There are few things more beautiful than two cultures coming together for one couple’s special day. This Milton Park Country House wedding is just that and so much more. It begins with a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, followed by garden nuptials filled with Irish blessings, and topped off by a reception boasting dragons and confetti surrounded by gorgeous muted pink, violet and green Absolutely Flowers florals. Milk & Honey Photography didn’t miss a single detail, so see it all blend perfectly in the full gallery!

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From the Bride… We met playing lawn bowls at Paddington Bowling Club for a friend’s birthday in 2007, having been placed on the same team by friends who thought we’d get on. They were right! We got engaged in Hong Kong in December 2010 and then travelled to Ireland to tell Conor’s family and spend Christmas with them. Our wedding was a classic summer’s garden wedding with a mix of Chinese and Irish traditions. It was held December 2011 at Milton Park Country House Hotel in Bowral. We had a Chinese tea ceremony at the Carriage House, wedding ceremony at the Tulip Lawn, drinks and canapes at the Pool House and reception at the Orangerie. The Carriage House was a really versatile additional venue with seven bedrooms, living and dining and a kitchen. All of the wedding party stayed there together for two nights, it was the perfect venue for the tea ceremony, symbolising the bride’s home with Conor’s family arriving to take her away for the wedding. It was also the scene of a late party after the wedding! The Tulip Lawn was the perfect setting for a garden wedding, especially as the sun came out just in time for the drinks & canapés. The Orangerie’s French provincial setting was also perfect for the event.

We had Vietnamese silk lanterns hanging in the garden which we had brought back from a holiday in Vietnam. Each table was named after places the groom’s family sail to in their summers spent in the village of Baltimore, in West Cork, Ireland, over the last 30 years. The groom’s mother read a traditional Irish blessing at the ceremony, the same blessing that her father had given at each of his six daughters’ weddings. Over one third of the wedding guests travelled from overseas. 26 of the Groom’s family travelled from Ireland, including his mother and father, five brothers and one sister, their partners and their 16 nieces and nephews. Only months before, Conor’s parents had celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with all of their family, including Conor and Karen, in Ireland.

With the morning of the wedding unseasonally cold, bridesmaid Jenny Pan sneaked tracksuits pants under her bridesmaid dress. No one noticed when she walked down the aisle. At the finale of the ceremony the groom’s five-year-old nephew, Conall Woods, stood in front of the guests and performed “Oh the places you’ll go” by Dr. Seuss to big cheers. Later, Conall performed with the band in his pyjamas, singing “Pricetag” by Jessie J! The bride and groom were led into the reception by a traditional Chinese Lion Dance, with lots of noise from large drums, cymbals and fire crackers. Traditionally the noise is to drive away evil spirits — this one was so loud it blew the bride’s uncle’s hearing aid and terrified all of the children!

Wedding Photography: Milk & Honey Photography / Wedding Venue: Milton Park Country House in Bowral, New South Wales / Floral Design: Absolutely Flowers / Wedding Planning: The Bride + Groom / Wedding Stationery: Michelle Demkiw, Graphic Designer + Bridesmaid / Ceremony Music: Clear Strings / Reception Music: Sydney Jazz Collective / Wedding Dress: Collette Dinnigan / Bride’s Qi Pao: Colour 18 / Bride’s Shoes: Handmade by Alan Chan in Hong Kong / Bride’s Bracelet: The Groom’s Grandmother / Bride’s Jade Ring: Her Grandmother / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Seduce / Flower Girls’ Dresses: Seed / Men’s Suits: Peppers Formal Wear / Groom’s Shoes: Paul Smith / Rings: Martin & Stein Antiques + Distell Jewellery