Gabi and Nick’s love story is an international one. It began in South Africa where Gabi grew up and where Nick was visiting with friends in 2007. It was there in Cape Town that the couple first met. After immigrating to Australia in 2008 Gabi then took a year to travel Europe before starting university. The couple’s paths crossed again this time in Mykonos. Upon returning to Sydney the couple started dating. “We were in Los Angeles for a family celebration when Nick proposed. It was the first time my family were finally all in one city. Nick had arranged for everyone to meet at Malibu Pier but prior to dinner he and I visited El Matador State Beach. It was so beautiful. We climbed the highest rock and it was there with uninterrupted views of the ocean that Nick got down on one knee!”
As an interior architect Gabi relished the planning process. “I loved every minute of the wedding preparation and wish I could do it all over again! It wasn’t just about great food, drink and music for me but the finer details, with every little aspect working together to create the perfect overall atmosphere and aesthetic,” she said. “We were so lucky to work with the BNT Management team.” Benita Kam of BNT Management recalls Gabi’s impeccable attention to detail. “It was so exciting to work with someone who understands the process and loves the details. I often receive moodboards from brides but I was particularly surprised by Gabi’s effort and passion, not to mention a bound book that she had prepared.”
Nick and his groomsmen wore smart black tuxedos with white shirts. Gabi’s bridesmaids looked elegant in their black skirts and tops and Gabi had gifted each of the girls with a black clutch from The Daily Edited with their initials embroidered. The flowergirls wore white leotards and full-length tulle skirts. Also in keeping with this classic look was Gabi’s Oscar De La Renta gown.
“Before trying on any gowns I thought I knew exactly what I wanted and what would suit me but that wasn’t the case. It’s surprising how different a gown can look on its hanger than it does when it’s on. I’m so thankful to the sales assistant who insisted I try my gown on. It was like nothing I had pictured myself wearing with no lace and a simple silhouette but the fabric and the fit was so comfortable I adored it. I remember someone saying it looked like milk had been poured over me.”
On the day of Gabi and Nick’s wedding the sun was shining. “It was a warm day however during the ceremony it began to thunder. The ceremony had just finished before the hail started but in our Jewish tradition rain is good luck so we saw it as a blessing,” Gabi said. The growing clouds added a sense of drama to what was a very spiritual ceremony. “We had a violinist, cellist and guitarist playing alongside the voice of Isser Feiglin who sang traditional Hebrew songs,” Gabi said. In keeping with popular wedding tradition Gabi had ‘Something old, Something Borrowed and Something Blue’. “I painted both my pinky toes baby blue, carried my grandmother’s embroidered handkerchief and wore her ring just as my mother had before me.”
Gabi and Nick were married outside in an intimate garden area of The Mint. Situated in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, The Mint’s sandstone buildings date back to 1811 and gave guests the feeling of being transported away from the commotion of the city. Their ceremonial chuppah was decorated with beautiful blooms and looked as though it was an extension of the tree above.
The wedding aisle began through a pair of old wooden doors. “It was the beginning of our new chapter and the start of our happily ever after,” Danielle said. Guests sat on wooden benches the couple had made and lining the aisle were long tree logs decorated with jars of daisies, greenery and roses. Danielle’s 84-year-old grandpa had the honour of being the ring bearer.
For their reception Gabi and Nick wanted to find a venue with a point of interest for their 200 guests. “The Establishment has so much character and architectural beauty. We knew it would be right for our reception. We also loved the glass ceiling above the dance floor. It felt like we were dancing beneath the stars.” Working together with BNT Management the decorations brought into the venue complemented the brick and marble design of the room. “We lit the room’s columns and covered them in greenery in order to meld the garden area to the formal seated area. We also created installations of flowers and foliage that added atmosphere and theatricality with varying heights and shapes,” Benita said. The colour scheme evolved according to the setting. White and green were used at both the ceremony and reception, tying together the overall design. Pale pops of colour including pink, peach and cream were used to contrast with the bold plums, rich pink and burgundy palette of the venue.
For the reception styling each table was a unique mix of texture and elements
of copper, leather, stone and glass. Cutlery was fastened with a leather tie and modern vases in geometric shapes held a contrast of bold and pale coloured blooms. Cone shaped candles sat over mirrored slats. “The bridal table was a highlighted feature with an abundance of plum coloured flowers. The room looked like an enchanted forest. It was predominantly a white and green theme embellished with deep, romantic colours.”
For Benita the highlight of the planning process was working with a young dynamic couple who wanted nothing more than to create a wedding purely for their guests’ enjoyment. “It was wonderful to work with an architect who understands the process and to learn from her along the way. The couple’s trust in me created an effortless and successful evening,” she said.
South Africa is such an important part of Gabi’s life that as a surprise Nick organised for a part of South Africa to come to the wedding. The singer Khanyo Maphumulo, featured on soundtracks of The Lion King entered the reception singing Circle of Life. “Everyone gathered around her. Her voice was captivating and drew us all in. Our guests danced around her as she sang traditional South African songs. It was a real highlight of the wedding.” Afterwards Furnace & The Fundamentals entertained the guests as they danced the night away. “Even after the reception had concluded we had a full dance floor of guests begging for more. It was a great party that had an incredible energy,” Gabi said.
gown & veil: Oscar de la Renta, www.oscardelarenta.com
photographer: Blumenthal Photography, www.blumenthalphotography.com.au
videography: Soda Films, sodafilms.com.au
ceremony location: The Mint, sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/the-mint
reception venue: The Establishment, merivale.com.au/weddings
reception caterer: Amaze In Taste, amazeintaste.com.au
reception decorations: BNT Management, bntmanagement.com.au & Decor of Distinction, decorofdistinction.com.au
flowers & floral decorations: Mr. Cook, mrcook.com.au
planner & stylist: BNT Management, bntmanagement.com.au
groom: Harrolds, harrolds.com.au
bridesmaids: Sheike, sheike.com.au
pageboy: Seed Heritage, seedheritage.com
music: Isser Feiglin, isser.com.au
Furnace & The Fundamentals, furnaceandthefundamentals.com
hair: Bryoni’s Hair, bryonishair.com.au
make-up: Anya Spicer, anyaspicermakeup.com