If it weren’t for a slightly intoxicated girlfriend of Rebecca’s stumbling in the street, this wedding may never have happened. Michael and his mates came to the rescue, these two hit it off immediately, and the rest is history… give or take. And we mean give it several years, an international move to Australia from Ireland for Rebecca and a hilariously mis-timed proposal.
Choosing to finally tie the knot at the chic Sydney ocean-front venue Beachside Dojo, the pair enlisted the expertise of several of our fave wedding folk, including Fiona and Bobby Photography behind the lens, Honey Lane for the styling and Mable & Elsi for the gorgeous native florals. Timbermill Rentals supplied the set-up for a relaxed and heartfelt ceremony in a nearby park, and while there’s no question Rebecca is a stunner, hair and makeup artist Eternal Elegance was on hand to make her feel a little extra for the day.
We chatted to Rebecca about her and Mick’s love story.
Tell us about how you met and the proposal?
I’m from a place called Galway on the west coast of Ireland and Mick is a Sydney boy, born and raised. I was backpacking for a couple of years and moved to Manly in 2008. I met Mick on a night out in Manly. I was with my flatmate Erica and as we crossed the street from our apartment she kind of stumbled a little and this group of guys helped her out. Mick was in the group and elbowed his way into a conversation I was having. We started chatting and hit it off straight away. Tequila shots were had.
We were like best buds, but we were young and we always knew I would be leaving the country, so we didn’t get together ‘officially’ until I returned to Australia in 2011 (after 18 months back in Ireland).
Mick proposed on New Year’s night 2014 in Ireland. He had planned to do it at a masquerade party we were at in a bar in Dublin, but one of the toilets broke in the venue and so the queue for the ladies was massive. My girlfriends and I decided we’d ditch the party and go to a pub down the road called The Bleeding Horse instead. Mick was being so uptight and didn’t want to leave, but he had no choice really. He then missed the countdown because the clock in the pub was wrong and he was ordering drinks. He finally managed to propose at around 00:25 after I gave him an earful for being so edgy all day and night. A poorly executed proposal in a dingy Irish bar at an inconsequential time in the morning was perfect for us.
What traditions did you involve during your big day?
We decided to incorporate an ancient Celtic tradition called hand-fasting. My friend Jen made two beautiful hand-fasting cords for us, one representing earth and one representing water. We exchanged rings and as we said our vows, the cords were wrapped around our hands.
We also included an acknowledgement of country. We lived in the Pilbara for several years and learned a lot there about the Aboriginal language groups in the area. The cultural diversity that exists across Australia is astonishing and this was a way of showing our respect.
What advice would you give to other couples leading up to their big day?
When you cut out all the fluff, it comes down to the two of you committing to each other and joining your two families together. Whether you’re thinking of doing it on your own in a registry office or having a massive event, I would just say to relax and enjoy it all! Don’t stress too much about pleasing other people; as long as there’s good food and music (and alcohol in our case), everyone will have a good time.
If you’re not fussed with tradition, the best decision we made was to walk down the aisle together. We had moments alone before the ceremony, in the room before we left, in the car driving to the beach and walking up the steps to the reserve, and it gave us time to chill and just settle ourselves and re-connect after all the excitement of the morning. As we were walking towards our friends and family I remember saying to Mick, “slow down, let’s really enjoy this”. I think that’s the key during the day, take moments to slow yourself down and just take it all in.
What does marriage mean to you guys?
To be honest, before we got married we had a not-too-fussed attitude towards marriage and weren’t sure if it was for us. In the end, we decided we would get married because we realised that it was an opportunity to bring family and friends together for a celebration. Mick is the first to get married in the family and so it was great to have the Bushell clan together with a handful of Lofti. That’s what marriage came to mean to us: the joining of two families and the celebration of that commitment.
What was your favourite moment on your wedding day?
There are so many moments, but a great one was at the very end of the night. We asked Chris (the DJ) to play The Wine Song by The Cat Empire. We all got in a massive circle with our arms around each other and some hectic dancing ensued – the song is almost 8 minutes long! It was the perfect end to a crazy day and night.
Tell us any funny stories that surrounded your wedding?
Two days before the wedding, all the girls got together and we headed for dinner and drinks in Darling Harbour. My friend Estelle called an Uber when she was leaving and a guy called Eddie picked her up in a white Kia Sportage. We hadn’t booked a car to take us to the ceremony and I figured Eddie’s car, being white, would do the job so I asked if he’d drive us (shout out to Eddie!).
The night went on so long that I lost my voice and still couldn’t speak the morning of the wedding! I had to send my mom to Coles to get some honey, lemon and ginger in the morning and got locked out of my hotel room in the process! Mick was out surfing, oblivious to all the drama! Thankfully my voice returned and made it all the way through the reception (just about).
A cute thing that happened during our ceremony, was when a bunch of Little Nippers (I guess that’s what they were) showed up. While they waited for their bus to pick them up, they all lay on the grass with their heads in their hands watching. I’m a teacher and there were about 10 other teachers among the guests. At one point, I could hear the coach saying “shhhhhh” to the kids as they arrived so I shouted out to my friends, “teachers assemble!”. It was an opportunity to have a laugh and relax, and it was kind of fitting given that we deal with large groups of kids every day.
Credits: Photography Fiona and Bobby Photography // Ceremony Bower Street Reserve // Reception venue and catering Beachside Dojo // Styling Honey Lane // Flowers Mable & Elsi // Bridal gown Grace Loves Lace // Bridal shoes M4D3 // Groom’s suit George and King // Stationery Zazzle // Rings Tempo Antiques in Ireland and Mazzuchellis // Hair and makeup Eternal Elegance // Celebrant Oliver Thompson // Ceremony furniture Timbermill Rentals // Music Chris Rawson
Keen to check out more venues like this one? Head to our venue directory here.