This glamorous, yet romantic gold and berry wedding is just as sweet as the couple's love story. It all started with Julia getting homesick for her mother's Vietnamese cooking and ended with a (mostly) DIY wedding wrapped in jewel tones, floral decor, and a prestigious university. Read on for the bride's sentiments and to find out what her advice is for brides-to-be.
How did you and your partner meet?
Michael and I met through mutual friends and had an instant connection, when we were 18 and 20. My family had just moved overseas after I’d finished high school, and I had just commenced at university. Feeling homesick for my mother’s wonderful Vietnamese cooking, I asked friends to join me at a local Vietnamese restaurant, and one of them brought her new friend, Michael. I was struck at first sight, and we were pretty much inseparable, in heart if not physically ever since. We spent 10 years courting, finishing our relative studies, and traveling, studying and working overseas, before moving in together and starting our lives together in Canberra nearby family and adopting our furbabies, Snowy the Japanese Spitz and Tintin the rescue kitten.
How did he propose?
Michael proposed on April 1 st 2015, which was a significant date; he proposed with his grandmother’s beautiful solitaire diamond engagement ring, which she had worn for the duration of her long marriage to Michael’s grandfather. April 1st was the date that Michael’s grandfather had proposed to his grandmother, and so Michael wanted to follow this tradition, especially using that ring. He did add his own flair, however, having starting the day with various April Fool’s jokes designed to trick (and simultaneously terrify) me. After a full morning of tricks and jokes (some involving fake spiders), he went to the cupboard to make me breakfast, and when he turned around from the cupboard, he got down on one knee, with the ring box and proposed to me. After I said yes (having checked it wasn’t a joke first), he then recreated our first date for the rest of the day, including a meal at the restaurant where we first met.
How did you choose your wedding gown?
I didn’t have specific inspiration for my gown, I just wanted to choose a gown that made me feel myself, and this was perfect. I loved my gown, which was a fit and flare, strapless luxurious satin gown designed by Cristiano Lucci. Featured an intricate beaded belt and dramatic beaded skirt and train. I loved how this gown made me feel and how it fitted on the day! It matched the glamorous theme I was hoping for! My accessories were as follows:
My veil- a custom length 4 meter veil by Wedding Veils Australia, exclusively stocked through two-tier veil, made in ivory glimmer tulle, customized cathedral length, and beaded edges made up of Swarovski clear crystals along the edges, with top tier having teardrop crystals spaced along the edge.
My shoes- Badgley Mishka “Gene” shoes, satin Mary Jane peep toe shoes which had embellishments on the heel that matched my gown!
My something blue was offered by my delicate lace garter, which my maid of honor and best friend had bought for me when we were traveling together in Venice in 2012, long before the engagement!
What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
I wanted an old fashioned gold glamour with romantic touches, with main colors of gold, and accents of creams, soft pinks and maroons. I once saw a wedding photo shoot set in a forest with strong bold berry colors but accented with metallic. I was inspired by the bold colors and how beautiful they were alongside the metallic and so we developed the mix of creams, pinks and maroons to contrast leafy greens in the flowers, with a strong gold base. I fell in love with the champagne gold sequin fabrics and sought out the elegant bridesmaids gowns to bring the dream to life! I was also able to source matching gold sequin fabric overseas and created all the table coverings to match.
Any DIY décor elements?
Almost everything was DIY! We did the tablecloths, mirrored seating chart, table numbers, centerpieces, most stationery and bonbonniere amongst other things!
If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
I would take more photos with my family, as we somehow missed the opportunity because it was so busy!
Any tips that you can give to future brides?
Tips on how to enjoy the engagement:
Really remind yourself that the wedding is a celebration of your love and commitment to each other, forever. We took on board a lot of family support and ideas, which can be stressful. For us we wanted to make sure our families were happy, and took that stress on willingly, as our families have done so much for us. At the end though, we just had to remember that the day would mean we’d be married, and all the stresses sort of become insignificant! And have a party, why not!
I adored wedding planning, at every stage. I would recommend that brides use so many of the resources online and in bridal magazines that helped me along. Our relatively short engagement period meant we had to be decisive in decision-making and I loved what we came up with. I felt that the day was a perfect representation of what we both wanted, which is so important, and in the end the day will be what it is! Money can be stressful too, but just make sure to use DIY options available.
And on the Wedding Day:
BREATHE! I nearly forgot to do this so many times. But you’ll have surrounded yourselves with vendors and people you trust. So take a back seat to the operational aspect of the day, and focus on the actual event- marrying your fiancé!
Dress: Cristiano Lucci
Makeup: Shopgirl Beauty
Hair: Leslie Henshaw
Stationery: Giant Invitations
Shoes: Badgley Mishka
Accessories: LOVEON Jewellery
Bridesmaids Dresses: Jadore
Grooms Suit: Overseas tailor
Photographer: Keepsake Photography
Cake: Traditional cake- Cake of Your Dreams
Food: ANU House
Flowers: Silk Flora
Ceremony Venue: St Christopher’s Cathedral, Canberra
Reception Venue: ANU House
Videographer: Say Hello to Forever
DJ: Mr Michael Music
Live music: Jay Boats
Transport: Select Limousines