Love and light

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This is just the beginning of a love story but the end of an era for St Paul's Anglican Church. 

The Church Street chapel in Stanley witnessed its last wedding on April 21 this year. 

Former Smithton local Sophie Wylie (nee Taylor) married fiance Kane on Easter Sunday: the one-year anniversary of their engagement. 

“We liked the idea of being married in Stanley because it is such a beautiful place,” says Sophie, now of Ulverstone. 

“I always feel like I’ve had a holiday after visiting Stanley.” 

This magical feeling envelops the seaside village. 

“The church has an amazingly peaceful feel to it inside. It has such a beautiful atmosphere and to be able to honour that beauty and peace in the church and in the presence of God was so special,” says Sophie. 

“Little did we know when we chose this venue that our wedding would be the last in there – how historical and how lovely at the same time.” 

Established in 1842, St Paul’s Church and Hall was among 108 properties proposed for sale last year by the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania to fund the National Redress Scheme. 

The couple’s connection to Stanley transcends their wedding day. 

It is the place where Kane truly put his heart on his sleeve and proposed to Sophie at Michael’s Restaurant on the Bay. 

In a celebration of all that the north west coast has to offer, Sophie and Kane chose to entrust local aficionados to create their special day: from photography, flowers and styling to catering and the reception at Stanley Town Hall. 

“We loved the art deco decor which fitted perfectly with the ideas I had in mind,” says Sophie. 

“Being a big fan of film and Kane being a big music fan, the town hall holds stories of amazing events in these areas and we wanted to add our story to the building too.” 

Arriving in vintage cars owned by Grant Murphy, a classy and classic tone of the day was set. 

Wedding Flowers in Stanley lovingly crafted bouquets, boutonnieres, foliage and floral arrangements inspired by family history. 

“Chris and Robyn were so excited to be part of our wedding and were such a joy to work alongside. 

“They were absolutely thrilled to design and create the floral necklaces for my bridesmaids I had in mind, using fresh flowers and marcasite brooches belonging to my mum and late grandma.” 

A dear friend of Sophie’s, Ellie Fitz-Gerald was the makeup artist alongside E-FX Haircutters’ Sonia Poke. 

“Sonia has been my hairdresser since I was a very young girl so having her be our stylist was a definite must,” says Sophie. 

At the ceremony, Emma Bruce of Provenance Kitchen created a smorgasbord of desserts – cupcakes, fudge, brownie bites, citrus tarts and a notable French macaron tower inspired by a trip Sophie and mum Gillian Haines took to Paris a few years ago. 

A cocktail reception from the Hill Street Grocer in Devonport complemented the grazing table of sweet treats: “With the expertise and experience of Cassie Thomas and her serving team, the night was seamless,” says Sophie. 

The Chapel Cafe in Burnie provided an array of local drinks to quench the thirst of those dancing the night away, elegantly displayed on a pop-up bar hired from Smithton’s Gracious Mae.

Guests lounged on vintage furniture from Penguin’s Sweet Nothings Event Hire and Treasured Vintage Rentals. 

Stanley musician Jeff Power and his band Charlie Don't Surf provided the tunes for guests to groove to while photographers Jo Lovell and Kellie Bransden captured the magic and romance of the day. 

The whole day was beautiful,” says Sophie. 

“It was really nice to celebrate what our locals have to offer and what we have here on the coast.”