Bride & Groom: Emerald & Frank
Planning & Styling: Susie, from Knot & Pop, London and Coralie from Loli Events, Paris
Gown: Alon Livné Bridal
Venue: The Mona Bismarck American Centre, Paris
Photography: Ryan Murphy (Varga Murphy)
Hair and Makeup: Harold James, Paris
Ring: Olivia Bond Diamonds
How did you and Frank meet?
We had known each other for a while through mutual friends and had an annual flirtation at the pub at Christmas when I came home, but I was living in Paris and he was living in Perth so it never went anywhere. I flew home at the end of 2016 to care for my mum who was ill and ran into him while I was there, we got chatting and had an instant spark. When I flew back to Paris we began speaking lots, and a few weeks later he came to visit me (under the guise of going to see friends in London!). We had a whirlwind 4-day romance, and a few weeks later I came back to Perth to be with my mum again. We started dating and 5 weeks later I fell pregnant (whoops!). I found out a week after my beautiful mum passed away which was heartbreaking, but also lifesaving in a way. She met Frank once before she died and told me she felt happy leaving knowing that I had met my match.
How did Frank propose?
It was a few months after our daughter Queenie was born. My whole family was home for my little brother’s wedding and I hopped out of the shower to find a beautiful ring under my daughter’s arm as she slept, and Frank on one knee. My family was listening outside the door with champagne.
Emerald, your wedding celebrations were curated over a three day period. What did that entail?
Wednesday 25th - We had a civil ceremony at the town hall in the Marais, right near where I lived for 5 years. My friend, who is the current deputy mayor, married us in front of 20 of our closest friends and family in the most hysterical ceremony I have ever attended. We had champagne at the local bar afterwards, followed by an intimate family dinner in a private room at Le Meurice. It was breathtakingly beautiful, and such an incredible memory. I wore an Alexander Rich dress to my civil ceremony, and a white two piece suit designed by my friend Vanessa Cocchiaro of Les Heroines for the dinner, as well as a very special ruby necklace that was my mothers.
Thursday 26th – We held a cocktail party for all of our guests at rooftop bar Le Perchoir. Paris was having an uncharacteristic heatwave and we were all literally sweltering, but it was a really fun night – we were all dancing into the early hours of the morning with the most magical view over the Parisian rooftops. I wore a custom sequinned two piece by local Perth designer Alvin Fernandez.
Saturday 28th – Our wedding day! The girls got ready at the Shangri-La, next door to the venue, and the boys were at our apartment in the Marais. I walked down the aisle at 4.30pm with my brothers and sister as my bridesmaids, my daughter, nephews and nieces as our flower girls and boy, and my Dad on my arm. We chose ‘Dreams’ by the Cranberries as our entry song as it’s the opening song for You’ve Got Mail, that 90s RomCom with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, as we both felt a bit like them during our (very short!) long distance romance. This was followed by cocktails and speeches and then a two course sit-down dinner. For dessert we had a croquembouche tower, éclair tower and choux pastry tower set up outside that everyone could pick off.
For our first dance Frank and I did a tango which was hilarious, and then Love is in the Air came on (I’m a bit of a Strictly Ballroom fan) and all of our guests joined in. We were still dancing at 2am on the shoulders of our friends. We finished with ‘Les Champs-Élysées’ by Joe Dassin and stumbled back to the Shangri-La, shoes in hand.
What was your vision for your wedding day?
I didn’t really have a vision, I hadn’t ever thought about my wedding until Frank proposed. I just knew I wanted it to be in Paris in a beautiful old French building filled with all our closest friends and family, with epic music, food and wine.
Where did you look for your wedding inspiration?
Mainly Instagram. I knew what I wanted in terms of flowers as I love anthuriums, but to be honest I left the rest up to Knot & Pop. Susie has the most incredible eye for design, and she even hand-made much of the table setting including the beautiful little salt and pepper pinch pots.
For your wedding day what drew you to your gown from Helen Rodrigues Bridal?
I saw a picture of the gown on Instagram through White Dossier which is a curated bridal page, and I just had to have it. I’m not particularly classical, I wanted something fun (and with sleeves!) and that was the perfect dress for me. I flew to Sydney to try it on, and ordered it then and there!
What was your wedding planning journey like for you? How far out did you start planning?
Frank proposed in December and we got married in July, so we didn’t have a great deal of time to plan an overseas wedding. My whole family was already going to be in Europe for a family holiday at that time, so it made sense to combine the two. Once I got Knot & Pop on board it was all smooth sailing, I had a newborn and not a whole heap of time to dedicate to wedding planning so I was thrilled Susie, and Coralie from Loli Events took over and arranged everything!
What was the biggest decision you had to make?
The venue was the hardest choice. It was fairly late in the game to be planning a wedding in Paris in peak wedding season so the choice was limited. Of course I wanted the venue to be beautiful but I also wanted to make sure we had more control over our suppliers (alcohol, DJ etc) and I wanted to be able to stay and party late into the night.
What was the highlight of your three day wedding festival?
To be honest it was just the most magical week. Every part of it was truly perfect. I got to marry the man I love, in the city I love, surrounded by all the people we love. I just want to relive it again and again.
Is there anything you would do differently?
Yes I wouldn’t have gone on a family holiday to Tuscany the week before I got married! I was the least stressed bride ever, and didn’t think about holding back on the pasta, tiramisu and wine. Three days before my wedding I tried on my dress with my sister and we literally could not do it up!! Needless to say I didn’t eat much in the 48 hours prior to the wedding!
Did you go on a honeymoon and if so where?
We were already in Europe and we had our 10 month old with us, so we just had a few weeks around the English countryside. It was very chilled, but beautiful – travelling changes a lot once kids are involved!
Is there any advise you would give other #HRBride’s?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. The wedding day goes so quickly it is such a waste of time being stressed. All the guests are desperate to celebrate with you and have fun, and no one even notices if little things go wrong.
How has married life being so far?
Not much has changed since our wedding, we already had a baby together so we were pretty settled. We’ve just added to the brood with a rescue pup and a second bub on the way.