Couple Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Geraldine & Lawrence

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A car pulls up to a luxurious hotel. A man and woman get out, the woman expecting a simple dinner at restaurant. They catch the elevator up to the 52nd floor and enter a room filled with candles, flowers, Champagne and the couple’s favourite food. It sounds like a dream but for Geraldine and Lawrence this was the proposal that led to their heart-warming and stylish wedding. Joined by loved ones, the two said ‘I do’ and celebrated with a romantic honeymoon in Europe.

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Date: July 19 2014

The Couple: Geraldine Camaroni and Lawrence Dawson

Location: Brisbane

No. of Guests: 165

Theme: Classic Elegance

First Dance Song: I Just Can’t Stop Loving You – Michael Jackson

Photography: Puremotion Studio

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Groom

Groomsmen

Engagement ring

Wedding dress

Bride

Geraldine

Bride

Bride and mum

Bridesmaids

Groom

bride

Bride and groom

Bridal party

Geraldine & Lawrence

Geraldine & Lawrence

Wedding reception

Wedding cake

Cutting the wedding cake

First dance

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How did you meet?

We first met as students working in the same architectural firm in South Brisbane. We were friends for three years before we started dating. We became more than friends after working on a couple of projects together. We thought we were keeping the office romance a secret, but when we came clean everyone told us “yeah we know, it’s obvious”.

Tell us about the proposal…

Lawrey proposed just after I had passed my Architect Registration exams. He took me out under the guise of a celebratory dinner, he told me we were going to a restaurant, however he pulled into the carpark of a well known hotel in the city. This was no restaurant! We took the lift up to level 52, and to my surprise the room Lawrey had booked overlooked the Story Bridge and was filled with candles, flowers and a table set with Champagne and platters of some of our favourite food. Little did I know, he had planned this for weeks after asking for my parents for their blessing.

Why did you choose All Hallows School Chapel and Gambaro’s for your wedding?

Being a past pupil I have many great memories of my time there, and always dreamed that one day I would marry there. My mother and two of my bridesmaids were also past pupils so it had sentimental significance. As both Lawrey and I are architects, we looked tirelessly for quite some time to find a reception venue that was modern, elegant and had a good reputation for their food (coming from an Italian family this was a must). The Function Centre at Gambaro’s in Petrie Terrace had only recently reopened their doors after an extensive refurbishment, its new look ticked all the boxes.

What did you do for your hens and bucks?

I wanted a low-key hens party in Brisbane, so the girls organised a dinner at Ecco in Fortitude Valley followed by cocktails at Cloudland. I didn’t get off lightly though, they had me carrying out various “tasks” during the night. The boys on the other hand had organised something much more intensive for Lawrey – an all-day pub crawl. The bucks party coincided with Lawrey’s 30th birthday and being an identical twin, the theme was… well “twins”, every guy partnered up with a friend in identical costumes.

DIY Details

With our creative backgrounds we wanted to do something more personalised with our stationery for the wedding, with some help from my sister-in-law who is a graphic designer we designed our own invites, mass booklets, place cards etc. For the table centrepieces at the reception we decided to buy some succulents and plant them in glass vases. The idea was to be able to keep these as a memento and have them in our garden at home as well as share some with our family.

Key Styling Inspiration

Classic elegance was the underpinning theme of the wedding, but I wanted to do this with a modern twist. For the dress, I looked at some of the classic bridal gowns such as Grace Kelly and Princess Margaret, for a more modern look I loved the silhouettes of Steven Kahlil’s designs. For the reception, I let the interior design of the venue set the mood. I went for an all white theme for the decorations and had an abundance of candles and with the help of the venue’s crystal chandeliers this set the ambience.

Where did you splurge and where did you save on your wedding?

We definitely put the focus on creating a party atmosphere. No expense was spared on the venue, food and beverages and our band. We always believed that the secret to a memorable day for our guests, (and us), was a good venue, great food and awesome music. We saved a lot by doing our own stationery, bonbonieres and centrepieces.

What gifts did you give your guests?

Our guests received a white espresso cup filled with Italian “confetti” (sugar and chocolate coated almonds), which were delicately placed in a translucent box and tied with a white ribbon and a tag with the guests name which we used instead of place cards. In Italian tradition the use of confetti sweets symbolise the hope that the new marriage will be long, happy, healthy and fertile.

What was the funniest moment of the day?

This would have to be the best man’s speech made by Lawrey’s twin brother. Our guests still talk about it!

What was the most special memory from the day?

The whole day was filled with special memories. Walking down the aisle and seeing my groom’s eyes filled with tears as I got closer and I couldn’t wait to hold his hand. But perhaps the most special was receiving a text from Lawrey that morning which read “I know we aren’t supposed to speak before the wedding, but I just wanted to tell you how much I love you and cant wait to be your husband.”

What did you do for your honeymoon?

We spent a glorious four weeks in Europe starting in Athens, then the picturesque islands of Santorini and Mykonos where we spent the days swimming, sunbaking and exploring. From there we went to Rome, and spent time discovering many of the buildings and ruins we studied at school and university. We also had some time in my dad’s home town outside of Rome where we experienced life in a small ancient country town. This was followed with a tour of the stunning Amalfi Coast and Venice. Next was amazing Barcelona, where we went walking through the many architectural landmarks we had only ever seen in textbooks, and indulging in the local tapas and shopping. We finished in Paris and on one of our nights there we had an exquisite dinner at Restaurant 58 which is at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Special thanks to…

Our parents, family and bridal party. Without their help the planning, decorating and general organisation would not have gone as smoothly as it did. The team at Winnie Bridal did an exceptional job and worked with me to develop my vision for my dream dress and I felt confident knowing I was in safe and capable hands.

What advice would you give other brides-to-be?

Don’t be afraid of a little DIY, its amazing how much you can personalise your wedding with just a few small touches. With your dress, go to a few boutiques and try on different styles of dresses to get an idea of what suits you, however don’t let shop assistants sway your better judgement or force you into buying something right away. I had my dress custom-designed, I felt more comfortable being in the hands of a designer than a retail assistant.

Words by editorial intern Emily Russ.


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Credits
Ceremony: All Hallows School Chapel – Fortitude Valley
Reception: Gambaro's Restaurant and Function Centre
Gown: Winnie Bridal
Bridesmaid Attire: Forever New
Groom's Suit: Politix
Groomsmen Attire: Custom made
Flowers: Mary Casey Florist
Hair: The Powder Room
Makeup: Nikki Tindall MUA
Cake: A Little Cake Place
Caterer: Gambaro's Restaurant and Function Centre – Petrie Terrace
Transport: Kenz Classic and father of the grooms own vintage car
Music: Danny Fai Fai
Photographer: Puremotion Studio
Videographer: Danny Camara Films
Hens: Ecco Bistro/ Cloudland
Honeymoon: Europe
Engagement Ring: Sonar Jewellery - Camp Hill
Bride's Wedding Ring: Sonar Jewellery - Camp Hill
Groom's Wedding Ring: Sonar Jewellery - Camp Hill
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