Chris and Lucy

Chris and I got engaged in October 2010. He proposed to me in Bali after we had the most incredible experience. This is another story all together but an uncomfortable experience became one of the happiest moments of my life, as Chris asked the question, and I said yes! We then went about organising the wedding.

We chose the venue Leonda by the Yarra, Garden Room. We loved the intimate venue at the edge of the Yarra, classy and elegant, exactly what we were looking for. We were delighted to have Leonda’s manager Cinzia take control of proceedings… professional and so lovely!

So before I talk about the big day, first I want to discuss the most important item in any girl’s wedding, that’s right, the wedding dress!!! I had seen a picture previously of the most beautiful Collette Dinnigan Gown, I was determined to find it. I managed to track it down in their Perth store, and had it sent across. When I finally saw it, I fell in love with it and knew it was THE DRESS immediately, it was perfect. The dress was from the Snow White Collection, to me it is every bit the fairytale dress. It has a fully beaded bodice covered with Swarovski Crystals, and with four layers of tulles for the skirt, with a chiffon underlay and a silk lining. I especially love the scallop edge of the bodice. I love all the details on the dress, and how it is unique and a bit difference from a traditional all white wedding dress.

For the bridal party we chose an off the shoulder , long chiffon dress in vibrant Coral colour , to give a bit of “pop”, which looked great in the photos!

Chris’ suit was chosen from Jack London. We decided to get a deep charcoal colour with black trimming to the edges to differentiate him from the other more traditional suits of the groomsmen. His shirt was a white tuxedo style, also from Jack London, topped off with a reversible black and white bow tie.

The next step was to prepare the invites. We chose recyclable seeded paper, and created our own design using a water painting of a lilies in the valley which I did, and Chris’ part time graphic design skills. The invite was also wrapped in beaded vintage lace and ribbon which I hand sewed on. After the wedding, we asked the guests to plant the invitation, those little seeds embedded in the invitation will one day grow into a classic Australian Bottle Brush, symbolic of our own growth of love and life together!

Now, jump forward a bit to the big day. Myself and my four bridesmaids settled into the iconic Langham hotel by the Yarra to have our makeup done by the wonderful stylist Ms.Vivian Chang. Chris Garbacz from CGI Studios was our photographer for the day. He really made the whole photography process fun. Earlier on that morning he had been with the groom’s party at our house, the photos say they were having a great time! We were really happy with the results, Chris is truly a “FunPro” if such a term exists!

One hour before the ceremony, we headed down to the Yarra to catch a boat for our secret grand entrance to the reception! I was incredibly nervous, but the girls kept me calm. It was an unforgettable journey to Leonda. We arrived at the pier of the reception to an audience on the hill. I slowly made my way up the steps to hushed whispers and cameras clicking. I was so nervous, then I saw Chris’ face, and I knew everything would be OK, he had such a big cheesy grin! The flower girl was our friend’s daughter, Angel (I first met Chris when he was singing and playing guitar with little Angel, how can a girl resist!?!) the flower boy was my nephew Patrick, aren’t they so cute! I then walked down a white carpet to greet my smiling hubby.

 A couple of I do’s later and the celebration begins!

The decorations at the reception involved plenty of DIY. A Wishing Well tree was created from real tree branches that had fallen into our backyard. Small cards were created with leftovers from our invitations, people could write their blessings and hang them on the tree. A sign made from chalk board to show ” Here Comes the Bride ” and ” Just Married” which our lovely page boy Patrick held up strong and proud, he was so happy when the crowd cheered! Chinese lanterns (homage to my background) and Paper Pompoms were hung outside to add to the cultural influence; also the Bonbonniere was a butterfly box filled with Chinese lollies and chopsticks in a silk bag together for all guests to take home.

The Centrepiece on each table was a 5 arm candelabra which held glass bowls with candles and Singapore orchids. The dim lights on the night set a romantic feel throughout the room. The flowers I chose were Cala Lily’s, for their elegance and beauty. This included the bridal bouquet, and different smaller themes for the brides maids and groomsmen. Now to the entrances, first the bridal party entered. Then a slideshow of the history of Chris and I was played with The National’s “Slow Show” in the background. I know there were a few tears in the house when they saw the baby pictures, we have come a long way. Then Chris and I entered, it was wonderful to have so many people we love cheering for us. After taking our seats on the bridal table, proceedings begin. We had some initial introductions, then onto the cake! We worked with The French Lettuce to create this design. We had five tiers of macarons with 3 flavours (Rosewater, pistachio and butterscotch) and a white chocolate mud cake to top it off. The whole thing was decorated by fresh white Singapore orchids. It looked absolutely stunning and tasted even better!

Next, the wedding dance. Chris and I had prepared for 6 weeks to perfect this dance, with the help of our fantastic teacher Meredith from A Signature Wedding Dance. We were so happy with the result, many guests told us this was their highlight, very romantic and touching we were told! There was waltzing, foxtrot, contemporary, classical, all combined together to another National’s song, Gospel. Yes, it is our favourite band, we’ve listened to them many times and seen them live twice. I was happy to have many people asking us what the music was, I’m glad such an amazing band has some new fans.

Time for the music. We were really happy with Tim Watson and his band, they did a great job all night, playing all the classics, and keeping everyone pumped up on the dance floor. My two highlights, Patrick being cheered on by everyone while he put on a show to remember, and my new hubby getting up with the band to sing “Light my Fire” and play a guitar solo!

The food at Leonda By The Yarra was great. We actually went to a tasting evening with 4 of our friends and did a Masterchef Competition to give each dish a rating out of 10!! This process really helped, we ended up with food that everyone would like. The whole service from Leonda was great, very professional, and the food was delicious. The best part of the food would have to be the ice-cream station. It was hot on that day, and I’ve never seen so many adults with a mixed look of anticipation and delight… Seven different flavours of ice cream and four sorbets, the remedy on a hot summers night! Halfway through the reception, I decided it was time to let my hair down, and change into my traditional Chow Sun. By the end, Chris and I were just so full of love and joy, it is hard to describe! The whole event was perfect. Thanks so much to all the providers who did a wonderful job, but most of all to our family and loved ones that helped us to put everything together and assist on the night. Without you, this incredible experience would not have been possible.

Photography by Chris Garbacz from CGI Studios

Ms Gingham says: What a fabulous way to make an entrance! On a boat! It sounds like it was such a great day. Congratulations to Chris and Lucy!

Lucy says: “Hi I am an accountant who turned my back on the finance world to pursue a dream in fashion. I am currently studying fashion design second year and even though it is a very challenging journey, and at times really frustrating, I love the creativity, freedom and the joy it gives me.”