Ab and Louise
After four years of ups, downs, crazy adventures around the world and becoming ‘mortgaged’, we knew it was time to get engaged. I’m a forward planner who doesn’t like surprises, so I knew that it was coming. That didn’t take anything away from it though. Ab picked me up after work one day and drove me to his parents’ house. He walked me up his driveway to where he had created an island – a mound of sand with a self-painted backdrop of the ocean and a deserted island. He handed me a spade and asked me to dig for buried treasure. To my surprise, the treasure was actually an old ring of mine. I thought it was a cruel prank until I turned around and saw him bended on one knee, holding the most exquisite ring I have ever seen. I cried so much I forgot to say yes!
Fast forward two years… hang on; I say that like it was nothing. It was actually two years filled with planning, meeting with suppliers, looking at wedding mags and blogs, pinning things on Pinterest, finding the dress, altering the dress, roaming the aisles of Spotlight, scouring Etsy, writing vows, re-writing vows, designing a cake and wedding invitations, choosing flowers, contemplating floral vs non-floral buttonholes, finding the wedding ring that I visualised in my head, chasing people for RSVPs… the list goes on. So much goes into the wedding day and I ended up calling all this preparation my part time job. It was stressful, exciting, fun, infuriating and the best time ever, all at once.
On the wedding day I was really relaxed. I spent the morning getting ready with my mum and my maid of honour, Anne. The amazing Simona Janek did our hair and makeup. She was a dream to have there on the day and kept us calm and on track. We were ready for our photos as soon as Simon and Tim from gm photographics arrived. We had so much fun with these guys! Simon had so many great ideas and Tim is a genius at capturing all the finer details.
My beautiful bouquet was made from blue Singapore orchids – a sentimental choice as these were the first flowers Ab gave to me many years ago. I always wanted to have a colourful bouquet contrast against an ivory dress. They were arranged by the talented Margo at Sydney Floral Events.
Our gorgeous red Cadillac from Wild Weddings picked us up when it was time and transported us to Miramare Gardens for the ceremony. The car really made an impression as we drove down onto the grass in front of our guests.
Mum and Dad both walked me down the aisle for support, not to ‘give me away’. We laughed the whole way down to ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’ by ABBA. When I was a little girl I made up my mind that I would walk down the aisle to that song, so that’s what I did. I also couldn’t look at Ab, who was crying, because then I would cry too. So I enjoyed greeting and saying hi to all our friends and family on the way down.
Robyn Pattison married us. She is the best wedding celebrant EVER. I know everybody raves about their celebrant but the truth is no one compares to the wedding pixie, as she’s affectionately known by all the couples she marries. We had a ceremony that was personal, unique, warm and funny. We didn’t want cookie cutter vows. We wanted stories, jokes, emotion and love to fill our ceremony. And that’s what we got. We had to work for it though – Robyn gives out homework! But it’s totally worth it because she takes it all and creates a ceremony that everyone will remember and talk about for years to come. We also like that she encouraged us to face our guests so to invite them in to what was happening, and to hold each other’s hand.
After our ceremony, we had our photos taken around the Miramare Gardens grounds, then went upstairs for our reception in the Camellia Room.
We took inspiration from the colours of the blue Singapore orchids, as well as the room, to create a colour scheme. I learnt from Polka Dot Bride that it’s always best to work with your room rather than against it, and after styling our reception I definitely agree!
Also, both of us are big bookworms so it only felt right (and fun!) to incorporate that into our overall theme. For the table names, we used Penguin book cover postcards.
For our honeymoon fund we used book boxes to collect cards. We added a touch of Japanese design here because that’s where we were flying out to the next day!
Another pretty DIY detail was our family photo wall. It caught everyone’s eye and it was nice to feature our beloved family members, especially those who couldn’t be with us on the day.
Our reception was so much fun. We wanted to make sure our guests felt entertained, but we didn’t have a huge budget to work with. So, being the trivia nerds we are, we decided to treat our guests to a round of trivia about ourselves. It was super easy to organise and everyone got really into it and even got competitive against the other tables. There was a cash prize up for grabs after all, which turned out to be chocolate coins. We gave out mini wooden spoons to the table that came last.
Another personal touch we added was the cake toppers on our cake (made by Heavenly Cakes). I love Hello Kitty and Ab loves Snoopy (plus we’re big kids!) so it was a match made it heaven. I loved Hello Kitty’s cheeky expression at the sight of her knight in shining armour.
There was lots of dancing after the cake cutting, which were so excited about! It’s really important to have good music – all those daggy songs that make people want to get up and dance. When guests weren’t dancing, they were writing to us in our guest book. We wanted everyone to get creative with it so we had a bunch of colourful pens, stamps and stickers from Typo next to it. We loved reading these messages later on.
While the party was going on, we managed to sneak out into the gardens for some night photography. It was so good to take a moment to breathe and take it all in.
After saying our goodbyes, we kicked on to The Star and then wandered around Darling Harbour with some of our closest friends, seeking out a cheeseburger from McDonalds. Not that much different to a typical Saturday night…
Photography by gm photographics
Ms Gingham says: How exciting to see Louise celebrate her wedding! And in such beautiful style! Congratulations Louise and Ab!
Lou says: I love pretty things, bright colours, second-hand books, vintage homewares, big ideas, The Beatles, all types of jewellery, writing stories, cuddling my cat and having cosy nights in with my husband, Ab.