Josie and Tim aren’t strangers to the spotlight. As seasoned musicians, they’ve performed at countless weddings and within the wedding industry, they’re more or less celebrities (everyone is familiar with their band Duke and their sister businesses Event Entertainers and Nouvelle Glass).
This time however, it was their turn to play bride and groom and to mix things up, they decided to side-step a big, lavish wedding and host an intimate Sydney elopement instead with their nearest and dearest (including their unborn son!).
How did you and Tim meet? It begins just where you might expect – at a music audition. Having “retired” from performing, my friend Matt had tried unsuccessfully to persuade me to join his band. He persuaded me instead to come and discuss business opportunities at his music studio.
It was here he also secretly arranged for a band to be set up at the studio, with the intention of twisting my arm one more time. And it was here where Tim and I met for the very first time.
I was impressed with the calibre of the band and my arm was sufficiently twisted. I agreed to join them on the premise that I would manage the band and hence a baby version of Duke was born.
The proposal: Yes, the proposal was a complete surprise. We had always discussed getting married and starting a family, so it was definitely on the cards. But the actual proposal itself was a pleasant surprise.
With Arthur on the way, we decided to take a little babymoon to the stunning Osborn House in Bundanoon. It also coincided with my birthday, so we’d planned to have a delicious dinner at Dinah’s on the final evening of our trip. As soon as I was dressed and glammed for dinner, Tim handed me a letter and asked me to read it aloud. Slowly clueing in to what was happening, the tears began to fall and as I read the words “will you marry me?’ Tim got down on one knee with a ring. The letter fell to the floor, and in a flurry of tears and hugs, I said yes.
The venue: Working in the wedding industry for almost 10 years now, we have both seen every kind of wedding and venue! So it was a really difficult choice. But our first decision really steered us toward our choice of venue – to elope with just a handful of our nearest and dearest, in a way that was intimate and meaningful to us.
From there it was about the things that meant the most to us; a unique space that suited our style and tastes, delicious food and a great wine list, wonderful staff and general ease of getting around (being heavily pregnant, we wanted to be able to do everything in one location). We also wanted an urban location for our guests to easily get to.
Duke had the pleasure of performing at the Kimpton Margot last year and it really impressed us. The gorgeous Art Deco building was newly renovated with modern flair. The staff were warm and professional (the bartender absolutely wowed us with his cocktails after our gig). And our meal was divine. It was high on the list of choices for our wedding!
The vibe: We wanted to make it modern and sophisticated, whilst also being luxurious and relaxed. Although our lives are seen to be very public, we also wanted to have the day be intimate in a lot of ways, too.
Traditions (adopted, adapted or ditched?):
- Pre-ceremony shoot: We’re so glad we decided to do our photo and video shoot as a couple before our ceremony. Again, this was on the recommendation of our photographers Fiona and Bobby and our videographers In A Maze so that they could get the best light, which was totally fine with us. The energy and excitement between us was high and we were pretty giggly. It was nice to have our joint anticipation of getting married, captured on the day.
- Dog-friendly wedding: Don’t get us wrong, we love Fizzy (our chocolate Lab). He’s featured in a lot of our Duke videos, actually! The fact that the Kimpton Margot is a dog-friendly hotel was a huge positive for us. But we pulled the pin on having him there with us at the last-minute as he’s a Grade A power-chewer and we wouldn’t have lived with ourselves if he’d destroyed anything. So at the last minute we put in an express post order from Entropy Toys for a little choc Lab who sat on our delicious wedding cake by Procrastibakings.
- On-the-day-wedding coordination: Do not get me wrong, we have done hundreds of weddings. So experience, TICK! But that doesn’t mean either of us had the time to run our own wedding day. Having our wonderful friend Lilac from Upside Down Events as our on-the-day coordinator was INVALUABLE. We needed someone who could understand the intricacy of the details we had envisioned, decode our run sheet and ideas, who possessed a warm and professional approach when working with our other vendors and liaising with our guests and who could move and act intuitively to ensure the day ran smoothly. Nothing was too difficult for Lilac. Her expertise shone.
- Personalised glassware: We wanted our guests to have gifts that were unique to them and to us. Giving them all personalised, monogrammed gifts from Nouvelle Glass to drink from and take home was our way to thank them for joining us on our day and give them something special to take home as a cherished memory.
The outfit/s: We both wanted our looks to be sophisticated but comfortable. We’re both the type to find inspiration and run with it. So we took our Pinterest boards and hit the shops/internet.
I had already found some comfortable, casual, maternity wear from Bumpsuit so it was a perfect first-stop for something more elegant. Paired with some luxe sleeves and a comfy pair of heels, it was the perfect, relaxed yet glamorous outfit for the day.
Tim had a clear vision for what he wanted with his outfit. Fortunately, his choice was literally the first suit he saw and tried on! The no fuss wedding vibe was a theme. Finished with a pair of cufflinks on loan from his best mate, Thom, he was thrilled with how his look came together and was also super comfortable on the day.
We’ll always remember… We’ll always remember the moments that we made uniquely ours – like ducking away for our first dance in private. We’ve seen (and played) so many first dance moments for our couples. But for us, we absolutely just wanted this moment to ourselves… It was absolutely perfect.
We also each put a lot of time and thought into our vows. We absolutely wanted to take our time and say everything we wanted to say. (Thank you to our celebrant Lisa Parker, who didn’t flinch at my 1000-word-vows!). We had the pleasure and comfort of a small group of friends and family we were 100% comfortable with, so nothing was left unsaid.
Suffice to say, there were many tears.
Standout vendors: Um, all of them!
I have been very fortunate to have worked with hair and makeup artist Maria from Mia Loves Pretty on several occasions in the past for photo and video shoots. She’s definitely a rising star in the wedding industry and we’re so lucky to have had her available on our wedding day. The best part was that I was really relaxed about what she wanted and wanted to let Maria work her magic. We made some decisions in advance, but also some decisions on what looked right on the day. It was a perfect case of trusting our vendors to work their magic.
Another vendor we trusted with their magic was Elise Polito for her florals. We gave Elise a very simple brief when it came to colours and simply asked her to create her own magic with whatever was in season (winter). It was a no-brainer that putting our creative trust in her would yield beautiful results. We couldn’t have been more delighted with what she created and found our florals in our hotel suite on arrival with a beautiful note from Elise wishing us an amazing day.
We’ve met, worked with, and are friends with, SO MANY amazing celebrants – it was a one of the biggest and most important decisions for us. However, even before we were engaged, we’d already decided who we wanted to marry us. We managed to have the delightful Lisa Parker be our one. Which is LUCKY US, because we were her very last couple before she retired. We’ve always thought her ceremonies were exceptionally well written, warm and wonderful and ours was exactly that. She crafted so much beauty from the info we shared with her about our relationship and our vision for the future. There were lots of happy tears during our ceremony. We’ll be forever grateful she married us.
Fiona and Bobby Photography have stolen the show with their incredible photography.
Not only that, they were a joy to work with during the planning process and made the whole process very easy. We took on a lot of their recommendations and ideas and even left it open for them to take us on their journey on the day. We’re so glad we did. Again, leaving the magic to the professionals meant the results were far better than we could’ve imagined. We’re thrilled with our photos and will cherish them forever.
In A Maze were also one of our most-loved vendor choices for our day. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Jeff and Eric on a number of occasions in the past – they actually shot one of our very first Duke promo videos! So we go way back. We love them because they see things in a way that’s uniquely them and highlight details in their videography work that are exceptional and beautiful. On the day they offered us some suggestions and guidance to help them capture their shots but in reality they simply slotted into our world seamlessly and worked their magic around us.
Controversial from us as talent agents and musicians but we chose not to have live music on the day. It would’ve been too difficult a decision to have just one performer, when our daily work sees us managing and promoting so many gifted and talented artists. Can you blame us?
Our ceremony wasn’t at all traditional but I did walk into the room arm-in-arm with my bestie, Marc.
The soundtrack: We had a beautiful song as our processional song, Tuck and Patti’s version of ‘If It’s Magic’ by Stevie Wonder.
We did however, make playlists for every part of our day. You can listen to them here:
Words of wisdom: If you have someone who offers their help to lend a hand, do it. We’re so grateful to have had our personal assistant Caleb, who joined us on the day to help bring things together – like organising room keys for our guests and organising our cake.
Also, it’s pretty obvious but lean-in and trust your vendors. We handed-off so much decision making to our little team of experts and they did a fantastic job. Plus it made our lives infinitely easier in the lead-up to and on the day.
The future: We’ve worked so hard and given-up a lot of time with friends and family for our careers and businesses. We’re looking forward to more freedom and balance in our lives and of course to welcome baby Arthur into our world in a few weeks time.
CREDITS: Photos Fiona & Bobbi // Video In A Maze // Venue The Kimpton Margot Hotel // Celebrant Lisa Parker // Florist Elise Polito // Personalised glassware Nouvelle Glass // Robe Honey Birdette // Cake Procrastibakings // Bridal gown Bumpsuit // Groom’s suit Gibson // Hair and makeup Mia Loves Pretty // Wedding coordination Upside Down Events // Cake topper Entropy.