Dana and Tim
The wedding of Dana and Tim intrigued me. I am always fascinated by different cultures and how the wedding celebrations are held – different ceremonies, different forms of dress. It was delightful to see that Dana and Tim put their own spin on their Malaysian wedding, which was held in Melbourne in a very normal backyard and as Dana says “under a classic Hills Hoist”. Today’s wedding is full of the intensity that a wedding ceremony brings with the careful acts of paying homage to the culture of the bride and groom.
Dana explains how they met. “We’ve known each other since high school – we were in the same class in Year 7, but we never took notice of each other! Years passed but we got together in year 11, and have been since.”
Photos today are by Daniel Bilsborough, Daniel has taken great care in these images. Each one seems to carry the heavy weight of importance of the day.
Dana and Tim started off getting ready at home with Dana’s hair styled by Marissa Margaritis of Cristique Hair and Beauty (03 9598 1213 ) and makeup by Casey Malady
For the ceremony, Tim went barefoot and wore a traditional outfit. He explains “I wore a traditional Malay outfit and sarong that Dana’s Aunty had bought from a store in Malaysia. The songkok (traditional Malay hat) was custom made in Malaysia also.”
The couple held their wedding in a Melbourne backyard, Dana remarks “Our wedding was a good old backyard do under the Hills Hoist! Our fathers worked on moving the gazebo and the bamboo fencing, and my mum spent a long time fixing up the garden in the months leading up to the wedding – it helped that it was raining almost every day in the weeks beforehand as it helped make the garden beautiful and lush with greenery (we were told that of the last 12 weeks, it rained every day of the weekend except three of those days – including ours!) .
Our guests sat on Ikea picnic blankets and the draping was bought in giant rolls from Super Cheap Fabric (03 9530 4478)-we hunted down the $2 a metre rolls! We found a Chinese shop in Box Hill that sold the paper lanterns and we bargained them to a cheaper price to buy in bulk. Tim is mad about origami so he set about folding 100 cranes that were hung around the garden and then cut down after the ceremony and handed out with the cupcake bonbonierre at the end of the day. We bought jars from op shops with the idea to hang tea light candles in them around the garden. However we realised you wouldn’t be able to see much during the day, so we alternated cranes and roses in the jars.”
Dana wore a gown made by her grandmother, she explains “My grandmother was an avid seamstress and would often make traditional dress for her children and grandchildren. As she got older and sewing became difficult, she would occasionally get dresses tailor made for my mother. Mum just happened to find this in the back of her wardrobe and asked if I would like to use it for the wedding – I loved it on first sight. It turned out to be the last dress my grandmother designed and had made for my mother before she passed away.
My mum tailored it herself to fit my measurements. I adored it on its own, but Mum insisted it needed a bit of sparkle if it was to be a wedding dress. I finally gave in to very subtle detailing! Mum sewed on the pearls from one of the decorative pillows from her own traditional wedding 30 years ago, as well as crystals and beads from her own collection. I found the silk and lace edging for my veil from Spotlight in Box Hill – it was sewn by Melissa of Think Sew, Carnegie (03 95695033)”
For her bridesmaids, Dana asked her sisters, she explains, “My bridesmaids were my sisters. We had no specific dresses for them, but we asked all immediate family members on both sides to wear shades of blue and green.”
For their wedding rings, made by Steve Milonas, Dana says “We were referred to Steve through friends of ours who had just gone through a wedding themselves. He was wonderfully helpful in the process of designing our own rings.” Tim adds “The yellow gold actually comes from my Grandmother, who brought this ring down from Estonia with her to Australia, and passed it on to Mum. She passed it onto us and with her blessing, it is a part of our wedding rings. ”
During the signing, the couple’s talented friend Christian Meyer performed some original music on his guitar.
The couple chose to only have a bouquet for Dana and corsages for the families. Dana explains “Cobie from Flowers of Canterbury was terrific and created the corsages for our families. We bought the peony roses from Dandenong Market and I created the bouquet myself the night before.”
Of their photographer, Dana says “In the beginning, we weren’t going to have a specific photographer – we simply didn’t have the budget for it, and we knew our siblings and friends were fantastic photographers themselves. We were going to set up a Facebook page where everyone would upload their photos from the day and we would select our favourites to create our own wedding album. One day, Tim came across a status update of an acquaintance through basketball that said her brother was looking for willing participants to help him build a wedding portfolio. We met up with Daniel and had a long chat – we knew instantly that the three of us were on the same page. From the beginning he explained to us that his photography style was about telling a story and catching moments as they happened, he wasn’t really into forced poses and awkward smiles. Natural, spur of the moment and real. We jumped on board straight away! His easy going personality fit in so well with our family and guests, it was as if we’d all known him for a long time. Throughout the day, Daniel was invisible in the absolute best way possible – he never stood in the way of our guests or shouted out orders for poses or people. Yet he was always there every time we needed him for the group shots that we wanted – that picture with Grandma, one more shot with the work people before they left, a silly pose with the cousins. For our set shots in Wattle Park, his only instruction was ‘Just walk around guys, and I’ll let you know if I need you!’ Once or twice he directed us to specific spots around the park that he had discovered when he did some reconnaissance the week before, but even then we just chatted naturally and hardly posed. Daniel is professional, humble and extremely talented, and rarely a day goes past where I do not recommend his website and his services to anyone in need.”
After photographs, the couple returned home for a feast. Dana remarks “Our mums took care of the food, of course! Many friends and relatives, young and old, were recruited as helpers. Traditional foods and contemporary delights kept everyone happy. Later in the evening, we invited our guests and extended friends to New Guernica (Little Collins St, Melbourne) for delicious dumplings and Sunday drinks.”
Congratulations Dana and Tim! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Daniel Bilsborough for sharing today’s photographs.