Real Wedding; Emily and Jonny @ The Pavillion Kiama
About You Two;
Now, How did you two meet?
At F45 Newtown during a Oztag tournament, we were playing against each other and during the break I happen to sit near him and he had a cracked iphone screen and he joked that my bum cracked his screen and then at the F45 Christmas party that year we ran into each other again and the rest is history.
Who popped the Question and how did it happen?
It was on a Monday morning (we both work in hospo and Mondays are our only days off) and on Sunday night, Jonny insisted that he wanted to go on an adventure and watch the sunrise, we live on the far South Coast and have been for over a year and never caught a sunrise – I wanted to go to the gym that morning and we were bickering back and forth, I didn’t want to go, he dropped the famous guilt trip line “You never want to do anything I want to do”… instantly I felt bad, and agreed to go watch a sunrise with him.
From there, he made sure we pulled into every beach along the way from 5:30am to find the perfect spot before the sunrise, knowing exactly what he had planned, me on the other hand was so off it, I was so annoyed I couldn’t work out and go to the gym as I had planned to go to Canberra that night and booked a restaurant that we both wanted to try for ages. Finally, we pulled into a secluded beach, some minor bickering back and forth around walking down to the beach to find the perfect spot to sit and watch the sunrise and as the sun was rising he dropped to one knee, I started to cry and we soaked up the moment together on the beach before calling both our families.
Why did you choose your venue and how was the venue choosing process?
We both knew we didn’t want to get married in Sydney but also had a lot of family and friends who would be travelling from there. So we picked Kiama as the destination as it was only 90 mins from Sydney and fairly close to travel to whether it was from the South Coast, Canberra or Sydney. We literally only looked at one venue and that was the Pavillion in Kiama and locked it in within the same week we viewed it. We loved how picturesque Kiama is, surrounded by water and we loved that it gave that mini coastal destination wedding vibe.
Quick Fire Questions;
How many wedding guests did you have?
We invited 240 and had 180 attend.
Sit down or Cocktail Style?
It was a sit down formal 3 course meal with canapes.
Planning The Wedding;
Was planning the wedding stressful or did you enjoy the journey?
It definitely had its moments but i would say I enjoyed it more so then it being stressful. My parents own a Chinese Restaurant and we were given a small window to get married as it was the only time they would close the shop. So once we locked the date it was all pretty much go time. The whole COVID situation had settled, boarders were open and no restrictions so we were really stoked about that.
How involved were you both in the wedding planning, did one of you take more of the lead on certain aspects than others or were you both equally involved?
Hahaha… I would say Emily did most of the work if I’m being completely honest. However, we both agreed on the venue, food, drinks and music and the rest of it was Emily. Oh wait, Jonny really wanted our faces printed on 100 dollar bills which we called “Chimoan dollar” (Chinese x Samoan which is our nationalities)… so we can shoot them out of money guns during our entrance at the reception.
What was the top couple of non-negotiables or important must-have’s at the wedding for you both?
For the both of us, coming from big families and food oriented backgrounds, the food and the drinks were a non-negotiable, making sure that everyone is well fed and fully hydrated. We also both agreed that music was a huge part, Jonny and I love live music and have enjoyed lots of concerts together in our time, so getting our favourite Lady Lyric was a non-negotiable. And for Emily, a fantastic photographer, videographer and photo booth were also non-negotiables.
Tell us about your dress and that dress-finding process?
To be completely honest, I really didn’t enjoy this process at all. I was never the girl that pictured herself in a wedding dress so I went into this process completely blinded. I didn’t know what style I wanted, I didn’t know what material I was looking for and the whole process is so overwhelming. I had a couple of my friends recommend me some bridal stores and I went from there, I went to 4 shops in total, 3 in Sydney and Jane Hill in Melbourne and I ended up finding my dress from Love Marie Bridal in Camden. The dress I picked I was trying on purely for sizing and when I put it on, my best friend and Amy from Love Marie both just gasp and we just went, yep, this is the one and that was it. Deposit paid and we never thought about the dress again until 2 months out from the wedding.
What sort of theme, vibe or style did you go for? Both our cultures are really important to us so having different cultural gowns were a must, the vibe was definitely combining who we both were and throwing one big Chimoan PARTY!
On the Day;
How did you both feel wedding morning?
We both didn’t sleep very well, I think the nerves kicked in from both of us the morning of, we were texting each other at around 6am expressing how we were in and out of sleep all night and how we were both really excited to see each other. The weather was a huge hinder for Emily, we had picked Kiama because of our ceremony location but as they say, you can’t change the weather – those feelings slowly went away as the morning progressed, especially with Ems amazing bridal party, the girls were a huge relief for her, constantly validating the wet weather contingency plans.
What was the best part or moment of your day?
This was really hard to pick because the whole day was amazing for the both of us but if we had to… For Em, walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Jonny so emotional.. shedding tears… For Jonny: it was entering the reception venue as husband and wife and shooting our Chimoan Dollars at the crowd, such a hype moment.
Anything you would change about your wedding or anything that didn’t go to plan?
Nothing, every little thing that didn’t go to plan was exactly us, so it didn’t matter – for example it was pouring rain when I arrived at The Pavillion for my ceremony and our MC had started to play our wedding aisle song and I couldn’t get out of the car but couldn’t communicate to anyone that I was stuck because of the heavy down pour and Jonny was crying asking his brother if I was coming because in our rehearsal, we had planned that I was walk down at a certain point in the song and he would turn around… that unfortunately didn’t happen and we had to restart the song when I was finally able to get out of the car. My dad also carried my bouquet down the aisle hahaha.
Are there any rituals, sentiments or traditions you incorporated into the day?
It was really important to the both of us and our families to incorporate our cultural traditions, from my Chinese side, we kicked off the day with a Chinese Tea Ceremony which is symbolises the union of two families coming together and pouring tea to our respected elders and family members. Prior to the ceremony, my bridesmaid put the groomsmen and Jonny through a bit of torture and they had to go through a series of games which reflects on our future marriage, i.e. pain, endurance, creativity, love etc. The girls made them walk on lego bare foot and do 10 squats, do push ups whilst taking a minimum of 5 bites from mini bananas and rapping a love song about Emily. From the Samoan side, there were a bunch of performances which were choreographed by Jonny’s sisters and cousins were performed on the evening. Jonny’s best friends did the Haka and Jonny and I did a Samoan Siva which traditionally is a Samoan dance.
After the Wedding;
Describe newlywed life in a couple of words?
Blissful, full of love and happy, we can’t wait for this next chapter and of course, Chimoan babies
Best investment or money well spent on the wedding that you made?
Definitely our videographer, omg Ripple Weddings, Eddie is such an amazing videographer. Our wedding video and footage of the day is so special, the day goes by so fast and honestly, having that content on hand means we are able to relive that day everyday for the rest of our lives. Also, photography and our live band – they were both outstanding.
Budget – over, under or what you estimated?
We were pretty on track for the initial stages of planning but we definitely blew out a little bit towards the end but we had factored additional funds in our wedding budget, our wedding day was something we saved for so we were happy to spend what we wanted and needed for the day.