The Bride Wears Red for A Bold & Beautiful Vintage Inspired WeddingLARA HOTZ PHOTOGRAPHY
We are kicking off the week with some serious style! If you loved the perfect styling of Kate & Andrie’s Speakeasy inspired wedding soiree, then you are going to love Ursula & Chris’s bold and beautiful Sydney wedding. Who wouldn’t love a wedding that features a bride wearing red, a Vintage VW Camper, an icecream truck, a rocking first dance oh and a reception with the most incredible views over the Sydney Opera House?! All captured through the inimitable eye (and camera) of Lara Hotz.….
Ursula and Chris were married in April 2014 with an intimate ceremony at The Palm House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney and a DIY filled reception looking over Sydney Harbour. Having been together since they were 18 the couple new exactly what was important to them when it came to their wedding. ” I think the thing that made our wedding ‘unique’ was that so many of the details and decor we chose were things that we just liked – not things that we thought we ‘should’ have or do. I wore a red dress, not white, because I didn’t feel like ‘me’ in any of the classic white ones that I tried on; we had a cute red kombi van rather than a classic old car because we figured if we had to hire transport, it may as well be fun! We ordered a tiramisu cake rather than a classic ‘white’ cake because….well, we really wanted to eat tiramisu at our wedding! We also secretly got dance lessons for a couple of months and learnt an awesome swing dance (well, technically our dance teachers told us it was a blend of rockabilly and Charleston) to the Black Keys song, “Lonely Boy”. When we first told Ryan and Avril, our dance teachers, that we wanted to do our dance to that song, they looked at us funny (“You want to do your wedding dance to THAT song? But it says “lonely boy…”) but in the end the dance was one of the highlights of our night – it was just cheeky enough and plenty fun enough and it was just US all over.”
And that’s what every wedding should be, shouldn’t it? A reflection of the bride & groom and a celebration of their love.
From the lady behind the lens Lara “Ursula + Chris tied the knot recently and what a beautiful, emotional and bold wedding they had! If you are a fan of giant radiant smiles, the colour red and non traditional wedding dresses then you are going to love it!” I agree Lara! In fact, if you can measure the success of a wedding from the size of the beaming smiles, then this wedding was everything it should have been and more. So without further ado……
I absolutely adore Ursula’s finger wave hairstyle (who says you need long hair on your wedding day?!) and topped with that pillbox hat and veil, she really does look the epitome of chic!
“We didn’t have a ‘theme’. I can’t count the number of times that people asked what my ‘colour scheme’ was?! There wasn’t one. Red was the one colour that appeared throughout (across our outfits, flowers etc) but our stunning flowers had splashes of so many amazing colours… In terms of styling, I guess we went for a sort of vintage/handmade look… we had beige hessian table runners (that have been handed between relatives and friends and featured at about 4 weddings now!), old jars and glass bottles for vases, and all the table numbers, name tags, and wedding favours (gifts) we handmade.” There is such a lot of pressure to choose a theme for your big day, and with so many out there it can be a daunting task, overwhelmingly so! (I remember it well) But Ursula & Chris’s wedding shows that a theme is unnecessary when you fill your wedding with everything you love!
“Saying our vows was so unbelievably special, as were the speeches. You can never quite imagine until you experience it yourself how overwhelmingly beautiful it is to say all those special things – and hear them said to you, and about you both as a couple. I think that is the thing about weddings that makes them quite so special – it is not just about the love, but about the saying of things that are not normally said… our wedding was definitely one of those where there were many, many happy tears flowing. (Our wedding celebrant Jessie actually told us later that she was struggling not to cry herself… there were no dry-eyed souls in the audience to focus on!)”
“We did SO many DIY projects! We made all the rose petal cones ourselves (with the help of Angie, the bridesmaid) out of pages of an old copy of Pride and Prejudice; for the reception, we made all the table numbers and menu cards (Chris cut/carved them out of wood with the help of his best man Nick, then we painted them with blackboard paint, then I did the scripting with gold paint), and we also made all the wedding favours (handmade fabric necklaces OR fabric flower brooches/pins for the ladies; handmade bowties for the men – all made using vintage fabric remnants and sewn by me with help from Chris and Angie our bridesmaid) We also handpainted and decorated the boxes that we packed the wedding favours in (those boxes were bought in bulk from Reverse Garbage, an amazing secondhand store in Sydney that sells industrial seconds and samples of anything you can practically think of!) And we made a beautiful big blackboard and wrote a C.S. Lewis quote on it to decorate the gift table. We probably saved a bit of money with our DIY projects, but we definitely underestimated how long it would take to do it all!…. I don’t think we would change any of that though, because those were the bits that made the wedding feel like us… but if we did it all again, we might give ourselves a bit more time to do it in!”
What a perfect blank canvas their reception venue was – and with a view like that who needs decor?!
“On the wedding day itself one of the funniest moments was right after dinner had been served, a huge fireworks display went off over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, giving our guests the perfect view. It was a total coincidence – I think it was part of an outdoor opera happening on the same night- but it was an awesome moment (and about 10 of our friends subsequently claimed that they had ‘organised’ it for us especially).”
Pearls of Wedding Wisdom from the happy couple…..
We would highly recommend doing a fun wedding dance – not only was it the highlight of our night doing that for our family and friends, but the weekly dance lessons were a whole lot of fun, and meant that we spent time having fun together and relaxing in the lead up to the wedding. This was a VERY welcome stress relief (particularly because Ursula was finishing writing up her PhD at the same time as organising the wedding!)
Another piece of advice is that we actually found that in the end we wanted to write our vows together. I had always thought that I would want to write them individually and keep it all a secret until the day, but the pressure of what to write and whether our vows would be ‘matched’ (in length, in sentiment, etc…) was a little bit paralysing! In the end we talked about it and realised that what would work better is just to sit down and talk about what I wanted Chris to promise me, and what he wanted me to promise him, and what we both hoped for the marriage, and we helped each other write them. It was unexpected, but it was also an amazing experience having that conversation and it meant that they were so much more meaningful because we knew what we were promising was what the other person deeply wished for.
“We aren’t very good at taking photos of ourselves normally so really wanted some amazing photos of the wedding that weren’t just your average cheesey shots… and we had seen Lara’s work and just knew she was worth it. She was also just lovely and relaxed to be around on the day and even stayed after she was done taking photographs to make little take-home bouquets of flowers for the guests from our table flowers. Just awesome.”
Wishing the smiley, happy couple Ursula & Chris a marriage that is as full of joy as their wedding day clearly was. A big thankyou to them and photographer Lara Hotz for allowing me to share this bold & beautiful wedding with you. If, like me, you can’t get enough of it, then you can see more here on Lara‘s blog. Where you can also lose yourself in Lara’s dreamy photography – and her couple’s stylish weddings. No-one captures a special occasion or wedding quite like this lady. Her portraits are always creative, unique and utterly perfect for the couple, I really don’t have the words to describe how much I love her work! You can also follow Lara on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Oh I do love a bride who shies away from tradition, especially when it comes to her wedding dress! More brides in red please!! Any of you tempted?
Photographer ~ Lara Hotz // Wedding Planner ~ Girl Friday // Wedding Officiant ~ Jessie Cacchillo // Ceremony Venue ~ The Palm House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney // Reception Venue ~ Quayside Room, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney // Bride’s Dress ~ Custom design (vintage lace and raw silk) by Lost in Paris // Wedding Dance Dress ~ Topshop // Beaded Ivory Sash ~ WonderfulBride on Etsy // Bride’s Shoes ~ Django & Juliette // Bride’s Headpiece ~ Sandy Bizzy // Bride’s Jewellery ~ vintage // Hair ~ Katerina Havelka from Bedrock Hair // Make Up ~ Little Fox Make-Up Artistry // Groom’s Attire ~ Tailored suit by Suit Shop // Bridesmaid’s Dress ~ Custom design by Kitsch Bitsch // Cake ~ The Sweet Spot Patisserie // Flowers ~ My Violet // Stationery ~ Teal Typewriter // Caterer ~ The Fresh Collective // Band ~ The New Trocadero Dance Orchestra // Any Reception Decor/Props ~ Handmade by the bride and groom // Transport ~ Vintage kombi van (“Gorgeous George”) from Kombi Weddings // Handprinted fabric Ceremony backdrop ~ Ink & Spindle fabrics // Swing Dance Lessons & Choreography ~ Ryan and Avril found through Swing Patrol