Rebecca and James both hail from Queensland originally. "We met in Sydney through some mutual friends at The Tilbury, a pub in Woolloomooloo. We had our first kiss that night during a massive thunderstorm and have been together ever since, living in Sydney with our two dogs, Roy and George."
"One of the most magical parts of the city we live in is the harbour. We chose Arthur McElhone Reserve for our ceremony. It’s this little pocket park tucked into Elizabeth Bay, looking across Rushcutters Bay and out toward Clark Island. It has a gorgeous stone bridge that passes over koi fishponds and a very cared for seasonal garden. It’s a calming space, one we can see ourselves returning to for family picnics in the future."
"Sean’s Bondi is one of our favourite restaurants in Sydney. We looked at some other options but everything else felt too fancy. We like to keep things simple and authentic and that’s what the vibe at Sean’s is all about, while consistently delivering on quality food. We booked about two weeks out so could only secure the private room, not the main dining room. With the heatwave, it was intimate, but we wouldn’t change a thing. We had 15 guests in total. Only our immediate parents, grandparents, siblings and nieces, plus our dear neighbour, Sue. We also set up Zoom on an iPhone so that friends and family could tune in live from all over the world."
A couple of days after the couple got engaged, Bec searched ‘daisy lace wedding dress’ and found an image of a dress which she fell in love with. It then turned out that the designer, Ella Moda, was based in Brisbane. "Ella and the team were such a dream to work with. With border closures, we weren’t able to do as many fittings in-person as we would have liked but on each trip we managed two sessions - the team would work around the clock for those few days between fittings to make all of the alterations from the first session." James worked with Sydney tailor Brent Wilson, whom he knows, to design his suit.
Bec planned about five different versions of the wedding day due to the pandemic - "which could have been a lot more stressful had we not had such an incredible group to work with. We chose people that felt like a reflection of us in the hope that would come through on the day itself. We wanted everything to feel personal, and we handpicked based on those we clicked with."
"Where we could, we worked with people we already knew like Bel from The Curated Life who did the most incredible job at pulling together our loose vision of ‘nothing cookie-cutter or too wedding-y’. She worked through a laundry list of no’s from Bec to create the vision for the day. Our beautiful friend Zoe O’Sullivan learnt and reworked songs to sing for our ceremony. Analise Wells who has been Bec’s regular hairdresser in Sydney for years was her hairstylist for the day. We had a heatwave on our wedding day, somewhere in the 40’s, and it was one of the hottest November nights on record. As a result of this, our flowers were dying and our incredible floral stylist Bel was refreshing flowers up until the ceremony started."
"We only met our photographer Rachel from Blush Pink shortly before our wedding day however, it felt like we were touring Sydney with an old friend. We completely forgot we were getting our photo taken and this ended up being such a fun part of the day and we are so happy we went with Rach."
The couple's wedding date was Bec’s grandparents’, Margaret and Phil, 62nd wedding anniversary. "This set the tone for everything we wanted our day to be about, love, a long life together and the importance of family."
"The most memorable part of our day was the promises we made in our ceremony and shared in the speeches we made to one another. We really wanted our families’ involvement too, so a section of our ceremony was dedicated to our parents, James’ sister read a beautiful piece she had written especially for us, both our brothers were our witnesses and Bec’s nieces were the flower girl and bridesmaids."
James and Bec's advice for other couples getting married during the pandemic? "Decide what the day means for you as a couple. With Covid, it’s worth working out what you’re willing to be flexible with if things need to change. For us, the day was about our love for one another and our future together. We’d originally planned a larger wedding at Prince Edward Yacht Club with all of our friends however, decided pretty early on in the lockdown that there was too much uncertainty to go ahead. We decided that we’d focus on becoming husband and wife. That meant that anything beyond the two of us signing paperwork – our family sharing in the day, hosting dinner at one of our favourite restaurants - felt like a gift."