Alana & Luke | LJ LOVERS
Alana and Luke won our hearts with their beautiful story of being both engaged and married in the rain. As we all know the weather can cause a lot of stress in lead up to the big day but Alana and Luke's experience teaches us to embrace the uncertainties and look at them as something truly special. Continue reading to hear all about their big day.
A huge congratulations to you both! We are so honoured we were able to play a small part in your big day, could you tell us a little more about how you two got engaged and also married in the rain?
Thank you so much! Luke and I went on a little trip to Nelson Bay in NSW at the beginning of 2020. I had just recovered from major knee surgery and we were off to celebrate that - or so I thought. One morning we woke early to watch the sunrise, it was pouring with rain and after some convincing on both ends, we were up to take in the stormy sites of the beautiful coastal town. Whilst walking hand in hand, Luke told me he had something to give me and to close my eyes. After a heavy discussion of who was going to hold the umbrella, I opened my eyes to Luke down on one knee, ring in hand with the biggest smile. Choking back tears, he asked me to marry him with the most beautiful LJ ring.
Fast forward 16 months and it was our wedding day and like every bride, I checked the weather forecast constantly. It changed daily and there was really no saying what the weather was going to be like. I woke up early and went for a stroll with my bridesmaids, it was an absolutely gorgeous day without a cloud in sight. As the day progressed so did the clouds and the stormy weather.
Just as we were about to head to the ceremony, it started pouring. I was worried about our guests staying dry and warm. However, as soon as I turned the corner to the aisle and saw Luke, all stress and worry about the rain was completely forgotten.
The rain continued through the evening with a small break for photos and once we returned to the reception we decided to embrace the weather and do our first dance in the rain. It was so magical. We kept it private and it was by far our favourite part of the day.
Weather often causes a lot of brides stress and uncertainty, Alana could you share some advice on how to embrace it?
My absolute best advice is - just embrace it! The weather can’t be controlled.
Of course, there was the initial disappointment, but once I saw my now-husband at the end aisle, the weather became so insignificant, that we, as well as our guests barely noticed.
My girlfriends often say how amazing it was, it made the whole event even more intimate and cosy.
My advice for any events with weather uncertainties is to grab some umbrellas and ensure you have a wet weather option. The most important part, as mentioned above, is - to embrace it! The photos you will get will be amazing and you will have the best time celebrating regardless of the weather.
At the end of the day if you get to call your best friend your husband/wife then mission accomplished. Weather will not matter.
How did your special day start/end?
I started the day with a beautiful walk with my bridesmaids and returned to breakfast with champagne. We listened to music and danced the morning away whilst getting ready.
My Husband, Luke, helped our coordinator set up the heavy items and then had some beers with his bridal party and friends. Once ready he headed down to the venue and welcomed all our guests.
Then the ceremony started and my dad walked me down the aisle to Here Comes The Sun - Luke often refers to me as his sunshine so this song is quite sentimental and also quite ironic whilst the rain set in for the day.
The night finished off exactly how we wished. Luke and I, as well as guests often leave events hungry and stop off at the first takeaway place that’s open so as an extra special bonus for our guests we organised for our amazing caterers to bring out fresh sandwiches for all our guests as they left. It was the perfect send-off, eating food and saying goodbye to our beautiful friends and family.
Our beautiful venue offered accommodation so we were able to stroll back to our room hand in hand as husband and wife - in the rain...
What was the vision for the wedding? Looking back now is there anything you would do differently?
Going into the wedding we both decided we wanted our guests to feel as loved as we did. Our most important aspect was to ensure everyone was well fed and hydrated. We opted for a shared banquet and served two different cocktails as well as champagne, beer and wine.
For dessert, we had a beautiful cake and had sandwiches made before our guest's departure.
We added different items to our wedding to ensure everyone was comfortable such as blankets, slippers and stubby holders, as well as special place cards using nicknames or personal jokes.
Being a florist, I completely took over the styling of the venue and Luke had a small input - when I let him (haha). The venue was so beautiful and really didn’t need a lot. We kept it very simple and classic and as I was doing most of the floral styling myself I didn't want to give myself too much work. We opted for neutrals and kept it very clean and crisp. I used a combination of fresh and preserved flowers.
In short, there is absolutely nothing I would change, like all events/weddings there were a few setbacks but nothing that wasn’t sorted or could be forgotten. It truly was the most beautiful day.
Luke, we’d love to know why you chose Louise Jean to help create the perfect engagement ring. How was your experience and what made the Emerald Ceremonial Solitaire ‘the one’ for Alana?
I had been thinking about proposing to Alana for a while and was struggling to find the right jeweller. Until one day we were out celebrating a friend's engagement when the conversation of engagement rings came up. She showed her friends the jeweller she loved and out of the corner of my eye trying to not be suspicious I caught the name, Louise Jean.
Once home, I quickly looked them up and they all looked like her style, so it wasn't necessarily the easiest decision. Alana is modern and likes the minimal look. Scrolling through the designs the emerald solitaire caught my eye.
Once I had chosen, I emailed Louise Jean and they were so helpful. The sizing was the hardest part. I secretly measured one of Alana’s rings and went to our closest jeweller and grabbed the measurement. Once I had that I emailed the size. They promptly replied, questioning the size and asking me about the ring I had measured. After a quick back and forth they suggested downsizing by 2 sizes. I was surprised and a little nervous but I trusted them as they were so easy to deal with and definitely knew what they were doing. They were right. It was a perfect size and fit like a glove, it didn't have to be resized at all.
What is your most fond memory of each other?
There are wayyyy too many. We’ve done so many amazing things together - travelled, built our own businesses, moved houses and picked up our beautiful girl (Ivy our Great Dane) just to name a few.
What are your thoughts on ceremonial traditions and did you include any on the big day?
We weren’t big on traditions however a few did sneak into the wedding.
A few that snuck in were - I wore white and shared a dance with my Dad who also walked me down the aisle. Luke and I cut the cake together (before he put a handful in my face) and we didn't see each other the morning of the wedding. Other than that we tried to keep things unique and carefree.
Some of the non-traditional things we included in the wedding were having two maids of honour/ best men. We just couldn't decide so we had both!
During the ceremony, my mum held my bouquet and our beautiful celebrant helped us tailor our ceremony, leaving our big kiss at the end after already signing our certificate. We both loved the idea of our recessional song being loud, our guests cheering and rose petals thrown at us whilst we kissed each other as husband and wife. It was magical.
We thought long and hard about our vows and truly poured our hearts into them, so we decided to do our vows in silent, just for each other to hear. We laughed and cried with each other and a lot of guests expressed how intimate and beautiful it was to watch.
At the reception, my husband and I did a joint speech and we had our first dance in private outside in the rain.
In regards to wedding planning what has been the easiest decision? And what has been the hardest?
The hardest decision was the flowers! How could I possibly choose when there are so many beautiful options. We ended up opting for a clean and classic theme and chose the flowers to match.
The easiest decision was the food. We had a tasting a few months prior and it was so delicious. We had already decided on our full menu even before leaving the tasting.
Another easy decision was to hire a coordinator. As our venue was complete DIY, I didn’t want myself, my husband or our bridal party running around the morning trying to get it all organised. She ensured everything ran smoothly and they offered bump-out services the next day. I highly, highly recommend an on the day coordinator and the day after clean up package if they offer it.
What does marriage mean to you both?
In our vows, we chose to include what marriage meant to us. We both included love and support and how marriage was the ultimate commitment to each other. We both promised to always be together through thick and thin, supporting and inspiring, continuing to laugh, fight, and annoy each other.
What is it most memorable gift/ act of service you have received from each other?
2020 was an extremely difficult year for us, as it was for everyone. Whilst dealing with the stress of covid, I, unfortunately, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
Luke did everything for me to ensure I was supported and loved. It was a terrible time, however, it brought us closer together. I relied on Luke so heavily and he was there for me at every turn.
It’s not a happy memory by any means however it is one of our most important. If we can get through that together still smiling and loving each other, we can get through anything.