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From the Bride…We met in July 2005 in a small ancient town called Lagos in Portugal. Darren was nearing the end of a 2 year working holiday in London and I was traveling Europe for 4 months. Darren had originally planned to have left Lagos to travel further through Portugal and Spain, but by chance had extended his stay as he loved the city so much. Otherwise we may never have met. There was an instant connection between us. We exchanged numbers and met up again during our travels in Munich and then in London. When we returned to Australia, we embarked upon a 14 month long distance relationship, Darren in Sydney and me in Melbourne while I completed my studies and secured a transfer to Sydney with work.

Our wedding day was a truly amazing day; a celebration of our good fortune in finding one another to care for, and shared with our most loyal and loving family, friends and supporters. Our wedding was full of personal touches which we had a lot of fun putting together – me as the designer and inspiration and Darren as the builder and project manager!!

Some projects include…We bought a vintage bicycle and restored it for a feature at the entrance of our ceremony and the reception. We found some vintage movie theatre chairs and constructed a red velvet curtain backdrop for use as a photo booth. I also collected dozens of props and dress ups for people to have fun with at the photo booth. The groom hand carved our initials D and V underneath the movie chairs. I collected vintage silver and milk glass platters and stands from all over the world for the dessert buffet. The groom and his family also made all the desserts served at the dessert buffet (except the cake). We also restored some old sewing cabinet draws which were used on the dessert buffet and to hold the wishing cards our guests use to leave us messages. All the vases and jars at the ceremony I had accumulated over the 12 months before the wedding, together with the lanterns, bird cage and vintage signing table. The lanterns and small umbrellas adorning the roof of the reception were specially shipped from the US as they couldn’t be sourced in Australia. I hand made all of the chalkboard signage and framed them with decorative vintage picture frames I collected. I also designed the wedding invitations and guest maps and sourced a graphic designer to create them.

Our reception venue at Nielsen Park was a perfect choice for us. They were very accommodating and friendly when we were planning the wedding. On the night the staff were professional and helpful and the atmosphere relaxed and understated. The view over-looking the harbour and the gorgeous national park gardens was a perfect backdrop for our many interstate guests who had never seen that side of Sydney.

Our photographers were excellent. They knew both the ceremony and reception venues well and where to get pictures at the best times of the day for light and shadows. They were also great at making sure we made the most of our photo time. There are some special moments captured from the wedding where we didn’t even realize the photographers were there. We are incredibly pleased with our photos, as are our families, and have loved reliving the memories from our special day.

A special note to my make-up artist Elissa Walker of Silver Lilli. Elissa and I went to high school together and shared a locker at school and performed in music dance concerts together. A couple of days before the wedding I developed dermatitis around my eyes. Elissa was fantastic in the lead up to the wedding, advising me on how to treat my skin to ensure it was at its best for the wedding day and then on the actual wedding day did an incredible job covering the dermatitis and not aggravating my sensitive skin. The make-up was natural and beautifully tailored to each of the bridal party. Elissa is a true professional and a gifted artist with a gentle manner which puts you at ease immediately.

All the planning came together on the day and looked exactly as we had pictured it; but it was the enormous amount of love and support we felt from our family and friends that made the day exceed our expectations. The little things that didn’t go as expected (such, the grooms button hole breaking as soon as he put it on) were overcome and soon forgotten.

Wedding Photography: Follan Photography / Ceremony Venue: Green Point Reserve, Watsons Bay / Reception Venue: Nielsen Park Beach House / Wedding Dress: Pronovias / Bride’s Shoes: Zu / Jewels: Jenny Packham / Make-up + Hair: Elissa Walker for Silver Lilli / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung via Bridesmaids Only / Groom + Groomsmen Suits: Roger David / Flowers: Abracadabra Magical Flowers / Cake: Scrumptious / Entertainment: Hard Rockin Amigos / Stationery: Etsy