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Caitlin & Sipa

Sometimes a couple just wants their wedding to be simple, a ceremony, a reception and the focus on their love. Caitlin & Sipa chose a  fuss free Sydney wedding for their nuptials. But nothing about it was any less wonderful than any other wedding. Their story in every photo, the surprises carefully planned and thought out and all captured beautifully by Deus Photography.

Caitlin tells the story of how they met. “We actually met when we were five years old, we were in the same kindergarten class at school. As we have always lived around the corner from each other, Sipa loves to tell me stories how he would ride past my house with gelled hair to see if I was playing in the front yard. He claims I never spoke to him at school but I have photographic proof that he even came to my 10th birthday party!”

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Dear friend Ashleigh Bowring  created the couple’s stationery, Caitlin remarking, “One of my oldest and dearest friends Ashleigh Bowring who is a graphic designer working in London couldn’t make it to our wedding. I love that she was still able to be a part of our day as she designed and made our wedding invitations and order of service. I am still so in love with what she created. Early in the design process she made us a monogram which was a wreath with our initials inside. We used it on everything we could, it tied everything together.”

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Caitlin and Sipa chose Christ Church Anglican, Gladesville  for their ceremony, laying where they would marry with traditional mats.  Caitlin tells, “We were married at Christ Church Anglican as my uncle was a youth minister there so he was able to speak at the wedding and run things. Our dear friend from Hillsong church married us, so it was a beautiful ceremony full of family and friends. The church was also great for us as it was so close to the reception venue, which meant it was easy for our guests to travel there.

In the morning Sipa and his brothers got dressed on traditional Tongan mats that were laid out on the floor for them. In the church we were married on different Tongan mats that’s Sipa’s family laid out the day before. Tongan hymns were also sung during the signing of the register.”

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Of her walk down the aisle, Caitlin remembers, “I walked down the aisle to ‘Oceans’ by Hillsong United. We have always loved this song since the first time we heard it. It has the most beautiful violin introduction, gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Walking down the aisle with my beautiful dad and having him give me away, will forever be one of the best moments of my life.”

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Deckhouse, Woolwich hosted the reception, Caitlin remarking, “Deckhouse was the first venue we looked at and we booked it straight away after our first viewing. We fell in love with the long waterfront room that looked over the city immediately. It had a wrap around deck which was perfect for aperitifs and appetizers in the afternoon light. The staff were also amazing. Everyone we dealt with from the event planner Sarah to the staff looking after us during the actual reception were absolutely delightful, friendly and oh so helpful with whatever we needed.

With the Deckhouse being located on the water, opposite the city and next to a large reserve, it was the perfect location for our wedding photos to be taken there. No travel time needed and everything was on foot with the most spectacular view.”

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“We created a lot for the wedding, it was time  consuming but we loved it (most of the time.. haha). Some of the things we did included, putting together all the invitations and sending them out. I made the name tags for the tables, by individually stamping everyone’s names, cutting string to attach them to, then even two days before the wedding I dragged Sipa to our reception venue to attach the name tags to the napkins and put them in order to make it easier for staff to place them onto the tables.

We collected 100 jars for my florist to arrange flowers in to place down our two long tables. We stamped lolly bags with a personalized stamp thanking everyone for coming. We folded and tied string to the order of services. My Grandad even made a big white frame with string to attach photos of our relationship onto. And lastly I organized a kids’ activity table to keep them entertained before they danced the night away!”

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Oatley House of Flowers created the floral arrangements and styled the reception, Caitlin remembering, “One of my favorite parts of our wedding was the work of our florist Michelle. She had a 4 hour turn around to decorate and style the room for our wedding. And wow… what she did in 4 hours was incredible!

When I walked in with Sipa I was totally blown away, jaw dropped and all! We had a few little meetings and sent emails regarding what I wanted for our bouquets, tables and I mentioned to her that I would love some greenery hanging down over the tables with candles if possible. That’s it, that’s all I said. Michelle went above and beyond, she even screwed bolts into the walls so she could run wire above the two long tables to hang the greenery and hanging glass candles off! My goodness I still dream of her styling!”

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The bride kept one major surprise for the groom, who tells, “Caitlin’s first surprise to me as my wife was a traditional Tongan dance called a Tau’olunga that she had been preparing with a cousin of mine who lived in New Zealand. My cousin was sending tutorial videos whilst we were still in France and the finishing touches were perfected when they met in Australia, 3 days before the wedding. The surprise was something I will never forget. We were all surrounding the dance floor applauding as my cousin had just finished her traditional dance.

I can clearly remember clapping yet searching and thinking where had Caitlin gone, at the beginning of the dance she was right beside me and now she was no where to be seen. Just as I took a step to find her, my brother and best man Pauliasi conveniently and sneakily distracted me with a question. Now due to Pauliasi’s smooth maneuvering I was exactly where I was meant to be for this surprise to work in full effect, distracted, my back was to Caitlin’s entrance, I was on the ‘X’ (marks the spot). I first noticed the music playing and then the screams of my Mum and other Tongan guests in great Tongan fashion that draws me to Caitlin being ushered out in her wedding dress with some beautiful traditional Tongan additions.

As she began to dance, my facial expression of shock quickly then cemented into a smile, throughout the whole performance I could not stop smiling and thinking “how is this happening”. It was by far the highlight of my night. The effort she went through just simply organizing the wedding in Sydney from France, to then preparing a surprise Tau’olunga for me is something I will never forget and continue to smile about as I re-tell the story of Caitlin’s first surprise to me as my wife.”

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Of their photographer, Caitlin notes, “Our photographer Matt who runs his own company photographed our day so perfectly. He was able to capture all the little details, the beautiful moments and all the love, laughter and fun. My favourite photos are actually the ones we didn’t even know we’re being taken, especially the moments he captured during the speeches.. A funny story for you, mid way through the reception I asked Sipa if the photographers had gone home as we realized we hadn’t seen them in a while! This was in fact not the story. They were still there, still taking photographs and even stayed longer at the reception than we did! We loved this as they captured great moments with our family and friends that we missed as we were on our way into the city to our hotel!

Matt was so kind and easy going but with great direction which was perfect for us as we were constantly laughing, joking around and chatting away with our bridal party as we took photos in the reserve next to Deckhouse.”

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Of their first dance, Caitlin remembers, “The first dance – it took us a while to decide what song to dance to but we chose a song we both fell in love with at the beginning of our relationship when Sipa was living in Melbourne. It’s by Mat Kearney called ‘All I Need’. It was a surreal moment dancing for the first time as husband and wife. No dance routines, just us, soaking it all in surrounded by all our loved ones.”

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Congratulations Caitlin and Sipa! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Deus Photography for sharing today’s wedding with us!