Friends, today we’d like you to meet Em and Ben – a fun Sydney couple who didn’t let. thing like COVID get in the way of a good time. “Originally, I had the idea of throwing a surprise wedding for Ben as we had lost momentum during COVID and all planning had stalled completely,” the bride tells us. “I spoke to a celebrant friend and unfortunately she let me know that you can’t legally surprise someone with a wedding… so I ended up spilling the beans on my plan during a nice lunch with Ben.”

Turns out he loved the rough plan she’d made for the wedding (“which at that point was five weeks away”) – so much so they decided to just go ahead and do it! Cue one of our fave snappers, Damien Milan, documenting every bit of this truly epic party in Sydney’s inner west, from the big details (like that Ginger Loves cake, omgosh), to the small (ahem, we’re looking at you, delicate pearl veil courtesy of Amélie George Bridal).

FAVE DETAILS “We loved the custom coasters we got made by Stickermule because everyone could take them home with them as a little memento of the night and also because Ben kept a coaster from our first date which he still has so it was a cute little touch. The cake by Ginger Loves was also a definite highlight because it was just so fun and gorgeous and so many people thought it was fake because it was so perfectly in keeping with the venue!”

DIY “Not sure if it counts since it’s what I do for a living but I did the flowers myself (Emily Patricia Floral). I had originally not wanted any flowers at all so that I didn’t have to work on my wedding day but my sister convinced me that everyone would be expecting some and that I’d regret not doing any. Turns out they were right and I am glad I did them, although I do wish I had gotten someone else to do the install on the day so that I could have relaxed a bit more.”

LITTLE LOL “One of the funniest parts was at the end of the wedding when we realised we had only eaten one tier of the cake so had a huge two-tier cake to take home. We were walking home so one of the groomsmen ended up carrying the cake home through the streets of Erskineville with people honking and yelling ‘happy birthday’ at him the whole time!”

WE’RE GLAD WE… “Really glad we did a first look and did most of our photos before the ceremony as it meant we could spend more time with our guests and didn’t have to disappear from our own wedding.

WE WISH WE… “We wish we had maybe hired a DJ or someone to do the music, we just had a Spotify playlist. It worked fine but having a professional would have just been slightly smoother overall.”

STANDOUT VENDORS “We loved all our vendors, we used so many lovely small businesses and everyone was just amazing. Our photographer, Damien Milan, deserves a special mention though, as he managed to get so many absolutely incredible photos and put us so at ease the whole time.”

Em and Ben were clearly chuffed with Damien Milan‘s photography prowess and we happen to think he’s pretty darn great, too. Catch up with him on our directory and book him for your big day. (While you’re there, we also definitely recommend you squiz the beautiful accessories Amélie George serves up.)

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Damien Milan Florist Emily Patricia Floral Stationery Vista Print (invitations) Stickermule (coasters, designed by the bride) Ceremony, Reception & Catering The Imperial Erskineville Cake Ginger Loves Signage Neon Poodle Celebrant Zoe Wieringa Rings Sarah & Sebastian (bride), King St Metalsmiths (groom) THE BRIDE Gown Shona Joy Veil Amélie George Bridal Shoes LAMODA via ASOS Earrings Doodad & Fandango Hair & Makeup Chloe Glover Fragrance Byredo La Tulipe via Mecca THE GROOM Suit Already owned Shirt Suit Lab Bolo Tie Route 66 Shoes Already owned