The Special Couple: Von + Kiel
THE FIRST SIGHT
We met through a friend of a mutual friend at Burning Man. A friend of mine, David, had a friend who was coming to Australia to rekindle a relationship with an Australian boy she met at Burning Man in Nevada USA. I went around to the place she was staying at to pick her up and take her around Australia. She and I went travelling for a few weeks; when we got back to Sydney, she introduced me to the boy she came to Australia to meet. The boy she came to Australia to try and start a relationship with was Kiel.
Kiel and I go on two holidays a year. We were in Bali during the winter of 2017, Kiel and my dynamic when we travel is that I do all of the planning and Kiel goes along for the ride, but occasionally he organises and requests something sweet as a surprise. On this trip, nothing was different. We were staying in a fantastic villa in Seminyak which had a waterfall in the bedroom and a substantial outdoor seating section with a private pool. We had a personal butler, and it was incredibly luxurious villa - quite indulging. Kiel wanted to have a private dinner, so we arranged to have a chef come into the villa to cook us a huge meal. There was not a surprise or anything that raised alarm bells because during the ten years we have been together we have done things like this regularly. During dinner, the chef left, the butler left, and Kiel excused himself to go to the bathroom. In this period of alone time, I decided that was the best time to eat the ribs; no one looks good eating ribs in public. I heard Kiel come back, so I put the ribs down and wiped my hands on my black dress. Kiel knelt beside me rambled off something insanely sweet and kind and proceeded to flash a fancy, sparkly ring in my face! I cried like a baby and kept asking him if he was joking.
Without sounding corny, we had an emotional theme and a visual theme.This process started when an older lady Kiel and I met just after we got engaged gave us some fantastic suggestions, and one of those was that visuals would fade, but strong visual memories with tangible reflections always last. She suggested that rather than having a materialised theme, we have an emotional connection as the theme. We thought about what our new friend said and wanted to have some low cost take away items that were stylish for each of our guests to not only keep but have an evoking emotional response.
The visual theme was whimsical dreams. We wanted the event to feel romantic and dream evoking. I like to read and am a huge book worm, so we created a photo wall out of books. Kiel loves greenery and plants, so we incorporated plants into the ceremony and reception.
The emotional theme was to celebrate how each of our friends and family members has helped change and develop us into the people we are today. We hand-wrote a letter to each of our guests which included several very personal and specific things we felt they needed to express to people. Another was guest bingo where we wrote interesting facts and achievements about each of our guests and everyone had to guess who each person was. It was a participation game, and each guest had an individual item that reflected their achievement. We also made sure each guest had their portrait taken on arrival and received a framed copy. This was our guest book as opposed to their writing in a physical book. Our MC also collected framed photographs from each person wall at their home to display during the reception!
THE BRIDAL LOOK
My main inspriation for my look was comfort. I wanted to be able to dance and move and enjoy the event. I did not want to feel structured or outside of my normal appearance so relaxed and classic was what I wanted.
HER SAY "YES" TO THE DRESS MOMENT
I tried on three dresses at the Trunk show and decided on the Gala 808 straight away! I did not tell my bridesmaids or mothers that I had already chosen my dress, so I also went to David Jones and did a try-on session there to "appease the tribe." I chose the Gala_808 because it had all of the elements that I wanted in a dress: Soft, detailed lace, a long train, spaghetti straps, deep V neck and a split up the front. However, what got me over the line was the absolute comfort of the dress. I have a photograph of me sitting on the ground at our wedding in complete comfort; I was so relaxed and chilled in that dress.
I have two highlights! First, my brother walked me down the aisle because both of our parents passed away when we were pre-teens and were not present. As he was walking me down the aisle, he could sense that I was about to cry and that I was overwhelmed. He stopped me mid-walk and turned to me and said "I feel that you are a bit overwhelmed. Let's talk to each other, regroup and have a conversation while we do this" He then proceeded to continue walking me down the aisle while engaging in a seriously casual conversation with me. It made me feel present and stopped the tears from flowing, looking back on that moment I realise how kind, sweet and thoughtful my big brother is that he was able to acknowledge my emotions and bring me back to reality. The second highlight was during my husband's vows, in amongst a whole bunch of other sweet things, he said I was "one of the funniest people he knew" That made me feel good!
Trust your suppliers: The wedding planner, the florist, the stylist, the band, the photographer etc. People get married once, maybe twice, these vendors "get married" once, maybe twice, a week, so they know what they are doing and what is best for you. The only time things fail are when you do not listen to and trust the experts.
VON'S ETERNAL BRIDAL EXPERIENCE
I went to the trunk show alone without any of my friends or family because I did not expect to buy anything. When I was there, the staff rallied around me and made it such a fun and beautiful experience for me. They acted like my pseudo-family and gave me honest and fun feedback. I felt a strong bond and connection with Sebastian and Lyndell - both such lovely and kind people.
Von wore ‘GALA 808’ from GALA by Galia Lahav. See more gowns from GALA by Galia Lahav Collection here