Jonathan Ong International wedding photography

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What A Wonderful World.

This afternoons wedding is a true D.I.Y masterpiece. As well as decor made by Duncan and Ailsa’s family and friends we have Ailsa’s sister on make-up duty, her aunt and uncle on baking and cake decorating detail and her mother acting as florist.

The wedding mass took place at St Thomas of Canterbury church where Ailsa’s Uncle is the parish priest. A real family affair then, with stunning photography taken by Australian photographer Jonathan Ong.

It Was My Dress

I bought my dress from the lovely Julie Bergmans of FabGabs on etsy. It is a romantic vintage 1960’s ivory lace confection with ruffs at the neck and sleeves. I chose it because as soon as I saw it, I knew it was my dress.

Vintage Pearl

I wore a 1960’s style ivory chapel length veil which I found by chance in a wedding shop in the town I live in. My mother made my wreath and bouquet. My sister, who was my maid of honour, gave me the most wonderful gift just before I walked down the aisle. Inside a great big brown box were my somethings old (an embroidered handkerchief from my grandma), new (stunning chrysanthemum earrings), borrowed (a broach from my mum), and blue (a sweet vintage lace garter). I wore my engagement ring on my right hand, together with a vintage pearl bracelet.

Ivory Pumps

My bridesmaids and I wore the same shoes, flat almond toed ivory pumps to which my mother added ivory grosgrain bows. We also all carried matching ivory oyster clutch bags.

Soft Curl

Wanting to keep my makeup simple and understated I opted to do it myself. My sister, having practiced a few times before the big day, gave my hair a soft curl.

Clouds Of Colour

My husband and I wanted the flowers to be simple but ethereal. We chose baby’s breath for its delicate bloom and gentle clouds of colour. Luckily, my mother is extremely talented, very patient, and more than willing to learn a dozen new skills to make my dreams come true – she made my wreath, my bouquet, my bridesmaid’s bouquets, my bridesmaid’s hairpieces and the buttonholes using armfuls and armfuls of baby’s breath. The table centres, aisle decorations and flowers in the church were arranged by my mother, my sister, the lovely church organist, and I. We filled more than two hundred and fifty jars and bottles with flowers a couple of days before the wedding.

Soft And Romantic

The groomsmen, our fathers and my step-father wore their own suits with buttonholes made by my mother. There wasn’t a colour scheme as such, we chose soft, romantic colours that complemented the church and the hall. The bridesmaid’s dresses were from Cath Kidston – my sister and I fell in love with the old fashioned cut and print. Both bridesmaids wore tiny heart shaped pendants that were my thank-you gift to them. Our page boy wore a grey waistcoat and trouser suit with a tiny tartan tie, and our flower girl wore an ivory crochet-lace dress.


Duncan’s parents bought him a made-to-measure three-piece suit for the wedding which allowed him to choose two beautiful fabrics – a brown and black birdseye wool with a lovely cream floral lining. His ivory shirt had a very dapper collar bar and he wore his father’s black knitted tie. He also wore my grandad’s handkerchief in his top pocket and my father gave him a beautiful watch as a wedding present. He looked so handsome waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

On Line Love

Choosing our photographer was one of the biggest, but ultimately easiest, decisions we made…we saw Jonathan Ong‘s photographs online and fell in love with his work. He completely understood our vision of the day and it was a pleasure to have him with us. We adore our wedding photographs.

William Morris

When my parents married, my Aunty Mary and Uncle Tony made their cake. As the wedding was in Holland the cake had traditional blue and white delft tiles painted on it. As a little girl I would look at my parents’ wedding photos and admire their cake. When Duncan and I announced our engagement my Aunty and Uncle asked if there was anything they could help with…Well, my lovely Aunty Mary baked and iced our three-tier fruit cake which was then hand-painted by my Uncle Tony.

As we didn’t have a theme for the wedding it was a little tricky trying to explain the kind of design we imagined, so we suggested flowers, birds and William Morris as inspiration. At the wedding I found out that my Aunty and Uncle had spent months researching Morris, colours and techniques to create our wedding cake. They even included the Scottish thistle as a reminder of where Duncan and I were both born. It was definitely the most beautiful cake I’ve ever seen.

The Perfect Band

As our wedding gift my wonderful sister Annika and her boyfriend Colin hired an incredible three-piece band, Gypsies of Bohemia. We hadn’t planned to have live music as it was a little outside our budget but Annika and Colin secretly searched for, found and booked the band as a surprise. They let us know about our gift a little bit before the wedding (so we could finalise times!) and we are still so touched at how well Annika and Colin know us – Duncan and I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect band to play at our wedding.

Utterly Romantic

Our first dance was a big surprise! We had chosen a song, What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, when we started planning but eventually decided that we wouldn’t have dancing at the wedding. This was partly because we needed to squeeze dinner seating for one hundred and fifty people into the church hall and partly because we aren’t the wedding disco type. However, unbeknownst to me my sister and Duncan had hatched a secret plan and just before dinner, when all our guests were seated, my sister stood up and announced our first dance. The band played What a Wonderful World and we danced next to them on the stage. It was utterly romantic and I loved every second – it’s one of my favorite memories of our day.

Wild Favours

Being wildflower lovers, we decided to give our guests native British wild flower seeds to plant in their gardens. We loved the idea that the flowers would be growing long after our wedding. Duncan, having drawn our invitations and order of service, drew a design for a custom rubber stamp which we applied to little brown paper envelopes. We then wrote each guest’s name on the top of the envelope and used them as place settings.

Home Made Decor

My Uncle David worked so hard to organise the presbytery, the gardens and the hall before we arrived – it was the most lovely venue. All our decorations were handmade and arranged by family, friends and us. My mother made two hundred metres of torn-strip bunting which she then hand dyed lemon and baby pink. It took us a whole day to hang it in the hall. My mother also dyed some crochet mats to add to my collection (bought from a whole host of charity shops) which, together with the flowers, formed the centrepieces.

The jars of flowers were arranged by my mother, my sister, our organist and I – the trickiest bit was tying pieces of ribbon and lace around tiny jars. I made the giant pinwheels that acted as the seating plan. My mother and father in law, my mother, my sister and some friends helped Duncan and I to set up the tables, put out the table cloths, lay the cutlery, put out bubbles, organise favours and set out the centrepieces the day before the wedding. The balloons and outside seating were arranged by friends on the morning of the wedding. It was a lot of work doing it all ourselves but we had so much fun in the process.

Be Personal

I would advise future brides and bridegrooms to plan their wedding to be as personal as possible. For us that meant making everything we could and having a relaxed day filled with family and friends. One of the most fun parts of our day was when, immediately after the ceremony, our guests were served ice cream from a trike in the church garden. The photos of all the children with ice-creamed faces are wonderful and it meant our guests weren’t too hungry before we served the canapes. We spent a long time choosing our caterer and Darren and his team from Cheshire Hog Roast put on an incredible spread – even Darren’s granny helped out. I wanted a little home cooking at our wedding so my mother made my favourite nut roast as the vegetarian main course, which Darren served alongside the hog! Organising drinks was a little tricky but luckily for us, members of the congregation volunteered to run the bar with all the proceeds going to the church.

From the outset we gratefully accepted all the help that was offered. Our wedding couldn’t have taken place without the people who planned, cleaned, created, organised, painted, decorated, cooked and generally pitched in. Even the day after our wedding a whole army of family turned up to help us take down decorations and clean the hall. It was this incredible dedication and kindness shown to us by our family and friends that made our wedding truly perfect.

Dress – FabGabs

Maids – Cath Kidston

Photography – Jonathan Ong

Band – Gypsies of Bohemia

Catering – Cheshire Hog Roast

The torn strip bunting is super cool – I’m not sure that I have ever seen bunting like that before… I love the village fete / garden party feel that this wedding has and the fact that so many of Duncan and Ailsa’s friends and family mucked and and leant a helping hand makes it extra special.

We love Jonathan Ong‘s work here at Rock My Wedding, you may remember the stunning destination wedding we showcased early this year. An Australian wedding complete with beer bottle decor, if you missed it check it out.

And if you want Jonathan to shoot your wedding then he is back in London throughout July and August in 2013.

Thanks to Duncan and Ailsa for sharing their big day.


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If You Could Bottle Love.

This might be one of the best weddings that I see this year.

Ah, now you’re listening aren’t you? Well it’s true – I know it’s only February but I reckon the wedding of Jessica and Justin is going to take some serious beating.

We are going global on Rock My Wedding today, Jessica and Justin are Australian and so we are going down under for today’s dose of inspirational wedding pretty, shot by Australian wedding photographer Jonathan Ong.

Jonathans shots are simply beautiful and It is a real shame for you lot that Jonathan lives over 10,000 miles away. If only he was coming to the UK for a bit… maybe say for July and August. And imagine if he was up for shooting a few weddings or engagement shots while he was here? That would be pretty groovy wouldn’t it? It might just be worth dropping him an email just to ask!

In the meantime enjoy a big old dose of love, Aussie style, from The Yarra Valley.

A Million Miles

Our wedding was held on the 28th of December 2011 at Stones of the Yarra Valley in The Yarra Valley – an hour out of Melbourne ( but feels like a million miles away).

Vintage Inspired

Melbourne designer Gwendolynne Burkin designed my dress. She is one very talented woman who makes the most gorgeous gowns that are vintage inspired – right up my ally. Walking into her studio gave me an immediate realisation that I was going to fall in love with many. I loved my dress after a few alterations just that little bit more and so did mum which made the decision a whole lot easier to make. The dress was made from spotted tulle and was crinkled tiered from the hips down.

Minimal Jewellery

I dont wear much jewellery at all so only wore my rings which felt complete. My florist made my floral head wreath which fit perfectly with the theme I was going for.

A Height Boost

This was the hardest part of my outfit! I’m no where near a “shoe person” but ended up ridiculously buying 4 different pairs. I didn’t want a “bridal” shoe and each pair became less and less bridal until finding nude coloured strappy stiletto’s (I need all the height I can get).

Nothing Too Structured

My hair was done by the lovely Lauren Mackellar. Her sense of style is very similar to mine – nothing too structured. Half a kilo of hair spray makes me feel a little woozy. She did some beautiful soft up do’s which were simply perfect. Mum is a whizz at almost everything. She did my make up ensuring I still looked like myself. Getting ready was that much more relaxing.

Amber Bottles And Blooms

Blooming Brides’ Rita Feldmann was so beautiful to work with. She understood my style as soon as we got chatting. With help from family, we collected boxes of amber beer bottles and boxes of glass jars (from Jam to pasta sauces) which were used as vases/votives. Amber bottles also hung from the Oak tree we were married under.

We wanted natural tones throughout the wedding so for flowers we had creams and whites with a lot of foilage. I love the ” Just came back from the garden and chucked the posies in jars” look and she got that down to a T. Rita predominatly used David Austin and Ice Berg Roses, Lisianthus, Snowberry, hydrangea, Field Daisy’s with sprigs of Rosemary. I didnt want to hold a bouquet or wear a veil so instead wore a head wreath which I loved.

Nothing Official

We didn’t officially have a bridal party but our best friends and sisters essentially were. Sam wore a Dom Bagnato Navy suit, white shirt and a Rhodes & Beckett Tie. The boys also wore pocket hankerchiefs which I absolutely loved. Briony my best friend who happened to marry Sam a month earlier and our sisters Louise, Mindy, Lana and Jodie wore dresses that each individually fell in love with. Perfect.

Spots and Checks

I wanted a surprise, so didnt have any idea what Justin was going to wear. He looked so very handsome in a Dom Bagnato light blue grey suit, Rhodes & Beckett Tie checked white and navy shirt, dark navy tie and a spotted pocket handkerchief to tie it all together. I tried very hard not to run towards him.

A Talanted Man

We discovered Jonathan Ong whilst browsing a couple of Australian blogs. We met a couple of times over coffee before hand and instantanously knew we had the right photographer. The pictures spek or themselves. I cannot express how lucky we were to have him. It felt very natural in front of the camera and it felt as though he was one of our guests. Jon is a very talented man. We adore his work and adore him!

Don’t Stop The Rock

We didnt have a cake as that would mean we would have stopped the dance floor to cut it! The venue provided delicious roaming dessert which was perfect.

Soul Of The Party

Soulbeats Entertainment played a few years ago at a family friends wedding. We both loved their music and danced the night away (I was even on crutches at the time!) We tracked them down years later and they were even better than we remembered. My youngest sister Jodie, belted out a couple of songs with the band too!

Signed Sealed Delivered

We didn’t really want a “first dance” so instead, we started the dance floor as soon as we were announced to “Signed Sealed Delivered”. Within 30 seconds of the song, we had everyone dancing on the dance floor and out on the patio. We continued dancing to a few more songs before being dragged away for dinner!

A Lot Of Bottle

The amber beer bottles and glass jars that we collected were a big feature of the decor from the bottles hanging as a back drop during our ceremony to the tables filled with jars and bottles as posie vases. We also had fabric stripped garlands that hung between posts that were in natural tones. They hung with Festoon lights that suited the barn like venue. Emma Scarlett helped source the festoon lighting and created the stripped garlands for us. We also used an old rustic window for our table seating chart that was displayed during drinks at the “Dairy” before heading to the “Barn” for dinner.

A Simple Plan

We both just wanted a big party with people we love. There was nothing meticulously planned and traditions weren’t exactly followed to a T. It was perfect letting the day/night unfold naturally. We are very blessed to have the most beautiful family and friends. We are forever greatful to our parents.

Venue Stones of the Yarra Valley

Dress Gwendolynne Burkin

Hair Lauren Mackellar

Blooms Blooming Brides’

Photography Jonathan Ong

Entertainment Soulbeats Entertainment

So, pretty much WOW yes?

Who want’s to start the what’s-amazing-about-this-wedding ball rolling? I’m leaving this one up to you peeps!

And just to confirm (in case my extreme hinting earlier wasn’t enough!) John is in the UK this year throughout July and August so drop him an email if you want an engagement shoot, or even if you are yet to find a photographer for your Summer 2012 wedding.

It just might be your lucky day!