The boys wore Van Heusen black pinstripe suits with white shirts from Myer. Tony wore a cream shirt which matched perfectly with my ivory dress. They wore black Havaianas for the ceremony and their own black shoes for the reception. We found the turquoise stripe ties at Tarocash.
The buttonholes, corsages and bouquets were styled by my friend Blaise who flew all the way from outback Queensland for the big day. The bouquets were arm sheath style with white oriental lilies and Singapore orchids. It was so nice to have her make them at the last minute. About two months before the wedding, the lady who had been booked to make them cancelled on me. So Blaise had to organise everything over the phone and through email. What she made was better than I had originally pictured!
Our reception venue and ceremony location were set up by Raelene Ryl from Confetti Events. Some friends and I also went down to help in the morning. It was so good to see what it was going to look like after so many months of deciding on the lay out.
The table decorations included driftwood and shells which we found on local beaches in the lead up to the wedding. My sister Tamara’s friend, Eliza made beautiful palm wax candles and my sister Michelle’s friend, Tania made clam shells filled with smaller shells from beaches near Wickham, WA. We used these as table decorations and as thank you gifts for family and friends who helped on the day.
Brian Willoughby let us borrow his old aqua and white Vauxhall as our Bridal Car. My Uncle ‘Bishy’ drove for myself, my dad and my eight year old niece. The usually five minute drive to the Twilight Beach seemed to take forever in the old car! My younger brother Cam drove his Ford and family friend Alan Oliver drove his Holden for the day. They were both modern and similar colours so we used these as the other bridal party cars. That Sunday was also the Bathurst Supercheap 1000 (car race) so the boys were watching and listening to the race most of the day. Tony was very glad to hear that Holden won the race!
I was planning to walk down the aisle to “I will” by the Beatles but was too impatient to see Tony so I followed my bridesmaids down the sandy path with “All You Need is Love”. I love anything by the Beatles so it didn’t matter that much and we were already quite late by that stage.
We had dried fish scales in blue buckets instead of petals for the flower girls to scatter and bubbles and pinwheels to please the children at the ceremony.
My sister Michelle read a poem for us that was very special to me.
We wrote our own vows and included Hunter’s favourite saying “… to infinity and beyond!”. That made our guests smile!
After the ceremony we had photos taken at West Beach looking over Dempster Head. While we were there we noticed some whales in the water below. It was beautiful to see! Then we had photos taken at Castletown beach with the old broken jetty and also at the Tanker Street Jetty.
Our wedding ceremony was on Sunday the 10th October 2010 at Twilight Beach, Esperance, not far from my parent’s home followed by the cocktail reception which was held at the Esperance Bay Yacht Club.
The weather was perfect. It was sunny in the morning and afternoon, then overcast for our post ceremony photos, before a stunning lightning show in the evening. We made it into our reception venue before it poured down with rain!
Designed by myself and put together with the help of Tony, the invites were made into a Passport cover, including maps and information on how to get to the ceremony and where to stay. My Aunty Paula and Uncle Mike had the invitation framed for us as a wedding present.
All of our bridal party traveled from Perth for our wedding including best man Matt, groomsman Nathan, maid of honour Alicia and bridesmaid Gemma. Alicia had been invited to attend another wedding that day at which her partner was best man, but she said she would not have missed ours for anything.
I found my perfect dress at Pearls Bridal but wanted to think about it, so they put it on hold for a week. When I returned a week later the lady behind the counter said someone had already brought “my” dress that morning. I couldn’t believe I had found my dream dress only to have lost it. Then the lady gave me a folded piece of paper that had my name on it. Puzzled, I opened it …
“To a beautiful, deserving girl … This is our gift to you for your wedding day!
Lots of love,
Mum, Tamara & Michelle xxx”
Then I noticed the smile on the shop assistant’s face and she said she was so excited for me. Now I could take the dress home that day instead of paying it off over a few weeks, like I had planned. My mother Cindy and my sisters Michelle and Tamara, surprised me by buying my ivory Jasmine Bridal gown as a wedding gift! I was so happy! It was the best wedding present ever!
I wore turquoise Roxy thongs for the beach ceremony and turquoise flats from Olive for the reception.
My pearl drop earrings and pearl and diamond necklace were presents from Tony. My bracelet was given to me by my mum and matched perfectly.
Our two year old son Hunter was our ring bearer and our nieces Caitlin, Gemma and Saffiya were our gorgeous flowergirls.
My bridesmaids and our flowergirls wore maxi style turquoise gowns, hand-made and designed by mother-of-the-groom Cheryl. The bridesmaid dresses also featured a piece of ‘Aqua’ Fish Leather from Mermaid Leather. We were so lucky to have Cheryl spend so much time designing the dresses and measuring the girls. They all looked so lovely on the day. Cheryl also made her dream dress for the day. She had kept the pattern for years and had always wanted to have an occasion to wear it. Her son’s wedding was the perfect opportunity!
My sister Michelle, who had travelled all the way down from Wickham, did the bridal party hair which looked so beautiful and stayed up all night! My bridesmaids, Alicia and Gemma, did my makeup as well as each other’s. My sister-in-law Shelley and my sister Tamara helped get the flowergirls ready. Caitlin was even allowed a little bit of make up! She looked so grown up!
Michelle Martin was our photographer on the day and she was assisted by Natalie Donoghue of Shining Light Photography. My mother’s friend Julie Rowe also took behind-the-scenes photos and ceremony shots. We were so lucky to have three photographers capturing our wedding!
High school sweethearts. Cliche, but that’s the best way I could describe us. Johan and I got together at the age of 17. He was the charmer that every girl wanted (and dreamt of), and lucky me somehow caught his attention. He was the sweet romantic who used to slip love letters in my locker and write poems on a paper aeroplane and fly them into the classroom window. He even declared his love (and officially asked me to be his girlfriend) by hanging up a huge banner at school with the words “Be Mine Nia”. Yep, we were young and very much in love.
Five years later, Johan took me on a ridiculously early morning surf trip to our local beach in North Narrabeen. I have to admit that the only thing that got me out of bed that morning was the promise of a hot breakfast afterwards. As soon as we arrived, Johan suggested we take a walk down to the beach to suss out the surf closely. Tired, cold and hungry, I (regretfully) wasn’t the biggest fan of this idea but went along with it anyway. It wasn’t until Johan pointed out some graffiti on the North Narrabeen wall that I had the shock of my life. I realised that the graffiti was directed right at me. There it was – the words “Marry Me Nia”. As I looked to Johan, he was already down on one knee with the ring in his hand.
From the beginning, Johan and I promised that our wedding would be as relaxed and fun as we can make it. Because of our strict budget, it meant that we had to get creative with a lot of DIY things. This is where the bridal party of 6 bridesmaids and 6 groomsmen came in handy. The girls and I pretty much DIY-ed most aspects of the wedding; from sewing our own napkins from vintage material, making paper flowers and lanterns for decorations, and even going to the flower markets to design our own bouquets! Johan and I custom-made our wedding invitations. We bought vintage paper from The Paper Place and printed on them at home, and tied burlap strings around them to give it a vintage feel. Both our mums helped with designing flower centrepieces for both the church ceremony and reception, whilst a talented cousin of mine Pauline from Sophisticated Yum designed the most delectable and gorgeous dessert table.
I absolutely fell in love with a Monique Lhuillier, Scarlet gown as I have an undying love of lace! I was so fortunate to come across the same dress, brand new and unworn, through OnceWed in the U.S. I took the big risk of buying my dress from overseas, but found later that I had nothing to worry about. When the dress came it was perfect! I custom designed my veil through Marisol Aparicio (also located in the U.S) who did such an amazing job of meeting my requests.
The morning of our big day was extremely relaxed. My girls and I sipped tea, shared a few laughs, ate toasts and some even took naps whilst taking turns getting our hair and make up done! The girls each not only chose their own dress, but also chose their own hair and make-up style. Thank you Eternal Elegance and Yvonne Grice Makeup (0411 505 978) for the amazing job you both did!
The ceremony was just perfect – everything ran as smoothly as we’d hope it would! Johan chose “Hideaway” by Karen O and The Kids as the song for me to walk down the aisle to, which I admit I got a tad emotional to. The most important aspect of our special day was to share it with close family and friends, so we decided to host a relaxed afternoon tea in the church garden where we could mingle with our guests. Once again, Sophisticated Yum, with the help of my amazing mum were responsible for organising such a beautiful table!
Our fun, crazy, awesome photographer Linda Truong from Linda Truong Photography took us on a trek to Centennial Park for our photo session. Not only is she the most talented photographer I’ve ever come across, she is also energetic, natural and fun to work with! The location shoot was definitely one of the highlights of our special day. We all shared so many laughs and felt so relaxed.
What can I say? Having a bridal party of 12 turned out to be so much fun! I love that Linda has really captured each and every one of their personalities through all the photos.
After exhausting our bridal party, Johan and I (along with our photographer) trekked to different secret locations to do our couple shots.
Our reception was held at an intimate venue – Cielo Restaurant, Akuna Bay. The venue was surrounded in lush greenery and a picturesque marina. We invited along 100 of our closest family and friends, and what a perfect way to finish off our special day! We had both of our dads give such heartwarming emotional speeches, along with our best man and maid of honour. And of course, the waterworks began!
Our amazing custom designed dessert table was put together by my lovely cousin, Pauline who runs her own business, Sophisticated Yum. Pauline and I worked closely to put together a collection of yummy desserts and goodies that the guests could take home in brown paper bags as bonbonierre. Pauline has the most incredible attention to detail – she designed all the cut outs, paper boats, logos and decorations to tie in with the whole vintage theme of the wedding.
We entertained our guests with a home-made photobooth along with its own props, and it turned out to be a huge success! We sectioned off a corner in the venue and threw up our own backdrop and had our lovely friend Chloe from Chloe Ferres Photography take photos throughout the night.
It wouldn’t have been the wonderful, memorable day it was without the expertise of our amazing professionals and without our beloved family and friends!
Nia says: “I am a huge fan of DIY projects, especially ones for vintage-themed weddings. I love anything with floral patterns and lace, and I’m the biggest sucker for peachy pink colours! I implemented all my love for these things into my wedding!”
Ms Gingham says: “Thanks to Nia and Johan for sharing their lovely wedding with us in such a heartfelt way. Thanks also to Linda Truong from Linda Truong Photography for sharing her beautiful photography with us on Polka Dot Bride.”