Rowena and John

John and I met in November 2010 and it was our love for the outdoors, hiking and the beach that brought us together. After getting engaged in Maui in November 2015, it was only fitting that we had an Australian summer wedding to kickstart this new chapter of our lives together. Much to our luck, we happened to pick the hottest February day on record in Sydney with temperatures reaching 46 degrees!
After our engagement, I spent the next 15 months trawling through wedding magazines, Pinterest and Instagram for wedding inspiration and ideas. We had always wanted to choose a venue close to the water and Sergeants Mess was the perfect mix of elegance and beauty. The Sydney skyline was the perfect backdrop to celebrate our marriage. I was always an organised person and planning for the wedding came naturally and everything fell into place pretty quickly with the venue, flowers, cake, photographer and dress all locked in within the first 2 months of planning.

I worked with Sydney wedding designer Leah da Gloria on making my dream wedding dress. I wanted something simple and understated with a little bit of beading and lace around the bodice to give it that touch of elegance. I was so incredibly amazed by the final product which was a mermaid style silk dress with lace and beading detail on the bodice and end of the dress. I’m quite petite and the dress fit my body type perfectly.

After 15 months of planning, February 11, 2017, came around! Despite being an hour and a half late to the church due to our limousine getting into an accident on the way to pick us up, my bridesmaids came to the rescue and were straight onto their phones organising Ubers to get us to the church. Although we had a rough start to the day, nothing could stop me walking down that aisle and it was a truly magical moment. Arm in arm with my mum and dad, surrounded by 170 of our closest friends and family, it was hard not to get emotional. John was never the type to show his feelings and emotions, but as soon as I started walking down the aisle, the feelings were overwhelming.

We wanted to ensure that a lot of our wedding really reflected us so we were very hands-on in designing our own invitations as well as a few DIY projects such as creating our own table numbers and signage for the ceremony.

We opted for a traditional Filipino Catholic wedding and every detail of the ceremony was very sacred and symbolic from the lighting of our unity candle by each of our families, to the placing of the cord and veil over us which symbolises infinity and unity.

With 40+ degree days the week leading up to our wedding, we worked with our photographer, We are Origami, to scope out the best places to take our location photos to ensure that we would still be able to capture the beauty of Sydney without melting in the sun! We opted to take our photos at the iconic Bradley’s Head in Mosman and I couldn’t have been more proud of my bridal party for being such troopers the 2 hours we were taking photos.

Our reception was everything we envisioned, from the jewel-toned flowers, copper accents and amazing views over Sydney; we were ready to party the night away!

We had also started taking up dancing lessons as we really wanted to surprise our guests with a dance that they would never forget!

Ms Polka Dot says: Loving all the thoughtful details – the copper accents with the flower colours tone in beautifully.

About Rowena:  I’m an accountant by day, calligrapher by night! I recently got engaged in November 2015 in Maui, Hawaii!