Annabel and Liam’s Sydney soiree was elegant, fun, non-traditional and filled to the brim with those loved-up moments we live for here at HM… and, um, have you seen the bride’s fairy floss-coloured Rachel Gilbert dress. SWOON! Set against the iconic city skyline, with the wonderful human that is Ona Janzen in charge of taking pics, and magic lighting courtesy of Festoon, this wedding hits all the right notes. Scroll down to see…  but first, over to the happy couple.

THE INSPO “Summer cocktail. We wanted the wedding to be summery, relaxed and fun so encouraged guests to dress in bright colours and patterns. They didn’t disappoint! On the day, as we walked from the ceremony location to the reception venue, looking back at the rainbow procession behind us was a marvellous sight to behold.”

THE DRESS “I didn’t think I wanted to wear white (I couldn’t get over the symbolism) so I did go to a few bridal boutiques (which were lovely) but they didn’t have a lot of non-white options and I didn’t feel like anything I tried on was really me. I had an idea of the shape I wanted and I saw the Rachel Gilbert dress online and thought it was perfect. I went and tried it on in the shop once and bought it so it was a pretty easy process. I had some doubts at various points, thinking I should have gotten a bridal dress but once we got to the day I absolutely loved it and I am glad I picked something that felt really me.”

MEMORABLE MOMENT “We got up in the morning and went for a swim together at our hotel. Even though it was raining a little, it felt like the best start to the best day. It was great to have that moment alone before the day got very busy! We also got ready together, along with our (large) immediate families and some close friends, which we are so happy we did. I love that we shared the whole day with each other.”

LITTLE LOL “Dance lessons were very funny. While we both love dancing (like on a dancefloor at a party) neither of us have any formal training so learning quite a fast-paced dance in the space of a couple of months was a real achievement for us. We had the most positive and patient dance teacher in the world – Stella from Arthur Murray.There were some dicey moments where we almost pulled the dance, including not being able to do it properly on New Year’s Eve – 14 days out from the wedding! In fairness, there might have been a few champagnes and beers contributing to that failure.”

MARRIAGE MEANS “As our celebrant said during our ceremony – marriage is an act of love and optimism. You can’t really promise forever but you can choose that person every day and give forever a red-hot go. It means supporting each other’s goals as well as our shared dreams. It means having fun together and getting through difficult times. You absolutely don’t need to get married to express your love and long-term commitment to another person – but it is wonderful and fun. 10/10 would recommend so far.”

STANDOUT VENDOROna is not only an amazing photographer but also a divine person. She made us feel comfortable from the first time we met her and she is just a lovely person to be around. On the day, after we discussed our plans and chatted while getting ready, she honestly made us forget she was there most of the time – I cannot believe the photos she managed to get without us being conscious of it or trying at all. She captured the day in a way that is authentic to us and really captures the love and joy and fun.”

Crushing hard on these snaps from the wonderful Ona Janzen? Us too! If you want to see more of her work and shoot off an enquiry email, simply click here. Can’t get enough of the magical festoon lighting? Head here to get in touch with the masterful legends at Festoon Sydney.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Ona Janzen On-the-day coordinator Hire a Bridesmaid Florist Bess Paddington Ceremony venue Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Harbour View Lawn Reception venue & Catering Botanic House Ice blocks Pops By Launch Cake Added Sugar Lighting Festoon Lighting Sydney Sound Hire & Entertainment Lily Road Celebrant Liv Ronan (friend) Rings Antique Art Design Genevieve Phillips Dance teacher Stella from Arthur Murray THE BRIDE Bridal gown Rachel Gilbert Reception dress Christopher Esber Veil Steven Khalil Shoes Jimmy Choo, Anine Bing Accessories Christie Nicolaides Hair Natalie Mansweto Makeup Gillian Campbell THE GROOM Suit & Shirt Mawson Òssa Shoes Fratelli Rossetti