Donna and Tenny

It’s always one of my favourite moments- sharing the story of someone I know has read Polka Dot Bride throughout their engagement, has shared snippets and glimpses of their life . Then they share their wedding photos and it’s like looking through those of a friend, it’s her smiling face, there’s the menus she talked about making, there’s the candy bar she spoke of and discussed with the other girls.

Today’s wedding is of Donna and Tenny. I’ve followed Donna on Twitter for a long time and seen her talk of her wedding plans, from finding a photographer to celebrating her hen’s night. It’s so wonderful to be able to share today with you  – the culmination of it all- her wedding to her soul mate Tenny.

Donna tells how she met her husband Tenny. “We met at a Latin dance school. He was a teacher and I was a student/performer there. We were friends for a few years before we got together but the best way for you to see the story is to read this story that I wrote for our wedding programs on my blog here

Today’s photographs are by the very talented Lakshal Perera (also known as Lucky). I love the beautiful photographs Lucky has taken today- they capture the soul of Donna and Tenny and the spirit of their wedding day. Donna says “The photos speak for themselves. There isn’t a single photo that Lucky gave us that I don’t absolutely love. They capture the day so perfectly – when I first looked at them I cried! And I wasn’t the only one, friends of mine (even people who weren’t there at the wedding) were brought to tears by Lucky’s beautiful photography.”

Donna wore pink glittery heels from Nine West. Lucky was able to capture them and keep her nephew entertained while she got ready! One of Donna’s favourite moments was “Spending the night before & early morning of the wedding day with Tenny. We stayed at home then went out for breakfast together before splitting up to get ready. I loved those quiet moments!”

Donna used Gemma from Embellished Makeup for her and her bridemsaid’s makeup, and Jayde from Sassy Chic to style the girls hair. “Gemma, my makeup artist was simply amazing. Not only was her makeup flawless, but it lasted the entire day without touching up (except for lippy) despite many tears, a pillow fight and hours of dancing! She is a complete sweetie and in the lead up to the wedding we’d email & tweet about so many things. She offered her advice about the many different make up looks I was considering, we’d chat about Masterchef and she was full of sympathy and recommendations when I had a few hiccups leading up to the wedding. I consider her a friend now – she even offered me refuge at her home when I lost power during the floods!

Jayde  my hairdresser was fantastic. She came to my rescue when my original HD pulled out 8 weeks before the wedding. She understood exactly what I wanted for my hair and what my girls wanted – she definitely worked her magic!”

Donna wore a strapless gown by Essence of Australia from The Bridal Centre while her bridesmaids wore magenta convertible gowns from Kookai. Brisbane Market Flowers created a bouquet of pink peonies for Donna and Donna’s friend Kiki ([email protected]) created silk wrist corsages for her bridesmaids.

Tenny wore a grey suit from Geoffrey Beene from David Jones.

One of the funniest stories or the day involved Donna’s love of lists. “Anyone involved in our wedding will tell you that I am super organised and love lists. I did up a run sheet for the entire day and which everyone who had a part to play in the day got a copy of (colour coded for different people!). On the day itself, I didn’t really look at my run sheets or lists, I just trusted the people that I loved and the people that I hired to do what they needed to do and it worked.

The lists only failed me in one way. I’d left a list for the boys of things that they should make sure they had before we left: speeches, buttonholes, rings etc. Well, they didn’t check the list and left the buttonholes in the fridge!

They didn’t realise until Tenny’s mum showed up with the button hole for his dad and Tenny turned to his groomsmen and said: “where are our flowers”. Cue panic as they realised they’d forgotten. Apparently the groomsmen didn’t even see the list … Tenny ended up wearing his dad’s buttonhole and the groomsmen went without – at least they remembered the rings!”

Special moments with her loved ones meant more to Donna than anything else. She recalls, “To be honest, for me the wedding wasn’t about the details. Don’t get me wrong, I love pretty details and spent countless hours looking at pretty wedding details on blogs. But when I think back and remember the wedding, the details fade and what I remember are the precious moments like the group hug I took with my bridesmaids right before walking down the aisle (the photo of our heads), being unable to hold back the tears when I was walking up the aisle and the overwhelming feeling of love, joy and support that I felt all day.”

Donna and Tenny were married at the Victoria Park Function Centre in the Garden Marquee. “We chose Victoria Park because we wanted to have the ceremony and reception in the one place to minimise travel for our guests. The staff there (especially Ali Lord, our coordinator) were fantastic to deal with. No question was too small and they always got back to me quickly.” Donna walked down the aisle to  Beyonce’s version of ‘Ave Maria’.

The funny list story didn’t end with the flowers. Donna recalls “I’d nicely tied the rings onto our Paloma’s Nest ring bowl with bows that would be easy to untie. The boys decided that they wanted to get a better look at the rings during morning and then retied them with knots so tight that during the wedding they took a couple of minutes to untie them! I was worried that we’d have to send someone to get scissors!”

One of my favourite parts of the day was after the photos with the bridal party, Tenny and I went back to Emporium Hotel where we were staying that night with Lucky who took a few photos of us there – including photos of us jumping on the bed and having a pillow fight (which I won).

I printed our wedding invitations on paper that we bought in Japan not long after we were engaged as well as making the ceremony programs, table names and tulle pom poms to decorate the ceremony area. A cupcake wedding cake was made by friends along with a small cake for the traditional cake cutting.

Donna and Tenny returned to Victoria Park Function Centre for their reception in the Alabaster Room.

Sweet treats! “If I had to pick one detail as being special though, it would be the lolly bar! When I started wedding planning it was the only thing that I knew I wanted to have at the wedding. I thought we went overboard buying almost 25kg of lollies for our guests (a little over 80) but there were no lollies left! And although I’d thought that my brother and cousins would be the ones devouring the lollies, I think it was some of the older aunties and uncles who went back to the lolly bar two or three times!”

Donna and Tenny had a romantic and surprising first dance. “We’re both dancers and mostly dance Brazilian dance styles. We danced a forro (pronounced foh-ho) to “I Like You” by SJ. Forro is quite a cuddly dance style, danced very closely so that your torsos are touching. We didn’t choreograph our wedding dance and we’d only ever danced to the song once before the wedding day. Some of my friends who aren’t dancers pronounced it the “best wedding dance ever” and my sister (who also dances a little) said it was her favourite moment of the day!”

Another of Donna’s favourite memories was the last hours of the reception. “I loved rocking the dance floor at the reception with everyone, including my 89yo grandfather! My friends later told me that I should rent my family/friends out for weddings/functions because they hadn’t seen such a dance loving group of guests before.”

A big congratulations to Donna and Tenny on their marriage! Thank you for sharing your wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Lakshal for allowing us to share today’s images!