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Tonia & Shane

When you plan a wedding from halfway across the world in your home country, it’s a special way of doing things – you’re coming home. Tonia and Shane, who live in Switzerland,  honoured their homeland with a beautiful modern Australian bush wedding. They embraced the bushland surroundings, spreading the rusty red natural blooms throughout their day and creating a relaxed but very family centric feeling to their day.  Bailie Photography was there to capture it all.

On how they met, Tonia tells “We met at a memorable party held by our good friend and best man, Mark, in Sydney (1998) while I was traveling with my sister Sandra.”

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Tonia remembers, “I loved the beautifully calm moments before the ceremony getting ready with Isabelle & Sandra (my bridesmaids) and the flowergirls, Maite and Julia when Christabel Draffin and Jayde Turner Ledwidge did our make-up and hair. Both Christabel and Jayde are really amazing.”

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Tonia wore a Flora by Lusan Mandongus  gown noting, “I am also immensely grateful for the advice of Olga and Léa of Belle En Blanc which helped me find the dress in the one and only wedding shop that I found the courage to visit. They also told us where to find bridesmaid dresses and the suit for Shane! That was great and saved so much time.”

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The wedding was held at Lilyvale, Royal National Park. Tonia remembering, “We decided to celebrate our wedding in Australia, to have both our families together in a place that we love: the Australian bush of the Royal National Park surrounded by native flowers. We also wanted a ceremony with time to breathe and to eat well and dance! Since we live overseas in Switzerland (we are a Swiss-Australian couple) and do not see our Australian friends and family often, and we wanted to be sure that we could share a beautiful day together. To have the time to dance or chat until we were tired and even to see our friends the next morning for a barbecue brunch. We were hoping for a wedding that was relaxed but still meaningful and beautiful.”

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Tonia walked down the aisle to Rameau Dardanus: Overture to Act 1; Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris. The couple’s love of fine music continued during the ceremony with Händel Water Music: Suite No. 1 in F major, Neville Marriner & Academy of St. Martin In the Fields; J.S. Bach: Cantata BWV 147: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; Guitar Music by Brazilian Guitarrist José Barrense Dias: Vuco Vuco and Niteroi. Mendelssohn Wedding March, Ernest Ansermet, L’Orchestra De La Suisse Romande all being played during the ceremony.

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Zoe Van Akker performed the ceremony, the bride remembering, “We are thankful to our celebrant Zoe who listened to us and helped us share our story with a beautiful ceremony that included my favourite composer Bach and the time to listen to the birdsong of the bush.”

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Of their photographer, Tonia says, “Bailie is lovely and makes you feel instantly comfortable. We really liked the natural shots he took during the ceremony and party.”

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“It was fantastic to have our one week old niece Charlotte be there together with Shane’s 97 year old Nana! This was really special for us.”

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Sharon’s Superb Slices created the wedding cake, Tonia telling, “We are so happy that Sharon, our sister in law’s sister helped us with the absolutely delicious wedding cake. Everyone loved it!”

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Form Over Function  planned, styled and executed the day (including creating the stationery and floral arrangements!). Tonia remembers “Honestly with the help of Alicia of Form Over Function  and our dear friends and family, the day surprised us in the most amazing way. Alicia was crucial to this by going with us through all the cliffs of the wedding preparation when you are on different continents and time zones, by knowing exactly what we meant and working so hard and efficiently that it totally exceeded our expectation on the day. This is one of the best choices we made – to work with Alicia and I can only recommend it! Whichever wedding you imagine, Alicia will help you make it happen! I cried when I saw my flowers: they were more beautiful than what I could have imagined.

The decoration was stunning, the food by R & R Catering just magnificent (we still rave about the duck confit) and we looooved Philip, our fantastic DJ (of Sydney Wedding DJs )!! He really played great stuff! We danced and just enjoyed the party!!”

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“So while the day went so quickly, we were so alive, so present, that it stays with us still. But first and foremost we feel blessed to have had this day in the presence of our loved ones: our friends and family who put in an immense effort to travel to be with us which touched us deeply. I hope that this blog might also let friends and family participate, who were with us in thought on the day, but on the other side of the planet.”

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Tonia tells, “We are not so much into DIY when it comes to details and arriving from overseas just before the wedding did not make this any easier. Thanks to my brother Simon, and his partner, Monica who crafted a fabulous cookbook with recipes supplied by each of our guests! No better souvenir as we love good food!”

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For their first dance, Tonia recalls, “We chose Could Die For You by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. We both love rock and this ballad captured a lot of our feelings for each other, while it was also possible for us to dance to without looking too silly. Here an excerpt of the lyrics: “Something inside the cards – I know is right – Don’t want to live – Somebody else’s life – This is what I want to be.”” Sydney Wedding DJs kept the dancing going all night long.

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Congratulations on your marriage Tonia and Shane! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Bailie Photography for sharing today’s wedding with us.