Make it yours

Will you indulge me in one more post on the delightful Sam and Phil?

One of the many things that I loved about their wedding was that it was a rule-breaker. They didn’t get wrapped up in convention, rather they made both their ceremony and reception true reflections of who they are.

Broken rule #1: You must have even numbers in the bridal party

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Sam had four bridesmaids, Phil had seven groomsmen. Who said everyone in your bridal party has to be partnered up? I love that the make-up of their bridal party was determined by who they wanted with them rather than the aesthetics of matching numbers.

Broken rule #2: The bride must be given away by her father

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It sounds a bit twee to say that Sam and her twin sister, Rachel, are inseparable but they are. Sister and best friends, they have shared almost all their major life experiences. Marriage is one experience that Sam could only have with Phil, however, and so it was particularly moving when Sam was given away by her twin sister.

Broken rule #3: The bridal party must sit together

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Given the romantic nature of the evening, Sam and Phil didn’t want their bridal party to spend it separated from their partners. They let each of them sit with their partners and the bride and groom had a sweetheart table all to themselves.

Broken rule #4: The formalities must come before dancing

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Not for these two. Sam and Phil wanted their reception to feel like a party, so they threw away the rule book and cut the cake as soon as they entered the reception. Speeches were spread throughout the evening and the newlyweds took to the dancefloor as soon as the entrees had been cleared, allowing several hours of dancing.

Broken rule #5: Guests must leave with wedding favours

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Rather than having bomboniere on the table for wedding guests, Sam and Phil chose to make a donation in their guests’ names to the charity that they were volunteering for when they became engaged.
 
There are no rules when you get married. Well, aside from the obvious legal ones, of course. Your wedding is exactly that – your wedding – so follow Sam and Phil’s lead and make it your own!
 
Samantha and Phillip, 21 May 2011
Venue: 333 Collins Street, Melbourne
Photos: the uber-talented Tatiana of Red Butterfly Photography. More photos here.
Bridal gown: Collette Dinnigan
 

Samantha and Phillip – Part II

All weddings are wonderful. That’s why I do the job I do – because I love weddings! I am yet to go to one and leave unmoved by the love and commitment of the couple involved. When it’s the wedding of someone close to you, however, it’s just that little bit more moving.

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In May this year, my surrogate brother, Phil, married Sam at the heritage-listed 333 Collins Street, Melbourne.  It was perfect, even if I do say so myself.

Phil had seven (yes, 7) groomsmen standing next to him on the day, with his brother Mat and best mate Rod sharing best man duties. I used to think that large bridal parties were excessive, but after seeing Phil with his mates I get it.

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For Phil, this was simply a reflection of the importance he places on friendship. Many of the men standing next to him on his wedding day have been his mates since primary school and it was unimaginable to Phil that he enter the next stage of his life without them next to him, offering their silent support.

When Sam arrived, Phil chose not to turn around until she was at the top of the aisle. I can still hear him asking me as the bridesmaids entered, his voice choked with emotion, ‘Is she there yet, Koz? Can I look? I can’t wait to see her.’

When Sam entered on the arm of her brother to Chantal Kreviazuk’s Feels Like Home, the look on Phil’s face was a mixture of pride, tenderness and love.

Highlighting the importance that Sam and Phil each place on family, all of their siblings were given roles on the day, whether in the bridal party or sharing readings. Perhaps most poignantly of all, Sam was given away by the one person she has shared her whole life with – her twin sister, Rachel.

Before the ceremony, Sam and Phil wrote down some of the things they love about each other for me to read out. They heard these for the first time on their wedding day. There were quite a few giggles when the bride confessed that she found it really very difficult to identify one thing that she loved about her new husband.

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What she meant was that there were so many it was hard to pick just one – not that she couldn’t think of any! Phil also endeared himself to every woman in the room when Sam revealed that he can’t fall asleep unless they’re holding hands. Such a small gesture, but one that speaks volumes about the depth of their connection.

Continuing the theme of family getting involved, the show was almost stolen by Phil’s 16-month-old niece, Charlotte. When Sam started getting teary during her vows, Charlotte decided action was needed. We all heard a loud ‘Oh, Sabby!’ and looked down to see Charlotte throwing her arms around her new aunty in comfort.

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After I pronounced them husband and wife, Phil asked me to announce that he had a surprise for Sam. Unbeknown to his wife, he had re-recorded Duck Sauce’s Barbra Streisandreplacing Ms Streisand’s name with Sam’s new married name. The newlyweds walked out of the building to much laughter and applause.

I think the above picture pretty much sums up how we all felt on Sam and Phil’s wedding day. Thank you, my dear friends, for giving me the honour of marrying you. All my love and friendship always. xx Koren Samantha and Phillip, 21 May 2011Venue: 333 Collins Street, Melbourne
Photos: the uber-talented Tatiana of Red Butterfly Photography. More photos here.Bridal gown: Collette DinniganCelebrant: Koren Harvey

Samantha and Phillip – Part I

From almost as far back as I can remember, my parents and their best friends, Annie and Frank, used to joke that their son Phil and I would marry each other. As it turned out, I did marry Phil.

Just not in the way that they had probably imagined.

I’ve known Phil since I was eight. We grew up next door to each other and yet to call him my neighbour diminishes the relationship somewhat. Phil (and his brother and sisters) are more like siblings to me. We kids did everything together, creating mischief and having the sorts of adventures great childhoods are made of.

As adults, the friendship between our neighbourhood gang has continued and expanded to include partners. From the time Phil first brought the beautiful Sam home five years ago, she was one of the gang. She laughed at our (usually terrible) jokes, wandered into the kitchen for a chat with whoever was there and always took the time to get to know the neighbourhood locals, whether they were kids, parents, or grandparents.

It was therefore no surprise when they became engaged whilst volunteering in Peru on a 9 month journey throughout South America – well, not to us at least. Sammy got something of a shock when Phil got down on bended knee in the orphanage in which they were working, not realising that he had worded up almost everyone there beforehand. Some clever soul filmed the proposal and I never, ever get tired of seeing their sheer excitement at being engaged. These two were just… well, made for each other.

Sam and Phil married at the stunning 333 Collins Street in May this year.  I have so much to say about their beautiful wedding – and so many beautiful photos to show off – that I’ve decided to do this in two posts. In the meantime, enjoy some of the images from their wedding day from the immensely talented Tatiana of Red Butterfly Photography.