When Sheryl and Andrew decided to tie the knot, they jumped right on in. The couple setting a date just three months away. With a vision of a romantic, vineyard wedding in their heads, they got stuck right on into planning together, telling “Both of us were very hands-on when it came to planning for our big day. If there were things that we could do ourselves, we did it to create good memories along the way.”
And with stunning photography by Amanda Alessi Photography, incredible winery views and a sunset that is pure gold, we know you’re going to fall in love with Sheryl and Andrew’s story just as much as we did.
Sheryl and Andrew’s mutual friend knew they would hit it off and exchanged their phone numbers. After a month of texting and phone calls, they met for their first date. Andrew kicks it off. “First of all Sheryl was late on our first date. However all is forgiven, Sheryl is well-spoken, polite and to top it off beautiful inside and out.”
Sheryl, on her version of the story shares “On our first date, we agreed to meet at 6 pm. As I entered the restaurant, I had a quick browse across the room, didn’t see any Asian guy (my heart sank, as I thought Andrew was late). I approached the waiter and told him I’m here for a booking under Andrew, waiter checked the computer and said yep, come with me. Immediately I feel relieved, oh yes, I’m not the first one here.
The waiter took me to the centre of the room, where I could see a guy was sitting with his back facing me. The first thing I noticed was his shining black hair slicked back with side undercuts. Before our first date, I stalked Andrew’s Facebook profile, and I was a bit unhappy at Andrew’s man bun photos. Back in 2015, man bun was considered trendy, but I wasn’t a fan at all, so I was secretly hoping that Andrew had chopped it off already. When I saw his short hairstyle, I was so happy that I did a Usain Bolt celebration pose in my head.
I got to the table and greeted him with a polite smile, ‘Hi, are you, Andrew?’ I asked. He stood up, and replied ‘Yes, are you Sherly? (yep he got my name wrong, I didn’t correct him until our second date, was trying to be nice)’ I sat down across the table from him and he followed. We locked gaze then felt awkward so both of us looked away, I noticed a small bouquet of pink lily on the table. As if he could see my puzzled look, Andrew answered “Yes, I bought this for you, hope you like it. ” I lifted my head and gave him a bigger smile than before, damn he’s cute and very thoughtful tick tick.”
Admitting that Sheryl sort of planned the proposal trip, Andrew tells “Sheryl is the planner in the relationship, if I planned a getaway Sheryl will know immediately. During our Xmas holiday, Sheryl had already planned to catch up with all her friends, not leaving a day for ourselves (makes sense because she was working from home since March).
I pretended to be upset about this holiday arrangement, so I planted the seed for a potential day trip, with the two of us. I didn’t suggest any places, as I wanted to give her the freedom of choice, but I was secretly hoping that she would choose Cape Schank, as it was our place we went on our first-day trip together.”
Sheryl chimed in “On the day of our planned day trip, I was under the impression that Andrew wanted to go to the beach to take some drone shots of the waves, so I didn’t think twice when we decided on Cape Schanck. I didn’t expect him to propose on this date, so I just put on my activewear and left the house with one thing in my mind – to get to Cape Schanck before high tide kicks in. We arrived at the parking lot and started our journey to the Bushrangers Bay beach right at peak of low tide. Time was running out, so I power walked the entire track while Andrew was playing catch up at the back – very unusual behaviour for him but I thought maybe his bag was too heavy.
When we got to the beach, we climbed up this massive rock thinking it’ll give us the best viewpoint for the drone shot. There weren’t many people on the rock, so I walked over to the cliffside and let Andrew set up his drone. 20min later, I was ready to leave, Andrew was still shooting, so I walked over to him to check his progress, only to discover that he had been filming this whole time. I got a bit annoyed and reminded him to take photos of the waves again, he brushed it off and didn’t look too happy to stop the recording. I was a bit pissed at this point, so I turned my back to him with my hands on my waist. At that exact moment, Andrew saw the window of opportunity and got down on his knees with the ring in his hands.” Says Andrew “Yes our journey to the beach I was falling behind because I was carrying all the bags. At the highest point, I set up the drone to orbit around me with great views. Waited patiently for Sheryl to come to me and I could tell she was done with the views and was getting annoyed. Perfect. As soon as she turned her back, I was in position.”
Andrew paired a classic Hugo Boss suit with his personal touch, explaining ” If there’s one time to wear a tux and feel like James Bond, it is at my wedding. Although our dress code for the wedding is formal, I also wanted to bring some element of personalisation that showcases my take on ‘having fun with the boys’ before the big moment.
Throughout my life, I’ve been known to be ‘the sneaker guy’ amongst all of my friends. For my big day, I thought about the perfect pair of shoes to match with my classic James Bond look and decided on Nike Air Max 90 infrared. My brother and my best friend also had the same pair, so I invited them over in the morning of the wedding, and together we shared some great moments of us rocking the James Bond-style fused with the iconic Air Max.”
For the ceremony, Sheryl chose a simple off the shoulder gown picked up at Rachel Gilbert. “We decided to get married with only three months of preparation time, she didn’t have a lot of choices. Custom made dresses were definitely out of the way as there simply wasn’t enough time. One of my friends recommended the Rachel Gilbert range, as her clothing style is very minimal and simple, which fitted nicely to my ideal wedding dress.
On New Year’s Eve of 2020, I was the first customer at the Rachel Gilbert store in Armadale and within 10min of trying on the classic Viviana gown, I knew that I’d found the perfect dress for my big day. The off-shoulder dress was the perfect cut to showcase my collar bone and accentuate my curves. The simplicity of ivory dress paired nicely with a plain veil.”
Levian Events styled the deeply toned blooms for the day, says Sheryl. “All our flowers were Australian natives with the autumn colour theme. We chose this colour theme as it matched perfectly with the landscape at Seville Estate.
We also added pampas grass to the flower arranges placed along the aisle and altar to elevate the height for photos.”
Walking down the aisle with her father was a significant moment for Sheryl. “I walked down the aisle arm in arm with my father to the tunes by K-Ci & Jojo – “All my Life ” (instrumental). It was a very special moment that I shared with my dad as that was the first time I’ve seen him in a suit since we migrated to Australia in the 2000s. He had to change his lifestyle completely to make a living for us.
From working in the office to cooking in a kitchen, he had made a lot of sacrifices for me and I felt grateful for the kind of life he was able to provide for our family. Seeing him in the tailored Boss suit was my way of telling him that it’s now my turn to look after him, just like how he took care of me and mum. I had to admit, it was hard to hold back my tears on the way to the alter.”
The couple also gave a nod to their heritage with a tea ceremony. “Our backgrounds are Vietnamese and Chinese. Traditionally the most important aspect of an Asian wedding is the tea ceremony. As we are not very traditional, We wanted the ceremony to be in the modern style. To pay respects to our parents we included the tea ceremony in our short contemporary version, which was a nice touch.”
“We wanted our ceremony to be real and authentic, a true reflection of our personalities” explains Andrew. “As both of our families came from very traditional backgrounds, we wanted to use this opportunity to showcase a modern western style wedding with an Asian twist.” The couple chose Kate Adkins Celebrant to officiate proceedings, with Sheryl adding “One of the key features of Seville Estate is their outdoor ceremony spot, positioned right at the hill of the beautiful autumn vineyards, surrounded by Australian native plants. As I was walking down the aisle, I was greeted with our very own native flower arrangements that blended well into the backdrop of a huge gum tree. I smiled at Andrew, as I knew that this was exactly how we pictured our ceremony spot to be.
Our wonderful and experienced celebrant kick-started the event just as the sun peaked through the heavy cloud, the spitting rain stopped at that exact time as well. Everything worked out well just so that we could have our dream outdoor ceremony.
We also designed our invites and welcoming signage to keep things simple.”
Sheryl and Andrew had a vibe in mind for their wedding, finding the perfect venue in Seville Estate. They share “We fell in love with the intimate style of the Seville Estate on our first visit. As you walk through the front entrance, you’re greeted with two beautifully designed modern looking archways lightly covered in green grapevines. That was the perfect match for our dream wedding location.
The choice of native plants throughout the external areas of the winery has been purposely designed to be in tune with the nature of that region. I felt a sense of elegance via still seeing elements of rustic country settings.
When we walked into the reception room for the first time, we were very impressed with the minimalist approach to maximise the natural elements of the landscape. There were so many handmade elements in the room that aligned well with our personal preferences.
We also liked how Seville allowed us to have the dance floor in a separate room from the reception area. This suits us more as the party scene and family catch up scene can be kept separate, and our guests don’t have to yell at each other if they don’t want to dance. Oh man, our dance party was LIT, everyone felt like they were at a club by the end of the night.”
Sheryl’s favourite moment? “There were so many favourite moments from the day, the best one that I can recall was the moment where we finished the formalities of the ceremony and Kate our wedding celebrant announced us as husband & wife. We kissed and walked down the aisle while being showered with flower blessings from our friends & families. Everyone was smiling, cheering & clapping at us. I felt like we were on the top of the world.”
Choosing their photographer was a labour of love for these two, but their ultimate choice is one they still stand by. “One of the hardest parts of wedding planning was to land on a great photographer for our big day. We spent nearly a week going through portfolios after portfolios, trying to find that instant connection or bond with the photographer’s style. It was a tiring process and in the end, we were both at the stage where we just wanted to give up and pick anyone available.
When we came across Amanda’s portfolio I was immediately impressed by her ability to capture raw emotions from her subjects. All of the weddings had the same flow in terms of bridal/groom preparation, ceremony, reception and after-party, however as I was going through Amanda’s wedding galleries, I could see how she managed to tell a unique story of each couple on their special day, it was almost like I lived through these moments with the couple. Andrew agreed with me and also said that these photos just felt right for him, as none of these seemed like they were forced to pose, but rather, just accurate reflections of the day.
On our wedding day, she was like a ninja who you hardly noticed was there, which gave us the ease of being our true selves. The changing weather condition was a challenge for all of us, as we had to change plans mid-way through our couple photoshoot, but she was all calm and prepared for every moment, including the time where we had to escape the sudden downpour by hiding underneath a shed, she managed to snatch some great moments of us sitting on a small buggy, waiting for the rain to stop. We loved EVERY ONE of our vendors as we picked them after very extensive research in the market.”
For the reception, Sheryl switched into a traditional Chinese wedding outfit. “I also ordered a traditional Chinese gown for our reception. Traditionally, the bride would wear the red gown in the morning, for the tea ceremony part of the day. However, I wanted to do something different as I liked the intricate details of the gown and I want to showcase my culture during our first dance. As Andrew stayed in his tux, it was a great combination of ‘East meets the West’ too, just like how we both have these two identities in us.”
Sheryl and Andrew wanted to make sure their day was personal, so they lent their hands to a few fun elements themselves- including their wedding favours! They tell “Both of us are very hands-on when it comes to planning for our big day. If there were things that we could do ourselves, we did it to create good memories along the way. We enjoyed arranging the flowers, designing the invites, doing our engagement shots in the backyard, picked our bonbonniere. We were both aligned on a lot of things so that made the planning part enjoyable. The key was planing for a wedding that suited us, rather than what others wanted. We were grateful that both of our families were very hands-off and let us make our own decisions.
Our favourite part of the DIY component was our choice of bonbonnieres. We thought about different objectives and in the end, we wanted something that showcases our heritage. Looking back into our childhoods, Shez remembered vividly that chopsticks were the first pair of cutlery that she was taught to use, they were part of her identity that she can no longer live without. Although Andrew’s chopstick skills are not that great, these two wooden sticks also signified his blended cultural background.
So we created a gift box with two sets of special chopsticks showcasing two characters wearing traditional Chinese wedding gowns and paired these with custom labels, one had our hashtag #thaitheknot (as my surname is Thai) and the other had our wedding date 10.04.2021.”
Even the newlyweds entrance to the reception was unforgettable! Before our wedding day, we told everyone that there weren’t going to be any dance. Everyone knew that Andrew doesn’t dance so the news didn’t come as a shock to our friends and family. What they didn’t know was that we lied, just so that we could surprise everyone with a first dance on the day.
A month before our wedding, we decided on a classic song that has strong rhythm ballad material – Can’t take my eyes off you by Frankie Valli, and learnt our dance routine via a YouTube clip, played in slow motion over and over again.
On that night, as we entered our reception to the background music of K-Ci & JoJo’s All My Life song, our DJ made a remix transition into Can’t take my eyes off you. The crowd was confused for a split sec, before breaking into loud cheers and clapping as Andrew took off his tux jacket. They knew what they were in for – the first and probably last dance show from Andrew.”
Congratulations on your marriage Sheryl and Andrew! What a joy to be able to share your beautiful story. Thank you both and thank you to Amanda Alessi Photography for sharing today’s beautiful wedding.