Thursday 15 March 2007

anna & jonas - the wedding

Thank you to everyone who left a comment or sent an email to wish Jonas and I well. There were a few requests for photos, so here is my own ‘report’ on the wedding.

Everything was perfect.

Sydney had been storming for days and it seemed like the drought had ended, but on Saturday the skies were blue, the gardens lusciously green and the heat and humidity were certainly turned up (30’C / 86’F).

If you’re interested, here’s a little taste of the day.

I hope all my name dropping and links don’t sound like product placement, but all the people who helped with us were so wonderful and I would recommend them to anyone planning on getting married in Sydney. We had such wonderful experiences with each and every one of them that I just want to give them the credit and the referrals they deserve.

I wore a dress by a funky independent designer called Caritas Yu, who has a bridal store on Parramatta Road in Leichhardt (also called Caritas Yu). The dress was unbelievably comfortable and was draped so perfectly that it swished out of the way with every step. It felt so glamorous!

My make up and six months of skin treatments came from Skin Therapeia, the same wonderful beauty spa that provides customers with tasty snacks and teas in between treatments.

My bridesmaids, Vicky & Shelley, wore individual green dresses that they chose themselves. It was nice that they were in the same colour theme but not matching. It seemed much more elegant somehow.

Our friend, Vanessa, happens to be a Toni & Guy stylist so we both were extremely lucky in the hair department. Jonas was maintained with regular trims and my hair was razzle-dazzled to perfection. It was wonderful just spending the morning of the wedding with my friend, rather than with a hairdresser. It was also great when I needed an emergency hair repair after massive wind gusts knocked me about a little.

The ceremony was wonderful, held under a big African kaffir plum tree in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Our celebrant, Michael Teulon, put everyone at ease and had the perfect balance of humour and formality to carry off a dignified yet relaxed event. Jonas said he was his rock before the ceremony, making one very stressed groom feel a least a little bit better.

We had some beautiful photos taken in the Botanical Gardens and in the cute laneways of Australia’s oldest suburb (The Rocks) by our fantastic photographers from Deyan Photography. Simon and Will were cheeky, professional and fun to be around so it made the smiles natural rather than face cracking. We’d recommend them to anyone and were almost sad when they had to go since they were so entertaining.

I also discovered I’m the world’s biggest poser (shame, shame, shame). I adored being photographed! Jonas couldn’t stop giggling at how much I enjoyed prancing around in front of the camera.

If only I could have a team of photographers following me around every day. Sigh! If only I’d been thinner . . . and taller . . . and prettier – I could have been a star! If only.

Afterwards we had our reception at a cute little restaurant called Bistro Lilly. I know all the food bloggers will be eager to know what was on the menu:

We started with cocktails of Loire Valley Grandin Brut and wild hibiscus flowers in their own gorgeous ruby syrup. This was served with melba toasts topped with three options: roasted Roma tomatoes and artichokes; hummus; and salmon gravlax (a salute to Sweden).

Next the vegetarians were served the most amazing soup I have ever tasted: a vegetarian version of the Thai broth tom yum, heavy with aromatic galangal and tomatoes and intensely concentrated in flavour. This was served with seasonal vegetables, ridiculously tasty tofu and some egg noodles.

Everyone else feasted on tasting plates of roasted garlic, vine ripened tomatoes and bocconcini; Sydney rock oysters with mignonette dressing (red wine vinegar and shallots); a tian of Balmain bugs, king prawns and avocado; and a veal and rabbit terrine wrapped in prosciutto and topped with a chutney of pickled Swiss brown mushrooms.

For the main course we had a choice from three options and the waiters took everyone’s orders. First the vegetarian pasta of maltagliati with chanterelle, field, porcini and oyster mushrooms served with a basil and dry chilli cream Parmigiano sauce.

Braised lamb shanks came melting from the bone and were served with puy lentils, roasted carrots and parsnips as well as baby spinach and a mint pesto finish.

The most popular choice was the barramundi (a native Australian fish) which came with smoked sea salt on white balsamic, chargrilled vegetables and blue swimmer crab crème fraîche.

Tracy & Pamela from bridesinbloom did all the wedding flowers (siam tulips & singapore orchids - gorgeous!) as well as our wedding cake. It was massive: three tiers of chocolate and vanilla marble cake covered in thick “savoury sweet” ivory icing.

I had so many comments from friends and family that the cake and dinner tasted wonderful, but I so many butterflies in my stomach that I barely got through a few mouthfuls. In fact both Jonas and I merely tasted everything, our nerves preventing us from fully indulging in the meal.

Our first dance was to The Cure’s Lovesong, one that we’d made our own during our seven months apart in 2000. It was impossible to dance to, but it's ours!

And little old Ashlee: our wonderful pal, who happens to be a photographer, stepped in once our other photographers left and covered the rest of the night for us. We wanted to hire other photographers so Ashlee could relax and enjoy the night as a guest, but you can’t stop these creative types. They’re determined to pursue their art.

So in the end, the wedding was built by so many friends and family.

After the wedding ended we walked a few hundred metres to The Observatory Hotel where we spent our first night as husband and wife in the luxury of a five star hotel. The room was lavish and we were met with a bottle of Moet et Chandon rosé on ice, long stemmed roses, chocolate covered strawberries and some petit fours.

We pulled the seventy thousand pins out of my hair then relaxed into the gargantuan tub with some lavender bath salts and a glass of Moet.

Once the nerves were settled we both realised we were starving so we ordered some room service. Hmmm, fries.

It was such a nice hotel and the staff were fantastic – it helps that Jonas works there too ;)

We had such a wonderful time and felt surrounded by people who loved us. What a perfect way to spend our seven year anniversary together – getting married! Our parents told stories of how surprised they were that we got so serious so fast and so young. His family were so kind and welcoming and my father made it clear that Jonas meant a lot to him too. Everyone was so warm and open hearted.

Do we feel different? Yes, I think so.

It might just be a piece of paper and a ring, but it symbolises something much deeper.

It’s almost like when you first fall in love: you need to be with each other all the time, you crave each other’s touch, presence, closeness. I look at him from across a room or a table and it’s still too far away.

I think we’re more in love than ever before. We’re both still floating!


  1. beautiful beautiful beautiful! Thanks for letting us participate!

  2. ilva - that was fast! your comment came up within a minute after i hit the publish button!

  3. Oh Anna! This was so wonderful that my heart got all warm and fuzzy. Thank you so much for letting us be a part of your special day!! I love the photos too. SIGH!

  4. Anna, the photos are great, the menu sounds amazing, and the day sounds like it was really wonderful. Congratulations again to both of you (and thanks for sharing with all of us)!

    :-) Genie

  5. Thank you for letting us participate. Everything looks beautiful.

  6. Wow Anna! I do believe that you've made me shed a tear from my eye! I absolutely enjoyed reading about you and Jonas' special day. Once again, best wishes to you both for a happy future together!

  7. many congratulations... looks like you had a stunning wedding indeed. the pictures are gorgeous and i LOVE the jewellery! you dress looks so elegant, simple, but beautiful. well done!

  8. You were a beautiful-looking bride! Everything just perfect!

    I wish you and your husband all the best!

  9. Thanks for including the details and pictures of the wedding...they are beautiful! And I LOVE your dress.....and I do belive I have something in my eyes
    Many many congratulations to you both and may you live together happily for years and years to come

  10. What a nice elegant gown. And it's so romatic :D

  11. Thank you so much for letting us into your special day. I am blown away by everything - your dress is stunning, the flowers, the location, the love in your tone...and the food! The food looks beautiful and carefully planned - true foodie style! And the cake looks very yummy.

    Wishing you both the happiest days to come.

  12. Your dress, the food, the cake - everything - looks so beautiful. I especially loved the parasols. Best wishes for happiness.

  13. Anna, many, many congratulations. Dress, cake, setting, food, all look gorgeous. Have a wonderful, long and happy life together

  14. Congratulations to you both! The photos are wonderful, and your dress looks amazing! I'm so happy you shared this with us!

  15. Congratulations! What a fabulous day you had! It brought two tears to my eyes, one for such a happy day, the other for my memories of Sydney. I've been to most of the places you mentioned! I love The Rocks especially!

  16. Congratulations again, and best wishes for a life full of happiness for you and Jonas.
    It made me think of my own wedding long time ago - but I still remeber this peculiar nervousness.

  17. Congratulations, Anna! Your pictures are lovely.

  18. That's so beautiful, Anna. My eyes welled up with excitement for both of you. It's as if you were a very close friend and i was in your wedding just by reading your sentiment.

    My congratulations to you both. The first photo of you together is very very beautiful. Also, the bridesmaids photo. I love your dress, shoes and other accessories! The cake is so beautiful too. Everything is beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    All the best.

    Mae x

  19. Congratulations to you both! Everything sounds and looks beautiful. I loved your dress and accessories! Beautiful! I hope you age together.

  20. What a lovely wedding! And your dress was absolutly gorgeous! The kind I would have loved if I hadn't eloped....twice....
    Your day looks perfect.
    My best to you both.

  21. wow you looked stunning!! I'm so glad the weather was bright and sunny for you. Simon did my cousin's wedding photos too but I'm not sure if I can afford him!

  22. congratulations, anna! i absolutely love your dress - gorgeous. best wishes for many happy years together!

  23. Seems like the perfect wedding to me... Not too much and not too little. If I should ever get married in Sydney, I'd love to have it like that. Congratulations and all the best for you two!


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