It’s the summer of 2013 and Raina was on her way to an event at the Gold Coast Turf Club. Just before she hopped out of the taxi, the driver said to her “Have fun! I met my soul mate at the races!”. Raina laughed it off, jumped out of the taxi and walked into a room full of people.
Cue the movie magic moment when she locks eyes with Sam across the room and they both knew. This was it.
The Proposal: After 6.5 years together, Raina and Sam were holidaying in Tasmania. Sam was hurrying Raina to get to the top of Mount Amos. Once they reached the peak, they set the camera up to take a picture like they always do at their favourite spots. Just as the timer was about to go off, Sam got down on one knee and asked Raina to marry him.
The Wedding: After they got engaged, Raina and Sam were excited to host a wedding and invite all their family and friends to the big day! After some thought, they realized they would rather invest in an epic honeymoon instead, so decided to elope in Sydney with their two best friend’s as their witnesses.
Their day was made even more special with the presence of Sam’s parents and two brothers, Raina’s mum and stepfather and Hayley Rafton, their photographer whom they’re now friends with.
The wedding was held outdoors at Kirrabilli Park and was organised by Just Married Weddings.
The icing on the cake? Overcast, rainy weather. The couple’s favourite!
The Bouquet: Raina made her own bouquet with baby’s breath, greenery and a touch of burlap. She also wore baby’s breath in her hair.
The Vows: “Our vows were so raw, real and highlighted all the funniest moments in our relationship”
“After we said our vows, Hayley took the both of us aside for a private moment away from everyone. It allowed us to just be ourselves and behave like silly kids at a photoshoot! We were laughing so much!”
Favourite Moment: “Besides the official, you are now HUSBAND AND WIFE moment, I loved being able to get ready together. We felt so relaxed and weren’t bothered about breaking tradition. While Nicola, my best friend, and I were getting our pictures taken, Sam kept coming in to photobomb us and vice versa. Being able to travel hand-in-hand to our wedding was also really special and took away any pre-wedding jitters. Walking in and seeing our families at the same time was a really beautiful moment for us”
The Dress: Raina had bought a dress that was stunning, but more suited to a big wedding, so she was feeling a little unsure about her choice leading up to the big day.
At the very last minute (we aren’t kidding when we say it was at the VERY last minute), she had a change of heart and decided she was going to find a dress that she WANTED to wear and that felt right for her and the day.
“I went straight to the Twosisters the Label website and had a scroll. I like classic designs, I love lace and I didn’t want anything too long or short. Then I saw the Marilyn dress. I was hooked! Mind you, this was 2 days before the wedding! It was express posted to me and I got it just in time! When I opened it, I was so so very stoked and happy. I tried it on straight away and everything fell into place. I didn’t feel like this with my first dress. The Marilyn was the perfect dress for me and I felt so beautiful and confident”
Words of Advice? “I love weddings and always have since I was a little girl, but if you want the day to be about the love you have for one another and you want to focus solely on that, spend less. You don’t need all the bells and whistles because it’s so easy to lose sight of the true meaning of a wedding. Dresses these days can cost up to $3,000 but I was happiest in my perfect, beautiful, little Marilyn dress, at our perfect little Air BnB, with our perfect (and AMAZING!) photographer and our perfect little group of family and friends. It was the perfect marriage celebration in the perfect spot.
I guess my advice is not to lose sight of what you really want; to be married and to live out the rest of your lives together”