For Chanelle and David, the highlight of their wedding was something unexpected. Not first looks or stolen moments but a syntactic stumble, a second of confusion as vows were read out in the wrong order – an error turned ice breaker as the crowd laughed and the mood relaxed. From here, the wedding evolved from formal to casual, a serendipitous event set on the manicured lawns of Bells at Killcare.
Imbued with melancholic romance, the magic to this wedding lay in it’s poetic simplicity: a minimalist gown is elevated by bows tied around the arm, a tablescape dramatised with hydrangeas and orchids that cascade from its edge and a couple with faces perpetually etched with the shadow of a laugh.
Photographed by Justin Aaron
Names / Chanelle and David
Wedding Date / March 18, 2017
Guests / 118
How we met…
We met on December 26, 2014 when some mutual friends invited us to Boxing Day drinks at Watsons Bay Hotel. By the end of the night we had hit it off and a year and a half later we had our engagement party at the exact same place.
Our Engagement story…
Dave wanted the proposal to feel natural and take me completely by surprise. We lived in Bronte at the time and regularly walked the Bronte to Bondi coastal walk of a morning before work. One morning we woke up for our regular morning walk and as we were approaching the Mckenzies Point lookout Dave got down on one knee and proposed. I was completely surprised and taken aback. He had my entire family waiting for us in Bondi to celebrate over breakfast and even organised with my work for me to have the morning off. It was a beautiful morning and we continued with celebratory drinks in Bondi into the night.
Marriage to us means…
A lifetime commitment to one another filled with endless fun.
We had originally considered an overseas wedding as Dave is from Portugal but we wanted all of family and friends to be part of our special day so started looking closer to home.We wanted the ability to spread the wedding over a couple of days as opposed to just one so when we found Bells at Killcare it was perfect. We loved the fact that we could have the ceremony in the beautiful gardens of Bells followed by the reception in the conservatory without having to move guests from one venue to another. We were also able to have all our closest friends and family stay with us on location in one of the 25 rooms on site.
Theme & Style
We didn’t want an overpowering theme or anything too over the top for the wedding but wanted it to feel modern, timeless and an intimate garden ceremony with our closest friends.
Justin Aaron. We were drawn to his beautiful style and loved his ability to capture the essence and mood of the moment so candidly. We also loved his use of natural light. Justin was incredible on the day and you almost didn’t know he was there. We were shocked looking back on the photos at how many incredible moments he had captured as you felt alone in that moment on the day.
I never imagined something incredibly bridal for my dress. I wanted it to be simple and beautifully minimal however I found it extremely hard to come to one decision. I found my first dress in New York by Sachin & Babiand loved the fabrication and subtle details. I am not overly feminine so was surprised that I was drawn to the intricate bow details on the arms but once I put it on I knew it was perfect. My second dress was purchased from Net-A-Porter and was by Calvin Klein. It was a classic 90s slip dress which I knew I could effortlessly enjoy the night in without worrying about my dress.
The bridesmaids wore simple navy silk slip dresses from Hansen & Gretel.
The bridesmaids wore navy velvet thin strappy heels by Tony Bianco to compliment the minimal dresses.
My engagement ring is a simple cushion cut diamond with a halo. David and I got matching CartierLove rings for our wedding bands. I wanted something a little more masculine to pair back with my engagement ring and love the mix and contrast of materials.
Jewelry & Accessories
I wore a pair of Lanvin earrings which looked slightly vintage which I loved. Dave restored one of his Mother’s rings which he gifted to me on the morning of the wedding which I also wore on the day.
Hair & Makeup
I didn’t want anything too put together so had a low loose bun at the nape of my neck. I wanted to keep my make up minimal. Vic Anderson created a beautiful natural bronze look for myself and my bridesmaids.
Stationery & Invitations
Flowers & Bouquets
I love modern floral arrangements which use greenery mixed with clean white florals so knew that this would be a focus for the wedding. I love the sleek and minimal lines of the Calla Lilly so this was used for my bridal bouquet and the bridesmaids had slightly smaller versions of the same. The floral arch and bridal table also featured an abundance of greenery with touches of white flowers.
Dave and I headed up to Killcare on the Thursday to relax and have some time together before the wedding. We had welcome drinks on the Friday evening at Bells. The morning of the wedding I had breakfast with my bridesmaids and then started getting ready at Bells. Dave went for a surf with his groomsmen – one of the requirements of selecting the venue for Dave was that there needed to be somewhere to surf near by.
Wedding Planner & Wedding Stylist
Kate from Leaves and Linen helped create and bring to life my modern and minimal aesthetic.
Find our handpicked edit of Wedding Planners from around the world on the Directory.
Ceremony & Reception Décor
We had planned to have the ceremony in the beautiful garden of Bells however it had rained all week so we had to move it undercover. The ceremony actually looked beautiful in the new location despite my hesitation to move it last minute. The aisle had two beautiful urns on either side and we positioned a beautiful green arch at the end which was complimented by the surrounding greenery.
For the reception décor I wanted it to feel modern and clean. We kept the room fresh through the use of lots of greenery and beautiful white flowers like orchids, green hydrangea and calla lilies. We used Little Confetti Love for all signage throughout the room – her writing helped add a personal touch. We also adorned the table with gold candlesticks and an abundance of glass cylinder white candles to add warmth.
Bells at Killcare made our lemon zest butter cream cake which was decorated with figs and blackberries.
Processional: Higher Love, James Vincent McMorrow / Signing of the register: Too Much, Sampha / Recessional: You’ve got the Love, Florence and the Machine / Reception Entrance of the Bridal Party: Young Hearts Run Free, Kym Mazelle / Reception Entrance of the Bride Song: Love Is in the Air, John Paul Young / First Dance Song: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Frankie Valli
We chose Niki Dé Saint as our wedding DJ. She was absolutely incredible!
Food & Beverages
Following the ceremony, guests were served sparkling wine and a selection of canapes including oysters, prawns and arancini. We also had frozen cocktail popsicles by Iycpop on offer during cocktail hour. Guests then sat down for a shared selection of antipasto followed by the main course and desert. We served the cake with a cheese board.
Linda Marsden. Linda beautifully captured the essence of our relationship with the ceremony and helped us write our own vows.
Dave and I both wrote our own vows. It was something that was extremely important to us. We always write each other cards and notes so we wanted to share our own words which we could keep forever.
Sources of Inspiration
The LANE, Pinterest and Instagram.
We went to One & Only on Hayman Island for a couple of days after the wedding and are also planning a Europe trip mid-year.
A memorable moment…
David and I are both extremely relaxed people but on the wedding day were overwhelmed and anxious. The ceremony felt extremely formal until Dave accidentally read the wrong part of his vows first but it was the ultimate moment we needed to break the tension. We heard all our family and friends laugh and remembered who we were there with. From that moment on it felt like our wedding – fun, relaxed and not too serious.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
Enjoy the process of planning the wedding with your partner. Being engaged is such a beautiful time don’t let the stress of planning the wedding overshadow the process.
If I could give other Brides to be one piece of advice…
Consider your wet weather options! I never imagined that it would rain on my wedding day so hadn’t even asked about the wet weather options. Preparing yourself for them will ensure you have a lot less stress on the day.
Photography / Justin Aaron
Bridesmaids’ Dresses / Hansen & Gretel
Bridesmaids’ Shoes / Tony Bianco
Groom’s Formal Wear / MJ Bale
Wedding Rings / Cartier
Jewelry / Lanvin
Hair / Montana Brown
Makeup / Vic Anderson
Florist / Designs by Booshi
Wedding Stylist / Leaves & Linen
Celebrant / Linda Marsden
Wedding Venue, Cake & Catering / Bells at Killcare
Honeymoon Destination / One & Only Hayman Island and Europe
Entertainment / Niki de Saint