Anna and Damian

Damian and I were engaged after meeting through mutual friends almost eight years before. Although we had been together for a long time Damian had studied in Geelong for four of those years – during that time, we only saw each other on weekends!

Damian proposed after taking me out to a romantic dinner and then onto see a play, and although we had been together so long, I was still surprised when he popped the question. I sobbed hysterically after saying ‘yes’ and Damian was a bit concerned I might pass out from all the excitement!

Although we were keen to get married and not wait too long, we ended up having a year and a half engagement. This was because we had found the perfect reception venue and, although it was everything I had dreamed of, this also was the case for many other brides and the venue was quite heavily booked.

We both got ready at our parents’ houses on the day of the wedding. Damian, his three older bothers and best friend enjoyed playing pool with a drink of  Scotch to relax before the big day.

Getting ready with my bridal party was heaps of fun! Having my three best friends and my younger sister, who had made the trip all the way from London, made the day even more special. I found floral dressing gowns on Etsy; they were so nice to sit around and relax in.

Vivian Ashworth did an amazing job with our hair and make up. I  had asked for an old Hollywood wave to my hair – I was so pleased with the result.

When I first stepped into the Karen Willis Holmes boutique to look for my dress I knew straight away that this was the place I would find it. However because there were so many beautiful dresses in the shop it made my decision very hard! I finally decided on the ‘Jillian’ design. I loved the fit and the lace with my pale skin. The girls at the boutique were so lovely and made the whole experience more than I could ever have hoped for.

It was ‘all hands on deck’ getting me into my dress on the day of the wedding due to its fitted style – there was applause once the last buttons were fastened!

I was really lucky to find my perfect florist in Lucie from Lulu Bird. I had decided on a grey and yellow theme and right from the start Lucie and I were on the same page. I also wanted flowers on my chuppah, which she had done many times before and had showed me examples. The yellow used in both the bouquets and the chuppah was perfect and gave the wedding a nice vibrant outdoors feel.

I walked down the aisle to ‘The Wedding Song’ by Angus and Julia Stone which is both a beautiful and emotional song.

We decided on an outdoor ceremony due to our different faiths – Damian is Catholic and I am Jewish.  Having the chuppah decorated with green and yellow flowers brought some of my culture to our ceremony.

We were also fortunate to find our celebrant Christina Havlin who was recommended by a friend. Christina had performed interfaith weddings before and understood about both Jewish and Catholic traditions. She was able to portray our story and understand what was important to both Damian and me.  We also included the Jewish tradition of breaking a glass under the chuppah as another part of the ceremony.

Rippon Lea Estate provided the perfect outdoor setting for our ceremony. The beautiful old house with its expansive gardens provided an amazing location for the ceremony – and for photographs.  As our reception venue was literally across the road, our photographer Robert Hock took some spectacular photos without making our guests wait. Robert was recommended by a friend as he had photographed her wedding. I loved his natural photos and the way he was able to capture the light so well. Robert did such an amazing job especially under time constraints and I couldn’t have been happier with the photos which we will keep as memories of our wedding.




We had our reception at Quat Quatta. Everything on the day went so smoothly thanks to its amazing team. The food was amazing and all of our guests loved the feeling of the old world glamour! We also asked the girls from Short & Spook use their creative talents to make chalk board signs as personalised touches for our wedding.

We also brought some Jewish tradition to the reception and performed a Jewish dance called the Hora. Although many guests at our wedding were not Jewish,  everyone got up on the dance floor and enjoyed the upbeat tempo of the dance. Damian and I were lifted up on chairs which was one of the highlights of the night.

There were other small touches I added to the reception to make the night enjoyable for everyone. I placed a basket of thongs on the side of the dance floor as I wanted to make sure everyone could dance the night away; no one could have the excuse that their feet were sore!


We also set up a DIY photo both with polaroid cameras I had rented from Short & Spook along with the signs. I bought photobooks and asked our guests to take happy snaps during the reception and leave messages for us as something extra we could look back on.


A tradition with Damian’s family at weddings is the smoking of cigars to celebrate the big occasion. After dinner, we set up a cigar bar so guests could have a cigar and a glass of cognac. It was a great way to end the night – with many guests enjoying a cigar, and the novelty of it, for the first time!


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: The beautiful green and yellow palette was a perfect match for your garden wedding; congratulations Anna and Damian!

About Anna: As I am Jewish and my husband is Catholic it was important to honour both religions during our ceremony. We were married under a chuppah to represent my heritage and included a reading from the New Testament as Catholic tradition. Our reception included some more relaxed, fun details – the cigar and cognac bar was a great success!