Beth & Daniel 

Beth and Daniel’s traditional Melbourne wedding held at Abbotsford Convent in March was an occasion framed in tradition with contemporary, modern twists. The happy couple had the right idea by ensuring that having fun and laughing as much as possible was their number one requirement of their day. Brendan Le of Lavan Photography captured the precious moments. Below, enjoy Beth and Daniel’s love story and the special details of their wedding day as told by beautiful bride, Beth. 

We both went to high school together in our hometown, but unbeknownst to us, we had met many years prior, at our baptism! Daniel and I have been dating for 10 years this December.

We got engaged on a lazy Saturday in November. We had recently been told that Dan got his dream job with Cathay Pacific as a 777 Pilot in Hong Kong, so all attention was aimed on the upcoming move.

That morning we took our Dog Ivy to get her Christmas photo shot with Santa (yes, we’re that couple) and we continued onto Gold Class movies as a celebration for Daniel’s new job. Daniel was acting a little strange following the end of the movie, insisting on walking around the back of the complex to find our “Uber”.

Our “Uber” was a horse and cart. We meandered through the Botanical gardens and began to near Albert Road, up from my parents’ house, when Daniel turns to me with a jewellery box in hand, to be honest I can’t even remember what he said, and thought it was a pair of earrings.

Elated, we were greeted by our over excited parents and sisters, being the first child on either side to get engaged, and enjoyed a celebratory BBQ dinner together.

Daniel and I don’t agree on everything, but when it came to the wedding style and the atmosphere we wanted to achieve, it was very easy! The day was framed with tradition, but we introduced some contemporary twists with choice of music, food and the beautiful backdrop that is the Abbotsford Convent. Our aim was fun, and to promote as many laughs and happy memories for us and our guests. I don’t think either of us have smiled so much.

Beth on her dress…

Israeli designer Berta dresses have always caught my eye, especially the Winter 2014 Collection. I tried on all her most recent designs, which were all beautiful, but kept being drawn to her original, and I couldn’t fault it. I was back from Hong Kong for a fleeting few days, so mum and I went to Raffaele Cuica, Prahran and purchased it the same day. I had a seamless process through Raffaele Cuica and Berta, which helped enormously coordinating from overseas.

Daniel is a suit man as of recent years, and I knew it was going to have to be special. He found his suit at Oscar Hunt. He looked incredibly dapper with a midnight blue mohair suit with shawl collar, black patent leather shoes and his most prized possession, his Breitling Navitimer watch.

Beth on their wedding venue

Lucky for me, Dan trusts my judgement… Abbotsford Convent was the first and only place my mum and I went and viewed on a trip back from Hong Kong, and had placed the deposit within an hour, and later told Dan the date to be here!

The Convent is so special due to its architectural significance and beauty, but beyond that is the sense of calm and happiness that washes over you when you meander through the gardens, the chapel, and shared spaces toward the Rosina Room. There’s no pretentious feel, just good vibes.

The brief for our flowers was simple, green and white, and lots of them. We were lucky enough to have used Ivy and Eve for my sister’s wedding a few months earlier, and knew they were up to the task of creating beauty from the chapel through to their masterpiece in the Rosina Room, where they formed some floral magic.

My father walked me down the aisle, and it was one of the proudest, most clear-headed moments of my life (excuse the sap), but it was really special to me, and I hope to him. I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, it set a beautiful tone for the ceremony. My bridesmaids also walked into this.

We held a traditional Catholic ceremony, but tried to keep it shorter with no communion offering, but was still very meaningful. I wouldn’t have changed anything. Most importantly, Daniel crying, because his mates will never let him live it down.  It was truly a special moment, to have those most important to us witness the moment we gave everything to each other, and being married by your school Priest is the icing on the cake! I received a penny to place in my shoe for good luck for the ceremony, from a good friend which was very thoughtful.

Beth on the reception details

Our first dance was to Moondance by Van Morrison, and my two left feet managed to assemble a simple waltz and a semi graceful pick up and swing, learnt in a few panicked, last minute dance lessons! Daniel is a graceful swan, whereas I’m a baby giraffe on skates.

I dabbled in some simple DIY for the reception. I spray painted/buffed some old photo frames and placed a picture of our grandparents and parents in each. It served to remind us that our grandparents were there in spirit, and to remind us of how sacred marriage is.

Food and drink was incredibly important to us, as you can have the most beautiful venue, but what’s the point if your guests are hungry or dissatisfied with the options. Our efforts paid off. We received many compliments on both the drink and food selection. Especially the cocktails we offered to guests while we did the photo shoot.

Timing and flow of the evening was very important to us. We wanted to make the most of everyone’s time, and remove as much stuffiness from the evening as possible! I think we balanced it really well, with medium length speeches, and a good MC to keep everyone on track!

Serving cocktails in between the ceremony and reception was one of our guests’ favourite details! But our favourite detail would have been the reception seating layout. We wanted our guests to feel like they were in amongst everything, and we felt we achieved this through creating three long tables, with guests on all ends, to ensure everyone has some one sitting next to them.

The most memorable story of the day would be when Daniel’s groomsmen Pickle spilt an entire espresso martini down the front of his white shirt minutes before entering the reception! Our Brother in Law Dom saved the day by swapping shirts, and wanting to be in pictures with his partner Alysha (bridesmaid) got his own dad to race down a new shirt from their home in Sunbury, solid 2-hour return trip! Needless to say, we owe Dom and his dad big time.

Our photographer Brendan was awesome. Very talented, stress free and his attention to detail was second to none. Brendan has a unique ability to capture light and tell the real story through his lens. We also loved collaborating with Ivy and Eve really stood out to me. Very professional and talented team of florists who endeavour to realise your dream without much input required from you.

The easiest part of wedding planning for me it was choosing the dress and flowers, probably because they were the easiest things to arrange. For Dan, it would have been the suits, and the fact that Oscar Hunt serves beer and whisky whilst they were being fitted. Thankfully Daniel was a whiz with the seating arrangements, which can prove challenging!

Beth’s advice for engaged couples…

Don’t sweat the small stuff, you don’t even think about it once the ceremony is happening, because you’ll miss the real reason why you are there. Breathe, soak it all in and smile. Oh, and try not to plan your wedding from overseas, it does add stress, potentially invest in a wedding planner!

Daniel on his personal favourite moments from the day…

Just enjoying the day. Planning a wedding can take a lot of time so it’s nice to sit back and be in the moment with friends and family, especially when some have travelled large distances to be there. It was also nice taking my family out for breakfast the following morning to say thank you.

We were so impressed with our cinematographers Tom and Alex’s (T.P.S Weddings) ability to capture our day so organically and tap into the feelings of the day. Enjoy the video below…


Ms Zigzag says: I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pictures of people belly laughing so hard at a wedding. Beth and Daniel set out to show themselves and their guests a great time, and that they did! We wish them a lifetime of laughter together. 

Photographer: Lavan Photography / Cinematographer: T.P.S Weddings / Bride's Dress: Berta / Bride's Shoes: Novo / Bride's Jewellery: Siren Fine Jewellery / Wedding Ring: Siren Fine Jewellery / Groom's Attire: Oscar Hunt / Groom's Shoes: Calvin Klein / Bridesmaid Dresses: Manning Cartell / Bridesmaid Shoes: Wittner Shoes / Bridesmaid Accessories: Siren Fine Jewellery / Hairstylist: Latoya Caruso / Makeup Artist: Renee Galati / Flowers: Ivy and Eve / Invitations & Stationery: Love Story Creative Co / Invitations & Stationery: JPW Design Studio / Invitations & Stationery: Pink Dahlia Printable / Ceremony Venue: Abbotsford Convent / Ceremony Officiant: Father Peter Monaghan / Musicians: The Baker Boys / Transport: Uber / Reception Venue: Rosina Function Space by Bursaria, Abbotsford Convent / Catering: Bursaria Fine Foods

The charm of Toni and Tom’s country dam wedding weaves its way through every element. From the simple backdrop, chosen for it’s natural, untouched beauty, to the country hall turned celebration central complete with jumping castle, the couple wanted a day that was relaxed, but most of all fun.

With a jumping castle and a focus on fun, it’s not surprising that Toni and Tom enjoyed every step of planning their dream wedding day. Toni has this wedding planning advice to share with us, “Enjoy the planning process. I hear so many horrible stories about brides freaking out over the smallest details (like favours – I don’t even understand their point and so didn’t have any) and not enjoying their engagements. There wasn’t a single moment of the planning I didn’t enjoy. I think we are really lucky though to be blessed with such supportive friends and family.”

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Photographer: Florido Weddings

Marrying your soulmate in a romantic Sydney wedding and celebrating at an exclusive location sounds pretty perfect. As her six-year wedding anniversary approaches, Amy Darcy, founder of wellness blog Eat Pray Workout, remembers how lucky she and husband Reis, were to celebrate their wedding reception at Victoria Barracks Officers Mess in Paddington.

“We were married at St Stephens Anglican Church in Newtown and the reception followed at Victoria Barracks Officers Mess in Paddington. This is the oldest Army Barracks in Sydney and is really beautiful. This venue isn’t open to the public, just select Army Officers and from what I’ve been told, now that security rules have changed in recent years it isn’t possible to host a wedding here now. We feel very privileged to have had this rare opportunity to share with our guests. We had a lot of fun on the day and had THE BEST dance party in the courtyard under the fairy lights after dinner. Still the best dancing I’ve seen at a wedding (although I am slightly biased!).”

“I arrived at the church, before my husband did! He was still at the pub with his groomsmen and I was early (which NEVER happens!). Bizarre memory but me being early is a rarity! Haha.” 

Rather than writing their own vows, the couple kept to tradition as this truly reflected how they feel about marriage. “We were married in the Anglican church and used the tried and true vows. I think they reflect what God intended marriage to be about really well.” 

When asking Amy about the proposal she remembers how unexpected it was and how Reis always wants her to see her smile.

“I had just returned from 10 days on a cruise with 20 of my friends. It was summer and we were sitting by the pool at Reis’ parents house. My best friend got engaged on the cruise and when I shared the news with Reis he said, ‘that’s really good for them! I think it will be a while until we are at that stage.’ I thought ‘gosh, he has really changed his tune since I left!’. So I wasn’t expecting anything.

I was having a ‘fat day’ ie. feeling insecure about the new weight that I had gained from going a little overboard on the ‘all you can eat’ restaurants on the cruise (so good, but I definitely lacked self control at that time).

I was sitting on the side of the pool sulking around with my towel around me not wanting to get in. Really mature, right? Reis said ‘hey I’m just going to go and call Shiney’ that was his best mate. I was thinking ‘seriously?! Great time to pick to do that!’ He came back about 5 minutes later and got back in the pool on the steps in front of me. It looked like he was kneeling and I was about be a smart-alec and say ‘what are you going to do? Propose!?’ (thankfully I kept my big mouth shut – what a moment killer that would have been!) He then pulled out a ring that was more beautiful than I ever could have imagined (and I had worked in a jeweller for many years whilst at uni so I had a pretty good idea what I did and didn’t like!). 

Reis said to me ‘You’re my best friend and I want it to stay that way for life. Will you marry me?’ I took the ring, dropped the towel, jumped on top of him in the pool, jumping up and down screaming ‘are you SERIOUS?!’ about a thousand times, with a lot of laughter and then a resounding ‘YES!!’. I found out later Reis had a massive plan with a song written and surprises etc for the following day but he just couldn’t bear seeing me upset, especially when he knew he had something that would fix it! It turned out far better this way because I had no idea that he would propose in that moment because I was expecting something elaborate to be associated with the proposal. It was really nice being at his parents house too because now every summer when we sit on the pool steps, we are reminded of that fun afternoon and the excitement that followed.”

Some say picking the wedding dress is one of the most difficult parts in preparation for the big day. For Amy, the first dress she saw was perfection.

“It was actually the first dress I saw. I looked high and low all over Sydney in both stores that sold off the rack and those that custom designed, but really liked this one and kept coming back to it. I loved the elegant simplicity and thought it was timeless. Plus when else can you wear a big dress like this?!”

And on advice for others about to tie the knot…

“It is only one day, so don’t feel you have to spend through the roof. Looking back on the day, the things we would have done differently were:

1. Get a videographer

2. Not spend so much on the cake

3. Be less stressed about it all!

After her first and second wedding anniversary, Amy writes some extra lessons learned on her blog.

“We have now been married for 5 and a half years. Whilst we kept up the tradition of going away for our anniversary and talking about what we have learned I didn’t have heaps of new things to add. Last year though we had our first child and have learnt SO much more about each other and how to interact as a couple and as parents to our son. No doubt there will be plenty to write [on her blog] about on our 6 year wedding anniversary.”

Photography by Simon Wilde

Images provided by Amy Darcy

Ms Zigzag says: Amy looks breathtaking walking down the aisle at St Stephens Anglican Church. Congrats to this happy couple who are about to embark on their sixth wedding anniversary!