Melissa & Harry’s Lush Tropical Wedding in Port Stephens

Words by Amy Richardson / Images by Stories with Mel
September 4, 2018

Ah, the classic Aussie/Brit love story that is the UK working holiday! When Harry’s visa expired and he made the journey back home to Oz, a love-struck Melissa followed. Captured by Stories with Mel, their coastal Port Stephen’s wedding was a new take on tropical luxe with textural greenery and high impact blooms by Botanica Bird.

We love hearing where brides get their styling inspiration, and Melissa’s all started when she clapped eyes on a richly hued, tropical patterned fabric. Using the piece for the table runners, the style of the day was built around lush palms and bright statement blooms while grounding the tropical palette with earthy tones and textural elements. A stylist by trade, Melissa was well prepared for the challenge of creating a vibe that was original and fresh. She shares, “With everything in the wedding, I went with what felt natural rather than trying to replicate someone else’s day.”

After moving to the gorgeous Hunter region from Sydney, a chance visit to The Anchorage had Melissa and Harry head over heels for the laid-back vibes of the lush sea-side spot. Elevating the space, bold and structural blooms by Botanica Bird worked in harmony with the Melissa’s tropical vision and the cool blue of the coastal backdrop. The bride shares, “I gave Rachael a very loose brief. I wanted her to interpret the space and my styling design in her own way and create something which was unique. I had chosen her for her incredible talent and didn’t want to restrict it.”

blush bridesmaid dresses
Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage
bridesmaids getting ready classic bride in Atelier Pronovias wedding dress
Melissa had already found her dream Atelier Pronovias dress back in the UK when she was first engaged, and was lucky enough to find it back home in Australia on Still White. She paired her dress with neutral Nine West heels, a floor length cathedral veil and bespoke earrings by her favourite jewellery designer Alison de Thélème.
coastal wedding with tropical florals coastal wedding with tropical florals Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage blush bridesmaid dresses with tropical bouquets Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage oversize tropical bridal bouquet
Melissa and Harry chose celebrant Nell Dark Jones to make things official. They tell us "Nell was so laid back and organised, she didn’t miss a detail and tailored our wedding to suit us. We went with the traditional vows and filled in a questionnaire about each other from which Nell spoke about Harry and I. This personalised touch was really lovely."
tropical tablescape with hanging greenery
tropical tablescape with hanging greenery
tropical tablescape with rattan placemats
hanging tropical greenery installation hanging tropical greenery installation trio of homemade wedding cakes
Melissa’s superstar mum made their trio of wedding cakes, prosecco and raspberry Bundt cakes with prosecco icing. Chin-chin!
Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage blush bridesmaid dresses and tropical bouquets
Melissa’s bride tribe wore dresses from Dotti in soft blush, matching the bride’s shoes and pink suede jacket which she donned for the evening festivities.
blush bridesmaid dresses and tropical bouquets classic bride with tropical bouquet tropical bridal bouquet with blush orchids
Botanica Bird created Melissa’s gorgeous structural bouquet from striking greenery, roses, natives and orchids in a subdued palette. The bride shares, “Rachael was absolutely amazing! A real talent and artist who pushes the boundaries of floristry design.”
relaxed groomsmen style blush and black bridal party Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage modern classic bride with cathedral veil bride in pink suade jacket bride in pink suade jacket
"Our Photographer Mel (of Stories with Mel) was amazing. She really made us feel relaxed especially as I hate having my photo taken. We barely noticed the camera on the day and everyone was at ease. Mel met with us prior to the wedding and talked through what shots we wanted and what style we wanted."
Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage Port Stephens wedding with lush tropical vibes at The Anchorage

Credits

Images Stories with Mel | Bride's Dress Atelier Pronovias | Bride's Shoes Nine West | Bridesmaid's Dresses Dotti | Groom's Suit Joe Black | Rings Alison de Theleme | Hair Empire Artistries | Makeup Steff Matheson | Celebrant Nell Dark Jones | Flowers Botanica Bird | Entertainment Silent Shout | Stationery/Invitations Jamie Pritchard | Venue & Catering Anchorage Port Stephens | Styling & Props Melissa McMeekin | Chair Hire Beavis Party | Lighting Temple and Webster | Wedding rings Wade Taranto |


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Therapeutic Aesthetics 2 weeks ago

What a tropical paradise! I love how the photos are so rich and vibrant in color! Great team 🙂

Elle Weddings 2 weeks ago

Any wedding by the beach is a wonderful one! Especially with all the palm leaves in the decor and all the smiles and laugher during the wedding! Great share!!

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