Real Wedding – Tara & Ben , Wye River VIC
Tara and Ben nailed the quintessential beach wedding. With clear blue skies and a view overlooking whitewashed waves lapping at the coastline of the Great Ocean Road, it was a scene of pure perfection.
Tara and Ben chose the Wye River Hotel as their venue and it’s easy to see why. They kept styling to a minimum with crisp white florals and all those relaxed, easy going vibes just emanate off the page when you look at the photos taken by Tony Evans. All of their guests were dressed to the nines and ready to celebrate these two.
And that moment Tara walked down the stairs and met Ben’s eyes, had him beaming. Such a love filled day that will put a smile on anyone’s dial so scroll on to see what we mean…
We met back in 2016 at JD’s sport Bar in our home town, it was brief and involved a game of rock, paper, scissors! Tara is still in disbelief that Ben’s first question to her was asking if she had a mortgage! Six months later their first date was set!
For Tara it was around Christmas time when she realised life was just so easy with Ben in it. For Ben according to his vows, it was after our first kiss!
Having a family holiday planned, Tara suggested she and Ben head down a day earlier, go via Geelong to see friends before continuing on to Anglesea. Ben happily yet oddly obliged and so off they set. While at their friends’ place in Geelong, Ben having a proposal on his mind kept suggesting they keep going, but Tara had other plans. Finally, they left, the sky was picturesque, perfect for getting down on one knee Tara thought…little did she know that was exactly what Ben had planned! By the time they set up camp, it was dark and so Ben put his plans on hold.
The next morning Ben woke early to a stunning sunrise and knowing this was his moment, he encouraged Tara to get up so they could take Charlie (their dog) for a walk. After a little convincing, she got up and off they set. Tara, unaware that Ben had her ring in his jacket pocket, went to do what she always did and slide her phone in there, as she did this, Ben almost bounced off the caravan and quickly grabbed her phone and put it in his pocket.
Once they got to the perfect spot on their walk where they were alone, Ben shared some beautiful words, Tara clicked on and kissed Ben to calm his nerves and finally, Ben asked Tara the most important of all questions, to be his wife. Of course, Tara said yes and they both celebrated with their families who joined them later that day!
We got engaged in November 2020, we originally planned to look at some venues along the river that summer but COVID struck again and prevented us from crossing the VIC/NSW border. So whilst down the beach, we decided to check out some coastal venues. We made our way along the Great Ocean Road and by the time we reached Lorne, Tara encouraged Ben to go a little further where we found Wye River (neither of us had gone that far before), a beautiful little coastal town that was quiet and picturesque.
Fi, the owner of the Wye Beach Hotel was lovely and so inviting. We chose our venue then and there and then Tara spent the next twelve months planning the big day! As the day approached Tara ensured we were both ready a couple of weeks prior so it was stress free leading up to the special day.
We wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities. We opted for a laid back approach with formalities – going a cocktail style. With a classic theme for the flower arrangements of whites and the groomsmen wearing black tie suits. We wanted our reception to be fun so we kicked it off with our first dance having a twist to it.
Instagram was really helpful, following influencers who were also getting married around the same time.
Our celebrant Hannah was amazing, her style reflected us perfectly. Hannah introduced the bridal party at the ceremony and included a joke or two about each of them. I (the bride) had a grand entrance coming down the stairs from the balcony where the reception took place.
I had seen a few people on Instagram in Jane Hill gowns. I was keen to try this brand. When I went into Jane Hill to try on a dress, I fell in love with a piece I never thought I would have worn. I remember it being so heavy from all of the beading but on the day I felt like a princess and it didn’t bother me at all.
Our first dance. Ben and I had so much fun practicing it. It was a great thing to do as a couple in the lead up to our wedding. Every time we practiced at home, we stuffed up but on our wedding day we were both so excited and relaxed that we nailed it and also sang along to some of the songs. This, closely followed by seeing Ben at the alter when I was standing at the top of the stairs about to walk down the aisle with my Dad.
Meaning of marriage.
Joining together to have the same last name so that when we start a family (expecting twins on the way) we will all be ‘The Beasleys’. We already felt committed to each other after sharing a mortgage but being married makes it feel all a bit more real that we are lucky to call each other ‘ours’ for the rest of our lives.
Aisle: Bridesmaids – Can you feel the love tonight by Elton John (acoustic version), Bride: I’m with you by Vance Joy
Reception Entry: I’m too Sexy by Right Said Fred
First Dance: Soul mate (with a mash up of songs after the first minute or two)
Father/Daughter Dance: Have I told you lately by Rod Stewart
Funny stories or near disasters.
One of the groomsmen spilling the champagne in our bridal party photo shoot (there are some photos to reflect this, you won’t miss it).
My brother making me late to the ceremony because he needed to put some sunscreen on. Any other ‘near disaster’ didn’t affect me the slightest because I was so excited to be marrying my best friend.
Not really. I am a planner, always planning things so our wedding day went perfectly according to plan for me.
Words of wisdom.
Don’t get sucked into all of the extras. We made sure we had the main vendors and then didn’t worry too much on other minor things like more flowers, decorations etc. Our venue was beautiful just as it was.
If you love a beach style wedding, then check out Jess and Isaac’s Warrnambool swoonfest here.
TARA & BEN’S VENDORS
Ceremony & Reception venue: Wye Beach Hotel – Fi the owner was incredible. Nothing was a dilemma for her. Even when we told her three days before the wedding we had just found out I was pregnant and needed a solution to ensuring I had non alcoholic champagne all night. Fi was so kind and warm hearted from the moment Ben and I walked into the pub on a summer afternoon to ask about their wedding venue. She has also been great at following up with post wedding.
Celebrant: Mornington Peninsula Celebrant | Hannah May Weddings – Hannah made the formalities of our special day so easy. So many of our guests commented how good our celebrant was and we couldn’t agree more. Hannah was easy going from the get go and made our story all about us. She kept it lighthearted and short enough that covered all basis.
Photography: Tony Evans Photography – Tony is an amazing photographer. We spotted Tony by scrolling through images of a friends wedding and they simply looked unbelievable. We didn’t want posed shots of the entire day and Tony knew exactly what to say and when to say it to capture all the right moments. He set up so many beautiful shots which we will cherish for year to come.
Videography: Daniel Domaschenz Wedding Films – We were Daniels first wedding and he did an incredible job. Daniel went above and beyond to ensure our wedding video was everything we had dreamed of. Daniel provided us with all of the footage afterwards so if we ever wish to look back on anything that was not in the 7 minute clip we were provided we can do so. He created videos of our wedding, our first dance, our speeches, and our ceremony so we can choose to look back on the entire scene of some parts from the day.
Florist: Gardenia Magnifica | Fresh Seasonal Flowers to Ballarat and Surrounds – Ellie understood my vision from the get go. She was easy to deal with and the drive to our venue from Ballarat was no hassle at all. She set our flowers up on the day and when I saw my vision of the day put together when I walked out about to walk down the aisle I was blown away. She captured everything!
Hair: Maddi from Schedule Appointment with Studio CANVAS was very efficient. She knew how I wanted my hair styled and nailed it the it at our trial and on the day. She also did my bridesmaids and mothers hair on the day and they all looked incredible.
Make Up: Madeline Jane Makeup – Maddy from was lovely. She calmed any nerves I had on the day and made me feel like a bombshell after she painted our faces. My make up lasted all day and night and I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.
The Dress: Jane Hill – Jane Hill ‘Spell’ dress was the dress I fell in love with the moment I tried it on. The attention to detail is immaculate and it is a show stopping dress!
Veil / headwear: Jane Hill
Shoes: I wore the Harlo Alexene Heel from HARLO Shoes – Australia’s Own Premium Wedding and Evening Shoe Label
Rings: We had these custom made
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Shona Joy La Lune cocktail midi dress Bridesmaids – Shona Joy
Suits: Ferrari Suits in Ballarat
Ties: Ferrari Suits in Ballarat
Catering & Bar: Wye Beach Hotel catered for everything
Cake / Cake topper: Home (oak-ink.com.au) Oak and Ink designed our Cake topper
Stationery / Signage: Home (oak-ink.com.au) Created all of our signage. It looked fabulous
Entertainment: Levi Anderson
Honeymoon: Lord Howe Island Lord Howe Island Accommodation & Holiday Packages | Capella Lodge, Intercontinental Hayman Island Hayman Island Resort | Hayman Island (intercontinental.com) and Qualia Hamilton Island qualia® Luxury Resort | Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef