Sammi + John by Liz Barnes

Tell us how you met each other?

John and I met 10 years ago at a mutual friend’s house. At the time, I thought John looked like such a bad boy with his shaved head, but he turned out to be a darling.

Following that meeting, we talked on MSN every day (msn… shows our age!). After a session at the bowling alley and a few cafe dates, our relationship was official! 

Tell us about the proposal?

In January 2019, in a small town called Petite Venice in Colmar (North-East France), on a small stone bridge surrounded by colourful wooden houses, John asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. We were engaged! Moments after the proposal, it started to snow heavily. This was the first time it had snowed in three weeks in Europe. It was a magical moment! 

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

John and I share many interests including exploring the world together, spending quality time with others, always growing individually and together as a couple. We are best friends and grow closer every day. However, what really binds us together is our love for our families; both our own and now our combined extended families. I love that John is completely authentic. He is always there for his family and friends, caring, generous, and an exceptional people person. John’s love for his family and friends is limitless and there is nothing he wouldn’t do for them. John also has a “reasonably good sense of humour” and is intelligent with a strong drive to learn and grow as a person. However, there is an exception. He is a terrible learner of Cantonese! We love who we are when we are together. We enjoy each other’s company and love spending every moment together. We both love the way we view our relationship, completely as a team and with continual ideas for improving individually and together as a couple. 

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…

We wanted our wedding to be a special day celebrating our love with the closest people in our lives. We wanted something simple yet sophisticated and elegant. We chose Zonzo because of the beautiful grounds and their amazing food. We wanted the day to be in=mate for people, so we chose shared platters and to sit with our guests at the tables. John and I wanted to keep the wedding as personal as possible, so we opted to ‘DIY’ most of the details, including the signs, bonbonniere, name cards, invitations and table settings. It just made it extra special. For our bonbonniere, we made beeswax wraps and a donation to an orphanage for disabled children in Peru. Music is something that means a lot to us, so we had the beautiful singer/harpist Claire Pat for our ceremony. During our first dance, we had John’s sister Nete and her partner Patrick play for us on the flute and piano. They are an amazing flute and piano duo who perform at weddings regularly. Our wedding day was so special and memorable. We loved seeing our family and friends and celebrating our love with them. Everything was perfect! 

Tell us about your main outfits:

I wore a beautiful gown by Lazaro Bridal for the ceremony. This was actually something I found off the racks at a sample sale at Eternal Bridal on a girls’ trip to Sydney. We didn’t make a booking but just walked past and thought why not. The sales assistant let me try it on and I instantly fell in love with the dress. It was just meant to be. I kept my accessories minimal with some diamond stud earrings and a son tulle veil. For the evening, I changed into a simple timeless silk dress. John wore a black tuxedo with a black bow tie, ivory pocket square and funky rainbow socks. Dapper and debonair. 

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

Communication is key. Never sleep on an argument. Always make time for each other – whether it’s organising a special date night or just simply having a conversation after a long day at work without any distractions. Appreciate each other, learn and grow together! 

Photography: @lizbarnesphoto | Ceremony and Reception location: @zonzoestate | Celebrant: @luckyjan54 | Bridal attire: @lazarobridal and @fameandpartners | Rings: @rodvalenzjeweller | Shoes: @nicholaskirkwood | Jewellery: @bulgari and @etsy | Makeup: @velvetthi and @kert_locker | Hair: @hairbynikolettaa and @kert_locker | Fragrance: @lelabofragrances | Bridesmaid’s attire: @borntobechic, @billy_j_boutique, @nastygal, @lovisajewellery, @therapyshoes and @windsorsmith | Entertainment: @organic.sound | Flora: @floral_architecture | Catering and Beverages: @zonzoestate | Cake: @yvettealexandracakes