Number of Guests: 4 / Budget: $4,000 / Wedding Date: 31 May 2020
Meet the couple
Kari Beddall and Nicholas Tonkin met in Melbourne in 2014 when Kari was house-sharing in St Kilda with Nick’s cousin. They spent a few months seeing each other intermittently as Nick was working away and Kari was working a crazy job managing a nightclub. It took a year before they fully got together.
They took off to South America together and moved to Canada briefly before Nick was called back to work in Australia. He spent a year travelling to Canada to see Kari on his breaks before they finally moved to Melbourne together.
They are settled in the Eastern suburbs and have a rescue dog and a baby on the way.
“Nick proposed in Tulum, Mexico in 2017 on the beach with a ring that was custom made in Melbourne. He was so nervous, but of course I said yes and we spent a week in Tulum together enjoying the beach and food,” says Kari.
How did you choose your ceremony and reception venue?
“We wanted something outdoors with a woodsy/natural feel. Nick is from Kinglake, so it was one of the first places we started looking for venues. We found Forest Weddings (at Kinglake Forest Adventures) online and went for a showing with Michelle – we knew straight away it was where we wanted to be married.
What was your wedding theme?
No theme. We had a small ceremony with only four guests and the celebrant.
What made your wedding unique?
Our plans were interrupted by COVID-19 but not in the way you might think. We had always planned for a small simple ceremony and just our parents in attendance. But when we couldn’t have seven people outdoors together for the ceremony it was put on hold. I had luckily purchased my dress earlier in the year but due to all the shopping centre closures Nick didn’t have a suit, nor did any of the guests have any outfits organised. It was a bit of a mad dash to get them all sorted.
And I also fell pregnant! So, I was 12 weeks pregnant during the ceremony, which we knew might be a possibility when we picked our dates.
My parents also happened to be in Australia – which they are for only fiv months each year. But they spend four months in QLD and our wedding date was chosen based on them being in Melbourne for 48 hours before flying home to Canada. This was all decided before COVID-19 so when we got the go ahead for our ceremony (because the restrictions lifted to 10 people at weddings), we decided to proceed as we weren’t sure when my parents would be able to come back to Australia.
The biggest downfall was not being able to go out for dinner afterward. It would’ve been lovely to enjoy a meal out and celebrate the new coming together of families. Instead we had an Airbnb booked that we went to after the ceremony – leaving our parents to relax at our house.
Is there a story behind your dress?
I found my dress on stillwhite.com as someone bought it and had it alteredbut it never showed in time for their wedding date. I was lucky it still fitted me when I was 12 weeks pregnant. The dress was from Wear Your Love XO.
Tell us what made your day special.
Our wedding was special because we had our closest family with us in a small intimate ceremony. Our celebrant Zena Lythgo did a fantastic job in writing our ceremony and making everyone feel calm and comfortable. She was highly
professional and everyone was very impressed with her and what she was able to capture about our relationship.
We were a 45-minute drive from our house to the venue. Nick and my dad had arrived at the venue to decorate the arbour with flowers. I stayed back to get ready with my mum and MIL. My MIL’s partner arrived and drove us to the venue but halfway there we realised I’d left my bouquet at home. We decided to turn around and get it which made us 40 minutes late for the ceremony.
Driving into Kinglake it started to pour with rain. If we weren’t late it would’ve downpoured in the middle of the ceremony! We knew this time of year was tricky and rain was always a possibility. We waited in the car and after a few minutes the rain stopped. The forest floor was wet, but it wasn’t an issue. It made for beautiful photos.
What makes your marriage?
Nick and I have spent much of our five years together, apart. He has worked away from the day I met him until March this year. We have lived in separate countries, but we have always maintained a strong relationship.
Our marriage is only seven weeks old but since we have lived together for years and had long bouts of time apart it feels like we have been married for the last few years anyway. Our marriage is based on communication, honesty and trust. Without those three things, we wouldn’t be married today.
What’s your best advice for planning the perfect wedding?
Keep it simple! And do exactly what you want. Don’t worry about what anyone else wants as it’s your ceremony and your day.
What were the highlights?
Being in the hometown where Nick grew up and getting married in the bushland where the fire came through had significant meaning to us. It was oddly beautiful with all the burnt trees and new growth intertwining – a juxtaposition of hard times and persistence.”
Ceremony and Reception Venue | Forest Weddings
Photographer | Journey by Light
Rings | Jasmine Fraser Jewellery
Wedding Bands | Her: Brilliant Earth , Him: GN Jewellers
Bridal gown |Wear Your Love XO