HOW WE MET: We actually knew each other from way back, and had met seven or so years ago. We carried on running into each other through mutual friends. It was almost four years ago that we decided to meet up for a coffee for the first time, and my car broke down on the way! Despite those odds Fady was determined to meet up that day, bringing takeaway coffee and sushi to wait for three hours with me until the tow truck arrived. We made each other laugh all afternoon. The rest is history!
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: We were both pretty cut we didn’t get to see Sigur Ros when they came to Brisbane last year. Fady fooled me into thinking I was tagging along with him on a business trip to Adelaide, and after we had explored the city we got all dressed up for dinner - I thought we were just going out to a restaurant. He surprised me with Sigur Ros tickets, gave me the most amazing ring I had ever seen and said, ‘how ‘bout it?’ We went to a swanky restaruant, watched Sigur Ros play in a beautiful old theatre with a symphony and finished the night eating subway cookies and watching Family Guy. It was seriously perfect.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: Two lives merging into one, a new sense of identity. There is a real selflessness in marriage that has given us a different perspective on life; it’s a commitment to one person before all others. We truly are best friends. Our marriage symbolises the creation of that new identity – still being our unique selves, but also unique in our identity together.
WEDDING LOCATION: Our ceremony took place in the humble brick walls of the gorgeous St. Martin’s Anglican Church in Mullumbimby. We were spoilt for choice of ceremony locations in the beautiful Byron Shire, but felt that it would be significant for us to make our vows in a church building as a symbol of the personal faith that grounds us. While there were many non-traditional aspects to our wedding day, we think rituals are important, and chose to take communion together as a part of our ceremony.
We hired the historic A&I Hall in Bangalow for our reception dinner, and spent the day before setting it up with our closest friends. We loved the ornate detailing in the walls, the soaring ceilings and the ‘blank canvas’ it gave us as a venue. It was the perfect place for our party!
THEME/STYLE: Our wedding style felt very regal. Inspired by French Revolution colours, our palette was a romantic combination of rich blue velvets, red rose, ivory, brushed gold and antique silver. Every detail reflected us as a couple and represented a merge of the traditional and the modern.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Photographed by the talented Joseph Willis Photography.
BRIDE’S DRESS: Custom-made lace long-sleeved gown by Sierra Ramke, owner, designer and stylist at The Babushka Ballerina.
BRIDE’S SHOES: Vintage ivory leather lace up boots, sourced from Etsy.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Bridesmaid’s wore similar black lace long-sleeved dresses, each to suit their individual style. The girls wore matching wishbone earrings from Forever New.
BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: Black suede pumps, bridesmaid’s own shoes.
JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES: The Bride wore art-deco diamond drop earrings which had belonged to Fady’s grandmother. Double veil by Anna Campbell and flower crown by Elyssium Blooms.
WEDDING RINGS: Fady designed my beautiful ring himself. Inspired by the art deco look, he spent weeks on the sly - planning and collaborating with an LA-based jewelry designer and settling on this 1.8 carat princess cut beauty! I could hardly believe my eyes when he proposed with such a special ring. I’m a very lucky girl.
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Groom wore a Ben Sherman Navy velvet Blazer, an evening scarf by Black with chinos and Chelsea boots & Groomsmen wore We Rob Banks Black Velvet Blazers, leather bow ties by How Typical of Metal with chinos, and chelsea boots.
HAIR & MAKEUP: Bride & Bridesmaid hair & makeup by the lovely Erin Gallienne. Bride went for 60s-glam eye makeup for the ceremony. Bride and bridesmaids rocked a red lip at the reception.
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: We got letterpressed invitations on French stock in the wedding theme colours, deep red & navy with gold foiling in envelopes lined with french revolution imagery sealed with a traditional wax of our monogram.The amazing invitations were designed by the talented and creative Dodge (groomsman) & Bel Pangburn of DB Collective and letterpressed by Boxcar Press.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: The bride wanted to keep with the colour scheme of red and navy blue. Elyssium Blooms used David Austins, Garden roses, black berries and other pretties to create a beautiful bridal bouquet and flower crown, with red garden posy style bouquets for the bridesmaids. Junior bridesmaids wore delicate white flower crowns. All roses for the reception tables were sourced from a local farm, the day before the wedding.
VIDEOGRAPHY: The most important thing for us in our video was that it represented the day in our style, and in a way that made the viewer feel that they were a part of it. We gave Coco Loberg some inspiration videos and ideas that closely depicted what we were after, and she took that and added her creative flair to film an intimate perspective on the day. Coco was able to capture all aspects of our wedding day. We highly recommend her!
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR: We relied heavily on candlelight and simple roses to create an elegant atmosphere at our wedding reception. We chose to eat banquet-style with our friends and family, seated along three long tressel tables. We wanted dinner to feel less ‘formal’ and more like an intimate dinner with friends – and it did!
Mismatched lace tablecloths, retro plates and ornate cultery alongside an eclectic mix of brass, silver and cut glass table decorations made for a bohemian vintage feel. It took us months to accumulate our collection and most of the decorations we brought in were from home – old family photos, Fady’s cigar box, bottles of whisky, our gramophone. Anything we didn’t already have we borrowed, or sourced from various op-shops.
WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST: Weddings can be such a huge project. Byron Bay wedding planner Jackie Sperry helped us pull everything together in the lead up to the day and made sure everything flowed smoothly at the reception. She really went above and beyond, I owe her big time!
CAKE: Our unbelievably gorgeous cake was created by Fady’s aunty, Mona. She flew in from New Zealand a week early and got to work on a three-tier beauty covered in ivory lace icing! We each chose a cake flavour - white chocolate rasberry for Fady and ferrero rocher for Sam.
WEDDING SONGS: Cermemony song was created by the Groom using ‘Outro’ by M83, the song built using orhestration to the bride walking in. We played ‘8 Days A Week’ by The Beatles as our recessional. Our first dance was to ‘That’s How Strong My Love Is’ by Otis Redding – it was very romantic and fitting for that moment.
ENTERTAINMENT: We had a house band compiled of friends. They got the crowd dancing with covers of songs from The Beatles and The Beach Boys through to Outkast and Tame Impala! They were definitely top 5 highlight!
FOOD & BEVERAGES: With help from our catering company All Rounders Events Catering, we put together a banquet-style sit down menu. Fady and his family are from Egypt, so we worked with North African spices and flavours, incorporating a traditional Egyptian rice dish made by Fady’s mum and aunty and used only for special occasions! Wine and locally sourced beer was free-flowing, along with some of our favorite cider.
TRANSPORT: We had to call a last minute favour on this one! One of our good friends owns a matte black 1965 Cadillac Coupe Deville, it was all smooth in the morning of the wedding… until he filled it with diesel instead of unleaded. After syphoning 60L out with a garden hose, it was good to go! (…Not sure about him though!)
HONEYMOON: There’s only one place in the world crowned ‘the city of love’. With that in mind, we booked a 6 night getaway in the beautiful south of France and finished with 10 days in Paris. We hired out a 12th Century Chateau in the South and got lost in the French countryside before exploring the wonders of Paris. We savoured every moment of it!
GIFT REGISTRY: We used an antique, gold-gilded birdcage from home as a wishing well at the reception. We also put the option out there for our loved ones to surprise us with a gift in their own way.
CELEBRANT: Choosing Kristian Macfarlane as our celebrant was a decision that was very easy to make, Kristian has been a friend to both of us for many years and has been part of our individual lives and has seen us grow up so having him start our lives together was a very special moment.
ANY OTHER SPECIAL DETAILS: Our perfect day would not have been the same without the presence of our wonderful friends and family. Words cannot describe how blessed we felt to have everyone we love brought together under one roof, laughing and talking and sharing a meal together – it really is a moment in time that you want to capture & keep in your heart forever.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: The father of the groom’s speech. Early in our relationship, Fady’s dad was rushed to hospital with a sudden health problem which saw him spend four months in ICU in an induced coma. In that time, the doctor’s gave him a 2% chance to live and recovery seemed unlikely. It was an incredibly painful time for Fady’s family. After a long battle in ICU and despite all odds, surgery after surgery, Fady’s dad began to make a slow but steady recovery. As all his doctor’s would tell you, it was a miracle. Fady’s dad would later tell him that his one prayer in that time was to live long enough to see his only son get married. So to see him strong and smiling, standing up at our wedding reception to give a speech about his son and new daughter carried a special meaning for Fady and I. It reminds us of how fragile life is, and most of all, of how blessed we are.
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE…It’s so easy to get caught up in the wedding ‘hype’! Your wedding day is all about you and your partner. Make sure you take in every moment and have time to just soak it all in, don’t feel the need to talk to every single person there. Don’t be afraid to break the rules a little bit and do things that represent you – and do them your way!
SAMANTHA & FADY’S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: Joseph Willis Photography
BRIDE'S DRESS: The Babushka Ballerina
BRIDE’S SHOES: Etsy
BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES: Bardot and Forever New
JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES: Anna Campbell, The Babushka Ballerina
HAIR & MAKEUP: Erin Gallienne
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: DB Collective – 0425 665 521, Boxcar Press
FLORIST: Elyssium Blooms
CATERING: Allrounders Catering
WEDDING PLANNER: Jackie Sperry AKA Little Miss Wedding Planner Byron Bay
CELEBRANT: Kristian Macfarlane
HONEMOON DESTINATION: Paris, France
VIDEOGRAPHER: Coco Loberg