Sydney put on a stunning Summer’s day for the wedding day of Alexis & Cail. The pair, who invited just 32 guests, wanted a modern garden party vibe for their big day. Inviting photographers Folk + Follow along to capture every moment as it unfolded, Alexis and Cail made the best of a time when their family couldn’t be present (thanks COVID) – live streaming the day’s proceedings and making sure to include their favourite people wherever they could.

The pair met on a blind date, Cail inviting Alexis to lunch at a winery in Swan River, the pair hitting it off immediately. “When it was time to leave, Cail was going to take me back to my place, but I asked to be dropped off at a market to meet a friend instead. Cail then said he would be keen to come along as he lived across the street from the market.

Upon arrival, Cail met my friend and they shook hands to introduce themselves. It was awkward for me as I had been busted for agreeing to go on two dates that afternoon. I excused herself to get drinks for everyone leaving the two men to talk. Cail, myself and my “friend” had a nice time exploring the market and chatting over a few drinks. Though at some point, Cail felt like a bit of a third wheel and slightly rattled when Friend revealed his work as a cardiothoracic surgeon, he then left to go home for about 20 mins. He changed his shoes and consulted his housemate on what to do before heading back to the market.

When it was time to go, my “friend” asked if I was going to leave with him. I looked over at Cail and said I’d stay. We’ve been together ever since.”

The proposal as you’d expect, was utterly romantic. Cail popping the question over a weekend away in Palm Beach says Alexis “Cail arranged a spontaneous weekend away in Palm Beach for us and our two Dachshunds, Halley and Comet. Cail rang my dad the night before to ask for permission and planned to propose at sunrise. Only I had no idea. The morning came and I thought we were simply waking up to take Halley and Comet outside for a walk at 6 am. I rolled out of bed with my retainers still, put on my jacket and went out.

We walked across the street and got to the top of a cliff to watch the sunrise. Cail then tapped me on the shoulder from behind. I turned around and he was kneeling on one knee with a ring. Cail asked if I would marry him. I said yes. As he slipped the ring on my finger, I got emotional and started to cry. As my emotions began to settle, I said “I still have my retainers on.” Cail laughed and said, “This is what I want to marry.”

The couple chose the beautiful grounds and space of Athol Hall as their venue. Says the bride “Athol Hall in Mosman was selected for the beautiful national park and lawn in front of the venue. It had a panoramic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. The location also enabled the wedding to have an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception.

Alexis wore a stunning lace wedding gown with a tulle skirt designed by Helen Constance. She tells “I wanted to support local talents and also a gown with leaves on it because of my love of plants. I came across Helen’s Quinn dress online and made an appointment that weekend. The gown had a fitted bodice and layers of tulle and lace embroidered with leaves and peonies. It was lightweight which meant I could move around independently and be comfortable.

I asked Helen to add custom hidden pockets on the side of the dress. It made holding up the skirt more effortless and I was able to hide sweets and lipstick. The whole dress shopping process was easy as Alexis only went to one place and bought her dress the same day. Helen was professional, kind and was always putting my mind at ease. From the moment I walked into her shop to choose a dress, to helping me through my insecurities with customisations to the dress over 12 months, alterations when I lost a whole bunch of weight, and assurance on the day before the wedding when I had the final fitting and picked up the dress.”

“I made two floral dog collars with silk spray roses, eucalyptus and linen bows for Halley and Comet” explains Alexis. “I asked two of my friends to help walk the dogs as flower girls at the wedding. They (my friends) were asked to wear dresses of their choice in similar colours.”

Because her family was unable to attend the wedding, Alexis decided to walk down the aisle alone, she chose Pachelbel’s Canon In D to play as she walked.

Alexis remembers “It was a gorgeous beautiful sunny day, but it meant that the ceremony was going to be held under harsh bright sunlight. Whilst I was getting ready in my hotel room, Cail called worrying about the setup. The venue and stylist were against moving the set up under a more shaded area under a canopy of trees.

Cail was hoping for some direction from me over the phone, however, I couldn’t help as I wasn’t on site. He was stressed out, but managed to make the decision and got everyone to help move the chairs and arbour. I’m so glad and grateful that Cail made the call to move. It was an easier walk down the ‘aisle’ for me without my dad to hold on to, and the shade meant our friends won’t get hot in the sun.”

“The couple were married by Scott Duncombe. “We both had a mixed feeling of joy, happiness and a little sadness of having a wedding without our families present, but we knew they were watching on live stream so that made it ok. We chose the readings of  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and “The Art of a Good Marriage” by Wilferd Arlan Peterson.”

The couple chose wedding rings from Delphi Diamonds, and it turns out, it was the beginning of a new tradition. Explains the bride “For Alexis’s wedding band, she asked our jeweller to use the diamond from a ring that her mother gave her when she was a teenager as the middle stone. That ring no longer fits and she felt it could be the start of a tradition.”

The couple ditched the idea of a wedding party. “We didn’t have due to travel restrictions with the global pandemic. Our family and childhood friends are in Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, Perth and Brisbane. So we decided to have our dogs as flower girls. we were both very pleased to have been able to get our dogs present at the wedding ceremony as they’re the only family we have in Sydney. We managed to get a few photos with them.”

Madeline Anne styled the romantic floral details for the day, tells Alexis “For a dreamy romantic garden theme and to compliment the beautiful greenery at Athol Hall, clouds of baby’s breath with cream chiffon drapes for the ceremonial arbour and reception main decor were chosen. My bouquet was a wild arrangement of cream roses, blush peonies and eucalyptus.”

Of the groom’s look, Alexis recalls “Cail wore a tailored cream textured blazer, white shirt and navy trousers ensemble to match the colour scheme and theme of the wedding.”

Alexia and Cail could not have been happier with their photographers. “Folk and Follow is a collective of wedding photographers based in Sydney and Melbourne. Our actual photographer fell sick 4 days before the wedding and couldn’t attend, but Folk and Follow was able to send a replacement.”

Then it was time to feast! “We made sure the tablescape allowed space for a lot of food. One thing that was especially important to us was that our friends were well fed with good food and drinks.”

“Throughout the reception, we had 4 Polaroid cameras rotating for guests to snap photos and write messages to us in a book.”

One of the bride’s favourite memories? “My Asian friends decided to spontaneously yell out “Yam Seng” during our toast. “Yam Seng” is a Cantonese term that literally means “drink to victory”. It is often practised in Chinese wedding celebrations.”

There was no first dance, but there was romance, just for the newlyweds. “We didn’t arrange to have the first dance, but after the cake cutting, we decided to take a moment for ourselves. Cail held me and we did a little slow dance. Ellie Goulding “Your Song” was playing in the background.”

The couple made sure to include their family wherever they could. “We had a professional videographer to Livestream the ceremony and reception. We were also able to FaceTime all our family during the reception. We both had a mixed feeling of joy, happiness and a little sadness of having a wedding without our families present, but we knew they were watching on live stream so that made it ok.”

Congratulations on your marriage Alexis and Cail! Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us. Thanks also to Folk + Follow for sharing today’s stunning celebration!