Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Whimsical Wedding: Monique and Lee

Très chic. I have always wanted to use that term legitimately - and now I can! When Monique and Lee's wedding was brought to my attention, there was much sighing and squeeing. So many gorgeous details. And they are SO in love.

That dress! The colours! That BOUQUET! It's simply... irresistible! (And très chic. LOL). So without further ado, I give you...

Monique and Lee
Brisbane Powerhouse
  2 October, 2010

Lee proposed the day Monique arrived back from a month-long study trip to China. "I believe my jetlag thwarted his plans - he had planned a lovely dinner but I was too tired and refused to go. So later in the night, I woke up and he told me I had a surprise waiting at Kangaroo Point. I told him I would only go if I didn't need to do my hair or makeup!"

He proposed on the Kangaroo Point cliffs, with the city lights in the background. "Then we sat there for a while" Monique says "...and ate Jatz straight from the box and drank wine straight from the bottle." 

Monique was thrilled when Lee presented her with an emerald ring that he bought from her favourite antique store in Paddington. "I always said I'd say no if he bought me diamonds!"

A traditional wedding was never considered by the two because they felt it didn't represent who they were as a couple. 

"I also think the decision was helped by the fact that I've only been to one other wedding, and it was lovely and casual, so I didn't have any pre-concieved ideas about what makes a wedding a wedding. It was a blank canvas."

"We had 70 people there, which was by no means everyone we wanted, but was the most we could afford. To keep numbers and costs down, we didn't allow for children or plus ones."

Did they consider a wedding planner? "There were times that I would have sold my first born for a wedding planner! If planning the wedding taught me anything, it is that I don’t cope well with stress, but I am very good at hiding it. The silver lining in the big thunderous stormcloud that became my emotions is that all that stress taught me to appreciate the strength of my relationships."

Monique and Lee chose to not have favours - however they made all of the invitations and displayed small photo frames on all of the tables, with pictures of their family inside. They felt this was an appropriate way to honour those that were present and those that have passed.

They didn't make many of the decorations, but sourced all of them from sellers on Etsy, and op shops instead. "There is something very romantic about having decorations that someone has put a lot of love and time into" Monique says. "A lot of the decorations were my ideas, and I sourced some talented soul to make them - like the crocheted 'guest book' and 'wishing well' signs, and the fabric/newspaper/pinecone roses."

And the dress? "I never set foot in a bridal store, let alone tried on a 'proper' wedding dress!" Monique says.  She knew from the word go that she wanted a vintage "flapper-inspired" wedding dress - however sourcing one in a size 14 was hard. After "googling to hell and back", she stumbled upon Le Luxe Clothing - an online store that specialises in vintage reproductions.  The dress cost around $250 and it was "perfect".

"I made it a bit more 'me' with a feather cape by Tsubi (second hand from ebay) and blinged up with some on-sale pearls from el cheapo store Diva. A lot of people were apprehensive about my dress choice, and thought it would look like a costume, not a wedding dress. At times it was hard to deal with that. But ultimately I would have felt like I was wearing a costume had I been in a big poufy gown, and that's not how I wanted to feel. I wanted to feel like me - and I did."


As for the bridesmaids...err... slaves? "My three best friends Jemma, Mandy and Camille were my brideslaves." Monique says. "I threatened them with the notion of high-necked, floor-length, maroon velvet gowns!"  However in reality, putting them in matching dresses was never an option as they were all "different people with different tastes" and she wanted their dresses to reflect that.

"I wanted them to get dresses that they (genuinely) liked and could wear again. We went shopping together and didn't set out with any colours in mind - I had been thinking pastel originally - but after we found Jemma's cream and black Alannah Hill dress and fell in love with it, we decided the colours would be pale neutrals with black. We went from there" she says.

The dresses and the decor weren't the only spectacular and original parts of the wedding. Monique's bouquet was actually made by her husband-to-be. "He spent hours and hours making it after I saw one online that was way over our budget. Lots of people also gave us brooches for the project, so I felt like it contained a lot of love" she says.

Monique's favourite memory was walking down the aisle to Lee's favourite song - an surprise acoustic version of "I Was Made For Loving You" by KISS. Even though some family members were appalled at the idea of us starting the marriage with a song all about sex, she didn't care. "Knowing that I had made him so happy made me so happy in return!"

Monique's other favourite memory was the reception and the many hours spent on the dance floor. "I do love a good dance floor" she says.

Any guest feedback? "Everyone had a ball" she says. "We wanted the wedding to be like a huge party with a wedding inside, and it was. A lot of people have said that they finally 'got' the ideas I had and the vison we had for our day."

"Oh, and that I got very drunk. Very, very drunk."

 Congratulations Monique and Lee - and thank you for sharing your special day with us!

Venue: Brisbane Powerhouse
Dress: LeLuxe Clothing
Music:  Simon Watson and Co
Jonas Peterson.
Cake(s):  Eileen Layt - "brideslave's" mother.


  1. I love this wedding, everything from the decorations, event styling to the beautiful dress - absolutely gorgeous.
    Wondering if I could use a photo of the bride with the bouquet with a link back to Moonlight &Whimsy (with credit underneath) Just to say what a great idea and how gorgeous it is...

  2. Hi - sorry I didn't actually receive this comment until just now. Let me just run it past the bride and I'll get back to you. :)