'We actually met at a wedding!' laughs April when asked to recount her and Neal's romantic tale. 'I had worked at the venue for years and Neal had been sent there that day to temp because we were short-staffed! It wasn't long before we found ourselves serving welcome drinks together to guests in a tipi surrounded by fairy lights and candlesâ€¦ all very romantic! The rest is history!'
Their engagement took place during another romantic outing with 'a surprise night away by the sea in Newquay. We went for a lovely meal followed by a walk on Fistral Beach just after the sun had set, and that's where Neal got down on one knee and popped the question!' remembers April.
'We both wanted a rustic venue and Trenderway has so much charm and character,' she explains of their venue choice. 'The ceremony room is just magical and made me cry when we went to view it ' that's how we knew it was the one!' Trenderway's welcoming warmth was an instant winner and allowed them exclusive use for the weekend. 'Even though it was only just over an hour away from home, it also felt like a weekend away!' adds April.
A natural palette of eucalyptus green, sage and neutral tones effortlessly blended the indoors with the venue's idyllic surrounds. 'We were inspired by Trenderway's natural and earthy colours as well as the beautiful countryside,' says April. 'I also loved the gorgeous green paint of the doors and windows. On the day everything just tied in so nicely!'
Tapping into her creative side, April handmade much of the decor herself, including the place names, centrepieces, table numbers, seating plan and signage, which all beautifully reflected the rustic, nature-inspired aesthetic.
The outfits were chosen to reflect the couple's individual sense of style while also carrying the theme: April, in a gorgeous floral lace gown, was flanked by her bridesmaids in sage green. Meanwhile, Neal opted for a neutral linen suit that paired perfectly with his groomsmen's matching trousers and tan braces.
The decorations were a combination of the professional and personal, with florist Marisa of Flowers With M creating the bouquets and buttonholes, and April arranging various displays throughout the venue. 'There was a bit of late night pampas foraging and drying out in the lead-up!' she says.
Rain clouds greeted them on their wedding day, 'but as soon as we stepped out of the ceremony room as husband and wife the sun was shining!' reflects April, who was then whisked off for photos while guests enjoyed canapÃ©s, fizz and acoustic music performed by a friend. 'He has the most beautiful voice. It was the perfect vibe while people were mingling in the courtyard in the sunshine,' she says.
Upon returning to the main barn for the wedding breakfast, April and Neal joined guests for a 'fun and relaxed' rustic banquet that included mixed mezze sharing boards of seared beef carpaccio, Asian black bean chicken wings and loaded fries. Post-dinner, everyone gathered outdoors for blue skies, more music and garden games ahead of the evening reception featuring street food, a DJ set and a magical evening's end.
'When it got dark, we lit the firepit and had the marshmallow toasting station in full swing under the gorgeous twinkly lights that illuminated the courtyard. The day was super relaxed and was everything we had hoped for and more!' she reminisces.
'We loved having a wander through the meadow and finding the big rustic swing!' reveals April as one of her and Neal's fondest memories from the day. 'We had a lot of fun down there with our photographer. It was honestly just the best day of our lives!'