Casey and Pete

Casey and Pete’s Romantic Abbotsford Convent Wedding was the perfect fairytale wedding day. For starters, there’s Casey’s Hayley Paige princess dress and Pete’s sharp Bell and Barnett tux, and their romantic garden and convent ceremony and reception location. But above all of the details and most importantly, Casey and Pete “spent the entire time smiling and giggling at each other. The way he (Pete) looked at me made my heart so happy!” Casey writes openly about her day for us below and the photos were captured by the incredible photographer Jeph Chen and his wife Caroline.

Pete and I went to high school together. We weren’t really friends until we shared a few classes in Year 11. We kept in touch after school finished and we started dating a few years later. It’s kind of nice knowing Pete’s been there for so long, almost like he was right in front of me this whole time.

The style of our wedding was romantic. Everything was quite effortlessly beautiful, soft draping, white and green florals, fairy lights etc.

My dress was one of my favourite things of the entire wedding. I wore a stunning gown by Hayley Paige. It was the first dress I saw, in the first wedding dress shop I went into. The ladies at Eternal Bridal in High St, Armadale were absolutely lovely. My experience was so perfect I didn’t feel the need to look anywhere else. I purchased the dress straight away. My gown was an ivory colour, soft lace bodice with a sweet heart neckline, full tulle skirt with a small train. The lace detail on the skirt was absolutely beautiful and I just felt like the biggest princess all day. I am completely in love with my dress!

Pete chose a classic black tuxedo with shiny lapels. He wore a white shirt with black buttons and a black bow tie from Bell & Barnett. He also wore matching black shoes and belt to the Groomsmen, from Tarocash. He looked so handsome, and he absolutely loved himself in it hahaha. I loved how confident he felt in it, he really felt so special.

We had quite a big bridal party, five bridesmaids and five groomsmen – plus a flower girl!

Pete’s second cousin Ilah was our super sweet flower girl – she was just absolutely beautiful on the day and during the whole lead up.

We had both our ceremony and reception at the Abbotsford Convent. Our ceremony was held outside in the heritage gardens. We were so lucky to have had the most perfect weather. Our reception was held in the Rosina Function space and its courtyard. We absolutely loved how big this space was and how it was almost a blank canvas that we could turn it into anything we wanted it to. We loved the feel of the convent right from the first time we went to visit it.

I walked down the aisle to Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Perfect’. My Mum picked it for us as she is a huge Ed Sheeran fan and heard it on his newly released album. To this day Pete still cries when he hears the song – so sweet!!!

My Dad walked me down the aisle and it was so lovely. This was something I have always dreamt of and I loved having him by my side. I also love how much he respects Pete and I feel so happy that he thinks so highly of my now husband.

We really wanted the ceremony to be relaxed but to be all about us. We each read something to each other that we’d written ourselves and also wrote our vows together. Pete and I just smiled and giggled at each other the entire time, not sure we even realised there were other people around. It was just us.

Our first dance was to ‘Just the Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars. We absolutely love Bruno Mars, we go to all of his concerts together and he released this song around the time we started dating. It always makes us think of each other, so this was a very obvious/easy choice for us. We didn’t take dance lessons or anything, just wanted to be in the moment. I don’t have any idea what it looked like but it felt so right dancing with Pete, we just giggled at each other the entire time. We both felt so happy.

I always imagined that I would ‘DIY’ some of the details but I’m glad that I didn’t. I left everything to the professionals and this made for such a relaxed day and I was really able to enjoy everything.

Besides my dress (haha) my favourite detail of the day was the reception room. It wasn’t just one detail, it was the entire thing. I walked in and just felt like I was in a dream. We had these gorgeous bunches of greenery hanging from the ceiling with fairy lights all intertwined, a soft grey piece of fabric draped along the back wall, the flowers along the tables, as well as the menus and place settings – everything was just perfect! I couldn’t believe it!

The father-daughter dance was very special to me. I’m a dancer and choreographer and my Dad has asked me my entire life ‘when are you going to get a real job?’ So the fact that he agreed to dance with me was pretty special. We danced to Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk (Dad picked the song). I choreographed a fun dance for us and we had lots a private rehearsals, which Dad took very seriously. We kept it secret and almost no one knew we were doing it. I was so impressed with my Dad’s commitment to it and I loved how much fun we had together. Everyone was laughing and cheering so loudly. It was seriously one of the best moments of my life and I know I’m going to remember it forever.

Jeff Chen is a photographic genius. He and his wife Caroline were absolutely beautiful to have around all day. Everyone felt so comfortable and the boys just want to hang with Jeff all the time! They thought he was just the greatest!

Our stylists – The Details Co. were amazing wedding vendors. Our wedding would not have been so perfect if it wasn’t for them. They listened to everything I wanted and then lifted everything to be beyond my dreams. The girls all have impeccable taste and such an eye for beauty. I completely trusted them and had every faith that everything would be stunning – and it definitely was.

5 of our favourite things…

–   Getting ready at the hotel with my bridesmaids and parents was one of my favourite things. Everyone was so relaxed and happy.

–   Pete completely sobbing as I walked down the aisle. I had a feeling he would cry but didn’t know it would be to that extent. Apparently he was crying before any of the bridesmaids even walked out. He gets teased a lot about it but I think he is such a beautiful soul.

–   The reception party! Everyone was up dancing and enjoying themselves. We danced right up until the very end.

–   My maid of honours speech was so beautiful and kind – just like she is – made me cry!

–   How happy Pete and I both were all day. We spent the entire time smiling and giggling at each other. The way he looked at me made my heart so happy!

Pete’s favourite memory… “Standing in the gardens of the Abbotsford Convent with all our family and friends waiting for Casey, I was so full of emotions and then when the music started and the girls were walking down the aisle I couldn’t contain it, especially when I saw my stunning bride walking towards me.”

For more from this stunning wedding, check out Casey and Pete’s wedding video by cinematographer Chamber Creation:

Ms Zigzag says: Thanks to Casey, Pete and their caterer Bursaria Catering for sharing this wonderful day with us. 


Photographer: Jeph Chen / Catering: Bursaria Fine Foods / Bride's Dress: Hayley Paige / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bariano / Bridal Robes: Cotton On / Bride's Shoes: Siren / Groom's Attire: Bell and Barnett / Groomsmen Attire: Tarocash / Flowergirl's Attire: Bardot Junior / Flowers: Badlands & Co / Ceremony Styling: The Details Co / Ceremony Venue: Abbotsford Convent / Cinematographer: Chamoré Creations / DJ: Ryan Dewit / Wedding Cake: Naatje Patisserie Cupcakes and Cakes / Reception Venue: Rosina Function Space / Makeup Artist: Jodi Eames / Invitations & Stationery: Peep Designs / Hairstylist: Amanda - Harmoni

Jess & Mike 

Jess and Mike can hand-on-their-hearts say that their Royal Botanic Garden Wedding in Sydney was the best day of their lives- and we can see the happiness on their faces! Their wedding was ‘humble and simple.’ It was held at the The Palm House located within the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney in April 2017. Jess writes about their day for us below and the special moments are captured by Photographer Amelia Fullarton

The proposal… Mike threw Jess off the mark by taking her out the week after her birthday. Mike took Jess to get a tattoo as a birthday present, bought her a scrunchie and ice cream, then took her on a ferry ride across Sydney Harbour to Manly. After some drinks on the pier at Manly, they went back to the ferry terminal where Jess bought the tickets to the wrong ferry. Mike had to call their friend who he’d organised to take photos to ditch the ferry she was on and race over to the one Mike and Jess were now on. Mike then had to convince the ferry driver to let them out on the bow of the boat (as the part he wanted to propose in was only on the other ferry) where he took Jess out on and got down on one knee as they sailed into Sydney Harbour. They then went to their favourite restaurant Porteno where Mike had organised their closest friends to celebrate with them.

How did you meet… Mike went out on a crazy limb and decided to open a cafe, with no hospitality experience and decided to hire Jess as a waitress, who also had no hospitality experience. A few months down the track with plenty of hard hours worked and lots of chatting in between, their friendship blossomed into something more.

The playsuit…  My “dress” actually wasn’t a dress. It was a playsuit with a skirt I wore over the top for the ceremony. I had always known I wouldn’t be a “typical” bride but also didn’t want to do something different for difference sake. I ended up trying on a few classic gowns and was totally uncomfortable in them and didn’t feel my best. I was inspired by a Zimmermann dress and worked with a dressmaker as I originally thought I wanted to wear a long pantsuit. We worked on a few different designs and styles and came up with a feminine compromise. My fabric was one of a kind and was the first fabric I picked out in the biggest fabric store I’d ever been too – a beautiful lace interwoven with sparkling threads. And a polka dot skirt to top it all off.

The suit… Mike also got his suit designed by his mate. He wanted something relaxed but classic. The fabric was a linen blend with no shoulder pads. Pants with no belt holes and collarless shirts.

The bridal party… We each had 5 of our best mates in our bridal parties.

The venue… We wanted a place where our guests didn’t have to travel in between ceremony and reception. Originally we wanted a destination wedding but when we found The Palm House we knew we were onto a winner – in the heart of the city, surrounded by gardens in a beautiful old green house.

Les fleurs… I’m SO passionate about wedding flowers, so much so I’ve done flowers for other people’s weddings on a few occasions. I wanted our bouquets to be unique and different from each other – incorporating beautiful Australian tones and natives, and being quite obscure in size and shape. We really wanted wattle to decorate our venue, but unfortunately it didn’t come into season in time.

Here comes the bride… I walked down the aisle to “A Community Service Announcement” by Jonathan Boulet. Our friends Matt & Jarryd played this live while my dad walked me down the aisle. Our ceremony was super relaxed. And intentionally so. We have been to a lot of weddings and didn’t want to do the stuff that made people feel awkward, but also wanted to make the stuff that was super important, super important. We gave our guests beers and cocktails while they waited for the bridal party to contribute to the atmosphere, and our ceremony was actually quite short – about 15mins. Our friend (and pastor) Josh shared over the word of God sharing on What is Love, and the ultimate Love that God showed us in his son Jesus. Mike and I wrote our own vows centred around honouring each other and our commitments to one and other, we sung songs of worship and our closest friends prayed over us.

First dance… We chose “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac. Originally we were’t going to do a first dance because we didn’t want everyone watching us! But the night before we both settled on this song because we have always loved Fleetwood Mac. The song is fun and easy to dance to and the lyrics spoke to us!

The DIY details… The napkins, the arbor, some of the flower elements (my dad and I spent hours chopping down wild grass the day before ceremony).

Honouring Mike’s mum… Instead of giving favours to our guests, we gave a donation to the Cancer Council on their behalf to honour and remember Mike’s mum who passed away from cancer a few years ago, and therefore couldn’t be a part of the day.

Favourite details… EVERY SINGLE MINUTE. It was honestly the best day of my life. We also had an insane dance floor. We incorporated a mix of old school and current hits which one of my best mates, Luke, DJ’d. So dancing out in the middle of the botanic gardens to Backstreet Boys and tossing back Champagne was definitely a highlight.

Traditions… My mum gave me something old and borrowed (her mother’s handkerchief) and new and blue (a turquoise stone bracelet).

Your photographer… Our photographer was Amelia Fullarton. She’s a friend but also a hella amazing photographer. We chose her because she captures moments not just simply photographs. We chose our wedding date based on her availability.

Favourite photos… The photos of Mike and I in a fernery. We snuck into this
fernery and turned the water on so there was all this mist and got some incredible shots together.

A fun crowd… Everyone got so on board with the speeches that when Mike’s dad (aka the cutest Filipino man of all time) got up to do his speech, everyone started chanting “Rey, Rey, Rey” as he walked up the front.

Vendor appreciation… We loved Mary’s – they catered our burgers and fries and brought in the Pavlova (dessert). They did 4 round trips from their venue into the gardens to drop all the food off.

The best bit… Getting to do it all with my best friend.

Five things that your wedding the best day of your life… 

  • Having my closest friends travel from around the world and all be together
  • Mike’s speech – the beautiful words and commitments he made to me
  • My best friend being 100% there for me throughout the day, being so completely selfless and supportive
  • Doing a Body Attack class with my bridesmaids the morning of my wedding
  • Making our commitment to each other before our best friends, family and God

Advice for engaged couples planning their wedding… Lap up every moment of your wedding day because it’s the best day of your life!

About the photographer Amelia Fullarton: I live with my two daughters and partner, on the East Coast of Australia. A country girl at heart i’am most happy close to the sea and surrounded by nature. My work is driven by the love and light.

Photographer: Amelia Fullarton / Bride's Dress: Jenet Zaitar / Bride's Shoes: Gucci / Bridesmaid Dresses: Zimmermann / Catering: Mary's / Ceremony Officiant: Jonathan Douglass / Venue: The Palm House, The Royal Botanic Gardens / DJ: Luke Davie / Decor: Holly McCauley / Flowers: My Flower Man / Groom's Attire: Tailor & Co / Hairstylist: Hope Shoemaker / Makeup Artist: Steph Askew

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Monica & James’s Surprise Melbourne Wedding

At the end of the day, a wedding boils down to this important sentiment explained by James…

“Don’t worry so much about flowers or decoration etc, it’s about us (you) celebrating our love and the desire to be together for the rest of our lives.”

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Photographer: Chloe May