We couldn’t do the Black & White issue without at least one black and white themed wedding gracing our Polka Dot You pages. And boy do we have a stunner for you today! The couple had to postpone their wedding 3 times because of COVID, so to finally have their beautiful day surrounded by their loved ones was the best part of their wedding. Brooke & Joshil’s black-tie wedding by the water captured by Mark Davis is epic, timeless and all here for your viewing pleasure. Brooke remembers how she and Joshil first came to be…
We met at school on the first day of year 7 in the same class. During high school, Josh spent many years living in America and we did become a distant memory in each other’s lives. Fast forward 6 years and Joshil moved back in our final year of high school. We rekindled a friendship but it was not until late 2011 in our second year at university that we met ran into others out (of course, dancing) and that’s where the love story began.
In Josh’s words, “I moved to Sydney in early 2016 from Melbourne for work. Brooke, at the time, didn’t think she was going to move there, so she came up to visit for a weekend and we started exploring this new city.
We randomly went for a drive over the bridge towards the northern beaches and decided to turn out of nowhere down a street that headed to a beautiful spot known as Cremorne reserve. We sat at this beautiful little park, which stared straight back at the Harbour Bridge as well as the Opera House. It had unimpeded views of the entire city skyline. This was always going to hold a special place in our hearts, as it was the first spot we really went to. Fast forward 3 years ring purchased and brainstorming ideas on how to propose… immediately I thought of this beautiful park in Cremorne Reserve.
I asked Brooke to be my girlfriend on my birthday on October 23 2011 and have always had an affinity with the number 23. However, I didn’t want to propose on my birthday as I had copped enough flack for 7 years at the time of having a birthday and anniversary on the same day! I was trying to figure out a time when to do it and Brooke was super keen to get away for a weekend up the coast. The timing was perfect, we booked a trip up to Palmbeach and it just so happened that it was the weekend starting Friday the 23 rd of November. I knew straight away I was going to propose on this day.
Long story short I had organized with Brookes manager at work to get her out of work early with the excuse we need to beat the traffic to head up the coast. Little did she know I had organized a picnic at Cremorne Reserve fit with champagne and the likes. We took a little detour on our journey up the coast and Brooke became suss and I think cottoned on.
Meanwhile, I was a nervous wreck. I got down on one knee and had a speech in my head… 2 words in and I was melting into the floor crying. I managed to fumble my way through it and finally asked Brooke to marry me. It was easily the happiest day of my life.”
Brooke chimes back in “Josh chose to have his suit completely custom made at Oscar Hunt. As our style was “black tie”, he took inspiration from the likes of James Bond and David Beckham. Black tuxedo with a proper bow tie. He went for the wider lapel and more of a linen material with a cropped pant leg.”
My dress from Nicole Milano had a very sporty/sleek sophisticated look to it. It was a thick white crepe material with boning up throughout the torso leading up to a straight collar at the neck. Backless, with a really long train with small buttons running down the back. I am a fairly sporty type of girl so I was never going to go for something glittery, lacey, or girly. I love a backless dress so it was always going to be that and thought the high neck collar was really me! I’m a pants suit type of girl so this tied in well.
I was obsessed with our flowers. I wanted bright whites with dark green foliage. No colour, as I wanted it to tie in well with the black-tie theme. Super classic and not too busy. We stuck with white reflexed roses for most of it.
My florist (Mandala Floral Designs) was a good friend of mine and I still cannot get over how amazing they were. She did the best job. All our guests were blown away too! She and I spoke one afternoon about flowers. I am not a very “flowerish” girl, so I had shown her some photos I had found and liked and from that small conversation, she absolutely nailed it. We went for simple, but boy was it effective. We were overwhelmed when we entered our reception for the first time. The flowers almost looked fake they were so perfect. She is amazing at understanding the style of a couple, executing and being so easy to deal with!
Both my grandmothers have passed and they were very close to me. So inside my bouquet were two cutouts of a moth and a butterfly, which in our family are small symbols of them. This meant that they got to walk down the aisle with me. It was the nicest touch – something my Mum organised.
We were married on April 1st 2021 at Sandringham Yacht Club. We chose “black tie on the water” as our wedding theme. We wanted everything to be black and white against the backdrop of the water. All our guests came in formal attire, the wedding had so much love, a lot of happy tears, a lot of really touching moments which gave everyone all the feels. I walked down the aisle to “You and I” by John Legend and we had a jazz quartet to begin at the ceremony – The Bluetone Assembly.
Our ceremony was so us, and our celebrant Koren Harvey made it that way. We still have family and friends talk about how amazing she was! As much as she was doing her job, she felt more like a friend than anything. She will always be such a special part of our day.
Our vows were both a surprise for each other and were probably the best part of our day. They were longer than your traditional vows but so personalised. We wrote them ourselves, separately of course but there was not a dry eye in the house, and being able to share something so personal with our friends and family was something we will cherish forever.
Our ceremony was an unplugged one. We wanted it to be very personalised, relaxed with a mixture of emotion and some humour. We created our ceremony from top to bottom with our Celebrant which started with a story about how we met, what all these people here witnessing this means to us, and then what we mean to each other. Our vows were longer than usual but everything was so us. It was very emotional and you could hear a pin drop most of the time. We were outside on the water so it was so special, had such a loving feel to it. We did not have any readings, our celebrant was absolutely incredible, she was all we needed.
Koren was incredible! She made us feel so comfortable and safe to be ourselves. The amount of information she shared with us and helpful resources leading up to the day was above and beyond and so so helpful, we used them all. She also makes time to meet up with you the week before the wedding to make sure you are 100% ready for what’s to come. She walks you through each step bit by bit and you never felt annoying asking extra questions. She is thoughtful and caring, always putting our wishes and best interests at heart. Her attention to detail is unmatched, she knew every single important person’s name in our wedding without even meeting them.
Absolutely nothing really went wrong. the weather was perfect, the vendors were amazing, the food was great, the music was awesome. We couldn’t have even dreamt for it to be that spot on.
One of the best moments of the day, which as a couple we did not know about, was when Koren got all of our guests to announce us as husband and wife. It was such a pinch-me moment because we did not know it was coming but all our guests screamed at the top of their lungs and it was just the best moment ever.
We were so lucky with the weather on our wedding day, especially having our wedding outside on the bay. It was balmy, absolutely no wind and we got a sunset that only dreams could imagine. I think it made for absolutely no editing for our photographer!
Our photographer Mark Davis was full of energy and made us feel super comfortable on the day. He gave cues when needed and then at the correct times it was like he was not even there. His work is very candid and that’s the style we wanted. We are obsessed with our photos, we hardly gave him any suggestions on what we wanted (because we were not really picky!) and they came out even better than expected! He was super easy to talk to, easy to arrange/book in with him – even during COVID times. Before our wedding, he gave us amazing recommendations on other vendors which we ended up using (our celebrant) and loved! Mark was the first vendor we booked in as he was a MUST.
Sandringham Yacht Club was amazing to work with. So accommodating on multiple dates changes and changes in last-minute guest RSVPs due to the pandemic. The service on the night was second to none. All of our guests raved about how nice the staff was, and the FOOD – oh my goodness, the food was incredible. So much so, that we have been back for casual dinners! The views, the function room, the location, everything was what we dreamed of. Special mention to Stephanie our event coordinator who allowed everything to be completely stress-free! We loved having our wedding there.
We did our own bonbonnieres and place cards. We are a lover of sneakers so our bonbonnieres were Shoelaces in a little tube which said: “JUST DID IT, JB” the Nike slogan and our initials. Attached to this it said, thank you for helping us tie the knot. Everyone loved them! And people had them in the shoes the next day at recovery drinks. Our Bonbonnieries were such a ‘us’ detail being the shoelaces. Our guest loved it and it was such a personal touch.
Both us as a couple and our families are into music so we made sure we created a vibe and got really good musicians to be a part of our day. We had a four-piece jazz band (Fax Machine) during cocktails and our ceremony outside on a patio that looked over the water, which made it feel like we were in Italy! Our band for the reception played RnB, soul and funk and absolutely made the night!
Our first dance was slow, romantic and we actually choreographed it ourselves – nothing fancy, just a few spins here and there, but it was perfect. A simple sway, some twists, and a few forehead kisses. It was very emotional. It was to our favourite song – “Best Part” by Daniel Caesar ft HER.
I also changed dressed right before our first dance and absolutely no one had any idea. None of the bridesmaids or the groom or our guest knew, so it was a great surprise for everyone!
Some advice for future couples planning their day? Pick out your non-negotiables when it comes to the wedding. Things both of you definitely want and work around that. Try to decide on a theme or style early on so you can stick to it and make it easier to choose decorations etc. Meeting your vendors face to face before booking them is also a great way to get a feel for them and their vibe. If you’re an Excel person, have a shared spreadsheet between you and your partner – it makes for easy editing, jotting down, and planning.
Thank you so much to Brooke & Joshil, and to Mark Davis for sharing their breathtaking day!