Michelle and Peter drew on their travels to add Tuscan and French flavours to their elegant celebration in Oz
It was while Peter was cutting her hair back in 2003 that Michelle first noticed the spark between her and her hairdresser.
Three hair appointments later, they crossed paths – literally – in the street, and Peter backtracked to ask Michelle out. “We realised we had loads in common, including both our mothers being Polish,” she remembers. “That’s where the initial attraction came from.”
Photography by Andrea Carter-Bowman, andreacarter-bowman.com
It was on their travels that the Australian couple picked up the inspiration for their French/Italian day with a vintage-glamour feel. “Initially, we were planning to have a Tuscan wedding, but since it would be too far for family and friends to travel, we decided to find a Western European-style venue in Australia – not easy given that we were living in London at the time.”
After months of trawling the internet and sending their parents on viewings for them, they hit upon French/Tuscan-inspired house Deux Belettes, Byron Bay. “Under the Roman arch was the perfect place to marry my true love,” Michelle says.
The maids each wore a different bespoke ivory cocktail dress from Ultra Suite and towering peep-toes.
The bride walked down the pebble-mosaic aisle in a bespoke, sequin-covered ivory gown and veil by Ralph & Russo – well-heeled in matching ivory satin Jimmy Choos.
The groom looked dapper in a two-piece suit from Jeff Banks.
Peter’s three groomsmen echoed his sharp-suited look with grey two-pieces. “They all looked like they’d stepped off the catwalk!” says Michelle.
Wooloowin Flower Cottage, Brisbane supplied the breathtaking blooms for the occasion.
The guests moved out onto the lawn and mingled over pre-reception prosecco and appetisers as the sun set, before ducking into the silk-lined marquee – dotted with hundreds of white and ivory flowers in vintage vases and carafes – for the Tuscan wedding breakfast.
A vintage suitcase was the frame for the seating plan, decorated with strings of pearls and white flowers.
French music set the scene as guests tucked into chicken wrapped in Parma ham, rack of lamb, and slices of chocolate mud cake by candlelight, which reflected off the chandeliers
the couple had collected from charity shops.
“We spent hours searching for mismatched vintage vases, carafes and chandeliers to bring our theme to life,” says Michelle.
The pair kept their stationery simple. Invites were handmade from white card, lace and diamanté, while orders of service were also printed on white card and displayed in a fabric-lined basket.
The couple’s Catholic ceremony included readings from the Bible,
as well as the poem I Carry Your Heart by
e.e. cummings, and as they were pronounced husband and wife, they were showered with rose petals to the tune of Bob Marley’s Is This Love?
A wooden ladder painted white and topped with bud vases made for a simple but stunning floral display.
“I honestly can’t pinpoint one moment that was the most memorable,” Michelle says. “It was all amazing, and the best day of my life.”