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 see the face of your favourite Aunty lined with laughter. 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 in this article will really re-live our wonderful Engagement Party… But there is just so many people to appreciate in our lives, and so many people to thank – so 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.
On the day of your Engagement Party you can’t help but expect a few fairytale things; the sun gleaming like gold in the sky and hair that looks amazing for instance. Peeking out the window – the sun was certainly shining. I shouldn’t have even wondered about the hair; as soon as I stepped into Ebony and Ivory I knew that I was in perfectly manicured hands.
(Thank you SO much to the girls at Ebony and Ivory! You know who you are ♡♡ !!)
Plied with great 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…♡ read more on E&I…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.
As you enter Matisse Beach Club you find yourself amidst an unassuming cocktail affair. The colourful crowd is wonderfully and formally dressed, but attitudes are wonderfully languid as espresso martinis flow to tasteful beats. Relaxed but formal private functions with the luxury of being absolutely beachfront, the Matisse function staff go above and beyond meeting dietary requirements, keeping glasses filled and circulating our guests with enticing and elegant platters.
On warmer days, the edge of the pool beckons bare legs to the water… but as a slip of rain started outside, the music pumped and we remained oblivious sipping cocktails and laughing. Stretched out over lounges our guests immersed themselves in deep conversations. Some spilled out onto the balcony for a glimpse of the Scarborough shoreline. Others, celebrated with a champagne flute in hand as they threw down shapes on the makeshift dance floor.
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. 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. They are the people who will be at the very heart of our wedding, in a foreign destination, for 6-10 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…and it was a wild success beyond our expectations. 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 polished engraved surface.
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 an MKR finalist?) ♡~ who supplied us with Melbourne flown-and-delivered scrumptious oh-so-moist cupcakes with fluffy buttercream!
As well, a huge thank you to our Best Man’s sister, 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!
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or scroll down for the highlights below ♡
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