Chris and Kristy Alderson
Perth, Western Australia November 10, 2013
I come from a traditional Macedonian background (brought up in Australia) and Chris is born and raised as a Yorkshire man. Therefore the wedding was really a mix of the two. We met in Perth on a soccer (football) pitch while I was training. If you ask Chris it was love at first sight for him. For me, it took at least a couple of dates to understand what he was saying under the thick Yorkshire accent.
The week leading up to the wedding was eventful. We had an occasion on each night – including a traditional Macedonian “Making of the bed” where my bridesmaids made Chris and my bed for the first time. This is a female only event and after the bed is made the mother of the bride will put a baby boy and a baby girl on the bed to encourage Chris and I to have children! Hopefully at least one of each!
We also had a traditional pre wedding dinner with close friends and family and some traditional Macedonian dancing which was brilliant. Particularly enjoyable was watching all the people from Yorkshire getting involved and loving it!
I had a traditional Macedonian send off from my family home on the day of the wedding (kicking a glass to signify the girl leaving her parents’ home and starting a new family. We married in a traditional Macedonian Orthodox church, which is a beautiful building in its own right.
Unbeknown to us we had picked one of the hottest days on record – around 38 in the middle of the day, which skewed our photo plans between the church and the reception. We ended up having a few photos in the church because it was just too hot outside. These turned out to be the most beautiful photos.
The reception was at the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club which is an exclusive Yacht Club in Perth. It has 180 degree views of the river and with pre dinner drinks and canapés for the guests out on the balcony I think people were blown away by how beautiful the venue was.
One of the best moments of the reception was the speeches. Between my Dad, the best man Sam Dexter and my Chris it was reiterated to me why I married Chris – he constantly makes me laugh. Our friends and family still speak about how brilliant the speeches were.
We didn’t have a theme. I wanted a very traditional and unique wedding so the reception was covered in clean whites. Each of the 20 tables where decorated very simply with 75 long stem Singaporean Orchids and nothing more.
For me I always dreamed of a traditional wedding with minimal but stunning details and that was certainly the case. My stunning bridesmaids brought the colour to the party with gorgeous red dupion silk dresses designed and made by my beautiful mother, owner of Breathless Couture. I wanted the girls to have 7/8 dresses to mirror my second outfit and to show off their shoes! They had a high neck dress like mine – I love the demure understated look. To me, that is what a wedding should look like.
Another beautiful memory was when the photographer took Chris and I away from the reception at sunset for a reality check and a few photos. I think it was one of the first times I got to kiss and hug Chris away from everyone looking.
The traditional Macedonian dancing was a very good memory for me. Traditionally the first two Macedonian songs belong to the bride and groom (in that order) and Chris was just brilliant and really embraced his dance. What was also lovely to see was all his groomsman joining in and enjoying themselves.
I tried really hard to find a dress off the shelf but it became apparent very quickly that what I had in mind and what the dresses on the shelf could offer were worlds apart. It wasn’t until I tried on Lyn Ashworth – Loretta Long dress and I felt the quality in the fabric and structure of the gown that I was happy with a dress off the shelf. After sending an initial enquiry to Lyn Ashworth I met with Sarah to discuss whether she could make a bespoke gown for me that could be ready in time for my November wedding to come back to Perth with me.
I was adamant that I needed two skirts and Sarah was brilliant in making this a reality. Because Macedonian weddings are all about dancing this was important to me. Sarah was just amazing and the gowns she produced are unbelievable. I remember going to my third fitting and seeing my cathedral skirt hanging on the mannequin and just being in awe (and tearing up slightly!) of what she and the team had produced.
I ended up having a combination of white dupion silk and French lace (that is every girls dream right?!)I know the lace caused Sarah some grief, as it was so thick it ended up having to be individually hand appliquéd on to my bodice. I also managed to have a Italian diamanté broach for my slimmer skirt.
In all my life I have never seen such a beautiful wedding dress. It was more than the dress of my dreams, it was a Sarah Barrett design. No other way of explaining it.
My mum managed to come over for one of my fittings and like me, was in blown away by where the studio was situated and the serenity of the place. As a fellow designer and dressmaker my mum was supercritical of small details and Sarah did not disappoint. Each seam, cut and stitch where to perfection.
After my first meeting with Sarah where I conveyed my thoughts of a dress that is, a combination of Grace Kelly and a red Marchesa dress I had fallen in love with, the rest was left to Sarah. I was more than comfortable with her taking the lead in the design and construction of the dress. She just got it – she understood what I wanted and created the perfect gown to fit my body shape and to me, that’s a designer’s role. That’s why a bride pays for a bespoke gown – to leave it to the experts, and Sarah certainly did not disappoint.
Sarah made me feel like a Queen each time I came for a fitting. I was always made to feel like I was the most beautiful girl in the room when I was there. That was really special for me. I will never forget my English made dress to marry my English husband.