We’ve featured all kinds of black & white wedding inspiration this month, and as we wrap it all up, we’re honouring the beauty of monochrome with one final, stunning celebration. Today, we introduce you to Rochelle and Barry.
Full of classic glam, these two planned a day that embraced every bit of Sydney city style. The groom donning black and white pieces, the bride, a white gown, and the theme of the day designed to be “Clean, simple & classic”. With Matt Ashton Photography it was just the sense of occasion needed to guide Rochelle and Barry into the rest of their lives, the perfect next step for these high school sweethearts.
“We met in high school, and started dating when I was in year 10 and he was in year 12” tells Rochelle. “We obviously knew each other just from being at the same school but we first spoke at a party and as you did back in 2009 (the old days!) our main form of communication was chatting at lunch and recess then texting and phone calls before and after school (when we both had credit lol) and hanging out on weekends. Barry moved into my family home after about a year of us being together and was there ever since! We have just moved into our own home at the beginning of this year.”
The pair, who married in March 2021, after postponing their original plans thanks to COVID, became engaged on a holiday to America’s Grand Canyon. “We were overseas doing a five-week trip of America and we were in Las Vegas before our road trip to Coachella. We had a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon booked, but being in Vegas, we went to a pool party the day before and I was feeling a little hungover on the day the helicopter was booked. I contemplated cancelling but the tickets were so expensive I decided to suck it up and go. We landed in the Grand Canyon and Barry started to walk further and further away from me.
Pretending to see something really cool, he called me over, and I knew at that moment what he was about to do because he had this nervous look on his face. I walked over to him and he turned around and got on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said YES! He couldn’t jump up quick enough… not because he was wanting to kiss me but because he had knelt on a sharp rock and was bleeding all over his leg. We still laugh about that today.”
“Barry wore a custom made suit from Bentex Suits” notes the bride. “He knew he didn’t want to wear a standard black suit so he knew he would need to do something custom and always had in his head he’d like to wear a white/ivory suit jacket. He loved his outfit on the day. His loafers were Aquila.”
The bride wore a stunning AIRE Barcelona gown found at Sposabella Bridal. She tells “I knew right from the start that wedding dress shopping for me would be easy and that I wouldn’t be someone who needed to try on every dress in every shop, I’m pretty easy to please. I think I tried on maybe 4 or 5 dresses all up, and the last dress I tried on was the one I liked the most, so I said ‘Yep I’ll have this one and that was it.
I had my mum with me and she just loved the experience, probably more than me! I then paired this with heels from Billini which were so comfy on the day, a simple veil from Made With Love and earrings and bracelet from Ruby & Sage.”
Rochelle and Barry chose McKell Park, Darling Point for their ceremony, noting “We loved this park from the moment we went there, Darling Point isn’t CBD based so the park is so peaceful and quiet. We went there so many times before our day and you’d think it would be filled with people but it never was. We loved the fact that you were in the city, but didn’t feel like you were just because it was so quiet and intimate. Darling Point is such a nice area and the park has views of the harbour and was by the water which we loved.”
Rochelle walked down the aisle hand in hand with her father. “I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of ‘Baby I love your way’ by Big Mountain. Our singers Luke and Tannah Zancanaro performed it live and did such a good job!”
Barry and Rochelle chose Just Married By Rach as their officiant, noting “We wanted the ceremony to be filled with love, but also short and sweet. Our celebrant did such a good job of telling everyone our story and keeping it personal, light and happy! We wrote our own vows so we could feel more like ourselves. We were so happy our videographer had microphones on our celebrant and Barry as the vows feature in our wedding video which we absolutely love listening back to.”
“Our most important and favourite people being there to watch us getting married and have the best time with us on our day was all we could’ve wanted. Because of COVID, there were about 30 people who were initially on our guest list who weren’t able to make it so it just made us appreciate those that were there even more.”
Let’s talk about those incredible rose bouquets! They’re the work of Darling Events, who also styled the celebration. “I chose white roses for myself and the wedding party, which I loved! Clean, simple and classic” notes the bride. “For the flowers on my arbour and reception venue flowers, I wasn’t picky at all and basically told the stylist to do whatever they thought would look nice. It’s so nice having vendors that you can trust to do that.”
“Matt our photographer was nothing short of amazing” rave the newlyweds. “We had met him before our day by doing an engagement session which was great because it let us get to know each other, and see his style of shooting and we spoke about our wedding day a lot. Leading up to the day he was great and luckily was available on our second date once we had to postpone due to COVID.
On the day he was relaxed, easy-going, but also got us going when we needed it and helped us stick to the basic timing of the day. Barry and I are the most unphotogenic people and hate ‘posing’ and we didn’t have to do this at all and the photo’s turned out great. Matt and our videographer Ethan worked so well together on the day and we couldn’t be happier with how everything came together with our photos and video.”
“I couldn’t fault any of our vendors, they were all so accommodating, especially with the postponement we had to do. All of our vendors were great with communication and what they delivered on the day, it made it so easy getting ready on the day and just knowing everything was being taken care of.”
Rochelle loved so much of planning the day. “I loved the initial planning and research when I first got engaged. I loved using my wedding planner book a friend got me and ticking things off along the way. The stress of planning a wedding during COVID was not great so by the time our second date came around I was definitely over it, I just wanted to be married!”
A glam reception was on the cards to celebrate the newlyweds. Rochelle and Barry hosted guests at Dockside Darling Harbour. “Again we picked this because it was by the water but also because the venue was a blank canvas that would look perfectly fine with no styling, or you could do as much to the styling as you wanted as well” explains Rochelle. “It was also a plus that the venue allowed BYO spirits at no extra charge (our family and friends are big drinkers!). We also had hired a boat the next day as our wedding ‘recovery’ session which is why we wanted to pick city-based venues.”
Rochelle has plenty of amazing advice for you! “For the initial planning, Instagram is your best friend. I booked so many of our vendors based on the fact that they were Sydney based and I had never even used them before. Instagram is great for research and you can see past work so it’s so easy to find something you like and ask them to recreate that.
As for guest lists, don’t feel bad or awkward for not inviting certain people. If you’re even having to question whether they should be there or not, or only inviting someone because you got invited to their celebrations, chances are you won’t notice them not being there on the day. If you lose a friend because of it, then that speaks for itself.
On the day, as cliché as it sounds, and the amount of people that tell you the same thing means it is actually important… take some time, take it all in, and try to just take a moment with your partner for 5 minutes and enjoy the love. You will never feel that moment ever again.”
The sneaky photo session turned out to be made for some of Rochelle’s favourite photos. “We had done all our photos in the afternoon before the reception and Matt our photographer came up to us during the reception and said let’s just go outside for 5 minutes. The lighting was completely different now from the photo’s we took in the afternoon and there is a photo of us kissing on the wharf.
You can see us smiling through the kiss because we probably wanted to laugh at how cringe we looked to all the onlookers. This time outside we also used as our time to just take a moment and be together, so I’m so glad Matt dragged us outside even though we felt like we’d had enough photos.”
Of course, there was a little culture! “Barry is from New Zealand and unfortunately had quite a few family and friends missing on the day due to COVID. However, his family and friends that were there on the day performed a Haka at the reception which was such a beautiful moment.”
Rochelle and Barry’s first dance was performed live, a version of one of the bride’s very favourite songs. She shares “We danced to “Best Part” by H.E.R, it’s our absolute favourite! This was performed live by Voli K which made it even more special.”
And as an extra special treat, we’ve got Rochelle and Barry’s wedding film, captured by Erive Films to share!
Congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us. Thank you also to Matt Ashton Photography for sharing today’s stunning celebration with us!