Writing this article was never going to be easy. No matter how I write this, I will never capture the energy in the room; or the way jokes between old friends brings a glow and warmth and tears all at once. I could never capture how it feels to giggle with high-school and college besties as you introduce them to each other, and giggle even more whilst your future husband leans over and rests his head on your shoulder… Nothing I write will really re-live our wonderful Engagement Party… But I will try, my very very best…
To those of you out there in the very same boat, congratulations! We hope you find yourselves surrounded with blessings and love, and we hope our little blog might hold some little idea that will make your engagement celebrations extra special and unforgettable! ♡ ♡
One week out. “You absolutely aren’t wearing that are you?!” Sare Bear shrieked spinning me around. “Well it’s what I have?” I shrug looking to my bridesmaid for expertise. Sare Bear has a double walk-in robe and a makeup case that is the height of a small child. She has expertise.
“You can’t wear that, it’s your engagement party and I won’t let you” she amended, retracting her own question and looking at her watch. “My date isn’t till four, we can do this. ” She doesn’t even stop to breathe. We breeze out the door and at shop number two, within the hour, we had found the one. Mainly, we fell in love with it, because it looked like it had walked straight off the set of Game of Thrones ; D.
I woke up with a red eyed Bello an inch away from my face. The morning light, still a violet hazy blue from our apartment window lit Bello’s beautiful face.
“Your Alarm! Darling!!! It sounds like the house is on fire! ” He grumbled, face buried in protest underneath a crumpled pillow. It’s true. The only alarm that works on me is the one that sounds like an evacuation alert. I plant an apologetic kiss to the sleepy forehead and leap out of bed.
( The Edge of a Winter’s sunrise in our Beautiful Riverfront Town)
On the day of your Engagement Party you can’t help but expect a few fairytale things. Alarm clock choices aside, the sunlight gleamed ribbons of gold in the clouded sky. It was breathtakingly, picture perfect.
Wrangling my knitted uggs on, and grabbing my toast and keys, this morning seemed deceptively just like every other ordinary day in our pretty hometown. Except. It wasn’t. Today was our Engagement Day.
Walking the familiar Jacaranda lined path, the light beckoned violet through the trees and a fresh breeze lifted. Instead of straight to my clinic, as I did every other day, my journey today took a sharp left. Soon, I stepped into the perfectly manicured hands of Ebony and Ivory .
(Thank you SO much to the girls at Ebony and Ivory! You know who you are ♡♡ !!)
Plied with a buzz of wedding planning conversation, laughter, blueberry biscuits and hot tea, before I knew it… I was complete. The Ebony and Ivory finishing touch to my outfit. Hair laced with flowers, I was poised for what would turn out to be the most amazing engagement party ever… Beach-Side Cabanas here we come!
♡ read more on our E&I Review …here!
One thing we adore about Australia and what makes us most homesick when we travel is the chic chilled vibe this place simply emanates, and nowhere captures this better than the Matisse Beach Club. This was one of the major reasons we picked it for our engagement venue. The cool blue shimmering pool, the pastel splash color scheme, the salt tang of the ocean breeze, billowing cabana canopies, and pastel palms that soar to perfect blue skies – glam, funky, and divine. Not to mention the gorgeous stretch of iconic Scarborough Beach right outside at its very doorstep.
♡ read more on our Matisse Beach Club Review…here!
Our friends’ laughter echoed through the warm driftwood interior of Matisse Beach Club as we arrived, wrapped in one warm embrace after another. Our Engagement Party Weekend had finally arrived and already we could see the different groups of friends from all the different chapters of our lives…and from all over the world. Everyone. Everyone who mattered to us in the one cosy venue.
It was a wintery Saturday, the day of our Engagement Party. The day before, it had been light rains as my bridesmaids, Mother, Mother-in-law to be and Aunty darted puddles as we hopped from one Bridal Boutique to another. Warmed by generous rounds of champagne and chocolate truffles we made a day of sensible choices (do you believe me? 😉 ) ! Wedding earrings, garter, shoes and…after sashaying around in what felt like a million white dresses…we found THE ONE!
Now here we were, in celebration together from all over the World. Childhood stories emanated through our crowd of friends, to the flow of espresso martinis; and animated discussions of Ama’s soulful little rustic kitchen permeated amongst our family as elegant platters of canapes drifted through our laughing, hugging guests.
(With special thanks to Helen Clarke Functions Co-ordinator, Head Chef Adam and Sous Chef Amanda).
… ♡ see the spectacular menu here…(our chef guests were raving)!
Gourmet platters were whisked out of the kitchen. Everyone oohed over the grilled scallop shells, boats of hot smoked salmon chickpea and kale, pulled pork sliders and prawn koftas. We picked over beautiful cuts of sushi, tender sirloin skewers, and hot cuts of coconut bread. Wines from Margaret River bloomed in sparkling glasses, ruby reds and bright whites and conversation turned to a beautiful childhood farm stay holiday in a Strawberry Farm enroute to Margaret River. The cocktail menu was short and sharp and honed to perfection with signature Espresso Martinis making an appearance, and classic long drinks getting a shake up with lychee and melon martinis and dark and stormy’s with just the right splash of amber rum and biting ginger. As the drinks ran on cue, we readied the guests for the surprise games!
The “get-to-know” games.
Setting the stage for a destination wedding, takes a little bit of thought and alot of attention to detail. The people at our Engagement Party were the “it crew”, the Bridal party, their better halves, and our families. The people we were eloping with.
They were the people who will be at the very heart of our wedding, in a foreign destination, for 10 very magical days next year. Each of these people are the loves of our lives, that we had met at different chapters of our lives… in different places. Because of this, our dearest friends and family didn’t (yet) know each other…
The High-School Girls <3
So…apart from tables for guests to write Song Requests, Date Night and Bridal Abduction Ideas (see Chinese Wedding Customs) ….Bello and I decided to invent a “Get-To-Know…” Engagement Party game.. Giggling over the likes of questions like “Who was Oscar Handcuffed to in highschool Chemistry Class?” , to “Who smuggled a literal bathroom sink into cabin luggage?” The game was, to our deliberate own expense, a roaring and hilarious success!
With the canapes and drinks circulating to fuel the social ambience, our friends were all smiles when they realized something pretty special. They laughed and cracked the same jokes, finished each others sentences and were passionate about the same interests. To have an entire crowd of compatible people together in the same room is absolutely effervescent. We could not have imagined any room in the world more filled with love.
As the morning turned to afternoon, our languid Brunch by the beach was coming to its end…and our transition to the wedding chapter was about to start. They say time flies, how unbelievably true. The beginning only feels like yesterday.
“Promise ring, engagement ring…Suffer-ring, I mean wedding ring.” Bello once cracked with his buddy, stealing a glance at me to see if I caught the joke. I did. “Well, we’ve only just started dating- but I can start arranging the latter,” I’d teased jabbing my bony finger into his side. That was years ago.
Years later and here we are! ‘Buddy’ is now our Best Man and I can’t imagine a better way to start our lives together than an unsuspecting surprise! You see, Bello doesn’t like surprises – and actually… that is the point! He says they drive him crazy. Which is excellent. I hear a good wife always knows how to drive her husband crazy.
Specifically, the surprise involves latitude and longitude co-ordinates that (infuriatingly) cannot be navigated until we are married. “It’s like a Rubik’s Cube…” Bello’s brows furrowed in deep concentration as he inspected the engraved yacht-wood.
Special thanks to the guys at T Sharp & Co for the very comprehensive and customized service for our beautifully timeless Engagement Gift. The quality, detail and workmanship is absolutely flawless!
To anyone who knows us, the Tim Tam Engagement Cake should have probably been no big surprise and along with honey, red velvet and vanilla cupcakes it was the most perfect way imaginable to end our cocktail brunch. Special thanks to our beautiful bridesmaid and mastermind (along with business partner Raj) behind Bubbles Bakery (did we mention she was MKR shortlisted!?) ♡~ who supplied us with Melbourne flown-and-delivered scrumptious oh-so-moist cupcakes with fluffy buttercream!
As well, a huge thank you to cake extraordinaire, gorgeous Anna G who engineered the Tim Tam Superstructure with the bridal-esque bouquet on top. Very fitting and super delicious, it sustained Bello’s hyperactive antics for the rest of the week…and we can’t believe she did it all whilst moving houses!!
To both these extraordinary ladies, and also our beloved family and friends who attended, thank you so much for making us feel so special, loved and supported.
Special thanks to Mark Lucey for our beautiful Engagement Photos! As always, your work is beyond our words!
Click HERE FOR ALL PICTURES of the day ! Or if you have a fast connection, here for our auto-slide of the full gallery.
Scroll down for the highlights below ♡
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