Oh, you’re in for a visual treat! Sean and Matthew’s surprise Sydney wedding was filled with all the sparkle, all the glitter and all the Kylie. The couple, who locked eyes on the dancefloor under the mirror ball at a club nearly 19 years ago, had a full-circle moment by saying their vows under a giant mirror ball. There to capture all the amazing details and special moments on the day was Mr. Wigley Photography. Below, Sean (a talented florist) shares how his 50th birthday turned into a surprise wedding and how he and Matthew pulled off this colourful and joyous celebration.
Being a florist I have installed and worked on a lot of weddings over the years. I wanted ours to look unlike any of those weddings and to have a colourful party vibe. Also, legalised same-sex weddings was fairly a new thing, so I really wanted to really celebrate this fact. I kept calling it our Big Gay Surprise Wedding. So lots of sparkle, glitter and Kylie. Also, it was a surprise wedding for all our guests. We told everybody it was a party for my 50th birthday, which I had been talking about for quite a while. This had been in the planning for many months. I only proposed to Matthew about two months before the party. We then decided to keep it secret until the big day.
It’s strange being a florist but I really wanted to have minimal flowers. My close friend Lisa Cooper (of Doctor Cooper Studio) is a florist and does amazing simple sculptural work. The centrepieces were masses of roses in one colour with trailing tinsel. She also incorporated some mirror balls into some of them.
My team and I installed all the glitter tinsel curtains and backdrop, and I worked with The Balloon Crew on the design of the balloon installation above the table. I ordered a bespoke pink mirror tabletop for the giant “X”shaped table. I also sourced all pink dinnerware and anodised rainbow cutlery
The wedding was at The Venue in Alexandria. It’s basically a massive warehouse space. Initially, I thought the room was way too big for our wedding, but then I thought it could really work to our advantage. I created what we called our “Glitter Box”. Guests walked into the darkened cavernous room. In the middle of the space, we created a walled room defined by walls of 6m mylar tinsel curtain which you could see through. In the middle of the room was our dining table which everybody could sit at in the shape of a big “X”, which had a pink mirror top that reflected the tinsel and balloon installation above.
One of our favourite parts of the night was when we announced to everyone that they were here for our wedding. All the guests were enjoying cocktails and canapés. Jessie, our celebrant, walked into the room and announced that we were here for a party but first there was to be a wedding. Everyone started screaming and yelling in surprise. Only my sister had a feeling. It was an incredible, fun moment.
We had just returned from a European holiday and had great fun shopping in Paris and London for our outfits. Matthew wore a DSquared jacket, Alexander McQueen shirt, Hugo Boss pants and Christian Louboutin shoes. I wore a Dior jacket, Armani pants, Lanvin shirt and Dior trainers.
Having made hundreds of bridal bouquets over the years, I decided I needed a groom’s bouquet. I left it in Lisa’s hands as she knows what I love. It was one of my favourite things of the day as it was a surprise. Stunning colourful Colombian roses with lots of sparkly trailing tinsel strands and some special trailing orchids.
As soon as we decided to get married the first thing I did was book our celebrant who is also a friend, Jessie Cacchillo. I have been lucky to go to some weddings where Jessie presides and she does an amazing job at setting the right tone. We wanted a short ceremony but still personal and fun. Jessie had everyone laughing and crying at all our stories and anecdotes. We also included the poem ‘I Want to Be Your Personal Penguin’ by Sandra Boynton as a reading. This moved quite a few guests to tears.
For the glittering finale of the ceremony, we played Kylie’s ‘All The Lovers’ while huge rainbow glitter cannons exploded behind us. Daz from Mr. Wigley Photography captured the perfect moment of Matthew and I embracing after we are announced as husband and husband and the glitter canon going off above.
The food was really important to us. I have known Christine Manfield for many years and she has run some of Sydney’s best restaurants. Her Asian style food was amazing and perfect for the share styled dining we wanted.
Minnie Cooper the drag queen sang ‘Singing in the Rain’ with her 12 dancers in raincoats and rainbow umbrellas. Decoda Secret did a performance of Kylie’s ‘On A Night Like This’ with lasers and fireworks.
As a complete surprise to Matthew and the guests, I organised a show to this great live version of Kylie’s ‘I Should Be So lucky’. I sang (or more like lip-synched) to Matthew, complete with 12 backup dancers, huge inflatable hearts and glitter canons.
Who were the standout vendors? We employed Emma Delaney to run the day and night for us. She made everything so easy and corralled all the dancers, drag queens, confetti canons and fireworks, not an easy task! For our photographer, Mr. Wigley was the only choice for us as we had worked together before through my business and has always done an outstanding job.
Ms Floral Says: Congratulations on your absolutely amazing surprise wedding and on your marriage! Thank you for sharing your story and incredible images with us. We wish you both a beautiful new chapter as husband and husband.