Emily and Chae

You would never see a wedding like this anywhere else in the world- the stunning gum trees, the earth tones, the landscape- nothing quite replicates an Australian wedding! Especially one as beautiful as the wedding of Emily and Chae. “Rather than worry too much about ‘Wedding Theme’ we just tried to create a ‘Wedding Vibe’. We wanted it to be elegant but more importantly relaxed and fun.” says today’s bride, Emily.

Photos today are by Filip Welna who has managed to capture today’s celebration in a way that is beautifully true to what I believe Emily and Chae wanted their guests to experience.

Emily and Chae chose invitations that were uniquely Australian. “I was really happy with our invitations. They were by Wren Press. We wanted to set the tone for a fun, laid back Aussie Bush wedding. My Grandfather has beautiful old fashioned writing and he hand addressed all our wedding invitation envelopes for us- there were over 100 and he did a beautiful job.”

Emily wore a Collette Dinnigan gown from Elle Boutique.

A bold pair of earrings in vivid gemstone colours were chosen by Emily from House Of Lavande. Australian natives were the flower of choice in Emily’s dream bouquet created by Flowers By Sally Phillip. ” Because we were getting married in the National Park we wanted to keep things in harmony with the native forest. I had native flowers (well mostly- there were a couple of proteas snuck in there but close enough!) and the boys had gum nut and gum leaf buttonholes”

Emily’s two bridesmaids (her sister and Chae’s sister) wore gowns from Portmans. The groomsmen (below) each wore a pair of cuff links from Benjamin’s Cufflinks that reflected their personal nicknames or hobbies. Chae wore a Hugo Boss suit while the groomsmen wore suits hired from Brittons Formal Wear.

Emily and Chae held their wedding at Perth Hills National Park Centre. “The venue made our wedding! My Mum and Dad noticed it one day while walking a section of the Bibbulmun Track. It is part of the visitors centre for the National Park and is a public space which is very reasonable to hire. We also hired the adjacent camp ground so our guests could camp over if they wanted.

The ceremony was in the bushland amphitheatre and we strung some white paper lanterns between the trees to jazz up the space. The lanterns were beautiful bobbing around gently in the breeze.We served Lemon, Lime & Bitters and cold water were served to guests as they gathered for the ceremony.”

As a special touch, a living statue (Emily and Chae chose a woodland nymph) from James Gray Living Statues to greet guests as they arrived on coaches arranged by Emily and Chae to transport guests from Perth.

Emily walked down the aisle to Ingrid Michaelsons’ “The Way I Am”. Such a sweet song! It has just the right tempo for a walk up the aisle and the lyrics were just perfect for us.”

Emily says ” Obviously marrying the man I love in front of all our friends and family was my favourite moment. It was overwhelming to have all these people you love and who love you back, together in one place.  We had people come from all over the country and all over the world to see us wed. It was magic”.

Emily and Chae spent only 45 minutes taking photos after the ceremony- they wanted to celebrate with their guests!

Emily and Chae held their reception in the pavilion at the Perth Hills National Parks Centre (no longer available for wedding receptions). The blank space meant they could bring in caterers and decorate it the way they wanted to. For months, Emily’s parents scoured garage sales and op shops for secondhand couches, the couple found wine barrels for sale in the newspaper and Emily found masses of earthy toned cushions.

She says “Because we had the beautiful bush surrounds we felt we didn’t need too much in the way of extra decorations. Happy guests in their beautiful clothes are the best way to decorate a reception venue! We put heaps of candlelight lanterns in the bushes around the reception (battery powered as total fire ban in Perth Hills in March) and had some strong up-lights installed to illuminate the beautiful tall trees after the sun went down.”

Big Belly Bus Catering did the ceremony & reception setup and catered the event- a gourmet cocktail BBQ.

Music played an important role at the reception of Emily & Chae.  “We had the amazing Freya Hanly do her live acoustic and vocals straight after the ceremony and for the first hour or so of reception. We had wanted some live music but couldn’t agree on a band. She has the most beautiful voice and we got lots of comments on how great she was. The DJ (Roadshow DJs) cranked up after the speeches and kept everyone on the dance floor.”

One of Emily’s favourite moments was the speeches. “My Dad spoke the most beautiful words. And the best man’s speech was so well done – the perfect blend of warmth and humour.”

The wedding cake was a simple style decorated with Australian flora from Regines Bakery in Lathlain.

The vibe of the reception only got louder as the night wore on and Belezasamba (organised by Emily’s mother) showed up”We had Brazilian Drumming act arrive as a surprise at 10pm. They did an intense 15 minute set and took the partying to the next level. They were absolutely unreal and had so much energy. It was one of the highlights of the night.”

Thank you Emily and Chae for allowing us to share your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Congratulations on your marriage! Thank you also to by Filip Welna for his stunning photographs of today’s celebrations!