Ban-ya & Davy

You may have heard, but we’re celebrating all things black tie this month across the Polka Dot Bride family and we couldn’t think of a more beautiful way to spend our Wednesday than with today’s stunning classic black tie wedding at Sydney Dance Lounge. Captured expertly by Sonja C Photography Ban-Ya and Davy wanted a day that was warm, joyful and filled with plenty of personal touches. They included their memories, culture and loves in subtle ways throughout the day, inviting guests to experience a part of what they love about one another.

The happy couple share their story. “We met in the National Library of Australia in Canberra when we were both first-year students at ANU. She said “hi”, he said “hi” back and that was the start of friendship, love and now, marriage! That was over 11 years ago now.”

The scene was set with a classically styled invitation made by the bride herself, who tells “I hand calligraphy-ed all the addresses on each wedding invitation. The wedding invitations were also DIY-ed – I designed them and one of my friends created a gorgeous water coloured map to include in the invitations. We also had a calligrapher create a custom monogram of the letters “B” and “D” intertwined which we had turned into a little embosser. D’s job was to emboss each invite!

That monogram appears on most of our wedding stationery (the tops of the menus, the seating chart, the tags for the wedding favours which doubled as place cards and even the back of our thank you cards).”

The bride chose her beautiful Pronovias ballgown- complete with a bow from Mirror Mirror Islington in London. She explains “The Pronovias Tami dress was the first one I tried on at a sample sale at a local wedding dress shop. The wedding was still a year away so I wasn’t feeling any pressure to find the dress but I fell in love with the dress almost immediately. I think it’s a classic dress with interesting details. It fit my style to a tee – in particular, I loved the full skirt and long train and the pockets! There’s quite a lot of “dress” so it was interesting bringing it from London to Sydney!”

“Like every wedding, little things did, of course, go wrong” tells the bride “There was construction behind the State Library of NSW on our wedding day which meant the construction workers had to stop work and Bee, her dad and the girls had to walk via the park to get into the back. Another moment that is funny now (but wasn’t really that funny then) was that moment before Bee walked down the aisle, one of the bridesmaids’ dress had a little dress issue which resulted in Bee doing some sewing until 3 minutes before walking down the aisle! Ultimately though, the day was full of joy, love and warmth.”

With a love of books, the choice of State Library of New South Wales  for the ceremony seemed very appropriate, Ban-ya explaining “The ceremony venue was a relatively easy one. When we found out you could get married at the State Library of NSW, we instantly felt that that fit with our story (having met in a library and spent so many of our first years spending time with each other, and our friends studying in various libraries). We loved that the State Library is a beautiful and grand building but that the room we got married in, the Friends’ room, felt intimate. We particularly loved the window at the front of the room and shelves of books lining the walls.”

Bee and Davy note “We wanted each of our parents to be a part of our wedding ceremony. Bee’s dad walked her down the aisle, Davy’s dad had the rings and both mums were our formal witnesses.” The bride walked down the aisle to Wagner’s Bridal Chorus played by Geist String Quartet.

Of their ceremony, conducted by Stephen Lee Celebrancy, the couple tell “We had a joyful, funny and warm ceremony. We didn’t want it to be too formal or stuffy and our amazing celebrant, Stephen did a fantastic job of bringing that lightness and warmth to what can be a very formal affair. We wrote our own vows and made sure to mix a little bit of the humour that defines our relationship with the formal commitment that we were making to each other in front of our loved ones.

Bee’s friend who travelled all the way from Chicago to be at the wedding read Union by Robert Fulghum. Bee found it randomly while searching online and it was only after we’d decided on it that we found it’s actually the author of one of D’s favourite books! The message in the poem was perfect for us.”

“There’s a beautiful photo of us leaving our ceremony, we’re talking to each other and are both beaming. Neither of us remembered the photo being taken and it really takes us back to that moment.”

The bridal party consisted of the couple’s closest friends, the bride remarking “We are lucky enough that most of our friends are close to both of us. The bridesmaids were Bee’s sister: Jess; best friend (MoH): Kate; and her childhood friend (of over 11 years): Alex (who also lives in London now). The groomsmen were Bee’s brother: Tom; one of D’s childhood friends (of about 14 years) who was also one of Bee’s housemates (best man): Steve; and another close uni friend of both of ours (who is married to Kate): Laurence.”

Of their photographer, the bride remarks “Sonja was fantastic. She was flexible and was very happy to help us capture the special moments of our day and night (even if it meant cutting her breaks short which we both bad about).

During the day, Sonja let us just go about our day without too much posing or direction and we are so glad she took that approach. Most of our favourite photos of the day are the small moments captured candidly – us leaving the ceremony, Bee’s parents smiling and laughing with each other as they walked back to their seats after giving a speech, a special hug between Bee and Kate,”

Lady Gnarbo Floral Atelier styled the beautiful floral details of the day, the newlyweds remembering “We had a wonderful florist – Stav at Lady Gnarbo. For our wedding flowers, we wanted deep, bold colours and she added some beautiful blush and white touches that made the deep red and burgundy flowers really pop. We focused on the colours rather than any specific flowers. Stav did an amazing job!

For the tables, we gave Stav a rather vague (idea) – we thought it would be beautiful to have foliage running down the long tables with fairy lights weaved through the leaves. Stav executed our vision perfectly without ever meeting us in person before the big day!

Our vendors had a particularly challenging time as we had to do all the planning via email or skype. However, the two that stand out are Sonja, our wonderful photographer and Stav our amazing florist. Both of them went above and beyond to make sure that we had a beautiful day, captured forever.”

Ban-ya & Davy chose the urban venue of Sydney Dance Lounge  as their reception venue, noting “we wanted a venue that was relaxed and by the water. A friend of Bee’s had gotten married at the Sydney Dance Lounge and although we hadn’t been able to make that wedding, we’d seen some photos and heard great things about it. Kate also fell in love with the venue and the excellent events coordinator Rebecca on first visit and after being reassured about the choice through some Skype dates, we felt it was perfect.”

The classic vibes continued to the first dance, an old favourite. The newly married couple remember “We had a tough time picking a song but we ultimately chose Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”. We chose Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” for our cake cutting. Both songs we love and sang to each other (mostly sarcastically) a lot when we were at university.”

Congratulations Ban-ya and Davy! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to Sonja C Photography for sharing today’s beautiful wedding!