Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wedding Part 5: Reception

With the official part out of the way, it was time for the party to begin. Neither Alec or I are really party-party people, so we wanted a reception that would be like an elegant dinner party. Choosing the Gunners' Barracks meant that we could have this, plus a lovely 1920s theme to the evening.

That's right, booked out ... for us!

Programs I made with mum, Alec and my friend Sally, and fans. We thought it might be hot so ordered fans for guests. It was not hot at all, but the fans still vanished like hotcakes.

Menus - image design by my friend Fadhila, created on the computer by Alec and assembled by Sally. Tea cups organised and assembled by my mum. Chocolates by Belle Fleur, organised by our friend Greg. Thank you everyone for your help!

Flowers in teapots. Gorgeous blooms by Petals and Leaves, teapots collected by my mum from Victoria's Basement and Peter's of Kensington.

Butterfly name cards from Etsy seller Timeless Paper.

Cupcakes by my amazing friend Julia. Stand made by her dad, who is a home economics teacher.

Penguin cake toppers by Etsy seller RedLightStudio.

The dining room all set up for guests.

Making our grand entrance. Having everyone stand up and look at us - freaky! Having my new husband by my side is the best thing ever.

We had our bridal party plus partners at our table.

Emcee and dear friend Beverly makes the opening speech. No Bev, we don't work for Yahoo ... :)

Guest book by Etsy seller Just Write Boutique.

Engagement photos featuring the dogs on the mantle piece. Unity candles by Pink Frosting.

During the evening, my sister-in-law Michele accompanied her cousin Liz in a rendition of our of our favourite songs - "Bubbly". She sang her own version of the song, which I think was more beautiful than the original. Liz has a stunning voice - people were asking for an encore.

Liz on vocals, Michele on the organ.

Watching and listening to the song.

After dinner came the speeches. I had been feeling a bit queasy so we changed the arrangements (thanks Bev!) and had the speeches on the balcony. It turned out a great idea as we all got some fresh air and to look at the stunning view over the harbour.

Both my dad and Alec's dad gave speeches, followed by Alec and myself. Our dads did a fantastic job, saying some really thoughtful, heartfelt and funny words. Alec and I had a long speech, thanking our army of helpers without whom our wedding wouldn't have taken place or been so unique and personal.

My distinguished dad reading his speech. He was so nervous beforehand, but his speech was so wonderful, he had no need to be.

Alec's dad gave a fabulous speech. He is so like Alec with his wry sense of humour.

Laughing at our dads' speeches.

On the podium. Hope I didn't bore people with my long-winded speech.

True love :)

We followed up the speeches with the rest of the official events - the toasting, cake cutting and bridal waltz.

To us - yay, we're married!

I love this rare photo of my dad smiling. He and my mum had such a wonderful time. It made me so happy to see them enjoy the wedding.
Cutting the amazing giant cupcake. It is currently cut into chunks, frozen, waiting for our first wedding anniversary to thaw it out.



At the end of the night with my amazing girls, Bev and Lisa. Thank you both so much for basically running the day for us. You did a fabulous job.

Goodbye time. Yay sparklers!

Heading home in the Chrysler. Thanks for coming everyone!

Before we knew it, the night was over and we were shepherded off into the car for our ride home. Completely exhausted, I have never been so happy to be in my own bed, with my husband by my side. Totally, blissfully, happily married.

Photography by the excellent Vincent Lai.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wedding Part 4: Post-ceremony Portraits

Following the ceremony were our portraits. We didn't have too many shots, just immediate family and a few with my cousins and family friends who I noticed nearby and knew my parents would really like a photo with. We had them in the courtyard with the sandstone making a nice backdrop.

With my mum and dad.

With my brother, Tim, and sister-in-law, Michele, added in.

Alec's dad, mum and uncle.

I requested that we have some shots taken after this on the headland next to the venue while people were having drinks. We'd sat up on the headland a few times when we'd visited previously, and I was really keen to have some shots with the view behind us. Sadly it was a pretty gray day so it wasn't as scenic as I had hoped, but the shots still look amazing.






Overlooking the venue - see the chairs set up on the lawn? This is where our ceremony was supposed to be held. It was deemed to wet to actually hold it there however.

Love the sign ...

Wedding Part 3: Ceremony

We arrived at the Gunners' Barracks in plenty of time. Gunners' was just perfect for us - we chose it to host both our ceremony and reception. A heritage sandstone building overlooking the ocean, with a dining room, terrace, courtyard, sitting room and dressing room all included. It was so private - no tourists or other weddings going on. It was really important to us to find a venue that felt secluded.

We'd told guests the ceremony started at 5pm sharp, even though we had allowed for it to start at 5:30, thus giving guests 30 mins leeway to guarantee they were there in time. Luckily we did, because as we pulled up smack on 5pm, there were guests who had just parked and were slowly walking down to the venue ... It also meant that we had time to relax, sit down, touch up our make-up and chill out before the ceremony started.

The Chrysler out the front of the venue.

Candid of Shell and I chilling out.

The groom with the flower baby, ready for action.

Chiara gets a last-minute feed from Dad.

Goofing off.

I was so excited to get the ceremony underway - I couldn't wait to be married. My dad came in and we hung out while the celebrant reminded us of what we had to do next.

Me and my dad.

And then ... it was time! I heard the string trio playing on the terrace (Pachelbel's Canon in D).


Rosalie and Shelley walked out one at a time (I hear everyone coo over the flower baby), and then, it was my turn. 

It was so overwhelming seeing all my friends and families' faces looking at me and smiling as I walked out on to the terrace. I generally don't like being the centre of attention, so it was hard to not freak out and focus on just Alec at the end of the aisle.

With my dad. Such a happy moment.

Dad walked me to the end of the terrace and placed my hand in Alec's.


I think we were supposed to face the people at this stage, but instead we just stared at each other while the celebrant gave her talk. I don't think I've ever felt as happy as I did during the ceremony when I was saying my vows and listening to the words our celebrant was saying.


My oldest friend, Beck, gave a reading during the ceremony - one of my favourite poems.

i carry your heart with me - ee cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Beck read the poem so beautifully.


Next was saying our vows. We wrote our own, piecing them together from some simple, traditional vows we liked. We had planned to memorise them, but in the end we just didn't get around to it, so we read them out of the book the celebrant had brought with her.

Alec and I said the same vows to each other:

I, Christine, take you, Alec, to be my lawful wedded husband, best friend and lifelong partner in marriage. All that I have I will share with you. Whatever the future holds I will love you and stand by you throughout out lives together. This is my solemn vow to you.

Using the microphone so people could hear me - we both usually have no problem with our voices carrying, but wanted to be sure everyone could hear, just in case.

We then exchanged rings. There was a small funny moment where the best man gave Alec the man's ring to put on me instead my own ring. The celebrant saw the confusion and ninja-like located the correct ring and handed it to Alec.

"Wear this ring as a symbol of my everlasting love and commitment to you."

And then we were married! Absolutely the happiest moment in my life so far.



Signing the registry. My brother, Tim, and the best man, Daniel, signed as our witnesses.

After signing the registry and being presented with our wedding certificate, the ceremony was officially completed. The celebrant invited our families and friends to congratulate us. I'm so glad we did this as it gave us a chance to say hi to all of our guests. I didn't get around to see everyone during the reception, so I was happy I had this one moment to thank everyone for coming. Our guests were so happy for us, it was just so amazing. I've never felt so much love in a room before - I've certainly never felt so loved and in love before!

Being congratulated by our families.

We asked everyone to gather in the courtyard following the ceremony for a big group shot.