Alix & Pete
It’s like a sparkling silver wedding dress has the power to cast a spell over the patterned people, and after you dive into the gorgeous Flaxton Gardens wedding of Alix and Pete, that is, at it’s core a beautiful celebration of two loved-up souls, then I think you may just agree.
Alix and Pete enlisted the help of Janneke Storm to capture their day, working to create a mood, that was, in the bride’s words “Art deco meets boho. We wanted something that reflected us as a couple and what we love. I’m more eclectic but Pete is quite conservative so it was about merging these styles. The most important thing was for there to be good food, drinks, location so we could have a great party with our friends and family. The atmosphere on the day was overwhelmingly happy.” And as we tell their story, well, we know you’ll agree.
These two met through mutual friends, forming their friendship before dialling in love. Alix knew a proposal was coming, but the story took her completely by surprise. She remembers ” I knew the proposal was coming as Pete had been asking questions to narrow down what I’d love for the ring but the night it happened was a surprise. We had a casual but great dinner at Taps at Mooloolaba, we love exploring the food scene on the coast, followed by a walk along the Esplanade. It was the middle of winter and I was wearing long boots but Pete kept insisting we walk on the beach and I kept telling him he was crazy. Eventually, we found ourselves in a quiet private spot. I turned around and he dropped down on one knee holding the ring!”
If you’re like me, you want to know about that sparkling silver dress – it’s by Rachel Gilbert. “I knew I wanted my dress to be different, elegant and timeless. After trying on many at wedding stores I went back to the drawing board and stumbled across my Rachel Gilbert Makenna gown online” tells the bride. “As soon as I saw it, I fell in love. I am a Disney Princess lover. I grew up on these stories and the one dress that has always stayed with me was Ariel’s gown her father transforms her into when he gives her back her legs. The sparkle, the colour, the simplicity. The Makenna gown had all these features. Rachel Gilbert was having a sale with an extra percentage off. It arrived in the mail, fit perfectly and it was all I was looking for.”
Alix notes “I included something old, new, borrowed and blue. Old – a collection of charms from my God Mother, maternal Grandfather and maternal Grandmother given to me as a young child. New – All of my wedding outfit!. Borrowed – a clutch to use on the day from one of my Bridesmaids. Blue – a cutting from my Mum’s wedding gown. The old and blue pieces were wrapped around the handle of my bouquet.”
Alix and Pete chose the beautiful Flaxton Gardens for their wedding, telling ” I cannot rate this venue highly enough. We were so well looked after during the planning process and on the day. We had both the ceremony and reception here. This was something I really wanted so guests didn’t need to be moving from venue to venue. It also meant we had more mingling time with our friends and family before heading off for photos. The food was incredible – I still have people telling me it was the best steak they’ve eaten in years – and the staff were very attentive. The escarpment and outdoor spaces were perfect for the blended cocktail/sitdown wedding style we were searching for. We had canapés and stand up entrees outside to enjoy the hinterland views with lawn games. After dark, we headed inside into their refurbished barrel room that was the perfect size for our 80 guests.”
Alix tells “My Dad walked me down the aisle to the Skye Boat Song, the Outlander Theme Song version. This brought tears to my family’s eyes.”
Bill Scurry officiated the formal proceedings, Alix remembering “We had a very simple civil ceremony. Our celebrant, Bill Scurry, was so easy to work with. Very professional and genuine. We included a shorthand ceremony in tribute to the handfasting ceremony traditional to Scotland. I also really loved that both sets of parents were asked to bless our union. Pete and I wrote short vows of our own to each other as well. It was short but a very sweet ceremony that we both grinned through the entire time!”
Each of Alix’s bridesmaids dressed in a black and white gowns, the contrast striking against the bright bouquets styled by Willow Bud. Alix remarking “Sandi from Willow Bud understood perfectly my complex request for organic but structured bouquets with the need to blend warm and cool colours to match a very uniquely coloured wedding dress. Everything except my dress and the flowers were black and white for the wedding. This meant the flowers were the main source of colour. The results were absolutely stunning. I included a protea for Pete’s South African heritage and thistles for my Scottish background. All the bridesmaids had individual bouquets as well.”
Of their chosen photographer, Alix notes “We chose Janneke Storm. Her work is moving and insightful capturing the mood and special moments of the day. She was a consummate professional, unobtrusive and a pleasure to have with us on the day. Photography was something I wanted to invest in for our wedding and I couldn’t have been more happy with our choice.”
The bride’s mother, who owns Kim Aitken Ceramics, created a piece for each guest as a wedding favour, as well as the centrepieces. Alix explains “My Mum is a ceramic artist, Kim Aitken Ceramics, and I really wanted her work included as part of the wedding. She made our wedding favours and centrepieces as a gift. They were beautiful and exactly what I wanted! Each of the centrepieces was the same shape and size vase with a different decorative pattern all in black and white, keeping it conservative but still eclectic. The wedding favours were an assortment of small vessels, the rims decorated in different black and white patterns, with a selection of words arranged in a crossword like style across the facade. The words we chose were from a list Pete gave me one of our first Valentine’s Days. They are the 100 most beautiful words in the English language. We also added a few Gaelic and Afrikaans words too!”
The evening celebrations kicked off with a first dance under the sparkling lights. Alix reminisces “Our first dance was held underneath the festoon lighting outside at Flaxton Gardens just after dusk. We originally we planned to dance to Vance Joy’s Riptide which is our song but Pete found the most beautiful acoustic version of Grease’s You’re the One that I Want by Xavier Dunn which we just had to use!”
There was plenty of dancing, Alix noting “We opted for creating our own playlists and BYO device. Pete gets most of the kudos for this! The canapé, dinner and dancing music were on point. We’ve even had a few guests ask us for copies! We were able to completely customise the music to reflect us – our tastes, our experiences, our memories. Dance floor highlights were 500 miles (including 1 kilt wearing Uncle marching across the dance floor), 80% of the guests turning out for The Nutbush and All the Small Things getting even the most reluctant dancer on the floor to finish the night.”
And so ends their tale, the bride adding “What stood out was the calibre, professionalism and genuine interest of all of our vendors. Flowers, venue, suits, photos, cake, celebrant, hair and makeup. I was incredibly impressed with everyone.”
A big thank you to Alix and Pete for sharing their stories with us today and to Janneke Storm for sharing today’s beautiful celebration!