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Sarah and Rhema got married at the Lion Gate Lodge in The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. The stunning Victorian building with its landscaped garden was the perfect backdrop to this couple's beautiful wedding. The celebration continued at Sergeants Mess in Mosman, a beautifully built event and function venue with fabulous views. Sarah and Rhema also celebrated their wedding with a Nigerian ceremony and dance near the end of the night.
Event planner/stylist: Leisa Rodoreda of Windwood Events
Bridal gown designer and veil: Made With Love Bridal
Bridal alterations: Sarah Tai
Bride's shoes: Boohoo
Makeup artist: Helen Samaryan
Hairdresser: Adilla Colab
Groom's suit: Institchu
Cufflinks: Jason Ree Design
Groom's shoes: Aquila
Groomsmen suits, ties, pocket squares, tie clips: Peter Jackson
Flowers and cake topper: Floreat Floral Design
Cake: Sweet Connoisseur
Catering at the ceremony: Shared Affair
Catering at the reception: Sergeants Mess
Wedding cars: Silver Cloud Wedding Cars
Bus for guests: Sydney Coaches
Prop/Furniture Hire: Tumbleweed Events
Light Hire: L Michelle Letter Light Hire
Seating chart, table numbers, welcome sign, wishing well: Ashdown and Bee
Invitations: Deciduous Press
Cinematographer: The Story of Us
Entertainment: The White Tree Band
Celebrant: Pastor Dave Crafts of Hillsong and Pastor Luke Iwunze
Bride's engagement ring and wedding band: Waldemar Jewellers
Groom's wedding band: Jason Ree Design
Chloe and Zach have been together forever - they met in high school. Their wedding is super laid back. They had a long weekend away with their closest friends and had their wider group of friends and family join them on their wedding day.
Their style is pretty eclectic, using Chloe's skills as an events manager, Zach's skills as a handyman, and Chloe's family who owns a florist. There were touches here and there that were labours of love, and as Chloe said, "...that's the fun of it, right?"
Zach got ready with the boys at the Seacliff House, Gerringong, while Chloe got ready nearby in Gerroa.
How did you meet?
Chloe confided, "Zach and I have known each other since we were 15. Zach was my best friend’s neighbour. We were ratbag teens first. Regrettable hairstyles, ditching school, smoking in the park, and sneaking into pubs underage - all the usual cringey memories perhaps best not shared publicly in too much detail!"
How did you know?
We asked them how they knew that their partner was "the one." They told us, "We just grew together. Never one defined moment, but we've always just been at home with each other. We can scream and laugh and cry and never be worried what the other is thinking except that they will support and love you."
There were two proposals.
The first proposal. Chloe asked Zach when they were 22 years old. It was about about 2:00am at the pub, with Chloe using a burger ring. "Suffice it to say no wedding eventuated," Chloe said.
The second proposal. It was 5 years later on their 9-year anniversary, Zach asked Chloe after dinner on the beach they live next to.
Their wedding photos
When we asked them about what they envisioned for their wedding photography, they said that fun is the most important part and biggest part they want captured on camera. "We aren't the type of couple to put our wedding portrait on our mantle piece at home. We just want an epic collection of photos of our friends and family that actually shows their different personalities (warts and all!). Zach and I aren't overly romantic. We prefer fun and laughter over everything else."
The inspiration behind their wedding
Lots of colour and eclectic. Pretty much anything they both liked - they threw in, "from homemade cushions, textiles and throws with Zach's mum and her friends, to Turkish desserts from my mum and sister. Crystals and salvaged furniture we have displayed in our house were all driven down to the venue to bring a bit of 'us' to the day.'" Chloe recounted.
Their DIY projects
Desserts were made by Chloe's mum and sister.
Favours were jewellery made by Chloe and her mum
Arbor was made by Zach.
Flowers were beautifully put together by Zach's mum Cathy and her amazing tribe of florist friends.
Cushions, throws, table linen - everyone chipped in at one stage. They're just beautiful!
Invites were David Bowie circa '71 inspired and made by Zach and Chloe. Other stationery were made by the couple (place cards, tags, etc.)
1. Wedding Gown
2. Groom's Suit
2nd hand - St Vincent de Paul
3. Bride's Shoes
4. Wedding Rings
5. Veil or Hairpiece
10. Marquee or Teepee
Charlotte is a stay at home mum, and Mitch plays soccer for the Japanese team Shimizu S-Pulse. She's English, while he's Australian. They currently live in Japan at the moment.
The afternoon started with Charlotte and Mitch getting ready at Meriton Serviced Apartments at Pitt Street, Sydney. The ladies donned their matching lovely robes while getting their makeup and hair done.
We asked them how it all started and how they met. Charlotte narrated, "I was working at a 5-a-side soccer centre (in a cafe) in Tuggerah on the Central Coast called Soccer5s, and Mitch was playing for the Central Coast Mariners at the time. After having small talk for about a year when Mitch would come in for coffee, he decided to message me at 3am in the morning, then the rest was history. We've been together for 5 years now!"
How did you know that your partner is "the one"?
Charlotte shared that before Mitch even messaged her, "he was 'the one,' but when he serenaded me with R. Kelly, how can a girl resist! Haha! He tried, and it worked!"
"We flew to a little island called Okinawa, and Mitch took me to a waterfall. It was stinking hot, and a snake chased me on the walk to the waterfall (he just laughed!). On the walk to the waterfall, there was a little path in the rainforest, and Mitch got down on one knee and proposed! We got some amazing photos at the waterfall as his sister and brother-in-law were there too. And they were ready with the camera!"
Charlotte and Mitch had a baby together. Then they had to do the wedding organization - everything by email, as they were overseas, so Charlotte said that she had to be relaxed about it. "In the end, it was the most incredible day we could have ever asked for!"
We asked them what the inspiration was behind their wedding theme or vibe. They said, "We went with a light travel theme," as Charlotte's family and friends all came over to Sydney from England. "We thought it would make them feel welcome, and it went down a treat."
Charlotte made all of the name places with mini white boards and photos of everyone! She said, "It took forever, but I'm so happy I did it. Also, I made all of the favours." As you can see, it was such a lovely personal touch to the wedding.
We asked if Charlotte incorporated any family or religious traditions into their wedding day, she answered, "I had a lucky sixpence stuck to the bottom of my shoe!"
The wedding dress
"My dress is from The Sposa Group in Sydney. They were absolutely brilliant! I rang up 2 weeks before the wedding as I hated my dress when I saw what it was like after the alterations. I cried in the car and didn't know what to do! A few close friends had recommended The Sposa Group, so I rang up and said I needed a dress as my wedding was in 2 weeks!
"They had the biggest selection to choose from and were absolutely amazing to me! They recommended me to an alterations lady and she was flawless."
To The Sposa Group, Charlotte extends her thanks, "Thank you so much girls for making my dreams come true!"
The dress looked absolutely divine on our bride, Charlotte! It's amazing it was just two weeks from the wedding.
Advice for other couples
We asked our lovely bride if she had learned anything or wanted to share some advice to other couples planning for their wedding.
Charlotte shared, "Don't rush into anything. Research everything properly before making a commitment. Don't jump into the first dress you like. Research your photographers and florists, etc. Make sure they have the style you absolutely love.
"Write down a list of all the photos you want taken, as the day will be such a blur that you don't want to miss any special moments or anyone important! Relax and enjoy the day. Try to take it all in."
We, as wedding photographers, do want to know what you have in mind for your wedding photos. It's really important to us.
We especially like what Charlotte pointed out, "Take a minute to yourself with your new husband in the evening to watch all your friends and family having a good time!"