Having always joked that any kind of marriage proposal would involve Jin, a British Royal Marine, putting Josie, a market researcher, through a gruelling physical test, suspicions were a little rife the moment that Jin plopped her in a kayak on a summery December day. Josie says, “He drove us to Manly wharf where we hired a kayak and paddled to Store Beach – a sweet secluded spot only accessible from the water. He had prepared a beautiful little picnic compete with a bottle of Verve, and each parcel of food was carefully wrapped in brown paper, twine and individually labelled (so very Jin!). After a swim in the sea we returned to the picnic rug where Jin pulled out the ring and proposed!” They carried on to China Doll restaurant for a feast at the very spot they had had their first date six years before.

Organising their wedding from their overseas home, this pair took on the ambitious task of choosing a venue that was a blank (but incredible) canvas – Sun Studios in Sydney’s Alexandria. (Also the previous home to the amazing One Fine Day fairs for those who’ve had the privilege of making these events! Their February event will be moving to a new home at the Australian Technology Park in Redfern).

Inspired to start from scratch, Josie said, “Jin and I have both grown up in very foodie families, so we wanted good food and wine to be at the heart of the night. We chose a venue that was a blank canvas, so that we could really make it our own… A lot of the bits and pieces were gathered from around our home or handmade by my mum and I, which which made the whole day all the more personal.” They DIY vibe began with their stationery and menus, to the bunting and pom poms, right down to the postcards used as place cards that they had collected the year before on their travels around the world; “during the night guests wrote a short note to us on their postcard.”

The pair however were ever-so-wise to skip the stress and leave the really big stuff to the pros, giving the clever gals at Events by Heidi & Kate the opportunity to make stunning work of the venue, through a sweet array of foliage, hanging vases and lanterns. (If you want to check out more of these ladies at work, pay them a visit at our directory!)

Adding to their crew of masters was photographer Jonathan Ong (catch more of his work in issue three of Hello May, on sale now) who was on hand to weave the day into a truly top notch visual feast, leaving the couple to enjoy what Josie says was her favourite memory of the wedding; “As we live overseas at the moment, it was particularly special to look down the long table and see all our family and friends!”

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CREDITS Photos Jonathan Ong // Dress Johanna Johnson // Bride’s shoes Sambag // Rings Niessing // Bride’s jewellery H. Stern (bracelet) and made by her mother (earrings & necklace) // Bridesmaids dresses Two Birds, Carla Zampatti and Lover // Groom’s uniform Royal Marines Blues // Groomsmens suits, their own // Ties Calibre // Ceremony and reception venue Sun Studios // Catering Hatrick Catering // Cake Croquembouche Patisserie // Event styling Events by Heidi & Kate // Flowers Jodie McGregor (bouquets) and Sydney Flower and Growers Market (ceremony & reception) // Hair and makeup Abbey Love // Music Iluka (ceremony) and Brett from Sydney DJs (reception) // Celebrant Michael Teulon