How did you meet your (now) husband? I used to teach after school dance and the dance studio was located inside of a gym where Mitchell worked out. One day, after finishing my dance lesson he confidently approached me and introduced himself. Our conversation flowed really effortlessly and hasn’t stopped since!
How long have you been together? 9 perfectly crazy and fun-filled years.
Do you have a proposal story? Our proposal was magical. I had absolutely no idea it was coming either as Mitchell had never shown any interest or even talked about getting married. It was a magnificent summer’s day in Paris, so Mitchell suggested we do a picnic on the Le Seine, directly opposite the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral. We went to a delicatessen and bought delicious fresh local produce, 2 bottles of Laurent-Perrier Champagne then set up, ate and admired the river that sparkled brighter than diamonds and watched the swans float gracefully by. Dangling our legs over the edge of the wall we were sitting on, talking about how lucky we were to be living that perfect moment, he reached into his pocket and presented me with a beautiful ring and asked me the question “will you marry me Natalie”? Seconds later we had an acoustic guitarist sing and play the song “Wake me up” by Avicii as we slow danced and celebrated our engagement until the sun set. It honestly was a fairytale proposal.
What was your wedding date? 20 March, 2015
1. Where? Our Ceremony was held under the Rotunder on Balmoral Beach. The Reception was at The Public Dining Room, Balmoral and then water taxis collected us from Balmoral wharf and took us to Hugo’s Bar & restaurant in Manly for the after party.
2. What made you choose there? Balmoral is just beautiful, we love being by the water and we wanted to incorporate the sea into our day to help provide a relaxed vibe. The Rotunder was built in the 1930’s and is absolutely picturesque; it is also only a 5 minute walk to the Public Dining room where we had our Reception which maximized the time we got to spend with our special guests on the most important day of our life!
3. How did you find it? One random rainy weekend, we decided to get in our car to site inspect Balmoral. We drove past the Rotunder, parked and then walked straight into the Public Dining Room. It was perfect, even on a miserable day. We asked for the events coordinator who was conveniently on site, then asked her for the first available date for a wedding and booked it on the spot. There was not a single thing more we needed to do with the venue to decorate as your view is a beautiful Morton Bay fig tree and 180 degrees of the harbor. It’s an understated and exceptionally elegant venue!
How was the weather on the day? The morning was blue skies, a slight breeze and sunny, so basically it was absolutely incredible and perfect for a wedding. I danced around the house ecstatic about the weather until just my luck, a dark cloud starting rolling in 30 minutes before I got in the car to drive to the ceremony. It rained on and off and it was windy (however my beautiful KWH veil blew perfectly). Thankfully it held off for the ceremony but we made a quick dash for the reception an hour earlier than we were scheduled to! The staff at the Public Dining room are incredibly professional and promptly set up the room and had the champagne flowing in minutes!
What made you decide to get married on this particular date? It was love at first site with the venue so we wanted the first available date they had on offer!
The Wedding Details
Theme (if any – colours, features, etc.)? Our life is based around the sea therefore it was important that our wedding day reflected that. The Public Dining Room offers the ultimate beachside dining experience with views that stretch from Balmoral and beyond, and equally delightful cuisine. We wanted casual fine dining in a relaxed beach style setting. There were delicate white flowers, scented candles and crisp white linen.
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? The beautiful harbor view was our inspiration and we trusted the event planner from the Public dining room to take it from there.
1. Bridesmaids – who/relationship? My sister Samantha and sister in law Genevieve.
2. Groomsmen – who/relationship? Mitchell’s two brothers, Ryan and Alexander.
3. Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Our niece and nephew. Matilda May was our flower girl and Kalani William was our Page boy.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I had booked an appointment with David Jones Bridal. The KWH Jacqueline gown was the first dress I spotted in the store and the first gown I tried on. I really liked the style and fit of Karen Willis homes gowns, so I made an appointment in the Paddington KWH store to try on others. Every gown was amazing, but I had subconsciously already made up my mind and went with the Jacqueline. I also wanted to support our incredible Australian designers and honestly think my dress was better quality and more unique than any of the international designs I had tried on at David Jones Bridal.
Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? A friend told me about Karen Willis Holmes on Instagram and I immediately logged on and followed the account.
How many gowns did you try? To keep my wonderful mum(zilla) happy, too many to count. My mum, mother–in-law and sister loved the whole experience of finding “the dress” and then all of the dress fittings after choosing it as the 4 of us would always make a day out of it.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? I purchased my gown from the Karen Willis Holmes store in Paddington.
What did you especially like about your gown? The Jacqueline gown is timeless. I put in on and knew straight away that this is what a bride should look like, elegant and to feel like a princess. The diamante clustered belt was breathtakingly beautiful and the way the gowns material glistened in the light was incredible. It had the perfect amount of body to it and the train had just enough length to it!
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? They also wore “Bec & Bridge” jumpsuits and “Mia Chicco” handmade jewelry. (miachicco.com)
Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Hugo Boss.
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I had a 5 karat princess cut diamond necklace in platinum gold that sat high and delicately up on my neck. My earrings were 4 carrot emerald cut studs and I had 2 amazing bangles around each of my wrists that were completely covered in princess cut and emerald cut white and black diamond.
Where did you get your shoes from? Jimmy Choo.
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? My veil was by Karen Willis Holmes. It was stunning. When the light hit it, it sparkled. I plan on using it over our baby’s basinet one day.
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Enjoy the whole wedding planning process as it comes and goes so fast. Take on board family and friends opinions but it’s important to go with your gut instinct as you can never keep everyone happy. Don’t compare your wedding to anyone else’s, as everyone’s is unique and perfect to them. It’s all about compromise - you won’t always be on the same page as your fiancé, so work through the planning together as a team and be sure to listen to all of their suggestions.
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Be open to any style as when you try on that “dream style dress” it may not be the most flattering on your figure! Don’t try cram every single dress shop in on one day as it gets very overwhelming and exhausting. Once you have found a shape that flatters you fabulously, stick to it. And of course – have fun!
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day. We wanted our day to be an intimate celebration with our closest friends and family. It was to be casual and fun, making sure we had time to chat, have a drink and dance with everyone that attended.
Something Old? My amazing mother’s garter from her wedding 38 years ago.
Something New? My fabulous Jimmy Choo’s!
Something Borrowed? My mother-in-laws gorgeous diamond jewelry.
Something Blue? A hand embroidered handkerchief by my sister saying “no tears” which was a gentle reminder to not get too emotional on my wedding day.
Wedding Bands - Mia Chicco Jewelry.
Mia Chicco is an Australian jewelry designer who hand makes and sells beautiful bespoke jewels globally. Mia worked closely with Mitchell to create my engagement ring. It is 18 kt yellow gold band, has 6 Australian sapphire’s either side of a almost flawless cushion cut diamond. It had huge symbolic elements to it that Mitchell designed and Mia brought to life. The diamond represents our favorite Torre (Castel) in Positano that we holiday at every year and the sapphire’s where the Mediterranean sea surrounding the castle. Mitchells band is rose gold with a soft organic feel and slightly beaten finish and underneath it was the initials W.Y.L.C, which stand for “Without You Life’s Colorless and With You Life’s Colorful”. There is also a ruby next to it which is to represents me (Mitchell also came up with this concept).
Florist - That Flower Lady
I am so pleased I went with Aly (she did such a wonderful job at my sister’s wedding it was an easy decision). Her vivacious personality made it a fantastic and easy experience. I had so much faith in her that I let her completely take charge and come up with the designs, as flowers are her forte after all.
Make up - Jemma Browne Makeup
I wanted very natural-looking makeup as Mitchell doesn’t like me wearing makeup at all. It was important to find a makeup artist who would be able to follow this brief and a friend recommended Jemma. The end result was perfect; I looked and felt beautiful. Jemma was very professional, sweet and followed my brief to a tee as well as the bridesmaids, mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-grooms brief too.
Photographer - The Loved Ones
Matt and his team are easy going and very professional. Mitchell and I don’t like our pictures taken so when we were recommended Matt and were told he would meet our brief, we set up a time to find out for ourselves straight away. He got to know us personally and absolutely nailed the brief. The pictures speak for themselves. Our photos are in the moment and absolutely gorgeous. We had no idea he and his team where even taking photos on the day.
Music - XYDJ wedding DJ’s.
Simon and his team were seriously fantastic, they got our dance floor started litterally 1 hour after our reception had kicked off and there was not a single person in the room that was not tearing up the dance floor at some point in the night!
First Dance – “I’ll be your man” by the Black Keys.
Stationery - Kathryn Green
It was bespoke hand illustrated invitations by the talented “Kathryn Green”. Our stationary was incredible. We loved her designs and her ability to draw is extraordinary. Her energy and positive can-do attitude is infectious and her work speaks for itself. We chose the “Bountiful Bazaar” suite from her current collection. We though the colour’s matched in with the Morton Bay fig tree and the ocean beautifully.
Menu – Created by The Public Dining room.
We opted for standup cocktail as well as a few food stations scattered around the floor (the oyster shucking station and cheese station was a favorite) and of course the champagne was flowing! The food was Summery with Mediterranean influences and the Public Dining Room’s food philosophy is simple. They source the best seasonal ingredients to craft unique, fresh & flavorsome dishes using local produce.