A classic church ceremony, family traditions and beaming smiles — Maddie and Daniel's wedding day was full of romance and elegance. The couple's beautiful love story was planned down to the smallest detail: an exquisite signature menu, exciting moments and a touch of sentimentality created the ambience of a true fairy tale. From the bride's gorgeous gowns to the stunning bridesmaids' dresses and charming outdoor décor details, Daniel and Maddie's celebration truly embodied the elegance and beauty of love. Read below and discover the organisation advices and highlights of this magnificent celebration that captured hearts and imaginations.
Tell us a little about yourselves. How did you meet? What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies?
We met through a mutual friend in 2013. It was Daniel's birthday and there was a concert at Rottnest Island. A lot of people take boats over raft up for the day and then head to the concert. We were on our mutual friend’s boat. I’m not usually shy but when it came to introducing myself I was, maybe it was the fact I was only 20 and he was 26 or maybe his good looks. So I got a mutual friend to introduce us and put a good word in for me. We spent the rest of the day and evening together and he smoothly sealed the night with a kiss at the concert.
Daniel works in private equity real estate, he is a very handy man and we are currently renovating so that side hobby has been turned into a weekend job for the last 2.5 years. He also loves playing golf and is into food and wine.
I am a cake maker and creative with a food and wine background as I studied for 3 years in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu. I also do some investment work. As for my hobbies it would be cooking, food, wine, fashion and interiors, I love hosting events and dinner parties and the planning that goes into it.
Can you share your engagement story?
I later found out he had planned to do it where we met at Rottnest on the same day (his birthday) 9 years later, but the ring wasn’t ready. But how it happened was a story I will never forget. He ended up doing it on a friend’s property overlooking the ocean in the wine region of Yallingup. It was sunset and we were having a cheese board, champagne and playing cards. I had taken my shorts off and was in a long-sleeved shirt because my shorts were too tight, and he kept telling me to put them back on. I kept saying no because no one could see us and I was more comfortable. But I now know the reason why. He had got up and disappeared for a bit and when he came back, he was on one knee. I thought he was joking because in the year prior he had jokingly proposed twice. So I genuinely didn’t believe him and joked and told him to get up as the box was closed and not shaped like a normal ring box. It wasn’t until he opened it and I saw the 3 diamonds on 3 bands that I later joined to create a multi tone ring. But it was the perfect proposal as I didn’t see it coming which I loved.
Did you have any pre-wedding events, like a rehearsal dinner or bridal shower?
We had drinks and nibbles after the church rehearsal and Daniel had his bucks and I and my hens on the same night which is a great way to do it. Both hungover the next day.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
We had our ceremony at Christ Church, it was at the same Church my parents got married at and conveniently located to the reception. The reception was at my parents’ house which sits in a park on the Swan River. Since I was young, I had always dreamt of having it here. It’s the most picturesque place overlooking the water. In my head it was the only place I’d ever imagined having the reception.
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
I had always wanted something unique in terms of location, and the setting. I had envisioned a European-inspired open-air structure with tall pillars adorned with intricate detailing, connected above with cascading greenery and flowers. My vision for the table setting was to create a seamless blend with the location. With off white and neutral linen, soft coloured candles in glass sleeves, crystal glassware, and light wooden floors and chairs. When it came to the flowers, I wanted to strike a balance between classic elegance and modern flair. Rebecca Grace from Natural Art brought this idea to life with her exceptional talent. The floral arrangements featured a fusion of neutrals, pinks and greenery with whimsical touches of my favorite flowers and even fruits, adding a touch of charm and uniqueness to each of the arrangements. The aim with the concept was to let the surroundings shine. I drew inspiration from a lot of research, I had a lot of saved folders. Nina really understood my vision and brought it to life.
How long did it take to plan your wedding? Did you encounter any challenges during the planning process?
About a year ago, the first thing I did was approach Nina, from Nina Ma’Belle Weddings who is an incredible planner. There were a few challenges, but Nina was so experienced that it really helped the process. The biggest challenge was always going to be the weather as I wanted an open-air structure. We had to have a Plan B and C for wind and rain with a marquee on hold. We were very lucky that it wasn’t needed, and the night was so perfectly calm and still. Due to other restrictions the structure had to go up very quickly Matt and his team from OTS Productions worked for 3 days through the night to assemble the staging, lights and sound. And it came down when the wedding finished within 16 hours!
How many guests did you have? And what was the seating arrangement at the wedding like?
We had 200 guests, there were 5 long tables of 40 and we seated guests on either family tables or friend tables and played around with the seating charts for a while. You want every guest to be seated next to or opposite people they know. This was a very time-consuming process, I printed out every name and we played around with it at home for 2 weeks.
Tell us about your outfits. How many different styles have you tried?
Initially I tried on quite a few different shapes. The dress I had imagined getting married in was the complete opposite to what I ended up going with. Both dresses were designed and crafted by Paolo Sebastian. After meeting with various designers, I was drawn to his attention to detail and ability to bring my dream dresses to life. I had a clear vision of what I wanted from the start. I couldn’t get out of my head this long-sleeved lace Jumpsuit idea with a skirt over that I had seen. I worked with Paul to make personal modifications in the skirt and lace detailing which was hand drawn and crafted in Italy before Paul's team assembled it in Adelaide. I was always going to drive away from the church in a small 1960’s Austin Healey so being able to remove the skirt to just wear the jumpsuit was ideal because the long skirt wouldn’t have fit in the car haha. I paired it with very high platform Valentinos (I needed the height more than anything), pearl earrings and my hair was done in a low bun in the shape of a vertical bow, an idea my hairdresser Mel Gesualdo showed me the morning of the wedding.
I also wanted versatility with my second dress which was another one of his creations. It was a mushroom-coloured gown which tied in with the overall theme. It was a one sleeved bodice with 2 different interchangeable skirts. I wanted a long skirt to be able to do my first dance in but a mini skirt to dance the rest of the night away in. To complement the long dress, I opted for Rene Caovilla heels, while for the mini skirt, I chose the comfort of beige Prada slingback pumps. During the dress change my hair stylist Mel, skilfully let my hair loose and created big bouncy curls, completing the stunning transformation.
What was your first dance song? Did you choreograph or improvise?
This will be ‘Everlasting love’ by Natalie Cole. The week of the wedding we chose the song and I came up with a mini choreographed dance. We only practiced a few times the days before the wedding and sort of winged it a little on the night after a few champagnes.
Did you have any special performances or entertainment?
We did! And it really contributed to creating a mood for the wedding. At the Church we had a string quartet that played. At pre-dinner drinks they continued with the addition of the talented singer Coby Grant. Having that live music was beautiful. Our DJ Elise Keddie also kept the dance floor well and truly alive.
What was the most memorable moment from your wedding day?
Before our entrance into dinner the bridal party spent 20 minutes on the top floor balcony of my parents’ house while guests were being seated. Looking down with Daniel from above really showed how the vision came to life, it exceeded all our expectations and we both commented on how amazing it looked. It was also a very special moment that both of us will cherish.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
All of our vendors were amazing, Nina our wedding planner was incredible. Our photographers from Calla Esse Weddings — there are too many amazing photos I don’t know how I will narrow it down for our wedding album. Matt who was head of the Production team — I didn’t set him an easy task with the structural vision and time frame but any idea he had was possible. Daniel's family friends from the Restore were amazing in helping with the alcohol and we sourced our meat from Torres butcher, he specially ordered in 40 Tomahawk Steaks and dry aged them before. Lastly Tatiana from Tatiana’s Fashion Studio crafted the bridesmaid dresses. I had sourced the feathers from overseas, the material from Sydney and then we worked together to come up with the perfect design.
What advice would you give to couples who are currently planning their wedding?
My advice would be to really have as much of the wedding planned down to every fine detail well and truly in advance. The weeks leading up to the wedding for me was a little hectic. I’m not very good at delegating but definitely had to with a lot of final small touches.
Daniel’s advice is to aim to spend 70% of your budget from the start because by the end there are always extra costs which will get you to the 100%.
I also loved the rule that Daniel had in terms of when we were coming up with our guest list as sometimes it’s so tricky to know who to invite and not. Daniel’s rule was the guest had to tick 2 of 3 boxes. A past friend, a current friend, you saw as a future friend and if they weren’t 2 of those then they were not invited.
Did you have any special or unique elements at your wedding?
We did! As a creative I really wanted to have several special and unique elements. I did an ode to my parents' wedding; we drove off in the same cars from the church 1960’s Austin Healey which was my dad’s and a close family friend's 2 cars. I also based my bridesmaid dresses off my mums from the 90’s 4 different coloured minis.
As I come from a food and wine background, at pre dinner drinks we had a 9L bottle of champagne as a little feature that once drunk guests signed with a pen, and we have kept that. We did have a signature cocktail which was very popular. My brother is a bartender and he came up with it which was a hit! We also had a live outdoor cooking on grills for entrees like scallops and lamb cutlets. And for the mains I worked with the caterers; Heyder and Shears chefs to come up with a menu that even included some of my own recipes. During dinner we put disposable cameras on the tables and had a Live Photo Booth running.
Did you make a gift for guests, and what was it? What did you give each other as a gift?
Yes! As a pastry chef the one question everyone asked was are you making your own wedding cake. This was one of the hardest parts for me to conceptualize as I felt it really had to be unique. I wanted guests to be able to take home a box of mini desserts for after the wedding or the next day. I ended up getting a huge pyramid made that held 600 desserts. And we boxed the other 600 up. We chose a few mini desserts from our favorite patisseries around Perth and I made the other 600 the day before the wedding.
I gifted Daniel a vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre watch I found in the vintage Paris markets, I had known he wanted one. And I didn’t want a gift from him, my engagement ring was 3 presents in 1!
What gift from guests do you remember the most?
We had a gift registry with Wedit, it really made our wishing well such a seamless process. This went towards our honeymoon in South Africa and the Safari that we have both agreed was the best experience and trip of our lives. Something we will never forget.
What helped you cope with the anxiety before the wedding?
Nina, our wedding planner! I probably called her 100 times the week of the wedding. Having so much experience there was always a backup plan, and she just was always there for advice and support in all areas. I also think being so organized relieves stress. The night before the wedding I had my bridesmaids stay the night, which was such a nice girl’s night, and I woke up on the wedding day with no nerves or anxiety. I was oddly calm, and I would put that down to knowing everything was taken care of. I think being the groom also just means you don’t really have too much anxiety and often a lot of the planning is left to the bride!
Event Planner: @ninamabelleweddings
Production: OTS Production
Hire: @hiresociety & @eventartillery & @blacklabelevents
Photo booth: @adeptphotobooths
Makeup: @hendrawmakeup & @gloss.plus
Bridesmaid dresses: @tfashionstudio
Gift registry: @wedit__