images by Lucas and Co
wedding 2 november 2019
78 guests

Meeting in 2010 at the Stock Exchange Hotel in Brisbane City, Leon approached the group of girls Melissa was with and after some small talk asked if  Melissa would join him for a drink at the bar. "We chatted and even had a little dance... he took my number and we went our separate ways. At around 2am I received a call from Leon to make sure I had made it home safely. Two weeks later we went on our first date and have been on our love journey ever since." Melissa shares.


how long were you together before your engagement? 8 years

the proposal: Leon surprised me with a late valentines gift for a weekend away at Halcyon House, Cabarita. The second night, we had booked in at the beautiful Paper Daisy Restaurant at the hotel. He told me dinner was at 7 but since we had such a great view from the balcony I should be ready by 6 so we could enjoy a champagne together. He popped a beautiful bottle and when I turned to top up my glass he was there asking me to stand as he dropped to one knee. The rest was a blur and the happy tears started flowing. It was so perfect - just us two being completely in the moment. 


what led you to decide on your Wedding venues? As we had a lot of family and friends that would be travelling from interstate and overseas, we wanted a destination that felt like we were on holiday with them all. We looked at a few spots up and down the coast but the moment I stepped foot onto a Newrybar Downs - I knew Leon would love it. A few weeks later we went back together and met with owners Pip and Greg who were the icing on the cake. A gorgeous property managed by a gorgeous couple. Once we picked the ceremony spot we knew we had to have Beach Restaurant for our reception. Owner Belinda was so helpful and made us feel super relaxed which was the vibe we wanted so once we met with her we locked it in. We were really happy with our mix of hinterland and seaside on the day. 


wedding theme inspiration? Our theme was modern and simple with a sophisticated relaxed vibe. I loved looking at weddings online that weren’t to over accessorised. That really used the beauty of the landscape and venue. I can become easily overwhelmed with too many details so we decided to use the beautiful venues as the focal points, keeping the colours neutral with pops of muted tones which totally came to life on the day. 

favourite moment: my top 2: The ceremony was one of our favourite moments. There is something really special about starring into each other eyes whilst our celebrant told our story back to us. We laughed and cried, it truely was the most magical part of the day. The speeches, particularly Leons. I’ve never heard Leon speak so beautifully and he really wore his heart on his sleeve which usually only I get to see. 


favourite detail: My mum made our cookie favours which looked amazing on the tables! A really close second were our flowers. Sarah from Florals and Co absolutely blew us away. I also was pretty stoked to see all the signage and dinner menus on the day as I had made those myself. It’s always a risk doing thing yourself with no experience but I was really happy with how it all turned out. 

how was your dress/suit shopping experience overall? My dress experience was one to remember! I actually picked it up about 12 months out from our wedding date at the Made With Love sample sale. We arrived about 45min before the doors opened and the line was down the street. We finally made it to the room 2 hrs later. The first dress I wanted to try had gone so I tried my second option ‘the Georgie’ and my Mum instantly cried! I knew it was the one so we paid on the spot and took the dress with us. Suit shopping at MJ Bale was also seamless. You can’t go wrong with the service there.


what does marriage mean to you? Excuse the soppy moment but Marriage for us was truly just a confirmation that we both are choosing to go through this crazy journey of life together, everyday until there are no more days. 

any classic stories you want to share from the day? My grandad who is in his 80s doesn’t have the best hearing so I don’t think he heard the first dance being introduced over the noise. Leon and I were mid dance when my grandad pushes through the crowed and comes on to the dance floor to say Goodnight. We both laughed so much as he had no idea what he was interrupting.


advice? Stop sweating the small stuff. No one will remember how the name cards look or if you have gold cutlery. If you can afford and arent driving yourself crazy trying to make every detail happen then do it but from a girl on a budget to another girl on a budget pick what’s important to you and focus on that. My only other piece of advice would be to get a wedding video! It’s worth every penny. Do your research, watch there previous work and go with your gut. 



stand out vendors: Someone that went above and beyond? Our videographer Kelly from fiddle fig & Jason from Lucas and Co photography. Our car did not turn up to take us to the reception. All our guests had left on the bus so it was only Kelly, Jason and us. Time was ticking and Kelly said “If you don’t mind the baby seat and mess you jump in the Jeep” We said yes and we were so greatful. I’m only 5.4 so Leon picked me up and threw me in the back seat of this huge Jeep and off we went.

We will be forever grateful to Kelly and always have a laugh when we think back to that moment. I also have to mention Jason, sometime I forgot he was even there and I mean that in the best way. He made Leon and I feel so comfortable during our photos which for two people who don’t take a great photo at the best of time was exactly what we needed. He let us do our thing but always knew when to offer advice to get the best out of our photos. We were very blessed with great vendors all round. Our celebrant Nat Connor from Rosie Love Ceremonies was amazing and calm. We had Elish Ellen a local Gold Coast girl singing Kiss me as I walked down the aisle and her voice gave us goosebumps.

images by lucas and co weddings photography made with love bridal floral design venue nsw groomwear bridal gowns

Melissa and Leon from Fiddle Fig Films on Vimeo.

wedding songs

Wedding Floral Designer Florals and Co @floralsandco
Images by Lucas and Co @joeyandjase 
Videography Fiddle Fig Film @Fiddlefigfilms
Cake Milk and Honey Cake Creative @milkandhoney.cakecreative 
Brides Dress Made with Love Bridal @madewithlovebridal 
Groomsuit MJ Bale @mjbale
Bridesmaid dresses Manning Cartel @manningcartell 
Groomsmen suits Politix @politixmenswear
Ceremony Newrybar Downs @newrybardowns
Reception Beach Restaurant @beachbyronbay
Celebrant Rosie Love Ceremonies @rosieloveceremonies _ 
DJ DJ Kristin Prior @dj_kristin 
Hair Aleesha Darke Hair @aleeshadarkehairstylist 
Make Up Makeup by Andri @makeupby_andri