A Sydney Waterside Travel Wedding

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,



Richard and Ivy

Richard and I met in Japan 7 years ago through a close mutual friend. We have lived and traveled extensively in Japan before deciding to settle in Sydney. Richard proposed in May 2011 after we watched my favourite musical, Mary Poppins; it was a very low key and relaxed affair, which is definitely our style. We feel very blessed to have not only found love in each other but also found the perfect travel and adventure buddy in each other. Our love for travel and seeking new adventures helped us decide what style of wedding we wanted to have.

My parents walked me down the aisle to Badly Drawn Boy’s I Love NYE which got me a tad emotional. I wanted to freeze the moment seeing Richard’s nervous, yet beautiful smile as he saw me. Our Christian wedding ceremony was very solemn and intimate. The personally scripted stories, our vows and hand-picked readings got lots of laughs and a few tears.

Gunner’s Barracks provided the perfect venue for our wedding. Built in the 1870’s, Gunners’ Barracks has an old-world feel and its divine sandstone building made for a very romantic wedding backdrop. We also chose it because it’s close to where we live and ticked the box for being on the water with stunning harbour views. Another thing that was important for us was having the ceremony and reception in one place as we didn’t like the idea of guests needing to be transported between venues—that way we felt the evening just flowed.

Our wedding recessional was Love Will Take You by Angus and Julia Stone followed by some fun group photos taken by our wonderful and brilliant photographer, Elise Hassey!

We wanted our wedding to have the feel of a relaxed dinner soiree with our favourite people and favourite elements. Whilst we were getting our photos taken down by the water after the ceremony, our guests were able to enjoy cocktails and canapés on the veranda with sweeping views of the harbour.

One of the trickiest decisions I’ve had to make in my life was choosing my wedding dress. I wanted something very simple but with an understated elegance. I decided to go for a soft and dreamy gown by Vera Wang and a pair of sparkly shoes to match. It was the perfect choice for me and I loved how it made me feel sexy in the right places and how easy and comfortable it was to move and dance in it all night long.

For our seating cards, we ordered vintage atlas lined cards from Clementine Weddings on Etsy and personally wrote our guests’ names on it. We named our tables after cities around the globe that we have travelled to and lived in. We also used special forks to eat our wedding cake with that we got from Etsy.

Our vintage wishing well suitcase holds a special place in our hearts because Richard’s Grandma lent it to us to use for the wedding. We spent late nights crafting buntings and decorating our wishing well suitcase with our favourite things like travel books and maps of our birth countries.

For our wedding flowers, Richard’s Mum and Grandma were both very instrumental in helping us get the exact kind of flowers and colour palette we wanted for the bouquets and the table centrepieces. They arranged the flowers in vintage silver teapots and crystal vases that we hired from Vintage Kitchen. Our bombonieres were little jars of gourmet jams in our favourite Berry flavours and were placed in a personalized muslin bag with an inspirational Bible verse on it.

We danced to Ingrid Michaelson’s You and I for our first dance, which my talented sister sang beautifully for us! It didn’t take long until all our guests were carving up the dance floor to a plethora of carefully selected tunes played by the awesome The Fuss!

Our DIY lolly bar was a guest favourite! We loved how our guests unleashed their inner child and helped themselves to a bag of their preferred lollies.

Our wedding exceeded our expectations. Richard and I savoured every magical moment of it from the sincerely beautiful and heart-tugging speeches that made us tear up and laugh like crazy to the romantic dancing under the gorgeous fairy lights and to the memorable moments we spent with our family and friends. It’s definitely one for the books!

Photography by Elise Hassey

Ms Gingham says: What a lovely story. The personal, handcrafted touches are so gorgeous. Thanks to Ivy for sharing her story with us today.

Ivy says: “I’m a 29-year old Filipino(a) living her life to the fullest in one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities in the world! I’m a preschool teacher and I adore every bit of my job. On weekends, I love to go for walks with my husband and explore little nooks and crannies of Sydney. I also love to take landscape photos and “manstagram” equally interesting photos of random stuff.”


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  • Shelley says:
    July 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Where are your bridesmaids dresses from? I really like them 🙂

  • Ives says:
    July 16, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Hey Shelley,

    We got them from Two Birds Australia 🙂

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  • Ilana says:
    March 2, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    We also had a travel themed wedding!
    Must be a filo thing 😝.
    Love the travel theme, crazy how the same theme can look completely different. Love your baggage tags and card briefcase with books!



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