Imbued with sentimentality, Simone and Michael’s wedding was a celebration of their story, of European adventures and international relocations, and an ode to loved ones lost and true loves found.
Simone exchanged vows with Michael in a backless gown of liquid silk, her sillhoute sheathed by a veil that trailed every step, a shadow etched from the finest French lace.
Cinematically captured by Teneil Kable, this was a wedding of refined simplicity and elegant minimalism. Sophisticated, intimate and poetically curated, where modern design met old-world romance.
Photography by Teneil Kable.
Names / Simone and Michael
Wedding Date / December 17, 2016
Guests / 95
How we met…
Michael and I met in 2006 at Coogee Beach in Perth. At the time, we were both a part of the surf club and it was my sister, Ashleigh that introduced us. The rest is history!
Our Engagement story…
We travelled to Europe together with a group of our closest friends for Christmas and New Year’s in 2015. Part of Michael’s grand proposal plan was to part ways with our friends in Rome and drive up to Florence. We hired a car and set off on our journey north, arriving at a beautiful villa named Il Salviatino. When we arrived it was pouring with rain, and the wonderful staff came running out with umbrellas to help us out of the car and to take our luggage. Soon after we were handed two glasses of champagne as we entered the stunning building. Michael has made plans to propose on the terrace overlooking Il Duomo di Firenze, however with the weather not on our side, the staff quietly organized for a reading room to be made available for us. The walls were filled with wonderful and ornate books, and soon after sitting down, Michael proposed adding another chapter to our tale. Pulling out a rather lackluster ring pouch (that he had been using to keep the ring in a concealed pocket for the whole of our trip prior to this, around two weeks), Michael dropped to one knee, opening the pouch to reveal the ring he had designed. I had no idea what was happening until he got down on one knee, spilled his heart out and asked me to marry him.
Marriage to us means…
Forever. Michael and I were lucky to have found each other so early on in our lives at 18 and 17, respectively. Marriage hasn’t changed our relationship, we are no more or less committed because of it which is really important to us.
Before we moved to New York we considered a few options in Perth and fell in love with Linton & Kay Art Galleries for our ceremony. Previously the site for the Perth Technical School, this space had sentimental value for us as Michael’s dad learned his trade there. He passed away in 2008 so this was a small acknowledgement to him. For the reception we chose The Flour Factory.
A big part of choosing our venues was wanting to keep it simple and easy for our guests. We wanted our day to be both seamless and intimate. Both venues are walking distance from one another and it worked out perfectly.
Theme & Style
If I could describe our theme/style in three words it would be minimal, modern and sophisticated. We’ve both always preferred quality over everything else and like to focus on the small things. This means that even the serviettes took two weeks to decide on!
For us, this was the most important item – the photos are the one most tangible memory that you take from your day. Initially, we struggled to find a photographer that would understand what we wanted. We wanted raw, real and non-cookie-cutter photos. Our emotions being captured was the key desire. We spoke with various photographers before we stumbled across Teniel Kable and we didn’t need to search any further. Teneil and Rowley became our friends over the course of the day and by the end of the night we felt like family. We cannot recommend Teneil Kable Photography enough, but we will let the images captured speak for themselves.
Michael and I moved over to New York not long after we were engaged in December 2015. Naturally, I was excited to purchase a dress from New York and the shopping aspect was a lot easier than I anticipated. I stumbled across a cute bridal boutique in the West Village called Spina Bride. I made an appointment and Michael came along with me. While most people are against showing the groom their wedding dress prior to the big day, it was a no-brainer for me – no one knows me better than Michael, so why wouldn’t I let him help with my decision? This is something I will never regret, it was such an amazing experience to share.
I wanted a dress that was timeless, classic and minimal. I fell in love with the designer, A La Robe. I chose a beautifully constructed ivory silk slip dress which I later paired with a skirt for the reception.
Simple and understated blush Valentino ballet flats. I made sure it was a shoe I could wear again.
Michael and I only had a matron of honour and a best woman. We seemed to do a lot of non-traditional things at our wedding but it’s what made our wedding so unique. Both wore Shona Joy dresses in oyster. I wanted them to feel comfortable so I let them choose their own style.
A simple nude Tony Bianco heel. I wanted them to be able wear the shoes again too!
Michael created a custom white gold ring with an oval diamond set with split claws to enhance the shape. He worked with Ross Ezekiel on this in December 2015 for the proposal and it was love at first sight.
We purchased Michael’s wedding band from Cartier here in New York. Simple rose gold perfection.
I was very particular with my wedding band. I searched high and low in New York and having not found what I was after, I decided to create my own with Ross Ezekiel. Although we had discussed some ideas for the design, we only started constructing the wedding band on our first day back in Perth, which was a week out from our wedding, and we picked it up the day before. They are miracle workers! I am still quietly obsessed and stare at it more than I should.
Jewelry & Accessories
My family gifted me pearl earrings and a pearl bracelet that I wore for the ceremony.
For the reception I decided on a gold crown by Christie Nicolaides. My dress was minimal and so beautifully understated that I could add anything to it without it being “too much”, so why not add a crown!
Michael was gifted two sets of cufflinks from our bridal party and his brother-in-law. He wore one set at the ceremony and another at the reception. He also wore an antique ring his dad gifted him before he passed away.
Michael wears a suit every day to work so was excited to have the chance to create something that was a move away from traditional suiting. After searching for weeks to find the right tailor and at a reasonable price, he decided to visit P. Johnson Tailors in Soho. He teamed the PJT suit with dark chocolate Carmina loafers.
I initially wanted my hair in a sleek low pony but after purchasing my crown I decided to keep it out in a natural wave. Elicia Rudd nailed the brief.
I don’t usually wear too much makeup, so I was particularly concerned that I wouldn’t find an artist that would understand how minimal I wanted my makeup to be. I found Brittany Mason on Instagram and she completely understood what I was after – soft neutral tones.
Stationery & Invitations
We skipped this part of the planning almost entirely, opting for Paperless Post. It is such a great easy option, especially if you’re planning from abroad!
We didn’t want to do the “typical” for our guests. Before we got engaged I started following Ingrained (a laser etching business based in Brisbane, Queensland). They carved our guests names into slabs of black marble which acted as a place setting and bonbonniere. Everyone absolutely loved them – this was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding.
Flowers & Bouquets
We decided against flowers and instead went with a selection of different kinds of local foliage. This suited our minimalistic feel and added some texture, but we also needed to ensure that it was carefully balanced against the soft tones of the dresses and the use of marble and black in the reception space. Maisey Collections worked with us to get this balance right, including managing numerous backflips that we made over emails.
Michael and I spent the night before our wedding together at The Como Treasury. Being together the night before the wedding was another great decision. We were able to exhale after a busy week and soak in what was about to happen the following day together – not to mention it was also in the most amazing of spaces!
The day of the wedding we had mother of the groom, mother of the bride, matron of honour and Michael’s best woman all get ready with us. The Como Suite is the largest room in the hotel, and provided ample space to get ready and take photos!
This was an item we were not particularly fussed with as all venues were in close proximity to each other. We hired a chauffeur through The Como to get to the wedding. At the end of the night my sister simply ordered us an Uber to get back to The Como. She didn’t realize that she ordered an UberX, so the little yellow hatchback Toyota Corolla that arrived did give us a laugh and we absolutely loved it (the driver also couldn’t believe his luck picking up a newly married couple, and he gave us some beautiful advice).
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Ceremony & Reception Décor
Both venues were beautiful in their natural state, with white-washed walls and exposed timber floors and beams.
Linton & Kay Art Galleries was a blank white canvas with beautiful pops of colour through the artwork hanging on the walls. We added wooden benches and a wooden arbor with some of our foliage, all supplied by Maisey Collections.
For the reception at The Flour Factory we were inspired by the exposed beams and wooden floors and we wanted to enhance this in a subtle way. To do this we worked with Micktric Events, who added draped fairy lights which still showed off the beams. We also added some gold pendants at the bar and gift/cake table to identify those spaces. Under the fairy lights we had long white marble tables teamed with gold cutlery and candlesticks, linen serviettes and the black marble place settings.
The stand out addition for both of us was the wall decal that we added with the cake table, which was also directly aligned with the stairway leading to the reception space. It was a quote from one of our favourite books, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.
We had three cakes! The first was a white chocolate mud cake with gold leaf and blackberries on top. Second was a caramel mud cake with buttercream icing, caramel drip and walnuts and figs on top. The third cake was lemon and coconut with white chocolate drip and caramel shards.
Simply Entertainment provided us with a DJ, who kept the playlist to a mix of jazz during the early hours of the evening, along with hits (both current and the classics) and more alternative/Triple J-style music for the rest of the evening.
Food & Beverages
We had a sit down three-course menu, with both bar and table service, as well as bottles on the tables.
We have just arrived back from our mini honeymoon to Marrakech, Morocco. We stayed in a beautiful riad that straddles French and Moroccan styling perfectly, named Riad de Tarabel. We also arranged a hot air balloon trip past the Atlas Mountains at sunrise, which was stunning. We are also revisiting some of our favourite cities in May for the second part of our honeymoon – Vienna at The Guesthouse Vienna, followed by Santorini at Chromata and then Paris at Hotel La Lanterne.
Our celebrant was a close friend of the family, Don Dowling.
Because we live abroad we simply asked guests to kindly make a donation to our honeymoon fund. As you can tell from the previous response, our guests have given us the opportunity for some amazing adventures!
Sources of Inspiration
Being based abroad, resources available on the internet were the key source of inspiration. We used The LANE for complete ideas, Pinterest for concepts and styling and then we connected with suppliers based on their website or Instagram account.
A memorable moment…
One of our favourite moments was the time spent at The Como between the ceremony and reception, particularly the time after the photos had finished when in our suite with the bridal party. It’s the point when you can really relax and enjoy what you have created, and I’ll always remember the feeling of thinking “We did it! We’re finally married!”
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
Don’t sweat the small stuff, it all works out.
If I could give other Brides-to-be one piece of advice…
If you’re planning a wedding from abroad it’s a good idea to hire a middle man/planner to act as a go-between for administrative items, if nothing else. It was incredibly hard organising with a considerable time difference.
Photography / Teneil Kable
Bride’s Shoes / Valentino
Bridesmaids’ Dresses / Shona Joy
Bridesmaids’ Shoes / Tony Bianco
Jewelry / Christie Nicolaides
Hair / Elicia Rudd
Makeup / Brittany Mason Makeup
Stationery / Paperless Post
Catering / The Flour Factory
Entertainment / Simply Entertainment