Shimona + Sean by Time With Alex

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

We like to think that we’ve both grown up and matured together and so have almost too much in common and a heap of shared experiences to look back on. We’re big outdoors people – we love getting out into nature, exploring the wilderness and travelling to new places.

Food is a big part of our lives; it’s one of our top love languages and cooking together is a big treat. We’re also avid readers; mostly fantasy and sci-fi stuff. Sean’s into gaming and Shimona loves a bit of arts and crafts – a skill that helped us DIY a couple of things for our wedding. We work in different fields – Sean in banking and Shimona in healthcare, but we love learning from each other and sharing our experiences with one another.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

We met almost eleven years ago on an overseas study tour in Taiwan. Both our mothers are Taiwanese and the government runs a programs for children of expatriates to come and learn about our culture and language. Over six weeks, we got to know each other in a really unique way but at the end of it we went home to separate cities – Sean in Brisbane and Shimona in Melbourne. We spent the next six years doing long distance, until Sean moved down to Melbourne and we’ve been inseparable since!

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

It’s hard to pin point a specific time, but moving in together was a big step having been long-distance for so long, and everything felt so perfect when we were together that that’s when everything probably started to feel real.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

We went back to Taiwan recently at the start of 2020 (just before COVID – phew!) and we spent an entire day doing all the things we had done we first went. We went to the place we had our first official date and toured around the university dormitory where we lived, and Sean proposed on the steps where we first met. The only person around was an old security guard who helped us take an awkward photo afterwards – it was perfect!

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

No real style or theme for the day, just lots of love and celebrating our relationship!

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Our wedding venue was one of our most important (and hardest) decisions! We wanted something that would be able to set a romantic and intimate tone for the whole day and just when we were about to give up we found our perfect venue at Montsalvat. It has an old time charm, combined with some beautiful gardens and greenery that we fell in love with.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

Surprisingly, everything ran super smoothly! To the point where the biggest issue of the day is that we were running too early ahead of our schedule. Also thinking back on the day, we were both super anxious about our first dance and almost didn’t have the nerve to actually perform it, but we’re both extremely grateful that we did as it turned out so much better than we expected.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

Sean’s suit was custom from Insitchu, but the most unique thing about his outfit was probably the silver match box that he wore with it. It’s was a gift from his Aunt who unfortunately couldn’t be with us on the day and is an heirloom piece that belonged to his great-grandfather. Shimona spent weeks trying on dresses but couldn’t find something that ticked all the boxes. We eventually found Holly Butler who specialises in custom gowns and she helped us design and create a truly unique dress, with a matching veil too!

Ceremony + Reception location: Montsalvat | Videographer: The New Old Weddings | Photographer: Time With Alex | Celebrant: Celebrant Kate | Entertainment: Mercury DJ Hire , Four Seasons String Quartet | Flora: Flower Head Events | Cake: Torte by Mirjana | Brides Attire: Holly Butler | Grooms Attire: Institchu | Makeup: Stellatu | Hair: Bridal Hair by JuJu