Niki Blanch had a soft spot for Luke Mahaffey all through high school, and mid-way through their final year, a mutual friend played cupid. Within weeks, they were officially dating, and years later, Luke proposed during a lazy Sunday breakfast at a cafe. The couple planned a gorgeous wedding ceremony in a leafy park south of Newcastle overlooking Pelican Marina. White lanterns hung from the trees as guests assembled on Hamptons-style chairs placed either side of an aisle scattered with white rose petals.
The bride was a vision of glamour when she arrived in the Mariana Hardwick gown she found on her first day looking for wedding gowns.
“The sequinned fabric was like nothing I’d ever seen; it fitted every inch of my body and highlighted my features. When you know, you know,” she laughed.
“We found her gorgeous tulle dress online, and it made a perfect statement,” Niki said.
Much like the ceremony, the cocktail-style reception at an adjacent restaurant was simple yet sophisticated. The venue opened on to the water and also overlooked the park where the couple had exchanged their vows. Flowing white fabric cascaded from ceiling beams, and tables were decorated with tea lights and square vases bursting with carnations.
The newlyweds said there was nothing they would have changed about their day; it was exactly what they wanted, while still including all of the special people that mattered most to them.
Gown: Marianna Hardwick | Photographer: James Bennett | Ceremony & reception venue: Milanos On The Lake | Reception Decorations: Bride Chairs from Cupid’s Corner | Shoes: Wanted Shoe Co | Engagement & wedding rings: Whitakers Jewellers | Groom’s attire: Gentlemen’s Outfitters | Bridesmaids’ outfits: Alannah Hill | Flowers and floral decorations: Belflora | Make up: Karlee Davis | First Night: Crowne Plaza, Newcastle | Honeymoon: Vanuatu