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STAY, PLAY, EAT, DRINK & EXPLORE

Ellie Grace and Rocco Mimmo met on a ‘deathly hot summer’s night’ and were bound by partying friends and instant attraction. The couple re-live their magic marriage celebration with photographs by Alex Jack.

With the recent arrival of their first child, life is busy for Ellie Grace and Rocco Mimmo. But through the baby fog, there is still plenty of fun and mischief. Just ask how they met.

“Ha. That is controversial!’ laughs Ellie, who works in human services in NSW’s Hunter Valley and Central Coast.

“Rocco assures me we met many years ago at an abandoned warehouse party where I was pressuring him to talk with my recently single friend. But my first memory was on Australia Day 2013 at another party. I had to take my friend, who was sick, to the bathroom and Rocco was trying to have a shower. I kept flushing the loo, turning his shower cold. Many giggles were had.”

Cold showers aside, Ellie says their relationship rapidly progressed into ‘traditional courting, conversations, walks, dinners, which rapidly evolved into us not spending time apart’.

“Rocco is disgustingly good looking,” teases Ellie, “which undeniably caused the initial eyebrow raise. I do clearly remember hearing his amazing laugh and thinking that it was incredible. Within the first few weeks of meeting, Rocco had all of our mutual friends over to his place and cooked an Italian feast, homemade pasta, the lot, all whilst listening to Pavarotti at top volume. That likely had me. Hook, line and sinker.”

As Ellie remembers it, it was Rocco, a civil designer, who first uttered the ‘L’ word.

“He definitely told me he loved me first, but I was chuffed and absolutely smitten that I had snagged the sweaty Italian man. Never looked back.”

While Ellie noticed her Italian man’s fervour, Rocco was attracted to Ellie’s caring qualities.

“Initially it was Ellie’s cool demeanour, her calm and relaxed attitude, a nonchalant personality that struck a chord. Also the fact she was always tending to her friends,” he says.

“Her beauty also definitely aroused the senses. The courting phase only emphasised these and allowed for all her other amazing qualities to flow through.”

In June 2018, the couple travelled around Ireland and Scotland.

“We did the beautiful Quiraing hike on the Isle of Skye and the old boy got down on one knee and popped the question,” says Ellie.

“It was such a nice moment. We hiked back down and were greeted at our campervan by three and a half million midges. Then we had dinner in the dingiest pub, but Roc made up for it by booking us into a castle the following night, which was magic.”

Once home, Ellie and Rocco started looking for their ideal wedding venue. Pre-requisites for the couple were a property set in natural beauty, and room to accommodate friends and family.

“As soon as we visited Weddings in the Wilde, we were absolutely happy,” says Rocco. “The property is spectacular while being incredibly practical.

“And the bush chapel was one of our favourite parts of our wedding,” says Ellie. “It’s nestled in the greenest forest, with this incredible bush track down to it. It’s all timber with natural light, and once the candles and lanterns were lit, it was surreal and very special.”

They also loved the fact Weddings in Wilde is a blank canvas in terms of catering and organisation.

“We loved that we had the option to arrange our own food, drinks, décor and music. We have so many amazing friends within these fields and to have them included like this for our wedding was something special for us,” says Ellie.

The evening before their wedding, the couple’s families and bridal parties party arrived

“This was the best,” says Ellie. “We got to hug and have beautiful words with everyone over a casual BBQ and red wine. Rocco went and stayed with his siblings at a nearby house, to keep it ever so slightly traditional. We felt really relaxed and calm with our most special people around us.”  

On their wedding morning, Ellie and Rocco got ready with their separate parties, before strolling to the bush chapel to marry in front of 180 guests at 2pm. Ellie’s mum gave her away.

“I had my one and only sister and seven incredibly close friends. Roc had his brother as best man, and seven close friends,” says Ellie.

“But my Dad was very unwell in the week prior to the wedding and we had to make the decision to proceed without him, the most emotional week of my life. We had a little part two wedding with Dad later and we were so lucky he made a full recovery.”

The couple and their guests feasted on a buffet style dinner with roasted lamb and baked chicken. They also had a grazing table and a cocktail cart.

One of the highlights for Ellie and Rocco was not having to leave the venue.

“After the ceremony, we went straight back to drink and dance. It was such a smooth, relaxing day and night,” says Rocco.

Another of the day’s highlights was the music thanks to Byron Bay based musician Matt Walker and his band.

“We danced so hard from the minute dinner and speeches ended until well after midnight,” says Rocco. “A number of our guests pulled out their drums and instruments and played with the band. There was some serious interpretive dance going on at one stage.

After three days, celebrations came to an end, and the couple honeymooned on the South Coast, says Ellie.  

“We were both absolutely exhausted, which strangely took us by surprise. So, we were grateful to just rest and reflect on the week.”

Looking back, the best thing about their big day, apart from the ‘I do’s’ was being able to be all together in the one spot for three days.

“The venue allows for people to drift off to bed at midnight or stay up in the amazing tee-pee until dawn. We felt that everyone was happy, comfortable and having a great time.”

Rocco agrees.

“It was like the best party you have ever been to, and you feel like a million dollars, and then bam … you get to marry your best friend. Like no other feeling!”

DETAILS

Venue

Weddings in the Wilde

weddingsinthewilde.com.au

Bride’s dress

Made with Love Bridal

madewithlovebridal.com

Groom’s suit

Suit Shop by P. Johnson

suitshop.com.au

Photographer

Alex Jack Photography

@Alexjack.photography

Videographer

Adam Singer

Florist

Olivia Meredith, The Little Flower Shop

@thelittleflowershop

Music

Matt Walker

mattwalker.com.au

Bride’s Hair

@thebridalhairco

Food Catering

For my Senses

@formysenses

Event Styling

@sustainablesurrounds

Cocktail Cart

@blacksmithcoffeeroasters

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