Say hello to Rochelle and Anthony, a sweet and fun-loving duo, who admit to still being stoked on their champagne tower rather than formal wedding cake decision. Yes, we like the sound of them already. They’ve been together for almost a decade and tied the knot in this gorgeous garden wedding (right in the middle of the city) both looking sharp – the bride in Fiona Claire – with The Salty Shutter behind the lens. Scroll down for all the details… 

THE VENUE “We went and looked at Lion Gate Lodge and instantly realised it would be perfect. It was amongst beautiful native trees and had a view to Sydney Harbour and the Sydney skyline. It was private, yet open and had different areas for people to mingle. Practically it ticked all the boxes too (kitchen, rooms to get changed, covered areas in case of rain, easy access).”

DIY “Yes, probably a bit too much! We bought all the alcohol and drinks, food, plates, vessels etc for the grazing table, decorations, half the furniture and flowers ourselves (I was up at 4am at the Sydney Flower Market the day before the wedding!). We then had to transport it all in an enormous hire van to the venue and set it up the day before. It was hard work. We also made the confetti.”

THE DRESS “I had two dresses – a French silk crepe slip gown for the formal part of the day and a silk party dress so I would be comfortable to dance the night away. For the ceremony dress, I wanted something very modern, chic and elegant. The thought of wearing an OTT traditional wedding dress freaked me out and my Fiona Claire dress felt like a very elevated version of my everyday style. I’m of a smaller build and knew the dress would need to be altered and it provided a perfect base to add a few features that would result in the absolute perfect dress for me. I also can’t sing enough praise for my dress alterer Joanne at Sew Special. She was an absolute pleasure. I then got super lucky with my reception dress, finding it in a sample sale at Camilla and Marc a week before the wedding. It was flouncy and fashiony and made me feel like a star!”

TALK ABOUT TRADITION “We asked that our celebrant include a Welcome to and Acknowledgement of Country – as this was important to us. Anthony’s grandmother wasn’t able to attend as she wasn’t in great health, so our celebrant suggested that we ask her to prepare some words that she could read out and incorporate. This was a really nice touch. We also surprised our mums by having them both witness the signing of the register.”

LITTLE LOL “A few months back I went out with work friends and ended up doing boozy karaoke. My favourite karaoke song is GANGgajang ‘Sounds of Then (This Is Australia)’. After belting that out, my boss mentioned that she lived next door to Mark from GANGgajang… I wasn’t sure if I should believe her (and kind of forgot that she mentioned it). But after our speeches, our DJ said that a special guest was going to join us and Mark Callaghan from GANGgajang came out and performed live. It was super unexpected but super awesome.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “Remember that it’s a day for celebration and a day to enjoy. Don’t get caught up in trying to please and impress everyone. Trust in the very talented help you’ve hired (vendors etc). Start planning it earlier than you think (venues are booked a year or more in advance – who knew?!). Relax and enjoy yourself! And there will be arguments!”

STANDOUT VENDORS “We love the way our photos turned out. Dane of The Salty Shutter was a pleasure to hang out with. Also, our celebrant, Sophie Coombes – one of our guests said he felt like he was on a guided meditation. The food by Dan the Man was great and our DJ Martin Novosel killed it – we have had loads of people comment on how good/different the music was and ask us for the playlist. Also, Jen from  The Wild Side did an amazing job on the day.”

If you love the pics from The Salty Shutter, find out more about the man behind the lens (his names Dane, guys) and check out more of his seriously stunning photos here.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer The Salty Shutter Event Planner & Stylist The Wild Side Florist Sydney Flower Markets (The Bride) Stationery Homemade Printer Fast Printing Ceremony & Reception Lion Gate Lodge Catering Dan the Man Desserts Flour and Stone Hire Items & Signage Timbermill & Absolute Party Hire Sound Hire DJ Warehouse Hire Entertainment Mark Callaghan of GANGgajang Celebrant Sophie Coombes Rings Alexandra Dodds & Marina Antoniou DJ Martin Novosel THE BRIDE Bridal Gown Fiona Claire Dress Alterations Sew Special Veil Madame Tulle Reception Dress Camilla and Marc Shoes Loeffler Randall Accessories Alix Yang Hair A-H Shop Salon THE GROOM Suit Hugo Boss Shirt & Cufflinks M.J. Bale Tie Ted Baker Shoes Florsheim