Dana & John
There is a delight about Dana and John’s Perth Town Hall wedding, the bride is luminous, the groom’s smile sparkles and there’s a sense that as every moment unfolded it was more beautiful than the next. Joseph Koprek captured the stills with Humdrum Films capturing the film, just the beginning of Dana and John’s story of their life together.
Dana tells the story of how she and John met. “John and I worked together for a few years, but it wasn’t until I moved on to another job and we touched base again a few months later that sparks started to fly. It was instantly easy, we were on the same ‘life page’ and everything just fell into place for us.”
Dana wore Manolo Blahnik shoes from Barneys New York, remembering “I hunted for navy shoes for weeks and was about to give up when I stumbled across a pair of Manolo Blahniks on the Barney’s New York website. They were perfect (they were Manolos after all). It was going to cost a small fortune in taxes to ship them to Perth so I almost didn’t buy them, but lucky for me my friend who was living in the US was coming home for a holiday and she brought them over for me. I bought these before I even picked my dress. They looked amazing on the day and boy do they make your feet feel all kinds of sexy.”
Pallas Couture made the bride’s gown, Dana remembering, “My beautiful dress was from Pallas Couture in Perth. Putting that dress on made me understand what people mean about feeling like a princess on your wedding day. The dress was timeless. I wanted to look back and appreciate the beauty in the simplicity of my gown, and not feel like I was making a fashion statement (that’s what my Manolos were for!).
The lace was stunning and the cut was flattering across my chest and back, and my skirt had cascading layers of gorgeous tulle with the train featuring some more lace. The colour was called milk – kind of a creamy colour with a yellow undertone. In my hair I wore a gorgeous Parisian beaded lace headpiece and my hair had a 1920’s flair. My grandmother had passed away almost a year earlier so I attached her wedding ring to my bouquet, along with a brooch John’s gran had sent over for me to ‘borrow’ from South Africa.”
“My mum was fussier than me in finding the perfect dress for herself! It took a good year and approximately 15 dresses before she found ‘the one’. I couldn’t keep up, poor Dad has never visited so many clothing stores in his life. Mums of the bride want to feel amazing on the day, and I must say I’ve never seen my mum look so beautiful and happy in her perfect Alberta Ferretti dress and Jimmy Choos.”
Dana was lucky enough to have two friends in the wedding industry who helped her realise her wedding vision. She tells the story, “I was absolutely blessed to have two friends heavily involved in styling my wedding. Nat, from Dizzy Wizzy Design, created our beautiful wedding stationery and Kiera, from Eufloria Flowers and Styling, was the creative lady behind the stunning flowers and styling at our reception. These ladies gave me so many ideas and understood my vision for the wedding so well. They also had plenty of recommendations for other suppliers so I was fortunate enough to avoid hours of research for certain things.
Apart from showing Kiera a handful of photos of flowers that I thought were pretty, I didn’t give her much direction and I didn’t need to – she’s so talented so I left her to do what she does best. I didn’t even know what was going to be in my bouquet so when Kiera and Nat delivered my flowers in the morning it was such a delightful surprise. Both ladies worked so hard behind the scenes on my wedding day to make it perfect and I thank my lucky stars to have had their help.”
Classic Chrome and Curves and JC Classic Automobiles transported the bridal party on the day, Dana remembering, “Our cars were two 50s stretch Cadillacs, one black and one burgundy. I traveled to the wedding in one with my parents and brother, and my bridesmaids came in the black one. When we went for photos John and I switched up the cars, me at times just with my girls or his boys, and of course on occasion together.”
Dana walked down the aisle to Canon in D played by two acoustic guitarists (Room for Reason) .
Dana and John held their wedding ceremony at Perth Town Hall. Dana telling, “It was purely by accident that we married at two of Perth’s most iconic places. The Perth Town Hall is such a beautiful space, full of heritage and character. Floorboards, high ceilings, exposed wooden beams, character windows, natural light – it reminded us so much of our little trips to old towns in WA which we’re so fond of taking. It was perfect for our ceremony. We decorated it with a gorgeous draped canopy which we married in front of, a cream carpet runner, mismatched vintage wooden chairs, some white pews for our closest family and the prettiest selection of flowers.”
“Our wedding was a day full of timeless classics, personal touches, laughter, tears and smiles.”
Danicia Dutry Of Pastel Blue Ceremonies performed the ceremony, which paid homage to the bride’s heritage. Dana explaining, “My friend Nat recommended a few celebrants to us and whilst I was looking on Danicia Dutry’s website I saw a ceremony she did for a couple using Orthodox crowns. I’m Macedonian Orthodox and I knew it would be special to my parents if we wore their wedding crowns on our day. Danicia tailored our ceremony to include this tradition and we invited my brother to cross the crowns for us.”
Of their photographer, Dana tells, “We met Jo in LA whilst dining next to him and his wife Vera at the Fig and Olive Restaurant. Our Australian accents naturally encouraged us to start chatting, and before we knew it we had planned to catch up again in New York a few days later. John and I were meeting some friends of ours there, and as it turned out, Jo was the photographer at their wedding in Melbourne a couple years earlier. It was natural we’d ask him to be our photographer given we were now friends and we adored his style. He’s so talented and was such a dream to work with on the day.”
Photographer Joseph Koprek was joined by cinematographer Humdrum Films on the day. Dana recalling “Joseph Koprek Photography and Humdrum Films were a dream team on the day. We selected Humdrum based on Jo’s recommendation. They had just started their own business after some years in the industry and we knew if Jo thought they were fabulous, then they must be. These guys worked together so well on the day, we and our guests barely noticed they were there which is what you want on your wedding day. Special mention also goes to Jo’s wife Vera, who in the lead up made sure everything was organised, and on the day helped Jo to capture our special moments perfectly. It’s quite lovely having friends take your photos too, they’re with you almost as much as your bridal party on the day.”
Dana and John chose Frasers Restaurant for their reception, Dana noting, “John and I are big foodies so our reception venue had to have the best food. Frasers Restaurant was an easy choice as its reputation for events and food was excellent. Our reception was held in the State Reception Centre, an understated blank canvas room which overlooks the Swan River and has almost 180 degrees of floor to ceiling windows. We made sure our dance floor was positioned right up to the windows so that our guests could enjoy the gorgeous view of Perth in the evening whilst we danced the night away.”
The Cheese Barrel created a cheese “cake” for the couple. Dana telling “We weren’t even engaged when I decided we were having a cheese tower as a cake at our wedding! John and I love cheese and don’t have a sweet tooth, so it was a logical choice. We went for ‘cake tasting’ at The Cheese Barrel, sitting down to a platter of cheeses and some sparkling whilst the story of each type of cheese was explained to us. It was one of my favourite ‘planning’ days!”
Dizzy Wizzy Design created the stationery for the day, really kicking off Dana’s attitude of trusting in her vendors to deliver her vision. She tells, “People often asked me what my theme was for the wedding and I could never really answer them. The vision was essentially mismatched classics with a vintage flavour, but there was no colour theme, no style theme – if we liked something we just went with it.
We didn’t go to town on chalk boards or drink stations and that type of thing, instead we made the most of the flowers and decor, adding our own personal touches here and there.
My bridesmaids would often poke fun at me for not wanting anything matching or typical – even my wedding ring set is mismatched. I promised myself not to get too focused on adding too much detail because at the end of the day as long as we nailed the food and music we knew our guests would be happy – that’s what people remember most about weddings after all.”
“I am relatively creative and love a bit of craft, but the best ‘do it yourself’ thing I did was selecting each of my talented suppliers to deliver my vision. Planning a wedding is such a huge job, I wanted to be kind to myself and not add more tasks to the list of things to do. Plus, there are professionals out there with so much creative flair so I was happy to leave it to them.”
The speeches were one of Dana’s favourite memories of the day. She recalls, “We’d finally made it to the groom’s speech and no one had yet spoken a word of Macedonian, even my dad. John pointed this out half way through his speech at which point he started to speak in Macedonian. I’d have to say it was my favourite moment of the wedding, it took my breath away and I cried the whole speech. It was the most meaningful, special thing anyone has ever done for me and all of the Europeans in the room (around 80% of our guests) were very impressed, applauding and cheering all the way through. I later found out that my aunty had translated John’s speech for him and went through it once with him 20 minutes before his speech that night.”
For their first dance, an utterly romantic moment of course, Dana and John chose a modern take on a classic. “It was so difficult to pick a first dance song! We’re both fans of the classics so it had to be an oldy and we also wanted something a bit upbeat to avoid that awkward slow sway dance. About a week before the wedding we finally decided on UB40’s version of Can’t Help Falling in Love. Under a chandelier, with the view of the city lights behind us, we smiled and twirled and sang ourselves through our first dance, eventually joined by our guests.”