Today’s newlyweds, Uppy and Sam, met almost 10 years ago at a party for a mutual friend in Sydney. Sam taught Uppy how to play the pokies and she lost his $5, then they went their separate ways. They bumped into each other again an hour later and Sam swept Uppy up in a huge hug – they were both so amped to see each other again! It went from there. Fast forward to their wedding, and they created a beautiful celebration with lots of personal touches in everything from their stationery to their leather getaway jackets. And there to capture all these incredible details and the loved up moments? Photographer Mitch Pohl and cinematographer Craig Holbrook. Below, Uppy shares her wedding planning story and how her dream day unfolded.
Our wedding day was initially locked in for May 2020, but like many couples we had to postpone six weeks out, and we finally got married in November 2020 in Bowral, NSW. Thankfully we only had to postpone once!
I took my mum and maid of honour to a couple of bridal shops and we found the dress at the second one, Christina Rossi Australia, and I bought it then and there! In saying that, I didn’t have a big “moment” where I realised it was the one. I was worried it was a little too glam or OTT for me, but both Mum and my maid of honour were very convincing that it was just enough for the day! It’s a gorgeous strapless, fully beaded mermaid dress, with a stunning train. I wanted to add an asymmetrical sleeve or strap to give it a little bit of edge but sadly found that it was a little too difficult to alter such a heavily beaded dress. I also had a custom three-metre cathedral veil with tiny sparkles made from a bridal studio in Vietnam that I found on Etsy.
My accessories were all about the celestial North Star – I wore a starry tiara from Lovisa, a Dior bracelet, an APM Monaco Météorites hand ornament, and starry drop earrings from Chosen by One Day. I also bought a fine, super simple silver necklace with my husband’s initial on it – S – to wear. Finally my sneaky something-blue – navy velvet Saint Laurent platforms with silver glitter!
The venue was an amazing mechanical music museum called Fairground Follies in an unassuming warehouse in Bowral, with a working carousel that was over a hundred years old! We got married in front of the ornate Taj organ, it was built in Belgium in the 1920s. It has over 1000 lights and 1000 organ pipes! Every nook and cranny had an incredible piece of musical history, and we fell in love with the venue five years ago. Both our ceremony and reception were held there.
I walked down the aisle to Beyonce’s ‘XO’. It always gave us shivers when we imagined it playing down the aisle, especially with its huge sonic build. Ironically, in the music video for XO, Beyonce is at a fairground!
Nicky Surnicky was our celebrant after we unfortunately had to cancel our booking with our first celebrant (who couldn’t accommodate our postponement), and she was so great at striking a heartfelt yet fun tone to the ceremony. We kept it short, only 40 minutes, and asked Samuel’s mother and my bridesmaid to do readings – one was ‘How Falling In Love Is Like Owning A Dog’ by Taylor Mali, and one was ‘The Origins Of Love’ from Plato’s Symposium. We are not really religious and wanted the magic of love and the idea of “star-crossed lovers” to imbue the air instead.
I had a zinger of a last line in my vows that required me to give Samuel a $5 note (i.e. calling back to the night we met when he put $5 in the pokies for me), but in the rush of leaving the hotel I totally forgot to put it in my bra! I realised mid-ceremony, stopped our celebrant and whispered that I’d forgotten it, but thankfully my brother happened to have a fiver that our celebrant was able to grab at a moment’s notice. Crisis averted!
We had three girls and three guys on each side, but unfortunately only my maid of honour was able to make our wedding, with the other two stuck in Melbourne and Auckland and joining us by Zoom. A few weeks before our day I asked another longtime girlfriend to join me on my side too, so glad we did! Funnily enough her husband was one of our groomsmen.
The guys all wore black tuxes and bowties, while I got dove grey Shona Joy dresses for the girls. A couple of months before the wedding, I decided to get something a little more fun for my maid of honour so we got her a sparkly Mossman dress with an oversized bow – she was stoked!
Samuel wore a dark navy tux from Hawes and Curtis, tailored to perfection, along with a navy paisley vest from Politix, Louboutin shoes and a velvet bowtie. My mum embroidered a North Star on his pocket square for us, and we also got custom cufflinks from Etsy with the North Star and our wedding date (we still have the cufflinks with the postponed date on it too!).
We wanted bright, bold, structured flowers that reflected the party vibe of the day so I chose red and pink roses, red anthurium, blush orchids and candy pink amaranth and Jessie at Lovely Bridal Blooms was amazing to deal with. I was obsessed with our bouquets! At the venue, we kept the flowers minimal as we didn’t want them to get lost in all the colour and detail. For our five-year-old niece who was our flowergirl, I gave our florist a little fabric ice cream cone to put her flowers in. Adorable!
One of our favourite things was our leather getaway jackets, hand-painted by Brisbane artist Alex Saba. I went to her with the idea that we should do mid-century motel/casino signs and she nailed it in gorgeous pastels that said Mr & Mrs Mobbs! The jackets also had our cats’ ear silhouettes on the sleeve, the day we got together, our wedding date and of course, the North Star!
Our vision for the day was rock’n’roll luxe, as we both love music and I work in the music industry myself, but we didn’t want it to feel like a “theme wedding” so we used lots of modern elements in gold and monochrome. We also took references from mid-century modern, so our stationery was bold and bright and featured the red and pink colour palette, as well as the North Star that you find on heaps of the iconography from that period.
We also wanted astronomy/celestial references that tied into the North Star symbol as well, so our tables were named after constellations, I wore lots of stars and Samuel’s wedding band was made out of a literal meteorite.
Atmosphere-wise, we just wanted everyone to have a bucketload of fun! The venue was so amazing that we wanted it to feel like a chic fairground (rather than a chaotic circus!).
Our on-the-day coordination was taken care of by The Wedding & Event Creators and they were wonderful. Jade was so on point and problem-solved without bothering us, our only wish was that they could’ve stayed past 8pm!
I did all the styling and planning myself and I loved all of it, especially when I started to feel the mid-century and celestial elements coming together so cohesively. It was so fun planning a wedding that we decided didn’t have to abide by any “rules”. COVID really dampened the fun!
We DIY’ed so much! I designed the menus, table signs, welcome sign and seating chart myself, as well as designed our own crossword puzzle for non-dancing guests (because dancing restrictions!). Samuel and his best man also brewed two craft beers for the big day – named after our late pets Nala and Sasha – and I designed the labels for these too. Our best man’s wife also designed our invites, wedding logo and ‘just married’ sign, and I had a work connection design an awesome Instagram sticker for the day! We also concocted two cocktails named after our cats called The Rigby and The Raven, one was a green coconut mojito and one was a black elderflower and pear martini. We’re animal-crazy, if you haven’t gathered.
Something we had organised but COVID ruined the plans for was a tattoo artist at the reception doing a custom flash sheet of us-themed tattoos! We had her locked in but when she went home to Canada before the borders closed, we found it difficult to find another tattoo artist to come down and take her place. We ended up getting tattooed off the sheet on our honeymoon instead!
Our brilliant calligrapher Vanessa at Bondi Letters did the calligraphy for our invitations as well as the place cards on the day in gorgeous gold with a little gold star. We attached these to the gold compasses we gave everyone to take home.
Having our friends and family come all the way down to Bowral for a weekender was so special. We hung out Friday night, saw each other at the wedding on Saturday, had a recovery brunch on Sunday and then bumped into each other in town on Monday!
Seeing everyone enjoy the band so much was also great. It seemed like everyone needed a hit of live music after so many months of cancelled concerts
We also had so many of our interstate and overseas friends tune in via livestream; we had a TV screen facing the room so we could see them on screen the whole night too.
Instead of a wedding cake, we had a gelato cart and had a ‘first scooping’!
Our first dance was to Lauv’s ‘I Like Me Better’ and we loved the simplicity of its message – “I like me better when I’m with you”. I was lucky enough to hang out with Lauv when he was in town in 2019 and it gave the song a deeper meaning to me. We didn’t practice a dance or anything, we just had our band play the song and winged it!
We also loved having a 10-piece band there playing pop punk classics (emo kids at heart!) like Paramore, blink-182 and Fall Out Boy – with horns! When the opening notes of ‘Sugar We’re Goin Down’ kicked in, I’ll always remember the mosh pit and singalong that instantly broke out. The oldies were baffled! Later in the night, our bridesmaid and groomsman (who are married and both singers) went up there to finish out the set singing Panic! At The Disco’s ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ – so special.
My advice for soon to be marrieds? Stop worrying when the day arrives! Having planned it all myself I found myself worrying about pack-down and clean-up towards the end of the night, when I should’ve just been savouring the last few hours of such a special day. Maybe a couple more drinks would’ve sorted me out!
Bring scissors or cut off your clothing tags before the day so you’re not gnawing tags off with your teeth the morning of.
Don’t be afraid to over-communicate to your vendors about what is really important to you. It sucks when something you cared about doesn’t happen.
And be true to yourself – no one wants to go to a wedding that doesn’t reflect you both as a couple.
Uppy and Sam’s vintage film-style wedding video by Craig Holbrook