Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:
Chris and I met by a very weird chance at the gym. No, he was not a personal trainer, and nor was I a regular gym attendee. Both of us thought the other was giving them special attention because a) he assumed I wanted a discounted membership or b) I assumed he was sweet-talking me into signing up like most other gym salesmen!
It quickly turned out that none of this was true and it was literally down to sparks flying, and that ‘zing’ feeling still lasting to this day (9 years later and counting!).
We both met in Brisbane where I grew up my entire life, and Chris is originally from South Africa. We made the bold choice to move to London almost four years ago and have never looked back. We travelled Europe for six weeks before ‘settling’ into what I describe as the ‘most un-settlable city’ purely due to the constant calendar invites to events, openings, screenings, and parties in London to go to.
Pre-COVID-19 we would spend long weekends abroad tasting new cuisines, experiencing a different lifestyle, and basking in each other’s company. We are now proud parents to a little Golden Retriever x Cocker Spaniel called Nellie, and she’s changed our lives for the better already. As cliché as it sounds, we really are yin and yang. I’m very much the extrovert and love material things and Chris very much avoids being centre of attention and is fantastic in saving for our future (something I have been successfully working on, thanks to him). Although we’re different in our social approaches and taste, we’re the same level of goofiness and playfulness. We’re quintessential dorks at heart and I can easily be my natural self and know I am not only accepted but loved, and vice versa.
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:
Planning for our big day was a bit crazy in all honesty. Living on the opposite side of the world really does affect how you plan your wedding and all the emotions that come with it. We never got to see our venue in real life until a week prior to the day or experience the wedding food and wine tastings – which we would have loved. But it meant our parents had more of a hands-on approach to our wedding which meant the world to us that they dedicated so much of their time and energy to ensuring we had all the right information and feedback when making our decisions – there were lots of video calls! Our special day was truly us.
It was pared-back, relaxed, chic, and timeless – and our setting was a beautiful homage to our former home of Brisbane, with the Story Bridge and Brisbane River as the ultimate background for our wedding. It was the perfect number of 70 guests and it meant that all our close friends and family were there so we were able to speak to all of them at some point during the evening.
The venue itself was everything I had hoped for. The Bougainvillea House is the last house in the Howard Smith Wharves precinct and sits atop a grassy knoll, overlooking the river. It was everything I loved about Queensland-styled homes with the white accents, sage green printed tiles, floor to ceiling glass bi-fold doors that allowed our guests to look over the twinkling river in the evening. Oscar, our musician, was a dream and played looped covers of our favourite songs and artists. The florals and menus were my favourite details of the wedding. A friend of mine, Maddy, had recently moved to Melbourne and started her craft in floristry. She has an exquisite eye and I knew I could trust her with my florals. She over-delivered in expectation and the colour scheme we worked on was the perfect compliment to my menus, seating cards, and invitations.
Tell us about your main outfits:
It was about 3 months after our engagement that I flew back to Brisbane alone for my best friend (and Maid of Honour’s) wedding. I had tried on limited dresses and was very much an advocate on trying on all styles to determine what works best for me. Sarah from Sphere Collective was always my number one when it came to boutiques to visit. She has the most comprehensive range of bridal designers and I just love her approach -effortless, yet so helpful in that she doesn’t force anything on you and her feedback is genuine. I instantly fell head over heels for the Gigi dress by the talented Megan from Marquise Bridal.
My parents had previously cried at another dress, but this was the one that made me feel the most exquisite and more like me. Chris was a little bit more tricky. He’s not a fan of suits and I wanted something a little bit more fancy than his usual navy suit which he’d worn before at many weddings. We requested a private shopper for him at Selfridges and I went completely mute, letting the experts do their work on him. They were incredible and gave Chris the confidence and kudos to rock that tuxedo on the day. It was tailored to perfection and on the day he looked so handsome and suave, it was absolutely unforgettable.
What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?
Riding in the back of the golf buggy with my dad to the ceremony and taking selfies of the two of us on my phone. My dad is one of my biggest supporters and it meant so much to me to see how proud and ecstatic (and emotional) he was pre, during, and post the wedding. It was a really special moment just the two of us but also quite light-hearted.
The next was walking down the aisle and seeing Chris emotional and teary. This is something quite rare and it made me swell up as well. Our vows were a secret to both of us and we spoke about the 10 things we loved most about each other which included silly quips and anecdotes.
Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?
A wedding is super exciting, but can also be very stressful. Remind yourself who you are doing this for (yourselves) but also a smidgen of it is for your parents, especially if they are contributing to the costs. Don’t sweat the small things, no one will notice but you. As much as you hear this, enjoy the day! It seriously flies by and the best advice we received was to go off, just the two of you, catch up and take it in – it really is special.
Photography: Ivy Road Photography | Ceremony and Reception location: Howard Smith Wharves, Bougainvillea House | Celebrant: Emily Celebrant | Bride’s gown: Marquise Bridal purchased from Sphere Collective | Groom’s suit: Zegna Tuxedo | Bride’s ring: Custom by Louise Jean | Hair Piece: Kela Charms | Makeup: Mecca Maxima | Hair: Cat Wyman | Bride’s Fragrance: Byredo | Groom’s Fragrance: Armarni | Bridesmaid’s attire: Bec and Bridge | Entertainment: Oscar Richardson of McGee Entertainment | Planner: Brittany from Howard Smith Wharves | Flora: Maddy Miller | Catering and Beverages: Howard Smith Wharves