Bianca & Mat
When it comes to weddings, it is the blend of cultures, of stories and histories that absolutely blows me away every time. Bianca and Mat’s modern Mandurah island style wedding, was captured by Amy Skinner Photography. With touches of New Zealand and Cook Islands style, Bianca and Mat made sure their heritage shone through every element of their day.
Bianca tells the story of how they met. “We met in a remote town in regional Western Australia. I saw Mat on the first day and there was something about him, I felt so calm and just knew I would marry him one day. Mat was there with his cousin, Brad and I was with my best friend, Erin. A couple of days later Erin burst into my office and asked me if I’d seen the two hot cousins at work – I told her I’d already put bids on Mat! We met that night and have been inseparable ever since” Mat adding “I knew the first time I saw Bianca that she was the one. We still argue over who said “I love you” first! (It was definitely her after a few drinks one night!).”
Mat and his groomsmen wore navy lava lava skirts with a blue shirt – incorporating bits of the Cook Islands heritage, the groom adding a lei made by his mother, sisters and nieces.
Bianca chose a two piece lace ensemble designed by Made With Love. She tells “I chose a dress online by Made with Love Bridal. I wanted something a bit unique and I fell in love with the two piece Lucy dress! I never tried it on but when it arrived it was perfect. So much beautiful detail. I’m going to get the crop made into a longer tunic so I can wear it again!”
Mat and Bianca met before the ceremony for photographs, Bianca remembering “We did a first look before the ceremony at our local park. It was so special and it definitely calmed any nerves before the ceremony!”
Bianca says “Mat and I had been together nearly 5 years when we got married. Throughout that time we had worked away from our friends and family in regional Western Australian towns putting in the hard work to make our dreams come true. It made it all worthwhile being there with all our favourite people from all over the world. We felt so overwhelmed with love and felt truly blessed.”
Of their photographer, Bianca notes “Amy is amazing. We did an engagement session with her a few months before our wedding. I remember Mat and I were so nervous! 5 minutes in and we were having so much fun with it! The same for our wedding day! I couldn’t recommend her enough! She is so down to earth, full of energy and just hilarious! She went above and beyond for us on our wedding day.”
Harley & Rose styled the bright floral arrangements for the day, Bianca telling “I found a florist that I loved, Sara from Harley and Rose. I told her that I wanted a tropical bouquet with a protea. I told her to be creative, I wasn’t fussed! When the flowers arrived on the day of our wedding we all burst into tears! They were stunning! I hadn’t seen anything like it. Sara was so happy she was able to be creative in the process too. Oh, and she made me the most incredible flower crown!”
Bianca remembers “I walked down the aisle with my Dad to an upbeat acoustic version of “Feel the Love” by our favourite band, Six60. It was perfect!”
Bianca remembers “We asked our celebrant to mention that it was really important to us to acknowledge the importance of marriage equality. We wanted to say it ourselves but we knew we would be too emotional about the subject to say it. It was a surprise to our friends and family and there was cheering half way through our ceremony.”
The couple ended their ceremony halfway through, thanks to Mother Nature’s downpour – Bianca explains “Technically, we had two ceremonies. Half way during the first ceremony it started to rain! The bridal party went back to a friend’s house and had a few champagnes! Everyone kept coming up to me and Mat asking if we were okay, we were fine! Everything felt fine! We later heard how amazing it was, all our friends and family came together and set up an amazing second ceremony for us at our reception venue. We walked down the aisle dancing and everyone was cheering – it was amazing!”
Julie Chesson officiated the ceremony, “At the first ceremony we presented our mums with corsages, they had done so much for us over the years we wanted to do something special. During the speeches at the reception, Mat’s sister said that in their culture, rain is a symbol of tears and that they all knew the rain during the ceremony was tears from Mat’s father who passed away a few years ago. There wasn’t a dry eye to be seen and we still get goosebumps thinking about it.
Our Celebrant, Julie was so full of life and love. She told “our love story” which we both sent her but didn’t know what the other had said! We wrote our own vows: Mat went first and absolutely nailed it! (Watch our video, he really did!!) We were all laughing and crying during the ceremony, it was so us!”
The Bridge Garden Bar & Restaurant hosted the reception and (second!) wedding ceremony, The newlyweds telling “We wanted a venue where we had a little more freedom to choose food and drinks for our guests.”
“Our photographer Amy is hands down one of my favourite people in the world! I now call her my friend and we had such a special little relationship leading up to the wedding and even to this day. She ran up to me after our family photos and said “Bianca! You didn’t tell me about the mural next door! Get the bridal party outside now!” We all laughed so much and ended up singing and dancing in front of this mural and the photos really capture the vibe!!”
Bianca and Mat chose four amazing wedding cakes to serve to guests, noting “We had so many amazing local vendors. I took my time researching and looking for locals that really cared about our day. Honestly, they are all my good friends now! Jamie from The Last Course made our cakes – you’ve never seen anything so stunning and they tasted amazing! I should know, I somehow forgot to eat dinner and ate about 5 pieces of cake instead!
My favourite part was definitely meeting up with vendors and talking through what I loved. All the meetings ended up being chatting for hours over coffee then a quick 5 minute chat about the actual wedding planning! I’m pretty relaxed and I kept thinking, this is their profession, who am I to tell them what to do! I loved that all my vendors were able to be so creative. They all loved us for it too!”
The reception was full of dancing, Mat and Bianca telling “Our friends organised a traditional Cook Island dance group to come and perform. It was amazing and everyone was so excited as they hadn’t experienced it before. Mat’s friends then performed a traditional haka and Mat joined in half way. The boys even taught my 17 year old brother the haka so he could do it as a surprise for us! It was extremely emotional and so beautiful. Definitely a highlight of the night!”
Emotion Videography captured this beautiful film of the day.
Congratulations on your marriage Bianca and Mat! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Amy Skinner Photography for sharing today’s wedding!