Monica and Samuel

There is a very special glow that comes with autumnal weddings and Monica and Samuel’s Autumn Gallery wedding in Canberra made the most of it – right down to the golden ribbon that bound the bride’s bouquet.

All Grown Up Weddings was in charge of capturing this special day. Samuel fills us in with the story of how they met, “We both attended the same school for year 11 and 12 and met in year 12 when I got up the courage to ask Monica on a date while in the school canteen.
The proposal was an intricately planned affair that involved help from a number of my friends. I took her out to a very nice restaurant at Blackwattle Bay. Monica had just graduated from her university degree, so this was a perfect alibi to take her out for a nice meal and celebration. I told the restaurant what my intentions were and we sat at the best table with water views over the city. During dinner, my friends were setting up a surprise at one of the jetties nearby and, after dinner, I suggested a romantic late night stroll and we “stumbled” upon the setup. There was a table for two with champagne and flowers, and candles leading up to it, and as we sat down one of my friends, who studies classical guitar, sat by the side of the water and played some background music. I had a small gift for each year that we had been together, then for the last gift, I bent down to propose. After a few tears, Monica said ‘yes'”.

The bride chose an elegant ballgown for the day noting, “I chose my dress with my mother and two of my best friends. My sister was Skyped in while I was in the store wearing the dress, as she was living in Spain, so I could get her seal of approval before I made the final decision. It was my first day of trying on dresses and once I put it on I knew I didn’t need to look any further.”

Monica and Samuel chose a traditional church ceremony at Holy Trinity Church, Curtin, the couple explained, “Holy Trinity Church is where Monica’s parents were married with the ceremony conducted by Monica’s great uncle who was also the priest that conducted her parent’s marriage. So it had a lot of tradition and meaning.”

There were two processionals, honouring tradition. “In line with Swiss tradition, Samuel walked down the aisle with his mother, and this was done to ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’, by U2. Then for the main event, Monica followed with her father to an acoustic string version of ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri”.

“We wanted our ceremony to be a testament to our love for each other, the strong tradition Monica’s family had with the church building and of our faith and loved ones. We hoped to find the mix between the seriousness of the commitment we were making but also to include our personalities. It was also really important to us that the ceremony itself incorporated our loved ones as much as possible. Music was so important to us, we had songs throughout the ceremony. The musicians we had are all great friends of ours and it was so special to have all our guests singing along – it also gave us a chance to soak up the moment.
We also decided to write our own vows, which included promises to each other in both French and English. Samuel’s first language is French and some guests didn’t speak any English so it was a special way to incorporate everyone in what was the most important moment of the day.”

“My wedding band was custom made by Grew & Co,” tells Monica, “I had a family heirloom ring from 1851 from my father’s side re-designed to have it embossed with a pattern that appears on my maternal grandmother’s engagement ring. The parts of the ring that were shaved off were melted down and used towards making Samuel’s wedding band. It was really special designing the ring, incorporating elements from both sides of my family and also knowing that our rings are linked.”

The flowers were beautifully reflective of autumn and styled by Laurel & Grace. Monica tells, “both of us love autumn in Canberra and we wanted those colours to be reflected in the flowers. We also wanted the flowers to reflect the soft, relaxed, romantic feel of the wedding. Samuel is from Switzerland and we had lots of international guests. So we asked our wonderful florist to include Australian natives to show off Australia’s stunning and unusual flora. Lauren from Laurel and Lace was able to perfectly create rambling, romantic floral installations and bouquets that perfectly combined autumn and Australian natives”.

Of their photographers, the newlyweds gush, “the two photographers we had were amazing! We could not have been happier. They took all the snaps that were required, were always at the right place at the right time and all in an inconspicuous way. They were also simply a pleasure to be around and produced excellent results too”.

Monica and Samuel dined with their guests at a sit-down reception at the National Portrait Gallery. “We chose the National Portrait Gallery because the space itself is so impressive. We also wanted a venue that was very “Canberra” for all those guests who had travelled.”

There were so many touches from family and friends at the reception. Monica and Samuel explaining, “Monica’s amazing mother and family friends did the floral garlands on the guests’ tables. While her father worked his magic creating a wall of soft twinkling lights.
We also had a family friend who owns bees provide little honey jars for all our guests – a little something from Australia. While Samuel’s family brought over chocolate from the factory near his grandparent’s house in Switzerland. It was nice to give our guests a little something from both cultures.”

Cultural traditions and sentimental touches were carefully chosen for the event. “We wanted to include some Swiss traditions, so at the reception, we played a game with all the guests. Everyone had to stand up and guess true or false to a number of questions about us. The last ones standing received a kiss on the cheek from both the bride and groom,” tell Samuel and Monica, adding, “our first date was sharing a smoothie together, so as part of the cocktail hour we had ‘love smoothies’ served for our guests”.

“We also were pulled away by our wonderful photographer Andrea who saw this great spotlight outside of the reception, she asked us to practice our wedding dance while she took photos. It was so special to be outside away from the craziness and have a moment to dance together and have a moment that was just for us”.

Monica tells, “everything went so smoothly we have no stories of disaster. Everything was just so easy and relaxed. However, Samuel did surprise me by me with a barbershop rendition of ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ with the help of his college friends that blew everyone away.”

The first dance was oh so romantic, the bride remembering, “our first dance was quite relaxed, we had one lesson to learn a very rudimentary waltz, and we danced to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’. There were numerous twirls, dips and kisses involved, to the crowd (and groom’s) great delight. This is a beautiful song that we felt perfectly exemplified the feelings we had about getting married to each other”.

The Baker Boys kicked off the dance floor and remain one of the groom’s favourite memories of the planning. He notes, “I loved checking out the Baker Boys band at a pub in Bondi; was tonnes of fun. They really delivered a fantastic show at our reception. Otherwise, the food tasting at the National Portrait Gallery was great. I felt very important as they pampered us with all forms of culinary treats”.

Congratulations on tying the knot Monica and Samuel! Thank you for sharing your very special day with us. Thank you also to All Grown Up Weddings for sharing today’s celebration with us.