and willing to travel to Port Fairy; the rest is history.

We wanted to work with as many local suppliers as possible and support the community of Port Fairy.

Once we’d decided on the Oak and Anchor, we asked Ally and Jemmah for recommendations for locals – we met Miss Flower JoJo and Celebrant Rochelle and connected instantly.

Ceremony location: Johansson’s Perch, Port Fairy, VIC

Reception venue: Oak and Anchor, Port Fairy VIC. Wow! From the first Sunday drive to the O&A we knew we had found the perfect wedding venue. The staff, led by Ally and Jemmah (who were both absolutely amazing!), did more than we could have ever imagined, not only over the weekend of our wedding but in the months of planning leading up to it. The venue was picturesque and accommodated family members along with some guests and the trust that we were able to give when it came to the planning of our special day could not have been greater. Our wedding was a day we will never forget, and the O&A played a huge part in that. We will be forever grateful for the time and effort they put into bringing our perfect day to life. When guests continue to talk about your wedding venue weeks after, you know you’ve got it right!

Celebrant: Celebrant Rochelle. Rochelle brought professionalism to our wedding ceremony that was cleverly hidden within her amazing storytelling. She was always available when we needed to work through our ideas and was a calming voice when the nerves kicked in. Having Rochelle for our ceremony truly was the final finishing touch in what was a beautiful and seamless ceremony that we will never forget.

Photography: Nikki McCrone Photography. Wow! When we began planning our wedding, finding an amazing photographer was right at the top of our list, and the further down the path and closer our wedding got, the luckier we felt that we’d been able to lock in Nikki. From the early catch-ups to the wedding night dancefloor, Nikki was amazing. Her vast wedding day experience helped to make our dream day unfold the way we had always hoped, and her bubbly and energetic personality helped us relax when we needed to. When your guests are commenting on how amazing your photographer is, you know she must be the best! We will be forever grateful for all the memories and moments Nikki was able to capture for us on what was an unforgettable day.

Styling: Oak and Anchor, Port Fairy VIC

Florist & cake: Miss Flower Jo Jo (Jo O’Keefe)

Hair: Birds and Fellas

Make-up: Miss Kit

The dress: Pronovias from Raffaele Ciuca

Veil / headwear: Amelie George Bridal

Shoes: Loeffler Randall

Rings: Jeff Ploughman

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Bec and Bridge

Suits: Peter Jackson (Groomsmen) / Hugo Boss (Groom)

Bow ties / ties: Peter Jackson

Shirts: MJ Bale

Catering & bar: Oak and Anchor, Port Fairy, VIC

Stationery / Signage: State of Elliott

Entertainment: Berni Harrison

Décor & hire: Grand Events Hire and Styling, Warrnambool VIC

Honeymoon: Hawaii – Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort and Spa

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