Avid golfer Chimpo Bulawayo’s game was off on his first date with Mony Vann, but when it came to love, his scorecard was looking good.
The Perth couple had met through mutual friends and had their first date at the mini-golf course in Wanneroo Botanic Gardens – a place they would one day return to for their garden wedding.
“We played mini golf and I found out Chimpo was an avid golfer, but I won! This didn’t deter Chimpo and so we had a few more dates and got to know each other well over time and found we connected instantly and so our relationship grew,” Mony, 34, explains.
Not long after heading to Chimpo’s homeland of Zambia to meet his family, Chimpo, 30, popped the question to an ecstatic Mony. “Through the shock, I said the greatest single word – YES!” Mony smiles.
In planning their garden wedding, the couple knew it was important to incorporate their family and cultural backgrounds. Mony says, “Coming from a Cambodian background, my family organised a traditional Khmer wedding ceremony… It was amazing seeing three cultures (Cambodian, Zambian and Australian) intertwined, with ‘love’ being the universal lining.”
One hundred and fifty friends and family came from all corners of the globe for the garden wedding on May 14, 2016, set in the lush surrounds of Wanneroo Botanic Gardens.
The reception was held at Northbridge’s Dragon Palace, which treated guests to a Chinese banquet.
“The highlight of the evening was the tribute to our parents. As part of this tribute, in keeping with Zambian tradition, a part of our wedding cake is presented to each set of parents as a gesture of honour, respect and good will,” Mony says.
“They are our role models and have set wonderful examples for us to follow – in life, love and marriage.”
“Our union was abundantly blessed by our elders, friends, and relatives,” Mony says of the Cambodian wedding ceremony. “This was symbolically done but tying a white cotton string around our wrist with a splash of holy water and chanting by the Buddhist monks.”
The couple put together elegant garden-themed invitations with some help from Vistaprint.
Wild Heart Flowers put together gorgeous blooms for the big day.
“We are fortunate to have such amazing family who support and guide us; our parents are our pillars of strength,” Mony says.
“This was a day for new beginnings. Our relationship is not new, and our love for one another is not new; but we have chosen to affirm our love in the commitment and promises of marriage. And that is new!” the bride says of walking down the aisle.
Gold and black were teamed together in the couple’s DIY-styled celebrations.
Bomboniere: DIY / Brides Accessories: Fletcher & Grace - Bridal Jewellery and Accessories / Brides Gown: Mia Solano @ Luv Bridal & Formal / Brides Shoes: Nine West / Bridesmaid Shoes: Nine West / Bridesmaids Accessories: Colette Hayman / Bridesmaids Dresses: Dion for Brides / Cake: Kay's Cakes / Celebrant: Dawn Turner / Ceremony Music: Riverside Ensembles / Ceremony Venue: Wanneroo Botanic Gardens / Entertainment: Majestic Wedding DJs / Flowergirl Dress: Myer / Flowers: Wild Heart Flowers / Gift Registry: Wishing well / Grooms Attire: Suits The Ultimate Collection / Grooms Shoes: Florsheim Shoes / Groomsmen Attire: Suits The Ultimate Collection / Groomsmen Shoes: Target / Hair: Hair Creative and Makeup / Honeymoon: Phuket / Invitations: Vistaprint / Makeup: Hair Creative and Makeup / Photographer: Sandie Bertrand Photography, B-Bike Photography / Reception Venue: Dragon Palace / Rings: Ecali / Transport: Mirage LImousines / Venue Decor: DIY, Dream Big Events Hire / Wedding Night Accommodation: The Duxton