Carly and Gary

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Carly & Gary

Today’s Cronulla wedding is so full of style- from the bride Carly’s gorgeous gown, to the pink champagne served after the ceremony. It’s quintessentially Sydney and Carly’s laughing face? Why, that’s the icing on the (wedding) cake. I can’t get enough of couples who look so happy on their wedding day they just might burst.

Carly says “I know it’s cliché but we were inseparable from the day we met. Things moved pretty fast for us, spending every day together, living together from 5 months, engaged at 13 months and husband and wife 6 months after that. There was never a doubt so why wait ?”

Photos are by Matt Reed of Matt Reed Photography who has captured this day with such a candid, relaxed nature. The no posing really suited Carly & Gary and the atmosphere they created on their wedding day- it captures just how they wanted their wedding to be!

Carly wore a white gown from Nicola Finetti. She recalls “I came across my gown online and hunted it down throughout Melbourne and Sydney. Originally I tried it on in Black and fell in love. I ended up in the Nicola Finetti Sydney warehouse where I tried it on amongst boxes and samples. I knew it was “The Dress” instantly.

I was lucky enough to have my close girlfriend, Amy Hawkins (0404183694) do my hair and makeup on the day. She also styled the bridesmaids and was an important part in creating the exact look we were hoping for on the day.” Carly accessoried her gown with earrings from Mimco, bracelets by Swarovski and Oroton with Siren shoes.

Carly and Gary were married at Shelley Beach Rock Pools, Cronulla .Carly says “A close friend was honoured to sing an acoustic version of “You’ve got the Love” by Florence and the machine as I walked down the aisle. The opening line is what made me choose this song “Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air, I know I can count on you”. I have an image of Gary’s face etched into my mind that I will never forget as the song started and I began my stride on my dad’s arm. For many it was an unexpected choice, but for us it  was perfect.”

One of Carly’s favourite memories is the heavy involvement of her family in the day. “Both of our siblings were a part of the bridal party and said readings for us throughout the ceremony. My husband sister in law was our MC and my father’s best mate and uncle were our drivers allowing our family to be a big part of our day.

The weather was absolutely perfect blue sky, beautiful sun shinning, yellow spring flowers had popped up through the grass and then  we even had sail boats in the distant make the day picturesque. Because we chose to have a small, intimate wedding, we sent personalised invited our extended family and friends to be a part of our ceremony in the park with us.  I am a preschool teacher and so amongst our guests were my kindergarten children and their families. They defiantly enjoyed the park atmosphere and watching their teacher get married!”

Post ceremony guests enjoyed a feast with the backdrop of Shelley Beach behind them- cheese, dips, champagne, french fries in Chinese takeaway boxes were all served to kick off the celebration of Carly and Gary’s wedding.

After the ceremony, Carly and Gary headed off for photos with their bridal party. Carly’s bridesmaids wore black gowns from Review which were altered to match Carly’s gown. Carly says “My bridesmaids had handmade hairpieces from my sisters company ‘Eliza Do Little’ which she made from the left over dress material. I loved that they were so unique to us.

Having my sister an ex wedding planner certainly helped us to DIY most things and also using family and friend connections for different things. My amazing sister in-law designed our invites, ceremony name tags, place cards, menu’s, guest list and thank you cards. These were all printed from home. I even used my grandfathers old typewriter to address every single envelope!”

The black and white bouquets were styled by Harperwood Floral Design. “Recommended by the reception venue, Harperwood were amazing to work with. They saw the vision we had and I could not have been happier on the day.”

The reception was held at The Nun’s Pool Restaurant in Cronulla. Carly recalls “We were blessed with a gorgeous sunny day for our outdoors ceremony by the rock pools at Shelley Beach, Cronulla. Following the ceremony we celebrated in the park with champagne and finger food with all our friends and extended family before heading off for photos in various spots around the Port Hacking coast line.

Our reception was intimate with 70 of our closest friend and family held at, The Nun’s Pool restaurant, just across the road from the park also at Shelley beach.

We chose this location as this is where we started our life together, we live in an apartment which looks over our ceremony spot and we frequent The Nun’s Pool for breakfast or coffee every weekend. It made sense for us to start our lives as husband and wife right there.”

The stationery was all kept in the family. Carly says “My talented sister in-law, Emma, designed our invites, ceremony name tags, place cards, menu’s, guest list and thank you cards. These were all printed from home and we used an old love heart stamp with read ink to personalise each one.  Emma created our own wedding stationary using our names to make the design that was simple and unique.

We purchased our own glass vases used to decorate the tables in Nuns Pool and we gave these to my guests to take home and keep. My sister and I purchased handmade white lace handkerchiefs from Venice with our initials embroidered on them, we said that we would have them for when we got married, they were kept in reach due to the many tears shared on that day.”

Carly and Gary kept the music low key “We hired a local musician CJ Wilson, a local singer/songwriter who sang an assortment of songs to suit our guests and had our own Ipod for the later part of the reception will a tailored ‘Wedding‘ playlist.

We didn’t want to dance to a traditional romantic song and Gary was very nervous about his moves on the dancefloor. We chose Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap because it was a song that we loved and had that special feeling about it making it an unforgettable song.”

In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, Carly and Gary had a handmade White Chocolate Smash Cake from Nina’s Chocolates. The cake was white chocolate casing with the centre filled with hundreds of petit fours and miniature chocolate hearts. It was decorated with white roses and white organza bow.

Carly says “Due to my allergies we couldn’t have a traditional cake,  we went to our family friends who own Ninas Chocolates who suggested a Smash cake (see above).  My Father (who is a builder) provided the hammer to us to ‘smash’ the cake made out of chocolates and then the guests were able to help themselves and we provide little bags to take some home.”

Congratulations Carly & Gary! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Matt Reed Photography for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by Matt Reed Photography


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  • Tweets that mention Carly and Gary | Polka Dot Bride -- says:
    December 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by polkadotbride, Kerryn Tippett. Kerryn Tippett said: Polka Dot Bride Carly and Gary […]

  • Carly says:
    December 18, 2010 at 11:34 am

    CJ Wilson :

  • Carly&Gary. « stash. says:
    December 19, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    […] […]

  • Parthenia Fayne says:
    December 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Soft, sweet, beautiful, classy!!!

  • Alicia Parsons | Akimbo says:
    December 21, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    We had You’ve Got the Love at our wedding too (first dance not aisle), it was perfect!

  • EMMA O'DONNELL says:
    February 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    […] handmade wedding invitesfor Carly and Gary, completed September 2010. featured on Polka Dot Bride […]

  • Sally bird says:
    October 5, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Carly. We are just starting to plan our wedding for November 2016. We are wanting to have a ceremony like yours in Shelley park. I was wondering if we need to book it with the council or did you just have to reserve your space in the park early? You had perfect weather for a beautiful day

  • Photoshop Tutorial says:
    March 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm


    […]Nice blog here! Also your website lots up fast![…]



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