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Sionen and Dan

Sionen and Dan decided on a different kind of wedding format. With two parts! They said their vows with just their immediate family, celebrating with a wider circle of their friends and family just a week later. They chose Derek Bogart  to capture both of their wedding days!

Of how they came to be, Sionen tells, “We were high school sweet-hearts. We started dating at 15, and were married on our 12 year anniversary!”

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Sionen chose a knee length cream dress from Modcloth. The couple chose to get ready together, telling, “The days leading up to the ceremony meant a trip to the flower markets to purchase the flowers for both the wedding day and our reception. Sionen assembled her own bouquet for the ceremony as well as button holes for the men and flower bombs for the flower girls.”

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Glenn Oreilly styled the bride’s hair and makeup. She remembers “He is utterly amazing!”

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The couple were married in the Herb Garden, Sydney Botanic Gardens noting, “The ceremony day was our 12 year anniversary. After 12 years we couldn’t bear to remember a new date, so it was fitting!”

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Sionen walked down the aisle to a piano version of “Always with me” from Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.

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Of their photographers Sionen says, ” Derek Bogart and his assistant Ritchie were amazing start to finish. Dedicated and high energy, they both worked tirelessly to get great shots, without ever feeling in the way or pushy. In fact many guests asked us if they were personal friends as they made such an effort to fit in with the flow. Most important to us was that they understood our vision, they listened and worked with us to execute it to perfection.”

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A week later, the reception celebrations began! The couple chose a separate reception with 90 guests at a special place, remembering, “We held it at our family farm known as “The Property, situated around 345km from Sydney in Taralga. We wanted to use this location as it holds a special meaning for us both. Over the 12 years of our relationship we have spent countless weekends and holidays there with the people we love. So it felt a fitting place to hold the celebrations. Dan’s father even went to the effort of building a new shed for us to use as the reception venue. Overcoming multiple challenges such as no electricity or mobile reception didn’t stop some 90 people making the trek out to party with us. Being so remote, we recruited an army of friends and family to help cook, decorate and set up using little to no vendors.”

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“Our wedding possibly took “DIY” to a whole a new level. Being passionate “doers”, we worked on everything from hand stitched bunting, flowers, invitations to food. Our philosophy was to focus on the details that mattered most to us and not get caught up in the “done thing”. This in turn meant that we had a hand in every element of the celebrations. We’ve probably missed something in the details that follow, but as we used no professional vendors (except for chair hire and our photographer of course!) every detail in these images was created by us.

The key to our courageous decision was to stick to our strong creative vision and prepare as much as possible so the day could be stress free for everyone to enjoy the celebrations. The bride being a professional graphic designer also proved to help immensely.”

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“The reception decorations followed suit, with Sionen and a team of friends and family creating the table decorations. In keeping with our desire to pre-prepare, we stuck with a selection of native flowers that were not only fitting with reception venue, but also hard wearing meaning they could be purchased a week in advance.

For the reception food we pre-prepared 20kgs of pulled pork that could simply be heated on the day and served. Although the intention was to be ‘minimal effort’ on the day, lunch would never have happened without the tireless work of our friends and family who set up and prepare lunch for everyone. Sionen is blessed with a Mum with infinite cooking talent who handmade jams and spreads for each and every person’s bonbonniere.”

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The newlyweds remember, “The decision to split the ceremony day from the reception day mean that all four of Sionen’s grand parents and Dan’s grandmother were able to attend, who otherwise would not have been able to make the trip. The decision also meant that the reception day didn’t include the added stresses of the ceremony and we were able to enjoy it more. Some might call is crazy, but by taking care of so many elements ourselves we created an event that was a true reflection of us.”

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Sionen and Dan created a three tier “cheese cake” with a topper made by the bride.

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Guests enjoyed lawn games as the couple had photographs taken.

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As the sun set, a big bonfire was lit, with the groom creating log stools – enough to make sure each guest had a seat!

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Congratulations Sionen and Dan! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Derek Bogart for sharing today’s wedding with us!