Sarah & Neil

After a long distance romance, Sarah Fry and Neil Chin said hello to palm trees and velvety lawns, tying the knot stateside at a sunny San Diego castle. 

  • Photography by Amy Kate Photography

The beginning of our long distance love story started as a conversation on the online dating app OKcupid. I was living in Melbourne at the time and Neil was in San Diego, both thinking it would be a great way to make a new friend. As the conversations continued, our connection became stronger and before long, a plane ticket was booked so I could meet him for the first time in Hawaii. We had an amazing holiday together, so I returned just three months later. You can imagine my surprise when, just before I was due to head home to New Zealand, he got down on one knee. 

Sarah & Neil

Our ceremony and reception were held at Mt Woodson Castle in Ramona, California, which is owned by Neil's aunt and uncle. Its historical stone building lent a warm vibe, while the lush lawn made a great spot for dinner on a balmy California evening. 

Family, friends and the team at Mt Woodson created bouquets and arranged decorations such as lanterns, colourful vintage books and vases filled with petite flowers. I loved the unfussy look of our styling, especially the mini succulents and the globe 'guest book', which symbolised our long distance love story. It's now on display in our apartment. 

Sarah & Neil
Sarah & Neil
Sarah & Neil

Instead of a traditional bridal dress, I wore a French lace-embroidered crop top and floor-sweeping tulle skirt. Both by chic Australian designers, the pieces were playful, sexy, cute and classic all in one look. I felt they represented my personality well, something I think every bride hopes for in a dress. 

Sarah & Neil

Wanting to give my bridesmaids the same freedom to express themselves, I sent them a Pinterest inspired moodboard and colour scheme and let them choose their dresses based on these. I didn't see their attire in person until the day before our nuptials, but felt confident the girls would do a great job styling themselves. 

I'll never forget how it felt to exchange vows. We wrote our own, and being able to declare our love for one another in front of family and friends was a real testament to our journey. We also both had a giggle at the altar when Neil eagerly said "I do" before he was meant to! 

Sarah & Neil
Sarah & Neil

Something I learned: There's no need to aim for perfection – it's the little imperfections that make the day unique.

THE DETAILS: Bride's attire GRACE LOVES LACE, MADE WITH LOVE | Hair BLO BLOW DRY BAR – GASLAMP | Makeup MARGARET J MAKEUP | Groom's and groomsmen's attire BANANA REPUBLIC, PERRY ELLIS | Catering PERSONAL TOUCH DINING | Cake YUMMY CUPCAKES | Celebrant LAMONT JONES | Venue MT WOODSON CASTLE | Photography AMY KATE PHOTOGRAPHY | Music RYAN KEYES-LEE | First dance song MOVED BY YOU BY INDIA ARIE | Processional song MAKE IT TO ME BY SAM SMITH | Recessional song ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME BY COLDPLAY. 

Would you like to submit your wedding to be considered for '"Wedding of the Week"? Email [email protected] with the date you were married, the location, and at least a dozen images – the more details the better. We will only publish weddings that have not been published elsewhere, with the sole exception being your photographer's website.

PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY CONTINENTAL EVENT HIRE - FOR ALL YOUR WEDDING HIRE NEEDS!


What to click next
Trending stories