Sometimes, all it takes is a glance at a stranger. At least, that was all it took for newlyweds Emily Carroll and James Ingram, who were first introduced at a work meeting and could easily have been two people who would never see each other again.

Yet with Emily in Melbourne and James in Brisbane, the connection thrived even in its infancy until the two were visiting each other every week for a year. Emily ultimately moved to Brisbane to work at Prendi, James’s digital solutions company. “It really was and is just all meant to be. We do everything together — cook, exercise, see friends — it just works for us! And so, on our third anniversary, we got married,” said Emily.

For Emily, James was one-of-a-kind, from asking her to be his girlfriend with a handmade flipbook to an elaborate proposal with sunflowers, rose petals, a wooden ring box and another handmade book. The duo wanted to reflect that unique, one-of-a-kind spirit through their rings — they based designs on examples they found on Etsy and hired local designer Ellen Johnston Jewellery to make it for them — and the nuptials.

The couple married at Mount View Estate in Victoria in May 2017, opting for a simple, intimate affair. After all, Emily, as an events planner, knew that sometimes the best way to capture romance is to let it speak for itself. Amongst rolling hills and under a canvas of blue sky, the couple wed in a casual ceremony with only 11 attendees — no groomsmen or bridesmaids — and with Emily’s two dogs as the guests of honor. “Our wedding was centred around a family cook-up, so it really was pretty casual, with a beautiful ceremony to kick things off in the morning,” said Emily.

With her event styling business, Arnold Events, Emily was familiar with managing all aspects of the ceremony, from styling to planning to photography, to create a lovely, intimate wedding. She put her experience to work to enhance the minimalist theme with subtle, thoughtful elements, from a backdrop of custom-made aprons as party favours to smaller details scattered throughout the venue. Timber furniture was accentuated with pops of black, pink and soft pampas grass, but the décor was muted to allow the breathtaking view — and the unfolding love story — to be the central focus.

Emily’s handmade dress from Dressmaking and Such was another study in simplicity. With a tiny train, pockets — at Emily’s request — and a cape, the dress was light and lovely, leftover fabric used to make James’s pocket square. As for makeup and accessories? Emily did her own and spent most of the day barefoot. “I went for such a minimal style dress because I wanted to be me. I didn’t want to look like I was completely made up — I wanted to look like myself and I wanted to feel casual and comfortable,” said Emily.

Before venturing to Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat for their honeymoon, the pair welcomed friends the day following the ceremony, celebrating with food, drink and a bonfire.

Reflecting on her ring, Emily says the story behind it manifests in the event itself, and the love and individuality that has defined the couple’s journey. “We didn’t want it to be showy, or over the top. We just wanted it to be us. And I absolutely love it,” she said.