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Real Wedding: Laura and Carlo

HerCanberra Team

Photographers Laura and Carlo were married on a sweltering day at The National Arboretum, and later had their reception at one of their favourite cafés (complete with a surprise proposal!).

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Getting ready

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I stayed at Hotel Hotel the night before the wedding with my sister. We had a pretty relaxed morning and had breakfast in the city, followed by slowly getting ready at the hotel. 

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The lovely Telisa and Tegan from The Lab came to our room on the wedding day to do my makeup and my sister had her makeup done at Zaija in the city. Carlo got ready at home with his brother.

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The dress

I searched for a vintage dress for months. I was looking online (mostly on Etsy) for a vintage dress with lots of beadwork and/or sequins. I made contact with Emme from Gossamer, a vintage dress retailer in the U.S. and explained what I was after.

Within two weeks Emme found the perfect dress—a silk beaded column gown. The dress is from the 1980s and it does not have a label but I’ve been told that it was hand-beaded/sequinned. There are seriously thousands of beads!

Ceremony

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We both loved the idea of getting married at the Arboretum and being able to look back on the photos and show our kids (one day) what the place used to look like. We have a particular photo next to one tree specifically for this reason.

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Reception

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As for the reception, for months we planned to have a backyard wedding. We looked into a few different options and we even started to fix the yard up in preparation. 

Then one weekend we were having breakfast at Two Before Ten in Aranda with some friends. Our friend Alycia (events planner extraordinaire) happened to work at the venue and we started talking about how it’d be really cool place for our wedding as they had never had one there before. Carlo and I were sold on the idea straight away and Alycia set the wheels in motion. 

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We opted for a Turkish-inspired menu and to keep to my personal beliefs, we requested that all the food be vegan/vegetarian-friendly. The styling was also very mismatched and had a vintage theme. 

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We also received a lot of love from our guests for our charity donations in lieu of wedding favours—each guest had a place card with three charities (Beyond Blue, ACT Rescue and Foster and MS Australia) and we asked them to help us by circling a charity which we’d then make a small donation to. 

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Another highlight: my cousin Charlie proposed to his partner Hayley at our wedding! On the night, I rigged the bouquet toss and handed the bouquet straight to Hayley and then Charlie got down on one knee. She was so shocked – everyone was so shocked. It was pretty special. P.s she said yes!

The details

PHOTOGRAPHER

Michael from Canberra Small Weddings

CELEBRANT

Steven Murray from Canberra Small Weddings

DRESS

Vintage dress bought from Gossamer

BRIDE’S HEADPIECE

Flower Crown by Lady Larissa

GROOM AND GROOMSMEN’S SUITS

Suit jacket and pants form Sportscraft, shirt and shoes from Aquila and bow tie from YD. Standard Socks Co supplied groom’s socks

RINGS

Grew & Co

BRIDE’S SHOES

Jo Mercer

MAKEUP

Telisa from The Lab

STYLIST

Ceremony – chairs, signing table, drinks stand by Style My Aisle. Reception: DIY and set up by reception venue staff

FLOWERS

Lady Larissa Flowers & Styling

CAKE

Sweet Bones Bakery, Braddon

BAND

Ryan Tredinnick

STATIONERY

Invitations designed by Karl Bala. Menus, place cards etc designed and printed/made by bride and groom

FIRST DANCE SONG

‘Call My Name’ by Mosquito Coast

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