Lea & Matthias

Lea & Matthias wedding portrait

Lea & Matthias wedding portrait
This was the wedding that inspired it all for me, so it seems a fitting start for my series of wedding profiles.

I am a bit biased (Lea is my sister), but Lea really is wonderfully creative, so I’m sure you’ll find inspiration from both (yes there were two!) of their weddings.

Lea & Matthias were married on 3 March 2012 in Sydney and then on 7 July 2012 in Dulmen, Germany (Matthias’ home town). They were two very different, but equally special ceremonies.

It is important to make clear that I was not the celebrant for this wedding.

The Venue

Sydney Dance Lounge
The Wharf Pier 4/5 Hickson Rd Walsh Bay

View from the Pier at Sydney Dance Lounge

The ceremony was supposed to be held at Hickson Reserve. With many German guests coming out for the wedding, Lea & Matthias wanted a spectacular Sydney setting. However, the weather had other plans and instead the ceremony was held at the entrance to Sydney Dance Lounge, where the reception was being held. This was still a beautiful setting with glimpses of the Harbour Bridge and it meant that no one got wet.

The Theme

Lea & Matthias wanted their wedding to reflect their mutual love of all things vintage. For decoration they bought a variety of items on ebay (vintage suitcases, birdcages) and used their own Holland bicycles with flowers pouring from the baskets. They also made use of the poster frames usually used to promote dance shows. They had 3 larger posters printed that tied in with their invitation design and really helped to set the scene.
The Theme

“Instead of a guest book at the wedding we decided to buy a variety of old postcards from ebay. We asked all of our guests to write on a post card and put them into one of the vintage suitcases for us to read later. This worked really well and we loved heading everyone’s messages of love.”

The Dress

For the Sydney wedding Lea wore a dress purchased online from BHLDN.

“I looked at a lot of dresses in the shops in Sydney and I couldn’t find anything that I felt reflected my personality and age. All the dresses I tried were the same design over and over again. I was after a dress that was classic but interesting. A friend of mine showed me the BHLDN website and I instantly fell in love with the dress. The whole time I was looking I kept coming back to the website. Eventually I just decided to buy it and have it shipped over. It was perfect.”

The Flowers

Lea knew she wanted something different for her bouquet and although the wedding was vintage themed, she did not want to take this literally. Instead Lea and the team at Flowers on Norton St, Leichhardt took the wedding invitation as inspiration and created bouqets and button-holes with a combination of rich coloured flowers and grey/green succulents to put a modern spin on the vintage look. Plus the succulents were kept and planted as mementos of the day.


The Music


When Lea & Matthias were having a long distance romance, Lea made Matthias CD of songs she loves and sent it to Mattias in Germany. The letter that accompanied the CD described all the reasons she loved the songs. The Rain Song was the first song on the CD.




“We decided to perform for our guests at our wedding so we arranged to have dance lessons where we had a choreographer come up with a special dance to our music for us. My friends know me well and thought I might do a special dance so we had to trick them. We started the dance with INXS – Never Tear Us Apart, then the record skipped and Touch me by the Doors began and the dance started. This dance was full of amazing lifts and dips. It was one of the high lights of the night. It was great seeing and hearing the cheering of all of our friends and family who were so surprised at the effort we put into making the dance so spectacular.”

Lea & Matthias First Dance

The Vows

Lea & Matthias both wrote their own vows and didn’t read each other’s before the day. They were kind enough to share these very personal words.


“Matthias, our story began with a romance that spanned two corners of the earth. The love we share for one another being so strong that not even distance could separate our hearts. Now that we are together, I will hold onto you forever as my husband. I promise you that I will cherish you and give you my heart, that I will support you and care for you, to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you. I will always stand by your side with your hand in mine, regardless of what life will bring to us. My love for you will only grow stronger, day by day for the rest of our life together because you Matthias are the only man for me, my one true love. Ich liebe dich.”


“I Matthias, take you Lea to be my wife, my partner in life and my one true love . I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart and my love, from this day forward, as long as we both shall live.”

The Photographer

Lea & Matthias had a very clear creative vision of what they wanted for their wedding photos and through recommendation they discovered Annette Wilson. Annette totally got what they were after and Lea & Matthias were thrilled with the results.

You can view a sample of photos from Lea & Matthias’ wedding on Annette’s blog.

The Video

Rather than film the ceremony and reception and end up with hours of footage that they’d never watch again, Lea & Matthias thought they’d put their combined talents to use (Lea’s creativity and Matthias’ editing skills) to create a stop-motion video where that you could watch in minutes but feel like you were there.

They set up 6 cameras to shoot pictures at 15 second intervals and the position of the cameras was changed throughout the evening according to what was happening at the time. The section with the bridal party was carefully planned and was surprisingly simple (and fun) to execute on the day.

They were inspired by videos from Bayly & Moore from New Zealand and Ben Vallis from Pathless Pictures coordinated the cameras on the day.

The German Wedding

The German wedding was held under a gorgeous chesnut tree beside an old workers hut in the fields just outside Matthias’ hometown of Duelmen.

Lea wore our Mum’s wedding dress. – a gorgeous 70s tiered gown. This was such a nice way to include Mum in the ceremony (although I imagine many people would never be caught dead in their Mum’s wedding dress!).
Lea & Matthias Dulmen

A guitar-playing priest (a friend of the family) performed an unofficial ceremony (they were already technically married, so could not legally marry again) which consisted of a a song where all the guests had to sit down and stand up according to the lyrics. This was not only hilarious, but a great way to break the ice and get everyone in the party spirit (not something you would usually say about a priest).

Chair, guitar, flowers

There were a few German traditions woven into the night, most of them a surprise for the bride and groom. My favourite (perhaps because I could see how horrified it made my sister at the time even though she laughs about it now) was the smashing of the plates. Lea & Matthias had to sweep up  boxes and boxes of china that was enthusiastically smashed by their guests. This tradition, usually performed in days prior to the ceremony, is said to ward off evil spirits and the bride and groom have to clean it all up themselves to prove that they can work together.

Smashing the plates

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