Charis & Brooks
I love the vibe of today’s eclectic warehouse wedding, The couple included everything they loved in their day – “food, company, hints at travel, relaxed and friendly but with a little bit of flair.” The bride, having a set vision folded thousands of paper cranes and stars as a nod to her and her beloved’s love of Japan, creating her own table decorations and moments of sweetness for guests to enjoy. They chose Studio Sixty to capture it beautifully.
The story of how the newlyweds met involves Sambuca shots and goes a little something like this. “January 2008 – New Years Resolutions only a week old and already thrown out the window! Charis was living on the Sunshine Coast – trying to figure out whether she was going to make a go of it in Australia or start a life overseas. Brooks was busy living the bachelors’ life in Brisvegas – no commitments, no plans (except a plane to Vietnam) and no responsibilities. Charis was invited to a friend of a friends’ birthday in Brisbane. They met in the kitchen of a house that had more alcohol than cutlery and Brooks offered her a drink. Charis declined the drink, but happily stole his hat afterwards. Classic case of reverse pigtail pulling. Those who were there will remember atomic wedgies, ice bath challenges and general early-twenties shenanigans. The night certainly ended with Sambuca shots and the promise of a real bed – with a fan and mattress – if only Charis was happy sharing it with three other people. It was the first week of January in Brisbane and it was expected to be 40C in the morning – the answer was always going to be yes. ”
Charis’ vintage inspired look started with her gown. She tells, “My aunts found my dress at a second hand shop – I loved the style and it fit perfectly (it just had to be dry cleaned / some small age spots fixed). My Grandmother lent me her mother’s veil and it went together with it so well (she also patched up a small hole). I was lucky enough to find a seamstress in Brisbane (Venita Drennen) who loved my dress and knew what to do to keep it authentic. Venita whipped up the beading on my dress three weeks before the wedding! There was a slight dry cleaning fail – I won’t name names – but she made it look like everything I wanted it to be).”
Charis walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
Paul Voge performed the ceremony, the bride noting, “He did a brilliant job and we were so happy to find him. He was everything we never knew to look for in a celebrant and he ensured the ceremony ran smoothly, almost like we knew what we were doing! I don’t know if it is normal for guests to tell you how awesome your celebrant is, but a lot of our guests did ! Surprisingly, he is in very few of our photos somehow, he was able to ninja out of them.”
Charis and Brooks chose one venue for their day – Lightspace. Charis tells “We kept it simple in the end and did everything at Lightspace. We were (I was) a little terrified of arranging something elaborate and losing half the guests on the way. Jess was fantastic – and we were very happy with our choice. For our lighting, we used AVIdeas- Greg and Chris always make Lightspace look its best and our wedding was no exception.”
Of their photographer, Charis says, “Jason from Studio Sixty Photography – absolutely brilliant. He was so calm and easy-going which was perfect for Brooks who just wanted the photography to happen without thinking about it. You’re always told in wedding lists to make sure you pick out photos that you want the photographer to copy – definitely wasn’t required with Jason; he knew who we were and what we would like before he took the photos – it made it effortless. Plus, we really wanted him to capture the things that we missed because we would be caught up in the moment. There are so many photos where I think ‘I didn’t see that!’ I’m so happy that he was able to capture those moments too. Also, I thought it would be really cool to get photos at the EKKA but I wasn’t sure how Jason would feel – it could be awesome or go spectacularly wrong. He was definitely up for it and planned things so we had brilliant photos even if the EKKA plan didn’t work. (…it did work!).”
Meanwhile, during photographs Charis says, “It was really important for us that people weren’t bored (or hungry) while we were getting photos taken – so we filled the place with boardgames and easy to eat food like German pretzels, sausages and cheese.”
The reception decor was all created by the bride. “I DIYed most details. In hindsight, this was probably not the greatest of ideas but if I had to do it all over, I would not change a thing. I had an idea in mind to start with and I couldn’t quite explain it to any of the planning vendors – so I did it myself (and, where possible, got help from family and friends). I scoured a lot of sites, and used a lot of tools/techniques from work to help me manage it– I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to pay my own bill though! The big DIY things: Invitations, table decorations (second hand books, tea cup candles, origami, name labels) and Flowers / Floral arrangements.”
The wedding had a Japanese twist, the bride explaining, “Brooks and I both really like Japan – the country, the culture, the counter-culture, the style. So there was a lot of Japanese influence throughout the day. We got engaged in Japan and brought back a heap (!) of Japanese washi and origami (decorated paper). We made 1000 paper cranes and 1000 origami stars because it is supposed to be lucky and it was a way to include Brooks in some of the less crazy DIY at the wedding. It was great because we were able to use the paper for all sorts of things throughout the wedding – the invitations, table settings, backdrop for the cake and (eventually!) even the thank you cards. We picked August because it was one of the best months for getting hold of cherry blossoms in Australia –and we weren’t disappointed!”
“ Little Gray Station arranged our tables/chairs etc (their furniture was just perfect and they were so easy to work with!). ”
Cakes by Judy C created a cherry blossom adorned wedding cake. “I found an idea on Pinterest – Brooks found Judy, and Judy turned the idea into something classy and amazing. So many things can go wrong when you base it off Pinterest – this was not one of those occasions!”
Wine & Dine’m Catering created a unique festive feast for the reception, Charis explaining, “Neither Brooks nor I wanted alternate drop or canapes but we didn’t really know what we wanted instead. We went through a long list of ‘what we didn’t want’ to get to what we did. Food was fantastic – and, given the amount of times I changed the menu, Lacee got it perfectly!”
Of their first dance, the couple note, “We chose ‘Always’ by Panama. It was one of the hardest decisions for us to make. We’re not dancers and we didn’t want to use something too cheesy or too alternative. In the end, it was a song we both liked that could be danced to relatively easily and the lyrics weren’t dark or related to a breakup.”
Congratulations Charis and Brooks! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Studio Sixty for sharing today’s wedding with us!