It was an absolute delight to work with this hilarious couple! Natalie and Mark had a unique vision and we helped them turn it into reality.. . And we loved every minute of it!
This Real Bride Story comes with a warning… have the tissue box at hand and try not to tear up!
Brides name: Natalie Byrnes
Grooms name: Mark Atkinson
Wedding date: 29th October 2016
Ceremony venue: Tree Top Aisle, Circa 1876, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley.
Reception venue: Circa 1876 Restaurant, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley.
Number of guests: 135
Theme: Love and Soft Romance
Photographer: James Bennett
Videographer: La Lune Cinema
Flowers: Angelic Events
Hair: Anna Poshe
Makeup: Lisa Single
Gown: Carris, Mia Solano
Groom’s suit: Peppers Formal Hire
Bridesmaids: Satin Wrap Gown, Bridesmaids Only
Celebrant: Lillian Lyon
Entertainment: Something Borrowed, Acoustic guitar and vocals by Aaron
Catering: Circa 1876
Cake: “Have your cake and eat it” by Nicola Kapetanakis
Styling: Angelic Events
How did you first meet?
We were on our way to compete for the Karate World Cup in England and were travelling in a big group of friends. We hadn’t previously met but had a lot of mutual friends. So the first place we met was actually at Dubai Airport!
How did he propose?
He woke me up one morning and told me to pack my bags and that we were going away for the weekend. A friend picked us up from home and dropped us at the airport and next thing I know we are at Qualia in Hamilton Island! After we arrived Marky had me booked into a spa for a massage, once it was finished a hair and make up artist came in with a note from Marky, asking me to get into the dress and heels that were also brought in. Once it was finished a staff member picked me up in a golf buggy and dropped me off at our hotel room which was full of candles, fairy lights and rose petals everywhere! There was a guy singing our favourite song with his acoustic guitar in the corner of the room and he played for just us two for an hour. But most importantly he had a cardboard cut out of our dog which had a sign that asked, ‘Will you marry my dad?’ – it was so perfect and intimate! He also had the whole thing filmed and photographed, it was beautiful to capture such a raw and special moment.
How would you describe your relationship?
I adore our relationship! We are truly in love and he is genuinely my best friend. He is my absolute strength and is the sweetest most thoughtful man I’ve ever met. I love that we are so in tune that even when we wrote our vowels separately, we had so many similarities. Our relationship is so much fun and it’s effortless.
What did you want guests to remember most about your wedding day?
We wanted our guests to remember the love they felt. We wanted them to feel so relaxed and genuinely enjoy themselves. We didn’t want it to be a very typical wedding and that’s why we added our own personality and little touches, like the gelato cart, some over sized games including our table tennis table and our dogs running the rings down the aisle. So after the wedding it was so perfect that that was the feedback; we were so happy.
Key styling features of your wedding?
Aged wood, an abundance of pastel flowers, the relaxed chilled garden and lounge party, warm candle light and soft flowing greenery.
Funniest moment of the day?
We had this idea in our head that the celebrant, Lillian, would ask Ash, the best man for the rings, Ash would pretend he had forgotten them to which Lillian would say, “Don’t worry guys, I’ll take care of it”, she’d wolf whistle and the dogs would come running down the aisle with the rings… except, they had different plans. One of the dogs Puddles, ran around all the guests, the longest possible route and Muddy, the bigger dog ran through the chairs and under everyone’s feet.. it was something you’d see on Funniest Home Video’s….. they had one job!
Anything you would change about the day if you were to do it all again?
Mark felt that he couldn’t hear the music as loud as he’d like when I was walking down the aisle, but that would be completely nit picking. Every single supplier was absolutely fantastic. We were so incredibly lucky and grateful that everything went along pretty seamlessly.
Tips for future brides?
I really took the time to be organised for all the little things. I had post it notes on all the objects that I dropped off to the venue, we had an itinerary which ran through the schedule for the day which also had all the suppliers and bridal parties contact details.
I didn’t want anything left to chance and because everyone knew the flow, especially the suppliers, they did all the work to keep to time and we went with the flow. Thanks to the prior preparation, it ended up being such an effortless day.
As something different we did a ‘First Look’, which means we had all of our photos as husband and wife before the ceremony, it’s a little unconventional but worked a treat. We did this so we could spend as much time as possible with our guests. This meant that from 3.30pm, after the ceremony, we were really present and took our time speaking to all our guests.
Congratulations Nat & Mark! We wish you two a lifetime of happiness together.
Jess and the team xx