Blanca & Grant

There are times when the love in the room becomes palpable and the look of love comes into its own. This is what Blanca and Grant shared as they exchanged their vows in a ceremony that was tailored to them and their beliefs. At the centre, their love for each other, but also their family and friends. Embracing a little Spanish history, the day had a bit of everything! From warm embraces to looks of love, dancing and even a few games, photographer Sam Wyper captured every moment. The Bride and Groom share their beautiful story and the tale of their special day!

Grant and Blanca met on a summer vacation after they finished high school. They were introduced by mutual friends and Grant was romantically interested in Blanca immediately, though Blanca took some time to develop attraction.
 While they met some 85km away from their homes, they later found out that they lived only a few streets away from each other! As they got to know each other better, they would spend hours just talking late at night in the car, staring at the stars.

When I (Grant) first began thinking about proposing, I decided to plan a date to work towards. In order to lock in a date without arousing any suspicion, I designed a fake invitation to the engagement party for one of my work colleagues and their partner. I gave a copy to Blanca and told her to keep the date free. 

On the day of the proposal, everything was perfect, we were both dressed in our Sunday best for the “party” and feeling excited. As we arrived at the venue (a national park picnic spot), I asked Blanca to come with me to look at the beautiful lake before we head over to the party. As we were looking out over the water, a friend of ours emerged singing a beautiful song while playing the acoustic guitar.

The Bride wore a white sheath wedding dress with lace detailing on the bodice, back and train. The wedding dress was designed and made by my Husband’s Mother. I also accompanied the wedding dress with a two tier wedding veil with very fine tulle and white heel pumps. I chose the particular design because I felt it suited the perfect summer wedding and made me feel elegant.

The Groom wore a charcoal suit with mismatched black waistcoat, white shirt, sky blue necktie, black socks with patterns, and black derby shoes. 

I wanted to wear a classy and timeless outfit with just enough formality to make the photos look elegant as the years go on.

Our ceremony was at St. Martin’s Church Killara and the reception at Manly Novotel.

We DIY’d our wedding signs saying “Welcome to the wedding of Grant and Blanca”. We bought plywood, stain and white/gold paint. We finished it off by putting it on an easel we purchased.

Our wedding had a laidback theme that perfectly represented our personalities. We both love the colour blue, and also green-gold combinations, so they were incorporated a bunch! Our wedding incorporated a few inside jokes and memories of ours – it was important for us to share these with our guests. Also, our wedding had a bunch of family from Spain, and so incorporated some Spanish music, dancing, sentiments, and an all-round Spanish party atmosphere at the reception. We think many people were touched by the sincerity of our wedding – the style was sincere to us.

Our processional song was ‘Such Great Heights’ covered by Iron & Wine (originally by The Postal Service). Surprisingly, this song was chosen fewer than 12 hours before Blanca walked down the aisle. The very feel of the song is just beautiful, not to mention the poetic lyrics. Blanca’s father walked her down the aisle and the whole world slowed as I watched the two of them walking towards the front of the church. The moment was just perfect and full of emotion.

The ceremony was truly the most important part of the day for us. We wanted it to be meaningful for us and for all. The songs sung and the words spoken were special and real. We wanted the congregation to truly feel that they were active participants in our union and committed to one another.

The readings were read by Grant’s older sister and younger brother. Grant’s sister read Ecclesiastes 4:9 12, which refers to the strength and comfort that two people have united as opposed to one individual. Grant’s brother read Ephesians 4:16. This passage encourages the hearer to live a worthy life full of humility, gentleness, patience and peace.

A special tradition in the wedding included having our ceremony in a beautiful Anglican church. We are both Christians and from Christian families, so the ceremony was very special to us and our families. One great tradition we included was a “unity candle” tradition. In this, we together used separate lit candles to light a common, shared candle and then blew out our own candles. This represented us together becoming one and leaving our lives as individuals to become a union.

Our favourite detail of the day would have to have been walking down the aisle as Husband and Wife and being surrounded by all our family and friends!

Our favourite photograph of the day was a photograph taken in Swain Gardens, Killara. This shot was beautifully captured by our photographer and features a simple, yet very beautiful photo of us holding hands with the backdrop of the vibrant greenery and sunlight shining on us.

Our Bridal party was made of the groom’s three brothers and the bride’s three sisters.

We wanted an assortment of beautiful pastel and white flowers mixed with some lovely greenery. There was a mix of roses, delphinium, sea holly, dusty miller, silver dollar eucalyptus and many other varieties of flowers.

Our photographer had an attention to detail and had a history of shooting various types of weddings. He took the time to meet up with us prior to the wedding day to talk about which shots were really important to us and to scout out locations around our venues with us both. We are both so delighted with the outcome of our wedding photos.

Although we had several vendors incorporated into our big day the one that stood out the most would have to be our photographer Sam Wyper. His portfolio displayed great skill as well as being very professional and reliable leading up to the wedding.

Prior to choosing our favourite venues, we spent a significant amount of time researching and visiting venues to get a “just-right” feel. 

For the ceremony, we chose a beautiful Anglican church that looked a perfect balance of traditional and modern. The church worked so well for us as it catered for a large group of people and had lawn space for a post-ceremony luncheon.

The venue we chose for the reception was a gorgeous, well-lit room in a hotel that was directly opposite one of Sydney’s favourite beaches. This was extremely special to us as this beach was one of the first places we spent time together. We also both had great memories at this beach from our early teenage years. The enclosed balcony allowed our guests to enjoy cocktails and a view of the beach as the sun went down. The venue also had oval tables, which were perfect for guests to mingle throughout the wedding.

Special details included having a few activities for the guests to be involved in such as a shoe-question game with the husband and wife where our guests got to ask the questions and have a laugh!

Our favourite story from the day came up while we were playing the shoe-question game. This game requires the MC to ask the bride and groom questions about the two of them. Both the bride and groom raise their or their spouse’s shoe in left or right hand to answer the question. The bride and groom sit back-to-back and cannot see each other’s responses, but the audience sees all. At one point, Blanca’s Spanish (non-English-speaking) uncle came up to the stage to borrow the microphone and ask a question. He asked “Quien va a cambiará los pañales del los niños?”, which roughly translates to “Who is going to be the one to change the babies nappies?”. Everyone was in hysterics when the moment was translated into English. What a memory!

Our favourite part of wedding planning was being able to take on the project together and choose particular styles and vendors that we both loved. We also thoroughly enjoyed picking out our wedding outfits and planning what our wedding party would wear.

Our first dance was one of our favourite parts of the day. We danced slowly and closely to a song called ‘Take It Slowly’ by Garret Kato. As we held each other in our arms and moved slowly, the whole world seemed to freeze. Blanca sweetly whispered to me, “We’re in our bubble..”, which was a perfect way to sum up the moment.

Five things that made the day special to us included: having our first dance; receiving so much love and support from our families and friends; exchanging our vows; spending some one on one time during our couples shoot and the excitement and nerves right before the wedding ceremony!

Our advice for those that are soon to be married and in the middle of planning their big day would be to not focus and stress over small details and just remember it’s not just about your wedding day but your marriage.

Ms Zebra says: This wedding has all the ‘feels’ and we wish you both the absolute very best in your new life together as husband and wife! Thank you for sharing your special day with us!