Cara and Bruce

And the bride wore black….. I am seriously in love with our bride today, Cara’s, dramatic black wedding gown! Paired with the handcrafted paper details, the stunning mountain backdrop and the evident love between her and Bruce I think it’s a delightful wedding to share with you this afternoon!

Cara recalls how she and Bruce met. “We met through RSVP. I checked out the site one night after a few wines, and found Bruce’s profile, so I signed up and created my own profile, but thought I’d wait until the next day to contact him. But before I could, he saw my profile and emailed me. I didn’t need to meet anyone else… I knew he was definitely the one when he brought me his favourite book on one of our first dates. Books, and a love of the same authors, have been a big part of our relationship, which is one of the reasons books featured heavily in our wedding.”

Photos today are by Matt Palmer of York St Wedding Photography. I normally don’t feature a lot of black and white on Polka Dot Bride- but I love how Matt used Cara’s dress as a feature point for his black and white photography. They add such drama and beauty!

Cara had her wedding dress created by Darb Bridal Couture. She recalls, “I saw the dress in Brad’s window over a year before we got engaged, and loved it – I thought it would be an amazing dress to wear to a ball, but didn’t think of it as a wedding dress. When it came time to pick a wedding dress, I never thought I’d go for black. I looked at and tried on dozens of white and ivory dresses, but nothing made me feel like I felt when I put that black dress on. We added ivory touches (sash and silk flowers for the dress and my hair) to bring in the traditional bridal tones.”

To accessorise, Cara recalls “I wore a beautiful 1950s rhinestone necklace that had belonged to my Mum’s mum, who died before I was born. It once had matching earrings, but I lost one of them when I was a little girl (and have never been allowed to forget it!), so I found some lovely rhinestone earrings from the same era on Etsy (where I also bought a stunning vintage blonde mink bolero to keep me warm after the sun went down).” Donna Sullivan styled Cara’s hair and makeup.

Bride wearing black

Bruce wore a D’urban by David Jones suit, and a Zegna tie. Cara recalls “He looked so handsome!”. The floral arrangements were styled by Divine Wedding Flowers. Cara remarks “Gorgeous, flawless ivory roses for the bouquet, boutonnieres, corsages and cake flowers, and a variety of white/ivory/cream flowers for the tables.”

Cara and Bruce held their wedding at Mavis’s Kitchen, Uki where they also stayed for the weekend. The day after the wedding, they hosted a brunch for their guests to debrief!

Cara walked down the aisle to ‘Such Great Heights’ by Iron & Wine, a cover by The Postal Service.

The couple had a special surprise visitor before the wedding. Cara recalls “Bruce’s brother, who lives in London, and had told us he wasn’t able to make it, turned up on our doorstep two days before the wedding (and scared the bejeezus out of me when I answered the door in my dressing gown!). He’d decided to come on the spur of the moment, and it meant so much to us to have him there. It meant all our favourite people were in the same room at the same time, and it made our wedding complete.”

Of the wedding day Cara says “It was everything we ever imagined it would be – a beautiful, relaxed, joyous day, shared with our favourite people.”

Handmade garlands decorated the garden. Cara says, “My sister and I used vintage (and vintage inspired) wallpaper to make garlands of circles to decorate the ceremony area and the garden where our guests had drinks and canapés in the afternoon”

Guests were entertained while Cara and Bruce had photographs taken. Cara explains We provided croquet and bocce games to keep our guests amused in the afternoon between the ceremony and dinner (but most were happy to just enjoy a few drinks and canapés in the lovely afternoon sun).”

Cara even decorated her own shoes! She remarks “I desperately wanted pale blue ballet flats (something blue) but I couldn’t find what I wanted anywhere. I had a favourite pair in nude, that were structurally in great condition, but the leather had discoloured strangely… so I covered them in blue glitter myself thanks to some crafty tutorials I found online. Because the dress covered them so completely, lots of our guests didn’t even notice my blue Dorothy shoes until they saw the photos.”

Of their photographer, Cara remarks, “I knew Matt Palmer through work, and have always loved his photography. I was thrilled that he agreed to shoot the wedding for us (even though it was his own anniversary that day!), and he did the most amazing job. Our brief to him was no stuffy formal wedding pictures, and none of the boring contemporary wedding photography that all seems very ‘samey’ to me. We wanted beautiful pictures, of course, but mostly just candid moments – a documentary of the day and night… probably a nightmare brief for a photographer! On the day, apart from the half hour or so where Matt shot us on our own after the ceremony, we barely even noticed him. But when we saw the photos, he had captured everything and everyone. We could not be happier. He was amazing.”

Guests gathered inside the restaurant for dinner. For the reception decorations, Cara says “We used lengths of the same wallpapers to made table runners for each table, and my brother, sister and I also made lots of kusudama (origami balls) from old romance novels, and used them as part of our table decorations. Each table was finished with a centrepiece consisting of a stack of vintage romance novels, and a few small old vases, jugs, jars etc filled with assorted white flowers, and tealight candles. We also hung about a hundred white paper lanterns (lit by battery operated tealights to avoid setting the place on fire) around the garden and the verandahs that wrap around the restaurant. My sister and brother were amazing – it was really fun to spend the evenings with them in the lead up to the wedding, making all the handmade bits together.

Being able to spend time with my brother and sister in the lead-up, and have their help on all the handmade details, was such a lovely way to spend the days and nights before the wedding. We all live in different states, so it’s rare for us to see each other at all, much less have extended time to spend together doing fun things.”

There was a lot of DIY at Cara and Bruce’s wedding and it all started with the stationery – incorporating their love of books! Cara explains “We made our own invitations from vintage romance and pulp fiction novels we bought at the Lifeline Book Fair (a massive secondhand book sale held in Brisbane twice a year). Each book was handpicked for each guest, because of an association with the title or the cover. The invitations, rsvp cards and extra info were printed as library cards, and popped into a handmade card pocket in each book, which was then wrapped in brown paper and baker’s twine and hand delivered or posted. For the place cards we printed guests names onto pages from an old Mills and Boon novel (Perchance to Marry – perfect title, huh?), then wrapped each one around a white linen napkin, and tied it with baker’s twine.”

The cake was a “Chocolate gateau, with white chocolate wrap, made by Mavis’s Kitchen, and decorated with ivory roses, and handmade bride and groom wedding cake toppers that I made myself.” says Cara.

Cara and Bruce hired a photo booth from Photobooths 4 Hire. Cara explains “To complement our professional photos, we bought half a dozen cheap digital cameras and handed them out to our guests to use, and we also hired a photo booth. For a bit of photo booth fun, we bought these fantastic moustaches, glasses and lips made from thick felt and attached to sticks (another Etsy find). It really helped people loosen up, have fun, and mingle.”

For their first dance, Cara says, “We learned a little routine to Chuck Berry’s ‘You Never Can Tell’ (the song is from the twist competition in Pulp Fiction, but we didn’t imitate the movie scene or anything), but we had never practised with me wearing the dress, as Bruce wasn’t allowed to see the frock before the day. We snuck away during the evening to practice the dance, and it became pretty clear we were both going to trip over the dress and get flustered, so we shortened our routine and just did a few fancy rock n’ roll turns we’d learned, and then had our families come join us on the dance floor to save us!”

Congratulations Cara and Bruce! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous wedding day with us ! Thank you also to Matt Palmer of York St Wedding Photography for sharing today’s photographs with us!