Alison and Damien
Fluffy dresses, white bouquets and a backdrop of stunning architecture? Welcome to Alison and Damien’s urban Brisbane wedding! What a beautiful celebration Alison and Damien had!
Alison explains how they met. “We met through a brother and sister who were mutual friends at a ball on Riverfire Night. We had been at the same university graduation and a few of the same house parties and never crossed paths until that night. ”
Photography is by Studio Sixty Photography. I love the classic style of photography the team used and the amazing captures of the architectural details- they make for such grand photographs!
Alison and Damien got ready and stayed at the Sofitel Brisbane. Alison says “They are so well drilled in assisting with weddings, even though our wedding was not there. All I had to do was tell them what time I was expecting everything and everyone and they professionally handled it all for me. ” Alison even enlisted a special service the night before the wedding! She explains “I booked Crease Free They came to our hotel room on the Friday night while we were at dinner, Sofitel let them in and they pressed everything – brides dress, bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dress, mother of the bride dress, grooms shirt and suits, everything. No hassle and perfect crease free dresses.”
Alison’s bouquet was made by a very dear friend, but Amini Concepts created the rest of the wedding day flowers and decor.
Alison wore a Watters Bridal gown called “Mojave”. Alison explains “I purchased it from Eve Boutique on the Sunshine Coast. I went in with a preconceived idea as to what I would wear but finding this classic but modern gown changed everything. ” She paired it with jewels from Stephanie Browne and shoes from Mallouk Shoes. Alison remarks “Custom Made in a week when I couldn’t find the right shoes!! Size 11 with a 4cm heel anyone?? ”
Damien and his groomsmen wore suits from Tony Barlow Menswear.
Alison walked down the aisle to the Roberto Salis version of Dire Straits ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ Alison explains ” I love the original but I really only wanted an instrumental adaptation, a good version of which was hard to find. I came across Roberto through Itunes and the Italian guitar take on it is beautiful. It was the perfect length for my wedding party to walk down the aisle, have a quiet moment with my Dad before heading down, take my time, take it all in and then we could stand out the front with Damien for a few moments without feeling rushed. ”
The ceremony was held at the Queensland State Library. Alison says “The Queensland Terrace at the State Library is a wonderful venue. The terrace is made for weddings, it is so beautiful. The team enjoy hosting weddings and they are happy to accommodate your suppliers and guests. It is the perfect venue as it takes advantage of the weather – if it is raining or fine, you are covered, no plan B required. The surrounding venues and gardens make for incredible wedding photos. ”
Alison recalls “The ceremony was wonderfully overwhelming. It was a lot more intimate than I think either of us intended. Saying our own vows was incredibly powerful and hearing our close friends say readings that they had picked themselves made the day even more special. Peter came all the way from London and was more nervous than me, and Katrina was on 4 hours hospital release after having her appendix burst earlier that week (you can see the bandage around her wrist). ”
Alison recalls “We asked two friends to do readings during the ceremony – they picked their own readings which made it even more meaningful.”
The couple were married by Fiona Robertson. Alison recalls ” She is young, energetic, organised and went above and beyond for us. She requested the room layout and the details of all of our suppliers at the ceremony so she could make sure everything was as we wanted. It was incredibly windy, affecting the room set up, she dealt with the State Library and Amini Concepts to work around it. ”
Alison recalls “Damien and I wrote our own vows and they were a secret from each other. We knew how much we meant to each other but actually saying it aloud, in front of all our friends and families was amazing!”
Although the couple had 100 guests, they wanted to keep the feeling intimate. Alison recalls “It was a little daunting trying to figure out how to see everyone and create an intimate atmosphere when you have over 100 guests, but personalising our ceremony, taking every opportunity to thank our guests and making ourselves available to them through out the night created the intimacy we wanted.”
Alison’s bridesmaids wore floor length gowns by Anna Campbell.
Of their photographer, Alison says “Jason and the team at Studio Sixty Photography were wonderful. I know they would have catered to any request, but we wanted a relaxed photographer that knew what they were doing, where to be to get the shots and what photos we would want even if we didn’t know at the time we would want them. Jason was the right photographer for us. He knew what he was doing, he was very accommodating and he captured wonderful shots of our wedding day. He was able to blend in to the background yet he didn’t miss a thing!! ”
Alison notes “We made a point of stealing a few moments away from everyone at various times throughout the day just to reflect and take it all in. We thought it was important to take that time to appreciate the day. ”
Alison and Damien held their wedding reception at The Gabba! Alison says “We could not have asked for a more incredible reception venue. If you can wait for the AFL and Cricket calendars to come out and you are happy to have 9 months to plan your wedding then I cannot more highly recommend The Gabba. They made ours and our guest’s night. They must have gone to so much effort to accommodate our suppliers, early arrivals, elderly relatives, wedding party and our surprises (secret bag pipe performance). They used their intimate knowledge of the venue to make suggestions that made all the difference and set up the room just as we wanted it. The food was also fantastic. We received so many compliments. You could see they really cared and were happy to be hosting a wedding. ”
With Love Stationery created the invitations and paper goods for the wedding.
Alison remarks “Who would have thought you could turn a green, blue, yellow and maroon sporting room in to an ethereal wedding venue!! Kelly at Amini Concepts knew you could. So many guests could not believe how gorgeous the room looked. We had a few restrictions (no candles, couldn’t hang anything from the ceiling) but Kelly did it. Amini Concepts made that room beautiful, simple, delicate and wondrous. ” The wedding cake was made by Jocelyn’s Provisions.
Alison says “Our 94 year old Grandmother, 91 year old Great Aunt and 85 year old grandfather gave us gifts that they received as gifts for their weddings. They were the only presents we opened on the night and we are so glad we did. Damien’s family also gave us very special champagne glasses and cake servers that we used on the night which we hope to use to start our own family traditions. ”
Alison and Damien only did a few things for the wedding themselves. Alison explains “We planned the day ourselves which is a big DIY effort. However, we outsourced many aspects of the day to reliable, tried and tested suppliers. That was ours and our family’s choice because we wanted them and ourselves to enjoy the day without rushing around and we could enjoy time with our visiting friends and family. It added a little more to our budget but after shopping around, it saved us on time, hassles and stress (and in some cases money too). However we had to pull the favour boxes together as what I had ordered hadn’t turned up and we only had Thursday night and Friday to go. So we rushed around the local shops getting together a few things then sat up on the Thursday night assembling and packing the boxes and then attaching the tags. In the end, the boxes were filled with our favourite lollies – Fantales, Milkos, Sherbies, all the classics and many of the guests commented on the uniqueness of it. It complimented the theme we were going for- relaxed traditional with a twist.”
The first dance? A challenge! Alison recalls “Music was always going to be a small hurdle for us. We didn’t have ‘a song’ that we could use. We also have such divergent tastes but we knew we loved the music our parents played as we were growing up. We narrowed it down to about 5 songs which we special to us for various reason, then I gave Damien some time to listen to them and we came together and coincidentally we both chose one of my all time favourites – “Sweet Thing’ by Van Morrison. Van never mentions the word love but you can feel the love through the music and the lyrics. So when we were dancing together, it summed up our day and relationship perfectly. Everyone could feel the intimacy and the love that day. ” The couple hired Dan Whitham and Band to keep guests entertained.
There were a few final touches to round out the evening. Alison tells “Damien’s mum always dreamed that Damien would have bagpipes at his wedding and then she discovered that my last name was Scottish she thought it was a given. When we told her we weren’t having bagpipes, she was a little disappointed. So I secretly organised with one of Damien’s friends, the Gabba and the band to have live bagpipes playing for ‘You’re the Voice” by John Farnham (Damien, family and friends favourite) and then play “Highland Cathedral.” Everyone timed it perfectly – with the bagpipe player in his kilt bursting through the door at the right moment. Damien and his Mum loved it.
We invited everyone back to our hotel bar after our reception. So many people came back with us and continued the party. It gave us more time to revel with our friends and family and led to some great memories. ”
Congratulations Alison and Damien! Good luck on your journey together! Thank you to Studio Sixty Photography. for sharing today’s images!
This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.
- Bride's Dress
- Dan Whitham and Band