Sunday, January 19, 2014

The sweet sigh of a collaborative wedding...

Pinterest window image -

This is for brides that find themselves
lying awake in the wee hours of the morning
t h i n k i n g   t h i n k i n g   t h i n k i n g

So I would like to share with you how we set about our own wedding festivities,
 seeing that we are in the bespoke wedding business it only
seems fair to explain how we went about our unique special day,
made just for us.

Bill and I were married in February 2005.

A daytime wedding.

It was our second time for both of us and I guess our whole approach to our wedding day
was going to be different,

A. because we both had adult children now, our relationship brought an extended family
and friendships

B. We had just both come out of art school and finances were slim with renovating 
and setting up our studio Hill End Press.
(as most of us can relate to)

So here is how we got the inspiration juices fine tuned and moving along

Our theme


(and how to learn about art via your wedding and abundance of beauty )

Dutch Still Life paintings

One of the best ways to be inspired is to get yourself down to the city art gallery or museum,
here you will find answers to your choice of colour combos, being brave, and honest clarity.

You will find many an artist whom trust themselves and their unique vision.
Yes they have doubts for sure, but they keep moving right a long once their idea has

The idea is it will transport your mind.
( A r t   i s   h o n e s t   a n d   I  g u e s s   t h a t ' s   t h e   
f o u n d a t i o n   o f   y o u r   r e l a t i o n s h i p  t o o. )

As an artist it's hard for me to go pass American painter Mark Rothko,
who's placement of layered colour, composition and an understanding of
 how colour can effect the emotions. There is one in the Tate Modern, London that
when standing in front of made me cry, cry in neither sadness or joy
 but it touched a beautiful fulfilling chord with me,
that I couldn't quite explain,
but it rang true.

This is what you want your wedding to be, something that says something about
the essence of you as a couple and transports your guests mentally to thoughts that are
 uniquely beautiful.

This is what great art can do.

So Rothko became the palette for us.

Pinterest images - Rothko painting and chocolate cake

For us it was going to be naturally a wedding bountiful in creativity.

 It was going to be relatively stress free and it was going to be about everyone pitching in to bring it together with their talents and skills.

It was very personal and very successful.

We booked romantic Rodd Island in Sydney Harbour just off Rozelle, it has a historic house with verandahs, beautiful grounds and a lovely gazebo. 
An island destination wedding at reasonable rates, available for the whole day and central for everyone to come too, it was February and there was shelter for any afternoon Sydney summer storm.

(It's claim to fame is that Sarah Bernhardt left her dogs here for quarantine at the turn of the last century)

Now the idea behind it being A GRAND PICNIC is that it had a comfortable vibe from the word go
yet the Sydney island was something that a lot of our guests hadn't experienced and there were no airfares to worry about.

Here's where the pitching in and trust comes.

It became one big beautiful collaboration where  e v e r y o n e  contributed something special.

We had our working ferry called Reliance a beautiful old 1919 boat that use to ship mail and goods down the Hawkesbury River and this was to ferry our guests to the island. As a present to us our friend Anthony presented his Sydney tug boat to help as well, which meant we could transport the 100 or so guests quicker.

This was a moment of nervousness for Bill and I as our ferry needed a new engine and the concern that she would not perform on the day was at our forefront of our minds, but she was a solid part of our lives so she just had to be a part of the gig, fingers crossed we forged on and if there happen to be hiccups there was the tug boat.

The little ones standing on the wharf welcoming party were looked after by my sister in law Gela and she organized them with blowing bubbles as we walked up through the middle of our guests to the historic house.

Once inside we stood in front of all our family and friends, a song was performed that had been written about us by the band Myriad and sung to us by them.

It was such a unique bridal waltz
of course
'Bill the boatman fell in love'.

Being picnic style all our guests were asked on their invitations to bring a plate of food, no pressies.  so naturally everyone made something festive and very decadent.
Tables, glasses, napkins were set up and food organized on the day by our 
enthusiastic friends.
Guests mingled and ate in the grounds.
The food was in abundance and amazing
and our guests were like an army full of love 
with their organizing and thoughtful details.

The wedding chocolate cake that was covered in gorgeous flowers was specially made for us by our art school friend Chris that works at the best cake shop in Sydney called in Paddington.

Reliance our ferry and Anthony Browells tug boat.

To our surprise Bill's brother Richard had hired a wonderful Elvis impersonator and he entertained the guests on the wharf and boat journeys.

This was his unexpected and special wedding present.

Our sons and daughters with my little nephew Jay as pageboy were the bridal party 
with two close long time friends, that had seen our children grow up.

Bill wore his fabulous American vintage white tuxedo, I made the wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses and was inspired by my love of all things
Japanese and the painter Rothko's palette, 
simple, eclectic and strong statements of colour was what I loved.
Our sons wore black pants and smart black T-shirts.
Best man looked very best.

I really wanted it to have a joyfulness and playfulness about it, which is why I used strong colours.

It had to sing and convey happiness.

For the flowers, one very early early morning, the day before, my sister in law Marilyn and myself
went to the flower markets for the bouquets and this was her present to us.
It was a gorgeous experience where we gathered bundles and bundles of colourful flowers,
 early morning coffee and catch up,
and watched all the growers  setting up and selling there blooms before dawn.

My other sister in law Gela put together all the bouquets for me on the morning of the ceremony tied with varying french colourful ribbons.

We bought enough flowers to have surplus that were put in a box and given to both our Mums before we arrived on the island,
Ann and Rita both made a ceremonial circle from the flowers on the ground for us to take our vows in under a sweeping old Morton Bay Fig tree.

Our children threw rose petals on us as we stepped off our boat.

Our marriage celebrant came in his official sea captain uniform which was fitting for Bill having worked on the harbour for many years.

All our photography was done by the very talented Graham Monroe of

After lunch we danced to Chilean music, wonderful drums that friends contributed.

Images from Pinterest - and

I think what was so endearing about our wedding day is that we involved 
our family and friends, they all contributed as they so importantly do in our lives.

Whatever their talents were, and there were many talents, we matched the job to it.

We made it very personal
(and except for our ferry, would she make the run, it was 
relatively stress free).

It was an exclusive festival.

and because it was our wedding day we had full trust in them all to
bring it all together for us,
there was a beautiful thread that linked everyone up,
which for us 
 was the best wedding present.