The second I heard “red lace wedding dress,” I was sold. Mike and Mel’s wedding day is one that doesn’t disappoint, from the flowers to the fashion to the styling by Owl + Pussycat Events. We have no doubt this wedding shot by Brittany Esther is one we’ll be returning to time after time for inspiration, so let’s dive right into the goodness:
From the bride, Mel: We wanted something that reflected who we are and what we value, taking advantage of the wedding as an opportunity to share these with our most special people. We were very conscious from the beginning about choosing wedding traditions/customs that had meaning for us and ignoring those that didn’t. Having said this, there were some traditions that we weren’t fussed about that were very important to our immediate family, so where this importance was worth more than our aversion, we went with the former – for instance having a single wedding ceremony where we toyed with the idea of doing this on our own or having two (given our different countries of origin).
Flower recipe: All Australian natives. The yellow flowers in my bouquet are called Billy Buttons, with a few succulents thrown in too. All of the bridesladies/man and groomsladies held a King Protea. Table arrangements were a combinations of small versions of these and banksias.
In terms of aesthetic, we really wanted it to be colourful and fun, because this is how we try to keep our home and lives. A few throwbacks to cultures that have influenced us or been a big part of our journey thus far – Spanish/Mexican colour schemes, Indian food – snuck in there to reflect our story thus far. Mostly we wanted to honour the efforts of the guests whom – all bar five – travelled to Sydney for the wedding, many from Canada and the US. We wanted them to be comfortable, entertained and satiated by quality food, drinks, sights and music. Our colour scheme was originally inspired by a business card by a Mexican popsicle company in Perth called La Paleta – turquoise, yellow, red, orange, green. When discussing ideas with our stylists, Owl and Pussycat, they mentioned the idea of Mexican wedding flags, which we loved. Our dressmaker, Priera at Skankihoo Designs, also loved the Mexican idea and used this as inspiration for my dress design. In choosing colours of bridesmaids dresses we actually really liked the colour combination of a bunch of candles on our coffee table – that became the palette (for all bar the Bridesman’s watermelon shirt).
The only DIYs were our wedding favours – we screenprinted ‘Mike and Mel Got Married’ with the date and moose/koala logo that my friend Karen from When Adam Met Eve designed for our invitations. I decided to make my own wedding cake, which in the days before the wedding was very much a collaborative effort by some other members of the bridal party, my brother in law and brother’s girlfriend – I love to bake and it was lovely to have made this ourselves; the three days of baking trials in the month prior was also a sweet way to spend time baking and eating cake with friends for a justifiable purpose! Also my brothers played guitar/bass/trumpet for the processional… does that count as DIY?
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Get your invitations out early, especially if you have people travelling. Accommodation might feel like a nightmare, but having our bridal party all staying together in the same house made for such an awesome time before and after the wedding. Get ready together! We had a really special morning hanging out together, finishing the cake, writing vows and speeches, cooking breakfast and generally chilling. Somehow Brittany, our photographer, managed to capture the quiet and reflective moments of individuals on the day, because it seemed a lot busier and noisier than her photos suggest… she is SO amazing!
Our processional was “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” The Beatles, which my brothers played on acoustic guitar, acoustic bass and trumpet (with one brother singing). This is a song that my dad and I used to play together on the keyboard when I was a kid, so when Mike suggested that the processional be a song that was special for me and Dad rather than me and Mike, this was the automatic choice. It was so joyful and fun, and such a coincidence that the lyrics are about a couple meeting and getting married and such.
Recessional: “Do I Do,” Stevie Wonder
First Dance: “Pencil Full of Lead,” Paolo Nutini
We also had The Mimosa Duo play during our entrance to the reception centre and throughout the beginning of the reception including dinner. They are a gypsy jazz duo playing guitar and violin/fiddle. They were incredible and brought such life to the evening.
From the event designer, Jess of Owl + Pussycat Events: The Brief for Mike + Mel’s wedding was a warm, fun, colourful and ‘non-traditional’ wedding day. We first me with Mike who told us a little about the couple – Mike was Canadian with a South African Heritage, Mel was Australian with an Indian Heritage. They had lived in and travelled many parts of the world, they loved books and board games… The design for Mike + Mel was inspired by their connection to all corners of the globe. The colour palette was based around a bundle of candles that sat on their coffee table, and was reflected not only in the Bridal Party attire, but throughout Spanish inspired fabrics that we layered throughout the venue. Custom Mexican Wedding Flags were inspired from their time together in Mexico which greeted guests and transformed the venue from a boat club, to a place of celebration.
Wedding Location: Watsons Bay, NSW, Australia / Photographer: Brittany Esther / Event Design, Planning, and Floral Design: Owl + Pussycat Events / Ceremony Venue: Rosman Ferry in the harbor / Reception Venue: Vaucluse Yacht Club / Wedding Dress: Custom dress from Skankihoo Designs in Fremantle / Bride’s Ring: Novocentro Antique Jewellers, Barcelona, Spain / Hair and Makeup: Bella Vita in Sydney / Groom’s Shirt: Indochino / Groom’s Pants: Country Road / Caterer: Nigrilis Restaurant / Wedding Cake: Bride and decorated by friends, an Orange Semolina Cake recipe from ‘Jerusalem’ by Yotam Ottalenghi, citrus marscapone icing / Band: Mimosa Duo / Celebrant and Wedding Invitations: Karen Tai of When Adam Met Eve