Kiara & Erhan by Free the Bird

The beautiful wedding of Kiara & Erhan as featured in Issue 15 …

Kiara — I’m a Melbourne event stylist and graphic designer who loves design, typography, florals, fashion and homeware. My husband Erhan is an IT consultant…

He loves cars, planes, comics and quirky things, is a geek at heart and collects vintage tins. He’s also crazy about Formula 1 racing and is an Apple freak. We both enjoy music, travelling and good food. We could eat gnocchi every day of the week!

We injected elements of our personalities into our wedding, including our love of music and the joining of our two cultures – Italian and Turkish. Our celebration was about bringing together all the special people in our lives to share a day full of love, laugher and tradition.

There was Turkish music playing from the moment Erhan woke up right through to the dance floor in the evening. Our bomboniere was a little box of five sugared almonds representing fertility, longevity, happiness, health and wealth, plus an evil eye — a Turkish lucky charm known to bring positivity and good vibes.

We included a modern take on the Italian tradition of cutting the ribbon at the ceremony, and for our final dance we were wrapped up in ribbon by our family and friends. I knew I’d never find a dress off the rack, but I did the obligatory bridal-store-try-on thing, first with my mum and then my bridal party and mother-in-law.

I hated every dress I tried on! Although I was worried about going down the couture-gown path – the thought of not knowing what it would look like and how much it would cost scared me – I knew it was the only way I’d be truly happy and get the dress of my dreams. I checked out a few designers before I made an appointment at Annette of Melbourne Couture. Rose, the head designer, was amazing. She just got me!

Erhan had no idea that I had a surprise in store for him with my wedding dress. When we were having our photos taken in the attic at Montsalvat and practising our wedding dance, he said, “OMG, how are we meant to dance with this dress?!” Little did he know that I was going to be cutting myself out of it at the reception to reveal a slim dress that would be easy to dance in. Erhan’s reaction when he saw me in a second dress was priceless. His jaw dropped and he nearly spilt his drink! It was like he was seeing me for the first time all over again. Being married feels complete — we feel whole and most of all happy.

Photography: Jai Long at Free the Bird Groom’s jacket: Hugo Boss  Groom’s pants, belt, bow tie and shoes: Sam & Ko Bride’s gown: Annette of Melbourne Groom’s shirt: Eton Flora: Hattie Hair: Daniel Sculli Makeup: Dani Fischer Ceremony venue: Montsalvat  Reception venue: Quat Quatta  Matron of honour’s dress: Scanlan Theodore hired from Something Borrowed  Maid of honour’s outfit: Zimmermann pants & Forever New top Bridesmaid’s pantsuit: Forever New Rings: Canturi Matron of honour’s shoes: Tony Bianco  Maid of honour and bridesmaid’s shoes: Country Road Styling, planning & stationery concept & design: KO Styling Glass Votives: The Hire Co Chairs: Amica Event Hire   Pinch Pots: Daisy Cooper Bride’s Fragrance: Van Cleef & Arpels Orchidee Vanille  Groom’s Fragrance: Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille