Mel and Matt’s Sydney Celebration

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


Mel and Matt

With so many couple’s today with family all over the world, I thought it might be nice to feature a “second celebration” which is always a wonderful idea if you have family and friends in two places so far away. Mel & Matt married in Canada, but traveled back to Sydney for a second reception to celebrate with family and friends. They chose to do it at one of Sydney’s most breathtaking landmarks.

Of how the couple came to be, Mel recalls “Australian girl meets Canadian boy – it happened on my first day of work at a law firm in Canada in March 2006. The real story is the proposal – Matt organised a a trip to Paris – a romantic champagne picnic by the Eiffel tower and a private box at the ballet.”

Photos today are by Sarah Braden Photography. I love how Sarah captured Mel and Matt’s “must have” shots and the backdrop of the harbour . There’s so much sparkle to Mel and Matt’s eyes that Sarah’s managed to bring into each shot!

Mel says “It made me immensely happy to celebrate with my family and friends and to introduce my new Canadian family to them all. In particular having the opportunity to include my grandmother in family photographs was important to me.”

Of their Opera House celebration, Mel explains the venue choice.  “We were married at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Canada on October 2, 2010. Unfortunately due to logistics (and newly born babies!) a large number of my friends and family were not able to attend the wedding in Toronto. We decided we wanted a second celebration in my hometown of Sydney, Australia. Matt’s family travelled from Canada to visit Australia for the first time and to meet my extended family, consequently, we wanted a venue that really showed Sydney at its most beautiful. For us the choice was obvious – Guillaume at Bennelong – we had the ocean, the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the beautiful Australian sunset. The cocktail reception was held on the evening January 22, 2011 and after weeks of rain we had a wonderfully sunny day.”

Mel wore a gown from Carla Zampatti with shoes from Peep Toe Shoes. She says “Given that the Australian celebration was to be in the middle of summer, I decided not to wear my wedding dress and to buy wear a dress a little more suited to a cocktail function. However, I wore the custom made hairpiece that I also wore on our the wedding day and the pearl earrings Matt had given me as a wedding present.

I had scoured the Canadian stores for a dress that was appropriate for the Australia celebration but had not been able to find anything. My sister had seen a Carla Zampatti dress that she thought I would like. She sent me a picture and I loved the dress immediately. My sister bought the dress and shipped it to me in Canada. Thankfully when it arrived it fit AND I loved it as much as I loved the picture on the website.

I had broken my baby toe in the first week we arrived in Australia, as a result, my Peep Toe stilettos were enormously painful to walk around in! In between photographs I was walking around in thongs!”

The couple found their second wedding to be much more relaxed. Mel remarks “Given this was our “second celebration” the pressure was off, Matt and I were relaxed and enjoyed the entire evening without needing to worry about formalities.”

Mel says “Guillaume at Bennelong showcased Sydney Harbour beautifully – it reminded my why I will always consider Australia my home. The canapés and cocktails were delicious!”

Mel recalls “We wanted the celebration to be relaxed and fun – an opportunity to share our newly married joy with my extended family and friends. The evening was a great mix of good food, delicious drinks, Australians and Canadians and we couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Congratulations on your marriage Mel and Matt! Thank you for allowing us to share your second wedding day on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to Sarah of Sarah Braden Photography for allowing us to share today’s images!



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  • peggy says:
    July 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    i love this the dress, the shoes the hair, everything … classic and simple you can never go wrong.

  • Stunning Sydney Waterfront Wedding | Polka Dot Bride says:
    March 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    […] I have known Sarah for a number of years and she was also the choice of photographer for my eldest daughter’s Australian wedding celebration at the Opera House and my youngest daughter is also using Sarah for her wedding this November in Nowra. Sarah is a […]



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