Kristy and Jesse couldn’t wait to be married. After being in a long distance relationship, their wedding day signified the time when they could stay together. After the long search for the perfect ring, the couple set out to plan the perfect DIY wedding. Wanting to create and a memorable and fun day for their family and friends, Kristy and Jesse worked relentlessly on every aspect of the day. We got to speak to the newlywed couple about the day and all the work they put into it. From the hunt for the perfect dress, to marrying in a church very close to Kristy’s heart, they managed to create a day they will remember forever.
The decision to get married was really a mutual one for us. We knew we couldn’t fathom a life without one another and getting married was the next step. As we had been living 10,000 miles apart with Kristy in Sydney, Australia and Jesse in Louisiana, USA, we had made the decision that next time Jesse was in Sydney (at Christmas 2011), we would go looking for an engagement ring. Jesse wanted Kristy to choose whatever ring she fell in love with. We spent an entire month searching for rings, looking at jewelry store after jewelry store with no luck. It was December, stocks were completed and we couldn’t find a thing to suit Kristy’s tiny fingers.
Everyone joked that we were “unofficially” engaged and we decided to wait until I came over to Louisiana to start the search for “the ring” once again. After a week of searching with no luck, we stumbled upon the perfect ring just five days before Kristy was due to leave Louisiana for Sydney. The jeweler promised she would do her absolute best to get the ring in and resized in time for Kristy to head back home and she managed to pull through with her promise – but Kristy continued to wait.
Just one day before Kristy was due to fly out, Jesse told Kristy he wanted to take her “somewhere pretty to take photos”. Kristy is a photographer and loves nothing better than to photograph nature and Jesse knew this was the perfect time to propose. He packed a backpack with “water and snacks”, tucking the ring inside.
As Kristy busily snapped away at the gorgeous pine trees and forest scenary, Jesse got down on one knee, waiting for Kristy to put the camera down and turn around. We were finally officially engaged and our next chapter begun!
Full story can be found here, at Kristy’s Blog.
We wanted our wedding to be a relaxed and fun event for everyone involved. Not wanting a boring sit down dinner, we decided to turn the traditional wedding idea on its head and do everything ourselves.
We decided to rent out an empty studio space and hired a wedding stylist to transform the literal blank canvas into a vintage oasis. Mixing modern pieces with gorgeous vintage furniture and rustic elements, we created the ultimate “Southern In-Law” style. Mixing old and new, traditional and unique.
We did almost everything ourselves – from redoing furniture pieces that would feature in our reception to designing the invitations, RSVP cards and “wedding logo”. This even appeared on our cake to providing our caterers with recipes to suit Kristy’s allergies and creating our own lolly buffet.
You can find a full recap of the wedding here, and Kristy’s Blog.
Favourite detail or moment of the day (besides becoming husband and wife of course! or Wife and Wife, or Husband and Husband!)
It would have to be the ceremony. Our wedding day was one we had dreamed of for five years. After spending five years, 10,000 miles apart, dreaming of the day we would finally be together, that day had finally come and it finally felt real. When you spend so many years dreaming about a day it feels incredibly surreal when it actually becomes a reality.
A traditional church wedding was incredibly important to us as Christians. We were married in the exact same church, standing on the exact same steps, that Kristy’s Mum and Dad were married in almost 30 years earlier.
Did you undertake any DIY projects, if so what?
Just about every part of our wedding was a DIY project!
RSVP Cards and Wedding Mad-Libs – designed and printed by Kristy
We re-did vintage furniture pieces that we had found at Vinnies and on Gumtree which featured in our wedding.
Wedding Canvas – Kristy designed and created our wedding canvas which featured in our reception.
Wedding “logo” – Kristy designed a wedding logo (a heart made up of dozens of smaller hearts) to represent all of our friends and family who came together to make our dream a reality. This logo appeared on our invitations, RSVP cards, printables and even our cake. (see the cake here).
Gluten Free Candy Bar – we hired the majority of our candy buffet pieces and then sourced all of the lollies and pieced it all together ourselves
Wedding Menu – as Kristy is a coeliac with many allergies, it was incredibly important to Jesse that Kristy feel “normal” on their wedding day and be able to enjoy all of the food without worry. For this reason we created our entire wedding menu and ensured all food at the wedding was gluten free. Kristy developed all of the recipes for our wedding which were then handed over to our caterers who created our incredible buffet spread.
Any family or religious traditions incorporated into your day?
We were married in the church Kristy’s parents were married in – and in the same church Kristy and her sister Katrina were christened in. As Christians, it was incredibly important that we had a traditional church wedding with traditional vows.
Talk to us about your dress, where is it from? How long did it take to find?
I had randomly stumbled upon my dress on Pinterest when we were “unofficially engaged” and fell in love. I was desperate to see it in real life, however, after spending many hours searching, I found that it was nowhere to be found in Australia. As Mum and I were planning on heading to Louisiana to see Jesse and his family, we contacted a dozen bridal boutiques in Louisiana. We stumbled across one three hours away that had my dream dress.
I booked an appointment for whilst we were in Louisiana, hoping Jesse wouldn’t mind driving us all the way to Lafayette because I needed to try on this dress.
Luckily, he agreed to drive the three hours to take me. We arrived at the store and I fell in love. It was the gorgeous mix of vintage, rustic, country, shabby chic that I love and there were hundreds of gorgeous dresses laid about.
So my Mum, Jesse and I walked into A-Net’s Bridal where they quickly put Jesse out on the porch so I could try on my dress (which Jesse was seriously peeved about as he didn’t know the Groom wasn’t supposed to see the Bride’s dress before the big day!). We headed to the back dressing room which had a gorgeous old lounge, a hugeeeeeeeee ornate mirror and a gold Persian rug on the floor. The room itself made the process so much more special – it was grand and grown up and oh so exciting. I knew this was the same room that hundreds of other brides to be had found their dresses and the feeling was quite overwhelming.
I held the dress in my hands and fell even more in love. The fabric was lush – it looked even better in person and had so much detail. As I stepped my feet into the dress, my heart started pounding.
I didn’t look until my mum had zipped me into the dress and when I looked up into that big ornate mirror, it felt like someone was pushing right against my chest. My chest was tight, I had a lump in my throat and I knew I was right.
“Wow Kristy… you were right,” my Mum said. But whilst I had somewhat of a moment, it wasn’t the moment. There was one thing that wasn’t right – just a simple addition that would make it perfect. I decided I needed a back on the dress and the team at A-Net’s Bridal Boutique assured me there was a modest version that would be absolutely perfect.
When the time came to order my dress, I took a huge risk and ordered the dress online. I ordered my dress from House of Brides and whilst it was quite a bit stressful waiting so long and not knowing if I’d made the right choice – my dress arrived on time, 6 months later. My dress took quite a bit longer than it usually takes as it had to be made in my size (they don’t stock the smaller sizes as standard stock so it had to be hand made) and it arrived in a teeny tiny little box.
I have to admit, I had a panic attack when it arrived. The box was shoe box sized and the outside of the package read Polyester Bridesmaid Dress. My dress certainly wasn’t polyester and I couldn’t imagine how it could fit such a tiny box so I thought there was a mistake. I opened the box with my heart racing and then I saw the lace. I pulled the dress out of the box and sure enough, it was my dress – and it was perfect.
I can’t recommend House of Brides enough – I also bought the crystal sash on my dress from House of Brides and it arrived really quickly. I saved a fortune buying my dress online and if I had have gone with the store in Sydney who could have shipped it in for me I would have paid $2000 more. Even with shipping, I paid less than $1000 for my dress – and just slightly more than that once the sash was added.
Any funny stories in the lead up to or on the day?
There were quite a few – from receiving my “Polyester Bridesmaid Dress” that was the size of a shoebox and freaking out thinking that I’d ordered the Barbie size to spending time getting to know the incredible (and hilarious!) Henry Roth himself as he personally altered my sister’s bridesmaid dress to ensure it was perfect.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
People always say that your wedding day is “the best day of your life”, however, we truly believe it’s just a glimpse of what’s to come. Your wedding day is the start of your story together. Sure, there might be hiccups and mishaps on the big day, but just remember that you have the rest of your lives to spend together making memories!
It’s an incredible day, full of joy, laughter, tears and plenty of planning – but it is just one day! Relax and enjoy every second because it goes by in an instant.
Shoes: Diana Ferrari
Flowers: Brides in Bloom
Bouquets: reception flowers purchased and arranged by bride from Sydney Flower Markets
Rings: Zales USA
Bridesmaids dresses: Henry Roth (Henry Roth 88888 Gown in Flamingo)
Grooms & Groomsmen suit: Spurling Formalwear (Beige Self Stripe Two Button Single Breasted Lounge Suit).
Ceremony – St Paul’s Anglican Church, Burwood
Reception – Private Photo Studio in Sydney (we don’t want to share the details as we had a terrible experience with the owners)
Catering: Flavour’s Catering
Reception stylist, any decorations or details: Nicolle at RaRa Kitty
Stationery designer – Kristy (who designs wedding stationery and accessories for clients at Kiss Freelance)
Hair and Make up: Nieves Calvo, Get Threaded Met Centre
Transport: Broadway Wedding Car Hire
Photo Booth: PhotoSocial
Gluten Free Candy: Big Lolly
Candy Buffet Hire: Unique Vintage Weddings