Alina & Wayne

Today’s sentimental and shabby chic wedding is beautiful and touching for so many reasons. The bride and groom, Alina and Wayne, married on what would have been their daughter’s second birthday. Sadly, their daughter, Aila, passed away from SIDS in April 2018. The couple chose this special date to marry on to honour Aila’s life. Alina and Wayne were surrounded by 300 loved ones, plus a large bridal party, making for an amazing and emotional day. Below, Alina details her and Wayne’s wedding journey, plus all the thoughtful and handmade details they included in their big day.

Wayne and I met online and dated for a brief time, but went our separate ways. I then discovered I was pregnant and so we agreed to co-parent our daughter, Aila. After she was born we were spending time as a family and got back together and were very happy. Unfortunately, Aila passed away at 10 weeks from SIDS, and so we have worked hard to get through that experience together and have grown stronger and honoured our promise to her that we would stay together.

We married on January 18, 2020 at St Mark’s Uniting Church Mornington on what would have been Aila’s second birthday. We held the ceremony at St Mark’s Uniting Church as that is where we farewelled our daughter.

The groom is a very funky dresser and his favourite brand is Jack London – so his suit and jacket were from there. His shoes were chosen to stand out and match his suit.

I already had a dress, but I wasn’t happy with it. Then I walked into Bariano and knew that the dress I saw there was my dream dress.

I also had my late grandmother’s engagement ring pinned inside my dress.

I walked down the aisle to ‘Here With Me’ by Dido.

We wanted our ceremony to be a special acknowledgement of what Wayne and I have been through to make it to our wedding day, and also honour Aila and other special people who couldn’t be there with us. Our readings included a Native American prayer to remember those not with us and a reading called ‘Desiderata’.

Mark from One White Day was our photographer on the day and he was excellent. We hardly noticed he was there and the finished product was amazing.

The moment we went to inspect The Cloisters at Toorak College we knew it was where we would have our reception. The theme was shabby chic. I collected all the ornaments and decorations from an op shop and made lots of tea cup candles for the tables. The atmosphere was one of celebration. We also included lots of acknowledgement of Aila and those special people, such as my father and Wayne’s mum, who are no longer with us.

As you can see from the big bridal party, there were people from all areas of our life involved. The children who were involved all belonged to my bridesmaids.

The things that made our wedding special was that it was Aila’s second birthday, so there was both celebration, happiness, hope and some sadness. Also, my sister Carla (my maid of honour) and her partner travelled from Vancouver via Ireland to be there for the day.

It was great to see how all my little homemade touches were noticed by people. Having kids there with a face painter, tepee and a balloon artist was great too.

My jewellery, designed by Precious Touch Jewellery, had Aila’s finger print on it (ring and bracelet).

We loved that all our friends and family, who have supported us through the tough times, were there to celebrate what a special union it was.

Alina and Wayne’s wedding video by Cliff Elliot

Ms Floral Says: Thank you Alina for sharing your story with us. What a beautiful wedding to celebrate your union, as well as remember your precious Aila. The Polka Dot team all wish you the very best in your new chapter as husband and wife.