Donna & Toni

If you ever thought a classic, elegant wedding had to be stuffy, had to be formal, had to have no sense of fun, then let Donna and Toni prove you utterly, utterly wrong.

“We wanted the wedding to reflect who we both are and really tie in with us to showcase who we are as individuals and as a couple” explains the bride and that they did! From the ceremony at their favourite local pizza restaurant to an ice cream cart at the reception. There were even subtle nods to the bride’s favourite movie “Up!”

The pair invited photographer Captured Frames along for the ride, for a day that beautifully bridged the gap between stunning elegance and all kinds of fun!

The pair have an epic story for how they met, thanks to a mutual friend. We’re handing over to Donna for this one “We met through a mutual friend (Linh – who ended up being one of our groomsmen!). It was a Tuesday night after we had played social oztag for our respective teams, that Linh got a few people together for “drinks” down at the local bistro. After a drink, Linh left, leaving me (Donna) with Toni (who I had JUST met) and a few of the boys. They sat on one side of the table and me on the other and they were firing questions at me like an interview – What’s your drink of choice? What do you do for work? Do you drink beer? etc.
Toni had gotten up to buy the next round and I had said no thank you (as it was a TUESDAY NIGHT), he said he will just get me a Lemon Lime Bitters. When he came back to the table, and put the lemon-lime bitters in front of me, Toni whispers in my ear “I put a little vodka in it”. I laughed and thought he was joking, but surprisingly, he wasn’t and there was vodka in my drink! It is now my drink of choice – 4 years later!

Toni had bragged on about how he could fit a slice of pizza into his mouth in one go. I didn’t believe him and he was adamant he could do it. The next night (Wednesday – State of Origin), Linh got a bunch of mates together to watch the game at our friend’s KBBQ restaurant which Toni and I were both invited to.
Toni being a vegetarian, orders a vegetarian pizza while we have Kbbq. He taps me on the shoulder and says “check this out” and shoves a whole slice of pizza in his mouth! I couldn’t forget Toni after that!”

The bride found her elegant wedding gown at Made With Love, finding the designers on Instagram. “I chose a dress from Made With Love Bridal. I found them on Instagram and fell in love with their Frankie dress (as it had pockets!)” she shares. “Upon booking a day to go and try on the dresses, we ended up finding Harlie Dress which ended up suiting my body type and what I wanted much more!

I loved that it was Australian based, family-owned and custom made for a reasonable price. The staff were great there and it was just a simple experience. It was the first wedding dress place we went to, and it was perfect!”

Donna and Toni chose Grano for their ceremony, sharing “We chose this place because we wanted a rustic look, (which they already had!) so we didn’t have to do it up too much. It’s also a pizza joint that Toni and I love (and Toni’s only request for the wedding was that there be pizza!) so we figured, this place would be perfect and somewhere local to us!”

The groom wore a custom suit by Tailor & Co, accompanied by his groomsmen in suits from Connor. Donna explaining “We didn’t want a black suit, as we felt it was TOO formal and we wanted them to match Toni who would be in a grey suit. We decided on a grey suit for the groomsmen as well, and as it was a cheaper alternative than getting the groomsmen tailor-made suits!”

Of her walk down the aisle, Donna remembers “I chose the song “In Case You Didn’t Know” – acoustic version sung live by Tee from Limited Edition Band. Initially, I wanted both Mum and Dad to walk me down, however, Grano was too small and the aisle wasn’t big enough. So I had Dad walk me down and Mum waiting for me at the end of the aisle!”

Donna and Toni chose Robyn Pattison for their celebrant, and these two definitely had a vision in mind! Sharing “When we were asked by our celebrant Robyn, what we wanted out of our ceremony, we told her .. we wanted our guests to CRY!
We didn’t want it to be corny or cheesy, but we wanted it to be real. We wanted to show that life won’t be perfect, and marriage won’t be smooth sailing but that we were both willing to work through those things for each other. We also wanted people to laugh and hear our story.
We didn’t include any readings, Robyn just told our story of how we got together and how Toni proposed and we exchanged our own vows.”

The bride carried a reference to her favourite movie “Up” on her bouquet, explaining “As a fan of Disney, and one of my favourite Disney films being UP.
I gave Toni a Grape Soda pin to wear with his suit while I had an Orange Soda pin that I had on my bouquet. I think the love story of the characters in UP sums it’s up pretty well – Life isn’t perfect, but they stuck together through it all. It then became an ongoing theme, with the guest book being a canvas with sticker balloons that guests signed and stuck on. The bonbons were balloon cookies as well.”


Asked for advice for future couples, yet to tie the knot, Donna has this to offer up. “I would say GET A WEDDING COORDINATOR. You can DIY or schedule things as much as you can, but for peace of mind .. pay the extra $$ and get someone to be there to make sure everything is in place. You do not want to be called or running around ON your wedding day fixing things or setting things up. it is YOUR day. TRUST ME”.

Donna & Toni had such an enjoyable time with their wedding photographers. “They honestly became part of the wedding party! “They were just amazing. We really felt that they were just there for a good time which made it easier for us to relax and be comfortable for photos. They were funny and partied just as hard with us come the end of the night!”

“Honestly, we don’t know much about flowers” tells the bride of the couple’s decision to hire Lime Tree Bower to style their flowers for the day, “So we went with Lime Tree Bower and got Helen and the team to go with what they felt was right with our venues. We like simple but that’s all we gave them! And they ended up doing nice white and green floral around all over venues and for our bouquets and the boy’s buttonholes! We loved the simplicity of it!”

The Highline Venue hosted the couple’s dinner reception. Donna noting “We needed a venue that would cater to our large number of guests – over 500 and that could cater Asian banquet menu. We didn’t want the usual places in Cabramatta and Canley Heights that most Asian weddings are held at and found out a year prior that The Highline Venue was opening up! We locked it in and loved it!”

The power cutting out at your reception might be a nightmare for a lot of couples, but for these two? It led to one of their favourite memories. Donna remembering “The power cut out during our best man’s speech at the reception. We weren’t prepared or ready for this .. however, our wedding party – being the awesome people that they are. We all broke out into singing “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys to kill the silence. And then the whole room, all of our guests (who knew the song of course) joined in. It was amazing!!”

The first dance? All about the romance tells Donna. “For our first dance, we chose “You Are The Reason” by Calum Scott (sung live by Maddison from Limited Edition Band).
Once again, we wanted something sentimental and wanted people to cry! And at the time, the song was popular and new!”

It was important to Donna and Toni that their guests were spoilt for fun at their reception, Donna explaining “We wanted the reception to be fun and a big party and not too big on the guests sitting down the whole watching entertainment but rather being entertained and dancing etc. So we got 2 photobooths to cover all guests, had photographers walking around and turning photos into magnets, gelato cart for desserts throughout the night and a WHOLE LOT of ALCOHOL. For anyone that knows Toni – he and his boys are MASSIVE drinkers. They are known as the Autopilots (or APS for short) – as this is what stage they get to when drinking!”

A big congratulations to you both Donna and Toni! Thank you for sharing your beautiful stories with us. Thank you also to Captured Frames for sharing today’s celebration.