Even though we’re loving pastels all month, we know the bright and breezy isn’t for everyone. And in the spirit of making sure you can find wedding inspiration for you? Let us introduce you to Erika and Jase. “Our wedding itself is special for us as it was a unique and one-of-a-kind wedding. It’s dark and it’s what we wanted it to be!!! It’s non-traditional, people might raise their eyebrows but it’s the perfect wedding day for me and Jase.”

And perfect it was, Erika in a stunning black lace gown, floral arrangements of black and red,  and even a black wedding cake and the most incredible bush setting, all captured by NA Studios Weddings. Shares Erika “My favourite detail would be the fact we were able to express ourselves through our marriage without giving a damn of what other people think or say and how we want our wedding day to look like. As I said, Our wedding, our rules.”

Jason tells how the colour came to be, on a certain dating app. “I had been single for about a year. A friend of mine who’d found a partner through Tinder convinced me that dating apps weren’t just for one-night stands. So I downloaded Tinder and Plenty Of Fish.  I stumbled upon Erika’s profile and was impressed with her info. It said she played the keyboard/piano and liked hard rock/heavy music. That she’s into photography (I’m not a photographer, but an admirer of others’ work). She had some photos of Batman figurines too which pretty much sealed the deal for me.

I didn’t know what to say in my ‘Hello’ message, so I went into a pretty big spill about our common interests. She replied the same night saying she didn’t have the app anymore but would make an exception to talk to me and gave me her Facebook profile. We then started chatting constantly over messenger late into the morning, like 3 am. Through chatting one afternoon about a week or maybe two into talking, she mentioned how she was at a house in my suburb. I lightheartedly gave her my address just to see how close she was.  I’d been working towards asking her out, but it felt too soon still. A day or so later, I came home after getting dinner with a friend one night. There was a knock on my door at 11 pm and a plain-clothed man said it was a delivery. I lived in a bad area and wasn’t aware that Uber could do such things as I’m not the most up-to-date, app/tech-savvy guy. I pretty much accused him of attempting to gain access to rob me until he said it was from Erika. She’d baked me brownies and written a letter. So of course that night I asked if she’d like to meet up for a date.”

Jase popped the question right before the couple’s fourth anniversary. “There was a time Erika and I were in Albany, and we visited a place called Jimmy Newells Harbour, both for the first time. It looked so beautiful that day that we actually both felt emotional. We were there alone, and I was overcome with an urge to propose, but I bit my tongue because it was unplanned. After that, I was always regretting that I hadn’t, as I couldn’t think of how to create a more perfect moment.

Our fourth anniversary was coming up, and I thought perhaps we could return to Jimmy Newells and hopefully recreate the moment. But Erika wanted to go to Margaret River. There was nowhere at Margaret River that struck me as a romantic place to propose. The best I could think of was that we could hire a canoe and hopefully pull up somewhere beautiful for a rest along the river’s edge.

I should also insert at this point that I did not have a ring. The reason was, I had a concept for Erika’s ring, but I thought she’d want a black metal. And the best option was a metal that can’t be resized, and I couldn’t find out her size without being obvious. So the best I could do was have an appointment with a custom jeweller named Thomas Meihofer booked for the following day. I had visited him previously to discuss the ring idea. So back to the story.

We headed down to the river’s edge, but due to gloomy weather, the canoe hires people weren’t there that day. So we go for a stroll as far down the river as you can walk.  It was beginning to sprinkle in as we got to the river’s edge. I knew it wasn’t the ideal location and weather, but it was the best the day was going to give me. So with no ring, I got down on one knee and popped the question. Erika replied ‘OK’. She didn’t like my ring concept anyway, and we spent the rest of the day looking for ring ideas for what would become her custom engagement ring. The engagement ring is a heart-shaped black diamond ring with ruby stones.”

For Erika & Jase, every single detail was important. “We made sure even the tiniest detail of the wedding genuinely reflects us. I love our wedding welcome sign’ Til death do us Part for our ceremony and we transformed it to Til death do us party for our wedding reception.

I’ve searched all of the wedding decorations and suppliers one by one and it took a while to find them all but it came out greater than I thought it would be. I made sure that we included the personalised gifts I’ve given Jase during our relationship. We put our Pop Vinyl versions as one of the decorative tables. Plus, I made sure to acknowledge Jase’s grandmother – Faye, to be included in our wedding even if she’s not present due to her passing. I borrowed an old brooch from my partner’s grandmother who sadly passed away last year, I’ve attached it to my wedding bouquet as a gesture of remembering her existence. So between that and my wedding dress, I have “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something black.”

Country brewery Naked Apple Cider, set into the forest was just the venue Erika and Jase were looking for. “Naked Apple Cider House was the first venue we checked out and our first choice. We were amazed and instantly fell in love with the exquisite beauty of the place. It has a massive garden, a gorgeous deck and a courtyard. It’s filled with green and lush trees and a variety of vibrant wildflowers and plants all over the venue. We decided to have a garden wedding ceremony at the beginning of the spring season and we also have our reception at Naked Apple Cider as they offer the best porchetta and scrumptious menu to cater for our wedding. Plus Jase and I love the Bedrocker Apple Cider that they have.”

Jason chose an elegant red velvet suit from Suit Vault says Erika. “He was wearing a dark red velvet tuxedo from Suit Vault located in Subiaco, WA. He also wore a black long-sleeve and pants to contrast his suit. He had a black boutonniere and a pair of black Dr Martens boots. Jase wasn’t fussed about what he would wear to our wedding, he just wanted to make sure that I was happy with it.”

It was touch and go there, but Erika was lucky enough to walk down the aisle with her mum. She recalls “I wanted to walk down the aisle with my mother but there were lots of uncertainties about whether she could come to our wedding or not and as the stubborn person that I am, I had decided to walk down by myself if my mother’s visa wouldn’t come on time.

Luckily her visa came a week before our big day, she came from the Philippines to Perth, Australia three days before our wedding. It was a roller coaster of emotions but in the end, I was a grateful bride to have her on my side and to walk down the aisle during this important and happiest moment of my life. The walk down the aisle song named “Stand Inside your love’’ by Vitamin String Quartet. An orchestra version of our favourite band – The Smashing Pumpkins.”

Married by celebrant Kirk Samuel Goodsell, it was of course a must that Erika and Jase filled their ceremony with personal details.  “We chose an upbeat playlist for our pre-ceremony music as we welcomed our guests, some of the songs were Turbo Lover & Love Bites by Judas Priest, Just Like Heaven by The Cure, Loving you is a dirty job by RATT, We’re in this together by Nine Inch Nails, Sabbra Cadabra by Black Sabbath and so much more.

Our ceremony was officiated by Kirk Goodsell, he made sure our wedding day was as smooth as it can be. Kirk created the funniest and the most personal ceremony which was a great reflection of Jase and me as a couple. The weather on the day of our wedding was perfect, it was sunny with a cool spring breeze. The ceremony was pretty chilled out as the rest of the wedding day. It was an emotional day for us; I was prepared to cry my heart out coz I’m a very emotional person but surprisingly I ended up with no tears falling from my face and just the happiest bride – I felt extremely ecstatic to marry the love of my life. We chose “Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath as our exit song for our wedding ceremony coz we’re a big fan of Black Sabbath.”

Erika found her incredible long sleeve black gown at Sherbon Clothing, sharing “Like Coco Chanel said “ When I find a colour darker than black, I’ll wear it! But until then, I’m wearing black!” I can 100% agree with this. Since I was in high school I’ve always loved wearing black. I thought it was just a phase wherein wearing black was cool. Fast forward 20 yrs later, nothing has changed!!! My love for black has grown. All these years, I have dreamt of wearing a black wedding dress because I can’t envision myself wearing a white wedding dress coz “it’s just not me’’.

I courageously ordered a customised black wedding dress online from Sherbon Clothing on Etsy, a dressmaker named Karina from Latvia who mainly does the best black wedding dresses. She did an exceptional job making my dream wedding dress into reality. It was a nerve-wracking moment waiting for my dress to arrive in Australia as it was made during the war between Ukraine and Russia. (Another story I could tell my future children lol). Anyway, it arrived 1.5 months before our wedding and I am in love with my wedding dress. It fits perfectly and I have received a lot of compliments on our big day. I also wore a tiara with black and burgundy rhinestones from Ukraine, wore dark red crescent moon earrings from Washington U.S. and my Killstar studded boots from the U.K. I felt like I had expressed my true self during our wedding day. My wedding day, my rule! Haha. I felt beautiful and comfortable with these small details, knowing I loved every single thing on our big day!”

The newlyweds adore every photo by their photographer. “As they say, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ I think it’s clear that Nicolai’s talent speaks volumes for itself. I would like to add though, that our photos were taken at midday. A time some photographers shy away from. But Nicolai rose to the occasion and we are thrilled with his shots. He was a super friendly and lovely person to have been a part of our wedding day and captured so many candid moments.

Unless it was a posed photo, I never noticed we were being snapped! A true master of his craft, Nicolai would switch back and forth with speedy precision between two cameras strapped across his chest like something reminiscent of an action movie hero. Anyone planning their wedding knows the importance of capturing those cherished moments. I would confidently recommend Nicolai to any friend looking for a photographer to handle that task.”

“Jase’s favourite part of the wedding preparations was when it was all finished” laughs Erika, “but honestly speaking, planning a wedding is never easy but it’s more tricky when you’ve picked a darker hue as most weddings commonly use neutral colours.

We wanted our wedding to represent us as a couple. A wedding (that was) somewhat different and non-traditional. It was challenging especially when you’re working full-time, with families overseas and when you’re fussy and quite specific about how you envisioned your big day. (Yep, that’s ME).

The best part of it all was the part when we decided to make our Save the Date and wedding invitation uniquely different. It was inspired by our favourite band, Black Sabbath Vol.4 album cover and was paired with a Til’ death do us part wedding invitation. These wouldn’t be possible without the help of our closest friends (Irizh & Tricia). After all the preparations and DYIs it was such an overwhelming moment seeing these small bits and pieces coming together beautifully at the wedding. It made me the happiest goth bride.

The floral details on the day, by Jesson Flowers, embraced the black and deep red tones tells Erika. “Since I was after a darker colour palette, I decided to use a faux black and red heart-shaped roses bouquet made by Jesson Flowers, our local flower shop from Canning Vale where we always buy our florals since we started dating back in 2017. I was in love with my bouquet as it was how I wanted it to look. It was different and unique just how I like it to be. Plus I like our black and red wedding arbour – it was also made by the same vendor.”

The moody colour scheme was a favourite of Erika’s. “We both are musicians, and we have common interests and great love for heavy metal music as well as playing musical instruments together. I would describe our music taste to be doomy and gloomy so as our wedding theme. We chose a dark wedding theme because I’ve always been attracted to black and red. I would say wholeheartedly, black is my happy colour. My husband Jase was happy to go along with it all. He was very supportive from the beginning as he wanted the wedding to reflect us.

Our wedding was intimate, we only invited the people who are closest to our hearts, (family and friends) these people who have witnessed our love story since day one. We wanted our guests to have as much fun as possible. We let our guests decide to wear whatever they wanted. We wanted our wedding to be relaxed, playful, fun and laid back.”

If you’re planning your day, Erika has this advice for you. “Planning a wedding can be quite stressful but you should take time to slow down and breathe! Learn to ask for help from your family and friends when needed. I’m pretty sure they will take it as a privilege and honour to play a part in your big day whether it’s big or small.

Also, don’t forget to spend some quality time with your partner outside the wedding preparations. Jase and I had the chance to attend some gigs of our favourite local bands (Vulgurite rocks!) and went out for some date nights too. But also let’s be realistic, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, there will be some days that arguments and disagreements will arise from time to time and the most important thing is to try your best to communicate well and express your emotions and voice your opinions to your partner. Lastly, just be your true self!!! Do whatever you want for your wedding, even if other people raise their eyebrows, do what you the happiest bride and groom. Your wedding, your rule! ”

And Jase’s advice? “Planning a wedding is a joyous and exciting time in a couple’s journey, but not every moment of it! Truth is that it can also be way more stressful than most probably predict it will be. Lots of running around over little details that all add up to that final perfect day. My advice to couples planning a wedding would be to keep mindful of your stress levels and how they can impact on your patience and communication with each other. Start planning and gathering the needed items more than six months ahead to avoid the pressure.”

The couple chose one of their very favourite songs for their first dance. “Our first dance song was the time I first shed a tear on our wedding day” remembers Erika. “We chose Sam Cooke’s song “Nothing Can Change This Love” because we love the song and the artist itself but when we were about to dance “Yellow” by Coldplay started playing. It was a surprise song cover made by my sister Kate from the Philippines. It was such a beautiful moment and I was extremely emotional and couldn’t hold my tears back.”

Congratulations to you both Erika and Jase! Thank you for sharing so many stories of your day with us. Thank you also to NA Studios Weddings for sharing this beautiful day with us.