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Dave & Sandra’s Rustic Wedding In The Perth Hills

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sandra of Elvi Design
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory
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COMMENTS

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Dave and Sandra

Dave and I were friends long before we started dating. In fact, he interviewed me for a night-fill job at our local supermarket. We were both students at the time, I was studying fashion and Dave was studying teaching. A few years later we started dating and then we got married on our 6 year anniversary.

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Dave was very much involved in planning our wedding. We were both raised in the Perth Hills so it was important to us that it was the setting of our big day. We love nothing more than the big trees we surround ourselves with everyday.

Being a bridal designer, my wedding dress was always going to be important. My Mum, Birgitta, made my outfit. We chose a really soft French lace with a delicate scollop and heavy silk satin to create a bodice and long skirt with a train for the ceremony. At the reception, I changed into a tea-length tulle skirt to dance the night away! The lace was enhanced by a belt that my Mum hand embroidered with a Finnish folk floral pattern and in the centre, we placed an heirloom brooch (that belonged to my grandmother, Elvi). The belt masked ‘the bodice and skirt join’. Birgitta also made the blue, soft georgette dresses for my bridesmaids.

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On the day, I got ready with my bridesmaids at my Dad’s home. It was really relaxed. We had a breakfast with bubbles after having our hair and make-up done.

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My Dad collects old Fords, so he was thrilled when I asked him if we could use them as our wedding cars.

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After a very early visit to the make-up artist (Dave had a black eye after his bucks party, but that’s another story…), Dave spent the morning preparing at his parent’s home in the hills with his groomsmen before visiting the florist on the way to the church to have their buttonholes put on.

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Our intimate ceremony was held in the beautiful chapel at Mazenod College in Lesmurdie which also happens to be where Dave went to high school. We had a number of special moments during our ceremony. Each of our Mums lit a candle and they also read prayers. We then asked our grandmothers to be our witnesses. You couldn’t wipe the smiles from their faces! It was so special.

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Our ceremony was followed by photos and a picnic with our bridal party at St. Brigid’s College in Lesmurdie. It was so lush and green! It was really nice to spend some quality time with our bridal party before the madness of the reception.

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Jess from The Butcher, The Baker, The Stylist and Creator styled our wedding. We worked with Jess to create a style that reflected us, it’s difficult to describe but I’d say ‘Scandinavian Folk with an Australiana Rustic Twist’. So our home in the hills was the inspiration behind our invitations, aussie native flower arrangements and rustic elements. We then used my Scandinavian background as inspiration for the folk prints that were seen on the cushions, table runners and that was embroidered on my belt. I think it’s really important to work with the venue’s decor to create the right look so we used gold and dark wood features to compliment the surroundings at Sandalford. The banquet style tables featured Australian native flowers in dark wooden boxes, Belgian linen, gold cutlery and brown paper accents. It worked perfectly with the existing gold and wood accents in the room to create a beautiful Australian rustic wedding style. Jess created individual stations for our guests.

My bridesmaids helped me with loads of DIY in the lead up to the big day. We made wooden boxes for the flowers, screen-printed table runners and cushions, baked traditional Finish gingerbread, made folk printed bunting for the aisle and as signage at the reception. We also made our own ceremony booklets, favour tags and menus.

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There was a chill-out area with couches, a photo booth and the most incredible cake table. We wanted our family and friends to have a great time and enjoy themselves.

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Our reception was a hoot, there was so much love in the room! We walked in to the theme song from Game of Thrones and it had everyone laughing from the very beginning. We enlisted the skills of our friends to do the MC duties and music. It was a great way to personalize the event because they knew us and our guests so well.

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One of the highlights for us has to be surprising our guests with a bridal ‘Rumba’ to Lana Del Ray’s Young and Beautiful. We had been sneaking away to dance lessons for a few weeks before the wedding. It was a great way to get people on the dance floor and party the night away. It also set off a heap of tears!

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We have the best memories from our special day and everything went to plan. Thankfully I wasn’t too stressed but people are right, this is going to be one of the busiest times in your life. Make sure you take time out for you and your future husband in the lead up to the wedding. Find time to do things that aren’t wedding related.

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My piece of advice for other brides is to hire vendors you love and then let them do what they are good at (let them be creative!) and remember what’s important at the end of the day, you’re marrying the man you love and no matter what happens it’s going to be the best day!

Images by Christine Lim Photography

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 Ms Gingham says: I love all the native Australian florals together with the glam yet rustic styling. It works beautifully! Congratulations Sandra and Dave.

About Sandra: Coming from a family of designers, Sandra’s journey into fashion was a natural path to follow. The label itself is the namesake of her Finnish grandmother, Elvi, who passed her skills, knowledge and passion on to her daughter, Sandra’s mother Birgitta, who passed them on to her.  Sandra was just eight when she started hand sewing her own clothes for her dolls, and spent much her youth creating dancing costumes.

Photographer: Christine Lim Photography / Bride’s Shoes: Prada / Bride’s Dress: Elvi Design / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Elvi Design / Flowers: Manic Botanic / Ceremony Venue: Mazenod College Lesmurdie / Groom’s Attire: SABA / Groomsmen Bows: Asos / Reception Venue: Sandalford Winery, Swan Valley / Cake Baker: Red Bird Cake Company / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Jess from The Butcher, The Baker, The Stylist and Creator / Rental Furniture: Curio Warehouse / Cutlery and Glassware Hire: Hire Society / Invitations: Mitchell & Dent / Hairstylist: Jody Fiannaca / Makeup Artist: Grace Buckley / Ceremony Officiant: Fr Michael McMahon

Thao and Vanessa’s Traditional Vietnamese Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

boogumz
2
COMMENTS

The very next day after our 1950s styled vintage wedding. Yes, in the morning. At 9am.

The traditional Vietnamese wedding  ceremony was held at my husband’s family home, and was simple, beautiful and very emotional. My amazing father-in-law may be a former South Vietnamese soldier who survived 5 years in a Viet Cong prison camp (which he escaped!), but he wept as he welcomed me to the family. Needless to say, Thao and I started crying like babies!

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The ceremony consisted of traditional Vietnamese rituals. The bride and groom offer members of the family wine in exchange for gifts and well wishes. The most sentimental gift came from my mother-in-law, who presented me with diamond earrings we picked out together in Vietnam four years earlier.

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This is Vietnamese tradition, and it was amazing to be part of it. The whole day was organised by Thao’s family, and they did an amazing job. The dress I wore was chosen by my mother-in-law, and custom made in Vietnam. The design was inspired by her own wedding dress, which means so much me.

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After the ceremony we feasted on suckling pig and rice noodles (as is tradition).

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The Sunday reception was held at City West Receptions.

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The decor was simple and understated in style, pretty much the opposite of my incredible wedding cake which was definitely the biggest surprise of the night!

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I’m not sure how many brides have an actual functioning water fountain on their cake, but I did and I loved how absolutely crazy it was! Apparently this cake was quite tame by Vietnamese standards, according to my husband (who’s been to his fair share of Vietnamese weddings).

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At the end of it all we were absolutely exhausted, but blissfully happy, and amazed how we managed to pull it all off. With love and help from our family and friends, of course.

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Photography by  Dominique Felicity Chapman | Sam Hughes

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Ms Gingham says: Oh what an amazingly emotional ceremony. Vanessa what a lucky bride you are! Two weddings in 2 days!

1950s Vintage Wedding In Perth

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

boogumz
5
COMMENTS

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Thao and Vanessa

My husband and I had two weddings – a 1950s vintage wedding on the Saturday, and a traditional Vietnamese wedding on the Sunday.

We got ready at my awesome bridesmaid Rhonda’s awesome terrace house in North Perth (she and her partner recently renovated it from the ground up). Rhonda made a “Bridesmaid Survival Kit”, for each bridesmaid equipped with all the necessities. They were such an awesome idea, I started selling kits on my website quirkee.com.au (with Rhonda’s blessing, of course).

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As the bridesmaid’s dresses were grey, I wanted to bring some colour to their overall look. This was achieved by them wearing different coloured shoes, and toting a gold mesh clutch, and donning gorgeous matching burgundy headbands.  Hair and makeup for the girls was pure vintage style, taking inspiration from the Louis Vuitton-style beehive.

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The 50s vintage wedding was a true team effort – we DIY’d almost everything either ourselves or with help from family and friends. I made the invitations, the menus, the program, the guestbook, the escort cards, everything basically. I made the brooch bouquets (with help from my wonderful bridesmaid Rhonda).

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My wedding dress was a gorgeous Rosa Clara design. I really loved the lace detail on the sleeves and the vintage-style shape of the bodice. It was soft-yet-defined, so I didn’t get lost in the layers. I’m not the most traditional bride, so I wore burgundy suede Alexander McQueen pumps with the most amazing beading and embroidery.

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The veil I wore was my something borrowed, lent to me by my gorgeous friend Zarni. Attached to the veil was an original 50s lattice headpiece with faux flower decorations. I kept my jewellery simple, wearing my mother’s pearl earrings, and a silver locket with pictures of my dear departed grandparents inside.

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The bridal party’s attire was entirely custom made by an amazing tailor in Hoi An, Vietnam (Sun Tailors). The bridesmaid dresses was based on a vintage Mollie Parnis design modelled by supermodel Dovima in a 1954 issue of Vogue magazine. I am blessed to have 3 mothers, my mother Robin, her partner Julie, and my wonderful stepmother Rosalee. All 3 were decked out in vintage style. My mother wore a replica of the green suit worn by Grace Kelly in Rear Window and her partner Julie channelled Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton in her mod-chic ensemble. My stepmother wore a made-to-measure vintage recreation of a dress designed by Edith Head for Grace Kelly.

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Not to be left out, my little flowergirl Kristina rocked a custom made miniature version of the classic Rear Window black and white dress.

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I took a deep breath, gathered my bridesmaids (Kelli, Rhonda, Emily, Eve and Katie), and headed for the North Perth Town Hall. I was so thankful I had my best girls with me for this somewhat overwhelming moment in my life. We arrived at the ceremony in a vintage 57 Chevy stretch limousine, while the boys waited nervously at the altar.

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We walked down the aisle to Fleet Foxes’ version of Can’t Help Falling in Love, my brother Richard on bass, friend/bandmate Vish on guitar, and dear friend Cath (from The Shallows) on harp. They made it one of the most memorable moments of my life (they also made it a bit hard for me and my Dad to hold it together, we’re both massive sooks).

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The ceremony was classic, personal, and emotional. The venue was styled by Crystal Lane of Doilies and Daisies. We collaborated together, exchanging ideas, sourcing items, and her handiwork literally took my breath away. Our vows were actually the ones Elvis and Priscilla took at their Vegas nuptials (even the vows were vintage). My mother recited a reading from The Hours (my favourite book). Our celebrant was Tamara Cohen, who did an amazing job. She is not a full-time celebrant, she is actually a counsellor who occasionally does weddings. This brought a sensitivity and warmth that I can’t really put into words.

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At this point, the so-far perfect day took a little turn down “Really?” lane. As we walked through Hyde Park to take some pictures, the first drops of rain seen in 5 months began to fall from the sky. Then they poured. All over my hair, dress and burgundy shoes, which dyed the bottom of my dress pink! Despite the monumentally rare chance of rain, I’d planned for it by opting for indoor venues. I hadn’t thought of what we’d do if it rained during the photo shoot!

Our photographers were fashion photographers, not wedding photographers. Sam Hughes is a former student of mine (I occasionally teach a creativity unit at Edith Cowan University). I found my prinicpal photographer Dominique Felicity Chapman after I saw an amazing shoot she did for Vogue Italia. They both did a fantastic job even in these circumstances!

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Choosing a videographer was an interesting task. My husband and I are filmmakers who have been working side-by-side for 8 years. We run two video production companies, Moving Still Productions, and Glass Ribbon Wedding Videography. Naturally we were very selective, and managed to find Grey Ghost Media, a company that has always impressed us with their work over the years, and were happy to let me edit the film myself!

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After the photo shoot, I was absolutely soaked. I needed to change clothes, hair, everything. I decided to wear the dress I intended to wear to my Sunday reception, and found an ivory headband originally intended for the bridesmaids. I re-curled my hair, changed shoes, and finally made it to the reception (nearly an hour late, eeek!). The rest of the night went beautifully. The reception was a “Midnight Tea” theme held at the Mount Lawley Bowling Club.

The reception venue was setup the day before by myself, my friends and family. The colour palette of the vintage wedding consisted of rich, indulgent fall autumn tones, including gold, plum/deep burgundy, ivory, and exchanging the traditional brown for auburn, charcoal and rich reddish black.

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Each table was set with amazing vintage crockery from Noveltea Vintage. Canapes were served high-tea style by Wallis Catering, and the food was fab (though I didn’t get the chance to taste much of it!)

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My brother David (Richard’s twin) was the emcee, and relished the opportunity to roast his big sister with stories of how weird and daggy I was and still am. The speech of the night belonged to my now husband Thao, who is usually a man of few words, but on this occasion was anything but – blowing us all away with his hilarity and loving words. At the conclusion of my thank you speech, I surprised my father by introducing Late Harvest, a barbershop quartet from the Men in Harmony, a barbershop chorus group my grandparents were proud members of for many years. They told stories of tea and scones while rehearsing at Grandma Barnett’s house, then sang my grandfather’s favourite songs. This was a very special moment.

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We had our dance, cut the cake (lovingly made by my talented cousin Alicia), and left the reception early, because we had to be up early for our traditional Vietnamese wedding the next morning.

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Photography by  Dominique Felicity Chapman | Sam Hughes

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Ms Gingham says: What a glorious and unique occasion! The second wedding held on the very next day is just as unique and contrasts with this one too! Stay tuned!

Photographer: Dominique Felicity Chapman / Photographer: Sam Hughes / Invitations & Stationery: Quirkee / Decor: Quirkee / Decor: Doilies And Daisies / Bride’s Dress: Rosa Clara / Bride’s Shoes: Alexander McQueen / Groomsmen Attire: Sun Tailors (Hoi An, Vietnam) / Bridesmaid Dresses: Sun Tailors (Hoi An, Vietnam) / Catering: Wallis Catering / Cake Baker: Alicia Berner / Reception Venue: Mount Lawley Bowls Club / Ceremony Venue: North Perth Town Hall / Hair and Makeup Artist: Sumonta Bailey Hooton
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