Lou Gown – Emma & Sam
Emma Itzstein & Sam Menegola
4 January 2019
Sam and I live in Melbourne but we both grew up down the road from each other in Perth. When we started seeing each other we always gravitated to Fremantle cafes and beaches for our dates. When we found Guildhall, a hidden heritage exclusive courtyard bar in North Fremantle (a stone’s throw from Port Beach, where Sam proposed), we knew it was perfect for us. Space is light-filled, relaxed and a bit eclectic – the perfect spot to party into the night.
We chose Bek Smith to document our special day. As soon as Sam proposed, I knew I wanted Bek to be our photographer. Her work is absolutely stunning – natural and timeless, with a fashion editorial vibe; we knew Bek would capture our love, as well as the details of our wedding, with equal brilliance. I knew Bek from my time in the wedding industry – she is a gem of a human being – we knew we’d be getting good vibes on our day!
I’m a big fan of Bo & Luca’s design sensibility. I’m a believer in slow fashion, especially when it comes to bridal. I learned about the artisans that do the embroidery work for Bo & Luca in India and was so drawn to the feeling of luxury that comes with a gown that has a story and has been hand-worked by such talented craftsmen. I’ve always liked the idea of having sleeves for my wedding day, but being married in January, I couldn’t have anything too heavy. I also knew I wanted something classic, with details that excited me – so when I found the LOU gown, the cuffs and beading detail just blew me away and I was instantly in love. I didn’t originally plan to wear a veil, but when the Everley and Rosa veils were shared on Bo & Luca’s Instagram page I was obsessed and had to have one. The workshop was so kind and created the most stunning semi-customised veil for me to suit my gown perfectly – it completely made my look.
Sam and I chose to not have a bridal party. The ceremony space was quite intimate already, so we felt it was nice to be up there on our own. Our celebrant is a dear friend of Sam’s and we both got ready with our parents who we’re very close to.
Sam woke me up at sunrise on the morning of the 4th of January 2018 to go to the beach. We were on our Christmas/NY break in our hometown, so it’s the rare time of the year when all of our family and closest friends are in one city. We set our towels down at the beach and went for a little walk – I decided to dip my toes in and when I turned back around Sam was on one knee. We celebrated together with a long Champagne breakfast at our favourite, Il Lido in Cottesloe, followed by a joint family dinner at Bib & Tucker in North Fremantle.
To a big degree, we let my dress and the venue dictate the foundation of our wedding style. Guildhall has the most beautiful heritage features and arched bar, with original nude drawings and still life paintings on the walls. We wanted our wedding to feel luxurious, but warm and relaxed. We fully put our trust in super creative and talented florist Sarah from Scape by S to bring an injection of colour and texture to make the space feel unique and special to us. We decided on a cocktail wedding which also helped us create a more relaxed vibe.
Sam proposed with my dream ring, which he got custom-made by LINNEYS in Subiaco, Perth. The team at LINNEYS helped him through the process of choosing a stunning diamond and then worked with him to get it set to perfection. My engagement ring is a radiant cut diamond solitaire set on a yellow gold band. LINNEYS also custom-made my classic yellow gold wedding band and Sam’s tantalum band. I also wore LINNEYS 14mm white Australian South Sea pearl studs on our wedding day to compliment my veil.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS
I also knew Sarah (Scape by S) from my time in the industry and have always obsessed over her work – she is a true talent and artist. I knew we could completely trust her to nail whatever her vision was, so with little direction, I shared photos of my dress and veil with Sarah (she was already familiar with the venue) so she could fully embrace whatever inspiration came naturally. My only brief was to create a luxurious texture (which is a trademark of her work anyway) and to incorporate orchids, which have a deep sentimentality to me. She delivered way beyond my imagination – our ceremony installation blew my mind – an abundance of roses, orchids, and hydrangeas in the most magnificent blushes, toffees, apricots, and purples. Both my late granddads had orchid gardens and Sam’s grandma cultivated hydrangeas when she was a landscape designer so the florals were extremely special to us – I really felt their presence on the day.
Neither of us are cake people so we opted for Petit Fours instead. We had a choice of Valrhona Chocolate mousse with sweet borek and dulce de leche and Lemon Tarts.
We had an amazing acoustic duo perform for the first half of our wedding. They learned four cover songs especially for our ceremony formalities which they made into beautiful acoustic arrangements, First Light by Dustin Tebbutt, You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates, Holocene by Bon Iver and Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. We had an incredible DJ, a friend of Sam’s, for our reception. He played You’ve Got the Love by Florence + the Machine for welcoming us back from photos, Take This Heart of Gold by Mandolin Orange for our first dance which transitioned to All This Love by Angus and Julia Stone to kick-off the dance floor. We had Drops of Jupiter by Train as our last dance (and full guest singalong) before we left. We also made sure Bohemian Rhapsody made its way in there somewhere – the ultimate party song.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
Even though we had a cocktail wedding, great food and wine were one of our ultimate priorities. All of our catering was by Propeller, a North Fremantle restaurant which has a kitchen connected to Guildhall. The head-chef is heavily inspired by middle-eastern flavours and dishes which brought such a fun element of variety and the unexpected – our guests all raved about the food. Sam and I share a love for seafood so this featured heavily. We kicked off the day with freshly shucked South Australian oysters and grazing boards of charcuterie, pate, and cheeses. Canapés of Shark Bay scallops, cured kingfish, spiced lamb, Fremantle sardines and BBQ chicken ribs followed. For our main, we had a choice of two paellas – chicken and chorizo or prawn and salted pork belly. Following the petit fours and espresso martinis for dessert, a late-night snack of pulled pork sliders was served. Guildhall has an amazing list of beverages available for service. We chose a Spanish Cava, which was served on arrival, followed by a choice of 5 local boutique beers, a dry Rose, and 4 labels of Tomfoolery wines from the Barossa. We wanted our non-drinking guests to feel the fun too, so we also had Passionfruit Mojito mocktails on offer.
We chose to honeymoon in Europe for 4 weeks – we started in Rome and traveled down to Positano, back up to the Tuscan countryside, Florence, Lake Como, Paris, and London. We wanted variety and a balance between busy cities and more relaxed romantic spots where we could just take in the scenery and enjoy each other’s company. As we were getting married in January, and Sam’s work doesn’t allow us to travel in the European high-summer, we chose to honeymoon before our wedding in October before the weather got too cold. We found this was a great time to go as honeymooners – places aren’t as busy and you’re able to secure amazing accommodation at more reasonable rates – especially important in places like Positano and Lake Como.
As we essentially had a destination wedding, we had a wishing well for those who chose to honour us with a gift, to avoid having to transport large and heavy items across the country. We plan to spend it on something really special.
The most memorable moment for me on our wedding day was our vows. We both wrote our own and kept them a surprise for each other. Sam has an amazing way with words and wrote beautiful vows from the heart which I will treasure forever. The utter elation you feel on the dance floor with your family and friends around you it unbeatable.
ADVICE FOR BRIDES-TO-BE
My biggest piece of advice would be to stay true to who you are as a couple and as individuals. I think it’s easy for couples to get caught up in planning a wedding to tick boxes without actually thinking about whether they truly value particular traditions. This not only means you have more budget to spend on things that actually bring you joy, but it also means you won’t get distracted and stressed by things that aren’t important to you. I believe this brings an atmosphere of authenticity and uniqueness to your day. My one regret is not hiring a videographer!
VENDORS & SUPPLIERS
Photography: Bek Smith
Bride’s Dress and Veil: Bo & Luca
Groom’s Formal Wear: Hugo Boss
Engagement and Wedding Rings: Linneys
Jewellery & Accessories: Linneys and Bo & Luca
Intimates: Mireya PJ Set by Lola Varma
Hair: Kellie from Omrah Creative
Makeup: Hayley Wilson
Beauty Prep: The Skin Fairy and Aussie Bombshell tan
Florist: Scape by S
Catering: Propeller x Guildhall
Entertainment: The High Fidelity Duo
Invite Stationery + Wishing Well: Paper Fusion