Keeping your big day personal is no easy affair. Too often, weddings are influenced by the traditions of family, or face the pressure of adhering to cookie-cutter formats. But wedding singer Annie and her husband Roberto defied the odds and went solely by their instincts in planning their "I dos". The result? A music-themed extravaganza at Sydney's Curzon hall, lit by fireworks and fuelled by plenty of love and laughter. Below, Annie tells us more...
On how they met:
"I was singing a show at Marconi club, which for me is just another ordinary evening of work. An acquaintance of mine (the best man) wanted to see me sing and brought Roberto as a tag-along. Rob fell in love at first sight. Because I was exhausted and he is generally quite shy, I needed more convincing."
On the proposal:
"He took me to a water-view restaurant at the site where he first asked me out on his birthday (I said no). This time, he surprised me with a dessert with the words “will you marry me?" written on the plate in chocolate sauce. I was too full to eat dessert, but was reluctantly pushed to order something. Luckily I did, 'cause this time, I took the chance to say “yes”.
On finding the dress:
"It was just me, McDonalds drive-thru and 8 stores in two days. After years of wedding singing, I had seen the best and worst of designs and had the chance to narrow down what I like to look at vs what suits my body shape. Store after store, it became clearer on eliminating what didn’t suit my body or personality, and clearer in expressing me. By the final store, I walked in and saw it on a rack and tried it on. To turn my choice into a unique one, the salesperson added customisations. My best decision of the entire day was the decision I made completely alone. Lesson learned: trust yourself. You know what is best for you. You already have the answers to being your very best."
On her wedding day style:
"We just chose what we liked and wished ourselves luck. Modern dress, classic cars, subtle flowers, arabic-style reception entry and protestant ceremony structure. And, I let the bridesmaids choose the dress and colour palette to let them feel as beautiful as possible. We cared about the people involved more than the “stuff” involved. So, it meant more to us that the people involved in the day enjoyed what they co-created with us."
On the best moment of the day:
"Straight after the electrifying, emotional moment of singing down the aisle and surprising everyone in the room, the bridal party began to grimace at an unpleasant smell wafting through the room. Roberto and I greeted each other with exchanging looks of “is it you? It’s not me". After the ceremony, we were told that my pageboy (my nephew) was very nervous before his big aisle walk and could not hold it in."
On DIY touches:
"None of my DIY involved decor. I prepared music for me to sing down the aisle to, piano music for my sister (the Maid of Honour) to sing during the signing of the registry while her husband signed in her place; and pre-recorded my singing of “At Last” for our Bridal Waltz."
On what she'd change:
"I would invest more in entertainment. My MC and my DJ let the event down, all because I was shy to choose favorites amongst my musician friends. Flowers, cakes and food don’t remain in your memory. People and activities and their experiences do. Entertainment should be top priority."
Her advice for brides-to-be:
"Approach your wedding plans with a term I now call “second wedding mentality”. Second wedding mentality means asking yourself what you'd do, wear, say or surround yourself with if there was no pressure for it to be a certain way and where all decisions are totally up to you? Nobody’s wedding needs to be the biggest or fanciest ever - remember that it needs to be yours. All it needs to be is the most unique and personal expression of your love."
Bridal gown: Custom Demetrios gown from La Sposa
Makeup: Steph Tee Makeup
Hair: Malkonyan Hair
Accessories: Luv Bridal and LOVEON Jewellery
Bridesmaids dresses: Brides in Love
Grooms suit: All the Rage Formal Wear, Annandale
Photography: T-One Photography
Stationery: Adorn Invitations
Cake: Wedding Cake Art
Food: Curzon Hall
Flowers: All Seasons Flowers & Paris Me Bouquets
Ceremony and reception venue: Curzon Hall
Reception venue: Curzon Hall