How did you meet your partner? We met in church
How long have you been together? Four years this December.
Do you have a proposal story? Will proposed to me at Wendy’s Secret Garden, Lavender Bay. He set up a little spot decorated with flowers and pictures of us and even got some of my friends to guard it. However poor Will had a hard time surprising me as I saw it coming but still played along. Fond memories nonetheless.
What was your wedding date? 11th February 2017
Ceremony Location? Pilgrim Uniting Church
What made you choose there? We wanted a location that was central in the city and the church’s values and views on social justice resonated with ours. It helped that the church had a centre aisle and lovely stained glass windows.
How did you find it? Google.
Reception Location? Coriole Vineyards
What made you choose there? We loved how lush the gardens looked and we felt immediately relaxed and had a gut feeling that this was the place for us. We knew that this was where our family and friends could be themselves and have fun.
How did you find it? My many hours of randomly trawling over Instagram came to fruition when I saw a post by a florist who had done some work at Coriole. We checked it out and we loved what we saw.
How was the weather on the day? It was perfect. We were hit with a heatwave the week leading up to the wedding and we were worried that it would be too hot. It was warm but it cooled down to a comfortable 24 degrees in the evening.
Was there a reason you decided to get married on this date? It was mostly because Coriole was a highly sought after venue and was booked quite far in advance. I wanted a summer wedding as I was deathly afraid of the cold so that was the earliest date we could book. We later found out that the 11th of February coincided Chinese Valentine’s Day that was celebrated in some Asian countries.
The Wedding Details
Theme? I did not have a specific theme but I knew I wanted things to be timeless and elegant with a pop of colour.
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Instagram and wedding magazines.
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? Only some. We DIYed the wedding invites and the wedding favours. One of my friends made my vision a reality by DIYing the decor such as the handwriting the welcome sign, seating arrangements and guest name cards. She put together the decorative elements for the welcome table and made it work.
Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Jane, who was my maid of honour, was my very first friend in my life! We were friends since we were in our nappies. We are based in different countries now but whenever we get together we could just go back to wherever we’ve left off at. Teeni and Liwen are my other bridesmaids. We were housemates and classmates when we were studying in uni. Being in the same house allowed us to see each other’s quirks, and taught us important lessons to accept and love one another.
Groomsmen – who/relationship? Joel- was Will’s Best Man. The friendship began in their mid-20s when they each started asking spiritual and philosophical questions of life. Even though they both grew up in contrasting cultural settings, their soul searching journeys has made them brothers. Enoch and Dan were the other groomsmen. Enoch is Will’s brother and they ware 20 months apart. From childhood they have always been regarded as twins, even their mother cannot tell them apart over the phone. Dan is Will’s cousin and childhood friend. Many years shared with Dan play fighting and going on little adventures in Grandma’s massive garden.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? One of my university classmates wore the Caitlin dress to her wedding and I thought it was gorgeous. I wasn’t engaged at that time but I kept a mental note to definitely check out KWH dresses when it was my turn to go gown shopping. I’ve also wanted to support Australian designers.
How many gowns did you try? I lost count..... I tried on multiple dresses and also at different bridal shops. My thoughts always gravitated back to the Anya dress.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? KWH Sydney-Paddington.
What did you especially like about your gown? I loved the sequins and how it really suited my body shape. It was glamorous without being ostentatious.
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Forever New
Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? Will’s suit was tailor made in Singapore. The Groomsmen’s suits were bought from ASOS.
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? We tried to keep things simple so I wore a pair of pearl earrings and had a few silk flowers pinned onto my hair.
Where did you get your shoes from? Will wore a pair of “Aluminum Black” from Bared Footwear. I wore an old (but gold) nude heels from Jo Mercer for most part of the day and then changed into “Brolga” from Bared Footwear for the first dance.
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Yes. The veil is from the Vintage Bride Boutique in Adelaide.
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Have as much fun as you can because its such a special day! Don’t sweat the small stuff. We found it helpful to stick to your values and focus on the things that are important to you. There were a few things that we were not 100% happy about and could not do anything in our powers to change it. We wrote a list to remind us of what we were looking forward to-like being surrounded by our closest and dearest friends and family, wearing awesome clothes, being in such a great venue, delicious food and drinks... and the list went on. We went on to enjoy ourselves so much that we didn’t notice the things that were bugging us in the first place!
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Ignore whatever advice you find on the Internet (oh the irony!). I didn’t think I could pull off my gown as the Internet recommended a certain type of dresses to fit my body type. You’ll know a lot better once you’ve tried things on.
Anything extra that is special or you would like to share about your big day? Seeing our relatives and friends ALL come onto the lawn and crack out their moves after our first dance. It was a sight to behold.
Photographer – Lilli Waters from I Got You Babe Weddings
I found Lilli while trawling the Instagram pages of wedding websites and I just fell in love with her work how she captured moments so beautifully. We was looking at the photos from other couples and felt as if we were present with them at the very moment the photo was taken. She has a great eye for detail and seeing beauty in unlikely places. I loved our photos and seeing them brings me back to the day itself.
Florist - Sam Burnell from Fabulous Functions.
I did not have a clear picture of what exactly I wanted but Sam managed to work with it and deliver such beautiful flowers. They were so vibrant and so uplifting.
Videographer - Our friend Justin Chai from JUSTNICE Films.
We loved his artistic style and music choice. We were very shy but he was able to put us at ease.
Music - Christo from LamBrosDJ
First Dance - Sara from QuickSteps Dance Studio.
Sara helped us choreograph our dance that had something fun, energetic and a bit technically challenging in it. We chose the song “From this Valley” by the Civil Wars (one of my favourite singing duos). Dancing was such an unexpected stress reliever from all the wedding prep.
MC – We both wanted our friend Andrew.
He was becoming more and more in-demand from mutual friends as he was not only super organized and eloquent, but also able to crack out phrases in Cantonese and Mandarin! Definitely was a winner with our relatives.
Celebrant – Reverend Sandy Boyce from Pilgrim Church.
Stationery - DIY
Menu - DIY
Cake - Elysia from its d’Elycious made our cake.
We’ve tried Elysia’s cake on a number of occasions and her cakes were full of flavour and weren’t too sweet. One of the tiers was Ispahan flavoured and the other was Blackforest. Typing this makes me want to have cake!
Bombonieres - Dried fruit from Pres-Free Dried Fruit.
We chanced upon the dried apples at a farmer’s market and loved it so much we traced it down to guy who actually did all the drying and bought straight from him. They were a huge hit with our guests.
Hair - Stacey from Hair by Stacey.
I liked Stacey’s no-nonsense approach and I appreciate her honesty in saying if a particular style suited me or not when we had a trial. She listened to the preferences of all the bridesmaids and came up with styles that suited their personalities.
Jaimee was easy to work and communicate with. We had two trials and she was willing to help figure out which style I preferred. I really liked the makeup that she did for me on the day.
Wedding Bands – We bought them from a local jeweller in Singapore. My engagement ring was hand made from Affinity Diamonds, Sydney.
Sponge Bob Costume - I wanted to troll Will because I do it all the time to him and thought it would be fun to do it on our wedding day as well!
Wooden signage - Sketch and Etch Creative.