Surrounded by only their favorite people, Billie and Montana married at the incredible Green Cathedral in the forests surrounding the Central Coast of New South Wales.
How did the love story begin?
B: We have been together for five years now. I still can’t believe Mon has put up with me for this long! It all started when Montana added me on Facebook and made immediate plans to meet up and do the Colour Run.
M: My best friend Mitch and I embarked on an all-day adventure the day before meeting to try and track down the beloved sunflower (Billie’s favorite flower). Who knew this could be so difficult. But, four florists, the wrong season, and six hours later, we finally had the prized bunch and had everything we needed for the next day.
The day of was a beautiful sunny day in 2016. Mitch and I started our two-hour journey to Newcastle from Sydney. We performed live for an audience of each other the entire drive. Picking up Billie, her best friend Liam, and sister Suey to meet us there. We piled into my small hatchback Mazda and drove to Maitland for the color run. The laughs were infectious and instant, and the rain held off just until we had finished the walk. Sharing inside jokes, photos, and secret glances was a comfortable, secure, and happy beginning. With no one wanting the day to end, we all went back to Billie’s and made plans to continue the night out in Newcastle. Both Billie and I were completely unaware of the adventure in front of us from this day forward.
B: It all started on a morning with my best mate Liam. We were getting ready for a day full of laughs and some cheeky drinks. Nervously, waiting for her – the girl who would change my life. I can remember being in her car on the way to the color run, holding a bunch of sunflowers- my absolute favorite. She joked about bringing me a bunch of dead flowers- but they just hadn’t opened up yet. I can vividly remember glancing over at her and thinking to myself that she looked like my forever. We finally arrived at the Colour Run, where we met my sister Suey.
We later continued the laughs with some drinks out in the town. I didn’t keep my eyes off her and our hands constantly intertwined. And at that moment, I’d finally found my home.
Tell us about the proposal.
M: Let me set the scene – It was a beautiful day in Venice, approximately day nine into me smuggling an engagement ring through several European countries until we got to her favorite. I had pre-organized with the tour guide months before to be the first couple on a private gondola ride. I’m sure this is where she thought I would propose, but I didn’t. I had other plans. We finished our fantastic Gondola ride with full cameras and huge smiles. We jumped back onto the solid ground, and I attempted to nonchalantly confirm that the whole group had to make their own dinner plans and that I had been given a tip-off on where to go, but we had to go back and get ready at the hotel, NOW!!
Time was crucial, and the language was foreign, so getting back to the hotel was interesting. From the moment we returned to the hotel, Billie was telling me about this sudden headache she had. I threw fifty-eight packets of Nurofen at her and told her we had to get moving. She didn’t take me seriously. Did I mention that for months earlier, I had been exchanging many emails with a very high-end Michelin star-rated Italian restaurant, “Fiola at Dopolavoro?” I had given them strict instructions on our arrival time and organized them to section off a portion of the restaurant and have flowers everywhere.
We were two hours late and at the time of us traveling by boat to this restaurant it had started storming with heavy rain. I’m convinced she knew and that she wanted to make me work really hard. It worked. The outside display was ruined, and they salvaged what they could. We dined inside to a fantastic dinner, and I was full of nerves. I’m not sure I even spoke to her before I proposed to be honest! Dessert time came, and they whisked us off to a private area upstairs, and when she was at the top of the stairs and slowly putting together the pieces, I was already explaining to her the real reason I brought her here. I wouldn’t have it any other way because the look on her face is one that I will never forget.
Why did you choose The Green Cathedral as your weddig spot?
The Green Cathedral in Pacific Palms is as magical as it sounds. An outside Cathedral in the middle of a rainforest surrounded by a beautiful lake. How could you get married anywhere else? We had looked at a few different places, but as soon as we walked through the Green Cathedral, we knew it had to be the one! The photo’s from our special day will back this up.
What was the inspiration behind the vibe of your wedding?
We love the BOHO look – a free-spirited take on the traditional wedding. It has a feel that is earthy and inspired by nature and the beautiful outdoors. Braids, long hair, native flowers, greenery, macramé, and rattan! Our reception was right near the beach. We had a big basket of thongs with a sign saying “A treat for your dancing feet,” giving the day a relaxed kind of vibe!
Did you undertake any DIY projects for the big day?
We left most things up to our capable stylist! They did such a fantastic job. We wanted our big day to be as stress-free as possible. So we did DIY our wedding bonbonniere, which were personalised and special. We have always had this ongoing joke that we both enjoyed the first day of meeting as neither of us came up with a code word with our besties for “get me out of here” and used the example *Pineapple*! And this just became our thing. So we attached a beautiful gold pineapple bottle opener to the gifts.
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
I had organised to look at a few different places in Sydney with my best friend, Amy. Of course, I was running late, which meant I was limited for time. I had tried on many beautiful dresses, but they didn’t have that wow factor I was looking for. We arrived at the last place with a matter of minutes before it closed! Luckily enough, the first dress I tried on was the one! Everyone says, “you’ll know it when it’s the right one,” and it’s true!
Mon organised a day in Sydney with her mother and two closest friends. One of the first few dresses she tried on “was the one” but felt she didn’t want to jump the gun, so she kept trying others on. But, she kept thinking about the beautiful dress and how nothing else compared to it.
Talk to us about the big day!
B: It was perfect, even after I woke with a splitting headache from the couple of wines I had with the bride’s people the night before! I never drink, so I paid for it. But nothing a couple of Panadol couldn’t fix! We spent the night apart and got ready separately.
The wedding was small and intimate, which made it so much more personable. Nothing can ever prepare you for that moment at the end of the aisle when you’re looking into the eyes of the person you’re going to spend your life with, hand in hand, surrounded by your most loved ones. It truly is special. We were blessed with a fantastic Photographer- Dan, who really put the time and effort into making sure he captured the money makers, which we had a lot of run with. The food was honestly the best food we have ever tasted- our guests were still talking about how good it was days after the wedding! Everyone was on the dance floor in thongs (including the brides) by the end of the night.
People talk about how fast the day goes, and it’s all true. Before we knew it, our last song for the night was playing- Cardi B WAPP, and it was all over. But, we weren’t ready for our big day to be done, so we invited all our friends back to our Airbnb to continue the good times!
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
S-P-R-E-A-D-S-H-E-E-T-S. But also communication and job sharing, establishing a budget – and sticking to it. No doubt there is someone that will naturally be more involved in the communication side with the vendors, but the decision-making is always done together, and let your partner know when / if you are feeling overwhelmed. Because it’s a significant process, and you don’t have to do all of your checklists on the day.
Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Marrying the woman of my dreams was and always will be the best day of my life. It’s as if my life was on hold, waiting for her. Not for her to complete my life, but to start it. Never settle for less than the soul mate you have always imagined.
…and also if all the wedding cake doesn’t get eaten, DO NOT take it home. It is a trap, and you WILL eat it all. Especially if it’s as delicious as the wedding cake Montana and I had!
Photography by Wolf and Wildflower Photography