JASMINE & DAVID
For Love & Living couple Jasmine and David wed at Brisbane’s Calile Hotel. After a surprise proposal, Jasmine and David prioritised and planned their wedding together to imbue the elements they treasured most—family, food and endless fun. We sat down with bride, Jasmine, to hear how she dreamt up their wedding day.
We would love to hear how your story began. Where did you meet, and how did David propose?
David and I met at University, it was our last year, and we ended up in a few group assignments together. He would constantly try and private message me about the course work rather than in our actual group chat, I finally gave in, and the rest is history.
I think David knows how important my family is to me, so he made sure the proposal included my family. My parents made up a story that we would view an apartment on Hastings Street in Noosa to purchase—which seemed plausible, so I wanted to make a day of it and booked a nice dinner at Sails after the viewing. I didn’t suspect a thing as David was out on business, and seeing as I planned this dinner myself, I never thought it would be used as a mini celebration. As soon as we walked in to “view” the apartment my mum excitedly tells me I should go and look at the rooftop, so, at that point, I knew something was up. I walked up the stairs, and there was David, surrounded by flowers on one knee. There were lots of happy tears! We ended up staying the weekend, and it was magic!
Tell us about your wedding planning process following your engagement. Where did you start?
Firstly, we immediately locked in a date, then it was time to hunt for the right venue! The date was very important to us that it fell on a long weekend so we could enjoy an extended holiday with our guests. I found the whole process of being engaged and wedding planning very fun. It was such an exciting time that I knew would be over soon, so I wanted to make the most of it. After the hard couple of years we’ve all had, everyone was so excited and supportive during the planning process, making it much more enjoyable.
What were the most important elements of your wedding day? How did you choose what to prioritise?
The overarching inspiration for the wedding day was to make it into a holiday for everyone. We wanted the people we loved to feel relaxed, taken care of and just enjoy celebrating with us. We also knew we didn’t want that one-night fever where everything was riding on the wedding day itself, so we made sure to organise a few dinners beforehand and recovery brunch after the wedding day.
We chose what to prioritize based on what we each shared as a common priority. For example, we both felt that the venue needed a late curfew for the night, lots of entertainment for the guests and food were the deal breakers for us.
We wanted to have good quality food and way too much of it! When we go to events, we always look forward to seeing what kind of food they have on offer, so this was really important to us.
For entertainment, it didn’t mean just music (although this was also very important to us, and we knew we wanted roaming musicians) there were a few surprises that brought on the tears! My mum and close aunties sang our first dance song, and for the father-daughter dance, when my mum sang “as he gives the bride away,” my dad twirled me and I went into the arms of my husband who was waiting behind me. It was a special moment, and everyone cheered.
It was also the fun, creative things like having a live illustrator there instead of a photo booth or fireworks.
What drew you to The Calile Hotel in Brisbane?
We knew we wanted incredible food, service, and a holiday vibe, and we wanted the venue till at least midnight. Surprisingly within Australia, that checklist was hard to tick off — we were always getting tripped up with the curfew time especially. The first site visit we had was to The Calile Hotel. We were shown around by the lovely Kate, and at the end of the meeting, David said to me he was absolutely sold and that we weren't going to look anywhere else. The Calile surpassed all our expectations, it was a place where our guests could meet and socialize by the pool or restaurants before the event, the food was exceptional, and the rooms and architecture were the exact vibes we were after. and the location was central and the service was always 5-star.
Tell us about your dream list of suppliers you worked with. How did you choose your team of experts?
The first suppliers we locked in were the photographer and videographer in order to hold the date.
Next came the flowers, and I had seen Fontana Floral use fruit as a part of her arrangements, so I knew she would understand the assignment! As my family are fruit farmers, we wanted a lot of fruit to be incorporated into the tablescapes, which really played into our colourful Mediterranean theme.
I also knew I wanted to dress the reception room up a little bit in terms of full ceiling draping, so that’s when I came across For Love and Living. Originally they were just going to be setting up the draping for us, but after catching up with the florist and the wonderful Emma, the meeting turned from a quick chat to a full-blown styling meeting. I was absolutely sold on having For Love and Living coordinate our entire reception set-up. She worked with all our vendors seemingly, and it was one of the best decisions we made. Not having to worry about a thing on the day other than showing up was absolute bliss! Having people you can trust is a massive part of your day running smoothly.
We know that many brides steer the ship when it comes to wedding planning. Jasmine, how did you involve David in the process, and what advice can you offer other couples to make the process more exciting for both of you?
At the start of the process, we sat down and discussed what we each valued solely and combined. That way, we could firstly work on our top priorities as a couple. Then we each listed the things that were important to us individually and worked on them separately whilst still checking in; it’s a good way to spread out the work this way... for example, David was very passionate about having seamless bus transportation on the day so that it felt continuous and no one would have to worry about getting themselves to and from the church and venue...and I, of course, was super passionate about the flowers. So that’s how we divided up the responsibility to be the most enjoyable for us both.
How would you describe your wedding day aesthetic? Where did you find your inspiration?
Colourful Mediterranean glam! I love colour and feel it never gets used in weddings enough and also we hoped to bring a little bit of Italy to the day through the lemons, wedding favours etc. All whilst being as upscale as it could be. Emma and all our vendors helped this dream come to life, and we couldn’t have been happier with the result.
Jasmine, tell us about finding your dream wedding dress. Where did you find your dress, and how did you know it was ‘the one?’
My grandmother was a wedding dress seamstress her whole life, she is incredibly talented, so I knew the possibilities were endless in choosing my design. I looked through all couture designers and returned to Zac Posen's work. He made a similar gown for Arianna Grande, which she wore during the lockdown in her home, so it wasn’t all over the red carpet. We changed it up by swapping my Cinderella skirt for a mini skirt for the reception. Having my grandma put her own spin on the design made it extra special, and it is something I will cherish forever as one of the greatest gifts.
What was the highlight of your wedding day? Can you share your favourite moments?
Loved every minute of the day, but the top three for me were firstly, our incredible and unique vows, which ended up being surprisingly similar to one another, filled with laughs and lots of tears. Secondly, my mum and aunties singing our first dance song, and finally, all of our 217 guests immediately rushing to the dance floor after our first dance for a boogie to celebrate with us.
How did you remain present while letting go and enjoying the moment?
I think it's definitely a mental thing; you have to accept that things might not go the way you planned, but in the end, it really does not matter. People will remember the most important moments, and so will you. Once you let go of the control and learn to trust your vendors, I promise you it will be a much more enjoyable experience for not only you but for everyone involved.
Did you have a bridal party? If so, how did you each spend the morning of your wedding?
We each had a bridal party of 5, so there were many helping hands and lots of excitement. The night before the wedding, we spent time with our bridal parties. David had a private dinner with his groomsmen, and I had a cute sunset boat ride with my bridesmaids, where they landed up coordinating the best reception entrance I have ever seen. The morning consisted of breakfast and drinks in my family home, and for David, this was experienced at The Calile.
What advice would you offer other couples in the lead-up to their wedding day?
This is an extremely exciting time that will never come around again; make the most of it and have fun with the planning process.
Make sure you leave lots of extra time on the morning of the wedding! Use it for fun videos, more photos, reveals, dancing... just make it the most relaxed and fun you can.
Please trust your vendors. For example, I gave complete creative control to my cake artist. For Love and Living and Marina Machado worked together to create an incredibly sculptor that people still talk about... letting go of some of the control will enable the creatives to do what they do best.
Most of all, hire either a wedding planner or stylist for your wedding day. I could not recommend this enough... if you can alleviate the stress of the day in any way ...do this. When you walk into that reception for the first and see how beautiful it is without an ounce of worry on your end, it is all worth it. Could not have been happier with our decision to hire For Love and Living and all our vendors.