Thursday, January 21, 2010

Post-wedding - Deconstruction

Yesterday I wrote about my feelings surrounding the wedding. Today I wanted to touch on details of the event.

Decisions I'm Glad We Made

  • To have a small-ish wedding. We had about 84 people and it felt huge. I didn't get to speak to many guests, so I can't imagine if you had more people than that, how you would get to speak to anyone!
  •  Splurging on the venue. Gunners' Barracks was our only choice. We felt it we perfect the moment we saw it, months before we got engaged, and it made our wedding just magical. 
  • Choosing a great photographer early on. We knew we wanted Vincent Lai also well before we got engaged after we saw photos he took of a friend's wedding. As soon as we had a date, we locked him in - and were prepared to be flexible with the date if we couldn't get him. The photos so far have been stunning, and he was a dream to have around on the day.
  • The "thank you" sign I ordered from and made Alec and my mum assemble for me. It made for great photos that we are using in our thank you cards.
  • Spending the night before at my parents' house and the night after at our apartment. It felt home-y and comforting.
  • Going straight from the ceremony into the reception. It was great having everything in the one place and knowing the portrait photos were all out of the way!
  • Having a small bridal party and involving our friends in other ways. Our bridal parties organised our hens/bucks events and helped support us on the day, while our other close friends were our emcee, made our cake, read a poem, performed as usher, sang a song at reception, took care of music, etc, which spread out the ways people could be involved and let them showcase their talents more than if we had a just huge party instead.
  • Asking friends for help and entrusting them with the details. I'm a control freak, so letting go was hard for me. Once I did, it was magical, and our friends all came through in the most amazing way. It also meant the day was really filled with love, as every detail was either made by hand by me and my parents, or by our friends.
  • Organising a wedding in five months. The insanely short time period meant everything was full-on from the engagement onwards, but it also meant no time for dilly-dallying with tiny, insignificant details. I didn't have time to change my mind multiple times about things or fuss over things like flower arrangements. It was a simpler process as a result and didn't mean the entire year or longer was consumed with wedding planning.
  • Keeping a blog and scrapbook of the whole process - I love having these to look back on. I'm getting my blog printed and bound into a book.
  • Getting gorgeous shoes - surprising how many people commented on my shoes!
  • The dress - it cost a small fortune but was totally worth it.
  • Choosing a local florist. Kat from Petals and Leaves lives near my parents. She did an amazing job at a great price and we got fabulous service which we didn't get when trying to get quote from other, bigger, florists.
  • Cutting costs on things we could make ourselves. The DIY projects cause a lot of angst, but were totally worth it. I love that we made all of the stationary (with some help from our very good - and patient - friend Sally). Even though it didn't look especially professional, it really summed us up.
  • Ditching hire cars and using the vintage Chrysler. Rental cars cost a bomb and are no-where near as fun as the road trip we had across Sydney in the Chrysler with the "suicide doors". That's right. Need to be careful as to where one puts one's elbows in a car with suicide doors.
  • Including my bridesmaid Rosalie's three-month-old baby, Chiara, in the ceremony as our flower baby. She wore fairy wings and stole hearts. The perfect beginning to our ceremony.
  • Holding a pre-wedding brunch for people involved in the day. It enabled key people to know each other before the wedding.
  • Engagement photos. Vincent also took these a few weeks before the wedding. It was great to have the dogs involved since they couldn't be involved in the wedding, and the photos looked amazing framed at the venue. Plus, now we have really gorgous photos of our little family framed on the walls at home!
  • Spending a few days up the coast at Nelson's Bay after the wedding to unwind. We were exhausted. Mentally and physically wrecked, so we spend four days sleeping, eating, then sleeping some more. Our honeymoon is in April, which gives me something else to look forward to, and as a result, I'm not feeling any post-wedding blues. Hooray for holidays!
  • Creating a wedding site to give guests info and using a Google form on the site to collect our RSVPs. Made it all very simple to organise.

What We Could Have Done Without
  • The "just married" sign I bought from and had placed on the back of the car. I don't think anyone saw it and it was a hassle for the best man to get on the car in time for our exit.
  • Trying to be creative with sparklers when we were leaving the venue with the idea of getting a cool photo out of it. Better off letting everyone just enjoy playing with them and heading straight to the car in retrospect.
  • Family drama. It was minimal in comparison to what it could have been, but zero drama would have been better.

Things That Surprised Me
  • How much people wanted to help us plan our wedding. It made me feel so loved to know we had such amazing people in our lives who loved us so much.
  • I was sad that the wet weather meant our ceremony had to be held on the terrace instead of the lawn, but when I look at the photos, it looked amazing! 
  • How great our dads' speeches were. So funny as well! Nice job, dads.
  • The fans and tea cups we provided guests with were popular. I thought for sure we would be left with a legion of fans and tea cups to re-home, but they all vanished!
  • How glad I was when it was over and we were married. I felt so much happiness and contentment the next morning knowing the next step of our lives was now on its way.

Cutting the giant cupcake Julia made for us. Don't the cakes look amazing?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Post-wedding - Looking Back

Sunday marked two weeks since our wedding and my feelings about our wedding day have changed so much since the actual day.

On the day I felt a mixture of stress, anxiety, excitement, happiness, and immense pressure to be everything to everyone. I felt quite queasy during the evening as the stress got to me, and felt terrible that I wasn't walking to as many people as I wanted to.

The next day I felt 100% relief that it was over and we were married (yay!). The following few days I was on a rush of pure happiness combined with huge guilt for not speaking to enough people, or getting photos taken with everyone (we had table photos taken with about 50% of the tables, but didn't get to everyone). I also was filled with worry in case people were upset that I didn't speak to them enough or have enough photos taken with them.

Now though, 2.5 weeks later, those feelings have faded and instead, having spoken to so many of our wonderful friends and family who were with us on the day, I feel totally at peace and happy with how our wedding day went down.

What I think of now and remember the strongest, are the feelings of love and pure joy that consumed and surrounded us. I've never seen Alec so happy or smiling so much, and my parents still can't stop talking about how happy the day made them. We've fielded many many emails, phone calls, letters and in-person chats with guests who tell us what a wonderful, loving wedding it was, and it makes me so happy that the focus that we tried to put on all things regarding our wedding day certainly seemed to shine through for everyone present.

My highlights of the day:

  • Alec arriving in the morning and exchanging gifts with me.
  • Getting dressed with my bridesmaids.
  • Road trip to the venue - a vintage Chrysler with no air-con and seat belts, belonging to the best man. Hairy ride to say the least. Seeing the people in toll booths do double-takes when we paid the tolls,  looking like we were on our way to a major costume party - priceless.
  • Seeing my mum in full hostess mode, loving talking to all of our guests.
  • The moments just prior to, and then walking down the aisle, with my dad.
  • The entire ceremony. I thought my face was going to fall off it was so sore from smiling so much. I have never been so happy in my life so far as I was at that one moment.
  • My friend Beck reading the poem "I carry your heart with me" during the ceremony - I got teary. 
  • Accepting congratulations from all of our guests straight after the ceremony finished - so much love it was overwhelming.
  • My sister-in-law Michele and cousin-in-law Liz performing a stunning rendition of "Bubbly".
  • Seeing the cake my friend Julia made for us - it looked stunning!
  • The speeches by our dads. They were so funny and touching, I'm so glad I have them on video.
  • Our bridal dance to the Hawaiian version of "Somewhere over the rainbow". We just swayed a lot, but it was a beautiful moment.
  • My dress - it made me feel like a princess. I want to wear it every day as my one outfit.
  • Calling Alec my husband for the first time. "Where is my husband?!" 
  • Waking up the next day - married! The most amazing feeling ever.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Our friend Greg is a chocolate-maker in his spare time and offered to make us truffles for our wedding. He started them on New Year's Day - and half-way into the day we received a call to tell us that his tempering machine had died on him. Ruh-roh.

Greg had a plan however, and when the shops opened on January 2 called our favourite chocolate-makers to find out who had in stock 175 truffles that could be used for our wedding. My oldest fave, Belle Fleur, came through and Greg, with a small army of friends, drove to Belle Fleur in Rozelle, then took them back to his house at Pyrmont to box them as below.

Amazing job guys, thank you so much!

The sticker labels I had custom-made at

Little boxes of deliciousness...

Why hello tasty truffles!

Wedding Jewellery

I bought my earrings and hair clips from Australian designer Stephanie Browne. The pieces are designed to look vintage, but with a modern touch. I just adore them and can't wait to wear them again.

Pearl-drop earrings matched the dress perfectly.

Final Dress Fitting

My friend Masa came with me to pick up the dress on NYE. I tried it on one last time, which was lucky as it needed an extra hook in the back. I'd actually lost about half a kilo since my previous fitting, so it fit perfectly on the day. Woot!

I'm so so in love with my dress. I want to wear it again - every day! I'm trying to find a way to wear it again ... a ball? Shortened for a cocktail event?

The beading ... sigh!

With the Italian silk veil.

Woo hoo I'm getting married!

Wedding Cake

With the Gunners' Barracks including desserts in the menu, I wasn't going to even have a wedding cake. That is until my friend Julia offered to make it for us. I had no idea Julia had such baking skills until she volunteered for cake duty, and was absolutely amazed with the cupcake extravaganza she created.

Julia made 85 cupcakes (mixed vanilla and chocolate) with butter cream topping, specked with fresh berries and lollies. For the top the made a giant cupcake as per below - with the top half vanilla and the bottom half chocolate, also covered in buttercream.

Not only did it look amazing and taste extraordinary, it was made with love and that made it even more special to us. We have frozen the top cake in portions so we can eat it throughout the year :)


Menus and Programs

As I said in a previous post, my mum and I made the majority of the programs on Christmas Eve. We also enlisted the help of a work friend, Sally, with the stationary. She single-handedly assembled the menus and quite a large amount of the programs.

Alec showed some amazing graphic design skills with all of the stationary projects. He learned to use InDesign to create both of the projects below. I'm not certain anyone except me cared, but I just LOVED the stationary and have saved a few to stick in albums or whatever.






Monday, January 4, 2010


I can't believe it's all over! I'm so excited that everything went so well and all our guests seemed to have a great time. Despite succumbing to nerves myself, I also had a great time - but what makes me the happiest of all is simply that we are now married and I woke up this morning next to my husband :)

Arriving home after the reception.

One last photo as a bride...