Adam and I met through a mutual friend. By chance he worked with an old school friend of mine and one night we decided to go out for a drink and this school friend brought along some work mates with him, Adam was one of those friends.
Adam organised an entire surprise weekend just telling me on Saturday morning to pack a bag. He whisked me off to Sydney where we wined and dined at the Hilton. When we got back to our room there was champagne and strawberries dipped in chocolate waiting for us and the lounge had been turned around to face the very large window. We sat eating and drinking and then Adam got down on two knees (he had broken his leg 6 months before and one knee was too painful) and asked me to marry him. It was a really special moment made even more fantastic by the fact that right afterwards the fireworks from the Carols in the Domain started going off and we had the best view from our lounge. It was perfectly timed and magical.
I hated to the idea of knowing exactly what I would be wearing on my big day almost a year in advance as I knew that by the time Oct 20th came around I would be sick of the dress and want something different. For this reason I looked at getting my dress made. A friend of mine used Melanie Ford for her wedding dress and I was blown away with her attention to detail and ability to bring my friends dream dress to life. I made my appointment with Melanie with a rough idea of what I liked and Melanie used my ideas, the type of wedding we were having and my body shape to design a dress that was literally ‘made for me’. I wanted something a little bigger seeing as we were having a larger wedding and nothing too plain. It was also important to me to have parts of my mothers wedding dress incorporated into my own and Melanie combined my mothers lace details with new ones on my bodice so that it was impossible to tell between old and new. A real highlight in the process for me was that the dress was able to evolve as I fully started to envision what I really wanted meaning what I signed up for on day one wasn’t what I wore on the day, it was a much more beautiful thought out version. The overall result was stunning and I will treasure it for the rest of my life.
It was important to me to be married in a Catholic church but unfortunately the church where most of my family had been married was not big enough so we went ‘big’ and were married in the Cathedral. Adam is not Catholic so we worked hard to combine the Catholic wedding traditions with Macedonian Orthodox traditions to make the ceremony significant to both of us. Adam’s family had never been to a Catholic wedding ceremony before so I made sure to put explanations of what we were doing when and why in the wedding booklet so they could all follow along and be involved. We wanted a ceremony with personality too so we deliberately asked our Priest to travel from Muswellbrook to celebrate as he is big on personality and put everyone at ease. We gave as many jobs to family members and friends as possible and we wrote our own vows so that the whole ceremony was personal and unique to us.
Our goal for the reception was to have a huge party so once we chose the Newcastle Town Hall where the food and service were amazing, our main focus was the entertainment. As in the ceremony, the combination of Macedonian and Australian traditions continued to be overlapped and we had a Macedonian DJ to play traditional songs at sets that integrated with the lively Australian band that played rock and popular music. This musical combination meant the dance floor was never empty and our guests were well entertained. We danced and sang the night away with everyone until closing time. A real highlight was seeing my 79 year old grandfather rocking out to Gangnam Style on the dance floor.
There were so many special moments on the day it is hard to choose just one but my top three would be my father seeing me for the first time in my dress, walking down the aisle towards Adam in Church and finally dancing up a storm to the Killers ‘Mr Brightside’ with my husband, friends and family.
Slow roast Pork belly on wilted Bok Choy with Honey Soy glaze and Pork crackling
Duck confit Pistachio terrine and green Lentil salad
Veal Scaloppine Saltimbocca – pan fried Veal fillet, Swiss Cheese, cured Ham, Pumpkin
and Herb Risotto and Red Wine jus
Chicken breast filled with Spinach, Brie, Sun dried Tomato wrapped in filo
with Potato rosti and Tomato jus
Passionfruit and Banana crème Brulee with Almond tuille
Steamed Chocolate pudding, Vanilla Bean anglaise and Balsamic Strawberries
Walking down the aisle: Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
Signing the register: Somebody Loved – The Weepies
Leaving Church: You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
Entering the reception:Jump Around – House of Pain
Our first dance: You Make it Real – James Morrison
Navy blue and white
We didn’t have an exact budget but we knew what we wanted to splurge on and what we were willing to sacrifice and kept the whole picture in our minds so as to not get carried away. Once we had our heart set on the big things that were most important to us on the day (for example the photographer, great food and the band coming from Sydney) we adjusted what we could afford around everything else to make it work without breaking the bank.
Adam and a few of his closest mates flew to Hong Kong for a week where the Best Man llives. He also had a day of drinking and gambling with the rest of our family and friends a week before the wedding. My Hens was rockabilly themed and we went out to Honeysuckle for dinner and drinks. So much fun!
We had a short break right after our wedding to Melbourne for my first ever visit and we are spending a month in Europe this January travelling to Paris, London, Reykjavik in Iceland (for the Northern Lights) and then Prague.
The moment I saw Thierry’s work on his website I knew he was the photographer for us! I loved his ability to not only capture the personality of the wedding couples in his shots but the surrounding beauty of the landscape as well meaning I wont have outdated, cookie cutter wedding portraits hanging on my walls. Thierry and his wife Jasmina are very down to earth and genuinely lovely people which really put Adam and I at ease, making the whole photo shoot process comfortable and pain free. Being comfortable with your photographer is extremely important otherwise your real personality wont show through in your pictures.
I used ‘Your Hunter Valley Wedding Planner’ magazine and website as a great tool for choosing local businesses that I could trust to deliver professionally on the day. To keep myself organised I had a wedding folder where I put all of my receipts and booking information. I also used Pinterest and other websites to get ideas that had not necessarily been done before with our families and friends to make the day a little unique.
To make things a bit more interesting and personal at our reception we used numbers that were significant to us as table numbers such as the number of days since we met, our house number etc. This meant the guests mingled from table to table to read all the numbers and explanations.
Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton
Newcastle Town Hall
Blue Star Catering
Fr John Alexander
Thierry Boudan Photography
Afterglow Wedding Films
The Exotic Lilly Event Hire
Silver Classics Limousines
Yeng Tan Floral Designer
Artisticake by Kylie Moore
Wedding Paper Divas and Cupcake Espresso
Designs by Melanie Ford
The Bridal Co NSW
Papillon Blue Bridal and YJ Design (shop on Etsy.com)
Bellus for my hair and Miss Nicole Sazdanoff Makeup Artist
Sons of Mercury band and a Macedonian DJ as well
The Novotel Newcastle Beach
To save money I purchased my own blue table cloths and all of my table runners and chair sashes from a US company called Tablecloths Factory. The tablecloths alone were $40 to hire in Newcastle but they cost me only $14 each to purchase and then my decorator bought them off me after the wedding.