Daniel and Tatjana

I always scoffed at the notion of love at first sight, but I think after our first date in November 2009, Daniel and I knew that we were on to something special. On the 22nd of December 2010, Daniel and I had organised to go out to dinner. I met him at his studio, in West End and was told that he was working on something out the back. I pushed open the studio doors and saw a trail of fairy lights leading up to a huge black curtain. As I pushed the curtain aside I was blown away by the sight in front of me. Dan had created a winter wonderland, with real christmas trees, snow machines, fairy lights and christmas holly. He was standing in the middle dressed in a suit, looking gorgeous, but nervous, while “At last” by Joni Mitchell played softly in the background. Dan took my hands, dropped to one knee and ever so eloquently asked me to be his wife (which I responded to with a resounding YES!).

Engagement Photo by Graetz Media

We decided to have the wedding in January the following year, which gave us a lot of time to get things perfect and save up the requisite wedding funds. One of the first things that we did was book the photographer. Dan works in the media industry and we are both keen photographers so this aspect of the day was by far the most important for us. After seeing Jonas Peterson’s website we were really impressed and knew that he was our first pick. Lucky for us he had a vacancy on the 28th of January 2012, so in one fell swoop we had booked our photographer and set our date. The initial planning for all of our big bookings (reception, photographer, videographer, flowers, entertainment) was done pretty quickly, leaving the rest of the year to focus on all the smaller details a lot of which we DIYed.

The week before the wedding it rained every day and the 28th was no different. Luckily we were prepared with umbrellas and gumboots. Dan and his groomsmen spent the morning together at his parent’s house playing cards.

The girls were pampered at our property in Sheldon by the talented and super friendly Alana Salam from “Hair by Popular Demand” and Gemma Elaine from “Embellished Makeup Artistry”.

My dress was made by Darb Bridal Couture. I had walked past a black version of it numerous times and always had the dream that it would be my wedding dress one day. We had a hard time finding bridesmaid dresses in the style and colour that I was after and ended up ordering them online from Nordstrom. I had to compromise on the colour but the design was perfect and the girls looked absolutely amazing on the day.

Our ceremony was held at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Woolloongabba at 2;30pm. Dan had filmed the whole proposal and the idea was to make an introduction video for the wedding with it. As it turned out we didn’t get around to it until Thursday night, two nights before the wedding. We took turns in private, telling the camera how we felt about each other, and Dan edited it into a short documentary piece that also served to seamlessly introduce the bridal procession. It was a great way to start the ceremony, as the majority of guests that only knew one half of ‘us’ got a poignant insight into our relationship.

[vimeo width=”550″ height=”450″]http://www.vimeo.com/35870703 [/vimeo]

The ends of each pew in the church were decorated with flowers that we sourced from the Rocklea Flower Markets, suspended in white filigree pots tied off with ribbons. This feature and many others were executed beautifully by White + White on-the-day wedding coordination.

One decision that turned out to be a big hit was having the wedding cake cut and served just after the ceremony. This meant that a lot of guests who we weren’t able to invite to the reception could share in a special moment and it also gave us a relaxed chance to greet everyone. The wedding cake, along with the incredibly popular kitchen cakes, were supplied by The Welsh LadyGreen & Bloom supplied two apothecary-style punch dispensers, which we filled with a homemade recipe. The bridal party flowers were created by the uber talented Kate Dawes. She took our inspiration cut outs and exceeded expectations by creating beautiful bouquets and button holes.

The reception was held at Sirromet Winery in Mt Cotton. While guests gathered in Lurleen’s Restaurant for drinks we took to the winery grounds with the photographers and the team from Wedding Films by Net Productions.

The reception decor was nearly all DIY. I originally wanted to hang things from the ceiling of the restaurant, but was told that we weren’t allowed, so we designed and made 20 large wooden planter-boxes with frames so that we could have tea lights in baubles hanging down. The look was magical and set the mood for the evening perfectly!

 

We also made our own scented soy candles set in recycled jam jars set atop wood cut from our property.

The nameplaces were made using timber discs cut from our property which we painstakingly burnt each guest’s name into. Our bonbonniere were packets of mixed herb seeds with a personal message printed across the face of the envelope.

One of the highlights of the night was the speeches. It was so special to hear thoughts from our families that often don’t get voiced. It was a special moment for me to hear my dad talk, even though he was beyond nervous he hid it well, while hearing Dan’s family officially invite me into their family is a moment I will never forget!

Our first dance was to “At Last” (the same song Dan used to propose to me). It was a real moment for us seeing as the day had been so busy and had flown past so quickly. It was so nice to have that time to just be with each other, time seemed to slow for those four minutes and 58 seconds and we were the only people in the room.

The reception couldn’t have been more perfect. Swing Central provided exceptional music throughout the night that got everyone dancing. A group swing dancing lesson (run by Studio One) that we’d put on for all the guest four days earlier also ensured a well-populated dance floor. The photo booth from In The Booth was one of the biggest hits of the night. We’d bought a sizable collection of props and dress-ups and it was a treat to see all the guests shamelessly hamming it up for the camera.

Our exit was made through an arch of sparklers and into the waiting limo supplied by Prestige Vehicle Hire, which took us to the Emporium Hotel for a wonderful post wedding celebration. It was so fun sitting down with each other over the following days and talking about our different experiences of the wedding.

 

Even after so much planning and high-expectations, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. So many friends and family made the trip from interstate and overseas, and every one of our guests helped to create a celebration we will never forget. The day lives on in the feature-length documentary that Lachie from Net Productions created. We were initially skeptical about the need for video in addition to photos, but in retrospect it’s one of our most cherished mementos from our once-in-a-lifetime wedding.

Photography by Jonas Peterson

Ms Gingham says: What a magical day! I love the idea of cutting the cake straight after the ceremony. Stunning photography and gorgeous reception decorations too!

Tatjana says: “Hi my name is Tatjana Graetz, I am a 3rd year nursing student at griffith university and on the 28th of January 2012, I married an amazing man. Our wedding was a real affair that we poured ourselves into and we would love to share it!”