Things to make you go ‘I do’.

REAL WEDDING: Dawn + Brady – Empire Lounge

waterfront wedding Empire Lounge Sydney

There is so much we adore about Dawn and Brady’s Sydney waterfront wedding at Empire Lounge, like the cocktail van on arrival. But our favourite part would have to be their decision to kickstart the celebrations with a champagne breakfast together. Is it not one of the best pre-wedding ideas ever?

Captured by Lara Hotz, read on to discover more ways this couple made their day a truly unique and relaxed affair.


Dawn and Brady, congrats on getting married. First, could you tell us about how you met, any funny first date stories and a bit about the proposal?

We met in September 2012 at a warehouse party in Marrickville – it was 5am in the morning and I noticed Brady as I sat next to him on a couch. I thought “this guy is cute, I hope he talks to me…”

My wish was granted a few minutes later, when Brady said hello and we got chatting. We exchanged numbers and spent a few days texting back and forth before arranging our first date and the rest is history!

The proposal was just a regular Friday, and I had planned to clock off at lunchtime and work from home in the afternoon. But Brady had other plans in mind and needed me to stay at work so he could prepare his special surprise… He asked my boss to try and keep me busy and not let me leave early, buying him some time.

Cue a very long, frustrating day for me as I was given presentations to prepare, extra work and a 4.30pm meeting that ended up being cancelled at the last minute – to say that by the end of the day I was fuming, would be an understatement.

Brady eventually picked me up and when we got home, he rushed inside first, under the pretence of needing the bathroom. I was dragging my feet behind him, fed up, tired and so done with that day. I stepped in and there, in our dining room, was the man of my dreams on one knee, holding a ring up to me.


In a few sentences, how would you describe your wedding?

Everyone will say that it is the best day of your life and it actually is! The day started with Brady and I having a champagne breakfast together. We then got ready/dressed together, it was a very relaxing morning. We had our portrait shots at Neilson Park in Vaucluse before our ceremony as we wanted the party to start straight after the ceremony. It was the first time we had both our families and friends together and it was beautiful seeing everyone together having the best time!

Our vibe was definitely ‘good times’, we wanted to throw a big, fun party! Empire Lounge was great as they allowed the flexibility to do our own thing such as having a cocktail van on arrival and a Messina cart for dessert.

Did you write your own vows? How did you find that experience?

Yes we wrote our own vows and we didn’t want them to be too serious as it’s not what we’re like as a couple.

I used Brady’s favourite football team as inspiration and ended my vows with the below which is the Liverpool FC’s anthem.

Brady, I promise, with me… you will never walk alone.

Dawn and Brady Empire Lounge Sydney wedding
Sydney Harbour front wedding

What’s the best piece of advice you took on when planning your wedding?

Pick great vendors that you trust and let them do what they do best. I loved all the vendors we used for our wedding, everything ran smoothly and it was a stress free day!

What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started planning?

You will second guess big decisions, no matter how much you loved it at one point! Always remember the reason why you decided to go with something and go easy on the champagne!

Waterfront Wedding Empire Lounge

Now that you’re married, what’s the best piece of advice you can give other couples in the middle of planning their own weddings? 

Do what you want, it’s your wedding! We ditched a lot of the wedding traditions and organised a wedding that was perfectly us and we loved every moment of it.

Were there any traditions you did not partake in or any specific to your family or religion that were special to you?

Yes, a lot of traditions! We got ready/dressed together in the morning, we took our portrait photos before the ceremony, we had no bridal party but instead I asked my best friends to all dress in navy, my mother walked me down the aisle, we went straight into the reception after the ceremony (no break) and we decided to have a cocktail function rather than a sit down dinner.

Finish this sentence. The best (or most unique) thing we did at our wedding was…

Getting married on the water! We had our ceremony on the pontoon where seaplanes depart at Empire Lounge (Sydney Seaplanes Terminal). It was absolutely beautiful.

7th October, 2020

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