Pinch me, am I dreaming? Today’s colorful whimsical wedding inspired by vintage French textiles and millineries has us at a loss for words. Poms and plumes are thoughtfully scattered throughout, as dreamy silk ribbons cascade the ceremony chuppah. You won’t believe how meaningful (and creative!) every detail is, and brace yourself… the bride did a lot of the handmade goods herself! #diyQUEEN Varina + Kade’s wedding will hold a special place in our heart forever and always, and you’ll wanna pour yourself a glass of bubbly while jazzy tunes croon in the background as you scroll through this unforgettable gallery. Leggo!
It’s no surprise that the inimitable Lara Hotz is behind the lens of this light-hearted day! She captures the playful spirit and heirloom details with gusto if we ever saw it.
A food specialist by day, hostess queen by night, the bride planned all the charming details herself! She even dreamt up a unique “spell ceremony” to incorporate a new wedding tradition with the old. Not your average unity, eh?
The fluffiest poms on these scrumptious heels from Sam Edelman.
What style and feel did you envision for your wedding?
We wanted it to be romantic, a little bit quirky with lots of vintage flair, covered in flowers, colourful and festive. Our plan was for it to be small and intimate and to be filled with good music, delicious food and lots of dancing. The feel for the ceremony was really intimate and romantic but we also wanted to ensure it was light hearted and fun so we combined special vows and traditional customs with a secret spell ceremony where we surprised friends and called them under the chuppah to cast spells over our relationship. It was really special to have close friends as such an integral part of the ceremony. Kade’s best man was our celebrant and my best man was our master of spells. We wanted the ceremony to be in a natural and beautiful setting. We were so excited when we discovered Audley Dance Hall in the National Park, we couldn’t have found a more magical spot so close to home.
Those wild + carefree blooms are courtesy of Alice Beasley, and we can’t stop saying “how sublime!”
What are some adjectives that best describe the look of your wedding?
Tactile, textured, whimsical, Frenchy, old-world, jazzy, feathery, soft, romantic, silky, velvety, intricate, delicate, glimmering, antique, heirloom.
Did you have a theme or color scheme?
The wedding was inspired by vintage French textiles, particularly antique ribbons and millinery. We drew colour inspiration from special pieces we collected from overseas. The colour palette ranged from rich royal blues through to pale french blues and deep raspberry pink through to a soft rose.
A true one-of-a-kind bridal look, her entire wedding day fashion was provided by Sydney-based Forever Vintage, whose collection includes styles from the 30’s all the way to the 80’s!
This pretty blue wedding invitation from Spoonful Publishing reminds us of a vintage circus, with loopy calligraphy from Lavender Lane Calligraphy that has our hearts a-flutter.
Her adorable dad is bringing us to tears!
Okay now we’re a puddle.
Varina’s sophisticated updo from Kristen Wells is the perfect complement to the bold makeup look from Sabrina Melei. That rich ruby lip color though!
The “spell ceremony” came complete with bespoke hats + ribbon wands. 10/10 would recommend.
What flowers were used for your bouquet and/or floral arrangements??
The brief for the flowers was soft, romantic, cascading blooms inspired by the Dutch masters paintings. Our florist couldn’t have been more talented and incorporated so many different flowers into the mix. These included delicate chocolate cosmos, Queen Anne’s lace, magnificent David Austen roses & gentle pink fuchsia. She also included pomegranates and grapes in the table arrangements. Each arrangement was different and it created the most magical table display.
Were there any DIY projects involved?
There were lots of handmade details that were a really special part of the wedding! I decided to make traditional polish wedding decorations called Pajaki (pah-yonk-ee) to hang over the dance floor. The tradition dates back to the 18th century. They symbolise health and happiness and are so festive that I couldn’t resist making them. They were a pretty big project that I worked on over many months. I made over 60 large pom poms by hand and punched paper rounds and cut coloured straw to construct the pajakis. These are traditionally made with tissue paper but I decided to make pom poms because they make me happy and are so luscious and textural. One pajaki now hangs over our dining room table as a lovely reminder of the wedding day, one lives at my parents place and one at a very special friends place.
I made corsages using vintage French millinery flowers for all the women in the family. I also made boutonniere from vintage french millinery feathers for all the men in the family. And since the wedding was part Jewish I made Kippahs in custom designs for the Jewish men in the wedding party.
I also made hundreds of smaller pom poms to tie the linen napkins at each place setting at the table!
My mum sewed some incredible pieces for the wedding including the dresses for our flower girls (my and Kade’s nieces) made from a beautiful vintage floral fabric with little blue birds and cherry blossoms. She also sewed the fabric for the chuppah. This was made from a remnant of an 18th century French quilt pieced together with modern french blue linen and cream silk panels.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
- Book in vendor’s early and then you are able to see what areas need your attention and steadily progress through them.
- If you want to do a lot yourself, leave ample time but be consistent in working on it because it’s not something that can be easily rushed last minute.
- Don’t be afraid to do things your way. Take advice from others but ultimately make your own decisions.
- Enjoy it! Make sure you take time to take it all in on the day. It goes quickly so be sure to pause and relish in it.
We love the way this whimsical cake from Gillian Bell sits upon a pallet of fresh fruit (and drips with it too!)
Kade’s snazzy blue suit from G.A Zink and Sons is pretty darn perfect.
There’s that custom flower girl dress with french blue tulle + a patterned bodice!
What songs did you play at your wedding?
We knew we had to have a Jazz band at the wedding. We selected a local band that nailed the brief and played many of our favourite songs. We also had a fabulous DJ who played classic old-school tunes which went down really well with all our guests.
Processional: At Last by Etta James
Recessional: Low Life by Donald Byrd
First Dance: Guajira en F by The Buena Vista Social Club
Second dress goals! Okay now go pin everything because it’s just too perfect not to share. We’ll be doing the same!
And if you’re still aching for more, check out the video from The Flo Show below!
Photography: Lara Hotz
Videography: The Flo Show
Styling and Creative Direction: Varina at Bligh St. Bistro
Floral Design: Alice Beasley
Venue: Audley Dance Hall
Wedding Dresses, Reception Earrings and Feather Fascinator: Forever Vintage
Bridal Nightgown: Sarafina Dreams
Hair Stylist: Kristen Wells
Makeup Artist: Sabrina Melei
Earrings: Antique French aquamarines
Tiara: Vintage French wax flower tiara
Bride’s Shoes: Sam Edelman
Groom’s Suit: G.A Zink and Sons
Groom Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Kippahs: Kippah Co.
Wedding Cake: Gillian Bell
Band: The Pocket Trio
DJ: The Vintage Stylus
Dance Lessons: Aric at Move Dance Studios
Chuppah Hire: Reso & Co.
Linen Napkins: LinenBuy Etsy
Candles: The Bay Tree
Candlesticks: Personal collection of vintage cut glass and cranberry glass
Ribbons: Feathers and stone NZ, Linen Lark, Sonnets of Silk, Warm and Wild, A Ribbons Nest
Invitation & Graphics: Spoonful Publishing
Calligraphy: Lavender Lane Calligraphy