Real Wedding – Lei Lei & Cam, Yarra Valley VIC
Fate has a funny way of making love stories happen, and in the beautiful Yarra Valley, Lei Lei and Cam’s relaxed and elegant affair began its next chapter.
Taking their time with planning their day, Lei Lei and Cam were able to enjoy the planning process, choosing a dream Tribe of suppliers to support them in bringing it to life.
Captured by the talent of Eric Ronald, this is a celebration to remember.
IN LEI LEI’S WORDS…
In 2007, we both were at Parklife music festival in Melbourne. Watching La Roux perform, we were separate sides of the stage with our friends. I noticed a man across the crowd looking silly in a cowboy hat. He noticed me too. I remember he had a cheeky smile. We couldn’t stop looking at each other, both wondering who would make the first move across the crowd. But my friends left to go to another stage so I followed. We didn’t meet in person that day.
It wasn’t until two years later in 2009, after I arrived home after my year exchange abroad in California and he was finishing up his PhD, that we finally met on the dancefloor at Roxanne nightclub in Melbourne. I spotted him on the dance floor. He looked familiar but I thought I must have just seen him around Melbourne. I approached him and we danced together all night. When the night ended, we exchanged numbers. He messaged me the next morning saying, surprisingly, that he also said I looked familiar only he had remembered where he had seen me before – Parklife in 2007.
We often think back to the beginning, wondering whether we could have had two extra years together, but each time we come to the conclusion that it wasn’t the right timing. Whether you believe in it or not, I believe it all had to do with fate.
Cam and I had been doing long distance for 2 years, him in Perth, me in New York City. We saw each other every 4 months or so and spoke on the phone every day. I couldn’t imagine life without him so after two years I decided to move to Perth. Even after two years apart we knew we were right for each other.
We were back from Perth for a weekend in Melbourne for my grandma’s 90th birthday. Cam took me out for dinner to my favourite Spanish restaurant, Anada in Fitzroy. Afterwards it was the Fitzroy Projections Festival so we walked up Gertrude Street to the Carlton Gardens and that’s where he popped the question. He knelt on one knee and everything, it was adorable! Afterwards we had a very expensive glass of bubbles at Siglo Rooftop to celebrate. The next day it was my grandma’s birthday and we could announce our engagement in person. It was perfect.
The planning process.
As soon as we got engaged, we began planning, the excitement spurring us on. Once the big tasks where out of the way- guest list, booking venue, finding the dress, booking photographer- we could take a breather. Once we got closer to the wedding, the details fell into place.
Taking the planning process step by step and over our 18 month engagement, made the process enjoyable and not at all stressful.
Classic and elegant with a relaxed-modern twist.
Cam and I had a Paris trip planned prior to getting engaged. So, after he proposed I booked an appointment at wedding designer, Jenny Packham’s, Paris boutique. I had my eye on a particular dress but when I tried it on, I found the shape – a figure-hugging, deep v-neckline – didn’t suit me at all. But then I saw another dress on the rack – 1920’s style, a relaxed fit, embellished – a completely different look to my original pick. It turned out to be the perfect dress! The fact that it was on the sample sale rack made it even more perfect. I phoned up Cam, who knew I was shopping for wedding dresses, and asked him if I should really be doing this so early on but he assured me I should. So two months after we got engaged I walked out of Jenny Packham with a wedding dress and a very big smile on my face.
Leading up to the wedding, I had to work hard not to look or try on other dresses but I knew I had made the right choice.
Walking down the aisle was a wonderful moment. I was incredibly happy, seeing my love at the end of the carpet as well as being surrounded by my family and closest friends. I had the biggest beaming smile and it didn’t leave my face all day.
Not really a tradition, but I asked both my mother and father to walk me down the aisle, I knew that would mean a lot to my mum if she could walk by my side.
Meaning of marriage.
A true partnership in life full of love, respect, support and family.
Processional – Can’t Stop Falling In Love by Elvis
Recessional – Happy by Pharrell,
First dance- Home by Michael Buble, a sad but beautiful song representing the long distance in our history.
Funny stories/near disasters.
After the bachelor party the weekend before the wedding, Cam came down with a stomach bug. He recovered after 3 days, however myself and one of my bridesmaids Nadine, who was staying with us from Perth, both caught the stomach bug with only 2 days to go. The night before the wedding we were feeling better and while we weren’t 100% on the day we powered through and it was still the best ever! Although the stomach bug was less than ideal at the time, we joked that we all slimmed down and looked fantastic on the day!
It surprised me how much I loved planning the wedding. I was also surprised by how non-stressful the process was. I put that down to taking our time with planning, plus we didn’t take anything too seriously and that was evident on the day. It was a formal affair in black tie, but the event was a relaxed one with everyone enjoying themselves.
Words of wisdom.
Don’t make the planning stressful. Take your time with it. Prioritise the most important elements and spend your budget on those rather than on everything. Enjoy every moment on the day, it’s a long one but it goes past in a flash. Consider saying hello to everyone at the door on the way into the reception after the ceremony (depending how many people you invite – we had 107), that way you’ll have seen everyone on the night and won’t be disappointed if you miss speaking to someone later.
To everyone getting married, enjoy your day. When else do you have all the closest people in your life around you celebrating you and love. It’s truly magical!
Lei Lei and Cam’s Tribe
Ceremony and reception venue: Coombe – Melba Estate, Coldstream, Victoria
Celebrant/Officiant: Officiant, family friend: Wendy Bennett. Celebrant for official side of things: Meredith Crookes
Photography: Eric Ronald
Videography: Zephyr Productions
Florist: Sugar Bee Flowers
The Dress: Rose by Jenny Packham
Veil / head wear: Reny Kestel (mesh veil)
Jewellery/Accessories: vintage diamond bracelet & earrings
Shoes: Valentino from Vestiaire Collective
Rings: Stephens & Miller, Prospect Hill Road, Camberwell
Bridesmaids dresses: Camilla and Marc
Grooms suit: Bespoke P. Johnson Tailors tuxedo made up by my cousin who works there.
Grooms Shoes: Loake 1880 London
Groomsmen suits: Hired
Bow ties / ties: Hired
Catering: Coombe – Melba Estate, Coldstream, Victoria
Cake / Cake topper: My aunty Alison made my cake
Stationery / Signage: designed it myself on Minted.com
Entertainment: Baker Boys
Transport: White Mercedes borrowed from the family
Honeymoon: Roadtrip across U.S.A from LA to NYC via Texas, Louisanna and Florida for 6 weeks! The best honeymoon!