posted on May 22 2019
Why did you choose nevenka to walk with you on your bridal journey?
Ever since I was little I had a love of fabrics. I was notorious for sewing garments at all hours to go with my mother’s vintage that she’d kept for me from her twenties. And so for my wedding day I wanted a dress that was hand crafted, unique but comfortable, to be draped in almost weightless textured material that moved, something that was romantic with a little edge. I had pinned Nevenka gowns for years without even realizing it. I loved how feminine they were on the women wearing them and how ethereal they photographed. After reading the family legacy of Nevenka and its philosophy I felt it was something that I wanted to be apart of. I admired that every custom gown created for brides is never remade, a far cry from the mass manufactured bridal stored I’d been a prisoner of who only allow you to try on a handful of stiff, impractical dresses and walk around like a penguin unable to perform life’s necessities like breathing and peeing. In the end, I felt that I didn’t really chose Nevenka, that it chose me.
Tell us about your nevenka experience
My Nevenka experience can only be likened to a fond memory of a time with people you’ve known for years. The care and personalised nature of fittings, alterations, advice and answers to my often past midnight emails meant that I felt constantly supported and cared for at a time when my mum wasn’t able to be present due to illness. A plane trip to the Melbourne boutique saw a friend and I welcomed by Rosemary with open arms. We drank bottomless cups of tea in between gown changes while pedestrians outside in the laneway stopped mid stride to peek at the flurry of amateur pirouettes inside. From Rosemary herself hand delivering the dress to the post office around the corner from the studio it was sewn in to finding a hand crocheted lavender pouch in my dress cover, and every correspondence in between, Rosemary, Kristina and the Nevenka women truly go above and beyond to do everything in their power to make for a magical time. For this, I, my mother and my husband will be forever grateful.
Which nevenka dress did you choose and how did you style it?
I chose a custom-made ivory and white gown that had features of both ‘the white swan’ and ‘there is beauty in all things’ gowns as a solution to my love for both and as a nod to my grandmothers tiered lace wedding dress. Rosemary worked her magic with pencil on paper arranging the tiers with different splices of French chantilly laces, adding mesh frills and creating a longer skirt of pleated silk organza finished with a raw hem.
Styling was minimal given I don’t usually wear much jewelry and the intricate nature of the gown which Rosemary had affectionately named ‘piece of art’ - penciled under the original design. I wore a simple two tiered veil by Lola Varma, Loeffler Randall pointed laced ballet flats in nude, asymmetrical curved line stud earrings by Sarah & Sebastian and both my mother’s and late grandmother’s brooches pinned on my bouquet. Of the dress my Dad and countless others had said “it is very you” and I couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
Tell us about your husband. Where did you two meet and how did he propose?
My husband Nathaniel is the bee’s knees. We first talked when he was lurking around the theatres one day at the hospital we both worked at which began a series of interactions including me hiding under the desk from him and finally giving in after seven failed attempts and excuses to go on one date with him. I did and we have been together ever since. Nat proposed on a yacht in a quiet cove of Sydney Harbor. He had somehow lured me to the dock and even around the harbor with little suspicion and dropped to one knee at sunset where we were docked for the night. Apparently I had once answered that when the time was right I wanted to be proposed to on a boat, I think I meant a dingy in the river but Nat never does anything half assed and for that I am forever spoiled. We kept our engagement to just us for the night before telling family and friends the following day. Nathaniel is my human, my blue crayon, the one I use to colour my sky.
Where did you have your wedding?
Our wedding ceremony was in a big old church St Mary’s in Maclean where I was baptised in my home town on 24.11.2018. The cocktail hour and reception were at the Surf Club, a short drive down the road in Yamba, a sleepy little coastal town on the north coast of NSW. We were blessed with a perfect spring day of blue sky, sunshine and calm seas.
What was on the menu?
We opted for a share plate style sit down reception with our guests seated in two long rows of tables to replicate the intimacy of a dinner party. The food by local Leche Café received the highest praise from our guests who loved the homely feasting style, fresh local produce and all wanted to travel back in time and eat it all over again. It was small town hospitality with a big heart. On the menu:
Canapés: Slider: braised brisket slider with slaw & chipotle aioli
Heirloom tomato bruschetta with whipped feta
Mini taco of chipotle pumpkin with avocado coriander crema
Pulled chicken & avocado crema
Yamba prawn rice paper roll with nam Jim
Dressed Yamba bay oysters with fingerlime & granit
Mains: Lamb shoulder with pistacio gremolata
Roasted chicken thighs with harissa & lemon
Sides: hassleback potatoes with herb butter
broccolini with almonds & preserved lemon dressing
warm heirloom carrot salad with honey & orange dressing warm bread rolls and butter
Dessert: Wedding cake in two flavours fererro roche and elderflower & lemon plated with cream and edible flowers.
What music did you listen to?
I walked down the aisle to ‘Only Wanna Be With You’ unplugged by Samm Hennshaw. We signed the registry to an acoustic version of ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ and were announced and kissed to the big orchestral song from Love Actually ‘PM’s Love Theme’. We arrived at our cocktail hour by the beach to Paul Simon’s ‘You Can Call Me Al’ where the tunes carefully curated by a friend were a beautiful mix of jazz, alternative and old time romance. Nathaniel and I did a slow semi choreographed rumba to ‘Good Together’ by Honne ft. House Gospel Choir before our guests danced the night away on the dance floor to a string of old favourites mixed by another friend of ours who we were lucky enough to have DJ for us.
Tell us about your beauty look for the day
I didn’t sleep much the night before so the morning began with a concoction of iced peppermint tea bags under my eyes applied as delicately as a day spa by one of my bridesmaids. They worked a treat. My beauty aim was to look and feel like myself with a bit of sass so I opted to skip the tan, eyes were an earthy bronze, cheeks had a touch of blush with a strong deep red lip. My beautician on the day Endessa had done my make up twice before for events growing up so it was lovely having her familiar face to paint my quivering eyelids and share the morning. Hair by was curled and loosely pinned up to be able to take it out later in the evening.
And your flowers?
I had a local florist Melinda from Wildflower Wanderings do the bouquets and buttonholes and a friend do the decorative flowers in both spaces from market and local foliage. The morning of I was eerily calm and emotionless until I first spotted the bouquets, I felt it deep into my chest and my eyes welled up with tears, they were beyond wonderful. Bloomed bouquets were natural, organic, open style with asymmetrical featured greenery and wildflowers of white, dusk pink, blues, tan and neutral, with a touch of darker tone in deep burgundy. Similarly, the reception was like a floral wonderland.
Describe love in one sentence
For me, love is an effortless choice to treasure someone who has become an extension of yourself, as if they were limbs or senses that you are unwilling and unapologetically able to live without.
alita wearing custom made nevenka dress
photography by matt godkin
mua by endessa
photography by matt godkin
mua by endessa