Mercedez Everest from Murwillumbah, NSW, must be one of the luckiest girls going. Not only did she marry the man of her dreams – 31-year-old Sean Clough – in a romantic Byron Bay wedding on April 6, 2013, she also won two photographic competitions in the lead up to the big day!
Mercedez, 27, says, “Firstly, I won an engagement shoot just by putting my name in a box at a wedding fair. Then, a few weeks later, I won an entire wedding photography package from Katrina Cram Photography!”
She recalls, “I saw the competition on Katrina’s Facebook page and sat down with a bottle of wine to complete my entry. It took forever because my internet kept crashing and I would have to start over but, I was determined to enter, and by some incredible stroke of luck I also won this competition!
“Sean and I believe that his late grandmother, Normie, had something to do with our luck and that it was her wedding gift to us.”
Perhaps Normie had something to do with their wedding day weather as well. The couple planned to wed outdoors under a beautiful old tree in nearby Ewingsdale but on the day the rain left the ground too muddy and they had to change their plans.
Their backup plan was to hold the nuptials at the Byron Bay Surf Club – where the reception was being held – and Mercedez says, “We’re so glad that it rained, our Plan B far surpassed our Plan A. We were able to exchange our vows with the ocean as a backdrop and it was perfect.”
Mercedez wore an ivory strapless Bella Donna gown and hand-beaded belt from local boutique, Flowergirl Fairy. Her shoes were comfortable, gold satin-and-glitter Easy Steps from Sandler and she accessorised with earrings from Myer and a beautiful three-strand pearl bracelet borrowed from her maid-of-honour.
“The first time we saw the surf club set up for a wedding we fell in love with it,” says Mercedez. “We had most of the verandah covered with a white marquee, with silk draping and chandeliers. It looked amazing.” Mercedez added her personal touch with jars and crystal vases which she spent months collecting and decorating.
“Sean left it until the Thursday before the wedding to buy his suit,” explains Mercedez. “Thank God for late night shopping! He wore a charcoal suit from Roger David, ivory shirt from Connor and bought his tie and cufflinks from David Jones. Our last purchase was processed one minute before the shops all closed for the night!”
The bride’s beautiful bouquet was arranged by Blossoms of Tweed and included dahlias from her mum’s garden. “I really wanted dahlias… all the bouquets were so lovely,” she says.
Sweet Obsessions created a three-tier cake with buttercream icing and fresh flowers. Flavours included Baileys mud, dark chocolate truffle and white passion. “It was the most amazing cake I have ever tasted!” praises Mercedez. “Even the caterers complimented how perfect it was.”
With their gorgeous wedding day behind them, the couple ventured to Vietnam and Koh Samui for their honeymoon; a fellow traveller later blogging about them: “The newly-wed couple I met reminded me that sometimes relationships are literally just about two people who believe that the other is funnier and better than everyone else in the world.”
“I think that pretty much sums us up,” agrees Mercedez. “We have fun together every day.”
Photos courtesy of Katrina Cram Photography.