“Racquela’s “How To Marry A Guy In 10 Days” Wedding To Michael”… Yes, you read that title correctly, a 10-day turnaround for a wedding! Other than a willing participant aka a groom or bride to marry, you also need a few extra special vendors and friends to help create a little bit of magic for a special day! Captured by Woodlands Creative, the day was so incredibly meaningful & perfect…
So wait, WHY only 10 days? So before I get into our elopement style ceremony, I will give you a little bit of a backstory. Unfortunately, COVID-19 like many other couples had their initial plans of a wedding changed, altered, postponed, remodelled, shifted, swapped, flipped, moved, subbed and the list goes on! BUT, one thing remains the same regardless of any wedding changes, it is the REAL reason you are entering a marriage – as cliche as it sounds, it is because of a little thing called love.
Back to the WHY! I’m a fourth time postponed bride and during the 18-month delay, my beautiful grandma at 97 fell ill. This wise, wonderful and inspiring woman made a promise to me she would walk me down the aisle and unfortunately with a health scare, time isn’t always on our side. So, an improvised ceremony was on the cards! But wait, HOW did you get organised? Naturally, I am organised and very particular but in this instance, everything seemed to happen almost organically. The motive for a ceremony being my Nana was all the organisation we really needed.
“Let’s Do the Time Warp Again!” I want to relive the day over and over but instead, I’ll just tell you all about it so we can relive it together.
Getting ready: Hotel, car, anywhere!?
My glam started two days prior with arguably the most talented beautician, Brooke from The Bodhi Effect in Charlestown where I walked out with fresh nails and a sun-kissed tan. I also got my hair prepped by Hair by Anette in Wickham so I was feeling a million bucks! My dress was purchased from one of my all-time favourite labels, Elliatt! All their dresses are so lush and their brand is possibly one of the reasons my paycheck disappears quickly each week. I love big eccentric sleeves, that are mixed in with tassels and thick lace – HEAVEN!
The morning of the wedding I went to Michelle Jackson Hair in Wallsend and gave her the briefest description of what I wanted, “some form of updo” – Michelle just worked her magic and I walked out with a messy undone look bun and I loved it! I then went to The Boys Studio in Mayfield where Dean, the absolute make-up god, gave me a full makeover! I didn’t request anything, I just let Dean do his thing and boy was I feeling glammed up. There is a special feeling when you get your hair and makeup done!
Like every wedding, things don’t always go as planned and the morning of our wedding, unfortunately, Nana wasn’t having a good day but she managed to see me before the ceremony and that moment was filled with many emotions. She knew she wouldn’t be able to officially be a part of the ceremony so she said to me “I’ll be behind you, I’ll be there” and those words really answered the ‘why’.
I arrived very late at the Beach Comber Hotel & Resort in Toukley (FYI – they got huge renovations and it looks very LUX) and had a short time there with my beautiful sisters, my now sister in law who was an absolute rock that day (shout out to Jas for keeping me sane!), my cute AF niece and my mum. I am so glad we picked the Beach Comber, the staff was absolutely wonderful and the pool area is DIVINE! Did someone say Miami vibes?
I’m lucky enough to marry a crafty builder so I drew him a picture of an arbour and guess what? That talented man whipped it up in a few hours and even matched in some chairs to go with it. What a freakin’ man. Flowers, well I knew I wanted something BRIGHT so I waltzed into the Sydney Flower Market with an idea of red and purple, contrasting bright colours with a darker palette to really make it all POP! I hit the jackpot with my husband’s mother who is an unreal florist, so she and I just winged it with some arrangements and I love what we created! It was an arrangement of super bright purple orchids, pastel pink/purple roses, red spider orchids and touches of white ginkgo leaves! There was actually something fun about creating something from our own minds rather than referring to the millions of Pinterest photos I often save.
Michael’s pastel blue suit was from MB Tailoring in Charlestown. The team at MB have been so accommodating! Get this – Michael got the jacket and pants and they were able to tailor them to suit him perfectly in a matter of days! Super easy and super stress-free! Michael was a trooper and he got ready on the day in the rain at our ceremony spot in his car (sorry doll!). With a restricted time, our girl La Nina making an appearance and a late bride… our timing was a little delayed. Luckily Michael has two of his best friends in the world to keep him company and calm his ever-growing nerves! With Sarah from Marry Me Sarah B, Michael was sure to feel cool, calm and collected! Sarah’s vibrant energy can transform any stressful situation. Thanks, Sarah, you’re the best!
Time to get hitched: The Ceremony!
Righto, we have the set-up done and the wedding party is ready to make this official in front of our nearest and dearest – but where? Grab a tissue and some wine for this one! My Nana promised me in 2019 when I got engaged that she would walk me down the aisle to Michael and in June of 2021, she had a stroke and since then her health has taken many twists and turns. While my imagination envisions me getting married in a white chapel with 100’s of guests, what I imagine more so is just having my Nana by my side and in this instance, that is what is more important. Our venue was at Berkley Vale NSW waterfront right near my Nana’s aged-care home and it has since become a very special place for both Michael and me. We brought the aisle to my Nana and I feel so incredibly lucky to share such a moment with her.
Marry Me Sarah B – three words – energy and good vibes! Sarah lights up every room she enters. Both our families assumed Sarah was our good friend from way back, this is just a token to how she is as a person. Sarah melts away your nerves and this on a wedding day is like hitting the absolute jackpot!
Let’s Celebrate: We’re Married!
After the ceremony, La Nina decided to make an unwanted guest appearance and we were SO lucky a beautiful couple saw our ceremony set up and from the kindness of their super cute hearts, let us use their waterfront balcony to do the official signing. I should really buy a lottery ticket! After the rain, we set off to get some photos around the park. After feeling like the groom, the wedding party and I are famous and being papped’ by Elisha and Bonnie, we finished the night with my now brother and sister in law and had a nice dinner to celebrate. Sometimes the best things in life are the simple things in life and Menulog in this case was just what we needed!
Elisha from Woodlands Creative has an absolute heart of gold and her patience and support are something that deserves much more than a thank you. Elisha is such an integral part of our wedding and while her photography portfolio speaks volumes her personality is a total cherry on top. Thank you Elisha for everything and most importantly, thank you for being you.
I have one signature pose – the old school photo smile and thanks to my two hype girls Elisha from Woodlands Creative and Bonnie from Bonnie Lass Films, they made me feel like I was famous and before I knew it, I was strutting down the jetty and flickin’ ma hair like I knew what I was doing (I definitely didn’t). Bonnie and Elisha are the ultimate bride squad and cheerleaders!
If there is one thing I can take from having an elopement, despite it not being at all how I imagined I’d get married, is that the most important thing really is who is there and you can make any situation something special. And hey, how lucky am I? I get two weddings (same groom obvs) and I can’t wait to relive this magic all over again in March 2022.
Bonnie Lass Films… I feel like I’ve known Bonnie for a lifetime and it dawned on both of us that the first time we formally met was the day of our ceremony. If that doesn’t suggest what kind of person she is, I don’t know what does! Bonnie’s videography is next level but so is she, we feel very lucky to have Bonnie not only take snippets of our day but celebrate with us too.
Racquela & Michael, what a dream your quick turnaround wedding was! Thank you for sharing it with us, and we look forward to sharing your BIG big wedding day soon! And of course, thank you to Woodlands Creative for their beautiful images.