Amanda and Johnny
Johnny and I had been great friends for about six years, and we tried dating on and off (we had four first dates!) before finally conquering the ‘just friends’ barrier. We were always very close as friends; I think subconsciously we didn’t want to risk mucking that up unless we were sure it could potentially be forever! Taking the plunge was the best thing we’ve done!
We had a similar vision for our ‘Big Day’ from the start. We wanted to celebrate the day with our incredible friends and family – the vibe would be lively, elegant, relaxed and above all – fun! We kept things simple and classic and a little but rustic, incorporating personal touches along the way.
I wore the beautiful ‘Taylor’ gown from Karen Willis Holmes and felt incredibly elegant in it. I loved the small sequins – it had such a beautiful shape which was so feminine but also quite modern. I also wore a cathedral veil for a traditional feel. I really enjoyed the process of shopping for my dress and tried on a number of gowns. Karen Willis Holmes was by far the best to deal with, and I fell in love with her ‘Taylor’ design as soon as I saw it.
Not wanting to be overly formal and wanting to match the location, we went for suits over tuxedos. Johnny had bespoke suits made for himself and his groomsmen. They were dark blue with a feint pattern and we dressed them up with a polka dot bow tie. Blue is always timeless and is a bit less formal than black.
Our venue, Circa 1876, created an ‘olde worlde’ atmosphere with loads of character – it barely needed any embellishment. Guests entered through the original cottage, and step into an old-fashioned ‘Harry Potter’ world of large cobblestones, a vintage whisky room, and a glamorous Tattinger lounge. A covered atrium led to the dining room, which has an impressive high-pitched roof with wooden beams, French wrought iron details, intricate chandeliers and a luxe marble bar.
We had practically locked in another venue, but visited Circa 1876 as part of our venue ‘due diligence’ – and fell in love with it! It is charming and rustic and so full of character. We were married in the ‘Mop Aisle’ outside and then had 112 guests for a beautiful reception and lots of dancing.
I walked down the aisle to Birdy’s ‘Wings’ sung by our amazing acoustic guitarist, Jake Folbigg. It was beautiful.
We arranged all of the flowers entirely ourselves – the bouquets, boutonnieres, table flowers, even the urn for the ceremony! My Mum, Dad and I had several reconnaissance trips to the Sydney Flower Markets in the lead up to the wedding; our last visit was at 5am two days prior to the wedding to purchase everything! Family were all involved in the styling and assembling – this was a huge job, but looking back, spending this time with family was an absolute highlight for me.
Small particular details were very important to us, like my bouquet brooches with photos of my parents and grandparents (whose marriages I admire) and our parents being involved in the ring warming part of the ceremony. My ‘something blue’ was sewn into the under layer of my dress by my Mum … I guess we wanted to keep it all very personal and meaningful to us.
We also made sure we had plenty of time to get ready with our bridesmaids and groomsmen – the lead up on the morning of the wedding was so special, being surrounded by our closest friends and family.
Our photographer, Sarah Christensen, was utterly fabulous; she was so committed to getting great shots and was incredibly easy-going. We couldn’t have asked for more!
We decorated the tables for dinner with simple candles and garden flowers in eclectic mason jars and hessian runners – beyond that, the space showed itself off.
We danced to ‘Bonfire Hearts’ by James Blunt. We’ve always loved the words to the song, and took a few lessons before so we had a few moves… not sure if we really stuck to them on the night though!
The planning and lead up to our wedding was amazing; it was busy but incredibly fun and was our real little ‘project’ together. Sharing our celebration and happiness with all of our favourite people was so special. Having family and friends travel from all over the world to be there was a highlight as were the beautiful, heartfelt speeches and our fantastic MC (Johnny’s brother, Brett) Having the day unfold just as we had hoped was such a dream!
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Congratulations Amanda and Johnny: what a fun, glamorous wedding with a few special and sentimental touches; the bouquet brooches are so lovely!
About Amanda: Hi, my name is Amanda and I’m a 31 year old aviation lawyer who loves being surrounded by family and friends, the “Bondi bubble” where we live, spin classes and soft sand running. We’re about to pack our bags for London, so I’m now excited for our new chapter together and swapping out the beach for lots of European holidays!