Sydney, Australia Wedding from Leah Kua
May 13, 2013
New South Wales
DIY InspiredClassic WeddingsEatery
Crafty brides are the best, don't you think?  I mean, not only are they some of the most creative ladies you'll ever meet, every last detail is a serious labor of love and chock-full of personality.  Take for example this beautiful Mrs., who (with the help of her dapper groom) tackled one pretty little detail after another, right down to her jewelry.  Which makes perfect sense, since she also happens to be the oh-so-chic owner of Rue Colbert, a fab stationery boutique.  Now that's what we call one talented lady.  See every last beautiful moment captured by Leah Kua in the full gallery.
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From the Bride... Adrian and I met 7 years ago, when I jumped into his car for a road trip to the snow. A mutual friend of ours decided to celebrate her birthday on the ski fields. Rest assured, she said, there was another non-skier (a fellow non-sport enthusiast) coming as well, so we could pair up and go and hang out at wineries and galleries while the rest of the group spent their days on the slopes. Perfect. So after a few emails full of bantering and some confusion about me wanting to play around with my SLR (I meant single lens reflex, he thought self loading rifle), I told him that driving six hours at night alone was not the best idea and I'll drive down with him. So the first time we met was six hours together in the car.

We moved to Hong Kong early last year, so flying back to our home town, Sydney to get married in front of everyone we love was just the most amazingly special thing we could ever do. It was fantastic to have the sounds of our friends and families laughter and the Sydney harbour bridge as our backdrop at the Wharf Restaurant on Pier 2. We wanted a city venue that had charm and character along with fabulous food and wine and this venue ticked all the boxes and more.

I’m sentimental in a big big way so the absolute cornerstone of our wedding planning was that every little detail represented us. Everything was part of a story from our past, our present and our future. Adrian and I come from different cultural backgrounds so it was important for us to blend the traditions and stories from each of our cultures in our wedding. We surprised our guests with Chinese Lion Dancers and drummers announcing our entry to the reception and performing for everyone. Our guests really embraced the traditional Yum Seng toast where the bride and groom go to each table and scream “Yum Seng”. It’s a completion between tables on who can be the loudest and hold it the longest so you can imagine how that went. To help guests understand about the various traditions, we designed a sixteen page zine as our wedding program that went from the ceremony to the reception. The guests loved it!

We had a table with photographs of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents on their wedding days, paying respect to them and the amazing lives and opportunities they each have given us. The families that weren’t there on the day were all represented in one way or another. My grandfather was a keen gardener and adored camellias so the boys all wore fabric camellias and our hymn was his favourite song, Amazing Grace.

I’m pretty creative/handy and own a bespoke stationery and supply store, Rue Colbert, so with the exception of clothing, we handmade literally everything. From the groomsman cufflinks, ties, favours, the bridesmaids shoeclips and jewelery, the stationery, bunting, seating plan, table decorations, flower girl’s fabric bouquet, the list really does go on! While making everything yourself is unbelievably time consuming because everything takes longer than you think it will, it’s all worthwhile. We loved the time we shared together wax sealing our invitations or making things. We are now proud masters of the two person production line.

For the boys favours we gave out decks of playing cards wrapped with our favourite quote “Love and magic have a great deal in common: they enrich the soul, delight the heart and they both take practice.” Inside the wrap, Adrian had written different simple card tricks for guests to learn at the tables. For the girls, I made vanilla scented soy candles. My great grandmother always had a crystal set on her dresser, which I adored, so we used the crystal theme through the wedding by collecting different shape and size crystal vases for the tables and handpoured the soy candles into crystal bowls that we collected from opportunity shops for the tables. Our tables were named after places that we have visited. Using iron-on transfer paper we printed the tables and guests names onto fabric and then displayed them on fence pailings in embroidery hoops. Our canapés playlist was made into CD’s for guests called “six ten twelve, the totes best mixtape you’ll ever own.”

We printed our place cards onto paper doilies and made telegrams for people to type a message for our guestbook. We also had a vintage gumball machine to represent how Adrian proposed. By far the highlight of the night though was when at the end of Adrian’s speech, he decided it was time to finally let me hear him sing. For years I have expressed my confusion on why I have never heard my husband sing. Not a note, not a hum. Nothing. Not in the shower, nor on road trips, not even in the kitchen while cooking. Nowhere, never. So at the end of his speech, he surprised me with his first [and probably last] public singing performance. He did choose to sing Ronan Keating’s 'When You Say Nothing At All' though, so I guess, noted. It was also the moment that almost every guest in the entire room burst into laughter, teared up or pulled out their iphone to record the moment for prosperity.

All of the suppliers we worked with were amazing but the best decision we made was asking Leah Kua to be our photographer. We do not have words to adequately express just how amazing she is. Leah’s images are ethereal. They evoke romance and beauty in a way that is relaxed, modern and accessible. More than that though, Leah is a pleasure to be with. We simply could not gush about her enough.


Wedding Photography: Leah Kua | Ceremony Venue: St Philip's, York Street Anglican | Reception Venue: Wharf Restaurant @ Pier2 | Floral Design: Red Fragrance Floral Design | Wedding Cake: Thea Cubis  | Cake Stand: Global Sugar Art | Invitations: Rue Colbert (The Bride) +  Letterpress Printing via Iprintnet, Hong Kong | Save the Dates: Telegram Stop | Dress: Jean Fox Bridal | Bridemaid Dresses: Chaiselle | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Shoes: Custom by Vicki's Shoes, Hong Kong | Wedding Bands: Custom Made by Michael Wong of PJ Premier, Hong Kong