Melissa Thom and Jason Rawlings first met in their church youth group, but overseas adventures took them down separate paths.
Melissa, 26, moved to London for two years, while Jason, 29, headed to bible school in the US.
“During his last year in the USA, we started communicating through Facebook messenger and even with years of being out of contact, we hit it off immediately and started dating long distance,” Melissa says. “Jason then moved back home to Australia when the official dating could begin!”
The Gold Coast couple held their classic wedding at Braeside Chapel in Merrimac on October 15, 2016 in front of 80 friends and family.
“We wanted our wedding to be a picture of who we were as a couple, so rather than copying the generic vows we decided to write our own and speak words to each other which had personal meaning and truth to them,” Melissa says.
The couple and their mums also released doves after the ceremony, before heading to The Landing at Dockside for their reception.
“At the reception we hired a wedding magician to keep the crowd entertained. During pre-dinner drinks, he did roving entertainment to small groups and, as the entrees were served, he did a 20-minute stage show,” Melissa explains.
“Apart from marrying his girl, this was Jason’s highlight of the wedding!”
Photos courtesy of Evoke Studios.
“Josie made us feel totally comfortable and at ease from the first time we met her until the time we picked up our photos after the wedding,” the couple praises of Evoke Studios.
“In nature, doves only pick one partner for life so they also symbolise eternity and prosperity. The total number of doves (eight) was special to us too because Jason proposed on the eighth of October, which also symbolises eternity and new beginnings,” Melissa says of the couple’s dove release.
“We both love the beach and being out in nature so we wanted our ceremony venue to be close to the water so we could get beach photos,” Melissa says.
A former event planner, Melissa has some good advice for future brides: “Plan like a crazy person the months leading up to it, but on the day just totally relax and enjoy every little thing as it comes. If something doesn’t work out perfectly it doesn’t matter.”
Video by Virk Productions.
Bomboniere: Personalised Favours, Just Our Little Thing / Brides Accessories: Colette Hayman / Brides Gown: Luv Bridal & Formal - Designer Direct / Brides Shoes: Betts / Bridesmaid Shoes: Online / Bridesmaids Accessories: Lovisa / Bridesmaids Dresses: Mori Lee / Cake: The Cheesecake Shop, Etsy - Wanowyn Weddings / Celebrant: Pastor Tony Scown / Ceremony Music: DJ Mark Uren / Ceremony Venue: Braeside Chapel Merrimac / Entertainment: Andino Magician / Flowers: Brisbane Wedding Specialist / Gift Registry: Wishing well / Grooms Attire: Connor / Grooms Shoes: Connor / Groomsmen Attire: Connor / Groomsmen Shoes: Connor / Hair: Hair Flair / Honeymoon: Courtyard Marriot Bali / Invitations: Falcon Print / Makeup: Aurum Bride / Photographer: Evoke Studios / Reception Venue: The Landing at Dockside / Rings: Prouds the Jewellers / Transport: Personal cars / Venue Decor: Enchanted Empire / Videographer: Raj Virk Virk Productions / Wedding Night Accommodation: Meriton Serviced Apartments