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Meeting at a bible study run by ‘Christian Surfers’, Lauren thought Pete was a cool, good-looking, funny dude, but didn’t crush on him straight away... Pete says he was head over heals as soon as Lauren asked to borrow his longboard! Christian Surfers are a group of people who have gatherings all over the world. “Every surfing community has the opportunity to know Jesus,” is their philosophy. Something that has become such a huge part of this pairs' lives, as they now lead Melboune Christian Surfers! Anyway, that’s another story.

How long were you together before your engagement?
We were together for 18 months before our engagement, and then we were engaged for 21 months before the wedding!
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Tell us about the proposal:
We were on a family holiday in Japan - Pete’s dream destination since he was a little boy. We were staying in Nozawa Onsen, a beautiful magical snowy town. Pete had been snow boarding for 3 days and I couldn’t join him because I was still recovering from knee surgery. So, to have some quality time together, we went for a walk one night, just the two of us. We started having a snow ball fight and we were laughing until our tummies hurt. It was super deep snow leading up to a super cool Japanese arch where Pete had already stumbled to get to, and was calling me to come over to 'make a snowman' with him.

I continued chucking snow balls at him while struggling to get to where he was, because I kept sinking in the deep powder! I finally made it to where he was. He helped me up by grabbing my left hand and pulling me up, and 'accidentally' pulling off the glove. I was all “ahh give it back its so cold!” He showed me a snow ball, and the first thing that came to mind was “oh no! He’s going to have a free throw at me,” and I went to grab it off him. He dodged me.. luckily! Because he started moving the snow away from the snowball, and inside was a cute cotton brown bag.
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Next thing, he begins saying beautiful words as he pulls out a ring, gets down on one knee, and continues to say more beautiful words. I was in shock!! I did not expect it at all. We both started crying, it was a feeling like no other. I yelled yes and jumped on him with excitement, forgetting about the part where he is supposed to put it on my finger… lucky he didn’t lose it in the snow! He put it on my finger, and we layed in the snow crying and praying and talking for a solid hour. We went back to the restaurant Pete’s family were waiting at and enjoyed a delicious celebratory meal. It was a night I will never ever forget.
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What led you to decide on your Wedding venue?
I have always dreamt of getting married on the beach, and lucky for me Pete had the same dream! We wanted it to be something that represented us and our love for surfing and being by the coast. Barwon Heads/Ocean Grove was somewhere we had been a lot on holidays with our families before we met, plus countless surf trips while we were dating! We were originally going to have it next to the bluff, but a month before the wedding we were told that it would still be a construction site. So after a little bit of stress, we changed the location to the beach on the other side of the bridge. This actually worked out to be a lot more practical! More car parking spots & a nice easy walk way on sand rather than a gazillion stairs. We wanted a relaxed vibe, so rugs to sit on and a sign encouraging no shoes was exactly us.
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We looked at a couple of places for our wedding reception, but as soon as we walked into ‘The Barn’ in Wallington, I fell in love straight away! It had a big lawn area, perfect for our lawn games, beautiful surrounding trees, a large trailer for a grazing table, festoon lights, bunting, a pool table and vintage furniture for those who wanted to get comfy. It was just magical! I could picture greenery around the beams and down the long tables, and a table with lamps for our donut stacks. Our favourite flowers are sunflowers and natives, and we could see exactly where we wanted these to go!
Beach for our ceremony and a barn for the reception hit the nail on the head for us.

What was the inspiration behind your Wedding theme?
The inspiration behind our theme was simply, us! Being surfers, we didn’t want a formal wedding. We wanted our guests to feel comfortable, and of course our bridal party to feel comfortable! Mix-match pretty, floral dresses that the bridesmaids could wear again, bare feet for us and the bridal party - it all had Lauren and Pete written all over it. I got a few ideas from Pinterest, of course! All we wanted was for our guests to enjoy the day.
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Favourite moments:
I’ll let Pete answer his.

Pete: For me it was without a doubt the moment I saw Lauren walking over the dunes. Little by little as she walked up and over the dunes, I got to see more and more of her. It was a little blurry for the first part as I was bawling my eyes out... oh man do I feel blessed to have such a beautiful woman inside and out. I’ll never forget that feeling, the shivers and tingles that raced through me the closer she got. Yeah, that was rad.

Lauren: It was the shaky legs as I was walking towards Pete, and seeing him standing there bawling his eyes out. It was that, “Oh my gosh YES, this is HAPPENING” feeling!!! Another favourite moment was during our photos, escaping the crazy and being able to just be still together, and take in the fact that we just got flipping married. Driving around in our car in between photo spots was just so peaceful.

One more... During dinner we stopped and looked out to all our family and friends who were there, and we just felt so incredible blessed. We both said to each other, “Wow, this is it! Look at all these people we love all in the same room.” It was a feeling of joy and just pure gratitude.
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What was your favourite detail/s about the day? 
One of our favourite details was our New Zealand Lemon & Paeroa ‘L&P’ drinks, and our matching candles as wedding favours! Pete’s family is from New Zealand and it’s one of our favourite places, and coincidentally has our initials so it was a special and delicious drink. Pete spent a lot of time using his photoshop skills to make the logo into a sticker for the candles, with ‘Thank you for being in our lives’ and our wedding date written on it.

Another detail we loved was the table which had ‘highlight your favourite verse and sign your name.’ It was simple and interactive and meant we could look through it after the wedding and read bible verses that would become extra special to us.

And of course, we loved our seating plan wooden surfboard that my brother made!
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How long did it take for you to find and how was your dress/suit shopping experience overall?
I did a lot of online shopping, and only spent one full day going into dress shops. It was pretty exhausting, but so fun! I took my maid of honour and a bridesmaid so it was so nice to have honest loving opinions and amazing company. A few shops I went into the ladies were a little pushy, and I had to be strong and leave without being persuaded! I tried on a handful throughout the day, and the very last dress I tried on was the one! When I saw it on the rack, I fell in love with the type of lace. It was unique and delicate. But I had in my head that I didn’t want straps and didn’t really like the look of the front bust area. I knew I wanted a low back, and for it to flow over my bum loosely into a train. Once I put it on, I honestly LOVED it. There were a few specific details that I wanted to change to make it fit exactly how I wanted to, and I added lace to the straps for a finishing touch.

For Pete’s outfit, he knew he wanted brown pants and a white linen shirt from his favourite shop ‘Mr. Simple,’ so that was easy to get. Pete and I went shopping together for a cream linen jacket about two weeks before the wedding, and after many shops we found one he loved!
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What resources did you find helped you the most during your Wedding planning?
I used Pete’s sisters excel spreadsheet that she used as a budget planner for her wedding. It had the categories already written out and it added up everything for me! It was amazing.

What does marriage mean to you? 
As Christians, Pete and I believe that marriage is sacred and a covenant built with God in the centre. My ring, and the triangle we stood under resembles having God at the top, and Pete and I equal either side. Marriage requires commitment and being devoted to one another, always taking delight in honouring each other above ourselves. We value the verse in Romans 12 where it talks about longing to outdo each other in love. We believe marriage was created to be an intimate relationship where two become one.
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Any classic stories you want to share from the day?
One classic story was when we went to get our photos in the spot we were originally going to have the ceremony, but the tide was super high so the spot was covered in water! We were so glad there was construction work which made us move, otherwise everything would have been underwater. We just said, thanks God!

For the reception, the music didn’t work for the bridal party entrance, and we all had made up different dances to go with different songs. But our guests made a beat by clapping with their hands so we could all still do our entrance dance… but to clapping! It did the job. During the dance party, the music kept stopping because it was getting too loud, but we ended up having everyone on the dance floor taking it on with the best attitude, and began playing musical statues and freezing every time the music stopped! It was hilarious. I’m definitely glad it didn’t stop during our first dance! Our guests made this little hiccups still so much fun.
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Advice:
Don’t leave things to the last minute! Do things one at a time in little bits. I was studying at the same time as planning, which was doable because I only had 2 subjects, but I always felt like there was something in my mind the week before, and all the way up to the day before. But definitely get as many people you can to help you out and take off loads, because friends and family WANT to help! That made it so much more stress free. But you just need to make a checklist in each category. Don’t be alarmed if there is usually one person in the couple who will do most of the planning… that is okay! As long as the other is involved in the final decision making and is doing parts in what they are skilled in. Something we wish we did, was involve the help of wine and cheese! We’ve been doing that now with other conversations we need to have, so definitely wish we made wedding planning that little more extra fun.
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Any stand out vendors for the day? Someone that went above and beyond?
‘Take it back to New’ is who we went with to decorate different parts of the wedding, as well as take on the role of other vendors! Including floristry! They were so easy to work with. They put flowers on our triangle arch when it was moved to the reception without me even knowing, and I LOVED it! She has an eye for beauty and everything looked amazing. She sourced the gum for the greenery in the reception, made the button holes, did the flower vases for the afternoon tea, made multiple beautiful macramĂ© pieces and her husband made the signs. Both of them put in so much effort and stayed longer hours during decorating just so it looked perfect. Real gems. Hit her up on Instagram! 
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Wedding songs:
Aisle song: River by Leon Bridges
Recessional: Crazy in Love by Beyoncé
First Dance: Peace by Afia Mai , then half way through busted out into white chicks dance ‘It’s Tricky’

Wedding date: 1/12/18
Number of guests: 140

Hair Hair by Claire @hairstylingbyclaire 
Makeup Emily Mcrgrath Makeup @emilymcgrathmakeupartist 
Dress Raffaele Ciuca Bridal @raffaeleciucabridal 
Grooms outfits Mr. Simple @mrsimplegoods 
Bridesmaids dresses Spell @spell + Pastel Designs @shoppasteldesigns 
Photographer Smokey Oscar @Smokey_oscar
Wedding Location: Barwon Heads Beach 
Reception The Barn, Wallington
Welcome sign Paint the town @paintthetowndesigns 
Bouquets & Flowers on arch Two is Company @2iscompany 
Decoration (Macrame, flower vases, greenery, signs) 
Take it Back to New @takeitbacktonew 
Rings Rutherford
Catering Fat Cat Catering @fatcatsvan 
Cake Pelligra Cakes @pelligracakes