Eliza & James’ Effortlessly Luxe Black Tie Wedding

by | Australia - Western Australia, Bride, Inspired Weddings,

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Eliza & James

It was a celebration of utter romance, of utter glamour for PR pro Eliza and James. Eliza, who runs her boutique PR company Kearns PR already knew what it takes to pull off an amazing event. “I am a bit of a fiend for event planning so loved watching all of the elements come together with the suppliers” she tells. And of course, we would expect nothing less than a celebration filled with stunning detail.

From two gowns to an Italian inspired reception, an ode to sunset and a hilarious father-daughter dance, Joseph Willis was there to capture all the beauty on camera, as we share every beautiful Western Australian moment.

It was at a sporting event in Sydney that these two first laid eyes upon one another, Eliza shares their story. “We met almost five years ago a pub in Double Bay, Sydney. We were both watching the Bledisloe with friends and before leaving James asked for my number. We went on our first date shortly after and have been together since. He is still under my phone as “James The Oak”.”

With the pair holding their wedding between that festive Christmas to New Year period, it makes sense that James popped the question one Christmas, knowing his future wife’s love for the season. “My husband knows how much I love Christmas and surprised me by handing me the ring as the final present to open. I wasn’t feeling great that day and spent the morning in bed, so in hindsight, I probably should have realised something was happening when he kept asking to open presents and drink champagne.

He proposed with a beautiful ring which he designed in secret with my client, Cerrone. (They put the job under my surname spelt backwards to avoid me finding out).”

The groom and groomsmen choice classic suits from Hallenstein Brothers.

Eliza was lucky enough to have two gowns for her wedding day, both designed by J. Andreatta. “I was really lucky because Australian couture house, J. Andreatta is a client of ours at Kearns PR and I knew I wanted them to design my dress” tells the bride.  “It was such a relaxed process; my advice for any bride is to go with the designer/ brand that you have a positive experience to make the journey more enjoyable!

I was fairly clear with what I wanted – a classic style that wouldn’t date while still being edgy and relaxed, and with a long train. From there I worked with J. Andreatta Designer, Jess to add unique elements such as the lace and sleeve detail.

I had a second J. Andreatta dress to change into which was knee-length and equally as stunning. I loved my wedding dress but it was a dream to be able to change into a shorter option that was better suited to the dance floor.”

The couple were married at Chapel of St Michael and All Angels Eliza explaining “It was chosen because it has sentimental value, while being a beautiful traditional church with stain glass windows. We kept the ceremony traditional, with the reception more contemporary.” The bridesmaids entered the ceremony to Ava Maria, while Eliza chose Pachelbel’s Canon in D performed live by Dolce Ensembles.

“Our ceremony was fairly traditional with sentimental moments” tells the bride of the couple’s traditional ceremony. “We were so fortunate to have the same Minister who married my mum and dad in the same Chapel. The music was performed by a string quartet, which included a hymn: Lord of All Hopefulness and we asked two family members to select their own readings.”

Eliza and James celebrated with guests at a marquee reception at Cottesloe Civic Centre. “Being an outdoor location we were working with a completely blank canvas, which I loved because it meant we created a unique space that was very ‘us’”shares the bride.

With plenty of amazing vendors at her fingertips, it was the involvement of family and friends that really made this day special for the bride, who explains “We involved some of our friends and family in various wedding elements which made it feel really special. My aunt owns a linen store so supplied the Italian napkins, my cousin is a designer and provided the linen dresses for our flower girls and my bridesmaid (of Rum Cake Studio) designed our wedding artwork. My husband’s 96-year-old grandmother not only travelled to WA from NZ but made a Pavlova for our wedding cake!”

The reception was filled with, in the words of Eliza “Very ‘Mediterranean’ vibes, playing into the warm climate and relaxed lifestyle of WA which is where our wedding was. “Effortlessly luxe” was my brief.”

The stunning floral details on the day were styled by Grandiflora. Eliza tells “We were so lucky to work with Grandiflora Perth who understood the brief from day one. For the tables we used limestone accents with lemons, David Austen roses and natural greenery moments; I loved using olive branches throughout which was also a nod to my parents who have an olive farm in the Hunter Valley. To frame the entrances to the marquee and highlight the staircases Grandiflora created a lush floral arrangement in limestone urns. Very lush, yet still relaxed.”

Eliza and James were thrilled with their choice of photographer, their favourite moments captured during a brief sunset portrait session. “He was perfect for us,” remarks Eliza. “My husband is so uncomfortable with photos and I’m not much better so I loved his candid, unstructured style. His photos are quite ‘editorial’. His team also did the wedding videography and totally understood the mood we wanted to create.”

A little limoncello, a beautiful sunset, led to one of the most memorable moments of the night. “A highlight of the day (other than the speeches) was the ‘sunset’ moment. Guests came onto the lawn to watch the famous WA sunset over the coast as ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ by Pavarotti played and we toasted over shots of limoncello.”

The dance floor and the speeches made it to Eliza’s highlights of the celebration. “Speeches were such a highlight. The dance floor was also a hit. We used a DJ and saxophone player which was the perfect combination. Our friend who plays the bagpipes also dropped into a couple of classics.

My dad and I did a ‘first dance’ to the Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’. My friend choreographed the dance, not that my dad stuck to it!”

The newlyweds made her dance floor debut to  Talking Head’s ‘This Must Be The Place’.

A big congratulations Eliza and James! What fun to share your story! Thank you also to Joseph Willis for sharing your stunning mages!

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