Rhys & Merinda’s Real Wedding

The couple grew up in the country, and dreamt of a relaxed and rustic wedding.

How did you and your partner meet?

During the Moto GP of 2005 we were both staying on Philip Island in a house share.  I was there with my friends and Rhys was with his family. I had been out one night and when we came back to the house, there was a cute guy sitting by himself on the couch that we hadn’t met yet. I went over to say hi and we spent the whole night chatting. Over 10 years later I couldn’t be happier that I had the courage to go over and talk to him!

How did he propose?
We were driving down to the Peninsula on Christmas Eve to a one year old’s birthday party before continuing on to my family’s place for Christmas. We were driving in complete silence and I remember thinking how strange that was and how boring we were. We clearly didn’t have anything to talk about! Suddenly Rhys asked if I wanted one of my presents. I’d given him his earlier that day so I said yes, thinking once we stopped or got to mum’s place he would give me my present. 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. He didn’t say anything and just kept quickly glancing at me while I opened it.  I looked inside and there was just a single diamond in the box. I wondered where the other one was, still thinking it was earrings! Then it suddenly hit me and Rhys had a big smile on his face and asked if I wanted to get married. I cried, asked if he was sure, and then replied yes – of course! It caught me completely by surprise which is just the way he wanted it!

What’s your most important piece of advice for creating and maintaining a strong relationship?
My biggest advice is to go with the flow, don’t rush things and definitely don’t compare your relationship to other people’s! I’ve learnt that every relationship is different. I think it’s good to be content and happy with your partner and what you have together. Be ‘in the moment’ instead of worrying about the future and what might or might not happen between you.

Tell us about your wedding gown and how you chose it:
I’ve never been much of a ‘girlie girl’. I knew I wanted something simple and soft without too much glitz and formality. I never wanted to spend a fortune on a dress either so I looked online for inspiration. I came across the website BHLDN which is based in the US, and I instantly fell in love with the gowns they showcased. After reading lots of reviews, and knowing it was a reputable site, I finally took a leap of faith and ordered a simple strapless gown with a fitted bodice and flowing tulle skirt. Once it arrived I was relieved as it looked like the picture and only needed minor alterations to fit me properly. I added straps to make me feel more comfortable and a diamante belt to give it a bit of sparkle without being over the top! The cost was less than $500 and I couldn’t have been happier with the end result.

What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
We are both pretty relaxed and laid back and having grown up in the country it was an easy decision to go with rustic décor. The venue we chose could be styled to be very formal and modern or rustic and relaxed – we went with the latter! Lots of mason jars, flowers, fairy lights and candles were scattered around the venue. On the deck we had wine barrels to use as tables where you could stand and watch the sunset over the beach. The staff at ‘True South’ did a great job setting up the main areas for the reception and I owe the rest of the styling to my girlfriends and family who carried out my vision beautifully!

What was your favourite moment from the day?
The photos we had on the beach as the sun was setting. Although by this stage I was in party mode and didn’t want to leave the reception, it was actually lovely to get away and spend a moment together, just the two of us, so we could take a breath, talk and just be with each other. Darin timed this perfectly creating my favourite moment and taking my favourite photos from the day.

Any DIY décor elements?
I really wanted to do as much as possible myself. I found inspiration and tips on Pinterest which inspired me to give the craft side of things a go. In the end most of the decorations and decor were hand made by myself with plenty of talented friends and family contributing. We managed to turn mason jars into beautiful vases, make a pop-up Polaroid photo corner with props, and the wedding cake (plus every cup-cake) was hand made and decorated by my mum. We were also very fortunate that a very good friend of ours made scented candles to give to our guests as wedding favours. Another friend’s father made small wooden tags to attach to each candle. Our guests absolutely loved them!

If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
Both Rhys and I agree that if we could have a do-over we would take time to practice our vows! I was pretty relaxed and happy to just wing that part on the day as we’d just be repeating what was said to us. Looking back now though, we would definitely rehearse that part of the ceremony a lot more. We were both so nervous when that part came around we could have done with a bit more preparation!

I’d also make more time to eat the beautiful food we had. I got so caught up talking with everyone I barely ate a thing. The next day everyone was talking about how amazing the food was and I couldn’t help but kick myself for not having more!

Any tips that you can give to future brides?
Enjoy the day as it goes so quickly! Don’t sweat the small stuff and just enjoy yourself and have fun with the people you love. Also be prepared to feel a bit out of sorts after the wedding. So much planning and preparation goes into the day it can feel a bit strange getting back to your normal life where all your time isn’t dedicated to crossing things off a list!

The Team

Photographer: Darin Collision
Dress: BHLDN
Hair & Makeup: Simone – Pink Gloss
Shoes: Jeanette Maree 
Accessories: Love On Jewellery

Grooms Suit: Formal Red
Menus and Place Cards: BWedding Invitations
Flowers  & Cake – By a Family Member
Ceremony Venue: Black Rock House and Gardens
Reception Venue: True South  Black Rock

Wedding Invitations: Adorn Invitations



Leave a Reply