Charlene & Ginette
I think the natural elements of nature are some of my favourite weddings we share here at Polka Dot Bride. They have a sense of utter beauty to them, of no fuss, no expectations, just two people and a very special set of vows. So when the story of Charlene and Ginette landed in our inbox, well, I’ve been counting down the days to share it with you!
With just the smallest of dream teams – photographer Lana Ivanova, celebrant Robyn Pattison and a pair of beautiful gowns by Anna Skoblikova, Charlene and Ginette’s dream of a wedding that was purely about the most important thing of all, came to life.
It’s been a long road for the couple, who met over a love of video games seven years ago. Four years on, they finally realised what they had and have been inseparable ever since.
Charlene’s proposal didn’t quite go to plan. She remembers “Ginette hates surprises of any kind, so it was a simple affair and certainly unforgettable for perhaps the wrong reasons. We went out for dinner at a fancy Japanese restaurant. During the dinner, I popped out the ring and in my nervousness, I punched her in the nose while presenting the ring. Thankfully she still said yes.”
The brides dressed together, starting their day as they wished their lives to continue. They explain “For us, getting married is about a couple making a commitment to one another for the rest of their lives, and we wanted our wedding to reflect that. So we chose to keep it about each other, to have a simple and intimate wedding, just the two of us,”
Both brides wore Anna Skoblikova gowns, found when Ginette fell in love with the designer’s work. She tells “I found a bridal dress designer whom I liked, Anna Skoblikova, on Etsy. I had in my head a very specific vision of what I wanted my gown to look like and worked closely with Anna on designing that dress. It was an exciting process and it felt like an accomplishment to have designed something so important to me, I recommend doing it if possible. There were lots of back and forth with Anna, and there were a few hiccups, but it was all certainly worth it when I saw how the dress turned out.”
Charlene adding “I do not possess Ginette’s creative flair. After Ginette picked Anna, I browsed her collection to pick out something that I liked. The whole process took like one evening for me as compared to Ginette!”
The brides chose Wendy’s Secret Garden as the location for their ceremony, on the suggestion of their celebrant Robyn. They explain “We wanted our ceremony to be in a quiet and intimate setting with a natural backdrop, and still close to Sydney CBD.”
The day was officiated by Robyn Pattison, the brides telling “We wanted it to be honest, heartfelt, and personal. We wanted it to be a wedding where we would look back and remember how much love we felt for each other. Our celebrant had us fill in secret questions about each other and she weaved them into a story during the ceremony, which sent our tears rolling. Robyn was awesome beyond words. She made the wedding ceremony fun!”
Ginette shares “One of my favourite moments was hearing Robyn, our celebrant, tell our story during the ceremony. It brought back all the memories of our journey so far. It was very emotional for me.”
The day was full of love from everywhere, Charlene and Ginette explaining “Since we wanted the day to be just the two of us, we decided not to choose between our friends or family to be our witnesses. Instead, Robyn asked her friend, Lilian to come all the way to help be our witness. That in itself was a really sweet gesture. But what stood out was how Lilian, a complete stranger whom we met a mere 10 minutes ago, was so genuinely caring and happy for us. Even though she didn’t even know us, she was so warm and lovely that she felt like an old friend. She didn’t need to, but she went out of her way be such a wonderful guest. She took photos of us on her phone, offered us tissues when Ginette started tearing up and said such lovely well wishes for our life together ahead. We were truly touched by Lillian and her warmth.”
Of their photographer, the brides share “We fell in love with Lana’s fine art style of photography – the bright, light feel and beautiful details in her photography. She was very friendly, chatty and was obviously very passionate about her work. You could tell she lived and breathed her art and did everything possible to get that gorgeous art like shot. She guided us through the whole day, which especially helped, as we tend to be awkward in front of the camera. She made us feel very relaxed and we absolutely enjoyed our experience being photographed by her. We were really impressed with the final images and had difficulty choosing which one to print as there were so many good ones.”
The day ended with another special surprise, the hotel! “We had a nice surprise by the hotel. Upon entering our hotel room that evening, we were greeted by a sight of rose petals scattered all across the floor, complimentary champagne and a lovely dessert platter, complete with a congratulatory card. It was certainly a lovely unexpected surprise and it made our day feel even more special.”
A big congratulations to Charlene and Ginette for sharing their stunning day with us! Thank you also to Lana Ivanova for sharing today’s photographs!