Amanda planned and executed a super-romantic proposal. The day started with a couples massage, followed by a sunset sail around Moreton Bay on a private yacht. The yacht was then docked at Manly boat harbor, where we enjoyed a lavish seafood dinner, champagne, and chocolates. As an evening thunderstorm cleared, we went up on deck with champagne. I could tell Amanda was nervous, and she kept reaching into her pocket for what I later found out was a ring.
Eventually, she dropped to one knee and proposed. We spent the night on the yacht before visiting both our families the next day to celebrate the engagement.
We were only engaged for nine months – we could not wait to make it official.
THE WEDDING PLANNING
We wanted a red and white theme for the wedding because when Amanda first bought me flowers, it was red roses and white oriental lilies. We chose that for our bouquets, and took styling cues from that. Amanda also associates red with passion, love, power, and fiery Italians, so it was a nod to her heritage too.
We wanted a simple wedding ceremony, and just a great party and celebration for the reception. It was all about creating a fun celebration that our guests would enjoy as much as we did.
We both went shopping for wedding outfits with our Mums. We kept our gowns secret from each other. We sent pictures to each other’s Mums to make sure our dresses wouldn’t clash, or even worse, look too much the same. We both found our perfect dresses on the first day that we went looking. The first time we saw each other’s dresses was when Amanda walked towards me down the aisle. It was magical.
THE WEDDING DAY
We spent the night before apart, at our parent’s houses. Both of us had our siblings (Vanessa’s two sisters and Amanda’s two brothers) as our bridesmaids and bridesmates, so it was a special family time for us to get ready with both of our families on the morning of the ceremony.
We both arrived at the venue in matching limousines, and the Victoria Park staff were great about making sure we didn’t see each other and hid us in different rooms until it was time to walk down the aisle.
Luckily it was a gorgeous day as we’d planned an outdoor ceremony.
We had all of our nieces and nephews as flower girls/paige boys, so everyone was involved. Seeing each other for the first time was amazing!
Both of us carried a sprig of rosemary in our bouquets in remembrance of those people who were no longer with us to join us on the day – our grandparents, Vanessa’s father and aunt. We also had pictures of family members who had passed away included in our decorations at the gift table – so we knew they were joining us in spirit. It was important for both of us to acknowledge absent family.
The ceremony was pretty short and sweet. We had written our own vows, a friend read an original poem, our celebrant told our story, we exchanged rings, signed the register, then we were wife and wife. Our guests enjoyed a gelato cart, drinks and canapés, and were entertained by our friends from the string quartet while we disappeared to have some photos taken, then it was straight into the party for the reception. We had a cocktail style reception, with a live band, lots of dancing, and just wanted to create a really fun party.
I think our guests had a great time – the DIY hangover kit wedding favors were certainly popular, so I think we achieved our goal!
It was an incredible day.
Our photographer Nicole Orlowski was amazing on the day. We’re both shy in front of a camera, but we had such a blast, and Nicole made us feel so comfortable while she was working with us, and we loved her photos of the day.
Our wedding stylist, Bebe’s Country Weddings, worked with the venue and created a beautiful space for both the ceremony and the reception.
Our celebrant Kate Fanton was also fantastic! She helped us to plan a ceremony full of love, happiness, humor, and significance. As soon as we met her, we knew we’d found our celebrant. She just had the most amazing energy, sense of humor and enthusiasm.
Photographer Nicole Orlowski Photography
Bridal Boutiques White Lily Couture, Casar Elegance
Cake Alicia Finegan
Catering Victoria Park
Celebrant Kate Fanton
Stylist Bebe’s Country Weddings
Entertainment Quartz Quartet, Trace Music
Gown Designers Rosa Clara, Stella York
Florist Your Somerset Florist
Food Cart Wheel & Spoon
H&MU The Powder Room, Charliez Hair and Beauty
Photo Booth In The Booth
Rings CTJ Jewellers
Transport Tic Tac Tours & Charters
Venue Victoria Park