Douglas & Kaliopi
9th November 2019
GUESTS | 216
HOW DID YOU MEET
We met at our mutual friend’s wedding. Douglas introduced himself and asked me to dance and the rest is history!
YOUR ENGAGEMENT STORY
We had flown into Iceland a few days earlier and started this amazing private tour of all the natural wonder in Iceland. We ended the tour on this stunning private property with clear bubble glamping tents to watch the Northern Lights. After a few hours of waiting for the lights, the heavens opened up and I turned to Douglas who was on one knee when he asked me to marry him. It was perfect.
GROOM + GROOMSMEN ATTIRE
Douglas wore a two piece natural linen suit, white fitted shirt and blue floral pocket square by M.J. Bale. The groom’s suit was accessorised with a TAG Heuer watch, Ray ban Sunglasses, Zara belt and Staple Superior loafers. The Groomsmen wore the same blazer and shirt with black chinos and a white pockets square all from M.J. Bale.
PREPARATION – COUNTDOWN BEGINS
Both bride and groom prepped at our parent’s home, much to keep with tradition of what has happened in our families for generations. It was really special. Friday was Doug’s birthday, so his best man threw him a few drinks and cigars with his closest mates before the big day. The next morning was spent with all his groomsmen and immediate family, and had a nice long breakfast, finishing with of course, some scotch.
Kali had all the bridesmaids over in the morning for hair and makeup and slowly as time got closer to getting ready, her extended family came to visit; all aunties, uncles and cousins, much to keep to Greek tradition. We had a champagne brunch at home and played my big fat Greek wedding in the early hours of the morning which was so fitting!
J. Andreatta was the designer of my dress. I had seen Jess’s work and fell in love with her romantic style of gowns. On our first meeting she sketched a couture dress and I instantly knew that was what I wanted to wear. She was so easy to work with and made the whole experience perfect. Because my gown was so embellished, we decided to keep the veil simple to not take away from all the beading.
My shoes were Aquazurra “So Nude” in metallic silver. I had a split in my dress so I decided I needed something elongating, and these were a slingback style and honestly so comfortable considering the heel height. I decided to go for metallic silver as it just went beautifully with all the beading.
JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES
I wore baroque freshwater pearl earrings by Pierre Winter Fine Jewels.
I have a marquis cut engagement ring with a thin band, so I decided to go for a thin diamond band to go with my engagement ring, all in white gold. Douglas has a family heirloom of a sapphire which he set in a matt yellow gold band. All by Daniele Jewellers.
HAIR & MAKEUP
I wore my hair out and with a light curl because I wanted to look as natural as possible. My makeup was similar to the bridesmaids, and I opted for a more golden look.
All dresses were from Bec and Bridge. I had 6 bridesmaids, so I decided to make my matron of honour/koumbara look different and allowed her to choose her dress, then the other 5 dresses went perfectly with hers.
Shoes were from Zara, slightly similar style to mine, sling-back because the girls had splits in their dresses. Same colour as their gowns with a clear front strap.
WEDDING LOCATION/ VENUE
Our ceremony was Greek Orthodox (Kali has Greek heritage), at St Styllianos Greek Orthodox Church in Gymea. Keeping with Kali’s family traditions, we chose our koumbara (much like a maid of honour) who was part of the ceremony in marrying us to one another. It was incredibly special for us to continue in the traditions of our families and be able to involve our closest friends in our commitment to each other.
We decided to keep the ceremony styling simple as Greek Orthodox Churches can be highly decorative and beautiful so we didn’t want to take away from that. However, we did include some small touches that flowed on into the reception styling. We had a low hanging sign by Kalypso Creative and an urn from Lovestoned Styling with some dried foliage. Our florist, Victoria C Flowers created the most stunning pieces to hang off our traditional candles that are at the front of the church, which turned into the center pieces for the ceremony.
We had two 1959 white Cadillac convertibles and limousine – they were so much fun. All from Ace American Convertibles.
THE FLOWERS & BOUQUETS
My flowers were incredibly made by Victoria C Flowers. I had a vision of dried and preserved foliaged mixed with orchids and reflexed roses and she made it all come to life. I wanted beige, whites and flickers of shimmer which we achieved through different styles of preserved foliage and flora. Something different yet still really romantic. The bridesmaids bouquets were white roses with silk personalized ribbon by Kalypso Creative. I had a mixture of orchids, roses and preserved ruscus. She also made the most stunning floral wreaths for our flower girls with all preserved foliage – they were amazing.
FLOWER GIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS
Lucy rose made my flower girls dresses with silk beaded tulle and Victoria C made the girls matching head wreaths. My page boy’s outfit was from Zara and River Island with an M.J. Bale pocket square.
We chose With Love Weddings – Dom has been a longtime friend of ours and we love how he creates a romantic and fun aesthetic to all his photographs. His work was amazing and he was incredibly easy to work with – not one awkward moment. He truly went above and beyond to make sure every part of the day was captured perfectly.
WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST
Rychelle from Lovestoned Styling was our wedding stylist. She was fantastic and totally understood the vibe we were hoping for with the aesthetic of the wedding. She literally did everything we hoped for and worked so well with our florist to achieve the look of the reception. She has a huge inventory of really different pieces that aren’t typical for a wedding and has great style herself to put everything together. Couldn’t recommend her more highly – she was fantastic.
Our reception was held at Soldiers on the Esplanade in Cronulla. Douglas is from the area and we both agreed that it would be more special to both of us if we got married at home. We both love the area, and now live here, so it just made sense to us. Soldiers on the esplanade had a beautiful view, a great space for our number of guests and allowed us to have a relaxed feel to our wedding rather than the ballroom style which wasn’t our thing.
RECEPTION DÉCOR & DETAILS
We really wanted something ultra romantic and looked at weddings in France and Byron Bay for inspiration. The main focus was to include a soft palette and have a contrast of surfaces and transparencies to achieve this glistening look, by using marble, linen, gold chrome and frosted surfaces. We had spray painted palms in urns outside the reception room, with a hanging neon sign saying “the music sounds better with you” (designed by Kalypso Creative and made by Small things co.) which set the tone of the wedding when people walked in – we loved to have a great party, and that’s what this celebration was all about. We then had large seating charts and re-used the welcome sign from the reception. Inside the reception, we avoided fresh foliage, and instead mixed preserved and dried foliage with fresh and large roses and lightly dyed orchids. All florals ranges from beige, to silver to white in order to go with the white and grey walls of the venue. We made our own floral stands because nobody in Australia seemed to have the ones we wanted, and we then mixed low arrangements in with white vases. The bridal table was surrounded by glass votive candles and the bridesmaid’s flowers were used to decorate the table. Our backdrop was a beautiful white wooden arch which our florist decorated with flowers and foliage en masse. We also had pots of the same flowers in different areas of the room (bar, beside the bridal table, etc.) which basically allowed for flowers to be nearly everywhere in the room. Each table and the bar had transparent linen hanging from table ends to give that ultra romantic feel to the setting. We kept our stationery simple by using different surfaces and designs to match with the theme – we used frosted acrylic with subtle magnolia designs and gold lettering for table numbers, menus were in translucent card printed with black text, and each person was given a marble place-card with gold lettering. It was the small things that show the attention to detail that I wanted to achieve. Our bonbonniere/wedding favours were a small bottle of ouzo which said “cheers!” in Greek with sugared almonds as traditional to our culture. Our cake matched the soft palette we used and looked like folded linen marble – it was absolutely amazing.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
We had canapes on arrival with drinks and when guests entered the reception, we had a banquet style meal with beer, wine and spirits available to all guests.
DID YOU STICK WITH THE TRADITION OF FAVORS /BONBONNIERE?
Absolutely. We chose to give small bottles of ouzo that were labelled with “cheers” written in Greek to each guest, and we also gave sugared almonds to each guest – a Greek tradition with the following symbolic inscription with each package “five sugared almonds for each guest to eat, to remind us that life is both bitter and sweet. Five wishes for the new husband and wife: health, wealth, happiness, children and a long life.” Each guest also took home their marble bar placecards that were made (all design work by Kalypso Creative for the bonbonniere).
Kalypso Creative designed all signage, stationery and invitations. I own the business so I had an opportunity to have some fun because I love an open brief. I think your save the date sets the tone for the stationery that will follow for the wedding, so we had small and simple save the dates that were light grey ink, letter-pressed onto soft cotton card. Following that, we were inspired by the use of delicate florals in our wedding planning so I hand-drew a magnolia and used it to complete a blind print onto our wedding invitations with gold foiling as text. Ultra-romantic script for our names to act as the branding we would use across the wedding. Our rsvp and detail cards were printed in black to link in with what was to come at the wedding. Our menus were on a translucent card with black in, in matching fonts which continued to be used across the signage.
We have a been big fans of Ivy and Stone’s work for such a long time so we asked her to work with fondant in a really different style that looked like drape marble – it was amazing! It tasted delicious too – we chose a lemon and vanilla ganache cake.
We chose a gift registry for our bridal shower (Peter’s of Kensington and David Jones). Everyone’s presence on the day of the wedding was a gift in itself. Our friends gave us a collective gift for us to purchase something for our house – which was a great idea and a special way to remember them as we use the gift everyday in our home.
We wanted a mix of our backgrounds in music so we split the night up with Greek and English music – we provided our DJ a list of our favourite songs and he worked with that all night. It was one big party!
YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
We made sure to pinch each other a few times throughout the day and night – a plan we made the day before so we could make sure we soaked up everything that was happening. It was hands down the best thing we did and I am so grateful that we got to spectate at those points throughout the day and really take in how special it all really was. My other memorable moments were the surprise plate smashing for Douglas and the Greek dancing traditions around a cup of scotch at the end of the night – everyone was just together all night and it was perfect.
First Dance – remake of an Elvis Presley classic – “Can’t help falling in love” by Kina Grannis
WHAT MARRIAGE MEANS TO YOU
It’s extending on the love we already have for each other – it’s forever, and we love doing life together. We both wouldn’t have it any other way.
IF YOU COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES ONE PIECE OF ADVICE…
Book your venue first! Then everything else will fall into place. Don’t sweat the small stuff and have fun with it all!
HONEYMOON TIME BABY!!!
We honeymooned at the Villas of Byron in Byron Bay straight after the wedding – we frequently go to Byron and it’s our second home so it seemed fitting to take a break before going straight back to work. Rae’s on Wategos is always a must for dinner, and our new favourite Bang Bang.
We will be heading to Europe – particularly Greece and Italy (Capri, Positano and Polignano a Mare) later this year and celebrate our honeymoon 2.0
HAIR: Sandra Natoli @sandranatoli
MAKEUP: Bernadette Leva @bernadetteleva.mua
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS/SIGNAGE: Kalypso Creative www.kalypsocreative.com.au @kalypsocreative_
FLORIST: Victoria C Flowers @victoriacflowers
TRANSPORT: Ace American Convertibles @aceconvertibles
WEDDING VENUE: Soldiers on the esplanade, Cronulla @esplanade_events
CATERING: Soldiers on the esplanade, Cronulla @esplanade_events
CAKE: Ivy & Stone Cake Design @ivyandstone__
HONEMOON DESTINATION: The Villas of Byron (Byron Bay), Europe – Greece & Italy @villasofbyron
GIFT REGISTRY: Peters of Kensington & David Jones