A thoroughly modern woman, Lisa Lonergan opted to follow leap-year tradition and proposed to Ben Connellan, her partner of five years, on February 29, 2016. After recovering from the surprise, Ben said ‘yes’ and the couple set about planning a romantic riverside wedding.
Lisa said a customer at work planted the seed in her head about women proposing to men on that date, but she never really thought she would go through with it.
“We went out for dinner that night, and walked along the river at dusk afterwards. I wasn’t convinced I was going to say anything and then all of a sudden the words were coming out of my mouth. Ben nearly fainted,” Lisa said.
The couple met when Lisa worked at the Shamrock Hotel in Echuca and Ben, a carpenter, was the maintenance man.
“I used to break things around the pub just so he would have to come in and I could flirt with him,” Lisa said.
Always in charge of her own destiny, Lisa set about organising her dream wedding – with the aim of creating an unforgettable day with on-trend rustic styling and relaxed festivities.
But despite the careful planning, one small detail almost derailed the ceremony at the wharf at the Port of Echuca – the best man forgot the rings.
“I couldn’t believe it, it really does happen in real life,” Lisa said.
“The best man started patting his pockets for the rings and I started to think ‘this isn’t funny anymore, you can stop now’, but he actually had left them behind.”
Some quick thinking saw the couple borrow two rings from guests for the symbolic exchange, before a groomsman retrieved the original rings, which were blessed by celebrant Father John Tinkler, and safely placed on the fingers of the bride and groom.
The bold colour palette of navy, berry red and antique gold were reflected in various elements, including the bridesmaids’ dresses in different tones, navy table-runners and simple floral arrangements at the reception, and gorgeous cake stands.
A beautiful array of cupcakes in a variety of flavours was a key feature of the reception décor at the The Mill Echuca; the edible delights were displayed on the gold stands and slabs of polished timber, alongside photos of the bride and groom when they were children, and their parents and grandparents.
See more photos from Lisa and Ben's wedding day over on our Instagram.
Wedding date: Saturday March 17, 2018
Bride's parents: Meryl Longergan
Groom's parents: Kerry Connellan
Service: Port of Echuca Wharf
Reception: The Mill, Echuca
Photographer: Erica Jane Photography
Bride's dress: Michele's Bridal and Formal Wear, Shepparton
Bridesmaids' dresses: Bridal Collections, Bendigo
Suits: Roger David
Flowers: Wallingford Flowers, Echuca
Cake: Sweet Spot Cakery, Echuca
Hair: Kaila Rushe Special Occassion Hair, Echuca
Make-up: Courtney Edgar Make-up, Moama