Best of British celebration
The seaside theme of their wedding gave a nod to Hayley Grey and Jacob Holt’s British heritage. The couple served up “fancy fish and chips” as the main course at their reception for 100 guests at Vaucluse Yacht Club at Watsons Bay, where the couple married in a ceremony on the deck overlooking Sydney Harbour.
Hayley, a veterinary nurse, and Jacob, who owns Crossfit Kia Kaha gym at Maroubra, left England to “chase the sun” in 2013.
Hayley grew up in Risca, a Welsh town near Cardiff and in 2012 moved to Bristol, near the airport where she worked for an airline cabin crew. Jacob, who grew up at Bristol, was personal trainer at the gym Hayley joined soon after her arrival in England.
“He started chatting me up on the cross-trainer,” Hayley says, admitting she noticed he was “very handsome”.
After a relaxed first dinnerdate, the couple continued to see each other casually during the year. Both had plans to travel in 2013, and at that stage didn’t envisage travelling together.
“But over the year we fell in love,” Hayley says, as they discovered a shared sense of adventure and thirst for life.
Haley also enjoyed Jacob’s very calm, relaxed and lighthearted nature.
“Our whole relationship has always been very lighthearted, he helps me to stay calm,” she says.
Jacob says Hayley “has a big heart”, evidenced by her desire to bring home stray animals from the vet surgery where she works.
With both also wanting to travel and try new things, they decided to come to Australia together, exploring the east coast before settling in Sydney, where Hayley retrained as a vet nurse. Jacob proposed in December 2016, during a stay at the Grand Pullman Hotel, Circular Quay.
“When we arrived I went on to the balcony to look at the Harbour,” Hayley says. “When I turned around, Jacob was on one knee, holding a ring.” Jacob had ordered the ring, a gold band set with a sapphire between two diamonds, working from Hayley’s descriptions of her preferred design.
Jacob had also arranged for friends to join them in the city for a celebration dinner.
The couple wanted a relaxed, nautical themed wedding and considered several venues before settling on Vaucluse Yacht Club.
Hayley wanted a bohemian-style wedding dress, and first found her Audine by Watters Willowby ivory stretch-lace gown with eight thin straps across the low-cut back online. She then tried the dress at Marry Me Bridal at Mosman.
The day before the wedding family and friends from England, Wales and New Zealand joined them to stay overnight at the Watsons Bay Hotel.
“It was an ideal opportunity for people who probably wouldn’t otherwise have come here to arrange to visit us,” Hayley says. “We enjoyed a lot of time with all our nearest and dearest in the one place.”