It’s always the quiet moments that echo the loudest. The unguarded captures, the stillness found in each other while celebrations unfold around you. With an almost intuitive way of capturing these ephemeral moments in between, we’re forever inspired by the work of Courtney Illfield and the magical frames in her latest Real Wedding.
An emotively documented ceremony by the sea, Natalia and Cale’s Noosa wedding was a celebration infused with natural elements inspired by oceanic surrounds; a gown encrusted with hand sewn french pearls and crystalline textures, urns overflowing with cascading wildflowers in earthy tones. As afternoon segued into night, guests were lead into a wildly opulent celebration filled with bohemian accents, gilded candelabra and jewel tone blooms by none other than the talented Janet of Grandiflora…
Names / Natalia & Cale
Wedding Date / November 5, 2016
Guest Numbers / 100
How we met…
We had always noticed each other at the place where Cale worked. We are both shy so we’d just smile at each other although we didn’t know each others names. We followed each other on Instagram and just had the biggest crushes on each other. One night I was leaving dinner with my girlfriends, walking to my car and saw a friend at the opening party for a fashion house. I went over to say Hi and saw Cale there. He came over and said ‘Is your name Natalia’ and we chatted for a little while. He asked me on a date and the rest is history!
Our Engagement Story…
Cale and I knew we wanted to get married 6 months after we started dating. We had picked a ring out together in Melbourne and Cale just kept it for a while because he wanted it to still be a surprise. Like we often did, we drove to down to Byron Bay as Cale grew up just near there and what I thought was a trip to see his family. We stopped and got some beers and fish and chips and went to the lighthouse. Cale proposed to me there. (I later found out that was not the plan as we were going to go to the beach, but it was raining). And he had booked to stay the night as Rae’s on Wategos too.
Marriage to us means…
Everything. We are both Christian, so marriage was the next step in showing our commitment to each other.
We chose Noosa as our wedding location, as this is our go-to spot every year with our family. We have been going for years. And so does our extended family and friends. We really wanted our wedding location to be somewhere our guests could come and relax for the weekend and for us all to be together. No one had to drive anywhere once they arrived and we all were able to lunch and dine together the few days before and after with our family and friends.
Our ceremony was held at the Casuarina Gardens in Noosa. It was the most perfect grassy patch just in front of the beach. It was perfectly shady with all the trees and the most beautiful view of the beach.
The reception was held at our all-time favourite place in Noosa, Locale. It is right on Hastings street just in the corner near the National Park but has a completely different feel to all the other restaurants in Noosa. It is not beachy feeling, you feel like you just stepped into an amazing place in Italy. It is moody with huge windows that open up right onto the trees. It has the most beautiful European atmosphere which is a total refection of the beautiful owners Rio & Amanda. My sister said a long time ago, ‘If I ever get married it will be at Locale’ so when we were planning it, she let me steal her idea.
The feeling was opulent and moody. There was an abundance of wild looking flowers all in our colour scheme of dark wine, blushing pink, nude and cream. In the last 6 months, my sister and I sourced 100 antique brass candelabras and 50 brass vessels for the flowers and table styling. We wanted it to feel like you were in a European dream. We had muslin runners down the tables in soft nude and linen table cloths.
Our photographer was Courtney Illfield, who we found on The LANE sure enough! She was an absolute dream. Honestly the easiest, most relaxed photographer. I was drawn to her by her effortless but stunning photos that I saw online had my heart set on her straight away.
I designed my own dress and had it made by Helen English in Sydney. It was very simple in shape. It had cups and spaghetti straps with an open piece of mesh down the centre and the bottom of my dress was bias cut and super slim. The top was covered in French pearls.
I had two pairs of shoes. For the ceremony I wore Acne shoes, they were almost gothic looking but in white patent leather. For the reception, I wore Agent Provocateur slip on white high heels with big white fluffy pom poms on top of them. They were like the high heels of every little girl’s dreams.
My bridesmaids wore the most beautiful slip-like bias cut long dresses. There were all nude silk and all slightly different in style and shape.
All my bridesmaids wore Yeezy clear heels.
We bought my engagement ring in Melbourne and had my wedding ring made to fit it. My engagement ring is in white gold with three round cut diamonds and my wedding ring is the same shape diamonds but five in a row that fit across my finger perfectly. We also had Cale’s ring made for him, he wanted a more traditional style. It is yellow gold with a diamond in the top centre.
We are long-term lovers of Christie Nicolaides jewels. I wore a pair of her earrings for our ceremony and a different pair with a pearl crown to our reception. My bridesmaids wore Christie Nicolaides earrings and arm cuffs too.
Cale and his groomsmen all wore M.J Bale. Cale wore the most amazing thin woollen suit in a light maroon colour with pale blue checks through it. His groomsmen wore off-white chinos and a White linen Jacket.
With help from my darling mum, I did my own hair. It was just free and down with big waves through it.
I also did my own make up. I never wear much or any makeup. So after a couple of makeup tests I decided to do it myself. I didn’t want to feel not like myself on the day. A good sun tan never goes astray, so it was handy being at the beach the week before, but i had a faint bit of deep purple on my eyes and just lots of shimmery highlighter. I was so happy with it!
Find our handpicked edit of Photographers from around the world on the Directory.
All our stationary including menus, place cards, love quotes and invitations was made by Wedding Paper Chic. We had our invitations letter pressed, which were amazing.
Our bonbonniere were little bottles of Moet wrapped in nude silk and we had two of my favourite love quotes on them too.
‘One look at you and I knew if the stars could name themselves the entire sky would be alight with yours.’ Beau Taplin
‘I don’t believe in magic.’ The young boy said.
The old man smiled. ‘You will, when you see her.’ Atticus
Flowers & Bouquet
I asked for the flower arrangements to be big and overflowing with huge peonies in dark wine and peachy pink, wild roses, hanging amaranths, huge green leaves, orchids etc. I wanted the colours to be rich and moody with dark red being my favourite colour. For the ceremony and entrance arrangements, I had only white and green flowers, with lots of white orchids hydrangeas, peonies and olive leaves in large white urns. The flowers were all done by Janet from Grandiflora. She was an absolute angel!
My sister and I planned and styled our wedding. And the darling Trudy from Love Bird Weddings put it all together for us. I knew exactly what I wanted and bought all the elements myself and Trudy being the perfectionist she is, put it all together for us and totally got my vibe. As I am a fashion stylist for our own business Verge Girl, I have a very visual and creative brain and just needed someone who understood my vision for the day and Lovebird weddings definitely did, Trudy was amazing!
On the morning of our wedding we were all so relaxed and ahead of schedule. My dad ordered french pastries for us girls so we had tea and pastries while the girls got their hair and makeup done, and I did mine. I gave the girls their bridesmaids boxes that had a cotton bed shirt that had their initials embroidered on them that I got from Jasmine & Will, a Daily Edited clutch each with their initials, their Christie Nicolaides jewels, the Hour Glass lippy they were all wearing on the day and a big candle each too.
Ceremony & Reception Décor
For the ceremony we had white Hampton chairs and an antique Moroccan wedding blanket for the altar. We used large white urns either side of Cale and I, filled with flowers and leaves and had ice buckets loaded of Prosecco and Italian biscuits on big silver platters. For our reception, we used antique brass candlesticks and candelabras and antique brass flower vessels.
Our beautiful cake was made by Kendra from Wild Child Cakes. It was a simple naked style cake. Chocolate and Lemon tiers with a thin vanilla icing. And it was decorated perfectly with sugared fruits.
We LOVE old school. We chose ‘Don’t think twice it’s alright’ Bob Dylan and after the ceremony we had ‘Heart Of Gold’ Neil Young. These were played by the amazing Andrew Redford a folk singer from the Sunshine Coast. He was total gold! Our first dance song was ‘Let’s Stay Together’ Al Green.
Food & Beverage
Our Food and Beverage was SO important to us as we both really love food, wine, and come from European backgrounds. Our menu allowed each guest to choose from 3 entrees, 3 mains and a selection of petit fours for dessert Our menu was modern Italian, with a focus on showcasing the best local produce and Seafood which Locale does best. Our drinks list focused on a good variety of Australian and Italian wines with some classic Aperitifs and the best Pomegranate Cosmopolitan. That was a delight!
We chose to have live music at our ceremony. We thought this would fit perfectly with the open air beach setting. Andrew Redford was suggested to us by Trudy from Lovebird Weddings. With an acoustic guitar, harmonica and his folky, classic collection, he was phenomenal. Our good friend Adam Hunter DJ’d our reception. We didn’t have to give him too much direction as he knows our taste well. We did ask him to throw in a few of our favourites like Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and George Benson. We allocated a section of the night after dinner for some Greek music and traditional Greek dancing.
We are heading to our all-time favourite place, Bali next week. We’re going to spend two weeks between Seminyak, Uluwatu and Ubud for some much-needed Island time.
The Pastor who married us is a close family friend.
We wrote our vows ourselves:
You’re my love and my best friend, my sweet dream and my spark.
You’re selfless, encouraging and you build me up to be the best version of myself.
I love you more than I ever thought possible.
I promise to care for you and protect you, to be the first to say sorry and to always listen to you with a tender heart.
I promise to love you fiercely and deeply for the rest of our days.
You are my soul’s fire and the magic of my days.
You make me laugh and you teach me love.
You are my best friend and my first and only love, I love you more than I ever thought possible.
I promise to be true and loyal, patient, kind and forgiving.
I promise to encourage, nurture and honour you on good days and bad.
I promise to love you deeply and fiercely for the rest of our days.
We chose to have a wishing well as we just purchased a home but are not quite ready to move in yet.
A memorable moment…
Apart from the obvious, seeing my darling at the end of the aisle. A memorable moment for me was pouring the champagne tower together with Cale when we walked into our reception, It was so grand!
Sources of Inspiration
We wanted a European opulent feel. I truly took inspiration from the ‘Real Weddings’ section on The LANE and the way each wedding is so different and styled to each individual and what they love! So much of my inspiration was taken from the way my mum throws the most beautiful lavish gatherings.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
If people aren’t on board with your plan of vision from the start, have the courage to cut them out before it gets too difficult.
If I could give Brides-To-Be one piece of advice…
Never stray from what you have your heart set on.
Photography / Courtney Illfield
Bride’s Dress / Helen English
Bridesmaids’ Shoes / Yeezy
Groom’s Formal Wear / M. J Bale
Jewelry / Christie Nicolaides
Makeup / Penny Antuar
Invitations / Wedding Paper Chic
Florist / Grandiflora Brisbane
Cake / Wild Child Cakes
Catering / Locale
Wedding Stylist / Lovebird Weddings
Celebrant / Drew Carter
Wedding Venue / Locale Noosa
Honeymoon Destination / Bali
Entertainment / Andrew Redford & Adam Hunter