Real Weddings

Just married: Sabina + Nixx

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If this (utterly gorgeous) face looks familiar, chances are you spotted her in our last issue. A pinup icon, international model and former Best Ink judge (plus downright sweetheart), Sabina Kelley is known around the world for her tattooed style; so when we heard she was tying the knot we caught up with her just before the big day to talk inked brides and, of course, her wedding plans. Now that Sabina and her sweetheart Nixx have said “I do”, we’re so excited to share with you their beautiful destination wedding.

Love at first sight seems like the stuff of fairytales, but Sabina says that’s exactly what happened when she first crossed paths with Queenslander Nixx in her homeland of the USA. “Nixx and I had mutual friends in Australia and in the US, so we knew of each other, but had never actually met,” she explains. “When we were all in Las Vegas for a massive clothing convention, we got together for a night out and Nixx was there. It seriously was a matter of love at first sight and we became completely inseparable.”

The two threw themselves into a long-distance relationship, travelling the globe to spend precious moments with each other. “It was the hardest thing in the world being away from each other,” says Sabina.

A year flew by (pun intended), and the couple were holidaying in New Zealand when Nixx pulled off an incredible proposal. “He surprised me with a helicopter ride to an island where we had lunch and got massages,” says Sabina. “We were relaxing in a hot tub and taking it all in when he asked me to marry him! It was so romantic and he gave me the most gorgeous ring in the world, that he designed.”

Sabina made the move to the Gold Coast with her three kids, Savannah, Kaiden and Grace Lynn, and the newly engaged couple started planning a spectacular three-day wedding celebration on Thailand’s Phi Phi Island. “We wanted a wedding that was us and true to our personalities,” says Sabina.

Taking cues from Sabina’s vintage style, Nixx’s love of tattoos (he’s a world-renowned tattoo artist) and their dream venue’s tropical setting, the two organised a black-and-white-themed wedding and set the (very special) date. “The number seven has been kind of lucky in our relationship, so we chose the seventh of July 2017 (07.07.2017),” explains Sabina. “Seven was always around when we were dating: important dates, hotel room numbers, airline flight seat numbers… everything! Whenever we saw the number seven we knew that things were meant to be.”

Find this story and more gorgeous real weddings in the new Spring/Summer 2017/18 issue of Queensland Brides

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As the big day approached, the couple and Sabina’s kids escaped to Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort where they lapped up the sunshine, hit the pool and welcomed their 40 guests to paradise for the wedding weekend. “The island was by far the most beautiful place I’d ever seen,” says Sabina. “To have our closest friends and family all together at the same resort was so much fun.”

Things were a little less chilled on the morning of the wedding though, when the bride’s villa became an all-out glamour station. “I had one girl curling my hair, two girls making sure my dress was wrinkle-free and another girl walking around the room in my new Louboutins to stretch them out,” recalls Sabina. “We had so much fun laughing and getting ready!”

The star of Sabina’s alternative bridal look was her vintage 1950s black silk Charles James-style dress from California. “Once it was shipped to Australia I had it tailored by the incredible Venita Drennen to make it more of a 1940s look, with a lowered back that showed off my tattoos,” says Sabina. “It became my dream wedding dress.”

With her signature red lipstick perfectly applied, Sabina walked down the aisle (like a total pro, on the sand – and in her Louboutin heels) and joined Nixx for an intimate beach ceremony with a laid-back vibe. Beneath an arbour festooned with white orchids and overlooking breathtaking beach views, the two said their vows and took part in a special Thai wedding tradition. “We had a sand- pouring ceremony, where we each had a cup of different-coloured sand and poured them together into a cup as a symbol of our two separate lives becoming one,” says Sabina. “I didn’t realise the next morning that the wedding planner had put the sand in our room next to all the bath stuff, so I mistook it for bath salts!” Hey, at least it would’ve been exfoliating.

After being announced as husband and wife, Sabina and Nixx explored the resort’s beach and its bamboo-filled gardens for a photo session and enjoyed one last tradition. “We planted a tree at the resort to symbolise the start of our new life together,” says Sabina. “It was really very special.”

When they returned to their guests, the party was well and truly in full swing. As night fell, a live band, plenty of Thai fare and an impressive fire-dancing performance kept everyone in high spirits, and the dance floor quickly became the place to be. “We played our own playlist later on in the night… which was hijacked by my kids,” laughs Sabina. “They played everything from gangster rap to the Spice Girls!”

The party didn’t stop that night, with guests staying the next day and taking it easy with poolside drinks. “The atmosphere during the whole three days was incredible,” says Sabina. “We wish we could do it all again! Nixx and I seriously could not have asked for a better location or wedding day – it was truly amazing.”

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BRIDE’S LITTLE BLACK BOOK

Photography: Marfalite Studios  Ceremony and reception: Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, Thailand   Wedding dress: Original vintage, tailored by Venita Drennen  Shoes: Louboutin  Hair and makeup: Meg Boes  Suits: Peter Jackson  Rings: CTJ Custom Jewellery  Flowers & cake: Supplied by Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort


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