Karina and David

Garden weddings are so elegant and beautiful don’t you think? They leave me thirsty for a champagne under the dappled shade of a tree and I can almost hear the calls of birds and feel the sun on my skin. Karina and David had such an elegant garden wedding, I know you’ll pour over the photos just like I did.

Karina and David met at a work function. Karina tells their story, “Dave and I met in 2000 at a university student convention in Adelaide. It was the first night party at Adelaide Zoo and the theme was “Jungle” – Dave was dressed in leopard skin pants, had long wild hair and carried a large animal bone! He claims he started chatting to me because he thought I looked cute, but I know it was only so he could push ahead in the long queue for drinks… At the end of the week he went back to Perth and I to Melbourne, and I thought that was the end of it. However over the years we kept in touch by email and could never quite forget one another. A few years later we both happened to be travelling in India and decided to meet up there – maybe it was the excitement of an exotic location, but we have been together ever since.”

Louisa Bailey captured Karina and David’s photographs. I love Louisa’s simple and fun photographs. They’re beautiful, but still relaxed!

Karina wore an Alberta Ferretti gown she found in David Jones. Karina recalls “I came across this dress almost by accident whilst browsing in David Jones. I was quite despondent after looking in plenty of bridal stores and knowing that I didn’t want a big traditional wedding dress. My bridesmaid spotted it and requested I try on “because I want to see what it looks like on someone” – I hadn’t even noticed it on the rack.  Once I slipped it on it looked so elegant that I stayed in the change room admiring it for half an hour – I knew then I had to get it! The dress then set the style for the rest of the wedding – the birdcage veil, vintage rhinestones and soft mushroom tones of the girls’ dresses. ”

Karina’s bridesmaids wore gowns made by a local dressmaker with fabric from D’Italia. Karina explains “We were having trouble finding bridesmaid dresses to match the vintage style and subtle champagne colour of my dress, so we decided to have them made instead. It was just as well because two of the girls fell pregnant and had to have theirs made at the last minute to fit their growing tummies! I really love the three different shades of silk – it makes them look just a little bit different to a traditional bridal party.”

Karina paired her dress with shoes from Myer and a birdcage veil from Ann Leslie Designs on Etsy. She says “I loved that this shop had a champagne coloured veil that matched my dress exactly. I also found shopping online to be cheaper and less stressful than running around bridal stores with much more variety. I never knew of Etsy before planning the wedding, but it is a treasure trove of goodies for wedding planning.”

The girls hair and makeup was styled by Style and Grace. Karina says “Liz (hair) and Julie (make-up) were excellent – soft but elegant hair and beautiful natural make-up. I got so many compliments on the day and I couldn’t recommend them highly enough. ”

Karina and David met for photographs before the ceremony. Karina says “We held our photo shoot before the ceremony – it also really helped to see each other beforehand to relax our nerves. The photo shoot was at Billilla Gardens in Brighton  – a public park with an amazing National Trust listed Art Nouveau mansion. By having photos over with, we could mingle with guests and start the reception immediately after the ceremony, which I highly recommend.”

David and his groomsmen wore suits from Hugo Boss with Florsheim shoes.

The floral arrangements were styled by Lucy McNamara Flower Design. Karina recalls “Lucy did a great job with both the bouquets and the table centrepieces at the reception.”

Karina and David held their ceremony and reception at The International Of Brighton. Karina explains “We chose the International as we wanted to hold both the ceremony and reception at the one venue so guests could settle in and have a fun time without having to drive around or wait for hours. I especially loved the black and white décor inside, and the courtyard of the Georgian Room was a beautiful sheltered outdoor place for the ceremony.”

Karina and David were married by Jason Tuazon-McChenye. Karina says “Dave researched celebrants by typing into Google “wedding celebrant + [our suburb]” and it came up with Jason. I didn’t quite approve of that method but agreed to go along to meet him anyway. It turned out he was exactly the fun, relaxed guy we were looking for – he had everyone laughing (including us) during the ceremony…”

Guests celebrated the marriage in the Georgian Room. Karina notes “The ceremony and reception were held at the Georgian Room at the International of Brighton. The staff were extremely helpful and professional, and the whole evening went smoothly. I really loved the courtyard setting and the black & white decor – simple yet sophisticated. Guests commented on how delicious the food was – but we were so busy mingling that we barely got to eat. Luckily the staff knew that, and kept aside some cake so we could eat it on our honeymoon.”

For dessert doubling as wedding favors, Karina and David made their own macaron tower with macarons from Choukette . Karina says “Dave and I came across a picture of a macaron tower, and immediately knew we wanted one! With a bit of preparation, it was not as difficult to make as it looks. The macarons were ordered from our local French Patisserie, Choukette. The day before the wedding Dave and I delicately pinned the biscuits to a polystyrene cone with toothpicks – we made one tower each and it was a competition to see whose would look better! Towards the end of the reception, the macarons were put into little organza bags for guests to take home in place of bonbonniere. ”

The couple had a simple wedding cake made by Mandees Cupcakes. Karina notes “The cake was a delicious chocolate mudcake. I bought the silver cake stand on Ebay.”

The couple bought a guestbook from Kikki K and put a twist on it. Karina explains “I really wanted to have a photo booth at the reception, but couldn’t really justify the expense. Instead we borrowed a friend’s Polaroid camera and got guests to take a self-portrait and stick it on their page of the guest book. We got some hilarious snaps and lots of comments from guests about how much they loved it.” The couple chose their  invitations from Wedding Paper Divas.

Mobydisc provided the tunes for the night, Karina explains “We really liked that we were able to choose a playlist beforehand from their list online, and give it to the DJ on the day. He then mixed it in with requests from guests.”

Congratulations Karina and David! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Louisa Bailey  for sharing today’s photographs with us!