Wedding Day: Girl Time

The heat has broken, so as promised – here’s another wedding post!

I hope you’ll bear with me – there’s so many beautiful memories from the day that I thought I’d break my “one last” wedding post into three: The Salon, The Ceremony & The Reception. I’ll intersperse them with outfit posts so you don’t get wedding overload, and hopefully I can get back into the habit of posting more than once a week!

Terrara House offers a lovely Bridal Salon for the bride and her “maidens” to get ready on the big day. The space is light and bright and has everything from showers and baths to a massage room and magic swivelling mirrors so you can see yourself from behind without craning.

It meant that while The Sophisticate and his groomsmen were out playing golf (traditional, apparently) and figuring out how to tie windsor knots, us girls got to enjoy high tea and giggles in decadent rococo-style surrounds.

It’s also a gorgeous place to have photos taken, so I invited my friend Barb to join us with her camera. My extra special thanks to her for all these pictures.

A few days before the wedding my Maid of Honor, Fiona, rang me to ask how I’d like the bridesmaids to have their fingernails. I told her I couldn’t imagine being the kind of person who would have an opinion about that, which meant that everyone had free reign to do as they chose. Callie had red nails like my own, Bella went with a gorgeous blue that tied in with her dress and accessories. Fiona’s nails nearly brought me to tears though: the veritable nail artist (she painted cupcakes for my Hen’s. CUPCAKES) she had printed my name on her left hand, and The Sophisticate’s on her right. Isn’t she just the awesomest?

Between scoffing scones and gossiping, both Fiona and I took a quiet moment to pen our respective speeches.

Then it was down to the important business of Getting Beautiful.

This is the excellent Tia, putting the finishing touches on my amazing coiffure. She was just a genius, all the girls  looked lovely.

As I said earlier, bridesmaid Callie did everyone’s makeup:

Callie also took it upon herself to perform the dubious job of washing my feet before I donned my stockings. She’s the most experienced member of the bridal party, and thank heavens for her, because it wouldn’t have occurred to me otherwise. It did give me the giggles though.

Actually, most of the day was spent with me giggling, though it all started to come a bit unstuck after I presented the bridesmaid’s gifts. There was so much I wanted to say to my bridesmaids about how much they meant to me, how much I loved and appreciated them, and how happy I was that they’d agreed to share this special day with me. I started blubbering almost straight away, of course, but I hope they got the gist.

Then, it was finally time to Don The Dress.

Trying to calm the butterflies in my stomach in front of the magic swivelling mirrors didn’t help at all.

… but Mum’s arrival did.

Mum’s dress was also made by the inestimable Eleni at Hera Couture. The rose-red was an ideal hue for her, and the asymmetrical style was classically elegant. She look SO beautiful. I’m a leetle jealous that she gets to wear her couture dress again. My gown made me feel amazing, I wish I could wear it again and again and again! Is it too soon to renew the vows?

The Sophisticate’s Mom was dressed in a frock that was made for a country garden wedding and it suited her perfectly. I loved the soft tiers and dusky pink colour.

Some final pictures…

And we’re on our way! Next stop: the ceremony.

(I don’t look nervous at all. Right?)

Frou Frou

My Mum and I went dress-shopping in August, which is – apparently – LAST MINUTE if you’re getting married at the end of January. It took us about three hours to find The Dress, and I had started the fitting process within a week, which meant I was left with months and months to worry about whether I’d made the Right Choice, and choose lots of frou-frou to go with it.

I didn’t really have a colour theme for the day (scandal!) but I knew I wanted elements of red because it symbolises good fortune and joy in Chinese culture (My Grandfather was Chinese, I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned that before). I had thought about swapping out the white belt on the gown for a red ribbon sash, but the moment I saw it I knew it just didn’t work. Instead I chose to introduce that element in my accessories, in the bridesmaids dresses, and in the flowers.

Obviously I had already started with the shoes:

Shoes: Princess Pumps

When I’d bought them originally I pictured them flashing prettily from under a full skirted tea-dress. After I’d decided to go with the longer gown I worried that they didn’t complement the “look”, but on the day that flash of red peeking out from under silk and chiffon was one of my favourite style elements.

Bracelets: Assorted vintage, from eBay

Ring: My paternal grandmother’s

Nail Polish: “Ruby Slippers” – China Glaze

I also wore ruby slippers on my fingers! After I’d decided to completely disregard every wedding forum post that said “You want to wear RED NAIL POLISH? What are you, some kind of HUSSY?” I hunted down a fresh bottle of my favourite sparkly red nail polish, aptly named “Ruby Slipper” from China Glaze. it’s the most extraordinary glittery red, and unsurprisingly matched my shoes identically.

On my right hand I wore my Nanna Hingee’s engagement ring as my “something old”, though my  vintage rhinestone bracelets – sourced from eBay – fit the bill, too.

My “Something Blue” was obviously my garter, made for me by a friend of my Mum’s who’s known me since I was a bump. She was inspired by my choice of footwear to make a garter of blue gingham and vintage lace, with a sparkly red heart bead, carefully chosen by her husband. Very Dorothy.

Under my dress I was wearing a Charnos Corsolette, which after MONTHS of trial and error proved to be the only piece of lingerie that: a) kept the ladies aloft, b) didn’t suffocate me, c) didn’t show under the dress, and d) could pass as “sexy”. Without even exaggerating, I bought eight – EIGHT – pieces of bridal lingerie before I found that Charnos. Hardest outfit element of the day. Good thing I had a spare set of Secrets In Lace stay-up stockings in reserve already. Secrets In Lace do a stocking that fits by thigh-width, which means they stay up, don’t roll, don’t fall down and don’t cut in. I like to wear them high which eliminates the need for Luvees or Lanacane. You know what I’m talking about.

Hair by “Absolute Hair By Tia

Hairpiece: The Honeycomb

My hair, and the bridesmaid’s hair, was all done by one magician named Tia. She had been recommended to me by my uncle’s partner, and at my trial I’d kind of described my dress (badly) and waved my arms around my head a bit, and twenty minutes later I was staring at the most perfect wedding hairstyle I could have imagined. She did it again – even better – on the day, and this time she was able to include the amazing hair clip that Blanche at The Honeycomb had designed for me. At the end of the night my notoriously stubborn hair still looked immaculate. Definitely a miracle worker. And I’m looking forward to re-wearing the clip for years to come.

Earrings: Overstock Jewelry

With all of my hair scooped up into a VERY gorgeous (and large) bun on the left hand side of my head my right-side profile looked a little plain, so I knew I’d have to get some good blingy earrings. I was google image searching “vintage ruby earrings” for weeks before these appeared. They’re just cubic zirconia and sterling silver, and cost me $60, but they’ve garnered a lot of attention.

My AMAZING bridesmaid Callie – in addition to being one half of the team that put together the best hen’s day ever, AND letting me borrow her fiance as our minister – did everyones makeup for the day. She knew instinctively that I wanted to keep it at a minimum, so I wore a BB-cream (my new skin-care obsession) from Shu Uemura as a foundation. It’s a moisturiser/primer/foundation and it had the added benefit of having SPF 30, so I didn’t have to wear an additional suncream. On my cheeks I wore a dash of Benefit’s “Dandelion” blush, and Callie used the only eyeliner I’ve ever found that doesn’t end up all over my lower lids – Dolly Wink – to give me wings. Not mascara, because as those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I spent a stupid amount of money to get eyelash extensions, which lasted three weeks, and were worth every cent.

I was so sick with nerves by the time the lipstick went on (Revlon ColourStay Ultimate in “Regal Rose”) that only Fiona’s calming touch was stopping me from shaking so much I’d ruin all of Callie’s careful handiwork.

 I’d actually been holding it together reasonably well, I’d thought. Though we’d all had a bit of a cry when I’d given everyone their bridesmaid gifts:

Bracelet: melt’m design studio

They were the very littlest gifts, but they were to symbolise an old Chinese legend that  states that when a child is born they’re connected by an invisible red thread to the people who will play the most important roles in their lives, their soulmates. I couldn’t imagine four girls who I’d rather be connected to than my sister Mae, Fiona, Callie and Bella.

Brooch: Linda Gorringe

About a month out from the wedding, and after an unhealthy dose of the AMAZING series “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” I’d started to stress about how low-key my gorgeous dress was. No diamantes! No beading! Not even a little lace! I ended up buying this lovely little brooch and pinning it to the back of my waist. Unnecessary? Probably, but it made me feel a little more confident.


Last one! The flowers were done by Deb at Botanic Art, and they were gorgeous. I carried a bouquet of cream grevillea, lisianthus kangaroo paw buds, eucalyptus leaves and gorgeous gum blossoms. The girls had the same, sans the kangaroo paw and gum blossoms, and the Australian Native theme ran through the wedding party’s buttonholes too.

So that was my day in frou-frou. One last wedding post to come, if you’ll indulge me, then back to normal! I’d love to share some photos from the day, our family and guests, and of the wonderful time we had.