Mel and Ronny’s Traditional Jewish Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Mel & Ronny

I love tradition and I love it when cultural elements play such an important role in a wedding day. Today’s wedding is heavy with it – from the groom’s special white coat, to the seclusion of the newlyweds after the ceremony. I love the story it tells and I love being able to tell the story to you.

Mel tells their story. “We met a few ways.  We went to the same synagogue, so we’d spotted each other there.  But we actually met properly a while later, after discovering we had mutual friends at a function.  Unbeknownst to us, these friends had decided we’d be perfect for each other.  One of the friends had a hiphop artist from the US staying at their house, and invited both of us (separately) to some after-gig drinks in at Opera Bar.  As everyone left, and was organising lifts, taxis etc, the friends said ‘Ronny can take Mel home’ and then left.  So he did.  Turns out we had a lot in common, and lived just around the corner from each other.  And here we are.”

Photographs today are by Matt Reed who has an innate ability to capture moments as they happen.

Mel wore a sleeved gown designed by Rhonda Hemmingway.

The floral arrangements for the day were styled by Samambaia – Flowers By Maria Claudia.

Of one of the surprises of the day, Mel remembers “There were the shoes and Ronny’s tie.  I don’t like wearing all ‘normal’ clothes, so while I made a concession and went for a traditional dress, I decided to wear bright pink shoes.  Ronny didn’t know this.  He also didn’t know what colour tie he’d be wearing, as I had organised for the tie to be made to match my shoes, and he had to pick the tie up just before the wedding!”

There was one minor hiccup on the day Mel remembers. “On the groom’s side, the drivers were given the wrong address and came late to the pickup location.  Then, when it was time to go, Murphy’s Law kicked in and the groom’s father misplaced a key part of the groom’s wedding outfit – a white robe traditionally worn by the groom in a Jewish wedding ceremony.  In the end we were probably the first wedding in history where the bride and her party arrived at the ceremony before the groom…  Luckily, I am pretty easy-going, and we had a lovely tour around the entirety of Centennial Park, waiting for the groom to arrive.”

Mel and Ronny chose Centennial Park for their wedding ceremony “We chose Centennial Park for the ceremony for many reasons.  I miss nature living in the east, so the park is a bit of a refuge.  Ronny grew up in the area, and it’s where he played and learnt to ride a bike.  We also wanted to choose a venue which would be around for years to come, which we could go back to over the years, and Mel really wanted to be married outside.  It was very easy to organise the wedding at the Park, which was also important to us..”

As is Jewish tradition, Mel and Ronny both walked down the aisle flanked by their parents. Mel remembers, “Ronny walked down the aisle to an old Yiddish song “Oif’n Pripichik” (“At the Fireplace”). I walked down the aisle to Bacarole, by Offenbach, her grandmother’s favourite piano piece from when I was little.
Both songs were played by a quartet organised by a dear family friend and Ronny’s childhood violin teacher, Sam Podjarski.”

Mel recalls “There is a tradition in the Jewish wedding ceremony to spend a few moments in seclusion together immediately after the ceremony.  Some people have a tradition to step over a silver spoon on the way out of this seclusion. Ronny & I  stepped over a spoon which was given to me on the day she was born by my Great-Great Grandmother, which was really special.”

Of their photographer, Mel says “Matt did the photography for a friend of ours, and when we saw their photos, we knew we had to ask Matt to do ours as well!  He was such a pleasure to work with.  The photos he took caught the day perfectly, and we didn’t even notice he was there a lot of the time!”

The newlyweds celebrated with their guests at Paddington Town Hall. Mel explains, “I wanted something that would be around for a while, and Ronny wanted a big dance floor.  I also love old buildings, and so when I stumbled over the website for Paddington Town Hall, I knew it was the right place!  Luckily when Ronny had a look, he agreed – we definitely had a very large dance floor!  The staff at Paddington Town Hall were an absolute pleasure to work with, and it was nice to have the venue for a large chunk of the day.”

Mel remembers, “The flowers and table-settings were phenomenal – every table was different, it was absolutely beautiful!”

BNT Management planned the entire day. Mel recalls “We were lucky enough to have an amazing wedding planner and caterer (BNT Management and L’Amour Catering) who took care of absolutely everything. Benita Kam and her team were absolutely wonderful, patient and thorough.  There was not a detail which was missed. We could not have managed without Benita and her team, as both of us work very long hours. L’Amour Catering came up with a fantastic, completely gluten-free menu (Mel can’t eat gluten) which was delicious and aesthetically beautiful .”

Concept Entertainment Group provided the lighting and sound equipment at Paddington Town Hall.  Mel remembers, “They were phenomenal and made the place really look terrific.”

Mel remarks “Finally, the highlight for me was playing with the band and with her bridesmaid, Nicola, playing ‘Play that funky music’ by Wild Cherry.  It was heaps of fun!”

For their first dance, Mel says “It was to Bob Marley, ‘Is this love’.  It was really lovely to have a moment together after such a wonderful but hectic day.  It was also really lovely because just before, Mel had a dance with her Dad, which was also really special.”

Congratulations Mel and Ronny! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Matt Reed for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: Matt Reed Photography / Wedding Planner: BNT Management / Cinematographer: Nathan Lewis / Bride's Dress: Rhomnda Hemmingway Couture / Bride's Shoes: Wittner / Flowers: Samambaia - Flowers By Maria Claudia / Ceremony Venue: The Lily Pond, Centenial Parklands Sydney / Reception Venue: Paddington Town Hall / Band: Glass / Groom's Attire: Rochefort / Bridesmaid Dresses: 176 Formal 02 96984074 / Invitations & Stationery: Print 35 / Wedding Cake: Delicious Treats / Bride's Jewellery: Rhomnda Hemmingway Couture / Catering: L'Amour Catering / Reception Lighting & Sound: Concept Entertainment Group
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Vanessa and Dominic’s Doltone House Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Vanessa & Dominic

Vanessa and Dominic had such a fun wedding day day. Steeped in tradition they made their own way through tweaking details to make sure they had a day they would truly love.

Vanessa relays the story of how they met. “Dom is my cousin’s best mate since birth. We had crossed each others paths when we were really young at family events etc. Years went by until we saw each other again at my cousin’s wedding. Dom had grown up into this handsome young man with the bluest eyes.I honestly couldn’t believe it was the same little boy who used to kick around a soccer ball with my cousin in my grandmother’s backyard. We started catching up on the past that night and the rest is history….”

Photographs today are by Welsch Photography who always produce beautiful, classic captures.

Family friend Sue Dalziel created the bouquets, to which Vanessa attached her aunt’s and both grandmother’s wedding bands . Vanessa recalls ” I did my own hair on the day something I thought I would never do but I was so into the BIG bun at the time and practiced my buns by rolling socks into donuts and discovered the bigger the bun the better”

Vanessa had her and her bridesmaid’s gowns made. She explains “My dress was made from scratch by Kel- Leigh Couture on the central coast. Kel made my year 10 & 12 formal dresses so it meant a lot to have her make my wedding dress. I went in and rattled off all my ideas for the dress and Kel put it to paper and the final product was stunning! Kel also made the bridesmaid and flower girl dresses. Anything I wanted was never too hard or out of the question she is so good at what she does, I adore her so much I invited Kel and her husband to the wedding.”

Vanessa and Dominic married at Holy Name Of Mary Church. Vanessa remembers “We chose it because of its size (we knew we would have a lot of guests) and  because of the beautiful sandstone finish on the outside and high rise ceilings on the inside. We would recommend it to anyone having a wedding reception in the city as it only took us 15 minutes to get to and from the city!”

Of their photographers, Vanessa says, “I knew I wanted Karl and Bec to be our photographers the moment I stumbled onto their website. Their style was just what we were after, spontaneous and fresh. I didn’t want all our wedding photos to be posed and stiff and Welsch Photography totally knew where we were coming from. The first time we met with Karl he was asking what we wanted, what we expected from them as photographers instead of him telling us what styles they used and it was their way or the high way. They are a very understanding laid back couple and we couldn’t be happier with our choice. We absolutely love our photos and can’t wait for our album to be printed to show that off too!”

The couple chose a decorate four tier cake. Vanessa remembers “My cake was by Lorraine from “Something Blue” and it was so yummy and looked amazing I would recommend her highly.”

The reception was held at Doltone House. Vanessa explains “We chose Doltone House as it’s situated right on the water at Pyrmont with a direct view of the Harbour Bridge. Our guests were able to stand outside on the wharf to have canapes and look over the great view until we got there. Doltone House is also known for its great menu and they did not let us down on the night. Pumpkin lasagne, beef ragu, fillet mignon, chicken wrapped in prosciutto, prawns, calamari, toblerone pyramid, vanilla panna cotta and wedding cake for dessert! On the wedding night we stayed at the new hotel “The Darling” right next door to the Star. Our room was amazing and the staff were great!”

Vanessa loved “Having our family friends all in one room sharing our special day especially my grandmother. She is my only living grandparent and we have a strong bond. ”

For their first dance, Vanessa recalls “We danced to a song Dom actually chose! “A thousand years” by Christina Perri. When we look back on the photos from the first dance it really captures how we felt on the day, totally secluded just me and Dom a million miles away just the two of us. Later on we found out our two older nieces 7 and 5 who also played flower girls on the day cried watching us dance together and loved our first dance song – so sweet!.” Guests received lovebird salt and pepper shakers from Pink Frosting.

Congratulations Vanessa and Dominic! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Welsch Photography for today’s wedding!

Photographer: Welsch Photography / Bride's Dress: Kel-Leigh Couture / Bride's Shoes: Amore Bridal Shoes / Groom's Attire: Bridal Collections / Groomsmen Attire: Bridal Collections / Bridesmaid Dresses: Kel-Leigh Couture / Hairstylist: Brides Mother / Makeup Artist: Cousin of the bride, Josephine Caruso / Flowers: Family Friend Sue Dalziel / Invitations & Stationery: Truly Madly Deeply / Ceremony Venue: Holy Name of Mary Hunters Hill / Ceremony Officiant: Fr. Lex Keys of Marrickville / Ceremony Musicians: Opus 4 String Quartet / Reception Venue: Doltone House / Band: Soul Sonic Band / Favors: Pink Frosting / Wedding Cake: Something Blue

Sivan and Todd’s Sixties Inspired Wedding

by | Australia - Victoria, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Sivan & Todd

I’m so excited to share Sivan and Todd’s wedding. The couple love The Beatles and the sixties and seventies, so naturally their wedding day took on a decidedly retro style and being musicians? There was plenty of song to go along with their plans!

Sivan and Todd tell their story. “It was an autumn day in early May 2005. Todd had just returned to Australia after living in the UK and backpacking around South America and Asia for 2 and a half years. After a spontaneous road trip from Cairns to Melbourne with his brother Steve , Todd decided to stay on in Melbourne. While sitting in Steve’s kitchen in Coburg on a Saturday morning he saw an ad in the paper for a scouthall sharehouse and got very excited when he realised that the scouthall was less than 500m away. He wandered over and moved in a few days later. After finding housemate, Peter, the house needed one more housemate, preferably a girl. We interviewed a string of weirdos, and generally unsuitable people. Then, one Autumn day Sivan arrived for a house interview wearing blue pants and a little yellow sailor top with buttons. She had never lived out of home before, and this was her first ever house interview. ”

Photography today is by Lilli Waters and Laura Mcguire of I Got You Babe (Lilli happened to be one of the bridesmaids!). Their vintage style of photography captured the day beautifully.

Many of the outfits for the day were handmade by Jason Chalmers (0404 280 075) Sivan recalls “The dress, all the bridesmaids dresses and suits were made by our friend and professional costumer Jason Chalmers. Everyone looked amazing!”

Lilli’s second shooter Laura ended up styling not only the bride’s hair, but the bridesmaids! The flowers were styled by the bride.

Sivan and Todd chose to hold their wedding at winery Killara Estate. Sivan explains”Killara Estate were so good to us. It was the perfect venue as the weather was shocking, but the huge glass window wall meant that we could overlook the beautiful vineyard without being outside! The food and wine there is delish as well! ”

Sivan walked down the aisle to ‘Something’ by The Beatles .

Of their photographer, Sivan recalls “The photographer, Lilli Waters is one of our best friends, she was actually part of our bridal party as well, so she had an assistant on the day Laura McGuire. They were both amazing! They helped the bride and all the bridesmaids with hair and make-up, and the photographs are just beautiful. The day was a-glow with love and Lilli truly captured the essence of the day.”

Sivan remembers,  “The main DIY detail of the day is that we made each others rings. We did a make a ring in a day course at the CAE in Melbourne, so although our rings aren’t perfect, they have meaning and truly represent our love for each other… It was very much a DIY wedding with so many of the details made by us or friends and family…from the paper flowers on the table, to the cake to the invites.”

The couple had two celebrants, Sivan remembers “Ralph Roath was our legal celebrant and our best friend Peter was our ‘illegal’ celebrant – we all worked together beforehand to make the ceremony really personal.”

Sivan and Todd asked their friends to contribute to the ceremony. Sivan explains “Being musicians ourselves, a lot of our friends are musical, so we asked a bunch of them to get together and learn ‘love love love’ by the beatles to sing during the signing. Apparently it sounded beautiful in rehearsal, but on the day all of our friends were so emotional that it came out all wrong…the look on everyone’s faces was priceless and it made us laugh so much. One of our favourite memories of the day! Such a beautiful cacophony!”

The couple’s Kombi Shirley was the transport for the day.

Sivan says “We are touring musicians (The April Maze) so a lot of the year we live in our Kombi van ‘Shirley’. We found these Kombi tealight holders and used them as table decorations.”

The guests got into the retro spirit, Sivan remarks, “We are very much into 60’s and 70’s fashion, and Todd is known for his moustache. So on the invite we requested the guests to grow moustaches for the day and for the girls to wear flowers in their hair. Everyone got into the spirit of the day!”

Sivan’s mother made the wedding cake.

Cisco Caesar, the newlywed’s friends, were hired for the reception. For the first dance, the couple chose their favourite song from the band to dance to- called “Been A While“.

Congratulations Sivan & Todd! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Lilli Waters and Laura Mcguire of I Got You Babe for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: Lilli Waters Of I Got You Babe Photography / Bride's Dress: Jason Chalmers 0404 280 075 / Bride's Shoes: Zola / Groom's Attire: Jason Chalmers 0404 280 075 / Groomsmen Attire: Vintage / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jason Chalmers 0404 280 075 / Hairstylist: Laura Mcguire & Lilli Waters / Makeup Artist: Bride / Venue: Killara Estate Winery / Ceremony Officiant: Ralph Roath / Ceremony Officiant: Peter Van Der Merwe / Band: Cisco Caesar / Wedding Cake: Brides Mother / Transport: Bride & groom's kombi van Shirley

Emma and Ian’s Elegant South Brisbane Wedding

by | Australia - Queensland, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Emma & Ian

Emma and Ian’s wedding is such an elegant Brisbane celebration. The simply beautiful styling lent a stylish atmosphere to the day and the reception styled in hues of raspberry red and hot pinks add such a celebratory tone of colour for guests to toast the marriage with!

Emma tells of how they met.  “We met in the first week of our first year at university in a tutorial, but didn’t start going out for another 4 years! ”

Jess Marks Photography have captured Emma and Ian’s wedding with a beautiful photographic style today!

Emma and her bridesmaids had their hair and makeup styled by The Powder Room.

Emma wore a gown from Kleinfeld Bridal while her bridesmaids wore black Anna Campbell gowns from Babushka Ballerina. Kate Dawes Flower Design put together the floral arrangements.

Emma and Ian married at St Ignatius Catholic Church, Toowong.

Emma walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon In D.

Emma recalls “Fr Peter Quin the priest who married us at Saint Ignatius led the ceremony in such a warm and entertaining way.”

Emma loved “Looking out in the church at the faces of everyone who had taken the time to come and help us celebrate was something that meant a lot to us.”

Emma says, ‘In addition to our groomsmen and bridesmaids we had 4 flower girls and 3 page boys (all under the age of 7!) – all nieces and nephews. Needless to say there were some hilarious antics at the altar during the ceremony! Jess & Steve took great photos capturing these moments – priceless!”

Of their photographers, Emma recalls, “Steve & Jess from Jess Marks Photography. They were brilliant – so creative and relaxed. We did not even notice them there half the time. The best thing about Steve & Jess is they have a great sense of humour were able to take wonderful candid and relaxed photos that really captured the essence of the day. We do not like having our photo taken, and Jess & Steve really put us and our bridal party at ease. We had such a fun day, and the photos really reflect that. The were absolutely wonderful – their photos have brought tears to many eyes!”

Emma describes the day as “A wonderful day with family and friends that surpassed all of our expectations. Just perfect! ”

Emma and Ian celebrated with their guests at Era Bistro. Emma remarks “Era Bistro was our reception venue: fabulous food, fabulous service and great wine. Couldn’t ask for anything more!”

For the reception, Emma and her mum made, “Activity bags for the kids at the wedding. My mum and I handpicked material for each kid and made activity bags filled with colouring books, lollies and other goodies. They were an absolute hit!”

For their first dance, Emma remembers, “We danced to ‘Distant Sun’, a cover of the Crowded House song by Brooke Fraser.”

Congratulations Emma & Ian! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Jess Marks Photography for sharing today’s wedding with us!

Photographer: Jess Marks Photography / Bride's Dress: Kleinfeld Bridal / Bridesmaid Dresses: Anna Campbell / Hair & Makeup Artist: The Powder Room / Flowers & Decor: Kate Dawes Flower Design / Ceremony Venue: St Ignatius Catholic Church, Toowong / Reception Venue: Era Bistro, South Brisbane / Cake Baker: Vanilla Lily