Michelle & Michael

Sunsets and birds, flower crowns and dappled light are just the beginning of the beautiful love story of Michelle and Michael’s Cottesloe seaside wedding. The couple made sure to include plenty of personal touches throughout their day – right down to the bride wearing the same crown her grandmother wore on her own wedding day. It was all thoughtfully captured by Gui Jorge Photography.

Michelle kicks off their wedding with the story of how she and Michael started things together. “We both started work with new companies within weeks of each other 4 years ago on a shared office floor. Months spent chatting in reception and the kitchen together turned into after work drinks and that’s where we learned how much we really had in common – it just went from there!”

Michelle tells “Getting ready with my bridesmaids at the Crown Metropol Hotel was the best way to start the day. I have never felt more calm and relaxed in my entire life and enjoyed the whole getting ready process with never-ending champagne & my favourite ladies! Emma from Milla Make Up and Nicole from Arcorace fit right in and I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect morning.”

The bride chose a very special accessory to finish her look, explaining “The crown that I was wearing on the day was actually my grandmothers worn for the 1st time in the 1950’s in Switzerland. My mum then wore it at her wedding in Canada in the 1980’s (obviously upside down as a headband due to the era style!) and I knew that I had to wear it at my own wedding in Australia. We placed wedding photos of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents at the reception so guests could see the crown over the decades being worn.”

The bride chose a strapless lace gown by Essense of Australia which was altered by Final Touch. She tells “Finding the dress was the only stressful experience of the whole wedding planning for me! I didn’t have the “it’s the one” feeling I thought I would get and the dresses that I loved online didn’t suit me in person at all! I knew I wanted an off-white, lace dress that was unique and easy to move around in and in the end I found it by Essense of Australia. It had a gorgeous café satin underlay and was top to bottom covered in lace with a perfect train for that classic feel.

The detailed design on the lace in the corset and falling floral pieces down to the train made it one of a kind. Once I received the dress, Mai from Final Touch Alterations spent 8 weeks altering my dress to be the exact fit and I can’t thank her enough for making it even more perfect and suited exactly to me: I felt gorgeous and comfortably myself on the day so that’s all I could have asked for despite the original stress of whether it was the one or not!”

Michelle and Michael chose Upper Mosman Bay Park, Mosman Park  for their ceremony. Michelle explaining “We spent our first weekends of our engagement driving around Perth along the ocean and river to find our ceremony and reception venues. The more popular places were booked out well in advance (our engagement was just 7 months long so many vendors were booked out when we started enquiring) but it ended up being a blessing in how we found Upper Mosman Bay Park. It still overlooked the Swan River but was more isolated at the end of the park and ended up being perfect for our small ceremony without interruption from those passing by.”

Love Bird Ceremonies officiated the ceremony, Michelle remarking “Our ceremony was very us – we wanted to keep it light, short and sweet while still being meaningful to us and our families. We wrote the entire ceremony together but didn’t recite vows, did away with most traditional moments and pieced together different stories of our relationship, our future together and the importance of us being a team together now and forever. I was worried about tearing up during the ceremony since I’m quite sentimental but I managed to keep it together until the very end after our first kiss as a married couple! We held hands the entire time and it felt so intimate that I barely noticed anyone else around us. I was so happy and calm that I couldn’t stop smiling at Michael the entire time at the alter. The most touching part to me was that my grandparents in Switzerland attended the ceremony via Skype on a laptop sitting in the front row and I arranged a celebrant that was fluent in German as well as English – they were shocked and positively surprised when she started to speak in German in their direction and thanked them on our behalf for attending our wedding from abroad!”

The ceremony had two very important guests. “One of my wishes for the day was that our two mini Schnauzers, Ralph & Oscar, could attend the ceremony as they were part of our family, but I ultimately accepted that the logistics of bringing along two dogs would just be too much effort for a short moment! I bought them little bow-ties to wear while the guys were getting ready at home and asked Gui to take photos of them with Michael in the morning. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the ceremony about to walk down the aisle only to see them standing in front of me wagging their tails and in their bowties! I was completely caught off guard and it was the greatest moment to have them there with us. Michael had arranged for his dad to bring them to the ceremony and take them home again between the reception.”

“After 12 months of entirely renovating our new home ourselves, we desperately wanted to stay away from DIY! Outside of myself doing small tasks like designing the seating chart, making the name cards and cutting the olive branches used in decor and our bouquets from our friends property in the Swan Valley, we used amazing local vendors to make our perfect day a reality or eliminated anything that involved too much effort! My bridesmaid and one of my closest friends Sumi-May is a florist and kindly offered to do our floral arrangements for the day. It was so much fun going to flower markets in the month leading up with her and picking the type of flowers I wanted on the day. Olive branches and white flowers were my favourite look and theme but she convinced me to add a feature colour in my bouquet to make it slightly different than the bridesmaids and reception decor. Looking back, the deep plum highlight is now one of my favourite things about my bouquet!”

Of their photographer, Michelle remarks “I found Gui Jorge on Instagram from another wedding he did and immediately knew that his style was exactly how I wanted to document the day – candid in the background capturing all those moments of us truly in our element, no posing involved. He has an incredible talent for finding those perfect moments of people laughing, a loving glance between couples and focusing in on the small features and decorations to remember the day in close detail. Photography is one of my hobbies and was my “splurge” item for the wedding as I needed it to be perfectly my style – it took some convincing to Michael on why I was flying a photographer over from Sydney for our day though! Gui was so great to get along with, immediately clicked with us and our families and the photos we have looking back on our wedding day are immensely treasured.”

Cottesloe was a place of memories for the couple, who chose Barchetta Cafe for their reception. Michelle tells “We only had 65 people attend so Barchetta Cafe was the perfect fit for us! Small and intimate, it’s Mediterranean inspired, so the food and environment were exactly what we were looking for in a venue. It’s also right next to the spot overlooking the Indian Ocean in North Cottesloe where Michael took me on on our first date and was also where he proposed. The team at Barchetta were amazing in allowing us to create our exact dream evening, from cocktails & canapés on the balcony upon arrival, to a sit down meal and speeches before removing the tables from the restaurant to create a dance floor for the rest of the evening! We were even able to import any winery & type of wine we wanted to enjoy on the night that they ordered in and we then took home a mixed case of all the wines after to enjoy in the year following our wedding night.

Enjoying a glass of our favourite wine together on the balcony with our closest friends and family and watching the sun set over the ocean will forever be one of my favourite memories.”

“My favourite part of planning the wedding was not only the opportunity to be creative but work with incredible vendors that brought my ideas to life. I’ll never again have all my dearest family and friends in the same place and to celebrate our love surrounded by my favourite decor, music and views in addition to them, made the entire day magical.”

The wedding cake was a story in itself! “Our wedding cake was made by Michael’s cousin and I just wanted a simple white cake with olive leaves and white flowers. Unbeknownst to us, she ended up having troubles with the cake rising on the day that she went last minute to the Cheesecake Shop and then decorated one of their vanilla mud-cakes. Everyone complimented the cake all evening and it looked AMAZING – we had no idea and wouldn’t have known if she didn’t tell us afterwards!”

Of their (so very romantic) first dance, Michelle remembers “Our first dance was immediately after cutting the cake to the song “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel. We didn’t practice beforehand and were so tired after the long day in hot 36 degree Perth heat that we just held each other and swayed slowly! Funny enough, I wanted to choose the song “Stand by Me” for our first dance but instead used it in the background when cutting the cake, however the song wasn’t changed quickly enough between the two events and we ended up starting our dance to “Stand by Me” and finishing it to our original choice – I get sentimental thoughts now whenever I hear either of those songs! Halfway through the second song we invited our parents and bridal party up to join us; after which it ended my new brother in law started a conga line throughout the venue and all 65 guests created a big circle from inside the small cafe to the balcony and around again & again – it was one of the best spontaneous moments to kick-start the evening!”

Congratulations on saying I do Michelle and Michael! Thank you for taking the time to share your stories with us! Thank you also to Gui Jorge Photography for sharing today’s gorgeous wedding!