Rachel Huggins met Reza Manji at a difficult time in her life and credits her long-time partner with helping her through it.
“My mum was very sick and unfortunately passed away later that year. Reza was a constant support,” Rachel, 29, says of their first year together. “What may have broken up other couples only made us stronger.”
Reza, also 29, proposed after more than a decade together while the Sydney pair were holidaying in Kingscliff.
“We wanted a natural yet elegant feel to the day,” Rachel says of planning their big day.
There were a couple of bumps in the road, however, including having to change the date. “We ended up pulling most of the wedding together in seven weeks and we still ended up with a wedding that we loved.”
In searching for a unique venue, the couple found the State Library of NSW. “The Gallery room at the State Library was perfect as we were the first couple to be married in this room,” Rachel says. “The library also provided a perfect backdrop for the timeless and elegant photos we had in mind.”
The couple held their beautiful state library wedding on August 29, 2015 in front of 115 friends and family. The reception was held at The Pavillion on the edge of the city’s botanic gardens where guests were treated to an elaborate dinner and live music well into the night.
Rachel and Reza have known each other since they were 15. “We got together 12 years ago after we finished high school,” the bride says. “We come from very different backgrounds… but somehow manage to complete each other.
Despite being warned by his mother: “Don’t you dare fall in love with an Australian girl and marry her,” Englishman Richard Williams met the love of his life, Australian Alexandra Anderson.
The pair met while working as chartered accountants at the same Sydney firm. It was a slow-moving romance to begin with, with some subtle – and then not-so-subtle! – hints dropped by Alex gone unnoticed by Rich. But eventually, he worked up the courage to ask her on a date. “Within weeks, we were inseparable, finding in each other a true companion,” says Alex, 30, of her Rich, 32.
As Alex explains, Richard was soon put to the test by her parents, in what she describes as “all the requisite tests of a modern day suitor.” “Rich, who is typically a very big eater, struggled to get a bite in while he was grilled by mother and siblings — did he have a title? Did he have a castle back in England?” laughs Alex.
The couple married on February 28, 2015 on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour surrounded by 115 guests. Alex says their elegant wedding “beautifully intertwined elements of Australia and England,” which included ‘Henry,’ a black London cab and his English driver as the wedding car and Benjamin Adams British-designed wedding shoes.
The ceremony at Blues Point Reserve was a weather risk, but Alex said it paid off. “I understand it is rare people have such a large wedding there but it was stunning,” she smiles. Their reception at Catalina in Rose Bay was equally as beautiful.
Praying for a perfect sunny day may not always deliver the best wedding photos.
Aleisha Clark and Marcus Walsh’s photographer was lucky to capture some amazing images with storm clouds for their vineyard wedding on October 31, 2015. “It made for the perfect backdrop over looking the Tamar Valley,” says Aleisha, aged 28 of her wedding to Marcus, 27. “The sky was dark but the rain stayed afar.”
The nurse and banker married at Elmslie Estate in Launceston, Tasmania, with 84 guests who travelled from the mainland, Canada and Japan. Live entertainment from the Baker Boys Band provided the music at the ceremony, where Aleisha walked down the aisle to Christina Perry’s “A Thousand Years.”
The bride handled her own venue decorations, preparing for a year beforehand. “I put together the reception décor such as small medicine jars wrapped in pearls which had an array of native flowers, DIY menu wraps, family wedding photos and bunting,” smiles Aleisha.
The couple honeymooned in Malaysia – the same location where Marcus proposed.
Slavica Otovic and Novac Djirlic needed no-one but each other for their tropical elopement to sunny North Queensland.
The Melbourne couple, Slavica, 48, and Novak, 44, first met at work and sparks flew. “I recall my first day at work and looking at Novak I thought ‘Mmm, that’s nice,'” laughs Slavica.
“All these thoughts were running through my head like ‘Is he single, does he have kids and has he noticed me?'” she adds. “I just could not keep my eyes off him and every time he approached me I couldn’t stop laughing and was very nervous around him.”
Novak invited his future bride to a social gathering of work colleagues and showed up at Slavica’s door with a huge bunch of roses. “The rest is history now!” she says.
The couple eloped to Queensland’s Trinity Beach and wed on December 5, 2015. “It was just the two of us, the weather was perfect, the photography amazing, the celebrant funny, the wedding arbour stunning… and the location to die for,” Slavica says.
Contiki tours – good for many things, sometimes finding love that lasts more than 10 days.
“Once upon a time in a land far away — also known as France — a girl named Erin sat next to a boy named Paul on a magical Contiki bus,” laugh Erin, 25. The pair completed their travels together but when they returned to Australia they faced a three-hour driving back and forth to continue the relationship.
In 12 months though, Erin had moved in and the same time later, Paul, 25, popped the question. “We spent the next year and a half planning the most incredible wedding,” says Erin.
The couple married at their rustic garden wedding on December 5, 2015 with 85 guests present. The bride says the day was laid back, relaxed and fun.
The ceremony at Mindaribba House in New South Wales was made extra special by a childhood friend singing the music. The reception kicked off at the same venue, which Erin describes as a gut-instinct choice she doesn’t regret.