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Lanii & Andrew

One of the most magical moments in the city? When the sun goes down and the lights come out. It’s that, that makes Lanii & Andrew’s beautiful city rooftop wedding a beautiful addition to The City Issue.

It was a wedding that truly reflected its stars, and what they wanted for their day. “The biggest focus for our wedding was only doing things that meant something to us” explains Lanii of the couple’s decision to split their day over two, kicking off with a private ceremony at dusk.  “We actively sought out a venue with limited capacity as we wanted only our nearest and dearest to attend. It was hard keeping numbers to 40 (40 including us!), but it meant we actually saw all of our guests throughout the night. We had an after-party instead of a dance floor, so guests who needed to get home (grandparents, friends with babies etc.) didn’t feel like they had to stay until the end of the night. It was really about making sure our guests enjoyed themselves, which mean we could enjoy ourselves.” And I’ve gotta say, from marrying at dusk to skipping the walk down the aisle, to the bride’s drop-dead gorgeous golden jumpsuit, every moment of this day was so carefully considered, and the result? So utterly with it, as evidenced by every beautiful photograph captured by Ricky Gestro.

it makes sense that nightlife was a feature of Lanii & Andrew’s day – they met while Lanii was working at  a bar! She tells their story “We met at the bar I was working at. He’d been in a few times over a couple of months. The night we met (or exchanged phone numbers) my mates and I were heading out to my fave after-work haunt after we closed up. I remember telling Andrew he should meet me there. He’ll argue he asked me to go. Either way, we danced (hooked up) at Amps, neglecting all of our friends before he gave me his number and left. Gotta say, it was a good move – I was left wanting more and we had our first date horribly hungover the next night. Literally, none of our family or friends are surprised by this story!”

And Andrew continued to sweep Lanii off her feet, right down to the day he proposed. “Andrew treated me to an unexpected day of all my favourite things. I was under the impression we were just going to see a movie, but then we got burgers and had a midday pint at our favourite bar. Things got suss when he suggested ice-cream after our next drink (because I never get ALL OF THE THINGS in one day!), but not thinking much of it I went to the bar to get the next round anyway. When I got back from the bar, Andrew slid a little pink box across the table and told me to open it. I was so overwhelmed with excitement that it took Andrew a few minutes before he could actually ask me to marry him! It was all very low-key and perfectly us. I loved that he had told no-one beforehand so it was a surprise for everyone! We never actually remembered to go and get ice cream..”

Lanii & Andrew made the most of their day, by getting ready together. “We decided early on that we wanted to spend the day with each other. We woke up together and had breakfast with Bloody Mary’s, before packing the car for the Hotel. I had hair and makeup with our mums and my sisters at the salon, before Andrew and I got ready together before the ceremony. The day of the reception we spent wandering the city and shared lunch at Yagan Square, before getting ready for the party.”

I know, you’re dying as much as me to find out about that jumpsuit – it was custom made for Lanii by Maevana Bridal. She tells “I wore a custom made gold jumpsuit for the ceremony, and a custom pink cocktail dress with white stars and moons for the reception – both made by the absolutely gorgeous Mae at Maevana Bridal. I knew I was never going to wear something lacy and white (it’s not my colour) and Mae was the most patient and caring person in our journey to figure out what the hell I was going to wear.

I went dress shopping once, with Andrew, to figure out what styles suited me, and that experience solidified a jumpsuit for the ceremony was the go. Mae suggested we pop a thin belt and a detachable chiffon cape to the jumpsuit, just to make it that bit extra, and I am so, SO glad she did! I felt so bloody good strutting around the city in it! Andrew was involved in the whole process up until the fittings – I think this was one of my fave experiences! I wore black ombre sparkly heels, and kept jewellery to a minimum – the jumpsuit was the star!”

“Neither of us comes from very traditional backgrounds when it comes to weddings nor are we particularly sentimental” tells Lanii. “I wore a ring given to me by my late grandparents (being the eldest grandchild, my Greek grandmother had always dreamed of my wedding day – certainly more so than me!) but it kind of stopped there for heirlooms. Maybe we’ve sparked some new ones for our families!”

Oh, and Lanii’s stunning bouquet, it’s the work of Duo Events Creative Studio. “I didn’t decide on my flowers for the day!” tells Lanii. ” I gave the wonderful ladies (and my close friends) Katie and Erica at Duo Events Creative Studio free reign (with info about the look of the rest of the day) and they turned out better than I could have imagined.

I bawled when I saw it. Yes, I am a massive crier! Katie is fantastic when it comes to dried and semi-dried arrangements and she tied the colours in perfectly. I had black sprayed anthuriums which I fell in love with; bright red amaranth; green sprayed dried foliage; black and gold sprayed spiky bits; a dried gold lotus pod; and the pièce de résistance – a giant, dried, pink hydrangea. The girls clearly know me well! It was so textural and colourful and is still the pride of place in my living room. Katie also made a stunning buttonhole for Andrew to match which he is still a little obsessed with (and has the cutest pinch of hydrangea flowers!) I really can’t thank Katie and Erica enough for everything they did for us!”

Not to be outdone by Lanii, Andrew also wore colour- his suit from Jack London a deep green. Says Lanii “Andrew wore a slim cut, dark green suit from Jack London as neither of us liked the idea of a typical navy or black suit. It took a while to find both a fit and colour that worked both with the jumpsuit and his slim frame – and no one keeps a range of green suits for hire! We managed to find one a few weeks out from the wedding after months of looking, and it was perfect. The pink pocket square tied in so nicely with the rest of the colour pallet and the look was finished off with his Daniel Wellington watch, which I surprised him with when we woke up the morning of the wedding.” Andrew adds “Don’t forget my shoes! I finally bought a nice pair of black Grenson’s Shoes that I’d been eyeing off for years, for the wedding (Lanii got two custom made outfits, one for the wedding and one for the receptions, so I thought it only fair). I spent so long polishing them, only to scuff them before we even made it out of the hotel room on the day.”

 

Andrew and Lanii’s favourite photo? “LITERALLY ALL OF THEM! Andrew loves the ones in the alleyway in front of the graffiti (which happens to be by one of my fave artist Drew Straker). I am obsessed with the solo portrait of Andrew (he’s so goddamn handsome!) and the pic of our shoes as we crossed the road.”

The Alex Hotel with its city rooftop and onsite accommodation was just what Lanii & Andrew wanted for their intimate day. “The Alex Hotel is one of our fave venues, so it was kind of a no-brainer. We had already stayed there previously, and have stopped in for drinks or dinner at their restaurant many times. Their food and beverage list are amazing, their staff are so lovely, and we knew we could stumble straight to bed at the end of the night after we partied on at a bar down the laneway of course! The rooftop terrace was the perfect space for us – it was intimate enough for the 10 people for our ceremony and large enough for the 40 family and friends we chose to invite for our party. Louisa was phenomenal and we can’t thank her and the whole staff enough!”

Lanii & Andrew worked with floral designers & stylists Duo Events Creative Studio to source the most beautiful pieces for the rooftop ceremony, Lanii explaining  “We borrowed several styling items from Duo Events, and the fam helped set it up (based on meticulous instructions, of course – always write it down and draw it out!). The day of the reception we had an “hour of power” with everyone who was staying at the hotel setting up before the event – it was really fun! I know this is not the case for a lot of DIYers, but being such a small event, it worked for us.”  

There was no processional for these two. “With 10 people there was no need for an aisle. Andrew and I entered together with heaps of hugs and kisses before the family all sat down. Instead, we had a playlist of our favourite songs playing in the background the whole time. The list included Smith Street Band’s “Passiona” and Yaegi’s cover of Drake’s “Passionfruit” – two of our all-time faves.”

“We didn’t want the hassle of a big wedding. We just wanted to get hitched and throw a party” remarks Lanii. “We took a lot of inspiration from the venue (and were a little more colour coordinated that anticipated!) My only request was that we had a disco ball – we ended up with more balls than guests! Happy wife, right? We both agree that the whole thing ended up accidentally being a modernised 70’s disco theme. It was subtle, but there!.”

These two knew exactly what they wanted when it came to their ceremony, choosing Married by Kristy to officiate. The bride sharing  “Having worked in the wedding industry for several years, my only non-negotiable was Kristy Wright (Marry Me Kristy) as our celebrant and we organised our date around when she was free. I have always been in awe of her love of all things love, and she is just such a gorgeous storyteller. She was down for every odd detail we wanted to have and it felt like she was part of the family. Having such a small group meant we didn’t need a PA, I know that seems like an odd detail, but it felt really special having her speaking as a friend.

Andrew agrees “Kristy had given us a series of questions to answer to help prep for our vows. We were to answer them without input from the other but were allowed to answer them at the same time if we wanted; so that’s exactly what we did. We sat in our study, me on my computer, Lanii on her laptop and went through them all. It took us a couple of hours, Lanii ended up with a cleverly titled PowerPoint, me with a Word doc complete a contents table, but it was a lot of fun. Fun as something to do together, but also to reminisce on all the good times we’ve shared and remind each other of why we are so good together. Also, turns out each of us thinks we asked the other out first!”

“Ceremonies to me have always been a very private affair. Andrew’s non-negotiable was having his parents there (fair enough!) so it came down to immediate family only. We set the ceremony for sunset so we could see the city light up. It was really special having my Nan and Pop there as they are the only grandparents either of us have.”

The couple adores whiskey, so they both decided that this was one thing their ceremony just had to have. “Other than writing our vows, the biggest inclusion in the ceremony was that, instead of exchanging rings, we exchanged a shot of whiskey. Andrew doesn’t wear jewellery, and we both share a passion for a good Rye whiskey so it made sense for us. We used some cute glasses Andrew’s mum had bought me for Christmas. We also played paper scissors rock with my mum and sisters to determine who signed as a witness (Andrew had already decided on his mum, being an only child).”

And if we’re talking vendors that Lanii And Andre adore, stationer Grey Rabbit Design certainly rates a mention in Lanii’s book, she shares  “We hand-picked people we wanted to be part of our day, and they were all so amazing, but I have to sing the praises of this woman. We went through something like 18 iterations of our invites, whilst we were also on holiday overseas and had given her very broad brushstroke of ideas that we wanted but she MADE. IT. WORK. Her time, her patience, her skill, my god! My only ever regret is that we failed to get a photo of them as part of our detail shots. Emily, you are the best and we love you!”

“RICKY IS AN ABSOLUTE LEGEND” gushes the bride. “From the get-go he got it. I really wanted a photographer I hadn’t worked with before and we struggled to find someone that got our vision, but then we met Ricky. He went above and beyond, scouting shoot locations before the day, keeping us on track, and being the best third-wheel we could have asked for. We met the fam at the end of our photos for celebratory drinks; by that stage, Ricky had knocked off but we just had to invite him – he was already a part of the family! I’m pretty sure he spoke with Nan for a solid hour at one point!”

The newlyweds celebrated with their guests until the wee hours at a favourite city bar. “We had a lot of family and friends we knew wouldn’t be able to stick around until midnight, so only having our reception space until 10:00 pm was fantastic for us. Naturally, we took our dance floor/after-party to the nearest bar, Alabama Song. We had our first dance to some honky-tonk country band with all of our family and friends on the dance floor with us! I remember looking around and seeing our families and parents dancing and having an absolute blast. It was perfect!”

Congratulations to you both Lanii & Andrew! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous day with us. Thank you also to Ricky Gestro for today’s imagery.

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

Polka Dot Bride Shop

I will forever sing the praises of a winter wedding from the rooftops. For me, there is nothing more romantic than tying the knot in a season where snuggling up is required, where hot mulled wine is served to keep guests warm, where soft blankets and faux fur wraps are in abundance, where candlelight and bonfires serve to add an extra layer of warmth.

And in that spirit, this editorial on the NSW South Coast dreamt up by talented styling team The Wedding and Event Creators in all its winter glory, is just what you need to take inspiration from as you plan your own cold-weather day.

Set at beautiful  The Cove Jervis Bay and captured expertly by Heart and the Sea, our dream team created three outdoor settings for our “newlyweds” to bask in.

Setting one brings to life a circle ceremony backdrop (by Hoorah Events) adorned with greenery in tones of sage green and dried blooms in neutral taupes and browns – the florals the work of Gypsy Carmen. The aisle, topped with a grass runner, is flanked by natural wooden chairs and rental pieces (used throughout the shoot) from Shoalhaven Party Hire, the natural tones adding to that warmth a winter wedding so desperately needs.

Look two brings in a wooden backdrop with those same white, sage green and brown tones for something a little moodier, a little more rustic, and stunning florals by Botanic Art.

And then, there’s the cosy reception. A table low to the ground topped with sage and white flower arrangements, silver mercury candle holders, taupe linens and plenty of texture. A basket of warm throws invites guests to grab one when they feel the chill.

The finishing touches? Caravan bar Meet Mabel serving up celebratory bubbles alongside spice-filled mulled wine, while The Gelato Bike dishes out delicious wintery desserts.

Our bride dressed in beautiful gowns from South Coast Brides dances alongside her groom dressed by The Collared Man. Her look, hair and makeup, styled by Makeup By Megan and Absolute Hair by Tia transform with each look- from a soft up-do with a beaded hairband, to a modern ponytail all complemented by deeply toned makeup in beautiful browns, perfect for the winter season.

Let the inspiration ignite your own dreams, a winter wedding has endless possibilities, to create a space that is truly yours.

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

Pia & Travis

What is it about Brisbane? Maybe it’s the mix of urban and riverside locations, or its relaxed yet lively vibe. Whatever it is, it sets the scene for some breathtaking weddings, such as Pia and Travis’. This pair enjoyed an emotional first look in Fortitude Valley’s laneways, then tied the knot in a beautifully styled ceremony by Brisbane Wedding Decorators on the banks of Brisbane River. Capturing the day was The Fox and the Bear Photography and Blue Vale Films. Below, Pia tells her and Travis’ love story, from meeting as teenagers then reconnecting years later, to their proposal, a baby, and how their wedding day came to life.

Originally teenage lovers, life separated us and took our lives in different paths. However, 17 years later and an innocent swipe right on Tinder to say a friendly hello, we ended up being exactly what we had both been looking for. It is safe to say we are happier than ever with our little crew of three, with Travis’ son, Harvey (now six).

Travis proposed to me on a weekend away on the Gold Coast.  I had planned and organised the getaway so Travis felt this would make the perfect opportunity. He had already had the ring made with the help of my mum and ordered personalised number plates with what would be my new initials.

In a comedy of errors and my persistent ‘need to know everything’ attitude, Travis almost had to pop the question in the carpark of his job site! But he managed to throw me off the scent (just) long enough to get me inside to find my ‘welcome’ gift and for him to get down on one knee overlooking the broad water to ask me to be his wife.

What made this proposal weekend so much more special was that we found out that morning that we were expecting our now 16 month old son, George.

I wore the stunning ‘Sasha’ Gown by Made with Love from White Lily Couture. I absolutely loved my dress. It was luxurious yet boho with gorgeous heavy crocheted lace over a tan underlay. If I am honest, I didn’t like it at first, but my lovely stylist Francesca told me to trust her and I am glad I did. When I put it on, I knew it was my perfect dress. It hugged in all the right places and truly made me feel elegant, which was important as I had just had George and I would be nine months post-partum when I finally walked down the aisle. My favourite part of the dress was the train (just wow!) and the ‘wings/ cape’ I wore instead of the traditional veil.

Brisbane city wedding photography

I cannot say enough to describe just how amazing Daisy & Co. floral arrangements are, as well as the service Amy provided us. From the very first meeting over coffee, I knew Amy was the perfect florist. Her passion for flowers and love for creating beautiful pieces was evident; she listened, took notes and offered suggestions respectfully.

She was flexible and went above and beyond to make my day as stress free as possible especially in the months, weeks and days leading up to it. For any bride, seeing your florals come to life on the day can be nerve-racking.

However, the moment I saw my flowers was the moment I realised I was getting married and that I had the most beautiful and breathtaking bouquets. In fact, I was speechless, and I cried. I didn’t know what to say to thank Amy enough. So many people commented throughout the day, saying just how amazing they were as well as the arbour piece and my reception florals. Amy, what an incredibly caring, thoughtful and naturally talented florist.

Brisbane wedding bouquet by Daisy Co

One big thing we both knew we wanted to do was a ‘first look’. We knew that we were both emotional people and needed this time to take a breath together and enjoy ‘our moment’ before we saw one another and our friends at the end of the aisle. So our photographer and videographer organised for Travis to wait in an urban spray-painted alleyway in the heart of Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

It was an insanely overwhelming personal moment that we got to share just the two of us and to say we shred a tear, would be a complete understatement. It would have the best one of the best moments of the entire day.

Brisbane City wedding Photography
first look wedding photos

Our wedding photographer, Keira of The Fox and the Bear is a SUPERSTAR!!!! She is a talented, creative and an experienced photographer but it’s not just her skills that make her photos so great; it’s her warmth, fun and relaxing demeanour that created the perfect environment for our perfect day.

It’s like Keira instinctively knows the type of photos you want and she gets exactly that from you. What sets Keira apart from so many others is the care she takes and took in meeting and understanding us as a couple and how sensitive and adaptable she was in answering all of our questions (big or small) leading up to our day.

In fact, Keira made the whole process a breeze. She also worked so well with our outstanding videographer Ed from Blue Vale Films and our other suppliers to capture the day.

City wedding Photography
Brisbane city wedding photos

We got married on the riverside lawn at Kangaroo Point’s Lower Terrace on the Brisbane River, with the city’s skyscrapers in the background. We wanted an effortless yet classy ceremony and that was exactly what Cara and her amazing team from Brisbane Wedding Decorators created; the perfect atmosphere, one that was intimate and personal.

We chose the Luxe White Circular Arbour with white seating along with a gorgeous drink station after the ceremony for our friends to enjoy while taking in the perfect November sunset. Huge thank you to our good friend and celebrant Natalie for allowing us to write the words of our ceremony; another personal touch which we felt made our ceremony unique to us.

Brisbane city wedding decor
Brisbane city wedding decoration

Our reception was held at our friend Beau’s restaurant in Coorparoo. Factory 51. It’s a rustic industrial warehouse that oozes class and ambience.

Guests shared the ‘family feast’ style banquet; all of our guests commented on how delectable the food was as well as the wonderful service provided throughout the night. Honestly if you’re looking for a venue passionate about doing weddings well, Beau’s Factory 51 are the team.

My advice for couples planning a wedding? Take the time to pick amazing suppliers! Pick ones you connect with, trust and believe in because on the day, it is those people who make your dream your reality.

If there is even a glimpse of interest in wanting to do a first look, DO IT! It was one of the best things about our day and it was something only we shared as a couple on our special day.

Pia and Travis’ wedding film by Blue Vale Films

Ms Floral Says: Congratulations Pia and Travis on your incredible Brisbane city wedding, full of style and emotion!

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.