Tess & Alban

Tess and Alban’s romantic moody afternoon affair suited the overcast day in Sydney perfectly, with soft, pastel florals and sleek grey suits. The pair wanted their day to be as intimate and relaxed as possible, while still celebrating with the people who had travelled far and wide to be with them. “Given that our families live on different sides of the world, it was so special to have both our families all together,” tells Tess, whose now husband is French. “It was really special to have all of Alban’s family come out to Australia!” The couple chose the fabulous Kevin Lue Photography to capture the magic of their day.

Of their love story, Tess explains, “It all started with a French chef working in Sydney, anxious about improving his English. Alban had the crazy idea of exchanging English lessons for French cooking lessons. A common friend found the idea pretty original, and had the brilliant idea of introducing the concept to one of her friends. I had returned from studying in France and was giving English lessons. When I met Alban to discuss the “lessons deal”, I was surprised as Alban’s level of English was much more advanced than my other students’ and I wondered how much I could actually teach him. I was also a little intimidated by how professional the cooking lessons sounded, as the first lesson was titled “developing knife skills”. We started the lessons 5 and a half years ago, and the rest is history.”






Tess chose a perfectly form fitting gown of ivory lace from designer Erin Clare. “After having looked in a number of stores, I went shopping with a friend after work in a small boutique selling a mixture of second hand, samples and designer gowns. The dress was actually a sample, and when I tried it on it just felt right for me. I loved the lace detail, the ivory colour and the back, as well as the small train.” Her hair, which was done on the day by Elly Hanson, fell in soft waves around her shoulders, and complimented the natural, simple makeup styling by Sarina Zoe for Sonia Allen Makeup. The romantic bouquets of ivory, sweet pink and grennery were created by The Grounds Florals by Silva.



Alban, his groomsmen and father wore grey suits from Peter Jackson, who kindly held the suits for a couple of months awaiting the arrival of Alban’s brothers and father. Luckily the suits were a good fit, as they all arrived the week of the wedding!







The couple were married in the rotunda at the top of Observatory Hill in Sydney. “One of the reasons that we chose Observatory Hill for our ceremony was that Alban had relatives coming from Europe, and so we thought a view of the harbour bridge during the ceremony would be appreciated!” explains Tess. “My  older brother James played the theme from Braveheart on guitar, which was chosen by James. We wanted our ceremony to be personal and simple. The readings were Corinthians 13 read by my mum, and a French song read by Alban’s mum – ‘Je t’aime’. We translated the lyrics into English and handed this out for our guests to follow. Church bells were ringing at the exact time our ceremony was commencing. It really was a magical atmosphere…”







To shoot the beauty of their moody afternoon wedding, Tess and Alban called upon the talents of Kevin Lue, and they could not be happier with how the imagery from their day turned out. “Kevin really captured both amazing moments on the day and the general atmosphere. His fresh eye and passion for photography was really refreshing!”








The couple held their reception at The Bangarra Room, which is located at the edge of Sydney Harbour, and is a small room at the end of a pier at Walsh Bay. “We loved the simplicity of this room, with such an amazing location overlooking the bridge,” the bride explains. “We also wanted to have one long table so that our wedding meal would be like an old fashioned wedding feast, which was catered by Art Kitchen.”

“We had a two piece jazz band called C’est si Bon playing throughout the night. They were truly amazing and really set the mood.  A truly memorable moment was when Alban’s mum, aunt and uncle were singing a French song called ‘C’est si Bon’ with the band!”





A special moment of the night was the champagne tower, which not only looked amazing, but was a particular touch the couple wanted to include as a nod to Alban’s culture as it is a French wedding tradition.






The notion that no matter how much you organise, something will ultimately not go as planned on the day rings so true when it came to Tess and Alban’s wedding cake. The bride laughs, “I organised for my brothers to collect the cake between the ceremony and reception, and when they arrived they were told that the patisserie had forgotten to make the cake!! They were given an array of desserts with the gelato cart, and no one even seemed to notice that we didn’t have a wedding cake! We loved the gelato cart – it was a fun touch that really added to the atmosphere.”

“There were large fireworks going off straight across the water. The timing was impeccable; you would have thought that they were just for us…”



In keeping with the French theme of the day and night, the happy couple chose “Waltz d’Amelie” from the soundtrack of sweet French film “Amelie” for their first dance.


Congratulations to Tess and Alban on your stunning day. Than you to Kevin Lue for sharing it with us!