Our wedding day part 1 - prep

Earlier this year I got married and as promised I said I'd share the whole experience with you all. These posts have been a long time in the making but I've finally gotten them done!! I blame newly married life lol. I'll be splitting our wedding day into a few posts as there's just so much to cover so be prepared! And yes it's such a cliche but it truly was the most amazing and happiest day of our lives. We had such an absolute blast sharing our special day with our nearest and dearest family and friends. We got engaged in November 2011 and planned our wedding over an 18 month period which I think was fantastic as it gave us plenty of time to plan, organise and save up to make our day exactly how we wanted it.

Our theme for our wedding was "modern Asian" and we couldn't have achieved it without the services of our amazing vendors. I'll do a separate post on them afterwards but I have to give a special mention from the start for Anni Lam and her amazing team from Colour 18 Wedding (Shop 3, 431 Sussex St, NSW 2000) who were absolutely fantastic and went above and beyond to make our wedding amazing!

I hope my posts will be helpful for Sydney brides as I didn't really find all that much info relevant for Sydney brides when we were researching. Weddings can be so confusing with SO much stuff aimed at brides that is really quite unnecessary! We didn't follow those guides that say "Oh it's 6 months before your wedding you need to order your shoes" etc as we did lots of things out of order. But of course they're helpful to check that you haven't missed anything ;) I love love LOVE reading about weddings and I hope you'll all enjoy my posts =) If you don't it's all good and just come back tomorrow then!!

For my wedding series posts there'll be a mix of professional photos by our absolutely amazing photographers Joel and Renata from Tealily Photography and some pics my bridesmaids and I took (watermarked ones).


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It started off the night before at the Shangri-La, Sydney at The Rocks. I had booked a Junior Suite and it had STUNNING views of the harbour and was the perfect backdrop to spend my last hours as a single lady! The suite had a room with king sized bed, separate lounge room with sofa bed, a massive bathroom with spa plus a separate toilet.

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We had the buffet seafood dinner at Cafe Mix on the night - very un-bride like behaviour I know haha. They had such a great selection of seafood, a good mix of hot food and a delicious dessert bar. Even though I couldn't enjoy it properly (I love oysters but didn't indulge just it case they didn't agree with me!), I haven't been to such a good buffet in a LONG time so it was a very memorable part of my wedding experience!

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It was so hard to sleep early that night even though we had an early morning start because I was so super excited but it helped waking up at 6am to this amazing view:

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My hairdresser Rita arrived at 7am and worked on my 3 bridesmaids J, K and M and also my mum. I've been going to Rita for the last 15 years so she knows exactly what I love! For the girls we went with a loose french roll with a side part and was slightly different for them all as they have different hair lengths etc.

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Because our wedding was quite formal I went with an updo with a low french roll with pinned curls with a side part.

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I didn't get any detailed shots of my hair on the day but here's a close up from my trial a fortnight before my wedding which is very similar to my hair on my big day.

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At 10am, 2 makeup artists from Colour 18 Wedding arrived to prep the girls, my mum and myself. Makeup for all of us was organised in our package with Colour 18.

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One of the makeup artists was Vivian who had done my makeup for our engagement shoot and I loved the way she did my makeup so I pleaded with Anni to have her on the day! I didn't have any specific colours or anything I wanted her to use - I told her to "just please work your magic!!". Which she did! We organised for her to accompany me all day so that she could re-touch my makeup and re-do my makeup for the reception.

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I don't remember many of the products that she used because by the time I had my makeup done the nerves were really starting to kick in! She used Temptu airbrush foundation, a Bobbi Brown eye palette for my shadow and I think MAC makeup. Oh and also 3 pairs of lashes!!! Vivian added another pair for the reception too lol.

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Unfortunately because the way my dress was made and as I had to have it altered, I had to put my dress on BEFORE I got my makeup done as my waist is much smaller than my hips. So sadly there are no professional shots of just my dress =( I bought my beautiful wedding dress and veil from the Pallas Couture ( 208 Glenmore Rd, Paddington NSW 2021) sample sale earlier last year. I had quite a small budget for my dress because my theory was as it's a dress I wear for only one day I didn't want to spend so much on it as photography, videography and food was what was important. I jumped when I heard about the sale and dragged my mum and sis with me and I was so lucky and found my dress AND veil for a massive saving!

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My dress was a silk satin gown with an organza overlay with handmade flower detail. It had a low back with sheer panelling on the side and a long train. My veil was cathedral length and made from French tulle and had gorgeous sequin detail! No close up photos of my veil from the morning but you'll be able to see the details in upcoming photos.

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Pallas Couture recommended I use The Emergency Button (436 New South Head Rd, Double Bay NSW 2028) for my alterations which is exactly what I did of course as it's so important to get it right!

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The owner Mitzi Skyring assisted me and she was so lovely! I had 3 fittings in total with her and the job itself was quite large as the entire back of my dress had to be taken in, it had to be hemmed, the straps shortened and my veil had to be cut as there was a small tear in the bottom part of it. It ended up being pretty expensive and more than the alteration budget I had allocated but oh so worth every single penny!!

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I purchased my wedding shoes online from Peeptoe Shoes during a sale. They're the Miss Fonda in Nude and I adore them! Most of my heels are from Peeptoe Shoes actually because they're always so comfy and their warehouse sales are a fantastic time to stock up x) As my dress wasn't a stark white but a "natural" colour I went with shoes that were more nude and this yellow toned nude with lace overlay went perfectly with my dress.

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Ages ago I had seen "I Do" diamante shoe stickers and I had get some for mine! I found them on eBay for a steal from Sydney seller Sweet Treasures and they arrived the next day. Free shipping too score!

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For my beautiful bridesmaids, we purchased their dresses from Park Avenue Bridal (83 Macquarie St, Parramatta NSW 2150) and we got a great deal on them. Their dresses were dusty pink with a gathered bust and an embellished strap.

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I had originally wanted a bright fuschia pink but because of the embellished strap it would have been WAY too much so we went with this gorgeous pink instead. Their shoes we found from Zu and they were on sale too!

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As one of their gifts, I purchased personalised hangers from BridalCuteHangers Etsy store. Keiko (the owner of the store) was so so helpful and not only are the hangers so pretty but she rushed my order for me with no extra charge!!

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I also purchased ones for D and myself too! They are so cute and you can personalise everything - the hanger colour, the wire colour, the name and also the flower too. For the girls I went with a white hanger with a pink flower, D's was a black hanger with black flower and for myself a dark brown hanger with white flower as recommended by Keiko.

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Meanwhile, D and his groomsmen H, P and V were getting ready at home and our awesome videographers Redgie and Marlon from Onsight Films arrived at 10am to take some getting ready footage of them before they headed to my hotel. The boys then headed off to the Colour 18 Wedding studios so that D could get his hair done.

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D was super picky when it came to picking his wedding suit and we finally found everything from Hugo Boss. He went with the Hugo Boss Stars/Glamour Tuxedo, the Sharp Fit Tuxedo shirt and the slim Woven silk tie. I'm biased but boy did he look good in it LOL. We purchased it all from Myer as they had complimentary alterations and also because John the sales assistant was so so super friendly and helpful. His advice was invaluable and he was so patient when we went back multiple times to buy each item and have things ordered in and altered etc!

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He didn't buy new shoes but just wore his pair of "dress shoes" that all boys have for special occasions lol. His are from Aquila and did the trick very well! His cufflinks were Hugo Boss also which he borrowed from P because he never wears cufflinks so there wasn't any point in buying. When it comes to wedding planning on a budget you have to save wherever you can!!

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For the boys, we hired their suits and ties from Spurling at Myer Sydney City. We went with a black suit with off white shirt (as my dress wasn't white), silver tie and silver pocket squares. They all scrubbed up so well!!

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The boys then moved to the Colour 18 store to get their button holes and also pick up the ones for our families. Then they headed off to the Chinese Gardens to prep for the ceremony!!

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Meanwhile over at my hotel, Joel arrived at 12:30pm to capture some getting ready shots. With only an hour and a half to go until our ceremony I was nearly all prepped and just putting on the final touches.

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I wore the beautiful Samantha Wills "Your Always" earrings in silver - beautiful drop earrings with white faux pearls in a crystal and silver setting. I fell in love with the earrings as soon as I saw them last year and they were one of the first things I purchased!

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I wanted to keep my jewellery to a minimum so I skipped a necklace and went with just a simple faux-pearl bracelet from Lovisa which I only purchased a few days before our wedding. Cheap and cheerful!

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For the girls, they wore the Samantha Wills The Bardot ring in Gunmetal which was also a gift from D and I. I only ordered them about 10 days before our day and they accidentally only sent one of the rings. Of course I absolutely freaked out but lovely Emma from Samantha Wills customer service organised replacement rings to be sent out ASAP and they arrived with 5 days to spare. PHEW!!! Isn't the deluxe gift wrapping gorgeous?

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Of course leading up to our day one of the things we were most worried about was the weather because even though our ceremony was undercover, rain would have limited our photo taking opportunities afterwards. We needn't have worried though because the weather was totally on our side! Warm, sunny and not a cloud in the sky. Just another thing to add to our perfect day!

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For my bouquet and flowers I was pretty easy when it came to what I wanted. All I knew was that I wanted David Austin roses and showed Anni a picture of a bouquet I liked which I had seen online and let her and her florist create my flowers for me. My flowers on the day abso-freaking-lutely blew me away and were even more beautiful than I could imagine!!!! I am still so in love with my bouquet and I wished I had preserved it but our budget didn't stretch that far unfortunately in the end.

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My bouquet consisted of rose and cream David Austin roses, pink Lisianthus, Hyacinth (stems) cream, Eucalyptus-tetragona nut (green) and succulent and Dusty miller foliage (silver).

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Last minute checks of things and a final check in the mirror before heading out the door! And trying to calm my nerves..

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I REALLY REALLY wanted a Rolls Royce as our transport but it made so much more sense budget wise to hire a large car that fit everyone. Anni talked us out of 2-3 smaller cars as we had a larger sized bridal party - 8 in total plus 2 photographers! Anni helped us book the 12 seater white Chrysler 300C Super Stretch limo from Impressive Limousines. Not as elegant as a Rolls Royce but boy was it pretty cool!!

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Annnnnd I was on my way! I hope you enjoyed part 1 of our wedding!! Ceremony post will be next =)


  1. Awww this is beautiful - like a fairytale. You look absolutely STUNNING! And your man is very handsome - congratulations! :D

    1. Awwww thank you so much Mel!! The day felt like a fairytale for us and it went by WAY too quickly!

  2. What a stunning wedding :) Everything looks so well-organized and beautiful! From the bridesmaids' dresses to the minimalistic jewelry - you did an amazing job at prepping the wedding yourself Michelle! Can't wait to see your next post on it! x

    1. Thank you Stephanie!! The hubby and I like to be prepared lol

  3. What a beautiful day! You were such a gorgeous bride!! =)

  4. Oh my gosh this was so gorgeous to read!!! The prep work sounds amazing (and you looked oh soooo gorgeous - the boys looked good too!) I loved the gifts you got your bridesmaids - the hangers were particularly gorgeous!
    Can't wait to read your next instalment :)

    1. So glad you enjoyed Jasmine!! Thank you =) The hangers were so cute and I just had to get them!

  5. wow.... you write this with such passion :) it's almost like we're a part of your special day. I'm so happy you had an amazing day and great memories!!

    1. Awwww thank you Marte!! I can't help it since it was such a fun and special day for us! Definitely a day we will always remember =)

  6. Awwwww you look so beautiful, Chelle!!!! I'm so happy you're sharing this with us, and I'm already almost in tears, lol! I can't wait for part 2!!! :D

    1. Lol awwww you're too sweet Ash!! I really wanted to share to help other brides too =) I'll have post 2 up soon!

  7. Congratulations. Thanks for sharing this post with us. The photos look amazing, I love your bouquet. I can't wait for part 2 =)

    1. Thank you Sunshine =) Joel and Renata from Tealily did such amazing work for us!!

  8. you looked breathtaking! Loved this post and i'm so happy for you! Can't wait to see the rest of the posts you have intstalled.

    à la foliee

    1. Awwww thank you so much for your well wishes Chloe! So happy to hear you liked my post! Sometimes I don't know if people want to read personal stuff but it's my blog so I figure I'll post it anyways and hope for the best xp

  9. Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... amazing! So simply beautiful! :D:D:D

  10. Elated that you've chosen to share your day with us all, you are getting me quite excited for my big day next year and I love the little touches you included. You both looked absolutely amazing :)

    1. Thank you Emma!! Weddings are always so exciting and even though planning is stressful it's such an amazing time! I hope you're enjoying the lead up to your wedding =)

  11. Ahhh this is all so beautiful, thank you for sharing!

  12. Thank you for sharing! Your whole bridal party look so elegant and gorgeous. Your wedding day looks like it was so beautiful. Look forward to the next post :)

    1. Thank you for your kind words Tina!! It was an amazing day for us and I wanted to share with my lovely readers =)

  13. such gorgeous pics, can't wait for part 2!

    1. Thank you! We love our photos so so much =)

  14. Awwwwww so much love for this post Chelle! *grabs tissues* (luckily I'm surrounded by them at the mo! haha!) You look absolutely breathtaking my lovely! Your dress is stunning & loooooove all the pics! Can't to see part two of your magical day!

    Aysh xoxo

    1. Thank you sweetheart!!!!! *kisses* I still can't get over how amazing our day was!

  15. Love this post. Thanks for sharing with us Chelle :)


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