Lanii & Andrew
One of the most magical moments in the city? When the sun goes down and the lights come out. It’s that, that makes Lanii & Andrew’s beautiful city rooftop wedding a beautiful addition to The City Issue.
It was a wedding that truly reflected its stars, and what they wanted for their day. “The biggest focus for our wedding was only doing things that meant something to us” explains Lanii of the couple’s decision to split their day over two, kicking off with a private ceremony at dusk. “We actively sought out a venue with limited capacity as we wanted only our nearest and dearest to attend. It was hard keeping numbers to 40 (40 including us!), but it meant we actually saw all of our guests throughout the night. We had an after-party instead of a dance floor, so guests who needed to get home (grandparents, friends with babies etc.) didn’t feel like they had to stay until the end of the night. It was really about making sure our guests enjoyed themselves, which mean we could enjoy ourselves.” And I’ve gotta say, from marrying at dusk to skipping the walk down the aisle, to the bride’s drop-dead gorgeous golden jumpsuit, every moment of this day was so carefully considered, and the result? So utterly with it, as evidenced by every beautiful photograph captured by Ricky Gestro.
it makes sense that nightlife was a feature of Lanii & Andrew’s day – they met while Lanii was working at a bar! She tells their story “We met at the bar I was working at. He’d been in a few times over a couple of months. The night we met (or exchanged phone numbers) my mates and I were heading out to my fave after-work haunt after we closed up. I remember telling Andrew he should meet me there. He’ll argue he asked me to go. Either way, we danced (hooked up) at Amps, neglecting all of our friends before he gave me his number and left. Gotta say, it was a good move – I was left wanting more and we had our first date horribly hungover the next night. Literally, none of our family or friends are surprised by this story!”
And Andrew continued to sweep Lanii off her feet, right down to the day he proposed. “Andrew treated me to an unexpected day of all my favourite things. I was under the impression we were just going to see a movie, but then we got burgers and had a midday pint at our favourite bar. Things got suss when he suggested ice-cream after our next drink (because I never get ALL OF THE THINGS in one day!), but not thinking much of it I went to the bar to get the next round anyway. When I got back from the bar, Andrew slid a little pink box across the table and told me to open it. I was so overwhelmed with excitement that it took Andrew a few minutes before he could actually ask me to marry him! It was all very low-key and perfectly us. I loved that he had told no-one beforehand so it was a surprise for everyone! We never actually remembered to go and get ice cream..”
Lanii & Andrew made the most of their day, by getting ready together. “We decided early on that we wanted to spend the day with each other. We woke up together and had breakfast with Bloody Mary’s, before packing the car for the Hotel. I had hair and makeup with our mums and my sisters at the salon, before Andrew and I got ready together before the ceremony. The day of the reception we spent wandering the city and shared lunch at Yagan Square, before getting ready for the party.”
I know, you’re dying as much as me to find out about that jumpsuit – it was custom made for Lanii by Maevana Bridal. She tells “I wore a custom made gold jumpsuit for the ceremony, and a custom pink cocktail dress with white stars and moons for the reception – both made by the absolutely gorgeous Mae at Maevana Bridal. I knew I was never going to wear something lacy and white (it’s not my colour) and Mae was the most patient and caring person in our journey to figure out what the hell I was going to wear.
I went dress shopping once, with Andrew, to figure out what styles suited me, and that experience solidified a jumpsuit for the ceremony was the go. Mae suggested we pop a thin belt and a detachable chiffon cape to the jumpsuit, just to make it that bit extra, and I am so, SO glad she did! I felt so bloody good strutting around the city in it! Andrew was involved in the whole process up until the fittings – I think this was one of my fave experiences! I wore black ombre sparkly heels, and kept jewellery to a minimum – the jumpsuit was the star!”
“Neither of us comes from very traditional backgrounds when it comes to weddings nor are we particularly sentimental” tells Lanii. “I wore a ring given to me by my late grandparents (being the eldest grandchild, my Greek grandmother had always dreamed of my wedding day – certainly more so than me!) but it kind of stopped there for heirlooms. Maybe we’ve sparked some new ones for our families!”
Oh, and Lanii’s stunning bouquet, it’s the work of Duo Events Creative Studio. “I didn’t decide on my flowers for the day!” tells Lanii. ” I gave the wonderful ladies (and my close friends) Katie and Erica at Duo Events Creative Studio free reign (with info about the look of the rest of the day) and they turned out better than I could have imagined.
I bawled when I saw it. Yes, I am a massive crier! Katie is fantastic when it comes to dried and semi-dried arrangements and she tied the colours in perfectly. I had black sprayed anthuriums which I fell in love with; bright red amaranth; green sprayed dried foliage; black and gold sprayed spiky bits; a dried gold lotus pod; and the pièce de résistance – a giant, dried, pink hydrangea. The girls clearly know me well! It was so textural and colourful and is still the pride of place in my living room. Katie also made a stunning buttonhole for Andrew to match which he is still a little obsessed with (and has the cutest pinch of hydrangea flowers!) I really can’t thank Katie and Erica enough for everything they did for us!”
Not to be outdone by Lanii, Andrew also wore colour- his suit from Jack London a deep green. Says Lanii “Andrew wore a slim cut, dark green suit from Jack London as neither of us liked the idea of a typical navy or black suit. It took a while to find both a fit and colour that worked both with the jumpsuit and his slim frame – and no one keeps a range of green suits for hire! We managed to find one a few weeks out from the wedding after months of looking, and it was perfect. The pink pocket square tied in so nicely with the rest of the colour pallet and the look was finished off with his Daniel Wellington watch, which I surprised him with when we woke up the morning of the wedding.” Andrew adds “Don’t forget my shoes! I finally bought a nice pair of black Grenson’s Shoes that I’d been eyeing off for years, for the wedding (Lanii got two custom made outfits, one for the wedding and one for the receptions, so I thought it only fair). I spent so long polishing them, only to scuff them before we even made it out of the hotel room on the day.”
Andrew and Lanii’s favourite photo? “LITERALLY ALL OF THEM! Andrew loves the ones in the alleyway in front of the graffiti (which happens to be by one of my fave artist Drew Straker). I am obsessed with the solo portrait of Andrew (he’s so goddamn handsome!) and the pic of our shoes as we crossed the road.”
The Alex Hotel with its city rooftop and onsite accommodation was just what Lanii & Andrew wanted for their intimate day. “The Alex Hotel is one of our fave venues, so it was kind of a no-brainer. We had already stayed there previously, and have stopped in for drinks or dinner at their restaurant many times. Their food and beverage list are amazing, their staff are so lovely, and we knew we could stumble straight to bed at the end of the night after we partied on at a bar down the laneway of course! The rooftop terrace was the perfect space for us – it was intimate enough for the 10 people for our ceremony and large enough for the 40 family and friends we chose to invite for our party. Louisa was phenomenal and we can’t thank her and the whole staff enough!”
Lanii & Andrew worked with floral designers & stylists Duo Events Creative Studio to source the most beautiful pieces for the rooftop ceremony, Lanii explaining “We borrowed several styling items from Duo Events, and the fam helped set it up (based on meticulous instructions, of course – always write it down and draw it out!). The day of the reception we had an “hour of power” with everyone who was staying at the hotel setting up before the event – it was really fun! I know this is not the case for a lot of DIYers, but being such a small event, it worked for us.”
There was no processional for these two. “With 10 people there was no need for an aisle. Andrew and I entered together with heaps of hugs and kisses before the family all sat down. Instead, we had a playlist of our favourite songs playing in the background the whole time. The list included Smith Street Band’s “Passiona” and Yaegi’s cover of Drake’s “Passionfruit” – two of our all-time faves.”
“We didn’t want the hassle of a big wedding. We just wanted to get hitched and throw a party” remarks Lanii. “We took a lot of inspiration from the venue (and were a little more colour coordinated that anticipated!) My only request was that we had a disco ball – we ended up with more balls than guests! Happy wife, right? We both agree that the whole thing ended up accidentally being a modernised 70’s disco theme. It was subtle, but there!.”
These two knew exactly what they wanted when it came to their ceremony, choosing Married by Kristy to officiate. The bride sharing “Having worked in the wedding industry for several years, my only non-negotiable was Kristy Wright (Marry Me Kristy) as our celebrant and we organised our date around when she was free. I have always been in awe of her love of all things love, and she is just such a gorgeous storyteller. She was down for every odd detail we wanted to have and it felt like she was part of the family. Having such a small group meant we didn’t need a PA, I know that seems like an odd detail, but it felt really special having her speaking as a friend.
Andrew agrees “Kristy had given us a series of questions to answer to help prep for our vows. We were to answer them without input from the other but were allowed to answer them at the same time if we wanted; so that’s exactly what we did. We sat in our study, me on my computer, Lanii on her laptop and went through them all. It took us a couple of hours, Lanii ended up with a cleverly titled PowerPoint, me with a Word doc complete a contents table, but it was a lot of fun. Fun as something to do together, but also to reminisce on all the good times we’ve shared and remind each other of why we are so good together. Also, turns out each of us thinks we asked the other out first!”
“Ceremonies to me have always been a very private affair. Andrew’s non-negotiable was having his parents there (fair enough!) so it came down to immediate family only. We set the ceremony for sunset so we could see the city light up. It was really special having my Nan and Pop there as they are the only grandparents either of us have.”
The couple adores whiskey, so they both decided that this was one thing their ceremony just had to have. “Other than writing our vows, the biggest inclusion in the ceremony was that, instead of exchanging rings, we exchanged a shot of whiskey. Andrew doesn’t wear jewellery, and we both share a passion for a good Rye whiskey so it made sense for us. We used some cute glasses Andrew’s mum had bought me for Christmas. We also played paper scissors rock with my mum and sisters to determine who signed as a witness (Andrew had already decided on his mum, being an only child).”
And if we’re talking vendors that Lanii And Andre adore, stationer Grey Rabbit Design certainly rates a mention in Lanii’s book, she shares “We hand-picked people we wanted to be part of our day, and they were all so amazing, but I have to sing the praises of this woman. We went through something like 18 iterations of our invites, whilst we were also on holiday overseas and had given her very broad brushstroke of ideas that we wanted but she MADE. IT. WORK. Her time, her patience, her skill, my god! My only ever regret is that we failed to get a photo of them as part of our detail shots. Emily, you are the best and we love you!”
“RICKY IS AN ABSOLUTE LEGEND” gushes the bride. “From the get-go he got it. I really wanted a photographer I hadn’t worked with before and we struggled to find someone that got our vision, but then we met Ricky. He went above and beyond, scouting shoot locations before the day, keeping us on track, and being the best third-wheel we could have asked for. We met the fam at the end of our photos for celebratory drinks; by that stage, Ricky had knocked off but we just had to invite him – he was already a part of the family! I’m pretty sure he spoke with Nan for a solid hour at one point!”
The newlyweds celebrated with their guests until the wee hours at a favourite city bar. “We had a lot of family and friends we knew wouldn’t be able to stick around until midnight, so only having our reception space until 10:00 pm was fantastic for us. Naturally, we took our dance floor/after-party to the nearest bar, Alabama Song. We had our first dance to some honky-tonk country band with all of our family and friends on the dance floor with us! I remember looking around and seeing our families and parents dancing and having an absolute blast. It was perfect!”
Congratulations to you both Lanii & Andrew! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous day with us. Thank you also to Ricky Gestro for today’s imagery.