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A relaxed outdoors wedding in Victoria (starring an adorable ring bearer!)

A relaxed outdoors wedding in Victoria (starring an adorable ring bearer!)

Written by Katie Byrne

Melissa Meehan and Nicholas Campbell tied the knot in front of 104 guests at Coombe Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia.

Photographer: Milk Photography 

We met online. We lived down the road from each other, shared several mutual friends and had even been to the same parties at university, but it took the internet to get us together! It wasn’t an easy start, however, with Nick needing to move to Vancouver for a year two months after we met. A long-distance relationship can make or break you, luckily in our case it just brought us closer together.

Nick proposed in Córdoba, Spain. Three days earlier, we arrived in Madrid. Nick planned to propose after a romantic dinner on the restaurant balcony, but it was absolutely freezing so he went to Plan B – a rowboat proposal the next day. Plan B was a total washout and we drove south to Córdoba the next day.

After nearly getting our hire car stuck in an impossibly narrow village road (without having a single cross word with each other!) we headed out to dinner. Upon returning to our hotel, Nick said he wanted to check out the view from the balcony and led me upstairs.

Looking down upon the beautifully lit-up walled city, I noticed Nick was acting a little strange and the next thing I know there was a ring in front of me and he’s asking me to marry him. He’d been carrying it around in his pocket for the past four days and somehow managed to hide it from me (and not get pick-pocketed!). Of course I said yes, and the rest is history!

The key to a strong relationship is communication. Having begun our relationship long-distance, Nick and I developed a solid foundation through honest and open communication. Sometimes it can be difficult to raise or discuss things that you’d rather ignore, but we believe in sorting things out as they occur, respecting each other’s differences and always coming from a place of compassion and empathy to further strengthen our bond and help each other grown over time.

The Yarra Valley was an easy choice for our wedding location as we visited this area when Nick visited from Vancouver and it held many significant memories. Coombe was our top pick: its history and glorious big oak tree meant it was perfect for the ceremony. The reception venue, with its large windows and modern yet classic décor, fit our style perfectly. The gorgeous grounds also provided the perfect backdrop for our photos.

I have always enjoyed designing my own dresses but with a five-month engagement, I didn’t have much time.

In the end, I found a beautiful dress at L’Amour Bridal Boutique, but worked with the super talented Reingard to recreate the top. Her attention to detail and dedication was amazing, even staying up all hours to hand-sew hundreds of Swarovski crystals onto the lace. It fit like a glove and I couldn’t have been happier with the end result!

We wanted the day to have a mixture of classic and formal elements, but a relaxed and warm feel with neutral tones and elements of nature.

We’re both animals lovers and I am a vet, so it was really important for our dog, Mia, to be part of the ceremony. She was our ring bearer and wore a custom-made collar that was hand-engraved and dressed with fresh flowers to match my bouquet.  

I have two favourite moments of the day. Walking up the aisle with my dad, seeing Nick’s face. He was trying to hide his tears, but I could see them. We just locked eyes and everything else just disappeared for that moment. It was magical.

The second was when Mia delivered our rings – she just sprinted down the white carpet straight to us with her little flower-adorned collar, completely oblivious to the meaning of her entrance or the event.

All she wanted to do was lick our faces and tell us how happy she was to see us! It was very grounding and made everyone relax and have a good laugh

There's just one thing I'd change. In all the excitement, we completely forgot to get our Mia to join us for the photos. She was busy stealing hors d’oeuvres off our guests so I don’t think she minded!

My advice for future brides? Enjoy each moment of the day, it really does go by so quickly. Don’t worry about the weather or any mishaps (they make for a memorable day) and make sure you remember why you’re there, to marry the love of your life, so as long as that happens nothing else really matters!

Steal their style!

Dress: L’Amour Bridal Boutique Shoes: Jimmy Choo Mia's collar: Willow Dog Designs Invitations: Adorn Invitations Cake: Splendid Servings Flowers: Jumping Jonquils Venue: Coombe Yarra Valley