Duncan and Maggie

Duncan is the brother of one of my close girlfriends and so while we had met a couple of times over the years, we met for the last time at celebratory drinks for her. Our meeting story is probably one of the most unromantic stories there is (I won’t retell it here) but it still makes me laugh. Myself, the bridesmaids and my family got ready at my parent’s place. Linda West did a fabulous job with the makeup and Liam Moore, my brother’s boyfriend, did an absolutely amazing job with hair – everyone chose something different. I wanted everyone to look relaxed and natural and they did and looked so beautiful.

Fast forwarding to the proposal, it was after breakfast in a cafe in Five Ways, Paddington. We had chosen a ring together months before so I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when (I was not expecting him to get on his knee in the middle of Five Ways)! We spent the rest of the day with our families, celebrating.

Organising the wedding was a lot of fun and once we found the reception venue, it was pretty easy to just work backwards. We wanted to make sure the reception felt like we were just out for a nice dinner with (a lot of) friends and family. It was also important to us to ensure that our guests were relaxed and that they only had to worry about getting to the ceremony and not about getting to the reception or filling in time before it started. There were a couple of little hiccups – the chosen flowers became unavailable a week prior, changing ministers and a mix up with the seating arrangements – but on the whole, not very stressful and heaps of fun!

Of course, one of the most exciting days, while organising, was dress shopping. I really had no idea where to start but thought Collette Dinnigan in Woollahra might be a good place. I was right, the girls were fabulously helpful and while I tried on almost every dress, Mum and my sister sipped on champagne. There were so many lovely dresses but it was Mum who made me try on “the one” – which was nothing like the style I thought I would go for and twice what I wanted to spend (I was/am of the thinking that the money is better spent on the reception or honeymoon). But thanks to The Sydney Wedding Registry and Polka Dot Bride, my decision to splurge was made a whole lot easier. A couple of weeks prior I had entered a competition run by The Sydney Wedding Registry to win your dream dress (thanks to a Polka Dot Bride email update). When I got the call that I had won I literally jumped around my apartment and then made a hysterical call to my fiance and Mum. I ordered the dress the next week but was sworn to secrecy by Mum… I had no idea that that was a thing.

The ceremony was held at St.Clement’s Church Mosman, a really beautiful old church in Mosman and not too far from where the reception was to follow. Walking up the aisle I tried not to look at Duncan in case I’d start crying (or make him cry) but I remember looking at him and thinking that I couldn’t wait to get up there and get married.

The wedding day was truly an amazing day – although, to begin with, we had such awful weather. It was apparently the coldest day in October in 30 years and it looked like the rain was coming from all directions. It wouldn’t really have mattered except that I had my heart set on drinks outside after the ceremony and if we had to move to a pub we had to make the call to cancel by about 2pm. We decided to chance it.

As soon as the  ceremony was over we were desperate to see how bad the weather was (and whether we’d made the right call). I think there’s a photo of us walking out of the church and seeing that the day had turned into a bright clear sunny afternoon, the rest of the day simply sparkled!

We organised drinks and nibbles to follow the ceremony down at The Rotunda at Balmoral Beach.  It was so nice to relax, have a drink and chat to everyone.  The in-between drinks are always my favourite part and neither of us were too keen to leave and have photos. We eventually managed to drag ourselves and the rest of the bridal party away.

Elise Hassey was our photographer. She had been the photographer for a good friends’ wedding a year before and I had loved their photos. Elise was great for Duncan and I because we both hate posing for photos, she made us feel very comfortable and for the most part I forgot she was even there.


The reception was at The Public Dining Room in Balmoral which is such a beautiful venue and only a 7 minute (we timed it) stroll from The Rotunda. The food was delicious and the waiters did such a great job looking after Duncan and me, and each and every guest. I don’t think anyone managed to get to the bottom of their glass.

I know that everyone says it but the day just went so amazingly fast and while I had such a great day, one of the best parts was coming home after the reception, popping open a bottle of champagne and recapping the day together.

My two cents for brides to be:
* planning and the wedding itself can be as stressful or as enjoyable as you choose to make it, so make it enjoyable. We had some mini disasters on the day – I had had a bad reaction to an eyebrow wax, the weather, my dress was too long (and had to be cut by hand), the music at the reception didn’t work – but it didn’t matter. The most important part is that at the end you’ll be married, enjoy it!
* at the ceremony: (this is thanks to a friend) when you get to the top of the aisle, take his hand. It can be a little unnerving/awkward at first, standing up at the front, by grabbing his hand you won’t feel like you’re up there by yourself but rather enjoying this unique experience together.

Swirl divider

 Ms Gingham says: A beautiful wedding with such a relaxed and easy vibe. Fantastic advice for brides Maggie. Well done and congratulations!

Maggie says: “Hi, I’m Maggie, I was married to my husband Duncan last October. Duncan is the brother of one of my closest friends (so now have a best friend as a sister in law). He’s amazing, every day I feel lucky to have him (and him me). I’m the eldest of four and this was the first wedding in my family so it was all very new and I’d love to share my photos.”