Inside former ballerina, Brooke McAuley’s, dreamy wedding

When did you know you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together?

“We knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together when our lives felt better together than apart. As simple as that! Brent and I have been together over 10-plus years now, there was never a specific moment when ‘we knew’, it was always such an organic relationship that felt ‘right’ from the very start.”

How did you approach planning the wedding?

“Our approach to planning the wedding was staying true to ‘us’ throughout the whole process and not doing all the ‘wedding traditions’ if they didn’t align with our values. We chose three focus points to stick to that mattered most to us, which we kept coming back to when we got too caught up in ‘Pinterest’ inspo:

  1. No guests going hungry
  2. Epic entertainment!
  3. Epic venue!”

Please share the journey to finding your dream dress

“My wedding dress journey felt like an ever-evolving experience! It was a truly collaborative work of art which I loved being so involved in! The team at Mariana Hardwick were so professional, I never felt rushed or left without answers, they were an exceptionally punctual team even with covid lurking around before the wedding. Witnessing the sketch I’d made on paper evolve into a reality at each fitting was so exciting and quite mesmerising.”


What was your bridal beauty look?

“My inspiration for my hair and make-up was not too much make-up, not too little make-up, just the perfect happy medium with a little bit of ‘oomph’. As for hair, I knew it could potentially be very windy at our venue, so my bridesmaids and I all had our hair in low bun/ponytail styles which was a great call because it was indeed windy!”


You and your bridal party wore Homebodii to get ready for the wedding, what did you love about your Homebodii pre-wedding ‘moment’?

“It was what I wore as my last few hours spent as Miss McAuley! And gosh did I feel dreamy in my satin Brooklyn Bodysuitlace robe and white linen pjs (yes, I had two ‘costume' changes before I finally put my wedding dress on haha!). My Homebodii moment was also really special because my mum and five best friends also had their white Homebodii linen pjs on and we still all wear them to this day, so it’s always a nice reminder of that morning we all spent together on January 21, 2022.”


Style note: Brooke and her bridal party wore personalised Homebodii Riviera Linen PJ Sets in white to get ready for the wedding. Brooke also wore Homebodii Florence Luxury Slippers in eggshell blue personalised with her initials. The bride then wore a second beautiful Homebodii look – our Brooklyn Bodysuit in white and Kassiah Long Lace Robe.

A word of advice for brides-to-be:

“Remember to make time for yourself during the process.”

What were the standout styling on the day?

“The styling details that I loved were our personalised paper fans! Instead of name cards at our guests’ seats, we had paper fans hand calligraphied which each person’s name on them. Coincidentally, it was a scorching hot 35-degree day that carried into the night! There was not one fan unused at that reception! I also adored the Dinosaur Designs vases scattered throughout the tables, courtesy of my florist Alison from The Petal Project.”


What was the biggest surprise on the day?

“The most unexpected part of the day was enjoying our ceremony as much as we did! Of course, we were very much looking forward to this part of our day, however I think we were so focused in the planning of the reception, the timesheets, the seating charts etc (not to mention the planning of the recovery the following day) that we didn’t really focus too much on the ceremony. We loved it because it was the one part of the day where we felt SO present, it was so quiet and still outside and time really felt like it stopped for those 20 minutes. We also had a really special connection with our celebrant (now friend) Kahani (@kahanicelebrant) which helped :).”


When you look back on your wedding day now, how do you feel?

“Incredibly lucky to have such a large, loving and genuine group of friends and family in our lives, who all came to celebrate Brenton and me. I also feel very privileged to have been able to have the magical day that we did.”


What did you love about your venue?

“There was no curfew and all our guests could stay onsite the entire weekend, eliminating any transit/travel time! Rolling out of bed and into the recovery by the pool the following day was the best! Barunah Plains was such a special place to get married, it holds so much history and has such a classic Australian charm to it.”

Who helped bring your special day together?

“Our creative team! Our planner, Laura from Wanderlust Creative (@wanderlust_creative), was an absolute gun throughout the whole process! She was so patient with me and took all my crazy visions and turned them in to a reality! Providing many laughs along the way, she’s just such a great human.

Our florist (and my bridesmaid) Alison from The Petal Project (@the_petalproject), who created the most dreamy space I could have ever imagined. We just get together and are on the same page when it comes to aesthetics — so it was a really fun collaborative process with Alison. We’ve been doing creative projects together since we met in grade 7 at school.

Our photographers, Lyndel and Daniel from Lost In Love Photography (@lostinlove_photography), and our videographer, Dannika from Moon & Back Co (@moonandbackco). These guys were the absolute DREAM team to work with. They slipped into our day so seamlessly, felt like we were just hanging out with friends! They are exceptional at what they do.

Lastly, our entertainers, Ashley James On Sax (@ashleyjamesonsax) and Sammy ‘On’ Percussion (@sammyonpercussion). These guys had the dance floor absolutely jumping — to the point where the floor boards were bouncing so much I thought the entire wedding was going to fall through the floor.”


What are you most glad about when you look back at your beautiful wedding?

“We are so glad that we knew each and every guest on a very personal level. We were so glad that we made a choice to only invite those who we had both met and spent time with at least more than five times (each). It just made the whole day feel really genuine :). I think if Brenton was asked this question, he would say ‘videographer’. I had to push sooo hard to get that across the line (on top of a photographer) haha, however since getting our wedding video back, he is now ‘soooo glad we booked that’ (me rolling my eyes*).”


A final few words of advice for brides-to-be…

“Don’t be afraid to be selfish! I wish I focused more on myself — I think I was too worried about becoming a ‘bridezilla’ that I went the total opposite way, haha. I was too worried about creating an enjoyable experience for my guests and making sure they were going to be comfortable on site all weekend, that I left everything that I had to do for ‘me' to the last minute — like writing my speech in the make-up chair! Not fun. Your guests’ experience is important, yes, but it’s a balance. Remember to make time for yourself during the process.”