Names / Stephanie & William
Date / Saturday 6th March
Venue / Botanical Gardens
Gown / Monique Lhillier
Florals / PoHo

How did you and your husband meet?

It’s a modern love story. I saw William for the first time via a photo on Instagram that was posted by a mutual friend. I was instantly attracted to him and felt like I had known him all my life. I reached out via Instagram chat (I would not usually be so bold) and we arranged to meet up at the Casino for a mutual friends event. From the moment we introduced ourselves that night, we held hands… We held hands the whole evening until it was time for us to go home. That was six years ago.

How did he propose?

A typical Sunday for us is going for a morning walk and usually treating ourselves to brekky at one of our favourite local cafes in Bondi. This sunny August morning in 2019 seemed no different. We were days out from flying to Italy with a bunch of friends for a wedding (pre-COVID) and were in great spirits! We wandered down to our favourite café, read the paper and chatted about the incredible 3x weeks ahead we had planned. As we finished breakfast, we wandered back via the grassy knoll in Bondi Beach where he suggested we sit and soak up the sun for a bit. We spoke about how lucky we were to have such amazing family and friends… I got impatient and started to stand up and like that he grabbed my hand, kneeling up and asked me to marry him (I don’t actually remember what he said– it was a bit of a blur!). His sister and brother-in-law who lived just around the corner from us showed up on the beach with bubbles and we celebrated. William later unveiled further surprises throughout the day consisting of a family lunch (where he had been prepping my favourite meals the day before), followed by drinks with friends that evening. We were on such a high and it was so perfectly planned given we were able to jet off to Italy only days later!

What was your vision for your wedding day?

I wanted something local and easy for all my guests to get to logistically, so William and I decided early on that we would celebrate our wedding in Sydney. Our vision always led back to outdoor canapes in the afternoon sun with live music, rolling into a botanical reception surrounded by nature in the most private space possible (whilst still being in a metro city area). On my lunch breaks during work, I would go for runs through the Royal Botanic Gardens. I loved how the gardens felt never ending and that it was also right on the harbour. In my eyes, this location ticked all requirements. The gardens would close to the public at 6pm so we had the Royal Botanic Gardens to ourselves by night. It became our own private playground, with views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Nestled within the gardens was a restaurant that was intimate in size but also felt airy and open. We loved how we felt like we could have been anywhere in the world. A lush, private yet local setting just moments from home.

I drew on the colour of olive and sage for our colour theme to keep things botanical. I also felt the colours were regal, earthy and timeless. The palette came through in all our wedding invitations, bridesmaid dresses and personal touches throughout the reception.

Where did you look for your wedding inspiration?

Instagram was the perfect research and inspiration tool for me. That is how I came across my photographer, hair & make-up artist, florist and dress.

What drew you to choose Imagehaus for your photography & Videography?

William and I agreed that one of the most important investments into our day would be the memories we could treasure through beautiful photos. With that in mind, I surfed instagram for months, saving other couples moments on camera that made me feel something. Henryk has a way of shining a light on every meaningful moment, but also finding beauty in everything around him. I loved the way he captured intimate and real moments, but more than anything how he seamlessly fitted into our day like a friend and made us feel relaxed, particularly considering William and I get a bit camera shy and awkward! Henryk understood exactly what it is we wanted to achieve and we felt so confident he would deliver. I don't think we could be any happier with the result of the photos from our wedding day and there's no better feeling than that.

What was your wedding planning journey like for you? How far out did you start planning?

We got engaged in August 2019, with a date set for December 2020. Due to COVID, we needed to push our date out to March 2021. I am an organised person, so naturally started planning soon after the engagement. I absolutely loved the planning experience (the first time). It made me so excited the thought of planning a big party for all my loved ones to celebrate me and William. Then, when we had to move our date due to COVID around October 2020 due to the uncertainty with guest numbers, dancing restrictions, etc. the joy of planning honestly flew out the window. I found we were living on the edge up until the week of, not knowing whether we would need to uninvite guests to fit the square metre rule, which then meant changing the planning with seating charts, table settings, etc. Whilst it started out incredibly wonderful and joyous, it steadily declined! All in all, that didn’t change the magic that was the day!

What was the highlight of your wedding day for you?

I truly thought I would be able to manage my nerves in the morning, but I simply couldn’t fight it. I found it very overwhelming with all the laughing, crying with joy, nerves and running a little behind time was all compounding, but the moment I stepped into the church and saw William standing at the altar, all those nerves melted away. As soon as we were in the same room as one another, I knew everything was going to be great and all the materialised things really didn’t matter. Walking down the aisle towards William was the absolute highlight of my day.

Is there anything you would do differently?

I wouldn’t have changed a thing about my day. Anything that went slightly off script made for a spontaneous and slightly less predictable day. There will always be little things that get overlooked/missed, but no one else notices!

Is there any advice you would give other ImageHaus brides?

If you have more than 3 bridesmaids, I would suggest you ask to get your make-up started in-between your bridesmaids. I say this because we found ourselves running a bit overtime and I found it a little stressful seeing my beautiful bridesmaids and mum all dressed and ready to go and I still had wet hair and no make-up on.

I know it makes sense for the bride to go last because your make up is the most fresh, but I would have preferred to feel a bit more done up (half-done up) and wandered around the place with champagne and watched my friends get excited and then done touch ups on me later. I think it created a little more nerve feeling bare most of the morning.