Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…
We were born a day apart – Lisa in Sydney and I was born in Singapore. Somehow, we found each other 24 years later on a Tag-Rugby field in Sydney.
But it wasn’t until a year later that sparks started flying. It took a few dates, a camping trip and our 25th birthdays before we became item. If opposites attract, Lisa and I are probably the proof. But for all our differences, a passion for travel is something we share. Whether it’s within Australia or further abroad, we have loved exploring and discovering new experiences together since day one. We moved to London in 2015 and travelled much of Europe before I proposed on New York’s Highline on a cold November morning in 2016. At the end of 2017 the stars aligned for a return to Australia and we started to plan our big day.
Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…
I think our travels instilled a subconscious appetite for something a little different and iconic. Being Sydney-siders, we naturally turned to the harbour, but the cookie cutter packages offered by most venues left us wanting. “Why Canberra?” is a question I suspect we will have to deal with for many years to come. I’ve been dragging Lisa to Canberra for years to watch my Raiders fall short. In spite of this, we’ve both grown fond of an ever-evolving city and her burgeoning food and drink culture. And if there’s one thing Canberra is not short on, it’s iconic venues. We eventually settled on the National Museum of Australia for our ceremony and Old Parliament House for our reception. The National Arboretum and the National Gallery also provided some stunning locations for photos.
We were quite hands-on with the design and creative direction. Everything from websites and invitations to seating charts and bonbonniere grew organically from a colour palette chosen to complement autumnal Canberra. We also played off the history and sophistication that inherently comes with Old Parliament House. A low-key tea ceremony involving both our families kicked off our reception to acknowledge my Chinese heritage and from there, a laidback but fun party atmosphere ensued, fuelled by an amazing band and some delicious food and drink. Most important to us was that our guests had a great time, especially given none of them hail from Canberra. We were incredibly grateful and humbled by the turn out, with friends and family travelling from the UK, Denmark, Malaysia and Singapore, let alone those that had made the trip across from Perth, up from Melbourne and down from Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle.
Tell us about your main outfits:
Lisa kept her dress a secret until the moment she walked down the aisle. She has since shared with me, that she’d known exactly what she wanted for a long time. Understated, elegant and effortless, the silk gown was perfect, and the added suspense of me not knowing left me speechless when she finally appeared. There was also a little added complexity for Lisa who slipped seamlessly into a beautiful, traditional Chinese silk cheongsam for the tea ceremony at the start of our reception. My outfit choice was driven by our reception venue. The moment Old Parliament House was locked-in, I knew it had to be a Black-Tie Tuxedo. From there, it became the search for the tux with the best fit and I was lucky enough to find a one with silk lapel detailing that fit like a glove straight off the rack.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
There’s not really one memory that stands out from the rest. The cliché of the day flying by rings true. It all seems to melt together into one amazing memory. Our family and friends, the unseasonably perfect weather, the speeches, the food, all of our amazing vendors – it was as close to perfect as we could hope. We only wish it could have gone on for longer!
The cornerstone of our relationship is communication. Just be honest and open with each other. Trust us when we say, if you can get through planning a wedding together you’re probably going to be just fine! To that point, make sure you take some time to enjoy your big day together – it will be over before you know it!
Photographer: Anton Kross Across the Forest | Ceremony location: National Museum of Australia, Canberra | Reception location & catering: Old Parliament House, Canberra | Celebrant: Nathan, Mr Celebrant | Flora & Styling: Fionna from Peony & Pearl | Music: Ceremony – Ajay Philip / Reception – Baker Boys | Bride’s dress: Hope X Page | Groom’s attire: Hugo Boss | Rings: Mirai Jewellery | Bride’s shoes: Senso | Groom’s shoes; Paul Smith | Makeup: Jacqui Scott | Hair: Billie & Co