Set in the heritage grounds of Lamont’s Bishops House, Genevieve and John exchanged vows in a paradise of their own creation; an Eden hidden in the heart of Perth’s CBD. Freshly foraged blooms hung from circular motifs suspended from white walls, and clean lines and crisp finishes were set off by feathered florals in pastel hues.
A kaleidoscope of soft colors and modern romance, Genevieve and John’s wedding was an ode to meticulous detail and unexpected styling. Blush tones pervaded each element, from the French silk tulle of Genevieve’s custom Pallas Couture gown, to the layered linens that fell from tabletops.
Guests dined beneath a raw marquee – a coverless canopy adorned with gilded pendants and suspended flowers. This dramatic installation drew the eye to a city sky filled with stars…
Photographed by Varga Murphy
Names / Genevieve and John
Wedding Date / December 22, 2016
Guests / 150
How we met…
We met eight years ago studying law at University. We didn’t have many classes together, so only got to know each other when I invited John to my house for pre-drinks before the Law Ball in our third year. We became friends from that night onwards, but only started dating when we had both graduated. When our uni friends found out we were dating, they all said, “about time!”
Our Engagement story…
The proposal came as a complete surprise, even though we had been discussing marriage for a little while. We were living in London and I was busy finishing my Masters at the Royal Academy of Music, so we had barely spent any time together in weeks. John planned a sneaky weekend away in the Chilterns, just outside of London. We stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast and after a gorgeous candlelit dinner we went back to the room and Johnny got down on one knee. His proposal was sweet and traditional, and of course I said ‘yes’. It must have been 4am in Perth, but we were determined to share the news with our families! Everyone was beyond excited for us, and no one minded being woken up in the middle of the night.
Marriage to us means…
It means a lifelong commitment to love and support each other. Being best friends before we dated means that we are not only in love but are also best buddies and partners in crime. This creates the perfect foundation to our marriage.
When it came to getting married, we discussed lots of exotic, beautiful locations like Tuscany and Thailand, but after living in London for so many years. getting married at home in Perth just felt right. We rarely get to spend time with our family and friends, so there really was nowhere else in the world we wanted to spend our special day.
We chose Lamont’s Bishops House for both the ceremony and reception. Bishops House is a lovely old home situated in the heart of the city. It is surrounded by heritage-listed gardens which are beautifully juxtaposed against the soaring skyscrapers of the Perth CBD. We got married in the rose garden and then moved to the lower lawn for our reception. Choosing to get married in the garden rather than the house meant the venue was a blank canvas from which we could create our dream space.
Theme & Style
From the beginning, we wanted to create something that was really unique and artistic. We wanted to highlight the natural beauty of Bishops House while also creating an incredibly romantic and chic space. The brief to our incredible wedding planner, Jess Butcher, was “elegant romance” meets “city garden” with lots and lots candles!
We chose Varga Murphy, and it was a no brainer for us. They had photographed the weddings of some good friends of ours and we loved their natural, laid-back aesthetic. The boys, Lajos and Ryan, were a dream to work with and made John and I, who are both super awkward in front of the camera, feel at ease the whole day.
We used Auburn Hour for our videography. Natalie’s work is just stunning, and thankfully she was free to come on board last minute! I had seen her work the week before our wedding and knew I wanted her to shoot our day. Natalie created a fun 30-second “sneak peek” video literally 24 hours after the wedding and then created a four-minute video featuring footage from the day overlaid with audio from our vows and speeches. We couldn’t have been happier with the end result!
My dress was a custom-made, hand-sewn haute couture gown designed and made by Pallas Couture. I am incredibly fortunate that my beautiful sister Rebecca is one of the creatives at Pallas and, together with the Pallas design team, had the most spectacular vision for my dress. We based my dress on the “Paget” gown that was previewed at NYBFW 2016. I adored the French lace dots which adorned the dress, and they set the tone for our whole wedding. The dress was made of layers upon layers of French silk tulle in blush and natural white and was customized with hand-embellished lace and pearl details. What really made me fall in love with this gown was its soft tulle volume and unique blush tone – something I never would have imagined choosing, but when I tried on absolutely fell in love with. The veil was also made out of tulle with pearl embellishment. The team at Pallas went above and beyond, and created a dress more beautiful and unique than my wildest dreams.
Gianvito Rossi “Plexi” slingback heels in a metallic rose gold. Comfort was so important to me but so was getting some height – I am a rather dainty 5-foot tall and John is 6’3”, so I needed a solid 6-inch-plus heel! I can happily say that the shoes were incredibly comfortable, which is super important when you spend most of the night on the dance floor with your hubby and girlfriends!
The bridesmaids all wore custom Pallas Couture floor-length gowns in natural white silk crepe with lattice trim embellishment through the bust and belt. They were a simple design but had a killer front split, which kept them fashion-forward and fun.
Nude Tony Bianco heels with a thin front strap.
My engagement and wedding rings were designed by Linneys in Subiaco. It was really important to me to have a local WA diamond, so John purchased the diamond on a trip back to Australia in 2016 and then we created both the engagement and wedding rings together. John’s simple gold band was from Hardy Brothers.
Jewelry & Accessories
My mother’s diamond stud earrings were my “something borrowed” for the day. My sister wore them for her wedding and they were created from my late grandmother’s engagement ring, so they are really special to us. I also wore a simple rose gold and diamond bracelet from Monica Vinader, which matched the ones I gave my bridesmaids as a gift on the day.
John wore a custom tailored black dinner suit from Taliare in London, with a white shirt and black patterned tie from Brioni. He paired his suit with black Bally shoes and his grandfather’s gold cuff links. The lads all wore matching looks.
I wore my hair down in a soft but textured wave with center parting. The beautiful Marie Cain at Head Studiostyled my, and my bridesmaids hair with the help of Amy Baines. I wanted my hair to look elegant and refined but with plenty of movement and texture and Marie. My good friend Daniel Brumley of Daniel Brumley Couture Hair colored my hair, and kept it healthy in the lead up with plenty of Olaplex treatments.
The phenomenal Hendra Widjaja did my make-up. We kept it quite natural but defined with lots of soft browns and golds. Hendra uses airbrushing, which I love, as it creates a really natural, flawless finish that doesn’t look or feel too heavy.
Stationery & Invitations
We used The Little Press in Perth for all our invitations and on-the-day stationery. We had a white invitation suite, featuring grey watercolor and letterpress that were bound together with soft grey tassels. Our on-the-day stationary was so gorgeous and featured lots of rose gold, marble and leather detailing.
Favors & Bomboniere
Holt & Sarah created gorgeous custom scented candles in white concrete vessels for our bonbonniere. The scent was wild lime, freesia and lavender, and made the venue smell divine.
Flowers & Bouquets
Rebecca Grace from Natural Art Flowers created all the blooms for our day, and I was truly blown away by her creativity and style. After an initial consultation between Rebecca, Jess Butcher and myself, we came up with the concept of carrying the polka dots from my dress through to the blooms, and I’m so glad we did. On the day, Natural Art created two sensational wire mesh circles filled with dreamy white gypsophila. These served as the backdrop for both our ceremony and reception spaces. The scale and texture of the circles were truly impressive and created the perfect focal point (and talking point!) for the wedding.
These were complemented by beautiful arrangements featuring gypsophila, orchids, hydrangea, peonies and roses in different hues of white, blush and soft antique brown and taupe that decorated each of the guest tables. Rebecca also created two stunning arrangements that were suspended over the full length of the bridal table and bar at either end of the reception marquee. The reception look was polished off with beautiful candles from both Natural Art and Holt & Sarah in gorgeous rose gold and white concrete votives. I could not have been more pleased with the overall look created by Rebecca – it was dreamy, romantic and totally unique!
Wedding Planner & Stylist
We knew from the moment we got engaged that we wanted Jess Butcherto style and plan our big day. She had recently styled my mother’s birthday party and I have adored her work for years. She is genuinely the most hard working person I have ever met, and she creates the most dreamy and unique events. Living overseas, we knew it was important to have someone on the ground in Perth running our day, and Jess went above and beyond the call of duty. Her eye for detail is incredible, she knows all the best local suppliers and she was able to take my little ideas and snippets of inspiration and elevate them into the incredible day that our wedding was.
My bridesmaids and I spent the night before the wedding at COMO The Treasury in Perth. It was a beautiful space to get ready in.
Through GranTourismo we hired a 5 Series BMW and two black Range Rovers for the day. They were absolutely fantastic and thought of every little detail from wheel covers so my dress wouldn’t get dirty to playlists and plenty of champagne.
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Ceremony & Reception Décor
OMG Events, Natural Art and Micktric Lighting all worked together to create the most beautiful ceremony and reception décor – styled and envisioned entirely by the uber talented Jess Butcher of The Butcher, The Baker, The Stylist and Creator.
Jess came up with the idea for us to get married on a raised marble aisle. We both fell in love with the idea and the aisle was created on the day by OMG Events from bespoke vinyl. OMG Events also floored the entire ceremony space in lush green lawn and the reception area in gorgeous dove grey vinyl.
For the reception, we had a large marquee structure (without the canopy) set up overlooking the gardens at Bishops House with plenty of occasional seating made up of sofas, arm chairs and high-top tables with white wire stools from Event Artillery. Jess styled the seating areas with beautiful candles, throw cushions and plenty of blooms. During the meal, guests were seated on white and grey bentwood chairs on long marble tables decorated with candles, rose gold cutlery, grey ceramic plates, crystal glasses and the most beautiful dove grey and blush pink linens from Hire Society.
Micktric Lighting helped to bring the venue to life with beautiful festoon lighting and Tom Dixon inspired “disco ball” pendants in silver, gold and rose gold over the dance floor. We also had beautiful vintage and feature pendants in white and rose gold throughout the marquee and over the bridal table and bar.
Sukar made our cake and it was delicious. Dessert was the one thing John really wanted to get involved with, so he took full control of this one! John picked a three-tier cake with two tiers of red velvet and one of vanilla bean with a berry and rosewater filling. The base tier of the cake had a blush watercolour effect with some gold foiling and the other two tiers were semi-naked. It was topped off with antique orchards from Natural Art.
I walked down the aisle to “To Build a Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra and then John and I walked out together to “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oats. Being a singer, I wanted to incorporate some classical music into the ceremony, so I had the incredible Amy Manford sing Caccini’s “Ave Maria”, amongst others, while the guests arrived.
For entertainment, we had DJ Aslan for both the day and night. He had been recommended to us by so many people, and we weren’t disappointed! For the pre-ceremony we had a few requests, like Sigur Ros and Seekae, mixed in with old school soul, and then he filled the dance floor all night with an epic mix of pop, Motown, RnB and funk.
For the pre-reception cocktail hour, my good friend Ben Witt and Marc Earley played a mellow mix of originals and covers on guitar and double bass. We were having photographs taken at the time, and missing out on hearing them is my only regret from the day.
Food & Beverages
Our food and wine was something we put a lot of thought into and had a wonderful response to throughout the night.
Matthew at Lamont’s was an absolute dream to work with and let us create our own bespoke food and wine menu, featuring family style/shared dining. We wanted people to be able to choose what they wanted to eat and having sharing platters allowed the guests to interact with each other.
We wanted to create a Mediterranean-inspired menu featuring local fresh produce, and Lamont’s achieved just that. We started with antipasti, salami, salt and pepper squid and gorgeous burrata before sharing Angus beef fillets and grilled pink snapper for mains, with lots of yummy (and slightly indulgent) sides and condiments. We finished off with an Eton mess buffet and the most delicious ice cream from Chicho Gelato.
Our wine list was taken pretty seriously by my father and John’s father! There were plenty of wine tastings and trips to the bottle shop to sample different selections – which I am pretty sure they took great pleasure in! We settled on a good mix of a local red from Picardy, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and my personal fave, and the hit of the night, Whispering Angel Rose.
The guys from Cocktail Gastronomy also served delicious cocktails throughout the evening.
Living over in London we thought it would be best to use a local service, so we signed up with The Wedding Shop and made a bespoke gift list from our favorite stores around town.
Paul Voge ran proceedings for us on the day, and we picked him because of his laid-back and thoughtful approach to the ceremony. He encouraged us to personalize the ceremony and pick songs and write vows that meant something to us. We couldn’t have been more pleased with our selection, and we were so happy he flew over from Byron Bay for us!
John and I wrote our own vows, and John had me laughing and crying for most of it. We also had our two best friends and John’s sister Kate prepare short speeches to read during the ceremony. These bought lots of humor and were more personal and intimate than readings or poems.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
Planning a destination wedding is really tricky, so surround yourself with plenty of creative, hardworking and honest suppliers who can help you out. Oh, and get good at writing and responding to emails – you will need to share ideas and inspiration and approve everything over the web! Thankfully I had the most amazing wedding planner and my mum and bridesmaids who went above and beyond running from supplier to supplier looking at samples for me.
If I could give other Brides to be one piece of advice…
Don’t sweat the small stuff! Things will go wrong, or differently than planned, and your ability to shake it off and enjoy the millions of wonderful moments in the day is what will make it fun and enjoyable…it really is the best day of your life, and is over in a flash, so soak it all up!
Photography / Varga Murphy Photography
Bride’s Dress / Pallas Couture
Bride’s Shoes / Gianvito Rossi
Bridesmaid’s Dresses / Pallas Couture
Bridesmaid’s Shoes / Tony Bianco
Groom / Taliare
Wedding Rings / Linneys
Jewelry & Accessories / Monica Vinander
Hair / Marie Cain from Head Studio
Makeup / Hendra Widjaja
Stationery & Invitations /The Little Press
Florist / Natural Art
Cake / Sukar
Wedding Stylist /The Butcher, The Baker, The Stylist and Creator
Wedding Planner / The Butcher, The Baker, The Stylist and Creator
Celebrant / Paul Voge Celebrant
Venue / Lamont’s, Bishops House
Entertainment / DJ Aslan, Ben Witt & Marc Earley
Transport / GranTourismo
Videographer / The Auburn Hour Film Co
Gift Registry / The Wedding Shop
Favors / Holt&Sarah