Merinda and Rhys are both well known for being relaxed and laid back, so when it came to the proposal, Rhys wanted it to be a simple surprise.
While driving down to The Peninsula on Christmas Eve, Rhys suddenly asked Merinda if she wanted one of her presents early.
“I said yes, thinking once we stopped he would give me my present, but instead he reached down into his side console (while driving) and handed me a box. At this stage I was still clueless and got excited asking if it was new earrings.”
Rhys kept quickly glancing at Merinda as she finally opened the box and was stunned to see a single diamond ring.
Having both grown up in the country it was an easy decision to have a rustic themed wedding.
“Mason jars, flowers, fairy lights and candles were scattered around the venue, and the deck was supplied with wine barrels to use as tables where you could stand and watch the sunset over the beach.”
Gaining lots of inspiration from Pinterest, Merinda decided that she wanted to have as many DIY elements as she could.
“Most of the decorations and décor were handmade by myself with plenty of talented friends and family contributing.
“We turned mason jars into beautiful vases, made a pop-up polaroid photo corner with props, and the wedding cake (plus every cupcake) was handmade and decorated by my mum.”
The favourite moment of the happy couple was when they left the reception to take photos down by the beach at sunset.
“It was lovely to get away and spend a moment together, just the two of us, so we could take a breath and just be with each other.”
All photography by Darin Collison
Photographer: Darin Collison
Ceremony Venue: Black Rock House and Gardens
Reception Venue: True South – Black Rock
Bridal dress designer: BHLDN
Bridal shoes: Jeanette Maree
Bridal jewellery: Love on Jewellery
Cake designer: My mother – Mary Smith
Florist: Friends of the family, who own a native flower farm in Balnarring, picked and arranged by myself
Invitation designer: Adorn Invitations
Menus and Place Cards: BWedding Invitations
Hairdresser & Makeup: Simone from Pink Gloss
Written by Ellen Kirkness