Jonathan and I met through mutual friends five years ago and our friendship soon grew into something special when we realised we shared many similar interests and were both on the “same page”; in particular Tolkien and J.K Rowling. I would not describe us as “outdoorsy” people so when he asked me to join him on a nature walk to the Natural Bridge in Springbrook, I was a little taken aback. The weather that day wasn’t great but Jonathan was so determined to go for this walk that I started to become nervous, thinking he was going to break up with me! I couldn’t have been more wrong because he knelt down on the muddy ground and proposed!
I began to look for wedding inspiration only a few weeks after getting engaged and it wasn’t long before Jonathan and I decided that we both wanted a black and white colour palette with “colour pop” highlights. My main source of inspiration was a photo I found online of bridesmaids in black dresses with different coloured heels and the groom and groomsmen wearing black suits and coloured shoes (VANS!). At once we knew this lighthearted and fun theme fitted our personalities perfectly and would allow us freedom to play around with different feature colours!
Jonathan and the groomsmen got ready at his best man’s house, which really involved a lot more time spent playing table tennis than wedding preparation! Inspired by our muse, the boys wore different coloured VANS which worked perfectly with their playful personas. Their suits were purchased from Y.D. and creative feather buttonhole from Etsy.
I started looking for my wedding dress about a year and a half before my wedding day and after trying on about ten dresses I narrowed it down to a Wtoo gown that I loved. I placed a preliminary order for this gown with the lovely and helpful staff from Belladonna Bridal with all intentions of officially ordering it when we finally reached the “six months to go” mark. However at the end of the year I fell pregnant with our gorgeous son and I began to stress that I would no longer suit the dress I had previously said yes to. After expressing my concerns to the consultant at Belladonna she reassured me that I had time to select another gown if needed. After a single visit and help from supportive Mum and bridesmaids I found my dream dress (‘Sienna’ by Wtoo ) which I love even more than the original dress.
The rhinestone headband I purchased from Etsy caught my eye instantly as it complemented the rhinestone and crystal belt from Belladonna Bridal. I was so delighted to be able to wear my mother’s beautiful pearl bracelet that she wore at her own wedding (my “something old”) and my veil was my “something borrowed” which was worn by my lovely Maid of Honour two years earlier at her wedding. Jonathan and I decided that our feature colour would be the same so I wore dark blue heels.
My bridesmaids’ black chiffon dresses are by Mori Lee and they wore coloured heels in their individual feature colours; orange, purple and pink. Our hair was styled by the lovely Toni from Tomadon’s Mobile Hairdressing and makeup done by the talented Hollie from Faces By Hollie.
In keeping with our colour theme, my bridesmaids’ bouquets matched their coloured heels while my bridal bouquet was a stunning white posy. I am so fortunate that one of my bridesmaids’ mother’s is a talented florist and created four gorgeous bouquets of different types of flowers to match my theme colours. The first time I saw the flowers was on my wedding day and I was so delighted how the black and white with vibrant colour theme came together!
I knew that I wanted to have a garden ceremony before Jonathan even proposed. We decided that we would like our wedding to be in the Brisbane CBD and The Sunset Glade lawn in the beautiful Roma Street Parklands definitely ticked all the boxes! We arranged for a stunning ceremony lawn setup with the very talented and extremely helpful Beautiful Weddings Australia.
Some say it’s good luck, but a ‘bride-to-be’ on her big day will always disagree; on our wedding day mother nature decided she wanted to join the party and rain on my parade! Not just rain, rather a torrential downpour that flooded the Brisbane CBD half an hour prior to our ceremony commencing! I was absolutely devastated to hear that the storm had flooded my ceremony location!
At the last minute we had to go to the wet weather option which was at our reception venue. I am so grateful that I selected Berkleys on Ann for the reception venue because in my time of need Tracy and her team were wonderful! This part of my wedding day is a blur but my Maid of Honour reassures me that I kept it together despite having to delay the ceremony and have my wonderful father coordinate guests from Parklands to Berkleys on Ann. Our stretch limousine driver from BV Limos and Corporate Cars did a great job maneuvering the limo between venues and I managed to stay dry despite the downpour. In the end it all came together and I walked down the aisle to Across the Universe’s version of ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ (originally of course by the Beatles who I love!)
Berkleys on Ann is located in the beautiful heritage listed Rendezvous Hotel and we loved that the reception room had large windows that overlooked one of the busiest streets in the city yet the room itself was private. The events coordinator was so professional and informative as well as willing to cater to our requests such as decorating the space ourselves. My Maid of Honour and I purchased flowers from the Brisbane Flower Markets at Rocklea the day before our wedding and we decorated the reception room ourselves. Our wedding cake was made by one of our groomsmen’s talented partners who is a pastry chef.
We knew we wanted Chantal from Chantal Brennan Photography as our photographer from day one. Chantal and I previously worked together when she was still saving up for her camera. She took beautiful maternity photos for us and we knew for sure after seeing her stunning photos we wanted her to capture our big day. She is so easy to feel comfortable around, and was outstanding at trying to keep my nerves calm as the storm hit. She has an amazing style, and is not afraid to boss you around. Her husband Chad was the second photographer on the day and followed the boys around; also getting as wet as they did!
The rain cleared and we made the most of the overcast conditions for photographs. I saw an image online of a parking lot and pastel coloured building facades in the background and knew I wanted to have photos taken here. I was delighted to find the carpark was in Chinatown in the Fortitude Valley so geographically and logically it was perfect. I wanted large coloured helium balloons (which weren’t quite so logically perfect!) to contribute to our colourful wedding palette. We managed to blow them up in the carpark and I am so delighted with how the photos turned out.
Our other photo locations included The Storey Bridge and Captain Burke Park. We wanted our photographs to capture our fun-loving personalities as well as our love for each other which Chantal did perfectly.
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Carol and Jonathan; despite the rain, your wedding was full of fun and laughter; I love the pops of colour!