Katy and Alex tell us about their dreamy wedding in a French château and their romantic Italian Patchwork honeymoon.
The story begins back in 2012 one evening in Bondi. Their mutual friends (and love of Mexican food!) brought them together. Having both recently moved in with new house mates who knew each other, they came to meet their new neighbours. The result? Katy announced to her housemates: “I have just met the man I am going to marry.”
So with her sights firmly set on him, Katy took to boxing, so Alex could personally train her, and organised a Mexican themed party so they could get to know each other better. Before long they were inseparable and they’ve been soul mates ever since on their down-under adventure. Let’s hear more about their story…
How did you get engaged?
Alex: It was the lead up to Christmas 2016 and I wanted to make the experience as truly personal and memorable for Katy as I could. Knowing how close Katy is to her family and friends back home, I knew I had to ask her in England so we could be there to celebrate and share the moment with our families.
For the first few years the “prawns on the beach” Australian style Christmas was really novel, but the traditional festive spirit was never really the same and something we both missed. The streets filled with Christmas lights, wrapping up warm in the cold, the whole family gathering together and enjoying a “proper” Christmas. I knew this would be the perfect setting for our engagement so I got to work planning.
To keep the surprise I said to Katy that I really wanted us to have a ‘date day’ with her in London. She was really excited by this, and as it’s rare we get any time just the two of us on trips home, she loved that we were making time for each other. One of the wonderful things about having lived away from home for so long is that we now see London through tourist eyes. So to see London in its full Christmas glory was a truly special feeling and gave me the perfect cover for my secret plans.
On a previous trip home a couple of years ago my Dad had told me that he still had the ring that he gave to my mother, a classic antique style trilogy ring. Then quite independently Katy and I were talking about rings and she mentioned she loved her mum’s rings and that she particularly liked the trilogy look! Perfect, it was like it was meant to be!
So on the day I took her for a champagne breakfast in Chelsea and then off to explore the shops and enjoy Katy’s favourite: oysters and bubbles. We spent the day taking in the magical festive atmosphere of London. Knowing Katy as well as I do I planned for dinner to be in Leicester square, near the W-Hotel, which is a hotel we’d stayed at in Barcelona and that she loves. I knew she would suggest going for a drink there so I took her up to the Hotel bar and we sat and had some cocktails.
As we finished our drinks and went to leave, rather than press the button on the lift to go down I pressed ‘up’, Katy was taken aback when I said I didn’t feel like getting the train home! As we went up to our suite and opened the door, she could hear some of her favourite songs playing and then stepped into the room, on to a carpet of rose petals. I took her hand presented her with the ring my dad had given to my mum. It’s fair to say Katy was overwhelmed with emotion and once the tears of joy subsided she said ‘yes’.
So romantic…! And then, what kind of wedding did you plan?
Katy: I had been pinning pictures on Pinterest since before I’d even met Alex. I am that girl that always dreamed of her wedding day. It was important to me that the styling was complimentary to the venue, elegant and personal. We wanted a natural colour scheme but played with and celebrated our beautiful surroundings of olive groves and lavender.
I always wanted to get married in France and so happened to fall in love with a French man – Alex is half French and his family are from Grenoble 🙂 Some of his most treasured memories are from his summers and Christmas’ there. It was a wonderful way to honour his late mum and her memory. We chose the château before we had even visited it but without question it was the one! The guest experience was a true driver for any of our decisions.
It took a lot of Instagram scrolling and research rabbit holes to truly decipher the top wedding suppliers, but we found them! We knew they were an extension of our wedding so we needed to connect with them and be able to have fun with them so they feel part of the family. We called them our wedding squad!
What was your first dance?
La Vie en Rose
If you had to pick just one – what was your favourite part of the day?
Half of the ceremony was in French because of Alex’s heritage and it was just so meaningful and special. Alex’s mum passed away when he was 6 years old and this was his first chance to really celebrate her life and feel positively connected to his French identity and upbringing. The ceremony was the most moved I have ever felt in my life I will never forget the feeling, every nerve in my body was standing on edge, utter happiness and sheer joy. I giggled the whole way through and it was 30 minutes long and my whole body was shaking the whole time. The purest feeling of happy.
What made Patchwork the best gift list for you?
We found Patchwork after searching for the best and discarding the rest! We loved the visual impact and the ease of use.
What did you want to invite guests to fund?
We chose to fund our honeymoon, and to invite people to choose to spend as little or as much as they wanted. From an ice cream to a night in a luxury hotel. We had a list of who had paid for what and took photographs of us actually at the location, or doing the activity, and sent them to the donors with a special thank you message.
What did you love most about using Patchwork?
Adding the photographs for the gifts and looking forward to it all coming true. We wanted our wedding to be very inclusive, and this way it felt as if everyone was a part of our honeymoon as well. Our friends and family all totally loved it.
That’s great! So, would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?
Our theme was “That’s Amore”, and Italy is unbeatable when it comes to romance and love! We booked all the travel and accommodation ourselves, along with several trips and restaurants that had been recommended to us.
Thank you so much Katy & Alex for sharing your lovely memories and beautiful photos with us.
Wedding Coordinators: Rose Gold Wedding Planners
Caterers: Roland Paix, Saint Maximin la Saint Baume
Flowers and Styling: D’Amour et de Deco
Wedding Dress: Pallas Couture, Sydney, Australia
Photography: Claire Morris Photography
Videography: Chris, Zen Film Works
Celebrant: Virginie, Unique Ceremonies
Wines: Mirabeau, Cotignac